Sunday, June 06, 2010

I Yam A Rock

I've been feeling pretty sorry for myself of late. I didn't realize how much until I found myself singing "I Am A Rock" by Paul Simon, all misty-eyed while doing laundry. C'mon, Lady....get a grip! I always thought Simon's anthem to teen-age angst was nothing but musical thumb-sucking and all of a sudden I think it is great poetry? How could I find myself identifying with this kind of adolescent mewling? What was my problem? Was it realizing that I was not the most popular kid on the block? Was it watching my world getting smaller and smaller as I grow older? Or was it just adoption issues in-fighting overload? And what was my part in that? So why was I singing this sad song?

I Am A Rock
 P. Simon, 1965

 A winter's day, In a deep and dark December
I am alone
Gazing from my window
To the streets below
On a freshly fallen silent shroud of snow (try saying that three times fast)
I am a rock
I am an island
I've built walls
A fortress deep and mighty
That none may penetrate
I have no need of friendship
Friendship causes pain
It's laughter and it's loving I disdain
I am a rock
I am an island
Don't talk of love
Well I've heard the word before
It's sleeping in my memory
I won't disturb the slumber
Of feelings that have died
If I never loved I never would have cried
I am a rock
I am an island
I have my books
And my poetry to protect me
I am shielded in my armor
Hiding in my room
Safe within my womb
I touch no one and no one touches me
I am a rock
I am an island
And a rock feels no pain
And an island never cries..(Yeah, right!)

I looked around and saw that there were so many  in adopto-land who were sucking their own passies and feeling as if they were the Lone Ranger. I also realized that no one can change anyone else's mind against their will. But, God/dess knows, many, including me, have tried and what we got out of it were tons of frustration, a few enemies and a lack of progress.

I have always prided myself on saying it like it is, no beating around the bush and calling a duck a duck. At times, I realize that I have pushed that past the boundaries of tact and consideration. I had to remind myself that it was the casual, verbal cruelty of a much-loved relative whose motto was "I calls 'em like I sees 'em" that drove a wedge between us that remains in place to this day. She also had a bad habit of pressing on the accelerator of her mouth before she put her mind in gear. She has a hair-trigger temper and is extremely sensitive though she tries to deny it.Well darn, Robin. Were you not trying to emulate her, just a bit? Did you finally realize that her strength was also her weakness? What can you learn from that?

Now, does that mean that I said things that I think are wrong in concept? Nope. I pretty much still see thing the way I see them. But I could have either said nothing or said it differently and in other venues. The fact of the matter is that it takes two to make a cat fight. If I refuse to engage in a fracas, then there goes the impetus. One person can't keep an argument going. And a vendetta is a waste of time. Most mature people will realize that and give it up. Holding grudges and pouting and withdrawing..those things are for people who have yet to reach adullthood.

I received a fresh injection of hope from Lily Arthur in Australia. She has picked up the mantle that was left when Dian Welfare passed on to a better place (ie., one with no adoption) and has, with her group, made some inroads into the legislature. The original Origins USA was formed to address the crimes against the mothers of the BSE. It started failing at that when it went after numbers in membership and tried to be all things to all adoption-affected people. CUB was a real force for change but has become, in the estimation of some, a paper tiger. But they keep plugging away, down under, and they are getting there. If anyone has ever seen Lily's story, you know that she is a real fighter.

Well, those of us in the reconstructed and more focused SMAAC, are going to do the same thing and keep at it. We have a nastier, more powerful, more well-funded opponent, but we also have our passion and our beliefs. Those who have taken their energies in other directions have received my wishes for good fortune. I won't be fighting with them unless they start pushing more legislation that requires that the mother bare her soul to the state. Mandatory medical and psycho-social histories are a tarpit that will trap and smother some for the sake of others. Is that what we want? I don't think so. That, I will debate until I die. And I am all about the mothers of the EMS. That hasn't changed. I've just decided to cool my pits a bit.

So, thumb out of my mouth, pacifier in the trash...I have work to do.


Sandy Young said...

Whew! Good to know that Under-Robin is here!!! I feelsafer already!!!

I agree, Dear, lets let the chips fall where they may and let the world keep turning, and WE EMS mothers will do what only WE can do, tell the story of our own experience, and fight for the rights of all of us.

Sandy Young said...

There's no need to fear! Underdog is here!
when criminals in this world appear
and break the laws that they should fear
and frighten all who see or hear
the cry goes up both far and near
for Underdog! Underdog! Underdog! Underdog!

speed of lightning, roar of thunder
fighting all who rob or plunder
Underdog. Underdog!

when in this world the headlines read
of those whose hearts are filled with greed
who rob and steal from those who need
to right this wrong with blinding speed
goes Underdog! Underdog! Underdog! Underdog!

speed of lightning, roar of thunder
fighting all who rob or plunder
Underdog. Underdog!

Von said...

Onya!!When we feel passionately and know we have a just cause, there's no option but to go on, with little pauses to regroup now and then.

maryanne said...

A couple of questions, no snark, no need to start a fight, just not understanding what SMAAC is exactly about. Whatever your answers are, I am not going to argue, just trying to understand.

Is an apology from the government your main goal?

Is another goal to eliminate all adoption?

What issues or remedies would apply only to mothers of the Baby Scoop Era and not to surrendering mothers in general?

Robin said...

Our goals and missions were on the website when we first organized. No, we don't think we can abolish adoption although I, personally, would love to see that happen.

And an apology would be nice. But more important is OFFICIAL recognition that something unjust happened, something that shouldn't have happened with such impunity and in such huge numbers. Public exposure of the mistreatment many of us received and the attitudes we were faced with when we tried to find a way to keep our children would also be nice. It might be an opening for investigation into present-day transgressions by the industry.

But the differences are there, whether anyone wants to admit it or not. The majority, not all, but most of us were forced, warehoused and had no access to legal counsel. We had no say about out own medical treatment and it was done that way because they COULD, not because parents engineered it all by themselves or because they used subtle coercion. There was nothing subtle about it. Many of us were sneered at and dismissed by the medical people to whom our care was intrusted. Most obviously, is that, for us, there was no birth control, no legal, safe termination, and no support for keeping so it was either a shotgun wedding or surrender.

That's the bottom line...we are about what happened to us in an era of sexual inequality and judgemental hypocrisy prior to and up to surrender. Adoption came after the loss of our children. That's another issue. Not all mothers from our era surrendered against their will. We are not about them, but about the many who were not empowered as women were as little as a decade later.

I'm sure you have heard this before and I am sure you will still have your objections and arguments, but thank you for asking in such a civil manner. If you have any more questions, we have a new site, Feel free to read there.

Robin said...

I'll add this.

Senior Mothers Activist Coalition is an activist organization for women who lost their children from the end of World War II to 1973. We do not attempt nor claim to be The Singular Voice for All Mothers, not even for all the mothers who share our time period. We offer an option…A Voice for Women who share our view that we were given NO options, NO choices and NO alternatives other than Surrendering our children for adoption.

We are seeking an acknowledgment that the methods and means used to obtain our Surrenders violated our Constitutional, Civil and Human Rights. We feel that Justice is overdue for us and our children.

Senior Mothers Adoption Activist Coalition said...

Thanks for asking and I am sure that you will be able to find answers to all your questions at our new home where we have our goals, mission and about us pages up. Here is the website link

If you have any questions after reading there, feel free to ask.

joy said...

I totally support you being true to yourselves. You are right not to bend to other's wills.

I for one, don't have time for arm-chair quarterbacks.

maryanne said...

Thank you for answering in polite and straightforward fashion as well.

You are correct that this agenda still does not interest me, but I wish you well with it. Publicizing the mistreatment of surrendering in any era is a good thing.

Your new web page looks much nicer than the old one. On it you say: "We are seeking an acknowledgment that the methods and means used to obtain our Surrenders violated our Constitutional, Civil and Human Rights."

One last question: from whom are you seeking this, and how?

Robin said...

We have a member who is very experienced in legal and legislative matters who is helping us work on this. We really don't feel free, at this time, to reveal our strategy.

Robin said...

Thank you, Joy. We don't ask that everyone agree with us or help us...just that we be allowed to try to do what we believe in.