birthmother

All posts in the birthmother category

Another Dead Mother

Published May 17, 2017 by maryleesdream

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAMy co worker’s mother died a few days ago.  Some of us from work went to the wake.  Jill’s mother looked beautiful, laid out in the casket, in a smart red suit.  Her beloved Jelly beans and a deck of cards were tucked in beside her.

Jill’s mother was 95 when she died, in Jill’s house, where they had been living together for years.  Jill was by her side when she passed.  Jill’s daughter was there too.  It was a “good death”, if such a thing can be good.

Of course, seeing Jill and her mother brought back a lot of feelings about my own mother’s death.

I was there near the end, with Mom, but not at the end.  Mom was in hospice.  I was not really a welcome visitor in my mother’s room.  I did not go to Mom’s memorial service.  I did not view her body.  She was cremated immediately.  I longed for one last look, but it was not to be.

I had no choices regarding Mom’s care, her service or her remains.  I am her firstborn, and natural next of kin, but adoption erased all that.  I was merely an unwelcome stranger.

Someday I may bury my adoptive mother.  I’ll be the next of kin.  As an only child, I’ll make all the decisions.  But, she is not my mother.  My mother is dead.

Traveling

Published March 25, 2017 by maryleesdream

florida

 

The world is a wonderful place.  I’m glad that I’m here.  My husband and children bring me great joy and happiness.

We just returned from a road trip, from New York to Orlando, Florida.  6 of us in my 10-year-old minivan.  She preformed like a champion!  Smooth, no breakdowns or problems at all.  We rented a house, and toured the theme parks.  6 adults.  I was tired, but happy.

I’m still adopted, of course.  That hurts all the time, but travelling helps.  As long as I keep moving, I don’t think about things so much.  Now that I’m back, so are the thoughts.

Being with my children is so great.  I cannot imagine not wanting to know them.  I can’t understand my father’s thinking.  How can you have a child, and grandchildren out there in the world, and not want to see them, ever?  It makes no sense to me.

How can you decide some of your children are worth knowing, but one is not?  I wish someone could explain it to me.  My father will not.  Are there any readers out there who have done this to one of their children, and can explain the reasoning behind it?

Why the whole family shunning me?  I understand it’s to support my father, but don’t I deserve love and support as well?  Am I some sort of sub-human, because of my adoption?  Please, explain, if you can.  I would love to understand, but the ones who’ve done this will not talk to me.

The Shunning

Published January 2, 2017 by maryleesdream

estranged-family-520w

I had some trouble sleeping tonight, so I decided to come downstairs and write a little.  It always happens at night.  The thoughts get to be too much.  I still don’t know how to quiet them.

I think of my mother’s death.  The way it happened.  The way I was treated.  My mother died, and I had to mourn alone.  I did not attend my mother’s memorial service.  She has not been buried, to my knowledge, so I have nowhere to go and pay my respects.

My eldest daughter read something that said Christians must be buried, so that other Christians can visit the graves.  This is something else that’s been taken from me, against my will.

My Mother Has Died

grave

I also think about the Shunning.  My father’s family has shunned me.  I found out a few months ago, from a younger cousin.  I had always hoped that my cousins would not hold the same views regarding infant adoption as the older generation.  I had hoped that they would not be ruled by shame, as much as their parents were.  I was wrong.  This young woman told me that I deserved the shunning, for reasons she was not sure of, but she was sure that they were justified.

It’s interesting how each side of my family reacts differently to me.  My mother’s family was not traditional.  There are many half siblings, and non-traditional family structures.  This side has been more accepting of me.  My father’s family is very traditional, considered a model family by some, and they shun completely.  Not one family member will break the ban.

I did some research into the psychology of shunning.

Shunning

It’s a cruel form of psychological torture.

My fathers family is a cruel family.  They support and approve of my abandonment as a helpless infant, and have shunned me.

Social rejection occurs when a person or group deliberately avoids association with, and habitually keeps away from an individual or group. This can be a formal decision by a group, or a less formal group action which will spread to all members of the group as a form of solidarity. It is a sanction against association, often associated with religious groups and other tightly knit organizations and communities. Targets of shunning can include persons who have been labeled as apostates, whistleblowers, dissidents, strikebreakers, or anyone the group perceives as a threat or source of conflict. Social rejection has been established to cause psychological damage and has been categorized as torture[1] or punishment.[2] Mental rejection is a more individual action, where a person subconsciously or willfully ignores an idea, or a set of information related to a particular viewpoint. Some groups are made up of people who shun the same ideas.[3

Shunning causes pain to the shunned, as it is supposed to:

Shunning is often used as a pejorative term to describe any organizationally mandated disassociation, and has acquired a connotation of abuse and relational aggression. This is due to the sometimes extreme damage caused by its disruption to normal relationships between individuals, such as friendships and family relations. Disruption of established relationships certainly causes pain, which is at least an unintended consequence of the practices described here, though it may also in many cases be an intended, coercive consequence. This pain, especially when seen as unjustly inflicted, can have secondary general psychological effects on self-worth and self-confidence, trust and trustworthiness, and can, as with other types of trauma, impair psychological function.

Why so much pain and injustice in my life?  Sometimes I joke that I must have done something awful in a previous life, but it’s really not very funny.

I wake at night, and all this runs through my mind, and I can’t stop it.  I think about my mother, how much I loved her, how she betrayed me.  I have not seen nor spoken to my brother since he kicked me out of hospice.

At my job, when someone’s parent dies, they post an obituary on the company website.  When my mother died, they did not, because in society’s eyes, she was not my mother.  She was not my mother.  She was not my mother.  That makes no sense.  Why is it only in adoption that the woman who gives birth to you is not your mother?

victum

Shunning and victim blaming happen a lot in Adoptionland.  How did something that’s supposed to be for the good of a child, turn into the hell that I’m living in?

The Trouble With Christmas

Published December 8, 2016 by maryleesdream

sad-dog-in-christmas-hat-dp

It’s almost here, again.  Christmas.  The most dreaded time of the year.

Another year of nothing from my natural family.  Another year of dealing with Ramona.  I shouldn’t complain.  I’ve been told by many people that my mother is the one who raised me.  I wonder why I just can’t go along with the script and believe it.

I can’t stand Ramona.  I never could.  The worst part is, she lives with me, and I don’t know how to get away.

Some background:  My adoptive father died in 1990. I am an only adopted child. Ramona was much too sickly to ever adopt again.   Ramona owned an apartment, and lived alone.  She never drove a car and was dependent on A dad for all her transportation.  In 1997, I gave birth to my 4th child.  My dear husband did not have a high paying job, and we were struggling.  Our house was in desperate need of repairs, the taxes were overdue, you get the picture.

Ramona sold her place and moved in with us.  I was reluctant, but my husband said, “keep your eye on the prize”.  I wanted my children to grow up in a nice house, so I gave in.  Ramona invested the money in the house, and we added an apartment for her,  more bedrooms and a bigger kitchen.  The house is great.

Cut to 20 years later.  My kids are grown, but three of them still live at home.  Ramona is still here.  In fact she’s hovering over me right now.  I took the day off from work, and promised to take her to the store, so she’s checking to see what time I’m going.  Once she starts a conversation, it’s very hard to stop her.  She asks question after question, until you want to tear your hair out.

She is 87 now, and in good health.  I wish for her death everyday.  My heart sinks when I hear the noises she makes when she gets up in the morning, because I know she lived through the night.  Once she did not answers her phone, and I hoped for the worst, but she was alive.  I feel like a monster.

She drives my daughters and husband crazy too.  This morning I had to lead her out of the kitchen where my 29 year old daughter was making herself breakfast before heading out for the day.  She just hovered, asking question after question, about Christmas gifts for her sister.  I felt bad for DD, so I stepped in and took Ramona out.

Giving Christmas gifts is very important to Ramona.  It’s one of the ways she earns her place.  She pays rent, and buys some groceries also.  We could live without her rent, but I can’t kick her out.  She has no place else to go.  We could sell the house, and move, but it would be expensive to find a place big enough for me and my family.  If my girls ever move out, I would love to get a smaller place with just me and my husband.  I wish Ramona would die already!

I left home at 19, because I could not stand Ramona, but I ended up back with her.  Between this,  my natural mother’s death, and my father’s family shunning me, my heart is in tatters.

I  shouldn’t complain……

Birthday #54

Published November 13, 2016 by maryleesdream

Today is my birthday.

It’s difficult, to be adopted, on your birthday.

I lost my only home today.  When I was born, my parents had big plans.  The plans included giving me away, ASAP.  They were in a hot rush.  They did not want me to be too old to adopt.  They wanted me to go to a good home..

free-to-good-home

I’m not sure if I was free.  My adoptive mother says I was, the agency says they never give newborns away for free.  I’d love to see some sort of receipt.  My adoptive home was poor.  They did not have money lying around to buy babies.  Who knows what’s true.

Maybe I was some kind of charity case.  I’m not sure why.  I was a healthy white female.  Maybe they knew Mom was really black.  Maybe they knew I had a birth defect.  Anyway, I went to a poor home.

So, my birthday again.  My mother’s gone, my father and his family have shunned me.

I can’t wait for this day to be over.  I’m painting my kitchen.

Trying to Understand

Published October 15, 2016 by maryleesdream

family-blessing

 

 

Ever since I found my family, I’ve been trying to get back into the family.

 

I have failed.  I’m not actively trying right now, but I think about it everyday.  I try and figure out how to do it.  How to make their minds and hearts open, and allow me inside.

It has happened with a few kinsmen.  Three have welcomed me with open arms, flaws and all.  They understand the pain and anger, sympathize and know they are not responsible for causing or fixing  it. They know it’s part of me, and are willing to take me on anyway.  It’s a wonderful blessing.

I don’t use blessing in the religious sense, as I do not believe in a god who rules the world.  A blessing, a mitzvah, a good thing in the universe.

 

They are on my mothers side, only.  The wild side. My fathers family says Mom’s family was terrible.  Things too horrible to even talk about. It’s all true.

 

But somehow, my good, good father, from his good, good family managed to get together with this bad, bad family, and create me.

 

I think if I could only get them to understand, that I’m just normal, not a sick person who is out to get them.  But the more you try, the more like a sick psycho you appear, so its better to back off.

They say that I show, by my actions, that I don’t want to be part of the family.  I guess I do, but it’s really a defense mechanism.  I want to be loved so bad, but I have to seem cold and hard, so they can’t see how their rejection hurts.  It comes off looking cold.

My family actually had some sort of sit down, or at least phone chain or something, where they all decided to cut all contact with me.  This is my father’s family, the good guys.  Pillars of the community, grand marshals in the town parade, all around good, nay, great citizans.  This is what they have decided is best, for dealing with me.  Best for them, mostly.  Best for me, definitely not.

I send baby gifts to my cousins, when they have children.  I want them to know that babies are wonderful things, and to think about me, and love me despite what happened to me.  But I never know if the gifts are received, and they probably think I’m crazy for sending them.

Imagine being shunned by your kin! And for what?

If there’s anyone out there who reads this, what do you think I should do?  I love sending baby gifts.  I’m so happy to know who my family is, even from afar.  I can’t forget about them and go on with my life.  I do go on with  my life, all the time.  How does one not? I get up everyday, just like everyone else.  I have a job, and live in a big house with 5 other people.  I cook dinner and pay the bills and run a busy house,and work full time.  I do a decent job at both.  I’ve seen a few therapists, but they haven’t been able to help me.  I think it’s because there is nothing wrong with me, I just feel a certain way about things, and that’s it.  There is no evidence of mental illness.

Should I  just disappear, completely and leave these good people in peace, or continue to send gifts, and leave flowers on my grandparents graves from time to time, to let them know I’m still out here, trying to connect?

I think I know the answer, disappear.  Stop beating a dead horse.  They will never, ever accept you, no matter who you are.  They cannot admit that they may have been wrong.  It’s against family law.  I am outside of family law.  It does not matter how I feel about it.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Thing About Blogs

Published September 14, 2016 by maryleesdream

 

BLOG on speech bubble price labels

 

Well, I made a big boo boo.  I showed my blog to a bio family member.  It did not go well.  All they saw was anger and hatred, on my part.  Nothing at all of the pain that I’ve gone through.  They told me, repeatedly that I was harboring hatred, and that I hated my entire bio family.  I do not.  I don’t even know my entire bio family! ( that’s a joke)  I do know that they haven’t lived up to my expectations, but then again, I haven’t lived up to theirs either.

ISA, Infant Stranger Adoption changes everything about a family.  It removes a child, like surgery, and the wound that removal causes heals.  Scar tissue forms.  Life goes on.  When that person finds their family, no one knows what to do. There is fear, a lot of fear, on both sides.  Here are my mother, father, brothers sisters, aunts Uncles and cousins. but they are all strangers.  And I’m a stranger to them.

I wanted them to treat me as if I had been kidnapped, and finally found alive.  I wanted them to fuss over me, show me off, invite me over.

But, with ISA, there is also shame.  A kidnap is not voluntary, ISA is.  My parents made a decision to give me to strangers.  It was not random.  I was not taken.  There is guilt involved.

When I blog, there is usually a reason, a trigger.  I don’t do it that often.  The trigger is usually negative, something that made me feel hurt, and I use my blog as a way to get over it, to get it out of my system.  So, most of my blog posts are angry, or hurt, or mostly both.

That does not mean that I am angry all the time.  I’m just not.  I actually have a real life, full of good things.  I guess if you read my blog, that may not show.  My blog was written over years, but reading it all at once may be overwhelming, especially to someone who has lived a happy life.

Letting my family read it was a very bad idea.  They think I’m bad enough already.