My Personal Prozac

“Writing is a form of therapy; sometimes I wonder how all those, who do not write, compose, or paint can manage to escape the madness, the melancholia, the panic fear, which is inherent in a human condition” – Graham Greene

So, I have been trying to take an adoption vacation. I wanted to go away in my mind and focus on all the pretty things in my life. My fiance, my fabulous boys, my soon to be new and equally fabulous house.

I wanted to think about Waverly curtains and Klimt artwork and oxblood colored walls in my family room. I wanted to shop for pool and patio decor for the in-ground pool and wander through a sporting good store for a new basketball hoop and board. I wanted to investigate pavers for the patio I envision. I want to look for horseshoe pit stakes for the slightly buried, but soon to be uncovered, pits in our yard. I wanted to shop for leather couches for the TV room and pottery barn type kitchen farm tables for the dining room. I wanted to buy graph paper and do a space plan. I wanted to think about paint colors for the master bedroom and I wanted to debate reasons why it is NOT a good idea for my 12 year old son to paint a wall in his room the color black.

And I wanted to do all of this while pretending that I am not one of the many victims torched by the American adoption industry. I wanted to frolic around my .75 acres of grassy lawn, Japanese maple and and weeping cherry trees and pretend for at least a few months that it doesn’t bother me that I am four years into reunion with a child that wants nothing to do with me. I want to weed the flower beds and smile when I think about the emails that go unanswered. I want to giggle with joy when I am asked by my son why his sister did not thank us for the birthday donation we made in her name.  I want to roll down the front hill of our property with my six year old and scream in delight at the massive numbers of babies separated from their mothers. I wanted stick my leg through the tire swing that hangs on the large tree in the back yard, let my multicolored red hair fall down my back and sing a happy song of adoption separation. I wanted to fool myself into believing it was all good. I wanted to  ingest adoption koolaid by the tank full with the hopes that drinking adoption koolaid would give me a break.

I wanted to pretend. 

I want to be avoidant.

I want to deny who and what I am and what was done to me and my child.

I wanted to act like those adoptees who say the woman that parented them are their REAL and only mother.

I wanted to breathe like mothers who found the ability to erase their surrendered children from their minds and act as if their subsequent children are their real and only children.

I wanted to sleep like an adoptive parent who believes that separating mother and child is a good thing for after all, babies are blank slates and mommies can be replaced.

I wanted to conduct business like a baby broker who finds nothing wrong with selling babies to the highest bidder.

I wanted to be…not me.

I just wanted to focus, for a few months on all the good stuff and not have the icky stuff invade every waking moment.

And I cannot seem to do it. 

At my fiances sons high school graduation ceremony, I choke up because I am reminded that a year ago my daughter was graduating from college.

At a family party over the weekend where I discuss an upcoming trip to Prague with family members, I have to turn away for it reminds me that my daughter once studied in Prague.

As I lay in my bed with my fiance talking about the effect of divorce on children and how difficult it is to blend families after divorce, I am reminded of how reunion brings about blended families (or should).

As I color my hair a bolder, brighter, odder shade of red I find myself wondering what color red my daughter is currently sporting.

As I am wander through Urban Outfitters in North Hampton, Mass in search of a necklace I have coveted for months, I am reminded of UO shoes my daughter purchased and the photo of same she posted on her tumblr.

As I plan a trip to Brooklyn to take photos of my mothers childhood haunts, I feel fear that I may run into my daughter that also lives in Brooklyn. After all, that kind of cosmic shit has happened to me before. I find myself thankful the weather was unpredictable and I did not go to the Brooklyn.

As I pick my sons up from their fathers home over the weekend, and my thin youngest son runs toward me, images of his equally thin sister flash over him and I see her, not him.

And I push the thoughts away. I tell them they are not welcome.

I smile again. I pretend I am a normal mother, fiance, woman. I am not a mother without her first born child. I am not a mother whose child was taught she did not exist and does not matter. I am not a women traumatized by adoption. I smile and frolic some more.

And all the while I know I am fooling myself. All the while I know how much difficulty I have with people who deny and avoid reality. All the while I reflect on what a harsh realist I am known to be, the realist I am proud to be.

And I become angry at myself.

And I read adoption related tweets, and I am even angrier. I find myself much less tolerant of the varying views. I find I want to scream at the 40 something yo adoptee who is clueless to her mothers pain and reality and simultaneously I want to choke and bitch slap the mother that is rejecting her child. And dont get me started on entitled prospective adopters who feel that having a baby doesnt make you a mother. (What does it make you then? A birther? An incubator?) and that only wealthy people can raise children properly. As if money guarantees parenting ability.

And my anger frightens me.

There seems to be some connection.

My avoidance and my anger makes me think that I must keep on blogging if only for anger management purposes, for therapy, for some semblance of sanity.

The written word is my prozac.

And so I write.


ETA: Looks like I tried to take a break about this time two years ago. Seems to be a theme with me. Interesting.

6 Thoughts.

  1. Glad you’re back. I missed you.

    I also do the “taking a break at this time each year thing”
    I feel I deserve it, since I made it through the bday and mothers day. It always backfires on me.


  2. Some of you may recall Suz had asked me write a ‘guest’ column a few months ago to provide some insights into how adoption has affected our relationship…

    I am somewhat new to things adoption-related …

    I have always striven to to consciously avoid anything & everything that could possibly ‘trigger’ her concerning her daughter…

    I worry about choosing a movie to watch as it might be a ‘trigger’, I worry about any possible thing you can imagine so far as triggering her…

    I find myself becoming almost hyper vigilant when we’re together to see if she’s really there with me or being triggered by something and has sort of ‘mentally checked out’..

    After reading her post above I arrive at the conclusion that there’s absolutely nothing I can do, no matter what we do, no matter where we go, etc..something will be a “trigger”…all I can offer her is my love, support, understanding and all the compassion in the world, at times it feels so pathetically inadequate, you have to truly love someone who’s been affected by adoption to be able to relate to what I say, knowing you can’t ‘fix’ this, it gnaws at my insides like a insidious pain I can’t even begin to describe…

    This does have a trickle down effect on our relationship…in a sense I’m ‘collateral damage’…heck, WE’RE collateral damage to adoption & all its abhorrent practices…

    I can personally attest to being living proof of all her terrific column ‘my personal prozac’ speaks of…

    It’s tough stuff, those without guts & tons of intestinal fortitude need not apply…but here’s the thing folks, SHE’S SO WORTH IT!!! SHE’S MY ROCK!!!

    This is one truly amazing, terrific woman…she doesn’t let it overwhelm our relationship, rather as I alluded to in my “I’ll stand by you” post, it has strengthened our bond & relationship in many ways…

    In my most fervent prayers I long for the day her daughter contacts her and that they reunite, hopefully she realizes what a truly awesome person she is !!
    I believe with all my heart this will occur…

    In a month or so if all goes to plan we’ll be living in the terrific house Suz has alluded to and at least I’ll get to physically be there for her 24/7…for now the ‘waiting truly is the hardest part’…sigh…

    Suz, my love, sorry for prattling on so long(you know brevity is not my strongsuit)…

    AML, Rich

  3. First let me say that I’m a mother by adoption, domestic adoption. My son’s birthmother and I have had a rocky relationship. We just recently connected again via facebook, and we are trying to go slow and figure things out. My son is only 3-so we I hope we can figure it out before he is old enough to really understand. She has anger like you do, and sometimes it pisses me off when it is directed to me. I did not steal her baby. And, I know you might not like me saying this…but I do not feel like I did anything wrong in adopting him. I try and understand, but I also have to walk away when that anger is too much. It does not belong on my shoulders. Anyway, I keep wondering about the impact all of this will have on my son. I fully support him having any relationship with her he chooses. I use to feel threatned by that, at first, which I think is natural. But, I don’t now. In fact, I hope she and I will one day be great friends because I do care very much about her. I do not think money makes me a better mother at all. She recently had another child, and I hope for nothing but their happiness. Still, I would be frustrated and have been frustrated when his bio mom takes her anger out on him or on me. I can’t imagine that will be healthy for him. I will never lie to him, but there are some things about her past and her behavior that I won’t share with him to protect him. I guess I wonder where the line is for her. I don’t want her to be repressed in anyway when it comes to her emotions. It is such a fine balance. I guess I wanted to ask you something, and I hope it is not to touchy or sensitve. Do you think your daughter would have been or would be more open to meeting with you if you were less angry about it all? I have to admit that I cringe at the whole, what adoption did to my daughter. I wonder how I would feel if someone kept writing about “damage” done to me, especially if I didn’t feel damaged. I’m not saying adoption doesn’t cause damage. But, I guess I was wondering…did you go into the relationship with her with that on the table, with that I”m sorry I gave you up and wrecked your life thing? From what you have written, it sounds like she is happy. I wonder how she rectifies her own happiness when you are here speaking out constantly against that happiness. I guess what I really want to know, and I don’t expect you to answer this, is how can I balance my son’s birthmother’s rage and anger against what I do see as my son’s happiness. I do realize that my greatest joy came on the back of her greatest pain. And, that will never be easy for any of us. But, I have to believe there is a way to mitigate that pain by us all working together. I don’t know. I have not figured it all out. But, I come here to read, even though it is hard to hear sometimes, because I want to do right by the people I love. Sorry for the long comment.

  4. Suz – I’m afraid I’ve tried to do the same thing, and I don’t think it’s working.

    I think your writing is important, it’s genuine and honest – and adoption needs that. People need to know that adoption is not all hearts and butterflies and rainbows. Even in the best of circumstances, it can be hard and awful and it sucks sometimes, and there are a lot of circumstances where things are NOT the best they can be. People need to know.

  5. I am so glad you didn’t take that vacation. I have learned alot from you about the feelings my birthmother might have.
    I have changed in the last year since our reunion. Its not perfect and I have to admit its hard to always be thinking of her feelings but when I read your posts it helps pull down that wall of hurt. One brick at a time, even if my emotions and feelings just keep building up two bricks at a time. Still, its important for me to see her side and you help with that.

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