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We do not know what we want and yet we are responsible for what we are – that is the fact.

10 Mar

Today the sky was a vicious blue, and the air was still. Nothing moved for a moment as I stood at an icy corner, waiting. A pause in a season, to catch it’s sense of self perhaps, shake March a little, like a snowglobe. Winter and spring fighting for their places.

It’s that blue that breaks the tempo after a long winter-the blue that reminds you that all things change, all things come around, nothing, ever, lasts forever.

“…developed a cancer growth in the large intestinal track. The doctor successfully removed a piece of the intestine that had the growth, so all should be well soon.”

In the mail, a letter from my sorta step-grandmother-the woman married to my blood grandfather. The letter came inside a birthday card for Rosalyn, attached to a check. “Don’t worry” it says.

My adoptive mother died of cancer.

My biological grandmother died of cancer.

My biological grandfather has cancer.

Yeah, I’m not worried. Not one bit. Not me, who muttered “well, at least I’m probably in HIS will.”

I’d slap myself for being so crass if it would make a difference.

Thing is, I don’t know how to feel. This man is my family-his blood runs in my veins, my face, briefly, resembles his, the shy smile, the height. I’m his granddaughter-his first born granddaughter, and I can smell the guilt from him a mile away. I’d like to believe it’s not guilt, but love, or at least like. But I’d also like to believe I’ll have a pony and a beach house someday.

He and my grandmother were truly the only people in my biological family who seemed to truly care, who unlike my birth mother, didn’t just throw money in my face to try and fix some perceived slight, 20 years old. My grandparents were the only ones who seemed to truly want to help, to know me. They were the only ones I cared to know, the only two in a large family seemingly disinterested in material’s or money in the bank. The only two who didn’t seem wrapped up in themselves.

My grandmother died, fast, of cancer rocketing through her body. I was 7 months pregnant with Vivian the last time I spoke to her, excited to be carrying their first grandchild, excited to give them that. She told me about everyone else’s problems, told me how proud she was of my half-sister.

She left out the part about the cancer eating her from the inside. She lived 3 weeks past the day Vivian was born. She never knew her name. They told me later that she didn’t want to upset me.

I didn’t cry-what was there to cry for? A body that is technically like mine, DNA I could mimic, follow home? But nothing beyond that point-nothing to say, nothing in common, our lives so very different for only being 40 minutes apart while I grew up.

40 minutes. That’s all that separates a life from another.

My grandmother was one of the coolest people I’ve ever met. But I didn’t know her, and I didn’t feel entitled to grief.

I was not included on the death announcement, still just another hidden secret to be ashamed of.

So to see, on paper, the words that could likely turn into him dying, I just wish I had never looked. I unfriended my half-sister on Facebook since the last time I spoke to her she was, frankly, a bit of a bitch, and how do you explain anything to a 21 year old with a single vision? You don’t.

This man is the last link I have to a family that never wanted me, and has never even tried to fill in the blanks for me, never tried to be there. My birth mother has come and gone at will, rejecting me, pushing away. Occasionally an aunt sends a gift, a letter, then nothing. I sit here wondering if this is what family feels like, and if it is, why anyone bothers? I have more family in my father than I have in that entire group of people.

If my grandfather dies, when he dies, It will bring home how close I am to being an orphan, a story I could avoid telling myself for years. I thought finding my birth family would help me close the holes in my heart, help me move on with life.

It’s done nothing but wound me slowly since the day it happened. The farther I get away from it, the more I wish I had never, ever looked.

All I ever wanted was a family to love me, a normal family that wasn’t broken or strained or lying to itself. Meeting these people at 19 was a lesson well learned, one that continues even now.

Carry Me

25 Sep

Did she hold me now? Three hours ago? 12? Did they leave me in her room, snuffling, comatose little child beside her as colostrum poured from her breasts? Did she look out the window, perhaps at the rain, as they wheeled me away from her 17 year old unfinished hands, clutching at her elbows as she suddenly felt emptier than ever? Was I alone, screaming in a room, my echoes covered by those of a multitude of other lives I’d never touch again, their mothers waiting in their rooms, warmed by the slow engorging of their breasts, the blissed tiredness of their labours?

Did I know she had left me? Did my small trembling fists know what had happened, that she had signed a paper releasing me from her, just another cord to slice through? Did I feel the gulf then, as I do now, wavering and shimmering, a golden forest of time, of pressure, of regret between us.

Does she think of me today, now? Does she drink the beer she drank for years, not knowing, or is she at peace, knowing I survived, knowing that I have grown strong and tall, if not a little knicked and torn in place?

Did she love me, ever?

**************************************

Do you love your mother
The way I love mine
Expecting nothing of her
’cause she was changing all the time
I couldn’t take my mother
And I’ll never hate my home
But I learned to rock myself child
And get on

Do you feel your mother
The way I feel mine
I tried to change the nature
But now I like it ’cause it’s mine
And I let you love me up
And I let you bring me home
And I could go away
But I don’t wanna

I don’t wanna be too smart
I don’t wanna talk too fast
I don’t wanna look too precious
First impressions never last
There’s always complications
Weird vibrations
Frustrations
Have patience

Do you love your mother
’cause God I love mine
In a dream she let me love her
Gotta hand it to my mind
In case you never meet her
I’ll tell you what it is
She was lonely like a woman
But she was just a kid

Oh mama
What are ya doin’
Yeah yeah yeah
Ooohhh
Shit
Carry me

**************************

Today I turned 31 at around 2:15am. And it hit me, mid afternoon, that I’ve never known when my mother said good-bye to me, when the finality of all she had done and decided had hit, when she last touched me, held my fingers. I’ve never known, and when I met my biological mother, I was too young to think of these things, to young to understand the heartbreak of saying goodbye to your first born.

All my life, I have felt lonely on my birthday. I have always craved as much fuss and bother as I could get, and rarely, if ever, have had it. I figured this had much more to do with losing my adoptive mother than with being adopted. But what if? What if a body retains that initial abandonment, what if it remembers that hand leaving, tears trailing, months of unwillingness swirling in the womb. What if the body remembers what the brain dare not?

I don’t much like my biological mother. Or much of my biological family for that matter. Blood isn’t thicker than water in my case. But when I met her, I wanted, more than anything, to find a mother, my mother. I wanted to be embraced, welcomed. I wasn’t, not as I needed, and perhaps finding her at 18 wasn’t the best of ideas, but there was something poetic about meeting her around the age of when she lost me. I couldn’t grasp the enormity of it-bearing life at that age!

I’m sure it hardened her. She told me that for years, she would get stinking drunk on my birthday, wondering where I was, how I was, and that the year she found me, that was the first time she didn’t have to drink herself to sleep, wondering. Turns out I was 40 minutes down the road after all, blissfully ignorant in the arms of two parents who loved me more than I could wish. But she never told me how it all felt, how long her labour was, how scared she had been, if she saw me, or if they took me before she could.

My narrative is incomplete. I feel the echoes of that part of my life, my beginning on every birthday. It no longer hurts, I don’t know if it ever did. But it was a space yearning to be filled, a place that will likely never know fullness. A place to honor what she gave, the arms she left barren, the people who she gave such joy to.

Happy Birth Day to you Mother. I hope your womb has healed.

On Facebook, nobody hears you cry.

7 Nov

Or at least I hope so.

I have an adopted family (who I consider my “real” family) and my biological family. I was given up for adoption as an infant by a teenage mother.

When I was 18, my biological family found me.

It was a crazy time. I received the call shortly after Christmas, during my last year of high school. At first I was happy-I finally would get to know who I looked like, who I took after, why I have these giant eyebrows.

But with time, came confusion. Resentment. Weirdness. The summer after I graduated from high school, my biomother wanted me to stay with her for a few months. I had just fallen in love, I couldn’t think of anything I wanted to do less. I didn’t fit in with this family. They were all clean cut, sports loving Nike wearing preppy people. I had green hair and army boots. These people who were my people, were not my people.

I didn’t stay the summer. And things only got more and more strained. When I was married the following April, the entire family came for it. And yet acted like it was a huge imposition on them to do so. I appreciated the gesture, but if it was done because it “had” to be done, I would have rather they didn’t do it at all.

Later that year, after sporadic, halting conversations, I received a birthday card, unsigned from my biomother.

After that I gave up. It was obvious to me that contact was not desired.

The worst part of this was that I have a sister, a half sister. A sister who was absolutely thrilled to have a big sister, who obviously adored me. And I kinda liked her. She was a cool kid-curious, bright, smart. Hanging out with her was pretty fun, despite her being only 10.

Not being able to explain to her why I no longer called or wrote bothered me. But I figured my biomother wouldn’t let me communicate with her anyway. From time to time I’d think of her, wonder how she was.

When I was pregnant with Vivian, my brother managed to make contact with my family. He mentioned I was pregnant with their first grandchild. My grandmother called me, and we spoke. She was excited. Everyone was doing well.

3 weeks after Vivian was born, my grandmother died of cancer, cancer which she knew about, and said nothing when I spoke with her.

I again had sporadic contact with my biomother, but she was so absolute in her grief-and I understood this. In a way, she understood me better too. She left her phone number, but I never could call. I just didn’t have it in me. All the hurts, and hopes, all the things I tried to block myself off from. They’d come back on the phone.

So once more, we drifted apart. I hear from my aunts occasionally, and my grandfather sends money for the girls, but other than that, I have no contact.

But then one day on Facebook, I find my half sister. My finger hovered over the “Add as Friend” button for awhile. The worst I figured, was that she’d ignore me, deny me.

She didn’t.

For the last few weeks, we’ve been having a slow moving, cautious conversation. Two people who should know each other, but don’t. Two people with a history that differs on each side.

Today she told me she’s being careful with me because it hurt so much when she was a kid-one day I was there, and then I wasn’t, and I hurt her.

I hurt someone. I hurt my sister.

I can tell her that I’m sorry. I can tell her how fucked up my life was then, how I was only 18, 20 years old, and confused and lost. I can tell her how hard it is to watch someone who is your mother not be your mother, as they cuddle and hug your sister. I can tell her again and again that I’m sorry.

But it won’t remove a hurt I caused almost unwittingly 10 years ago. She was so excited to finally have a sibling-my biomother told me that she was always begging for a sibling, and that I was her wish come true.

I wish that had meant more to me at 20.

I want to make this up to her. I want her to be in her nieces life, to know them. They are part of her. More, I want to know her. I want the relationship that the fucked up mess of whatever with my biomother prevented. She says her mother was protecting her from what went on, and I’m left wondering what she thinks that is.

Sometimes, I think not knowing, and never finding out, is preferable to answering some questions.

“Writing is easy. All you do is stare at a blank sheet of paper until drops of blood form on your forehead.”

4 Sep

I write to void myself of the thoughts I cannot bear to keep.

My mother seizing off her bed on a cool April morning.

Pictures of me, naked as a child on someone’s bedroom wall.

My father, drunk at 2am, pissing on my bedroom door, and the loathing I felt as I swore and screamed at him, my sympathy defeated by my fatigue with life.

Burying my mother. A coffin in the hard ground, my sobbing echoing across the gravestones. The tears I cried at that grave.

Realizing I wasn’t what my biological mother wanted or needed in a daughter.

Watching someone murder kittens, being too young to know how to stop him. Being so desperate for contact, some sort of friendship that I likely wouldn’t have stopped him if I could have.

Realizing a friend was trying to kill herself, listening to her life drip from her mouth on the phone. Getting there just in time. Explaining to a friend’s 3 year old sister why Gisele was in the hospital, and why I was crying.

Crying. So many tears. So much time, lost and wasted. So many years I spent tired and sad, wrapped up in the memories of days I cannot change, people I cannot affect, events I cannot alter. I cannot take my innocence back, I cannot wipe clean those pictures. I cannot erase the hundreds of little ways to grieving, lonely people hurt each other. I cannot take back my stupidity or helplessness. I cannot be strong enough.

Slowly, I begin to realize I never could be.

I write because my life begs to be written. Because my life should serve as something more than a reason for me to be depressed or angry. Because lessons learned should be shared.

Because I cannot stop myself.

ppasept07button.jpg

Dear Mom

12 May

I’m hungover today, a sure sign that Dad has gone for the summer. We had a great night, but now? My head hurts. But that’s ok, since both of my daughters are giggling madly.

It’s a dark cold morning. It’s been warm all week, but suddenly, the clouds roll in and the sun hides and I find myself tongue-tied, at a loss for words that mean anything more than what I ate for breakfast (veggie dogs, lemon yogurt and berries, if you’re wondering. I can’t eat eggs, and I crave protein in the morning)

Mom, would you have an opinion on everything I do? My brother does, chastising me for us not having a car, despite me explaining the 500+ we save each month, despite my desire to not exhale crap everyday on the earth because I’m too lazy to walk or take the bus. Would you find it so odd that I can’t eat certain foods, and have to make up for it somewhere else? That my inability to digest things leads me to eat safe, crappy food? That your daughter is digustingly fat, and feeling increasingly sullen and lost about it? The weight piles on without effort, seemingly spun from the air. Counting calories makes my head hurt. Mom, I’m just so fucking lost with it all.

Should I stop taking my pills? I don’t think they’re helping. I don’t feel like I can get the help I need unless I take all my pills, all at once. I’ve been feeling this lately, increasingly, as I notice my life is almost worse than it was before. I’m failing at everything I touch, and I’m losing the words to put it into perspective.

Mom, I dreampt of zombies last night, again. It’s always fucking zombies, and me running, trying to avoid becoming swept into a world that I rise against, that I refuse to become part of. The mindless gibbering masses, blindly spending money to fit in, however that is. (And hell, the stuff I did at 16 to NOT fit in people do now to FIT in. How in the HELL can someone rebel now? Eat a dog raw?) I woke up scared and wanting to escape. Trapped in a corner, I could not escape being devoured by something simpler and yet stronger than I. Something worse.

I thought I was happy-I thought I had finally figured out the secret, found the switch but fuck hasn’t someone hidden it again. I’m tired of this Mom. I’m tired of being unhappy, of being tired and sad and short-tempered and mad and useless. Ugly. I’m tired of fighting with medications, trying to get a doctor to understand that yes, weight gain and sexual dysfunction IS a FUCKING BIG DEAL. I’m so tired of feeling disconnected, lost, unmotivated.

Somedays Mom, I’m tired of being alive. I hate myself so much somedays that I so want to die. I want the waves of life and death to spin me from my own grasp, and take me away. And I hate myself even more for believing in taking the easy way. I mean shit, you waited for us as babies, you watched us grow, you tried to hang on through the cancer. And I can’t even get excited over the things you wanted so much. I take it so much for granted, and I wish I couldn’t, wish that I didn’t. But I know no other way. I do not know how to enjoy being alive for longer than a few months.

I hate this. It’s eating me alive, this “disorder” this chaos and I’m lost within it. WHo the fuck am I? Did I know as a child? Did I have a personality that didn’t change from day to day? Was I even nice to anyone? I know that other people are suffering more than I, in many many ways, and that what’s happened to me, and what goes on in my head is nothing in comparision. So why do I still want to not exist? It’s that numb too-I don’t want to off myself. I just want to not wake up, to not be weighed down by all of this life that hates me so.

See, if I look at things from a biological standpoint, eventually my line of crazy will kill itself off. So maybe then I won’t have existed at all?

I hate even more the idea that my children will have this, that they will sit, 15 years from now, talking, dreaming about not being alive. About no longer suffering this obscure petulant shame and sadness. That they will wish they were never born. I wish that sometimes, and I know you’d hate it. But everytime I see one of those pro-life “save a life, your mom did!” signs I think, “Why? Why did she bother with it? What possible difference have I made on a grand scale?”

I’ve caused heartache and suffering. I’ve hurt people, accidentally almost, the way bipolar folk can. I’ve made my life into a shambles I don’t recognize. (Shouldn’t I have finished university? Done something with my life?) I tell myself that raising children is this great job, but I lie.

I fucking hate it. I fucking hate the mindnumbing boredom and irritation that it brings. The constant struggle I have to not lose my mind and spend the day screaming at them. I end up eating instead, eating cause I’m bored, mad, sad, upset. Can’t get out and run the shit off me-can’t get far with two small kids. I can’t get anything for me in that regard-there’s no time. So maybe I should stop eating instead. Something has to give.

Mom, I hate this. I hate it. I don’t know how to change it. I wish I was someone else.

Happy Mother’s Day.

9 Years Ago

18 Apr

Two weird kids got married, and then got totally trashed for 3 days. (We drank the absinthe I made if I remember right) You had new tattoos on both wrists the day before-you joked that it looked like you tried to kill yourself. It sorta did.

No one seemed happy to be there-instead, it was like an obligation. My biological family especially. No one asked them to all come. I would have preferred my name on my grandmother’s obituary 6 years later to validate me. My father only asked if I was sure-told me he didn’t agree with marrying that young, and wished me happiness, as it was my life.

I changed into army pants for the reception at that bar-that grubby sports bar. Your friends played their own music, we got drunk on free beer, and received 3 steamers as gifts. We held knives to each other’s neck in the pictures, smashed icing into ears. My favorite picture is when we’re talking to each other, and someone took a picture, unknown.

I looked so happy then. So happy to be with you.

I still am. I love you baby.

mobius.jpg

Gettin’ On.

16 Mar

I recently read an essay which talked about how being a new mother who retained her sex drive wasn’t something you could admit to. Every other mother complains about her lack of libido, how can you mention anything? They’d likely think you were lying.

I had zero issue with my libido after Vivian was born. Within 2 weeks we were back in the game. Sure we were tired, but it was really important to reconnect in that way. But as the author of the essay had mentioned, I never saw my experience mirrored anywhere. Exactly the opposite-I saw most sites, and women, talking about how it was insane that their men would expect them to want it again so soon after birth! What an imposition their partners were placing on them!

I was desperate to have that kind of loving embrace once more-I was touched out when it came to the baby, but I was missing the adult loving touch of my husband. I didn’t find the thought of sex repugnant-rather I found the idea of not wanting my husband around repugnant-I craved him even more after giving birth. I craved the familar valleys of his back and face, the softness of his hands. I craved his arms.

But look around-you don’t see many mother’s talking about their desire for their husbands after birth. And to be sure, in many cases, this is due to breastfeeding, but I don’t see experiences like mine reflected back at me. Surely the author of that essay and myself are not the only two women who wanted to get it on so soon after birth. Even my doctor shot up an eyebrow when at my 6 week visit, I mentioned within 2 weeks we’d “resumed” our activites.

Am I not trusted to know when my body is ready? Should I have placed myself in seclusion from my husband, from the father of my child? Is it so wrong to want to run into his arms, instead of away from them after birth?

I love my husband. After giving birth, despite my misgivings, I looked at my husband and thought “I LOVE him. With everything I am, I LOVE him.” That love coursed through my body like electricity, and gave me peace. That same love wanted to manifest itself physically, wanted to be let loose. Am I wrong to have followed that desire to it’s logical conclusion? Despite 8 years of marriage, I am still as attracted to him as I was when we first met, possibly even more. So why is the popular refrain after birth one of moaning and groaning and whining? Why can’t mother’s be life givers as well as passionate sexual beings?

Can we not be both?

Why is this so rarely spoken of? Why is it such a secret? We willingly spill the beans about many items of our lives, and yet I doubt that I hear many women honestly speaking, online or off, about their post partum sexual experiences. Are women too afraid to admit that yes, they desired their partners? Or am I really alone here?

What did I do to cause this?

20 Feb

Rosalyn was not a pretty baby.

She wasn’t, really. For the first few months of her life, she looked sad, and mean. Vivian on the other hand, came out of the womb smiling. She was the happiest baby you would ever meet.

During my first pregnancy, with Vivian, I smoked. A lot. I freely admit it, and feel badly about it. I wait for the shoe to drop on the good health Vivian has had so far. But I was happy through that pregnancy-scared yes, bewildered and nervous about the entire thing, but happy, mostly.

My second pregnancy was an entirely different story.

For the first few months I wanted to abort, tried a few “natural” ways to abort, which didn’t work. I didn’t have the money or the transportation to another city for an abortion, and I couldn’t bear the thought of riding a greyhound bus home after having the potential of a child sucked from me. Then I started thinking about what would happen if we did abort, and then, later on, we couldn’t have anymore. So we kept the pregnancy, which I was convinced was a boy until about 6 months when suddenly something changed, and I knew it was a girl.

But through that pregnancy was my slow descent into near madness. I was crotchety, I was mean, I was vile. Everyone around me was fair game. I alienated most of the people I worked with, and some still stay distant from me. I had to leave work earlier than I would have liked because I was worried I’d get myself fired. I was that kind of foul.

I cried for no reason. I was mad at people for no reason. I’d turn on a dime. Stories of children being abused, the holocaust, anything like that could set me off for hours. I couldn’t watch the footage of the tsunami. It was just too much.

oh, the things I wish I had known.

I didn’t know there was bipolar disorder in my biological family. My PPD after Vivian, while scary, was brief compared to what was to come. I had no idea my world was unravelling. I figured it was just hormones. My eating was out of control, and I gained about 40 pounds that I still can’t get off (and that the anti-depressants and freaking cold weather aren’t helping either)

Rosalyn seemed to me a hard baby to love. She was unattractive. She wasn’t cute, or dainty-we nicknamed her ‘Gigantor” and she was. She seemed to not like her mother either.

So I sit here, at work, staring at their baby pictures wondering how much of their personalities in the first few weeks of life are based on the mother’s emotional state? I’ve always wondered if my quiet sense that everyone will eventually leave me or somehow screw me over stems from my first abandonment by my birth mother, and the constant knowledge when she was pregnant that I would not stay with her. Could she have become attached, or would she have been like I was with Ros-refusing to think happily about the child to come, difficult to rouse to any state of happiness.

Today it’s still true that Vivian is “sunny” while Rosalyn is more like her mother. Ros doesn’t smile for no reason, whereas Vivian is constantly smiling (when she isn’t talking) What could I have done to Rosalyn? Was I responsible for making her unhappy, and unattractive and therefore harder to love as a newborn? Could I have stopped it?

I can find so little on the onset of bipolar during pregnancy, and that’s what I’m convinced happened to me. Something triggered a disorder which I had previously been coping with to move into over drive. It almost killed me. Now I find myself wondering what it did to Rosalyn as well.

What’s past is past, but I can’t help but wonder-does anyone have children that seem to ‘represent” their general overall emotional state when pregnant?

Hidden sadness doesn’t lie

12 Feb

I’m not sad anymore.

I’m not much of anything. Attaining any type of release lately is well nigh impossible. I’m blocked. It’s like when you have a cold, and you try and try to blow your nose, and your godamn sinus cavities will not give it up, and you make that lame “snrtk” noise and give up.

My emotions, as well as other things, are like that right now. It’s the most frustrating thing.

You’d think I’d be happy-I haven’t really cried in weeks, aside from a few stray tears when I was really upset about something. I haven’t felt that pressure in my chest, that heaving sadness prelude to crying. I haven’t felt my heart fill up either. But my dreams-they’re another matter.

All night last night, I dreampt I was crying-really crying-sobbing, death sobs. In the dream I had found a box that contained all the answers to my life, pictures from when I was born, the time between birth and adoption, written memories from both my biological parents. The words of my dead birth father. I cried to have it, I cried to open it, and I cried even harder to know what it contained.

Can I only cry in my dreams now? Is that all that’s left to me? Has Celexa robbed me of normal feelings along with the urge to off myself? To outside appearances, I’m actually normal-relatively social, friendly, not so cranky. But I don’t feel like me inside-I feel like it’s just become easy to fake it, to pretend that I’m someone I’m not.

I do not like this sam I am.

I woke up exhausted, couldn’t get out of bed. The Dorf was upset that I made him get up, was cranky and yelly with the kids. But how do I explain all of this when I’m barely coherent, unable to move, paralyzed by this hidden sadness that I cannot vent? I can’t help but feel that Celexa hasn’t removed the problem, it’s merely covered it up and stashed it somewhere, ready to spring at the worst moment.

In my dream I held myself, grinning in a photograph, holding my infant self. What am I clinging so tightly to?

So this is where I resolve, right?

31 Dec

Since it’s Dec 31 for the next few hours, I guess this is where the requisite ‘year in review” post should go.

But it was just another year in the life of someone with kids, really. Time moved too fast, my ass shrank too slowly, and I read far too few books. Instead of asking what I did with the year, I’d like to ask where it went.

Sure, I know where the days have gone. I just wonder if there’s a box somewhere that holds all the time that’s slipped through my fingers, that I can cash in later in life. During my daughters pregnancies, or in case someone I love becomes terminal with something.

I spent the year paranoid, and anxious, and equally joyous and in love. I was diagnosed as “crazy” (also known as Bipolar II). I learned that just maybe, my fuckups are not my fault, at least not in total. I’m just as confused at who “me” is, me as a mother, me as a wife, me as a person. But I’ve found some vague acceptance of all of it, of my ass, my batwingy arms (dear gawd no!) and my life as a mother.

Being a mother has by far been the biggest mindfuck of my life. I still look at myself and wonder who let me have children! And keep them! I look at other families, and I can say yes, those are adults. I can’t say that about us. And while I can’t find what “niche” to call me, I can still be comfortable being who I am as a mother which, if I think about it, if much, much more important.

I’ve resolved the guilt I’ve held over my Post Partum Depression. It was NOT my fault. I am not less of a mother, or a woman, because of it. I did not kill my daughter. I will have no more. But it wasn’t my fault either, and was the gift horse that led to my diagnosis.

I love my family-for once in my life, I can truly say I love my husband and my daughters with this enormous surge of emotion I can hardly control. I have accepted love, and allowed myself to give it. It’s been the scariest thing I’ve ever done. But I did it.

Damn I’m good. 🙂

I have my troubles still. the entire month of December was an exercise in distraction, and I don’t know why. I worry continually that I’ll lose my job. I can’t moderate my eating habits in spite of my mood swings. I still don’t know how to sew.

I’ve made friends in the computer-all of you, and for once, I feel like I CAN make friends. Of course, i’m terrible at commenting on a regular basis, and I likely say all the wrong things. But I can count “meeting” all of you as one of the highlights of this year.

I’ll be 30 this year.  My birthmother would have likely just have noticed she was pregnant with me 30 years ago. I would not have even quickened at this point. Hell, in all likelihood, I was concieved on New Years. I don’t know. But I wonder tonight about the women who gave me away. And I raise my glass to her. I do not hate her, I do not love her. I accept her. And that’s all she can ask for, really.

Every year takes me farther away from childhood, from becoming, from loss, from a life so vastly different. More and more, I learn that this isn’t necessarily a bad thing. To everything there’s a season after all.

I figure this year, my summer finally starts.

Happy New Year all. I hope it’s a good one.

Dragonfly

22 Nov

When I was a little girl, I was petrified of dragonflies. They were so big and scary, and always seemed to head straight for my eyes. I spent summers terrified of those giant bugs. To a 4 year old, they’re rather large.

One day my father held a dazed dragonfly in his hands-it was nearing the end of summer, the days were cooler, and it was obvious it was dying. “Look!” he said “It’s beautiful! And you’ve been scared silly of it this whole time. They’re so gentle, and it won’t hurt you. There’s nothing to be afraid of!”

It was green and blue and lovely. It’s wings were delicate, and perfect. It was a harmless, beautiful creature.

———————————————————-

I do grieve for the mothers I will never have. I grieve for the moments I have lost, twice. I grieve for the person I have never had the chance to become. There are days when I want to scream at the world that it’s a fucker, and I want what’s mine. I want a mother. I want someone in my life who will let me be a little girl, who will allow me to be delicate and beautiful. I grieve for the little girl who has never really had her mother, who has needed to forge a path in motherhood out of make believe, words and air. I grieve for what my mother’s have lost, for what they shall never have.

I shouldn’t be angry, and I am. I should get over it, and get past it, but something prevents me. Something holds me in thrall to this, to wanting to know who I am, and why I am so rejectable. Why every person who’s been in my life will eventually reject me somehow. I should move past all of this and allow the few people who do allow me in their life to hold me there. But I distrust even them. I await their scorn.

My biological family never wanted me. They likely still don’t, only feeling guilt towards me, some sense of “make it right”. I’ve spent my life feeling rejected and never wanted, and have always wondered how much of that originates in that initial rejection, some knowledge that the arms that held me were not the ones meant to hold me, some vague inkling of the breasts drying up, unused. I’ve always sat in corners, trying to blend away.

I don’t want to be angry, or sad, or upset by this. I just want it to disappear, to be away, to have never happened. To be someone else’s story. I want someone else to be broken, and I want my life to be disgustingly easy and well adjusted.

I want what I cannot have. And always will.

————————————————

Awhile back, Vivian and I found an incredible saphirre blue dragonfly, dead on the ground. It was perfect. She picked it up gently, examining it, petting it.

“It’s so pretty Mommy. But he’s dead and it’s sad.”

We set him lightly on the grass, to be eaten and carried away as we all are, eventually.

She wasn’t ever scared. Not even for a second.

Go forth, and forget

21 Nov

I spent most of last night thinking about the responses everyone gave to me in regards to my birthmother. Many of you had good points. Some of you made me cry, because it made me realize that this entire process has hurt me more than I have ever admitted to myself.

My birthmother gave me up, years later searched for me, found me, and rejected me yet again.

I’d have to be pretty cold to think that wouldn’t fucking hurt. Because frankly, it does.

I don’t have a right to that anger though. I don’t have the right to believe for one second that she would have taken any place in my heart, or my life. I don’t have any right to expect or want from her. I have no rights to her.

When I first met her, my father took her into his office to talk to her alone. I’ve never found out what he told her, but in my mind I imagine it was something along the lines of “Do not break my daughter’s heart. It’s barely together as it is.”

What he didn’t realize is that it broke my heart to do the one thing I had to do-I needed to know who my people were, who my blood were.  It broke me to pieces to leave him alone and likely wondering that day. And it broke me to be so alone in the midst of all these people who wanted me, wanted to know me, only to discover I was nothing like them.

There’s a level in me that craves that acceptance, a place where, for all my talk of being the outsider, the freak, the weirdo who never got beat up only because of her sheer bulk, a place that wants the numbing stillness of being the same. I have never belonged. Being aware of my adoption from day one also made me vividly aware one thing-I am NOT like these people. I was thirsty for someone like me my entire life.

But these people, my mother, even my half sister who looked so much like I did as a child, they are not me. They never will be. They are a road, a diversion I never took, a place I could have been, someone with another name who died when my own parents found me, took me home, signed the papers for my new name. That girl on the first birth certificate-she no longer exists. She never really did. She’s a figment, as much as the person I once pretended to really be when lonely in my backyard, making stories up for a past. I was never a princess from another planet. I was never Patricia either.

Where ever this road takes me, however much contact I have with any of my family, I would never not find out. I needed to know where I was from. I needed to see the hands that bore me, the body that help me, cradled, for 9 months, the mother that would not be. But to see her holding my half sister, with all the love in the world in her eyes, love that will never ever burn for me-I cannot do this anymore. I’m spent. I know what I needed, and the realization is dawning that I don’t need them anymore.

Perhaps I never really did.

An email, a letter, and a question.

20 Nov

Awhile back I received a card from my biological grandfather, as detailed here. I sent a letter back with pictures of the girls. I asked about my father’s side of the family. I asked about mental illness, or any illness in the family. I put my neck out there, explaining I want my daughters to know their family. It might be important someday.

I received nothing back until an email sitting in my inbox last night. With pictures of people I cannot find myself in.

I took a very deep breath, calmed the jitters, and read.

I don’t know why I get so jittery, other than the fact that the people who should embrace me, who should want me around as I am one of them, they don’t. I get nervous, and shaky, and want to cry.

The fact of the matter is, my own mother doesn’t seem to want anything to do with me. My aunt is the one making contact this time. not my mother, who’s email address has never changed, who I have sent numerous message to. If she had ever said “I don’t want you in my life” I would have left her alone, I would never have emailed her again.

This bothers me more than it should. Why would she ignore me? Why can she not be bothered to answer an email? Doesn’t she own me that much? Does she own me anything?

Or is she still angry that I am not the little girl she thought she’d find?

More later….I’m still all weird about this sudden contact.

Mother Mother, are you listening?

9 Nov

I have a mom, and a mother.

My Mom is dead, long gone to the rot of cancer in her breasts. My mother, the woman whose heart I rested under for 9 months, does not speak to me. She bore me a sister I never see as well.  Perhaps she once loved me, somehow, somewhere.

I was watching the rain on the bus last night and thinking how I have 2 mothers, and yet I have none. I float alone as a woman, with no guides, no mentors, just me, trying to pick my way through, decide how I shall be a mother.

I meditated on the subtle difference between “Mom” and “Mother”

My mother birthed me, suffered my kicks and punches, held me briefly. My Mom wiped my tears from my eyes, hid my presents on birthday mornings, talked to me about how I was soon to become a woman. She never got to finish that conversation, yet I remember the camisole with the wolf eyes I loved so much.

My mother signed papers to relinquish me to the arms of another woman. My Mom’s arms gladly, joyfully filled that void. My Mom’s hands held me, pinned me into patterns, showed me how to do my nails. My mother moved on with her life, somehow.

I think about both of them daily. I think of who I would have been with either of them in my life, or both of them. I think of how different of a woman I would be for their influence, instead of being molded by their lack of being, by the void they have left in my life.

My Mom had to leave. My mother had the chance to be part of my life again, and refused.

The rain doesn’t give me any answers I didn’t already have. I have become a mother, and a Mom. I set my own example now.

To you who searched “my birthmother hates me”

26 Oct

You made me cry this morning, first thing at work as I stared at those words in my referrers list. It was stark, and hard, that combination, the simple sadness of it, the anger too.

I doubt she hates you. Not the “you” that thinks about where the universe ends, and where good food hides when you’re hungry. The “you” she doesn’t like is the one who took over her body, possibly the you who caused her parents to treat her like a thing, demand she give you up. Maybe the you she hates is the one she sees in herself. What she could have been. Where she could have gone.

How different her life could have been, if only, if only.

Do not take her words, or your impressions, to guide your life. She was only the vessel. She did not teach you to read, kiss your cuts and sores, hold you when your heart broke. She did not explain why life isn’t fair. She didn’t hold you through the night when sick, or handle 3 months of colic.

She’s not there now, when you sit up late at night, wondering what to do with your children, how to make them who you want them to be. She’s not there when you wonder why your hands are as they are, or why you cramp just so.

She’s not there.

She doesn’t hate you, she hates the idea of you, who you represent, everything she has lost, who she thought you would be. She hates your choice in wife or husband.  She hates your perfume.

She only hates as much of you as she’s allowed. So take it back.

Yellow Submarine

18 Aug

So I get a card in the mail yesterday from my biological grandfather, a cute little card with a submarine on it. It has a check and a note about “missing” some dates, and buy the girls something, and give them a hug and a kiss for him.

This after hearing nothing for almost 2 years from any members of my biological family.

Have I ever explained that situation?

I was born to parents who were 17 & 18 years old. My biological grandparents moved across the country while my mother was pregnant with me, only moving home when she was near birth (as far as I know-no one was very clear on that story). I was given up for adoption, and I don’t believe my mother was really terribly happy about it.

I was adopted by a couple who couldn’t have children, who lived 45 minutes away. Ironically, my adoptive mother, who later died of breast cancer, had her chemotherapy treatments in the hospital I was born in. But I didn’t know that then.

My adoptive mother died in 1989, when I was 11. (and ironically enough, my biological father died that same year in some work related accident) Yes, I am aware that there is far too much irony going on today.

When I was 17, I decided to attend a ParentFinders meeting, with my father’s blessing, and my brother’s annoyance. My brother has never wanted to find his parents, despite the urging of our father, who believes you need to know where you came from.

I put the info I had on a list, my “number” and the birth name that I had. Patricia Lynn C.
After much thought, I decided I wasn’t ready for the possibility of meeting my birth family, and I stopped attending meetings. I never removed my information however.

A week after Christmas, I receive a phone call asking me if I’m sitting down.

“Your mother is looking for you.”

She called me shortly afterwards. The only thing I remember from that conversation was her asking me what color my hair was, and me joking that it really depended on the day. She was blonde, and had spent the past years searching for a little blonde girl who looked like her when she walked around.

She cried, talking to me, tears that I think caused more from relief that I turned out ok, and was real and alive and bore her no ill will.

So I spent some time shuttling between her house and my father’s, and meeting the four million relatives I suddenly had.

In hindsight, I’m not surprised I had tension headaches. My father started drinking again after I met my mother, something I hated myself for. Meeting my biological family only made things worse.

I fell in love with the Dorf that spring, and refused to spend the summer with my mother. I don’t think she ever forgave me that. That Christmas, she was very sick, and I remember telling myself I couldn’t do that again-I couldn’t become emotionally involved and lose another mother. I’d lost her once. I wouldn’t survive another time.

So we drifted, and now, have sporatic contact. My brother had initially told them of my pregnancy with Vivian when he ran into a relative of mine. My grandmother called the May before I had Vivian, and we spoke, and she was glad to be a great-grandmother, and I was sad to not be closer.

What she didn’t tell me was she was dying of terminal cancer, as her mother had. She had months left, and died shortly after Vivian was born.

My mother and I fell into contact again, in a manner of speaking. Neither of us ever called the other, and I don’t know why. She had pictures of Vivian, and now Rosalyn, because I don’t mean to burn a bridge. I send Christmas cards with updates. But they aren’t involved.

So to receive a card from my grandfather (who is REALLY cool btw) is odd, and strikes me as some measure to alleviate his own guilt. I wish my girls knew, I wish I could get to know him better. I wish to have more than a surprise 100.00 in a card every few years.