"â€œAn unquestioned mind is the world of suffering.â€ – Byron Katie
"Perhaps she doesnâ€™t want another mother because she doesnâ€™t like the one you picked for her?" my friend queried.
Picked for her? I struggled with that statement as it is not entirely accurate but I knew what she was implying and why. Those not torched by adoption don’t always understand how the process works. They also dont realize that certain words can be highly triggering.
"What would not liking her adoptive mother have to do with me? Besides, I donâ€™t know anything about her adoptive mother, beyond what the agency put on paper, I donâ€™t like assuming or making up stuff that I donâ€™t know to be true. That makes me feel uncomfortable." I stated as I reached for my ice water. The glass of Shiraz I drank earlier was fighting back and causing a bit of heartburn. As I scanned our small dinner table for something soothing, my friend continued.
"No, I know. I am just speaking figuratively or is it theoretically? I donâ€™t know. Whatever. But imagine adoptive mom is your daughterâ€™s view of "mother". If that view is bad, and I am not saying it is, maybe her view of you is also bad. Does that make sense? Pretend you grew up with a clingy, needy, obsessive, oppressive mother and you are presented with a mother who has been desperately looking for you. It could be an easy jump to assume that Mom Number Two (or is it number one?) might be like Mom Number One, wouldnâ€™t it? Mother might become a dirty word. Remember when you said you had a problem dating E because he was Polish, liked to fish, and drank too much, just like your Dad? Same concept. Anyone at all like your dad became persona non grata. Get it?" friend asked.
"Errm, well, kinda. But again, I donâ€™t know anything about adoptive mom so I cannot agree or disagree but I get what you are saying in theory. I suppose it is possible. Are you suggesting some sort of transference? Kinda like if you have a bad experience with oh, a restaurant, if you get food poisoning you might be weary to go out to that restaurant again or any restaurant at all?" I ask.
"Well, uh, not quite." friend replied.
"The truth is there are way too many variables in adoption reunion. I am just guessing at any of this. I am just shooting in the dark and spinning my wheels. I am working hard to stop thinking about it all. At least I am trying to reframe it. It is crazy making to do otherwise. I have two other children who do need me and love me and deserve to have their mother completely there. I need to focus on the things that give me joy in life and not pain. And what do you mean not quite? Can you pass that bread?" I ask as the fire in my throat rages. Why is a glass of shiraz giving me such wicked heartburn I wonder?
"Well yeah, but that seems like a bad analogy if you ask me…something wrong with comparing mothers and restaurants. But I understand what you say about stopping your internal thought processes. Are you reading Byron Katie again? I thought you put that book down. But seriously, mothers and restaurants? Couldn’t your writer brain come up with something better than that?" friend laughed.
"Well, they both feed you…" I offered.