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It’s Personal

26 Mar
It’s Personal

Last year and the start of this year has been a journey for me. A time when big emotions from yesteryears rose to the surface time and time again. A time filled to overflowing with so much loss for so many. It’s also a time of so much ugliness and I hope it is never repeated, and that we come out the other side more aware, more kind, and definitely far less racist with a goal to keep being better to each other.

Living during a pandemic, while also still trying to find a level of peace with what is the reality of this adopted life after both my [adoptive] parents have passed on is hard. Something I never thought about before they were gone, but things changed in the family after they’d both passed, some right away, some over time. 

After mom passed there was too much to sort out that I didn’t have time to feel, to see, or even begin to understand, but I should have clued into the morning after mom passed. That morning I went on FB to message my cousin the news we all knew was coming, but instead, there she was telling all on FB that mom had passed away, mere hours after mom’s passing in the night. I messaged her to ask her how she knew, her brother-in-law had emailed or called her, forget which, they’d apparently asked mom’s main caregiver to call them, so she did. And there was my cousin announcing on FB mom’s passing as if it was her right to tell everyone, even me, that mom had passed. That was the first of what turned out many clues to come from that side of my family that they didn’t really see me as family.

The above back story is to set the stage of my ramblings; the other night I woke up about 2ish, something I don’t recommend at all if you are wondering. A time of night when it’s too early to get up because you know you’ll be dogged by noon, instead you just lay there awake, thinking, thinking about things you don’t think about normally in your daily life. That night it was about being ghosted by [adoptive] relatives that you’ve known your entire life, two cousins to be specific, one was the cousin I just talked about above. That ghosting by her started soon after mom passed, mom was the glue I guess, although I tend to think it’s not really that so much, as not ever really being seen as their relative, rather, it’s that they really do see me as one of the *borrowed children* as my grandpa referred to us in a letter to his cousin. I’m not saying we had a close relationship when mom was alive, more of a FB one because we live a fair distance away from each other, but we’d chat, catch up, like the other’s posts. We’d also disagree at times, my disagreement was when facts were not in evidence of the topic. Maybe that’s partially why the ghosting happened, maybe it’s the by-product of the trump era, who knows, but now I’ve been ghosted by two members of the same family.

I still have family on the other side, mom’s side to be specific, one aunt, one cousin, but the rest have long since gone their own way after we grew up, mostly due to the distance of living on the other side of the country from each other, because when we do get together – we are family. I’m not one who can easily reach out, I fear rejection most of all. My main two on mom’s side of the family get me, they are the ones who always reach out first because of that, and it has worked for decades because they know I’m happy to see them, hear from them. 

So, the other night as I lay there wide-awake I was thinking of my cousin on FB who is ghosting me, he has been for months, and I’m trying to decide if I should just cut the cord, I went to sleep on the notion that I should just unfriend him and get it over with. The next morning I woke up wavering because I value being his cousin, no matter whether we see each other in person, I value the connection and being connected. But I now realize I have to accept that they truly don’t see me as family, just one of the *borrowed children* and I need to take the reins and just do it, need to actually unfriend him and move on from there. But I just can’t click that button, one day I will, but I’m tired of living with loss and unfriending would add another layer. One day I will, hopefully soon, as I think it will give me peace that it’s done, finished, and time to move on.

The flip side of this is that one of my relatives by birth passed away recently, and I was not just notified, but personally told within hours, and I’m also included in the email family chain. Me, who isn’t known by most, but included because I’m family. 

Sometimes it’s all just a cluster ________ being adopted… 

 
27 Comments

Posted by on March 26, 2021 in Uncategorized

 

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27 responses to “It’s Personal

  1. beth62

    March 26, 2021 at 7:00 pm

    That’s a tough decision to make. It truly is a cluster ____ sometimes. If I used facebook, I don’t know if I could do it, either.
    I can’t say I’ve been much better really, with my adopted cousins that I know fairly well who are left. When their parents passed, and their sibling who I was extremely close with passed a few years ago, we lost the connection. I try to text the youngest daughter, who has adopted children, when I am in town, still haven’t managed to get together since her big sister died. I’d like to think/hope she doesn’t have an issue with the adoption connection that exists between us. My mom is the last of her generation in that family. She ghosts me and mom even more. So really, who knows what to think. I haven’t deleted her as a contact in my phone tho. Told her my distant brother was in town last week if anybody wanted to see him, their blood cousin. Have not heard from anybody since. I’m having a real hard time determining if a lot of the lost connections are due to me being adopted or not. Since my brothers are not, and I am. They haven’t been in touch with their cousins at all since we were kids, except at some of the funerals. I’ve had a much closer connection with that family. It is what it is. Sometimes I think everybody is just a little lazy, including me!

    That would have upset me very much if someone else in the family other than me, my brothers or the grandkids were putting that info out there, before even contacting me, or me contacting them. That is overstepping IMO, then throw in the adoption factor… not cool. I understand why you’d think on it that way.

    I get calls from my father’s family even if somebody just has belly ache! I haven’t seen them in person due to distance in quite a while. They consider me absolutely real family, and I them, no doubt about it.
    Maybe keeping family connections, adopted or bio, are just more important to some than others.

    Maybe we could follow my grandson’s late night lead. He got up out of his new big boy bed at 3am last night (Freedom!!) Quietly completed a big puzzle, and snuck back in bed.
    We probably just need more puzzles 😉

    Like

     
    • TAO

      March 26, 2021 at 7:06 pm

      Oh Beth, you always make me feel better, always. And WAY TO GO LITTLE ONE! He’s got some Beth in him peeking through.

      Thank you.

      Liked by 1 person

       
  2. beth62

    March 26, 2021 at 8:17 pm

    It’s all a lot to think on, isn’t it. Nice to have somebody to think on it with, thank you.
    Sneaky little freedom lovin’ critter, hooked on puzzles, can’t imagine where he gets it from. He dove off the diving board head first this week, popped up like a little dolphin, swam to the ladder, and did it again! His mom didn’t like it as much as we did. haha

    Liked by 1 person

     
    • TAO

      March 26, 2021 at 8:24 pm

      I’m terrible remembering what age, but we hit the public pool at least 5 days a week all summer long. Sometimes if dad got out of the office early he’d come for a swim, when I was itty bitty, I’d wrap my arms around his neck and he’d swim laps and I’d get to go into the big people end of the pool. Loved that public swimming pool, perfect babysitter too.

      Like

       
      • beth62

        March 28, 2021 at 7:04 pm

        That is an absolutely lovely memory to keep 🙂
        My dad “sank like a rock” and only stood in the pool for a bit, one reason he pushed us to learn to swim. The public pool lessons began at 6am! in the WV mountains, there was still fog lifting, couldn’t see the other end of the pool. I remember it was terrifying, and really really cold
        Next week my gson said he wants to try a backwards dive. If he’s fearless enough to try to do that before he is 3, I may be a little worried for his mother in the future!

        Liked by 2 people

         
        • beth62

          April 1, 2021 at 8:55 pm

          Oh dear, a back dive, and a back flip, and then he ratted me out to his mom! “I did it! I did it just like Grandma!” 😀
          I’m in big trouble now :/ Just waiting for summer to kick in, so I can teach him how to water ski – and drive a boat hahahahaha
          poor mama

          Liked by 2 people

           
          • TAO

            April 1, 2021 at 11:50 pm

            Good luck Grandma…some splaining to do.

            Happy Easter.

            Liked by 1 person

             
            • beth62

              April 2, 2021 at 2:41 pm

              Nothin new 😉
              Great uncle G rides him around on the heavy equipment and takes him on plane rides, compared to him, grandma is pretty safe LOL
              poor mama, good thing she’s a tough one

              Happy Easter Bunny!

              Liked by 1 person

               
  3. swiftabc

    March 26, 2021 at 8:52 pm

    So painful, so complicated…loss building on loss… I’m sorry you are facing this.

    Like

     
    • TAO

      March 26, 2021 at 10:12 pm

      Writing it out helps a lot, why I keep plugging along. But it’s hard to get that personal and show that it impacts me that much. Stiff upper lip and all is hard to overcome.

      Liked by 1 person

       
  4. Lori Lavender Luz

    March 28, 2021 at 2:26 pm

    This is the first time I’ve heard the term “borrowed children,” and I’m not a fan. What a hurtful term.

    I think Beth came up with the right word for what your borrowed cousin in with the news about your mom: overstepping. That was just rude.

    It is a dilemma, what to do about this borrowed cousin. Hmmm…maybe use the mute feature for now?

    Like

     
    • TAO

      March 28, 2021 at 5:06 pm

      Grandpa was born in the 1800’s so I don’t hold it against him using it in a letter to his cousin. I am also the keeper of his writings and letters – the irony of one of the borrowed children being the keeper of what he said.

      We are borrowed though when you think about it…

      Liked by 1 person

       
      • beth62

        March 28, 2021 at 6:49 pm

        We are, and somehow I think it could be a more kind term to use coming from that era than some others. Maybe I’m being too nice tho, not knowing the whole of how it was used…
        I may be odd, as awful as it can seem at first glance, I still kind of like it a little.

        Liked by 1 person

         
        • TAO

          March 28, 2021 at 9:06 pm

          Writing to his cousin in another state where he told her “they appeared smart enough”. Oldtimer language was so obvious in his stories and correspondence.

          Liked by 1 person

           
          • beth62

            March 29, 2021 at 3:42 am

            For oldtimer language and beliefs/questions of the day, in a way, it sounds kind and accepting of it is what it is

            Liked by 2 people

             
      • BOOKS: Sexual Assault, Loss

        March 29, 2021 at 1:56 am

        If you borrow something, that means you are going to give it back. A first mother can’t get her child back, even if she desperately wants the child. So, in that sense, a child isn’t borrowed. (I am probably getting too technical.)

        Like

         
        • beth62

          March 29, 2021 at 3:37 am

          Borrowed can also mean, expected to be returned, in some form, at some time, hopefully.
          Can you give back borrowed time? Would you want to? :/ (I dunno, thinking out loud)
          My grandma used to say we were all borrowed from heaven, except for cousin Bob.
          And, the devil is in the details LOL
          I do kinda feel like I’ve borrowed my adopted family, not sure from where or who.
          I returned my borrowed self.
          Borrowed children sounds much better than forever children to me at the moment.
          Better than bound, bought, bastard, or orphaned, or many of the ugly terms found in days gone by that he could have used.
          It doesn’t erase the difficult part. It leaves some hope of return. There is a little something creative and beautiful to it for me, can’t seem to put my finger on it.

          Liked by 2 people

           
          • TAO

            March 29, 2021 at 2:10 pm

            Keep mulling. When I first read it, it made me sad for mom and dad, I mulled on that for a while.

            Still of all his letters (copies of the letters) and his journal, borrowed children stuck.

            Like

             
            • beth62

              March 29, 2021 at 10:05 pm

              yeah, I mulled on the mom and dad part 😦
              It is sad all around.

              Like

               
    • beth62

      March 28, 2021 at 5:38 pm

      Borrowed does work both ways doesn’t it. Good flip 🙂

      Like

       
      • TAO

        March 29, 2021 at 2:14 pm

        This old post gives perhaps a better glimpse of how Grandpa lived and wrote.

        Grandpa and Dad…

        Like

         
        • BOOKS: Sexual Assault, Loss

          March 29, 2021 at 5:36 pm

          Tao, your grandpa’s writing is fascinating. I love that he thought to write about it and in such a poetic, loving way. You are the keeper of something that is golden. I’m also impressed with Beth’s extensive and intimate grasp of history and like that she took the time to write about it. I, too, have fallen in love with family history, especially letters written by ancestors, mine or someone else’s but must admit my knowledge is not extensive. Sometimes, I feel silly, saving mementos and things of the past, knowing that the younger generations have almost zero interest at this time. I understand…they are focused on what the future lies in store for them. When they are “seniors” (old), they might relish the history that has been saved. Who knows?

          Like

           
          • TAO

            March 29, 2021 at 6:44 pm

            Thans Books. I only have one journal and a bunch of letters – I think if I hadn’t taken them mom would have tossed them. I love doing family trees and like to include snippets that tell the person reading a little bit about that ancestor.

            Liked by 1 person

             
            • beth62

              March 29, 2021 at 11:10 pm

              I hope his handwriting is legible! Some of my ancestors, the northern lawyers mostly… good grief, I gave up!
              Luckily handwriting was important to my Spencer branch.
              https://www.britannica.com/topic/Spencerian-penmanship
              Lovely, but still not so easy LOL

              Like

               
              • TAO

                March 30, 2021 at 1:10 pm

                Legible for the most part, shaky though as those letters and the journal were done in his 80’s.

                Liked by 1 person

                 
        • beth62

          March 29, 2021 at 6:31 pm

          I thought I remembered reading (and typing too much) here before about trying to find a better understanding of ever changing language, and beliefs. :/
          The willingness to try has gotten even more hateful since then 😦
          I think my world today is failing greatly – at feeling uncomfortable with the past and what to do about it.
          I despise the erasure or glorification of any history.

          Liked by 2 people

           
  5. Dannie

    March 28, 2021 at 2:46 pm

    Facebooking etiquette was definitely breached and major overstepping on that end :(. That would be hard to take….and then add adoption layers to it. I don’t know and people have a right to feel how they feel, I just personally think some families are less connected than others and once certain key family members pass, the rest just grow apart. My husband gets ghosted a lot by so many family members it really makes me upset. His brother comes around on business a lot and he’s never once called to say hey let’s meet up for dinner before I gotta go. It infuriates me. Of course my family being from a different country also can be extra in that we are all up in each other’s business, we love, fight, eye roll, and still keep on trucking and if my dads second cousin’s kid came to town the phone would be blowing up as to when we could meet….so I don’t know…..family dynamics? Adoption layers? ‘Borrowed children’? Gross term Sorry this has been the situation after your parents have passed :(. Truly sucks.

    Liked by 2 people

     

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