Tuesday, April 06, 2010

Just A Reminder

I know that I post a lot of stuff that many want to challenge, don't like or just want to argue the point. That is why, periodically, I make this statement.

This blog is like my personal den. I and those who think in the same (controversial) manner that I do are safe here. It is not a forum for "lively debate," flaming, censure, challenges or nit-picking arguments. If you want to take my comments to another venue and tear them apart, I can't stop you. But this is like my home and I will allow nothing here that I wouldn't allow in my home. I appreciate the fact that there are those who follow me who do not see some things the same way I do and I hope they use this blog to learn what the "other faction" is thinking. If I want to argue some of these points, I can always go to Yahoo Answers or Craigslist and have at it. Sit back, Have a cup of whatever and read.

Now that that is taken care of for another few weeks, I have some things to say that some might not like at all. First, while the timeline, beginning and end, of the EMS/BSE are debated, it doesn't change the fact that it is a historical happening, and that women began to have more choices and less pressure to surrender around the mid-'70's. I choose that time frame because it was in 1975 that I was first invited to a baby shower for a single mom, 18. I ached with envy inside and even wanted to boycott the shower, but I didn't and I am glad I went.

I noted that she was still attending classes at USCS, and mentioned to her mom that I was surprised the university allowed pregnant, single students. Her mom told me that she was equally surprised and even more so when she found out they there was day care available for both married and single moms at the school. I also took that opportunity to commend that mother for supporting her daughter.

So you see, Roe v. Wade aside, we who lived the EMS also lived through and witnessed its demise. That is first-hand knowledge of events and it's hard to ignore facts. We started seeing women being allowed to work who were single and pregnant rather than being fired as soon as they started to show. We witnessed the fair housing act which meant that very few landlords had the luxury of being moral arbiters who would render a single woman homeless should she become pregnant. We observed the fading of the stigma surrounding unmarried motherhood and watched (with considerable inner pain) as families supported their daughters and welcomed the newest member with joy.

I accept that there were still families and enclaves in the US who continued to hold the bad, old attitudes and that coercion is still alive even though it has changed to meet the challenges of a different society. But please give us a break. We know what happened to us. We were there. If it is hard to wrap your minds around the kind of world we lived in, then take our word for it. If we say that women began to have more choices after a certain date, then it's true....not an insult, but a fact.

And we are in the last decades of our lives. Many of us have already gone on to whatever lies beyond life. This is our last chance to get back a little of what was ours. Don't begrudge us the effort. If you can't support us, then leave us be. It took us decades to wake from the sleep of the coerced and shamed. We don't have that long to see that the injustice is addressed.

Thanks for reading.


Lori said...

Robin, I agree. The events are exactly, events. The EMS/BSE events were exactly what they were.

I see it in three era's though. The first was the EMS/BSE group - forced and brow beaten.

Next were the Lost Mothers - we were not BSE, but were also not really part of the next full development of a group. We were those that occured prior to 1983 and after 1975. Yes, there were more of our mothers that were willing to help us - but then they were BSE ages and knew what it was really about. That did not change the facts - we still were conned, coerced and bullied into doing something that was horrible.

The next were the OAE - Open Adoption Era - this is the current and since 1983 era. These young women are taught to believe the lies and that it will be "easier" to have an open adoption - I believe it is sometimes worse. But then I know a number of OAE mothers that simply can't handle the idea of look but don't touch. I get that - I would have flipped out if I had to watch someone else be called mommy.

So, yes, these are real events and no insult is intended, at least from me.

Robin said...

I understand the distinctions, Lori and thanks. I think the industry had managed to PR this society and young women into thinking that mothers are interchangable. That's why I think that the EMS/BSE is where I should concentrate. That doesn't mean I can't add a word of support where I see the need, but we are the ones that are aging out of the activism arena and we need to be heard and SOON. It would help if our younger sisters could say a word or two of support but most seem to think that asking for redress for the EMS is downplaying their pain.

Brow-beaten doesn't even begin to cover it as far as the EMS. We were outcasts and seen as sinners/psychologically deviant delinquents. The young women who came as little as ten years later would never have allowed the kind of mistreatment we endured. And a lot of the young women of today don't listen to us until it is too late. Once that baby is surrendered, mom is SOL.

Of course, when I was young, I thought that everyone older than me was so out of it, the couldn't possibly understand. It just bothers me that girls are still buying into the adoption hype.

It wasn't too long ago that I heard from the man who was the minister of our church when I was pregnant with S & J. He had suggested to my mother that she authorize a hysterectomy for me and they had an arguement that ended with him leaving. He told me that he always remembered me whenever parents or young girls came to him for this reason. He said he got an education in understanding and compassion and would never be so quick to judge again. Hey...that's one.

Chris said...

Thank you Robin...I for one as a BSE Mother, do appreciate you.

I have lost much in my now almost 64 years of life. The 3 greatest losses in my life, in chronological order...my newborn baby girl when I had just turned 18 (45 years ago), my one and only "real" mother, and then most recently..the guy I had been with since the age of 13, married at 19 and lost him after living 43 years together.

I found my silent voice 10 years ago and that is something today I have absolute control over and never intend to silence again. I know what I experienced and that experience was happening at the same time for millions of other young unwed mothers globally...America, Canada, Ireland, UK, New Zealand, Australia and any other westernized countries in existence at that time. It was and still is, a global tragedy...that far too many still want to make believe never happened, or want to *revise* that "history" or to dismiss easily out of hand.
Reunion was my catalyst to *speak*. Reunion brought to the forefront all that I did not know or had repressed for over 34 years at the time I reunited. I firstly sought "support" in my reunion...but even better than "support", I found/received my first education on all things adoption. Better still..I found me..and I don't intend to *lose* me again..no matter the cost..not til the last breath exits my body.

Nobody else in the world is forced to live with me...but I am "forced" to live with myself...I better at least have a modicum of liking and respect for the person I have to live with each and every day...Me!!

Lori said...

For me, the pain, the ignorance and the bull is so very much the same - regardless of the era. The BSE Mothers, yes, aging, are important. They are the first to open their mouths and speak.

I have enormous respect for the women of the era - religion, society and government, all about turning a normal teen act into something horrible.

I fear for the younger crowd. Their ignorance and the ignorance of the masses over the last four generations is amazing.

Robin, you would not be interested in co-writing a book "Adoption, A Historical Event" would you? Maybe then someone would actually listen.

I so think that there is no way I can even understand the issues surround the BSE mothers - yet I think that I have to respect them. Their battle prevented much later on....Now to get someone to listen and learn.

Far too many sheep and fools in our world.

Sandy Young said...

You said it, Robin! You said it all.

kittz said...

kitta here:

I too saw these changes in stages, and some of the changes were already happening in the late 1960s.

When my parents sent me away in 1967, there were already some public figures who were keeping out of wedlock babies. This would have been unheard of 10 years earlier.

After I lost my son, I returned to university and there was a very pregnant girl in my dormitory. I also observed several single pregnant girls in my classes, and they said they were keeping their babies.

At least the school did not kick them out, whatever they did.

I also think that maybe some parts of the country were more liberal than others. We are talking about Colorado in the 1960s and it was more tolerant in those days...not so much today.

Colorado was the first state to legalize abortion, in 1967. Today it is one of the states that repeatedly pushes for "un-born personhood laws."

Robin said...

K, It took longer for those changes to be seen in the SC, Bible Belt backwater where I lived. But I watched and saw it happening. I also remember when the local health department made birth control pills available to unmarried women. That was also in the '70's.