When it comes to our healing, it is a matter of course that adopters, the industry, the NCFA and so many others opine that we are not in need of healing. To these people, our trauma is deserved, our grief is transitory and our lives are no big deal to anyone. The true wounds of our experience are reduced to terms like "bitter, angry, ungrateful, selfish" and whatever else they can come up with to diminish our pain and our person-hood. We get a nod in the direction of our mourning, but they expect us to get over that one FAST. "What? Are you still moaning about THAT?"
I learned that, for myself, the pain of loss to adoption is not something I will ever "get over." I have learned, instead, to live with the facts of what happened and channel my anger and hurt into activism as best I can. I have managed a happy and serene existence (for the most part) by accepting what I cannot change and working to change the things I can.
Call it healing or call it recovery, it all boils down to learning to live, to care for ourselves and to refuse to accept the judgments that were meted out to us as vulnerable and powerless girls. It's not as easy to shame and blame mature women who know the truth about life and people. Most of us are now well aware of the fact that having sex is NOT the worst thing we could have done and that we were not the only ones who did it. We are just the ones who got caught by our fertility and the carelessness of our lovers, abandoned by our boyfriends and families and were ground up like sausage in the surrender grist mill.
I hate to see this is still being done to young girls who reach out to these deceptive "Pregnancy Crisis Centers" and who are conned by slick spins on an old theme. You still have to persuade a mother-to-be that she is not what her child needs in order to pass that child on to the paying customers. It took many of us decades to emerge from the fog of the emotional violence done to us. I wonder how long it will take and what it will take to get to these new mothers. I know my palm itches to slap some of these happy-sappy beemommies into the realization that they have been had in the worst way.
This is an adult pain...not some kid's boo-boo that you can kiss, wrap in a band aid and send the little darling back out to play. This is a trauma of a woman. Ages 13 or 30, if you gestate and give birth, then you most likely have a mother's heart, a woman's pain and the potential to nurture. Nature prepares you for it, physically and emotionally. Your breasts fill and become heavy and ready to nourish your child. Your brain is flooded with natural chemicals and hormones that, regardless of what anyone says, MAKES YOU A MOTHER.
Yes, there are those non-caring women who really don't want the child they bear. I have to wonder what they were doing by not protecting themselves from pregnancy or by not terminating the pregnancy in the early stages if they are so uncaring of the child. They sure didn't do the kid a favor. But these are not the women I am discussing and they are a small percentage of the victims of the surrender game.
Finding a way to deal with what happened is an individual thing. There are many good guides to healing that have some good ideas on self-help for surrender loss. But what works for one may not work for another. So we search until we find what works for us. For me, it was applying the 12-step program to the issue. During the process, I've found renewed self-esteem and have grown a new backbone. That is a delicious sensation.
Now, during this month that the Industry would make its own, I can thumb my nose, point my finger and say, out loud, "You Lie!" Big Adoption, Society, many adopters and our government have a lot to answer to. They are already scurrying for cover stories in Australia where an inquiry is imminent. I would love to see this happen here. I would love to see the agency doors closing, right and left. I would love to hear the irrational excuses that would be invented for such an inquiry here in the US. I don't really see how they can justify anything they have done without admitting to dabbling in a bit of Hitleresque social engineering.
Don't be misled. The Industry and those who lobby for and support it are already trying to be proactive where potential quests for justice are concerned. Read the 100+ page open records legislations in various states and you will see the fine hand of the pro-adoption faction at work. They would love nothing better than to lay all their trespasses in the laps of the mothers who surrendered and then let the mob have at us.
Healing, to me, means that I will fight that with everything I have, even if all I have are my words and this blog. I know I feel better for having done something, however small, rather than letting it go and sitting in my Ivory Tower. I became a mother when I felt the faint stirrings of life inside me in 1961. I refuse to let the Industry, adopters or anyone else tell me I didn't.
I find that attitude to be immensely healing.