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What happens now?

17 Apr

This year is taking a toll on my carefully controlled emotions.  I’ve never been one that shared with family more than surface level emotions about anything that’s taken place in my life, if I even shared that something happened. Up to now, showing the depth of my feelings would have been risky, made me vulnerable, and when I feel vulnerable, I leave, first.  It’s always been safer not to share, and just be the one who makes sure everyone else is comfortable and happy.

The risk of being more authentic about all my feelings comes down to what if it makes them leave.  Everything is always tied to those fears of abandonment or being rejected, it kept me silent, compliant.

But it seems the dam is cracking…despite the wondering (and fear) if I’ll still be a family member in the family I’ve lived my entire life with – now that mom’s gone.  Will her passing mark the end of being a part of the family I wasn’t born into?

Will they just slowly drift away?

Is the dam cracking because I’m testing them – too?

Or is it because without mom here, and respecting her desire to let bygones be bygones, and always look forward, I can be more authentic because I don’t have to worry about making her feel bad?

I guess I’ll find out what happens now that the final link is severed…

 

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16 Comments

Posted by on April 17, 2016 in Adoption, adoptive parents

 

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16 responses to “What happens now?

  1. Lara/Trace

    April 17, 2016 at 5:51 pm

    I have to say we must be sisters in this regard. I did attempt a few times to be truthful about what I was feeling with my amom and that was unacceptable. And I felt her wrath. She had concocted the perfect family and I would never be allowed to upset that illusion. Making other people happy seems to be our curse.

    Liked by 1 person

     
    • TAO

      April 17, 2016 at 6:01 pm

      I think I could have shown more emotion as a child – but mom and dad had enough on their plate – that I couldn’t add more in my child’s mind…later on, mom and I talked and she saw me change then, but couldn’t see any way of fixing it…for me, it just seemed easier to just keep making everyone happy….

      In general though – I think it might be more predominant for an adoptee to keep other’s happy – a mixture of loyalty/not being born into…would be an interesting poll/study…

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  2. Heather

    April 17, 2016 at 7:30 pm

    Your words are so powerful, so aware and conscious. It sounds frightening yet brave I would hope people would love your authentic self but oftentimes people disappoint.

    In my family we drifted apart once my Granny died. She was the glue that kept us all together and connected. I tried to be that person once she was gone but I didn’t have the same ability she did.

    Thank you for being vulnerable and sharing with us.

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    • TAO

      April 17, 2016 at 7:35 pm

      Thanks Heather – I know it’s natural once the patriarch / matriarch passes to some degree. I guess I’m wondering if it will be accelerated / true feelings etc re not being family because of the adoption…thing…

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  3. pj

    April 18, 2016 at 12:33 am

    I believe I was raised somewhat “neutrally”..,.. Neither good nor bad, much openness about the circumstances and truly unconditional love from a parents. But mom and I were 180 degrees out – totally different. We had many battles past the teenage years ( and I was not truly not fair to her ) Although I loved her, I ‘m sure she knew we didn’t share that maternal bond and knew I would search ( she had given me all the info she had ). While she was the matriarch of the family, after she passed away we all shifted to a new norm….finding our places and yes, with some discord along the way. I searched and it was ok…found myself, so to speak, and all the non-bio family relationships survived and actually thrived when I spoke my truths…

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    • TAO

      April 18, 2016 at 3:41 am

      Thanks pj…gives me hope…

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  4. Paige Adams Strickland

    April 18, 2016 at 1:42 am

    hugs…I totally understand this as both an adoptee and an in-law relative. Losing our elders sucks because the order is shifted and no one knows what to do next.

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    • TAO

      April 18, 2016 at 3:11 am

      So very true…now both have gone…

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  5. abodyinmotionletgo

    April 18, 2016 at 1:48 am

    I thank you for this post as an adoptive mom. My own son is grown now, and I always told him I’d help him find his biological mother if he was so inclined to. I meant that. I think in my mind, I was always the “other mom.” She was there first, and no matter why she wasn’t there now – he would always carry her. And he had that right to. I felt a privilege to be his mom for the time I was able, and I petitioned to get every shred of paper with any detail about her before his record was sealed. This was my show to him, in time, that it was not disloyal to me to love her or look for her. It wasn’t wrong to ask about her or wonder after her. She might look like you or laugh like you. She might have good habits (or bad ones) – just like you. I’m not sure what conversations you had with your adoptive mother or parents, and I don’t know what state you live in – but where I live – I was able to petition to get my son further new information as recently as 2009, which was approximately 10 years after his adoption records were “sealed”. Much love to you XX

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    • TAO

      April 18, 2016 at 3:10 am

      Thank you – you actually sound like my mom – and when I needed her to petition, she did, because I wasn’t well enough, sadly, by then, I was too late. I was/became the peace maker but never because of mom or dad or anything they did wrong…but I thank you for your kind words…

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  6. cb

    April 19, 2016 at 8:49 am

    My parents were amongst the youngest of their families (dad was the youngest or 4, mum second youngest of 5) and because they didn’t start our family until mum was 30 and dad 34, it meant that all my cousins were a lot older than us. That, combined with us moving to Australia when I was 8, meant that the “drifting away” really happened a long time ago. We were closest to dad’s unmarried sisters because we would go to NZ and stay with them every summer, however, they have now passed away. Although I have met my other uncles and aunts, I couldn’t tell you the names of most of my cousins. Mum is actually quite close to her cousin whose children are the same age as us so I probably *know* them best (even though I haven’t seen them for years).

    So really, distance and difference in age has meant that we are already not very close to mum and dad’s extended familes (all dad’s siblings have passed away, mum has one sibling left). I never had any living grandparents (dad’s dad was 60 when he was born).

    Of course, they will always be my family even if I don’t know the names of half of them lol. I don’t really care if I hear from them again but at the same time I would be happy to hear from them if they so wished – it doesn’t really matter either way. My biological family will also always be my family even if we drift apart (I actually know the names of all my maternal biological cousins :)). I’ve always been a loner anyway so have always been sort of “arms length” to some degree. Bio family are very welcoming and the “door is always open” if I want to visit the uncles but I don’t take advantage of it.

    Liked by 1 person

     
  7. beth62

    April 19, 2016 at 12:19 pm

    Is our wrestle with Real ever over?
    It seems to be an added spice to everything family for many of us.
    Sure it’s natural to wonder or worry about family members drifting apart, relationships changing at a difficult and vunerable time like this.
    But I have to wonder if it were all bio relationships involved, how big the thoughts or worries about what’s Real, now, would be.

    wrestle well (((my friend)))

    Liked by 1 person

     
    • Heather

      April 19, 2016 at 8:06 pm

      In my experience I can say that when all family is bio the concept of Real doesn’t come up.

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      • beth62

        April 22, 2016 at 7:46 pm

        I’ve thought on that a while, and can’t say I came up with an instance. There must be one example somewhere LOL There’s usually that one.

        Did come up with something I heard about a distant brother… “now it’s as-if he’s not even my real brother, even tho we all know he is”

        But that’s as close as I have gotten.

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  8. Tara-Anita

    June 14, 2016 at 8:37 pm

    I’ve thought about this countless of times. My adopted parents are in their eighties now. I’ve encountered one or two incidences of other family members reactions to me, making me feel not a part of. I often feel resentment towards my adoptive mother for not raising me to be more independent to really go after my goals so that I could really make a life for myself. She held me too close too her. Growing up I hardly talked about my adoption or asked questions because when I did bring it up my mother would start getting emotional and start crying, so I would avoid talking about it. In my later years I asked some questions and asked why she never talked to me about it. She said that one day when I felt like it I would ask the questions. People really don’t know the effects on adoptees. I only found out I had a sister from my oldest brother who had heard my parents talk about her. I asked why she didn’t tell me about her..she said that she was already adopted by another family. Question: Don’t you think I would want to know if I had biological siblings??!!! All my life I’ve felt restricted and living my life to please them. To require there permission to do anything. I feel obligated to stay where I am until she leaves this earth…then like you…I guess I’ll find out what happens now that the final link is severed…”

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    • TAO

      June 14, 2016 at 10:48 pm

      I’m sorry for the hard parts, some never feel secure and it must be hard to deal with.

      Like

       

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