Wednesday, September 29, 2010
I Plead 'Not Guilty'
The biggie with angry adoptees is the act of surrender. It seems to be very difficult for a lot of adopted people to understand the situation and the social climate in which their mothers lived. It wasn't very long after our losses that women became a bit more empowered and the social stigma of single motherhood lessened.
But we have all told those stories and I think that most of the population of adopted people from the BSE have heard it. Those who choose to do the research and face the facts are aware that we were railroaded into losing our children to the adoption machine. Those that don't accept it are, in my opinion, holding on to their anger because it is the devil they know and they don't care to grow past their own pique. The few who actually had uncaring, unnatural natural mothers (oxymoron time) seem to want to lump us all into that category.
I hear that, at the recent NY Conference, both Verrier and B.J. Lifton had opinions on this and also had a field day with the use of the "b" word. I hope you had fun ladies. Those folks that walked out did so because you refuse to respect Natural Mothers. Angry adoptees, adopters and ovine beemommies are going to find that those of us who have fought for and regained our self-respect are not going to sit and listen to the careless disregard people such as these two speakers showed for Mothers.
I remember the agonizing guilt I felt when I became pregnant the first time. I was made to believe that I had shown myself to be loose and amoral, shamed my family and disgraced their name. It took me years and a lot of hard work to see the fallacy behind those feelings, to discard that mantle of guilt and shame for something that most people were doing anyway and were lucky not to get caught. I loved my daughter's father, whether he deserved my love or not. I refuse to feel shame about that. I have even learned to stop feeling chagrin at the fact that he used me.
So that takes care of "you didn't have to spread your legs," and we can move right on to "nobody held a gun to your head." SINCE WHEN have people been unable to understand the concepts of emotional pressure, coercion, brainwashing, implied threats and ultimatums given by our parents and families? WHY IS IT so hard for some to see how terrifying it must have been to be young, banished, isolated and with no resources? WHAT IS SO HARD TO UNDERSTAND about being so beaten down that the only option left was surrender? Yes, I would have made a good mother, even at that young age. BUT I WAS NOT ALLOWED TO DO SO. I was never told of any social programs (and they were few and hard to get) to help me out and I was told I could expect no support whatsoever from my family.
The social workers were very clever in persuading us that we would be toxic to our babies, that if we kept and raised them, we would ruin their lives and destroy what was left of our own lives. We had it pounded into our brains that our children would thank us for surrendering. Did we cave? Hell yes. To my younger sisters and adoptees, if it had been you, living under the social and familial structure that we did, you would have waved that white flag as well.
So here is the bottom line. I am sorry that things were so f***ed up when you were born. I am sorry that your grandparents couldn't think past what the neighbors might think. I am sorry I was young, helpless and without resources. BUT I refuse to apologize for that which I am not responsible. I will not apologize for the fact that we were the victim of the Great Adoption Lie. There is an industry, a government and the people who power that industry who need to do the apologizing to both Mothers and adoptees.
Another trip that some adopted people are trying to lay on me and on others that are not in favor of OBC access at any cost is the mistaken notion that we are against adoptee access to their records. Not guilty! I am totally in support of open records. I am not in support of dirty bills that allow contact vetoes, call for mandated medical histories in violation of our HIPAA protection and that take hundreds of pages to say what the Oregon bill did in a few paragraphs. Be careful what you take out of context.
Above all, remember that we Mothers are human beings and we don't take kindly to being sold down the river, especially for something for which we are not responsible. So don't expect a door-mat variety apology from me. I will not relinquish the dignity I fought for so tirelessly. I and many others like me deserve an apology for what we suffered. Our children deserve one as well, but not from the majority of the mothers of the EMS. Look for the real villains.
And to Mss. Verrier and Lifton, take your suggestions and your "B" word, find an orifice on your person, and stuff them.