Changes

The feeling I have at this moment is utterly tormenting. I have steadily been changing who I am as a person over the last ten years. That is what I have always felt I should do–  evolve and grow. This growth came with some major failures and pitfalls, but I’m certain that I’m on the path that I need to be on.

After my birthmother experiences, how I deal with people changed exponentially. I couldn’t simply like or love people based on whether they kept up social pretenses or not. I don’t have the patience for naivete and blindness that I used to.

I still haven’t heard from the a-parents since my last entry. Not a word.

But today I also, after some heavy consideration, decided to depart from people that used to be important to me. It only just occurred to me that the sudden darkness in my placement experience made me less forgiving for people that supposedly know me. After a tumultuous time parting with blood, losing adults doesn’t frighten me.

I took a job with my oldest and one of the most dear friends a few years ago. That was a facade-smashing experience that taught me that people just change. I didn’t fault her for not being the girl I met in Kindergarten. I admired her for doing anything she set her mind to do. But it has bothered me ever since then that I didn’t care for who she showed herself to be. Along with those realizations is that fact that her best friends had “warned” me that working with her would be poisonous to the friendship. In retrospect, who knows how much of a collusion all of the calls, texts, and lunches to lament over our dear friend’s tyranny was actually just a way to shove me off. It worked…I was almost completely disenchanted with the glory of a two decade friendship. And I, alone, was the odd one out…not the others.

Whatever the circumstances, I never felt quite the same about her. As family members began passing on due to poor health choices, I began resenting her for not wanting to be healthier for everyone that loved her. This wasn’t isolated to her…my mother and other friends fell into this category for me. It was a hardline rationale: if you don’t care enough to sustain yourself, I’m not going to place myself in your proximity to be tormented by your deterioration. It made so little sense to repair and build with someone that would inevitably expect my unending presence to their emotional demise. So, I put comfortable distance between myself and people that I felt put their present wants over the inevitable.

I stopped doing things that made no sense to me. That meant no longer having “Hey, how are you doing?” conversations when I could complete the sentences that followed; it all became cumbersome and meaningless. Going and sitting in people’s houses when they felt like walking into chaos (screaming kids, animals, and clutter) was unnerving for me. I wanted to pull my skin off. Attending functions with people that I knew had foul intentions but were loved for putting up appearances also grated on me in a deep way.

Faking it no longer felt tolerable. My heart said “I love you, but I can’t do all the things necessary for you to feel like I do.”

And I still have close relationships with people…and they all understand most of my ways of being enough that we navigate each others’ needs in fulfilling ways. But in the last three years, I have definitely gotten a firm grip on what I can handle and what I refuse to. Unfortunately, that sometimes means that people can’t be salvaged from your past as you do what is necessary to survive what you’re going through.

 

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I love you

Max, you’re probably walking. Probably have poor L running around the house trying to baby proof and catch your lightning fast hands before you stick something foreign in your pouty little mouth. You probably show signs of my intrusive observation and stubbornness. You probably picked up Nathan’s quiet-unless-aggravated vocal tendency. Your dimple is probably super cute and charming. Your eyes probably lighten when you don’t feel good and darken when you are any extreme emotion. You’re probably physically stronger than anyone would assume a baby should be. Your knowing personality probably takes your a-parents aback from time to time.

I know you’re smart; you’ll bloom into uncanny brilliance. You will be intuitive and good at picking up latent traits. You will probably not be pleasant when not getting your way. You’ll be athletically gifted but feel obligation to pursue sports. You will be disarmingly handsome.

And for all and none of those reasons I love you.

I will love you unconditionally til I am incapable of emotion or thought. I hope that in your lesser moments when you need an invisible pillar of strength that my channel of love is there for you to pick up on.

I love you, Maxton Collier. And one day, I hope you get to hear me say so.

Nostalgia

I’m transitioning. I decided to get back in to the corporate workforce and start another means of getting the same places I’ve wanted to be over the last couple of years. For some people this is news that would cause them to reel and spittake…for others, they just understand how I get when I want something. I tear into it and just go.

There’s looking at new school districts, neighborhoods, and old apartments and houses smothered in layers of fashionable shades of paint. All of this seems to have gotten mechanical. There’s a part of me very excited about getting out of my small town and there’s this constant ebb in me that still feels grounded here…that holds on to the hopeless nostalgia of the place I have been raising my children and carried what could be my last baby.

Max is going to be a year old in three weeks.

I haven’t held him since he was three days old. I don’t remember what his hair smells like anymore. I couldn’t tell you how it feels to cradle him and pat his little diapered butt as he bounced and cooed on my hip. I have no clue what his baby babble sounds like from any other baby’s.

Nostalgia for things I haven’t experienced is hooking me a bit. I feel guilty for my choice and for moving on with my life. In my mind it seems like I’m trying to get away from his memory by doing this…by allowing myself to go on. I’ve felt twinges of guilt for feeling joy and hope over the last few months. Normalcy seems like betrayal. So going on with life as if he never happened and then perhaps developing relationships that could further take him off my mind–it all (however irrational) seems treasonous.

i can’t be his mother and I can’t be in limbo longing to be his mother. I’m not his mother?

Who knows. This is probably another excuse to be afraid of all the potentially beautiful, potentially disappointing, and potentially life changing conditions that have started rolling. But as I make trips to the city I’m moving to and plan and regroup, I picture this one year old little boy with big, gorgeous brown eyes peeping at me…I’m starting to realize I’m fairly haunted by a living child. Is what I’m doing or going to do worth the exchange? Is what I’m about to embark on a fair trade? Am I doing enough to make that decision worth it??

Egoism of the Control Freak

I’ve had plenty to distract me from my pity party lately. Funny how I feel guilty for having enough going on that I don’t dwell on Max. He’s on my mind all the time, but lately tucked further back than usual. I guess the guilt comes from feeling like I’m prioritizing things ahead of him. That seems crazy.

It’s summer, so the kids come to the office with me in the morning. As I’m getting situated and getting them quietly settled at their own desks to stay out of the way, I notice my daughter has my phone. She was adding stickers to a hospital photo of Max. Appearing deep in thought, I just let her keep the phone and proceeded on with something else. It didn’t take long for her to start asking questions that were undoubtedly on her mind. She wanted to know who had seen his newer photos. Would we be able to visit? I began to wall off after a few questions because they got impossible to answer. I clearly need to make her understand that we have no claim on her little brother. It’s aggravating to me that I didn’t put further thought into their views of this decision.

Being aggravated is truly pointless. What’s done is done. I’m saying that not trying to take the defeated approach, but because there’s literally nothing I can do to make amends. For whatever reasons I chose to go through with it all, it’s irreversible. And even if I could take it back, I’m having trouble accepting all the changes that would have called for. The domino effect of either decision seems to go on infintely. Though the a-parents probably couldn’t imagine having another child in their arms, that’s what would have happened…and they wouldn’t have been able to imagine any other child but that one. Had I kept Max, I wouldn’t have had a vicious cycle of emotional self abuse. But I would still have some emotional battles…guilt, anxiety, and the balm of love. I always come out swinging when I feel bottomed out. But I really don’t know the depth or the adversity that would have arisen with raising a third child alone. I have learned to trust my instincts, but this time it’s always going to pull at me due to the nature of the situation.

The kids seem to bring him up a little less. A little. But when they do, it gets to me in a different way than when Max ambles across my mind. Because it means that they were thinking of him. It means there are things that they dwell on, too. I certainly don’t like the idea of passing on what I feel and have felt to children. The prolonged sense of wonder, I’ve noted before, is a lot to take on for a grown woman. I don’t like that I’ve misguidedly put them in the position to always wonder. But I defintely couldn’t and wouldn’t have lied to them to try to curtail the consequences. That would have made it worse.

This is an ego blow of massive proportions. I feel like I can do damn near anything else I want to do….this is one thing I’m not sure about. Coping. Dealing appropriately. I don’t like not being sure. I hate it. It may be strange to be 29 years old and feel so assured of every other decision I could make, but I do. This puts a chink in my armor. It proves there is a flaw in my process and ability and decision making…which makes everything else wavy. The control freak in me is battered.

Mother’s Day Molotovs

Why not do everything with a bang? I surely didn’t expect Mother’s Day to end with a bare soul conversation between my parents, sisters, and I…but it did. And I really can’t say that it was for the better other than getting some much needed heat off our chests. The entire thing was draining and long. My youngest sister kept her mouth shut. I knew why she didn’t verbalize on what was bothering her because she knew our mother well enough to know that whatever she said in Mom’s disfavor would rear its head later on. But I had not qualms about saying my peace and neither did my other sister.

At last, there were multiple accountings of some of the crap we’d had to deal with and grow around. The look on my dad’s face was one of discomfort, pain, and realization. Still he remained the ever steadfast husband and tried to mediate what turned out to be a situation that wasn’t going to get better with time. He actually mentioned counseling and I just raised my eyebrow at him. There’s no point with all of us in the process of putting distance between us.

All the yelling, screaming, and recounting of events needed to happen. It put so many things in perspective and made me realize how very important it is for me to parent with love and awareness. This just made me more determined to get out of this funky rut that I’ve been in for months. I’ve had to deal with a lot of skeletons this past few months…unwillingly at times. My health, Maxton’s adoption, my relationship with my daughter, and the parallel with the relationships that I’ve allowed to fester with my mother and my youngest aunt.

I don’t want to get 20 years down the road and look back in delusion thinking that the things that come out of my mouth or my actions don’t have a direct impact on how my children develop. People tell me that I’m a good mother, but that doesn’t mean anything if I am not meeting my own expectations. I’m my own worst critic, but it scares the hell out of me to think I can have a negative impact on another human being that could affect every important relationship she develops throughout her adolescence and adulthood.

Parenting is major–no, this isn’t a new realization, but I am now considering the adoption and the current status of my relationship with my mother in a new way. No one is perfect. And I’m sure many kids had way worse parents to deal with by various opinion. But I got a very good schematic on what NOT to do. Not everyone has that fortune. My dad is wonderful, yet also imperfect. I have two guidebooks in parenting that are absolutely golden….I know what things help, hurt, nurture, hinder, and rot a budding human being. To not use that knowledge to best cater to the needs and demands of my two children at home would be negligent.

I can keep making my past experiences with my mother/family a bad thing…or I can develop it into a positive. I guess some bombs do have their target and their benefit.

Shut Up with Your Politics…

It grates on a very tender nerve to hear people talk so assuredly about the wrongs of abortion. Often those same people speak with the same glazed-over assurance that adoption is the most amazing thing imaginable.

Shut up.

I’ve said before that I’d always make the choice of life for myself. I’ve never had an abortion and previously couldn’t fathom the mental abuse I’d suffer through my own inner workings to go through with it. But there’s no way in hell I think that I can assume every sexually active woman on the planet to be capable of going through adoption, abortion, nor motherhood. No, abstinence will not catch on with religious extremists as the voice of that option. Who has the insight on every human being’s psyche, upbringing, and ability to ever stick their neck out to make such a pompous and arrogant assertion of what they should/shouldn’t do in various situations.

Before reading a word I had to say in prior blogs, I’m sure some soul thought little of the aftermath for birthmothers. They probably thought little beyond their own ill-informed opinion and what the adoption industry (yes, wrap you noodle around the idea of an industry of babies and paying parents-to-be) has painted as the most glorious process next to planned births. I’m not out to paint adoption as a bad thing. SO many birthmoms have had extraordinary experiences and either enjoy their open interactions with their child or have moved on after a closed adoption. But there are a lot that don’t. Then there’s the consideration of how adoptees cope with it. There are many factors that play into the process that have jack squat to do with what your favorite public figure has to say on the subject.

If you’ve never been there, or only have a piece of a story to base your opinion off of….just hush with your very loud and very assured sounding politically fueled opinions of a situation that people deal with in innumerable ways. Not knowing how a woman may impact that child by raising it, or how a new family is suited for dealing with adoptee emotion, or what the overall social impact of that child’s rearing on others they encounter in the unsupervised parts of their life. “Perfect” parents have raised perfect monsters. Shut up with the assured political babble.