I cannot thank all the commentors on this post enough. It feels good to be understood and validated and loved by both mothers, adoptees and even virtual strangers to me.
I cry as I write this post but for different reasons.
I want to assure all of you that have suggested that it is not me but adoption that I agree with you.Â I have for quite some time.Â My daughter has chosen not to know ME therefore she cannot reject ME. She has rejected an image, an apparition, a belief system associated with me. She has not rejected ME.
I have known this for several years. I thank my reading and therapy and friends like you for this awareness.
Early in reunion, for a brief period, her rejection of me very much slayed me. It cut to the core of who I was as a person never mind as her mother. It triggered memories of being cast out by my family, of being abandoned and left by her father, of being lied to by the agency. Years ago, it was very difficult to separate me from her and her from adoption and me from adoption. My own self was very unclear.Â When she rejected “me”, she unknowingly rejected that 17 year old mother pregnant with her just like everyone else had (including myself, for I had also rejected me). And my trauma, my experience was given the emotional oxegyn it needed to breathe again. And I stumbled, and flailed, trying to separate me now from me then. And I made mistakes. And my marriage was damaged. And I was divorced. And I cried alot (though I cry more these days). And I was confused and angst ridden and I kept it all inside and pretended on the outside that I was okay. I let it eat me alive. I let it tear at my self esteem. I was reliving that trauma all over again only now my daughter was the perpetrator, if even unaware and intended. This time SHE told me I was not worthy to be her mother. This time SHE told me I was a slut and a whore that was not marriage material and that her uber parents were so much better so I should just fuck off and die.Â And I almost did. It hurt. It hurt ME.
It doesnt anymore. Not ME.Â These days the me inside me is aware that I am a good person, a loving person, a person that could have been an amazing mother had she been given the chance.Â How do I know this? Becuase I am this today.Â I have two boys that I parent who do need me, who are permitted to love me, who dont have the luxury of two mothers who love them as my daughter does.Â I see my mothering ability in their successes, in their smiles, in their honor student grades, in their gentle sibling chiding of each other. I see it in the gifts they get me and the hand made cards they make for me. I hear it in my oldest sons voice when he prods me why I am quiet. I hear it in their deep belly laughter. I also have a partner now that pretty much worships me. I don’t mean that in a conceited or arrogant way. He might not. But I FEEL worshiped. And that counts. Hugely.
He regularly, openly, freely, tells me of all the good things in me, he tells me what a good mother I am, he tells me how amazed he is by me, my heart, my logic, my mind, my love, my ever changing hair colors and over abundance of expensive handbags, and jewelry and accessories. He gets me. Life is good. It is good to be “gotten”.
I am confident I am not this way due to losing her. I am the same person I was at 17 – at the core. I am a decent, honorable, honest person. I work hard at a very good paying job just like I did when I was 17 and working full time and attending school full time. I care for children well not because I was caring for them since I was twelve years old (three for that matter). I am not drug or alcohol addicted. Seriously, the worst thing I can say about myself is that I am overweight.
I could have been a good mother to her. I just figured this out and believed it way too late.
What her behavior does do it make me deeply sad. As one of her mothers, all I want is to know she is alive and well. I want to converse. I want to hear her laugh. I want to hear of her rewards and recognitions in life. I want to compliment on her photography and tell her the latest shade of red she has chosen for her hair is abfab. I don’t want her to call me Mommy and I don’t want to shower her with 24 years of gifts. I don’t want to discredit her parents, take away her adoptive mothers status as her mother, yet she wants to do that to me. She doesn’t seem to understand that by erasing me she also erases her adoptive mother, the woman who is only a mother BECAUSE OF ME. I just want to be acknowledged that I exist and be treated with respect as a person -Â not her mother.
And maybe therein lies the rub. I am her mother and I am not expecting to be treated as such so why should she?
Its a confusing tangled mess. But I assure you, that me, I, at the core, am going to be okay. And I have many of you to thank for that.