A Tearful Thank You All

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.  I have for quite some time.  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.  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.  And I almost did. It hurt. It hurt ME.

It doesnt anymore. Not ME.  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.  How do I know this? Becuase I am this today.  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.  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 -  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.

Much love.

Suz

14 Thoughts.

  1. Aww, thank you, but you deserve it!

    I really didn’t want to compare it to what I’ve gone through recently because loving an actual child for a matter of a few days is really not the same as loving a child — even one you don’t know as she grows — throughout all those years. And yet that same rejection I’ve felt in absolutely loving someone who can’t have the relationship with me I hoped we could is what I felt again when reading your post earlier today. I know how brutal my version feels for me (even though I know it’s for the best) and I think your kind must be so much harder. I’m thinking of you, Suz.

  2. I really needed to read this tonight. Every word of it. Thank you for your honesty and transparency. I have just recently found your blog, and it is helping me to look ahead more rather than behind. Definitely a scary transition after all these years. What an encouragment to read the contents of your heart.

  3. Suz,

    I’m sorry that I seem to have missed your last post, I’ve been so busy. I’ll take a bit of time now, though, to tell you how sorry I am. As an adoptee who has been given the same treatment as you, who has experienced the same feeling of being rejected because I merely exist, I understand you, and I’m truly very sorry. I know what its like to be “rejected” on the basis of yourself as an entity. When a family is separated by adoption- they all become phamtoms to one another. Someone who is so close but yet so far away. Ethereal figures in one anothers lives.. so sharply and intensly present and yet somehow missing. You’re right, Suz. This has nothing to do with you as a person. How could it? Partially because it seems she doesn’t know you enough to really reject you, and partially because who could NOT want to know you? Another commenter on your last post said something about how some people simply hit the reunion jackpot, and one of those people is your daughter. I often fantasize about what it would have been like if I had found someone like you when I searched for my birthparents. How would it have changed the outcome? Sometimes I wonder if all this reunion business is really…all its cracked up to be. It’s so..complex. And what has occured can never be undone. Almost as if we are striving for something unattainable sometimes.

    I pulled back from my birtfather and didn’t speak to him for exactly a year. Rather recently, actually. I’m not comfortable sharing the details online,but if you’d like to email me and discuss pullback (excruciating pullback) I’d be happy to talk 🙂 You’ve got my email address.

    Once again, I hope you can find peace in the fact that this is very much about her own inner workings, and nothing to do with you.I have faith that she’ll come back, she’ll reach out. I know I did…even after promising myself that I never would. Keep the faith!

    • I feel like you do exactly. How wonderful it would have been to find out that my mother was someone exactly like Suz… from what I read in all her posts. I found a person a little better and Kathleen Foley (from ‘women in hiding’), but not a lot better. Just a tiny bit better. My dream was a someone just like the person who wrote the very thoughtful and loving posts.

  4. Suz,

    Both this and your previous post really touched me. You have the most amazing ability/talent for putting emotions, feelings and thoughts into words. I identify with much of what you have to say. My husband often tells me that I don’t pat myself on the back often enough. I took year to believe that he was in fact absolutely right! I have raised two amazing sons, I see my ability to parent in their achievements, and their love for me and my husband, I was a darn good Mom and like you if given a little kindness and support (both financial and emotional) I am sure that I would have been a darn good Mom to my daughter as well.

    Contrary to most adoption myths we first Moms are not all sluts, whores, drug addicts or anything else that people choose to hang on us. My daughter was determined to find me at a very young age as she was being teased at school, friends were insinuating that I her mother was one of the characters mentioned above. Once her a.mother determined that I was not the reunion was of.

    I sense a lot of healing and acceptance in your post, adoption is part of your life not all of it and the love and acceptance of you by your nearest and dearest indeed proves that at your CORE you really as a wonderful human being.

    On a positive note your daughter did communicate with you, it must have taken a great deal of courage on her part to let you know exactly where you stand, from the little tit-bits that I get from your posts she sounds like an amazingly talented girl, the apple obviously didn’t fall far from the tree!! (Genetically speaking that is)

    I hope that one day you will both get your face to face and that you will see her smile and hear her laugh and that she will feeling your loving arms in a warm embrace

  5. I’m so sorry to hear of this development. It truly is the warped nature of adoption that has created this situation.

    Take good care of yourself and your loved ones.

  6. Suz, you said: “I want to assure all of you that have suggested that it is not me but adoption that I agree with you. I have for quite some time. 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 really admire you for this. I wish I could get to this point regarding my birth mother.

  7. ((((SUZ)))) My heart is breaking for you. I only just read “I heard from my daughter.” It won’t be easy, but try to focus on what and who you do have right now. Love to you, D.

  8. Someday she will need you and luckily for her, you will be there…..
    Life is a hard teacher but the best thing about a good teacher is, in the end, we learn from them whether we want to or not….
    Someday……

  9. Suz, often I wondered what it would be like if my first mother had been like you — willing to move heaven and earth, if at all possible literally, just to be reunited, in whatever capacity possible, with her long lost daughter…

    I don’t blog about it, I don’t talk about it too much, but I am in a sense “adopted”. My first mother left me and little sister when I was six, Dad and legal wife (who treated us like her own) raised us up. First mother never showed up nor tried to at least establish connection and it hurts. I feel discarded, unwanted, unneeded.

    And here is a first mother desperately wanting to build a relationship with her long lost daughter who in turn does not want to have anything to do with her mother and even tells her to “fu@k off and die”… Man, that just blows me away… I mean, if it was me, I would do whatever it takes to get to wherever at the slightest sign that my Mama wants to meet me. I really would… But then your daughter isn’t me. That sucks.

    You are always in my prayers and so is your daughter. I pray for comfort and peace in your heart, and love and enlightenment in hers.

  10. <>

    Unfortunately, what you say is true, but no matter how old either one of you are, you are still the parent and she’s still the child. Here’s the thing, Suz, you are very loved by those of us that love you and admire you for all you are. I love you!!!

    • Sandy – I wish it was as easy as being the parent and the child. Unfortunately, adoption strips those roles. I am not her parent and she is not my legal child. It isnt that easy.

      • True…I didn’t say it right. You are A parent, ie. the adult, and she is, no matter what her age, still A child. Not that you have that role with each other, but in general. And since you are the adult/parent, you’re in the position of having to be the bigger person, even if it hurts or doesn’t go in your favor. I hope that it resolves itself with this start of contact again.

  11. you are so loved, and so wonderful. you’ve taught me a lot about myself, how to stand up. and you continue to do so with posts like these. so thank YOU.

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