â€œHave you ever been in love? Horrible isn’t it? It makes you so vulnerable. It opens your chest and it opens up your heart and it means that someone can get inside you and mess you up. You build up all these defenses, you build up a whole suit of armor, so that nothing can hurt you, then one stupid person, no different from any other stupid person, wanders into your stupid life…You give them a piece of you. They didn’t ask for it. They did something dumb one day, like kiss you or smile at you, and then your life isn’t your own anymore. Love takes hostages. It gets inside you. It eats you out and leaves you crying in the darkness, so simple a phrase like ‘maybe we should be just friends’ turns into a glass splinter working its way into your heart. It hurts. Not just in the imagination. Not just in the end. It’s a soul-hurt, a real gets-inside-you-and-rips-you-apart pain. I hate love.â€’ – Neil Gaiman
The desire was at times overwhelming.
Once I found her, once I knew where she was, I had to have all of her I could get. Of course, I couldn’t really have her entirely as she set the boundary on day one that she had no interest (yet) in meeting me. Her candor made it easy for me to extinguish that hope and so I filled my early reunion days with daily drive-bys of her myspace, livejournal, facebook, aim away messages and more. I spent hours reading her emails to me over and over and over again. I printed them out and I carried them with me. I made a special folder on aol and filed all her email. I saved every photo she sent me or I found in a special folder on my computer. When the folder grew, I uploaded them all to shutterfly and printed them. When they arrived in the mail, I purchased a special scrap book and mounted them all. I tried hard to put them in what I believed to be date order. I put a picture of her in my wallet. I hung them on the walls of my home. I transferred photos to my iPod Nano (they are now on my iPhone).
All these things and more I did in early reunion and at one point I was called obsessed and a crazy stalker by her and others.
Okay, I see their point – yet I don’t.
Why is it that what everyone else can do and takes for granted as a mother is considered stalking and obsessed when I do it? Why is it such an awful hideous thing that I want to love, know, cherish, and understand my daughter? Aren’t all mothers allowed to do that? Or are those emotions reserved for only those of us that don’t "abandon" our babies and permit them, however unknowingly, to be sold by a baby broker? I may have signed away my rights but I did not sign away my feelings or my love for her. I surrendered my right to parent her. Not my right to feel like her mother. Motherhood is forever whether your child is present or not.
As the years have gone by the alleged crazy stalker actions have dissipated. I randomly make visits to her sites. Several times I forgot some existed even though they were saved in my favorites. I no longer save emails (when they come). I no longer print the photos (but I do save them).I no longer spend hours waiting for an email from her.
Maybe that was my honeymoon period of reunion even if it was experienced alone. I dont know.
What I do know is that I reflected on those early days today.
I was musing over another relationship of mine. This person, like my daughter, is someone I really want in my life but I am sensing the depth of the feeling is not mutual. Maybe not now, maybe not ever. I understand and respect their feelings (as I have always done with my daughters) but in the alone times I am antsy and hungering for that connection. I haven’t told this person my feelings as they have made theirs painfully clear to me and I don’t think telling them I feel different would be appropriate. I suspect they know. It would only make them uncomfortable and feel pressured.
A different person than I might find this unrequited feeling to be saddening. Crazy Gemini that I am, I found it pleasing. Acknowledging my desire for relationship with another person that is currently unable to reciprocate made me truly, deeply, accept that my daughters feeling is just that. Her feeling. It is not about me. I have always know this intellectually but until I felt this with another person, I thought it was limited to her and I and I erroneously assumed it was all about me.
It is not. I am not over identifying in adoption. I am not suffering from some unrequited love.
I am realizing that just because someone doesn’t care for you the way you want them to doesnâ€™t mean they donâ€™t care at all.