I gave a lot of thought to the wonderful comments I received from my last post. I have great days but then of course there are those “adoption days” when the weight of the matter is too much to bear and I have to find a release. Thank GOD for blogging. I was (as always) very touched by the responses. I am so fortunate to be able to get a well rounded perspective from the adoptive plane. There are first moms who help to remind me how deeply the loss can affect their actions which helps me not to take this personally. Then there are adoptees who really get how intensely it hurts to be rejected a second time. Validation is so important! The adoptive parents come and offer honest and sincere sympathy for something they probably fear their own children could potentially face someday. That has to be a frightening thought, yet they still come and read and learn and offer their support. Wow, huh? What an amazing gift. No single therapist could possibly offer so much.
On those adoption days I tend to get weighed down by what I don’t have, then it passes and the next day is better. The weight is lifted enough so I can breathe again and life goes on. I can look at my beautiful family and feel deep appreciation for what I do have and not allow it to be clouded by what I don’t have. I suppose the real goal here is to put things in perspective as well as possible. I can’t make sense of the senseless but I think there has to be an acceptance for the way things are and for the understanding that I may not be able to DO anything about it.
Or can I?
I learned something during this last adoption day and that is that I do not like the term Letting Go.
Just let it go.
You should let it go.
I need to let it go.
All grossly inadequate and frankly I think it’s somewhat inappropriate. If I were able to let it go I would be living in that imaginary bubble that my mother has created for herself. It is not in my character to live that lie. No, letting go is not an option.
I do however believe that there is a place where this can all reside. A healthy place where things like sadness and regret are not all consuming. I don’t think it would be fair to myself to expect I could possibly let it all go though. Letting go indicates to me it no longer exists and to ask that of myself is unfair. Honestly, I couldn’t let my first mother go nor could I ever let my mom go regardless of their inadequacies. I can set healthy boundaries with both of them though. THAT I can do.
So that’s what I will work on. Setting healthy boundaries. I plan to write E a long letter. I don’t know if I will send it but it must be written. I deserve a voice. That is a gift I will give myself. The boundary will come into play by not having any expectations about how the letter will be received if I do decide to send it. That can’t matter because if it does I WILL be disappointed. No, I have to write the letter for ME and let the act of pen to paper be the only expectation. I can control the effect writing the letter will have on me. I can have the expectation that writing my feelings down will be cathartic and healing. I can expect that the tightness I feel in my throat will open up. I can expect it will bring me some peace. I can expect these things because I am in control of the intent AND the residual effect of following through with the action. If the only expectations are those I place on myself I cannot be disappointed. If I am I only have myself to blame.
So, I will not LET IT GO. I will not live a lie. I may have my mothers DNA but we don’t share this character trait and I think that is a blessing, not a curse. It may take me some time to figure out how to put all of this into perspective. That means there are more “adoption days” on the horizon. but I don’t fear that NEARLY as much as I fear living a lie. I would never want to be where E is. I would never want to walk this earth in constant fear that what I have “let go” could come crashing back into my consciousness at any moment. No, I would rather work on making this like an old friend that I think of every now and then with fondness. I suspect thinking about this will always make me sad to some degree. How could it not? But I will not ever purposely place myself in a position where I have regrets about my actions. If I let it go I would have regret. Letting go is giving up. Letting it go is exchanging sadness for becoming numb.
If I live my life without experiencing sadness every now and then how would I know what it feels like to be happy? The loss of my mother DOES make me sad. Why in the world would I want to pretend otherwise?
I am going to play with my daughter now.