A lot of people have been asking me about my feelings.
How are you feeling?
What are your feelings about finding her?
I can't imagine what kind of feelings you must be having!
So what better way than to blog about this really weird, obtuse thing called Feelings About My Birthmom.
Let's start by being honest and all admitting that it's not that you can't imagine it. You can imagine it. I know you can. And I know you have. It's just difficult to picture someone's mom giving them away to someone else and then talking with each other about it finally--- 30 years later. That's what your problem is.
That's what my problem is.
And that's why it's so flippin' difficult to talk about it.
But that's why I'm writing this blog. Because everyone seems to be so polite about the most nitty-gritty, raw experiences, don't they? Especially these days. Everything from getting dumped, being diagnosed with a chronic disease, losing your job and having no money...we're all staying a little bit too polite.
Oh, and please stop telling your friends "Call me if you need anything." When you say that, it decreases your chances of that person ever even wanting to call you again by 100. NEWSFLASH: if you want to be there for someone, call them yourself. I call this "Showing Up To Life". Telling them to call you in their greatest time of need is a cop-out and you know it. That's why you're saying that; so you don't have to deal with the awkwardness of oh wait...an already awkward situation! Yaya, I know people say it's because they don't want to step on toes, don't want to seem too nosy, too pushy. I don't think that's why.
Why am I talking about all of this? Not because I'm trying to get phone calls from people. ;)
Because I've experienced a deep wound in my life. You have too, I just don't know about yours. But you know about mine now.
So when people ask me OhmygoshIjustcan'timaginewhatyou'refeeling, I'm like YES YOU CAN, THAT'S WHY YOU'RE READING MY STORY!
No one reads stories they can't or don't want to relate to, or even just have sympathetic curiosity about. That's the stuff we run from. It either bores the hell out of us or freaks us out too much.
Now that you know about my wound, I'm going to tell you it festered a long, long time. A long time. So long, it was entangled and wrapped around my life in such a way I didn't even notice it there.
It was a weight, really.
I'd been carrying that weight on my shoulders for so many years it was just part of who I am. This weight centered itself perfectly between my shoulder blades, it only felt heavy on the days I went out and tried something new. New things that challenged me, made me swerve, lift my head up. But knowing there was this weight on me, always reminding me I couldn't lift my head up enough to see what was often, right in front of me made it more than difficult. To see things like trust: enough to fall in love, enough to know I mattered to others, enough to know the work I choose to do in the world can and will make a difference. I always blamed myself. I thought I was some sort of problem, someone crashing everyone else's party. Well, because I did crash somebody's party at some point. At least it felt like that.
But it's easy to get self-centered when you're hurting---that's why you've gotta stop licking your wounds, get outside in the fresh air, let it heal. It's hard to believe focusing on something outside yourself for a time will do this, but it does, trust me. The best way to do this is go help somebody else. Literally---get outside yourself and you, ironically, will heal.
Eventually though, you'll come back around to yourself. You'll go, "Oh, that scab is still so itchy". You'll scratch at it again and it'll peel off and all that will be left is a scar. But yes, there will still be a scar.
Now some of us have bigger scars than others; our wounds cut us so deep. Sometimes our hearts even broke.
But it's my blood pumping through my heart, and I'll be damned if somebody's gonna break my heart and run off with it like that's the end of me.
Even if it's my mother.
Hell, even if it's both my mothers.
She and I--we're redeeming each other, I tell you. (That's different than saving, by the way.)
I've gone about my life competing with myself, excelling at everything I put my mind to. But it still wasn't enough. Why be cut-throat and competitive with everyone else when your worst critic and competitor is well, you? I could forever count on that voice in the back of my head to push me further every time because it was always telling me I wasn't worth anything, I wasn't trying hard enough, I wasn't lovable, I was a failure, I was stupid, I was ugly, I was a joke of a human being, I actually thought, good god: I must've been one hell of a bad baby.
People love to say this to adoptees:
She loved you so much she gave you to someone else so you could have a better life.
Let me tell you how I feel about that statement:
Please stop saying it, just stop. Love does not equal abandonment. Ever. Don't even bring love into it. She loved me, let's leave it at that. Let's not try to rationalize the god awful situation she or any other birthmother found themselves in and had to get out of or was told to get out of and call it love. Let's just call it the craptastic situation that it is and how everybody involved was simply trying to make the best of it.
So how am I feeling, you ask?
I feel alive.
More alive than I ever have. My wound is old. My wound is fresh. My wound is hidden. But my scar is here to stay.
That weight on my back, that god awful weight, it's gone. I'm not joking. The huge scab criss-crossed into my heart is peeling and that scar is there forever, but I can only describe all of this--all of these feelings---they make me feel more alive than I've ever felt. I have some strange newfound energy and meaning and drive. A new sense of worth and power and beauty and light surround me.
Today M told me she never stopped thinking about me. That's important for a birthmother---nay, a mother to tell her child:
You matter to me no matter what. Don't ever stop saying that to your kids.
No matter the situation. No matter the time. No matter what.