I wanted to write you regarding your recent reunion with your mother. Among
other things. I knew you were going to meet with her. Every time I thought about
visiting to see how it went I had this totally hard core anxiety
attack. I know that must seem weird but let me explain.
Our experiences seem very similar. Actually its uncanny. I knew reading about your
reunion would trigger a boatload of emotions in me. I felt bad for not coming by
and supporting you but I just couldn’t, you know? Anyway, the thing is I
definitely WAS thinking about you and I wanted you to know that.
My mom is just like your dad. She is a full blown narcissist drama queen. I don’t
need to explain what that’s like, you already know. I think when you grow up
adopted there are all these layers of pleasing and measuring up to contend with. That in and of itself is a challenge but it is super difficult when you are being raised by someone like our parents.
In my case the issue was compounded by the fact that my parents have a bio son (twenty years my senior) that they were constantly comparing me to. An honor roll student, he went on to become a successful doctor and was/is the “perfect son”. I don’t need to tell you how proud the fact that he is a doctor makes my hypochondriac mother.
They got it right the first time so there is only one explanation for adopting me twenty years later.
I am convinced they adopted me so I could take the full burden of responsibility
for their behavior. In other words if it were just the two of them they
would have nobody to blame for their dysfunction. So I was forced into the roll of
the source of all that was wrong, the scapegoat. Yet I worked my butt off trying to FIX everything for years. Honestly I
still feel like I have to fix everything. It’s a hard habit to break.
I suppose if I were to be totally honest there was a huge part of me that
desperately wanted to find a healthy version of a mother in my natural mother E. I told myself I wanted the
usual; “to know where I came from”, “to say thank you” and all of the other
load of crap sayings we feed ourselves as an excuse for wanting the most natural thing
in the world which is to simply know our mother. I didn’t find a healthy anything, instead I found an equally
weak and self absorbed mother.
Much like your mother she insists she has no regrets,
did what was best, dusted herself off and went on her way. She has not provided
me with one shred of selfless kindness. She has not shown me one iota of
compassion nor has she displayed any ability to feel the most basic instinctual
love for me as a human being, much less a daughter. This shouldn’t be a big deal since you can’t miss what you never had right? Wrong. It hurts like hell.
Now after the disaster that has been this fruitless reunion you would think I
would run screaming in the other direction at the mere MENTION of going through
it again, but no. I really want to know who my father is. I want to know and I really feel I
deserve to know. But E doesn’t see it that way.
She told me and I quote;
“I could care less if you search for
him but I’m certainly not going to help you.”
“I mean really, what if you contact him and ruin his life, disrupt his FAMILY?”
“Besides, I don’t know who he is and anyone that WOULD know, I left in the past. I certainly
would not contact them for this. ”
Even if I could get a copy (which I can’t) my father is not listed on my birth
certificate. Unless E grows a conscience I can’t find him. She doesn’t
deserve that power over me but she has it and there is nothing I can say or do
to change things. I can’t FIX this and I think that is what hurts the most. I
think it all stems back to how I was raised like some vicious circle. It’s my being sick over the fact that as
hard as I have worked to make things right they may never be right.
So how do we become OK with that? How do we live the essence of the Serenity Prayer and accept the
things we cannot change? How do we do that KNOWING that someone else CAN change
things for us and choose not to? How do we live with the knowledge that the person who
can and won’t is our own mother? How do we not take that personally? As much as I hate that stupid Let It Go term, perhaps it needs to happen in some form. Maybe it isn’t as much “letting go” as handing over the unchangeable to someone or something with the power to touch the unchangeable in a way we never could.
The comfort and healing I have gained regarding this aspect of my life has
come from those who understand. Going through life having to constantly try and
make people understand you is exhausting. Especially when you feel like if they don’t understand you have to fix that too. It’s nice for a change to be in a world where explanation is rarely expected. I know that I can come by your blog and say “I understand” (which I often do) and that would suffice. This time though I really wanted you to know ……-
I . DO. UNDERSTAND.
I was going to email this to you but I may just post it. There must be others out there in our situation and they should know at least two other people on this planet understand them too.