I have been working on a rough draft of a memoir based loosely on the letters I have been writing here. Let’s just say the process of carefully looking at how this all came to be and the affect it has had on my life is difficult. But as others have said, there is no way to get “over” it than to go through it.
Over on the blog “Earth Stains” written by an adoptee, Megan, she talks about “Revealing and Healing One’s Adoptee Pathology” today. She asks her readers to do a little exercise, to create a list of things they value about themselves and how they show they are grateful for them. Here’s my attempt:
Things I Value About Myself
How I am Grateful for Them
|I am an excellent mother||(Except I gave away my firstborn child)|
|I have overcome years of abuse at the hands of my father||(Except I gave away my firstborn child)|
|I earned a BS and MS as a single mom||(Except I gave away my firstborn child)|
|I had the determination to do the work to earn a PhD||(Except I gave away my firstborn child)|
|I am compassionate to those around me||(Except I gave away my firstborn child)|
|I am highly skilled in nearly everything I set my hand to||(Except I gave away my firstborn child)|
|I easily comprehend complicated tasks||(Except I gave away my firstborn child)|
|I am practically minded and usually well prepared||(Except I gave away my firstborn child)|
Seriously. That pretty much sums up my life.
Anything I feel like I have to value or to feel good about in my life is tempered by the fact I am “that” kind of woman. You know, the kind that abandons her child to complete strangers. It doesn’t matter how good of a mother I am to the children I kept, what I have accomplished professionally or personally, how sound my marriage is, or any other thing a person might list as being of value. The fact remains: I gave my daughter to strangers.
And to be honest, I am not the only one who holds this view, society at large does as well.
Oh, you are are a good mom to the kids you kept? That’s because you didn’t have to “deal” with being single and poor. Oh, you earned a PhD? That’s because you “placed” your baby for adoption. Oh, you have a great marriage? That’s because he didn’t have to raise your bastard child. Seriously. I have been told these kinds of things by other people, well meaning, to be sure.
At any rate, writing about all of this in greater depth and detail seems to have awakened something in me. I am not quite sure it is all that elegant, pretty or nice. I am tired of being nice and playing nice with society about losing you to adoption. Whatever this is inside of me is hungry after laying dormant for so many years.