"I’m trying to free your mind, Neo. But I can only show you the door. You’re the one that has to walk through it.
" – Morpheus
Okay, I have been mulling over my overwhelming desire for a concrete, tangible, explanation for my daughters response to our reunion.
And yes, I want me to be the reason. I want her to blame me. I want everyone to blame me.
For if it is not me, it means it is her.
It means that my daughter is not perfect.
And well, to me she is perfect. She is my child. All three of my children are perfect. They are amazing wonderful creative beautiful beings. I would die for them. Give my life for them.
If they are bad, if they are evil, mean to others, disturbed, rude, obnoxious, misbehaved, it is my fault, right? If my son kicks his brother while we grocery shop and strangers see it, do they look at him or me? Is a child to be held responsible for their behavior or should the parents be?
I want it to me. I want to live in this bubble that my children are perfect. Yes, Robin, I want to take the blue pill and re-enter the matrix.
But see, to ME, they are perfect. In every way. And if they do something wrong, it is because I did something wrong in parenting them. Yes, I know, I did not parent my daughter but that fact does not exempt her from my feelings. She is my daughter as much as her brothers are my sons. She is no different than them.
Yet, my daughter, well, in many ways, she hasn’t been so nice to me. Whatever the very valid reasons, primal wound, age, immaturity, anger, its a fact. She has been avoidant, rude, even disrespectful at times. She has hurt my feelings.
I don’t want to believe she is flawed. I don’t want to believe that anything bad happened to her. I don’t want to truly believe that her parents were abusive or mean. I want to continue to hang onto the folly that is adoption – at least in some manner. Part of me, if even a part small enough to fit on the head of a nail, wants to believe her adoption was for the best.
Yes, the blue pill.
They told me 22 years ago that she was better off without me. Damn it, part of me, even in light of all the research the shows otherwise, still wants to drink that koolaid and believe it. Because if she was indeed better off without me, then we are good, right? We are like, mkay and things are cool? Then this pain I have lived with is just me? Then my child isn’t hurt or sad or damaged by being raised by strangers?
If I don’t believe that, what am I to face?
That my daughter was not treated nicely, that she is not a nice person? That she drowns kittens in her spare time?
No. I wont believe anything bad about her. I don’t want to. I want to keep her on this pedestal seated cozily next to her adorable brothers. I want to believe her poor treatment of me is because I deserve it.
The shadow is reality. Painful awful reality.
The red pill.
My daughter’s behavior is reality. Its real. Its not fluff.Its not pretty. Its not adoption koolaid. It is hard core emotion and trauma.
If she was so gosh darned happy with being adopted and raised by strangers, if it was so perfect for her, wouldn’t she be, oh, like a Stepford Adoptee? Wouldn’t she at least grant me stranger status and say hello, good bye, nice to meet you, oh what a pleasant day it is and hi ho cheerio?
Joss Shawyer writes that the adoptees most often to embrace reunion are the ones that have felt some semblance of love and acceptance in their adoptive family. They can accept the love of reunion because love is familiar to them. Someone, somewhere, in their adoptive family (maybe not mom and dad but maybe grandma?) loved them.
Joss goes further to say the adoptees that most often have difficulty with reunion or refuse contact are the adoptees that never felt loved.
I. Do. Not. Want. To. Believe. That.
I don’t want to believe that my daughter cannot love me because she never felt loved.
It is too painful for me to consider.
So, yes, to my friend that asked me if I wanted to be the reason, the fault, the blame, for my daughters response to our reunion? The answer is yes.
I suppose I do.