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My Adoptive Mother

Published May 14, 2016 by maryleesdream

scolding

 

I don’t know what to think about my adoptive mother. Sometimes she comes out with things that really upset me. They really make me think about our relationship,as mother and daughter.

It’s a relationship that has always had problems, as many relationships do.

My husband is from a family of 5 children. He is the youngest.  I’ve known his family for many years, and have been included in many family gatherings.  Ramona, my adoptive mother was sometimes included too.  I honestly don’t remember how many times, or to which gatherings.

As time has gone on,  we all get together less.  Our children are grown. The siblings that have grandchildren do most things with their kids and their extended families.  We don’t do Christmas together any more.  We do go to big things, like weddings and such, but the rest has changed over the years.  Don was never close to his family. We all live in the same area, and are friends. The relationship is fine, and we are happy with it.

Don’s Nephew Sam is getting married to a lovely girl in June.   I attended the bridal shower last week, with my daughters, who are the grooms first cousins.  Ramona,my adoptive mother was not invited.She was not invited to the wedding. Don’s sister usually does not include Ramona in her family gatherings, and has not for years.  I don’t know why she stopped, I think our kids just grew up and Don’s sister had more people to include,so for the sake of expenses,she only invites close relatives and friends.

One of Don’s siblings invites Ramona to his kids weddings and events.  His wife feels closer to Ramona, and likes to include her, even though my sister in law is one of 11 children!  Some people just think differently than others.  Ramona is not a very nice woman, and maybe some of Don’s siblings don’t care for her.  I really don’t know,but Ramona thinks she does. She told me this the other day.

“Don’s sister does not invite me to things since she found out that you are adopted”.

I was shocked.”Ma”, I said, “Don’s sister has always known that I was adopted.I never kept that a secret from anyone. Everyone knows.”.  Did she really think that I didn’t ell people that I was adopted?  Close relatives of my husband,and children?  They deserve to know that my kids have another family,and that Ramona is not blood kin to me, or my kids. I also never wanted anyone to think that Ramona was my mother, because in my mind, she is not.

Then Ramona changed her tune, “well,then since you found your mother,they stopped inviting me”.  My husband’s siblings know that I found my family,but they have never met any of them, and probably don’t think about it a whole lot.  And I’m fairly sure that is not the reason she is not invited to their family events.  I do not think that me finding my family has any bearing on how they treat Ramona.  I had no idea that she was harboring these ideas.

It just goes to show how my adoptive mother feels about me finding my family. I broke the rules,and she gets punished for it.  Fantastical thinking, but it hurts me.  I feel blamed for finding them, for the crime of wanting what Ramona,and most other people take for granted.  For wanting my mother.

I was also approached by my adoptive cousin a few months ago.  My adoptive cousin Marty was the first baby i was allowed to hold.  I was 11 when he was born,and baby crazy!  I loved him to pieces and liked to stay with my adoptive cousin, Deidra when baby Marty was around.

Deidra is Ramona’s late sister’s daughter, and they are pretty close.  Deidra and Ramona speak on the phone several times a day,and Deidra and Marty go to Atlantic City with Ramona every few months. Deidra can never get here to visit Ramona, or help me take care of her, but somehow Deidre and Marty always make it here when it’s time to take Ramona to Atlantic City, where Ramona gets comp rooms and food, because she gambles so much.

Marty approached me, after having a few cocktails,and asked me how I could not consider Ramona to be my mother.  He said “She’s like a grandmother to me,and you are so mean to her,she raised you,she is your mother”.  He said that once I found my family everything changed. I changed my feelings toward Ramona.  He added that Ramona could go live with him anytime.

Ramona lives with me,and my family.She has a full apartment that is part of our house.  I treat her with kindness and respect.  I actually, do not feel that she is my mother, and things did change once I found my family.  It was as if the blinders had fallen from my eyes,and I could finally see, far too clearly what had been done to me.

Marty has no right to tell me how to feel.  I have never told him how to feel,and never will.  His words came out of nowhere and really hurt me.  It also shows how he really feels about me,an adoptee.  I’m out of line, for wanting to know.  I’m wrong for waking up and seeing my truth.  I’m wrong for not following the script.

Ramona has spoken to Marty about how bad I treat her, about how I’ve changed.  Marty is addicted to painkillers and visits Ramona every few months when he has a doctors appointment in our area.  He takes Ramona to lunch.

Ramona has no desire to go live with Marty. He lives in a rural area a few hours away with his girlfriend and her two young children.  Marty has children from another relationship who live with their mother.  Ramona has it pretty good here with me. I cook dinner and clean up.She has my daughters to take her anywhere she wants to go, since Ramona does not drive.   Ramona worked until she was 80 and has few outside interests, apart from gambling.

Ramona is 86 now,and will be 87 in October.  She  has lived  with my family for 19 years, since my youngest was born.  She says she moved in to save us from financial ruin, since we had 4 kids and only 1 income.  She helped us make our house bigger,and we added the apartment at the same time.  She sold her Co op apartment and invested the money in my house.So I did take from her.  She says I asked her to come live with us, she didn’t want to.

I really don’t remember.  I remember my husband urging me to do it, to “keep my eye on the prize”,the bigger house.  I did it for my kids, so they could live in a nice, big house,even if it meant selling my soul and happiness to do it.

So,here she is, in good health.My daughters take her to the doctor, and the market.  She is rarely alone.

I can’t stand her.  Never could.  I left home at 19, with Don and never went back.  My concern for my children brought her back to live with me,and now she’s here until the end.  And I have to hear how terrible I am for finding my own family.  For not being what the agency promised. For wanting to know who i was.  I can never forget her screaming at me, “I am your only mother” when I was 4 years old. I thought to myself, “she is lying to me, I don’t like or trust her anymore”.  I hated her from that day on,though I had to depend on her.

We are there for her everyday,as she gets more and more feeble. I have to watch and take care of her as she ages, and my own mother is dead.  I think when she finally goes,the strongest feeling will be relief, freedom from this lifetime of servitude,  where I am never quite as good as blood.