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.

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.