Monday, August 23, 2010

Robin, Confidential

I was fifteen and in love as only a teenage girl can be. I was sure that my daughter's father would always be the love of my life. The relationship was becoming painfully passionate and sexual and I really wasn't ready for that and didn't know how to stop it. I was only a few months away from the conception of my oldest child.

A year later, I was in a maternity home, alone, isolated, outcast from my family, friends and all I knew or from whom I had ever felt any comfort. It was the beginning of a change in me that lasted my entire life. I would never see myself in the same way again, would never trust the way I had trusted before and would feel, for years, that I was unworthy of any happiness.

Twenty-eight years later, after counseling and hard work and raising two kept children, I was beginning to allow myself some self-esteem and happiness. I was about to marry the man I am happily with today, and reaching out to life. A few years later, I would have my world rocked again when I reunited with the two adult children who were taken from me for adoption when I was so young and helpless.

These pictures have brought all this back to me in a way that has caused tears and even more anger. My human rights were violated in more ways than one. My two oldest adult children, who may not even care, have lost a precious civil right by being denied access to their original birth certificate.

The "confidential" stamp across the picture of me as a teen is symbolic. But the scarlet stamp of unworthy and unfit was put on us deliberately and we refuse to wear it any more.

I'm ready for a fight.


Anonymous said...

I put the picture of myself and family on my FB page because I looked like grief is obvious. The pic was taken 12/24/59 my 21st birthday, 6 days after I had my first child, my son I lost. Those of us who matured in the 1950s were conditioned by the romances. We really believed in "happily ever after." It took me over 40 years to accept I had been stalked and selected by a preditory man who was 6 years older than I.Unfortunately, I fell head over heels in love...Like you I never dreamed he would leave me.In today's dating climate, it's hard for people to understand how totally innocent we were...

Anonymous said...

(((((((Robin))))))) I am so sorry for the pain and loss you have experienced through adoption. You are very courageous. Thank you for sharing your story, I am learning to navigate my own adoption injury through reading stories like yours.

Linda said...

These "Confidential" pictures are haunting. I look at each of the faces and think to myself, "They have no idea of what awaits them."

I can see a visible difference in the face of my Mother from just before she had me and after. Ugh.

Sandy Young said...

I am ready for a fight,too, Robin. Fortunately, we are old enough now to choose our battles.

I know how it feels when you see those scarlet letters across your face. The shame they represent.

jenny81271 said...

It's not so funny, but I have looked at the same picture that now has confidential across it, and thought wow, you were so young and so naive, and nothing more. Now when I look at it, with all the letters across it, I feel the pain like it was yesterday not so many yesterdays ago. My daughter is 39, and I have yet to meet her in person, I only have a picture and no name, and yet, just by looking at her looking just like me I can remember so painfully how I are so right, betrayed by everybody who supposedly loved me, from her dad to my parents. It negated so much that I had already and could have done....plain speak, it whupped my arse....and yet, the more I speak of it, the more I know that I have become something out of it..I left the home only as a "mother" who didn't get to be one, now I feel like I know enough to let others know that what they did to "protect their reputations" didn't make me any less of a mother.

Ungrateful Little Bastard said...

The stamp on you has an interesting effect on me when I look at it.

In the first picture I really clearly see a young girl who has a lot on her mind, and what's there is troubling her very much.

Because the stamp obscures the iris of your eyes in the second picture, it doesn't become apparent that you're really looking away from the camera. It appears that you're looking directly out from the picture at the viewer, and the disquieted expression on your face becomes almost challenging. It says, "Look what was done to me. And do you even care?"

It makes me want to turn back time just to say to that 15 year old, you won't know me for many decades to come, but I really do give a damn.

ElaineP said...

"The relationship was becoming painfully passionate and sexual and I really wasn't ready for that and didn't know how to stop it."

This sentence leapt out at me. I think this may have been what my firstmother went through.... maybe she just truly didn't know how to stop it.

Once again, thanks for being so open and sharing.