Tuesday, March 02, 2010
You Don't Own Me
The mother-haters are alive and kicking and spitting their acidic venom over at Yahoo Answers. THIS is why so many moms think twice about letting our adult children into our lives. Some of us can take it and give back as good as we get. Other mothers are still dealing with delayed and repressed grief and the re-living of the trauma of coerced surrender. They are one, woman-sized, exposed nerve and this kind of thing hurts...a lot. It hurts no less than the pain of the adopted person. It's just a different kind of pain for different reasons.
So, when the newly-awakened mother of adoption loss sits down at her PC and Googles "adoption," she often gets smacked in the face with a lot of frightening and hateful posts. If I were an unreunited mother and I read this stuff, my reaction would be, "to Hell with this crap. I'm outta here." I would fear for my health and life where some of these posters are concerned.
What amazes me is the attitude of entitlement. Some of the middle-age mommie-haters act as if they own all mothers (not just their own) and that all mothers OWE them something. Guess again, Kiddies. Those of us who went on to have and raise other children wouldn't take this from the children we raised, much less from the children we didn't. We don't owe you anything but civility, courtesy and whatever else we choose to share. If you strike me, I strike back. Being an unmarried mother doesn't, regardless of the Puritanical and punitive attitudes of some, make me a second-class citizen or a spineless wimp.
Let me make one thing clear. All the truths about coercion and force, aside, when a mother tries to do what is best for her child to the best of her knowledge and ability at the time, that is not, repeat NOT, abandonment. I know that there were some mothers who did just casually leave their babies (although that number is miniscule in relation to those of us who were coerced), but you cannnot paint us all with the same brush. I don't call you names. Why call me names? You don't know me and you don't own me.
I have many adult, adopted friends with whom I enjoy mutually respectful relationships. The same is true of my relationships with my adult, reunited daughter and son. I know that you hate-filled people are a minority, as well. But, you are a loud, obnoxious minority. And, to the one whose mother, after 22 years, backed away, I can see why she did. I wouldn't want to have anything to do with you, either.
We are not here to be the objects of your punitive attitudes and actions. We are not responsible for the fact that you prefer to carry the blackness of resentment around inside you. We are not perfect, but guess what? NEITHER ARE YOU.
I thank the Goddess for those many adopted people who are willing to open their minds in understanding and hold out their hands in friendship. We are all part and parcel of a traumatic tragedy and we all carry our own bit of emotional damage because of it. I can understand the "feelings" of being abandoned, but you have adult minds and the reality does not support the feeling. Embracing the truth is quite a concept, and it can be done.
But hear this and hear it well. I don't owe you anything but what I choose to give and you don't owe me anything. That is the adopter that thinks they are owed something by the children they raised. I will treat you with respect only as far as you show respect for me.
We are not your possessions. You don't own mothers.
*I am finding it necessary to add a postcript to this post. NO, feeling abandoned, and "emotional abandonment" are NOT true abandonment. This is what, in a 12-step program, would be called "stinking thinking" and a barrier to real emotional health. This post is not here to argue the issue. It is here to state, in no uncertain terms, that we did not abandon our children, that we are not obligated to be their servants and that the idea that most of us had any kind of choice in the matter is erroneous. And, to one commenter, my parents were not abusive, but, in that time and that culture, they WERE boss. I was old enough to be forced to sign surrender papers but not old enough to have any say in my children's futures. If you want to hold on to erroneous emotions, be my guest, but put it on your OWN mother....not the rest of us.