Archive for the ‘conflicted feelings’ category

A New (for me, and here) and Important Perspective

June 10, 2010
Today I received a comment that I felt immediately moved by, and immediately replied to, and wish to share here. Rather than make you go read the comment under the post “NONONONO”, I will re-post it here, with my response (already emailed) below it. Wow. This has really moved the erath beneath my feet a bit, in a good way, and I am sure it will resonate for days to come. I have yet to get such a candid comment from the “other side”, the perspective of the family of the biomom. Whoa.
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_______________THE COMMENT_______________
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Hello,

I wasn’t adopted, but I can relate to your experiences. I think parents, in general, try to mold their children. I, myself, have to fight the urge to try to make my kids be someone I want them to be. My experience with adoption is that my grandmother gave one of her daughters up when she was born. My aunt was given to a friend of my grandmother’s, and she found out who her birth mother was while she was still a pre-teen. My mother has said it was awful. I also can understand what you say about being in the family, but being on the outside.

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My aunt comes around now occasionally to family functions, and it’s NOT the same as with everyone else. It IS like she is a guest. I wonder how long that will go on? I admit I’m not myself with her, like I am with my other aunts. It’s almost liek I feel guilty about my grandmother placing her for adoption. Although I wasn’t even born then. My grandmother practically raised ME.
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I feel bad for my aunt. My grandmother has 9 kids, and it’s a huge gathering when we all get together with grandchildren and great children also. My grandmother has never explained anything to my aunt about her adoption. I KNOW she feels great guilt and remorse because I tried to talk to her about it one time, and she started crying. My grandmother is a woman who I have never seen cry aside from then, so I haven’t talked about it again. I wish that she would give my aunt that chance to talk about the situation. She deserves that.
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__________________ MY REPLY__________________
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Thanks for sharing such a fascniating and resonant story with me. This is the first time I have ever heard from the family of a resurfaced adopted person and it does me so much good to hear it. I just cannot explain what, and how much, this means to me and how very very enlightening and …   (at an unusual loss for words…) well, it’s a huge first from a not-yet-explored perspective for me. And that you are so very candid about it — from how you feel and act to how others’ feel and act, and that your grandmother cried just that once. Well, it has the makings of an enthralling story. Actually, I’d love to hear more.
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Though I am close to one half-brother and very close to his wife, I still struggle to get along with biomom and have had minute successes but, on equal terms, not her terms, and those terms (hers) are a threat against my autonomy and independence and, most importantly, my true self. The root of that problem is that she is incapable of empathy so she cannot put herself in my shoes. I see this is her everday dealings and I absolutely see it with me. All she sees is the lack of what she wants from me. I also sorta wish I could reach out to your aunt. I think she is brave to attend any functions at all.
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Others — as in the bio family — often have no real idea how (though logically they know it to be probable), in the rest of your life you are this person with intellectual qualities and accomplishments and personality traits and everyday things and quandaries, hopes and joys, feelings, and groceries to buy; normal everyday stuff that has nothing to do at all with being adopted, but in the search-bio family you are a scarlet letter of sorts and like a walking neon sign for “the big secret”, and this is your identity, inevitably.
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That others simply cannot — for lack of experience, or even clues from watching sitcoms or shared anecdotes from acqaintances and friends — treat you as they would others merely speaks to the awkwardness of your being, and may possibly even signify that they care, for if you didn’t make them nervous, wouldn’t they be a teeny bit more at ease? Grasping at straws perhaps but I offer this hypothesis from my feeling that you care about your aunt, if only as a fellow human being, yet still feel ill at ease. It’s all so complicated and hard to tease out the myriad subconscious feelings and reasons when the surface ones are already so convoluted and confusing.
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Thank you very very much. I do take it that you must care about your aunt to have even perhaps googled the topic and found me. I get the feeling you are an extraordinary person and I am most grateful for this comment.
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You have added soemthing very precious and meaningful to my feelings on this topic. Thank you for taking the time to relate your experiences. I will share this with my therapist, and the close friends who know about this, my very secret and anonymous, adoption blog.
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best wishes,
Caramel (not my real flavor)  ;-)

Guilt trips always get me down

December 28, 2008

Rainy days and Mondays are, however, fine.

IT’S A PARKING LOT WITHOUT LINES

ist2_4356889-coal-for-youOh, the holidays. What loaded fun. What complicated, charged, bloated, booby-trapped, commercial, expensive, meaningful, non-meaningful, joy! Good thing the big one is only once a year. This is not to say that I am against holidays or don’t like them but rather an acknowledgment of the emotional brew bubbling beneath the surface. No matter how I might try, if I do what I want – what is comfortable and meaningful, and peaceful and happy for me – I get in trouble. I am starting to resent that. And I refuse to continue to always put myself second to others, which is be a huge shift from the last few decades of subservient merry-making and everyday life.

Since beginning my search I have spent a lot of time thinking. Thinking and thinking all day long. Some times in all capital letters, sometimes in italics, often cluttered with colons and semi colons, brackets, asterisks and pound signs. Especially asterisks. I am an Asterisk. Actually, I am a Spasterisk. To illustrate that I am making the quotation mark sign in spastically rapid motions as I say “Spasterisk” as if I am paraphrasing myself. I should have named this blog My Life as a Spasterisk. Shit, always the best ideas are a day late, a dollar short, and then freely offered up for the next person to use. If I see a blog named that I am going to scream. today is a very rare anger day for me. It’s been brewing.

ist2_6547957-country-highwayI had thought and thought about the impact my search might have on my birth mother and for years was unwilling to take that risk, to possibly disrupt her life in a painful or negative way. Since meeting her I have tried to use what my friends determine is my immense capacity for empathy to weigh her feelings and possible perspective into my decisions and quite often made decisions to do things that I’d not wanted to do; to spend more time together than I was as of yet comfortable with. I have always tried to meet in the middle give or take a few miles, but the middle can start to shift farther and farther away till I need binoculars to see from whence I came.

So, for Christmas I had made plans to go visit friends, childhood friends, a few hours away. (more…)

You Are Different and That’s Bad

December 12, 2008
How to make Daddy Care

How to make Daddy Care

Sick humor for bad kids:

Bad, Bad Children’s Books

“Kathy Was So Bad Her Mom Stopped Loving Her.”

WHO: Unknown to me
WHAT: A list of Kid’s Books That Didn’t Make It
ARE THERE MORE? YES:

hey kids! Adoption is hilarious and you’re it! Helpful kids’ book titles to understand  why you are different and how to get attention anyway.

  1. You Are Different and That’s Bad
  2. The Boy Who Died From Eating All His Vegetables
  3. Dad’s New Wife Robert
  4. Fun Four-Letter Words to Know and Share
  5. Hammers, Screwdrivers and Scissors: An I-Can-Do-It Book
  6. The Kids’ Guide to Hitchhiking
  7. Curious George and the High-Voltage Fence
  8. All Cats Go to Hell
  9. The Little Sissy Who Snitched
  10. Some Puppies Can Fly
  11. That’s it, I’m Putting You Up for Adoption
  12. Grandpa Gets a Casket
  13. The Magic World Inside the Abandoned Refrigerator
  14. Garfield Gets Feline Leukemia
  15. The Pop-Up Book of Human Anatomy
  16. Strangers Have the Best Candy
  17. Whining, Kicking and Crying to Get Your Way
  18. You Were an Accident
  19. Things Rich Kids Have, But You Never Will
  20. Pop! Goes The Hamster…And Other Great Microwave Games
  21. The Man in the Moon Is Actually Satan
  22. Your Nightmares Are Real
  23. Where Would You Like to Be Buried?
  24. Eggs, Toilet Paper, and Your School
  25. Why Can’t Mr. Fork and Ms. Electrical Outlet Be Friends?
  26. Places Where Mommy and Daddy Hide Neat Things
  27. Daddy Drinks Because You Cry

Beach Blanket Bonfire Bingo, you’re out

December 6, 2008

Years and years ago I decided, as was usual, to go to my parents’ house for the weekend. I frequently drove the 100 miles to visit. I’d bring my laundry and chill out and watch TV (something I did not have at my apartment) and enjoy home cooked meals – some of which I’d cook myself.

istock_000007909523xsmallSo I called but got the answering machine. I figured they were out somewhere and drove out anyway. I got there and the house was empty. No problem, I just settled in. But when it got later and later I began to wonder where they were. Usually I knew if they were going away because I called every week at least once. They never called me because my father was very conscious of his phone bill and was happier when the call was on mine. He was open about this. I went to bed feeling uneasy.

The next morning I ran into a neighbor who told me they had gone to “BeautifulBeachTown” 4 hours away for a few days. I thought this very odd; disconcerting. I finished my laundry and drove back to my apartment. Days later I called for the third time and my mother answered. She said Oh honey, we had the most fabulous time at the beach in the cottage that Aunt Perfect rented. Everyone was there! Grandmother CutiePie and Sainthood (my brother) and his friend NearNeighbor, and the cousins all brought friends. We had a huge lobster bake and bonfire on the beach and there were so many lobsters that everyone had more than one and we sang songs and swam in the ocean and went for long walks on the beach. The kids brought tents and we made frozen drinks and had corn on the cobb. It was such a great time!

ist2_4251023-depressionI was dumbstruck.

Why wasn’t I invited? I had spoken to Sainthood and both my parents and even Aunt Perfection, who lived another long distance phone call on my dime away, in the weeks leading up to this family getaway. Even the cousins’ friends’ girlfriends had been invited.

We must have told you?

No.

Oh surely we mentioned it. We’ve been planning this for ages!

No. And if you really thought so, did you not notice that I did not RSVP or get the address and/or directions to this amazing family event? Did you notice that I was not there? How did this never come up in all those phone calls over the last few weeks and months?

Oh come on. We’d not have left you out intentionally. (more…)

The littlest words

December 2, 2008

ist2_6198764-smiling-young-woman-talking-on-phoneI was on the phone with my birth mother this morning and she was telling me quite a few things; random things, anecdotes, this is one of the many ways in which we are alike. I am an anecdotalist and this is one of two blogs. As a child I wrote letters to aunts all over the country and they would always write back and praise my funny and engaging letters and they always asked for more. I wanted to please. This was the one way that I could. I wrote all the time.

I am a good listener. I rarely interrupt. I won’t try to barge in or force my way into a conversation and so if someone is commanding the floor I just listen. And if listening doesn’t work, I daydream. I am an advanced daydreamer. Sometimes my daydreams choke me up, as I am achieving some epic goal or some such daydreamy nonsense. I daydream best in my car with 80s disco music playing really loud. Car trips are therapeutic and healing. I need that a lot lately, for this journey has been far more overwhelming that I might ever have anticipated. I opened Pandora’s Box with this search. I am keenly aware of that. There is no going back without hurting peoples’ feelings and I try really hard to never hurt anyone’s feelings. I spend a lot of time trying to see myself and situations and my actions from other peoples’ eyes. I held off doing this search for 4 years after I first had the inclination because (more…)