The Value of Knowing

“What is the shortest word in the English language that contains the letters: abcdef? Answer: feedback. Don’t forget that feedback is one of the essential elements of good communication.”

It is kind of a relief.

It saddens me but at the same time relieves me.

This no contact order.

Now that my daughter has officially said she wishes no contact with me I feel somehow lightened. I could have assumed that. For two years she ignored every birthday wish, every Christmas greeting, every comment on her blog or tweet reply.  I should have assumed but I did not. I wanted HER to make the rules. I did not want to assume I knew them.

Now I know.

Through my five years of reunion I just wanted feedback. What should I do or not do? Was she like other adoptees who could not verbalize? Did she not feel capable of asking for something? Should I be lighthearted or heavy? Should I say nothing or everything? Was she patronizing me? Throwing me a bone of her life with the hopes it would be enough for me and I would just go away? Did she want to know her medical history? Get her OBC? Want to know her story? Her first family?

Answering questions like this and many many more is impossible when the other party to your reunion gives you no feedback.  You stumble. You grasp. You flail. You cry a lot. You worry a lot. You assume and presume and resume and you say the wrong things and sometimes you say the right things. But you never know for sure.

There is no reply at all.

So your anxiety builds and you question and chase your own tail.

Maybe? Should I? Did I? How do I? Can I?  Round and round you go.

Finally it has come to a halt for me. Now I know the rules. Now I officially know what she expects of me. Nothing. Just go away.

Is it what I wanted?  Not at all.

But this I can work with. This I know how to handle.

And I feel okay with it. I told her I love her, I always will and that I welcome contact from her at any time. And I mean it.

I am good with this.

Now I know the rules.

13 Thoughts.

  1. Certainty is a blessing, absolutely. In Italian, there is a saying, to which I can not think of an accurate English equivalent

    ” e’ meglio un dilusione dolorosa di una comodita’ falsa.”

    Literally translated – ” it is better a painful dissappointment than a false comfort”.
    I know that in English we sometimes say “better a painful truth than a fake happiness.” But I don’t think that quite fits. Few of us are dumb enough to live blissfully unaware of a potentially very painful situation. Fomr what I can understand, it seems you weren’t really happy wih your reunion, and how could you have been? Maybe you were comfortable, or better, casually hopeful. I don’t think its possible to be 100% satisfied in a reunion when the other half is on a totally different page. There has to be some healthy give and take, and it just seems that your daughter wasn’t/isn’t ready for that.

    However, from my own experience, finally being 100% aware of the sad situation does not make it not hurt. When I finally was given explicit instructions by my birthsister never to contact her, when she told me outright that she would never love me and that I didn’t belong in her family, I was strangely relieved. At least at first. It was better to know… I finally stopped looking like a fool. I finally stop sending her birthday and christmas and easter cards, only to have her either ignore me or say something mean back. Finally, I had instructions, I had a map. This was years ago, and it has not been an easy road to travel…but at least now I have a map to guide me.

    I’m glad that there seems to be a sort of “peace” with knowing. I’m glad that you have found some certainty within the “rules” she has given you. But this isn’t Hammurabis Code- they aren’t written in stone. Always remember that. Wishing you peace for the weekend and a relaxing break.

  2. Amanda :

    I’m glad that you have found some certainty within the “rules” she has given you. But this isn’t Hammurabis Code- they aren’t written in stone. Always remember that. Wishing you peace for the weekend and a relaxing break.

    Amanda – Agreed. And this is why I leave my heart open. She may change her mind. For today, it is what it is (and my fiance hates that statement) but at least today I know WHAT it is. That is more than I have had for five years.

  3. Hey babe, yeah not a big fan of ‘it is what it is’ but in this case it fits and is appropriate…
    Big hugs to you my love…

  4. Suz, OT for your fiance. A writer takes on “It is what it is” (which seems to moi a pretty useful phrase by spells but call me pragmatic). . .think he might like it.

    Understand what you were trying to say. Putting yourself out there with no net is one of the scariest things there is.

    • Osolomama – He did like it. I read it to him last night and then he read it again this a.m. I also liked it (though as you suspected, I don’t necessarily agree and of course had to blog about it in my most recent post). Thanks for sharing.

  5. I think I’m kinda sorta where you were. Coming from the adoptee side. I mailed a card with my email address to the person I’m 99% sure is my biological mother and I haven’t heard anything back yet. “There is no reply at all” hit home with me.

    I can understand how “knowing” could be liberating. And I’m still thankful you’re leaving your heart open. Someday your daughter will want to know, I know it.

  6. “It is what it is” sounds fatalistic, like giving up in a way. But to me it’s more like accepting what is, not obsessing over or fighting with what is out of our control. I don’t like it (that is, not being able to change or fix all things), but I try to practice it.

    Absolutely, knowing is better than not knowing. Especially when it comes to what happened to our children, if they’re alive and well or not (even when the news is bad). Also when they (or anyone) pulls away without explanation, what is expected of us, what the rules are with someone or a job or other situation.

    I’ve had a rough reunion (now on hold — am I still reunited). But I have no regrets about knowing my son, who he is, what his life was like.

    There is peace to be had in knowing, even if the news is not good.

  7. Also… it is what it is RIGHT NOW doesn’t mean that’s what it will always be. I applaud you keeping your heart and options open. There is always the possibility of change.

  8. Denise :
    There is peace to be had in knowing, even if the news is not good.

    I agree Denise. And I accept that I have far more than many mothers have. So many are still searching desperately to find out if their children are alive or dead. I count my blessings. Mine is alive and living a decent life in NYC and enjoying her 20s. For that I am glad.

  9. Pingback: But it is. | Writing My Wrongs

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