Wednesday, December 08, 2010

Caution; Raw Nerve-Do Not Touch

It seems I touched a few of those raw nerves with my blog, yesterday, about codependency. I'm glad I did. It's time, I feel, for those of us who have been abraded by the brier patch of adoption to put some salve on those wounds and get over ourselves. There comes a point when we have to quit trying to hold a house of cards together against the wind of truth.

I'm back to the jackass in the ditch, again. We all know how the dysfunction of adoption separation has adversely affected both adopted people and natural mothers. But isn't it past time that we stopped using that past trauma as an excuse to fight among ourselves and started fighting back and allowing personal growth? Let's get the jackass out of the damn ditch!

This is personal stuff. This is the only life we have. We can allow misperceptions and mythology to continue on being in control, or we can take back the helm and steer our own course.  We just have to have the courage to hear and accept the truth and learn that it isn't always about us.

When I was a little girl and someone said something I didn't want to hear or I wanted to win an argument without having the words, I would stick my fingers in my ears and sing, real loud, "La, la  la, la....." until the other person shut up or left. Yes, that was childish. I was a child. But I see a big bunch of adults doing the same damn thing and it is very unbecoming.

PAPs and adopters are good at this. If you refuse to hear and accept the truth, then you can keep on at what you are doing, guilt-free....sorta. But that's their own character defect with which to deal. If any of them can listen and learn and be honest with themselves, good for them.

Many adopted people don't want to hear the truth about how they came to be adopted. It's easier to be angry, believe every word their adopters told them and blame it all on Mommy. Many mothers don't want to let go of that fiction of the sacrificing mother/heroine. They might have to admit we were powerless and/or got scammed and that would be to admit we were vulnerable (weak) and/or naive (stupid). Boy, do we have our hang-ups or what?

And BOTH adopted people and mothers want a perfect (as they think it should be) resolution to it all, and there ain't no such animal. The part about regaining our emotional health and equilibrium goes way beyond open records and redress for the maltreatment of mothers. It is about who we choose to be now, how we choose to be treated and to treat others and whether or not we are brave enough to accept and integrate the truth into our hearts. It starts with one step in the direction of the realization of the fact that none of us know it all, that we cannot control everything and everyone around us and that we can all have the right to be respected if we give respect.

In some cases, unfortunately, we also have to learn when to let go. It is hard for someone who has no self-respect to respect others. No one, mother or adult child, should be an emotional punching bag for the other. If it doesn't work out, it's sad, but there is still a life to be led. When one or the other is severely dysfunctional, then taking it personally is really self-defeating.

I was just out back watching my husband play keep-away with our little dog. She has had it rough..lost her people, had little real training in life skills and spent a lot of time being barked at, having her food stolen and being pushed around by bigger dogs while in the kennel. They call her condition, "Kennel Shock." The dog running circles around her "daddy" is not the same dog we found at the SPCA kennel six weeks ago. Every day I see her grow. She no longer has "accidents" in the house. She is less fearful of strangers and other dogs. She walks with a prance and her tail up when before she stayed nose to the ground and wanted to run home if she saw anyone. While we were outside, the little dog two houses down started barking. That was usually a signal for Dolly to run back to the door and beg to go in. This time she ran to a good vantage point to investigate what all the noise was about. When she saw that Krista just wanted in, she ran back to play a bit longer. She is living in the now. She is forgetting what happened that led to the fearful and aggressive behavior she was showing. She's erasing the old tapes. She's living in the moment.

Now I don't think that we can just erase our memories and go blithely about as if none of this adoption separation crap never happened. But we can try living with what is. We can fight for justice for past and even
current  injustices and we can fight for equal civil rights, but we don't need to be fighting, blaming and carping at each other. We are adults. Dolly is no longer a puppy, and, while she has us, she needs to learn how to get on in the world in a healthy way. So do we, together in reunion or apart as in, "Oh well, it didn't work out," we have a right, all of us, to pursue happiness and enjoy peace of mind.  Being imperfect human beings, that happiness and peace of mind won't be perfect, either.

But wouldn't it be a lot better than that constant knot in your belly? The tears, the crushing need and the resentment are products of an unnatural situation that, yes, was unfair and horrible to us and to our children. But we can't change what happened then and the blame needs to go where it belongs.

As long as we fight each other and blame each other, the Industry and those that the Industry benefits are getting exactly what they want from us. Think about it.


Just Me said...

Another great post Robin!

Sandy Young said...

Tough comments, huh? Oh, to be them, huh?

Von said...

You bet, who wants to remain a victim forever? As long as we remember we are all at different stages on this difficult journey and have some compasion and kindness.

Robin said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Robin said...

You're absolutely right, Von. But, as adults, we should have the maturity to treat each other with civility and respect while as we make our journey.

Lori said...

Robin...You make me proud to know really do.

Bridget said...

I just found your blog while looking through some anti-adoption websites.

FABULOUS BLOG :) I love that you don't allow any of the pro-adoption nonsense on here.

Anonymous said...

I couldn't agree more. We all go thru trying times in our pasts...but we must live for today... I have been reading your blog, and as an adoptee I could only wish my nmom had 1% of your outtake on life.