RSS

I don’t have an answer, I don’t think there is one.

23 Jul

I’ve struggled lately to put one cohesive theme into a post, anything more than a paragraph just isn’t working, I get off-track like I’ve done in this post, because, somehow, they are all inter-connected.  And, I’ve come to the conclusion that even in my writing, I’m struggling with that old familiar feeling that waits in the shadow to pounce in a moment of weakness, or when you let your guard down for a minute, fear. 

I wish I could banish anxiety, and its closest collaborator fear from being ever-present, it’s been my companion throughout my life, sometimes more, sometimes less, but always waiting to appear.  I know it has a genetic component and that my mother worried over everything,  I’m also sure that being born and left gave it legs to begin so long ago, because lets face it, that is what my mother did, all our mothers did, whatever the reason, whatever the intentions, whether they wanted to, or not, we were left.  Some got to meet their mother before she disappeared, others like myself never did, and some like me, never will meet our mothers, while others will.

And that first loss has been woven into every aspect of my life in some way, whether I’m aware of it or not, it’s always there in the background.  It is reason why I struggle against the push to create this false narrative of how beautiful adoption is, how there is no downside to adoption.  Even those who recognise that their child may have to process what being adopted means, may still believe that infant adoption is something that needs to expand to keep up with the demand for newborn babies to be adopted.

And yet while I push back against how people view adoption as beautiful (only), I can happily scan in family photo’s (adopted) to share with other family members (biological) and post them on FB, enjoy the memories told, comments made, and it’s all good.  At the same time, the flip side is me seeing pictures of my family (biological) posted, and I wonder if it’s okay to like the photo of my sibling, aunt, cousin, and sometimes I’m feeling brave, and I do like them, but I’m still outside looking in, in a way that can never be changed, because I wasn’t kept, I have no shared memories to reminisce about together.  Family, but not family either, but should be.

So, I push back because the price paid is high.

I push back against the move to push for more expectant mothers to climb on board the ‘birthmother’ forever train, and new birthmothers seem to be leading the cheerleading train for the adoption providers to put forward as their best advertising.  And it breaks my heart because what sort of counselling creates birthmothers who’d want other mothers to give their babies away too.  I think, perhaps, it’s a form of denial that makes you need to prove you did the right thing, and what better way, than to get others to do it too.  It also keeps you on that pedestal in the adoption community they put you on while you were expecting, that seat at the table where everyone lauded what you were choosing to do, that pedestal that disappeared the day you signed the papers and you became just a birthmother, not a mother, the day you were replaced by another mother.

And then, it all collides into your reality, and it really hits you in the gut when you read another adoptees words of grief, grief mixed with bewilderment, pain, isolation.  It hurts, and that never changes, so if adoption doesn’t need to happen, it shouldn’t.

Grieving the Unknown.

I don’t know how to grieve this loss either, it’s still sitting unresolved in me more than a decade later on how to grieve my mother who I never even met after I was born, yet is part of me.  This type of grief doesn’t work like it does normally, where you gradually find a level of closure that comes after you’ve gone through the throes of pain after someone dies, then you get used to them not being there anymore, and you get used to a different version of life as you know it, you remember, you miss them because you can’t talk or get together, but you move on.  That normal grief process doesn’t exist for us, the loss of my mother still exists in me as it’s always existed, a hole, deep inside, that should never have existed to start with, but is.  I know this, yet, every time I go on Ancestry I go to my father’s tree, and then search the SSDI to see if he’s passed away, why I have no idea, because alive or passed, the grief is the same, unresolvable, forever, yet I need to know he’s still alive, and I fear the day he’s not.  Why, I can’t explain other than I fear loss, every type of loss.

 

 

Advertisements
 
25 Comments

Posted by on July 23, 2017 in Adoption

 

Tags: , , , , ,

25 responses to “I don’t have an answer, I don’t think there is one.

  1. Lara/Trace

    July 23, 2017 at 7:12 pm

    I just had this conversation with another adoptee, Tao: I said, What you give the child you adopt will never equal what (and who) they lost. No matter what you do or say to convince yourself and the adoptee, the adoptee grief is bigger. This trauma of grief is lifelong.

    Like

     
    • TAO

      July 23, 2017 at 7:50 pm

      I’m sitting with that for a while Lara/Trace. I don’t think I ever realized until I wrote this today that there isn’t any resolution to this type of loss.

      Liked by 1 person

       
      • anenomekym

        July 23, 2017 at 11:14 pm

        I don’t know, either, that there is any resolution/closure for this type of loss. Each person/adoptee, I guess, has to be their own pioneer, in figuring out how to work it out for ourselves, just like many of us have had to do from Day 1, without appropriate mentors, guidance, etc. Each day, for the last 2-3 years, has been some sort of revelation or confirmation of how deep and unsolvable this thing called adoption is for the adoptee. Repeatedly, I’ve had this thought that I wouldn’t wish this on my worst enemy (losing entire family and more, and all the gaslighting, emotional and mental gymnastics thrust upon us afterwards).

        Our identities are as much, if not more, shaped by who we aren’t, what we haven’t experienced, what/who we’ve lost, and where we’ve never been, without whom (by black/empty, abstract spaces), rather than by concrete, real experiences, people, memories etc. in our lives. It’s not something that people with grief/loss usually have to deal with, at such a fundamental, personal level. Where what we know is bizarre, weird, unnatural, and what we’re missing or the non-existent/never-existed is what has so much eternal meaning and significance to our very existence.

        I’m not sure if I’m making any sense to anyone else outside my own head. I think only an adoptee (or others who have undergone such cognitive dislocation) can understand and relate to this sense of “normality”, perhaps why some of us feel like we’re living in alternate dimensions or realities.

        Like

         
        • TAO

          August 3, 2017 at 7:18 pm

          Anenomekym – I don’t know why but your comment was in the spam filter – I’m so sorry, please forgive the delay in my finding it.

          Like

           
      • Mei-Ling

        July 26, 2017 at 1:56 am

        It’s been ten years since I first initiated contact. I “left” the blogosphere a couple years ago, but the ghosts still haunt me. :/ I don’t think there is any resolution in this.

        Liked by 1 person

         
  2. Cindy

    July 24, 2017 at 12:10 am

    Oh TAO, Lot’s of hugs!

    “Family, but not family either, but should be.” Yes, this I sadly understand. When the grief comes down like a ‘hawk on a rabbit’…..grab a figurative shotgun, play a reformed Elmer Fudd… and blast that (grief) hawk…and comfort the wabbit. At least that’s what I wanna do.

    Adoption, when there is father, mother /family existing, just should not be. To promote something that causes this kind of suffering for the one it is said to be “in the best interest of”, can not be called good, right, beautiful, or just. Not ever.

    Like

     
    • TAO

      July 24, 2017 at 12:48 pm

      Thanks Cindy.

      Like

       
  3. Raven

    July 24, 2017 at 8:46 am

    Tao, the same realization hit me hard this last year or so. There is no resolution to this type of loss. Reunion doesn’t fix it, therapy doesn’t fix it, nothing seems to fix it. It washes over me like an ocean wave. If I go with the flow, and allow myself to feel the sadness and loss, I can eventually surface. But if I fight the wave, it just bowls me right over, kind of like an undertow or riptide.

    Like

     
    • TAO

      July 24, 2017 at 12:49 pm

      Good advice woven into beautiful words Raven, thank you for being my friend.

      Like

       
    • Mei-Ling

      July 26, 2017 at 1:57 am

      [There is no resolution to this type of loss. Reunion doesn’t fix it, therapy doesn’t fix it, nothing seems to fix it.]

      Reunion didn’t “fix” anything for me. It did answer a few questions, but I still have so many. Everyone else says adoption was a win-win, but I don’t feel that way.

      Like

       
      • TAO

        July 26, 2017 at 1:05 pm

        Mei-Ling – same with me, good to see you though.

        Like

         
  4. bekahbug9412pranali23

    July 24, 2017 at 12:44 pm

    This just hit me hard. There are days where I am just so sad, and until recently I just thought it was my depression that has been a constant throughout my life. I’ve recently begun to dig into my past and I’ve realized how my adoption loss has impacted every aspect of my life. All of it. I now know why I get very distant with the people who mean the most to me. I know why I have those sad days. I know why goodbyes are so fucking hard for me. They seem to be harder for me than others…because my loss is always with me. Thank you for these words and the reminder that I’m not the only one who struggles with this daily. 💕

    Like

     
    • TAO

      July 24, 2017 at 12:47 pm

      Thank you Bekahbug for being part of our community, and I’m sorry you deal with this too.

      Like

       
  5. beth62

    July 25, 2017 at 3:36 am

    After all these years of searching for understanding, closure, even just a real break from it for a while, for all the talking and discussing and going round and round in it that we’ve done, I’ve come to the same hard-learned conclusion. There is no end, it’s a big circle full of circles all interconnected and neverending. That’s what the forever means to me. I am even beginning to think it will continue in an afterlife in some way.
    It’s the anger at the neverending anxiety, fear, grief, that comes with it that scares me more than anything. More than gorillas, more than injury, more than eartquakes or loosing everyone I love. More than cancer.

    I am terrified I’ll boil over. I spend so much energy trying to keep cool. Keep moving, keep busy, keep 10 steps ahead – that takes a lot of energy, and a toll. It’s been so bad sometimes the only thing I know to do is to remove myself from everyone else on the planet so I couldn’t accidentally cause harm to anyone. I’ve tried to hide from it in every way, in every place, but space. If I ever get the chance I will try there too, and hope I can make it back in time to tell you the trick to it. I still have hope, and that makes me mad too.

    (((TAO))) It’s certainly not for a lack of trying that we can’t find the end to this shit.

    I remember well the first time I walked into the woods alone, and ever since I’ve tried so hard to not be angry like that again. I’ll never do it alone again, that may be the only real trick I’ve learned so far.

    I’d like to think accepting that there is no real and forever resolution to it would help. But, I think we have already been round and round that circle.

    Round and round we go, where we’ll stop nobody seems to know.

    Liked by 1 person

     
  6. Nara

    July 26, 2017 at 12:12 am

    It’s weird. I am one of those “fine on the outside” adoptees. I feel generally like I’m okay, and I’m pretty involved in the adoption online world as you know, but I find myself taking steps back a lot lately. It’s just a seething mass of worms I don’t really want or need to see a lot of right now. For me I’m happy with my baby and of course that’s brought up a lot of feelings – but equally I feel it’s given me a kind of closer relationship with my parents (adoptive) and that’s almost something the adoption groups make you feel ashamed for, as if you’re somehow betraying the loss… but it’s all I have because I’m not reunited, and I really do love them, so I guess it’s just complicated. But right now I prefer to focus on the happy stuff rather than the sad stuff so maybe I’m just in denial.

    Like

     
    • TAO

      July 26, 2017 at 1:04 pm

      Nara – no, you’re right where you’re supposed to be, for me, I’ve found it to be an ebb and flow relationship. There is nothing wrong with having a close relationship with your folks – I had that for more than a half a century – now most everyone is gone. Being adopted can be a both/and, not either/or and finding the right mix for you at any given time is the goal…

      Glad to hear things are good, was thinking of you the other day.

      Like

       
  7. Pj

    July 27, 2017 at 12:16 am

    I agree with Beth 62..there is no end. Adoption is a never ending journey. And I’m one who had wonderful, open and very supportive parents and a great life filled with much love and opportunity.But the loss will never go away .I’m in my 50’s , with an adopted twin and two older adopted brothers , so much loss. But every day is a gift, and I remain extremely grateful for my life…but never for adoption.

    Liked by 1 person

     
  8. L4R

    July 27, 2017 at 2:23 am

    You’re a beautiful writer. You interweave emotion and knowledge.

    Favorite statement: ” I’m also sure that being born and left gave it legs to begin so long ago, because lets face it, that is what my mother did, all our mothers did, whatever the reason, whatever the intentions, whether they wanted to, or not, we were left.”

    I, however, do feel that reunion has healed parts of me. It has opened some new wounds, too. Maybe they balance out to zero gain. But, I needed to know about my b-family.While painful at times, I appreciate the reality rather than the fantasy I had built in my mind about my them.

    But, for most of us, it can never be fixed entirely. Once we realize that we most likely would have been different in some big and small ways from who we are now if we had been raised in our b-families, a whole world of what ifs and opportunities missed enter our heads. It’s both a loss of our families and a loss of who we could have been.

    Like

     
    • TAO

      July 27, 2017 at 4:46 pm

      L4R – you never fail to lift me up right when I need it most – thank you my friend.

      Reality over fantasy every time.

      I don’t know why I never realized it before – I knew it would always be there but for some reason I didn’t connect the two.

      Like

       
  9. Pj

    July 28, 2017 at 5:23 pm

    Tao, keep thinking about your post and had an aha moment. For years, I’ve had dreams with a recurring theme…. something is unfinished…education, career, family. Adopted life makes me feel as though my life is unfinished, if that makes any sense.

    Like

     
    • beth62

      July 29, 2017 at 1:32 pm

      Makes complete sense to me pj, I have the same type of dreams, day dreams too. It’s an anxious feeling for me. I try to use being in the present to combat it, I guess it helps some, but it’s still with me. At this moment I feel like there is something, something I am supposed to be doing, maybe something I forgot, always questioning if what I chose is what I need to be choosing.

      But today, this moment, I know I chose right. 100% certain. I’m at my daughters house, she just brought me coffee out on the front porch on her way out to walk the dog. I was with her at 4am yesterday, after she woke me up in a cold sweat panic when she’d realized she forgot to take a lengthy and difficult test for a class she took for work a week ago. Of course the deadline was at 9am, and she had to meet a big client at 8:30 LOL And of course she made it all happen, I helped her dress and did her hair, got her something to eat while she was taking the test, and helped her get out of the door with everything she needed. Whenever I am with her or my son I know that is where I am supposed to be, no doubts.

      Nara, I’m with TAO, you are right where you are spose to be 🙂

      Like

       
    • beth62

      July 30, 2017 at 4:50 pm

      Maybe it’s not chapter one, then chapter two. Maybe it’s not the same book. Maybe both books begin on chapter 1, but Book 1 only has one chapter.

      If I found an actual book with only one chapter, an unfinished book, for whatever reason… yeah, that would drive me nuts too. Too much to think on.

      I’m getting dizzy in the paradoxes.

      Like

       
      • Pj

        July 30, 2017 at 5:19 pm

        Beth62, you just made me laugh ! Love to read but books are sometimes problematic for me 🙂
        And I am getting much better at that “in the moment stuff” but it’s been a long journey..

        Like

         
  10. Kat

    July 30, 2017 at 1:09 pm

    Your entire blogpost was wonderful and very relateable to me, but this part really struck me in a personal way.

    “I don’t know how to grieve this loss either, it’s still sitting unresolved in me more than a decade later on how to grieve my mother who I never even met after I was born, yet is part of me. This type of grief doesn’t work like it does normally, where you gradually find a level of closure that comes after you’ve gone through the throes of pain after someone dies, then you get used to them not being there anymore, and you get used to a different version of life as you know it, you remember, you miss them because you can’t talk or get together, but you move on. That normal grief process doesn’t exist for us, the loss of my mother still exists in me as it’s always existed, a hole, deep inside, that should never have existed to start with, but is.”

    It’s so difficult to explain the strange grief of finding a grave. It’s an extension of an already existing grief but different and not acknowledged.

    Like

     
    • TAO

      August 3, 2017 at 7:14 pm

      I’m sorry for the delay – it was in my spam filter – no idea why.

      Like

       

Tell me your thoughts, but please be nice...

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

 
%d bloggers like this: