death

All posts in the death category

A Letter to My Father

Published September 14, 2017 by maryleesdream

 

writing-letter-586d7bbe5f9b584db320f6c5

September 13, 2017

 

Dear Dad,

 

I can’t believe it’s almost 7 years since I found my family.  It hurts so much to know that you are all out there, and I am so alone.

It’s been over 2 years since my mother died, and I haven’t heard a word from my family.  I don’t think anyone can imagine how bad that feels.  It’s a terrible curse to have a family, but not be part of it.

The last family member I heard from was my cousin W.  She told me that the entire family decided that it was best not to have any contact with me.  Best for who? I asked, but there was no answer.  It’s not best for me, so I guess it must be best for the rest of you.

It was best to give me away as a newborn, and best to shun me as an adult.  But, never, ever best for me.  Best for me would have been to live and grow up with my family, and best for me would have my family accept and love me as I am.  I will never get that.  What’s best for me is not very important to my family.

I still live with the pain of being cast out.  It does not get better.

I did not attend my mother’s memorial.  My brother kicked me out of hospice on her last day.  He asked when he got to be alone with his mother.  I guess his whole life was not enough for him.

My mother and her friends hated me, so I thought it best to stay away from the memorial.  I never saw my brother, John after he kicked me out of hospice.

You are the one with the mystery illness, but my mother was the one who died.  Life’s funny like that.

Anyway, just wanted to let you know how much being abandoned, and shunned hurts.  I’m pretty sure you don’t care, since you always do what’s best for you.  And never, ever what’s best for me.

 

Marylee

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Two years ago…

Published September 2, 2017 by maryleesdream

1271912_160367034164261_1997061723_oMy dear mother died 2 years ago today.

I was not there.  My auntie was, I made sure Mom was not alone.  I gave her her sister.  Aunt Ginny was in jail when I told her Mom was sick.  She was in a bad way.  I bought her a bus ticket, from Michigan to NYC, so she could be with my mother.  I couldn’t do it, because I was a stranger to my own mother.

Mom was not comfortable with me.  I guess it was because she gave me away, and because she was mentally ill.

I don’t understand mental illness.  I never had experience with it, before I found my mother.  I did not know how cruel mental illness was.  It allows a person to do terrible things.  They don’t want to do those things, but their mind bends in a way that makes them think what they are doing in OK.

I still have a lot to learn.  I’m still so angry, at my mother, at the world.  At whoever made me what I am.

I never got to know my mother.  Oh God, why did you do this to me?  Are you to blame?

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.

The Shunning

Published January 2, 2017 by maryleesdream

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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?

Busy Day

Published August 27, 2016 by maryleesdream

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Big day today!

Oldest daughter turns 29 today.  She was born at 2:30 in the morning, after a quick and intense labor, only 20 months after her big brother.  He was the first relative I had ever met, and she was the second, and the first female.  When they laid her in my arms, we looked into each others eyes and I thought, “this one is like me”.  A girl.  She will feel what I feel, think like I think.  And it’s been true.  A link connecting me and my then unknown mother.  A link connecting me to all the women in my family, from the beginning of time.  Women, giving birth, just like me. Happy Birthday, baby girl!

My youngest is going back to college today.  My 4th and last child.  Last night we visited the Birthday girl at work.  She works at an outdoor bar in a fancy hotel.  It just so happens to be the last place Birthday girl saw her grandmother, my mother.

Going there brought up lots of memories of Mom.  Unfortunately, there are not many good ones.  That evening was tense.  Mom was always wired up when we were together.  Her discomfort was obvious.  She tried to hide it, but I could always tell. I’ll never know exactly what she was feeling.  I don’t know if she was framing me at this point.  We had a few drinks and I drove her to the train station.  I gave her money for the train ticket and she sent me $10 in the mail a few days later.  I was mad.  I didn’t want her $10.  She was my mother, and I had no problem paying for her train ticket.  Oh well. Birthday girl never saw her grandmother again.

I was thinking of Moms apartment in the city.  I’d never seen a place quite like it.  It was a studio, a small kitchen and a bed/sitting room.  It was cluttered, but pretty orderly.  Her strange artwork was all over the walls.  I guess you call them collages.  Pictures, or objects pasted onto different things.  She had bloody Kewpie dolls on a full length mirror, with wedding pictures and other things.  This was called, “The Happiest Day of My Life”.  It was about me, and her relationship with my father.  It was disturbing and terrifying.  There was also one with a bunch of rubber dildos, with penis rings in them. I don’t know what that was called.

Her bathroom door was covered with pictures.  I’m not sure what they were.  I did not like her art.  It was too scary, and IMHO, not very good.  I know it was her way of expressing herself, like writing is mine.

My brother has all of her artwork.  I don’t want any.  Anything she gave me, I either gave back, or if it scared me, I burned it.

 

This is something she gave me for my birthday.  Its photos of us, and my father.  It scared the pants off me, but I pretended that I liked it.  I hung it in my bedroom for awhile, but it creeped me out.  I turned it over and saw faint black marker on the back.  I peeled off a sheet of paper that was glued on, and she had written “dead babies in Potter’s field” and, “fucking fairy princess”.  I burned this one after that.  Later I read on her Facebook page that she called this piece, “watch your mouth”.  She never told me that.

When she gave it to me, I was in her apartment.  She pulled it out from under her bed, and spoke in a strange baby voice that she used sometimes.  Maybe it was one of her multiple personalities.  My heart was pounding, and I wanted to run out of there, but I stayed, and acted like this was a normal gift.

Ah, memories!

 

 

 

Summer

Published August 14, 2016 by maryleesdream

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It’s been really hot around here!  I’m lucky though, I have an above ground pool and air conditioning.  I don’t suffer much.

I made my home everything that I wanted as a child.  I grew up in a 1 bedroom apartment, but I knew early on that I wanted to live in a house.  I wanted a yard,a swing-set, and a pool.  I got them all, as an adult. I wanted my children to have the life that I never had.  We take family vacations.  They each have their own bedrooms.  I got it all, for them.  Everything that I wanted.

I never, ever considered giving any of them away, but I did once consider abortion.

I was pregnant with my 4th child.  My husband didn’t make much money, and I had a job as a bank teller.  I couldn’t imagine taking care of another baby.  I went to planned parenthood, because they gave free pregnancy tests.  I knew that I was pregnant, but I wanted official confirmation.  They gave it to me.  I sat in a woman’s office, and she advised abortion.  She said it would be unfair to my other kids to have another.  She said that I should think of myself, and my job.  I felt guilty, because I wanted my baby, even if it was #4.  Even if things would be tight.  If I thought of myself, I wanted this baby very much.

I was torn.

Then I imagined meeting this unborn baby someday, and explaining why I did it.  What would I say?  I didn’t want to quit my bank teller job?  I didn’t have enough money?  None of the reasons seemed good enough for me to end my baby’s life.

None of those reasons were good enough, and I have 4 children.  I had my tubes tied after she was born, so I would never have to face that tough decision again.  I’m so glad that shes here!  She’s 19 now, and we did have enough money after all.  I got another job.  We all survived.

I am not anti abortion.  I think it’s a better choice than ISA, Infant Stranger Adoption.  It just wasn’t the right choice for me, at that time.  She will be starting her second year of college in a  few weeks, my last baby.

How did my mother give me away?  How could she tell people that I died?  Did she ever imagine that I would come back and ask why?  I did, and she did not have a good enough answer.  What reason is good enough to explain why you gave your newborn away?

There is so much I needed to learn from her, and shes’ gone forever.  The summer heat will always remind me of her last days, visiting her in the hospital as she lay dying.  Gone!  It still takes me by  surprise sometimes.

She has not been buried.  I don’t know where her ashes are.  Nowhere to visit, nowhere to mourn.

My adoptive mother, Ramona is losing her hearing.  She’s going to the ear doctor Monday, my eldest daughter will be taking her.  Her conversations are filled with her fears about the procedure the doctor may do, something to drain the fluid from her ears.  I feel sorry for her, but my mother is dead, and I don’t really love Ramona.

I was on vacation, with my family for 5 days, and had no internet or phone signal, and didn’t have any contact with Ramona.  It was heaven, but now I’m back.

 

 

 

Happy Birthday, Bro!

Published August 3, 2016 by maryleesdream

Today is my half brother’s 49th birthday.  This is the only place where I’ll wish him happy birthday.

Last year we were in the hospital, visiting Mom.She told me it was his birthday, which I forgot.  I said “Happy Birthday”, but I didn’t mean it.  I don’t care about him,and I think he feels the same about me, so, Happy Birthday little brother, and go fuck yourself.  happy_birthday