exposing the dark side of adoption
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Re-Parenting Myself


It's taken me almost 40 years to realize what my life-crisis has always been:  I have lost huge pieces of myself to all the adults who have once claimed me.  This is hard-core adoption-stuff, mixed with abuses that should no longer matter (but they DO).  With claim, comes blame... and I know with blame comes guilt and shame.  For some reason, some are more willing to accept personal responsibility and accountability than others.  Perhaps that's the true meaning behind survival of the fittest.  He or she who stands last, laughs and cries the longest at the survival's Finish Line.  [So much gain, for so much loss!]

How do I abandon myself freely to another person, if all I have known is control and abandonment?  I won't do it.  I am a child in this regard:  I will not lose myself anymore to people who won't love the Me I always was, since birth.  I have needs, I have wants, I have dreams that need to be fulfilled... and the simple truth is, I need help with most of these things that plague me in mocking-form.

How do I become the person I know I can be?   I become the kind but wise parental-force to my unrelenting wants and needs.  Sounds simple, doesn't it?

It's not when all you know is loud and soft conflicting chaos.

I'm learning how to calm myself from the mental-ledge from which I want to throw myself sometimes.  "Ending it all" has to mean a new beginning, SOMEWHERE... and in that sense, I have to give myself permission to fall and fail.  After all, not all endings have to be bad or sad... maybe, just maybe, the edge means empowered lift-off, not the impending plummeting fall I have grown to accept (or expect for myself).

I never did any form of personal-pampering before.  My M.O. has always been, self-depreciate and endure pain full-throttle, because it's the proper punishment for the stupid crime of "belief in something better". before this past year, I never once said to myself, "It's ok something didn't work out, because you gained a lot of insight from the loss and failures."  I never said, "Next time will be much better, because you deserve better."

I never FELT like I deserved better.  I never felt remotely good enough to extend a wish or opinion.  Why would I, if my voice never mattered, and my hysterical animalistic screams and whimpers went  completely unnoticed?  Silence can be so deadly to the slow-starving soul caught in controlled and isolated captivity.

I think about my two mothers... a lot... especially how their lives must have been when they were my age, at any given life-stage I might be facing.  "What were their options?"  "If they had it to do all over again, would they have done things differently?"  I would hope both have feelings of regret and remorse, but I can't worry about their feelings anymore.  I first began connecting life-stories when I was first pregnant 15 years ago, and my mindful comparisons have continued throughout the years.  I never knew what I wanted, other than being certain I wanted my children to have much better than what was "given" and "chosen" for me.  Freedom of choice is something I never had, and have to wonder how much of that is a chronic sign of the times of "moral protest".

I laugh, because "morality" has such a twisted meaning for the child sold to foreign-strangers with a house and a joint bank-account.  Marriage does not make good parents, but parents can help prepare for a happy marriage.  How and why this valuable lesson gets so easily lost during the life-pages of human ages is beyond me.  Do people really want the next generation to live in similar comfort/misery so many of us so blindly reproduce?  Is that a patterned-tradition some just can't change for the sake of their own children?  I was born in 1968; parents and family-traditions were far more religious/faith-based than they seem to be these days.  The social demands and domestic expectations of the sexes remain just as strained and different as ever.  [What demonstrates the battle of the sexes more than a planned v. unplanned pregnancy?  How many of us are true victims of the social standards of wanted v. unwanted family placement?]  Who can have it "all"?  No one, not even the elderly or a child.  I feel sad for my natural mom.  She was a well educated woman in her mid 20's when she became pregnant with me.  She made choices.  She chose not to marry for the sake of family, and as a result, she gave away her first-born baby.  I don't know anything about my natural dad to know if I should feel sorry for him or not.  I feel sad for my adoptive mother.  She was educated and married the father of her baby, and years later thought a baby girl could make her life better.  Most of all, I feel sad for my a.dad, for reasons I simply cannot explain.  What a world of different choices both women seem to have made for one baby girl born in another country, in 1968.

I feel sad for myself that no one taught me not to live in someone else's dreams or demands;  I feel sad no one told me it was fine to follow my path filled with skittish footsteps no matter how or what strangers would think.

I am the mother to four beautiful children, and this past year I chose to adopt the 39 year old girl I'm still so afraid to be. I realized my role with those fab-four is unlike my role with anyone else in this world.  I am supposed to be their protective leader.... their life-lesson teacher.  It's my job to educate them about the rules and the ways of a very wicked, immoral world, without scaring or scarring the life out of them.  How will my children ever learn how to find victory in defeat and solid footing in the slippery slopes of serendipity if I'm not willing to show them how grief can be owned and overcome?

It's my inner-parent's job to allow my terrified self to grow, develop, and become the person I know I was born to become.

by Kerry on Saturday, 26 April 2008