Instantaneous Change

“Nothing changes instantaneously: in a gradually heating bathtub you’d be boiled to death before you knew it.”

Margaret Atwood
The Handmaid’s Tale

E called me yesterday. She called ME, the first time she has done so in five years of knowing where I am. It’s a positive step I hear myself saying. It is a step in the right direction, nowhere to go but up, right?

This time I was an equal participant in the conversation, partly because of her desire for answers and partly because I simply wasn’t going to allow another one sided conversation to occur. I took the opportunity to be heard this time.

There was a great deal of ground covered. Still no overwhelming revelations but piece by piece my puzzle comes together. How much easier for both of us if she were to fully allow the healing process to happen. I know, this has to be in her time and lord knows I have respected that but it seems such a huge waste of energy.

The most healing thing I learned? She had decided to begin searching for ME just a few weeks prior to “the call”. She conveyed that she had trouble losing that sense of power she felt when she was in control of the search process.

That seems understandable to me.

I hopefully did a good job conveying to her that I too felt completely powerless. My fate held in the hands of a paid-trained-stranger. That if I had been in control things would have been much different. I could have afforded her the luxury of time, given her some of her power back.

OPEN OUR RECORDS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

It’s so hard to know what is truth and what is some form of necessary fabrication as a defense mechanism. It would explain though why she seemed initially pleased she had been found and then changed her mind so abruptly. Either way I think I’ll take it. A small band-aid applied to the rejection wound.

She says now that there IS a possibility the information in my non-id could have been provided by her. Bits and pieces resemble people she knew. A man she was dating, her ex-husband. It is possible, she says, that she MAY have provided the pieces and they (meaning CC) created the information on my birthfather I now have before me.

There are two scenarios here that seem possible. One, she is an extremely good liar. So good in fact that a large part of her own mind believes the lies. Or two, (I am hoping the more likely scenario) is that she truly has blocked out all of this and slowly, bit by bit, the information is surfacing.

She mentioned being very curious to take a look at my OBC, to see if there was some “made up name” listed on there. She was nervous and uncomfortable. She said she was going to have to think about getting a copy. Imagine, she actually believes she can march right down there and get my OBC. Well, not such a stretch when you think about it. That’s the way it should be after all.

Anyway I had to burst that bubble and tell her the only way for us to obtain my OBC was for her to sign and notarize this form I have giving her PERMISSION for me to get MY OBC.

I think to myself – “Only if you say please”…….”OOOOKKKKK”………..”PUUULLLLEAASSSEEE Mommy”.

She either did not believe me (and why would she it sounds rediculous) or she just doesn’t want me to see it in the event that my birthfather is listed on there because she skipped right over the idea of ME getting it and said “I will have to look into maybe getting that”.

The conversation then went something like this:

E-“Well I would be very curious to see your birth certificate. What’s ON a birth certificate anyway?”

HUH?

M-“Birthmother, Birthfather (sometimes), time, date blah blah blah…………..”

E-“Wellllllll, what’s to say Catholic Charities didn’t put things on there? I mean who’s to say they wouldn’t do that since they made up the other stuff”

So I’m thinking-

Oh come ON, did you make it up or did they make it up? Did everybody add a lie, stir the pot, toss it in a file and call it a day? Does ANYBODY get that this is my IDENTITY we are talking about?!?

M-“You mean my birthfather’s name?”

E-“yea, or whatever”

M-“I think it is unlikely that they could do that. Because I was born at blank blank hospital I am pretty sure a staff member takes care of the Original Birth Certificates, not Catholic Charities. But I guess I couldn’t really say for sure what went on.”

E-“you were born at blank blank? See I didn’t even remember that”

She conveyed once again that there was no way she was going to assist me in finding this guy “even if he could be found, which he can’t” because she just knows that it would bring heartache to her husband and kids. Her husband would be upset by my birthfather’s sudden appearence.

A magician! Maybe he is Sigfied! Roy? No, that couldn’t be now could it.

I asked her to explain why she would think my contacting bfather would bring him back into her life. Honestly I cannot imagine him wanting anything at all to do with her. She said I could not guarantee that he would not want to talk to her and I had no choice but to agree. Because I can’t say for sure that he would not, no matter how unlikely I think it is. She wanted guarantees I could not give.

I seriously would respect the fear she has but when I asked her if she was fearful she said she wasn’t afraid in the least, just thinking of her family. I told her it is very easy to underestimate our loved ones and left it at that.

OK everyone it’s time to play………………….MEMORY BLOCK OR LIE!
Review the information above, write your answers on a piece of paper and leave it with the receptionist. We will let you know if you have won in twenty years or so.

I did not bring up my birthfather once. She brought him up over and over again. He is the elephant in the room. I am not at all sure a relationship is going to be possible because even if I don’t ever bring him up she knows I will always want to know. It truly seems the elephant is too big for E and I to even see around.

What do you expect when you shove an elephant and two grown women in a closet?!? It’s bound to be a tight fit!

I wanted to end the converstation, I was tired but asked her one last question. If we were to pursue a friendship would I have to remain a secret?

Sorry, don’t mean to leave you hanging but I am done for today.

There is a small part of me who wonders if the sporadic bursts of warm water I think I am being given by E isn’t really me just slowly boiling myself to death.

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9 Comments

Filed under Adoptee Family

9 responses to “Instantaneous Change

  1. but sometimes, warm splashes of water are the best thing to slowly wash away the grime and dirt and leave the skin feeling clean and refreshed.

  2. Eek. That’s a hard one to figure out.

    Sounds like she’s been living with the secrets and lies for a long time.

    Did I misunderstand—none of her family is aware of you, yet she took it into her head to search for you without telling them?

  3. Mia

    She told her husband about me but not my siblings.

    I had the intermediary contact my siblings several months after she denied contact, right before the case was to be closed.

    My back was against the wall. It was contact sibs. or have the case closed forever.

    She indicated yesterday that she had begun thinking about contact just prior to the call from the intermediary.

    I know, it doesn’t make much sense that she wouldn’t be grateful not to have to go through the headache of searching if she was planning contact anyway. Of course I think she believes it is much easier than it really is. Maybe she thought it would be no big hassle to find me. Who knows.

  4. I get frustrated reading your story. Frustrated for you and because it brings back my own feelings of the beginings of my reunion (our mothers sound sooo similar, in many ways.)

    I also chuckle, because I love your sarcasm 🙂

    My gut instinct is that she provided the details about your father. Yes, we all hear about social workers lying, but I doubt any went to so much trouble inventing complex, fictional characters.

  5. Rel

    wow, that’s a tough one and i really feel for you.

    definately an elephant that needs to be found for your sake.

    I truly hope she finds it within her to tell you the truth, because that is all you deserve. xo

  6. kimkim

    Can you e-mail me again?

    haggardoldpsycho@hotmail.com

    What a lot of stress E gives you, why does it have to be so complicated. At least she rang, that’s a good thing right?

  7. Mia

    Oh definately a HUGE step in the right direction. I honestly don’t mean to sound ungrateful. I know she is doing the best she is capable of. It’s just frustrating not being able to fully trust what she says because I really want to.

    None the less I certainly have more hope since her call.

  8. Mia… I feel bad commenting what I really feel… because I get so angry at her when I read your posts… my heart just aches for you and I probably over-step my bounds when I comment.

    I have to tell you.. there is not a single bone in my body that doubts… for even a second… that she is lying. It’s actually quite fascinating… her behavaiour sounds soooo much like my adoptive mother’s behaviour when SHE was caught lying about the fact that she hadn’t actually given birth to me.

    She had been keeping this HUUUGE secret and lie for 25 years… spun all kinds of drama around it… but she THOUGHT she held the power to control it. To keep it secret. When that power was taken away from her… and somebody ELSE threatened to unravel it all… she began acting EXACTLY like E.

    Mia… the truth may come out… one way or another… but right now… I think she is operating in panicky damage control mode. And that it’s effecting absolutely everything that she is saying to you.

    You deserve the truth… and I HATE that she is controlling circumstances like this… it is so unbelievably wrong… and so unbelievably transparent to me that I just want to grab her and give her shoulders a shake, and yell, “GIVE UP! It’s over! The truth will be revealed… you may as well FACE it!”

    Again, Mia… I am so sorry that my reaction is so strong… but as you can probably tell… your experiences are VERY close to my heart.

    Much affection.

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