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.

 

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.

Emotional Burpees

Update received!!!!!!

Better late than never? In this case, yes. In this case, a thousand times, yes. It was a daily passing nightmare to realize I was at the mercy of the a-parents’ desire to uphold the legal equivalent to a verbal agreement. Might as well be a pinky promise.

I’m very thankful for the message and the pictures. He’s a darling child. Cutting teeth and growing in the 100th percentile range in height—my little golem :). This is, again, a process of continual growth and trust. I have no problem with continual growth…but it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that I have serious trust issues. There’s no immediate mend to that, but I’m making what strides I can in a handful of ways in my life. Leaving anything of consequence to me in the hands of someone else scares the hell and high noon sun out of me. Putting my heart in someone’s hands? Hoping someone holds their end of a bargain? Making partners in a lifelong decision?

Dear lord, I’ve made a pact bordering on a parallel to marriage…. :facepalm:

The more I cycle through the mechanics, I realize this was overall a bad situation for me to get into. Undoubtedly this is the hardest lesson I’m going to have to learn and re-learn. I’m seeing the ugliest and hardest consequences of making poor decisions and not clearly thinking (from conception to relinquishment). This part of my heart will remain in figurative purgatory for not making the adult considerations that I should have well before all this had to come to be.

All typical-of-me mumbo jumbo aside, he’s healthy, beautiful, and happy. That’s what matters.

And I could use a lesson in birthmother patience…if that is humanly possible. These grueling up-downs are so incredibly tiresome.

Pure Hell

Did I really willingly sign up for this? What in the HELL was I thinking?! I know that I’m a control freak and worrier…even more so a worrier when talking about a child.

I’m in a blank space. I feel like I’m being forcibly weened off interaction revolving around Maxton. I feel an unspoken “This is for her own good” sentiment — and nothing makes me angrier than trying to MAKE me do anything. What’s worse is that I was never outwardly made to make this decision to part with my child. However,  I’m punishing myself  and getting an administered detox from elsewhere.

I’m already tired of this. Not even a year of this and I’m sick of it. I have about twenty years to go. I don’t want pity, sympathy, or anything….I want to see what’s becoming of my baby. If I didn’t, I’d have chosen closed adoption! I want consistency and continuity from his new parents. I want to not feel like I’m taking a twenty year walk-of-shame for making a self-deprecating decision for the sake of his future.

Attach whatever spiritual or religious sentiment to how I should cope all you’d like…the fact remains, I’m supposed to just shut up and deal with these feelings. And for so many other scenarios, I’m GREAT at shutting up for the sake of everyone else–my mouth can cause irreparable damage. But in this case, I don’t want to shut up and deal. To best describe this, I feel like the girl who was guided into bed with months of “I love yous” and then dumped the next day. I feel like the woman who never noticed the tan line on a man’s hand who suddenly has a future she’d built with someone ripped away when the lies are brought to light. I feel like a woman who was promised things that mean the world to her and then left wondering what happened.

I did everything right and everything still seems to have gone to shit. I replied relevantly, with interest, without ownership, and in aching consideration of their role in his life. What went wrong?

Contact agreements, if they exist, don’t mean a damn thing after finalization in my state. Nor do they mean much in other states. The legality is fleeting and is overridden by parental control. To a custodial parent those words are empowering. To a non-custodial parent or birthmother, they can be hell.

Adoption agencies don’t have legal power to enforce contact agreements after finalization.

The lack of guarantee is bothersome. Leaving the well-being of your child to entities or people who can disregard the pretense of an open adoption is a possibility I would have thought about more had I not been thinking of the 35 million other things I was when I did this. Duress doesn’t apply in adoption; that seems sound and mad all at once. I don’t like loose ends and I don’t like being pacified for any non-mutual gain.

As it seems, I have two options given how I am… I can begin burying Maxton’s existence OR I can let my subconsciousness keep eroding at the worry and wonder of the entire situation. But I’m extremely effective at forgetting people to save my feelings. People have commented at how truly unnerving it is. I doubt even my Jedi mind trickery is going to be effective in removing an organic piece of me from myself.

Reality Check

Finding that you’re just pushing through each day just trying to get to a Friday or past a Monday is a sad thing. It means you’ll eventually find yourself hundreds of Fridays and Mondays down the road wondering where precious moments in between have gone and what you could have done with them.

I still haven’t gotten an update from the A-parents. I’m afraid to ask questions at this point. It’s been important for me to be the one to reply and not instigate because of how it could be interpreted. Invasive, impatient, still too attached–I don’t want them to think anything negative at all about communicating with me about the baby.

“The baby” I say. He’s not Maxton, anymore. By all accounts, he only was Max by legal definition. And I only type his given name when addressing his new parents because it’s a sore issue for me, still. He’s not my baby anymore and he’s the namesake of a monster I have spent a few years trying to forget existed.

I’m not forced to think of any of these things as often as I had been before. Hormones have gone back to normal. My fitness kick has put my body back in place. Schedules have gone back into a recognizable rhythm. Then someone who saw my swollen belly months ago ventures to ask, “How’s the baby?”

“Good,” I say with a smile.

I assume this to be 100% true. He’s fine. I’ve never felt like I was lying when I respond that way. But I do feel like my very carefully constructed walls are being beaten on. I don’t like to be asked. It’s a reminder, and the only reminders I want are photos and excerpts from the people raising him. That, I can handle. Other reminders are so unwanted that I don’t know what to do with myself sometimes. But it’s also not good to bottle myself in fantasy…to steer from reality to cope.

Perhaps I need those uncomfortable brushes with reality more often.