Monday, April 04, 2011

If Anyone Wonders Why.....

This past weekend, my oldest child's paternal grandmother passed away. She was a sweet lady who always treated me with kindness and a gentle respect. The same was true of her late husband.

I don't know what happened to her son. We were both teens, close together in age, and my family was adamant that there would be no marriage. So was my errant lover. He was scared to death. I wonder if my family had allowed it, would his folks have made him marry me? From what I know of those fine people, yes, they probably would have, if only to give their grandchild a name.

But it had already been decided, on my family's part, that there would be no marriage and that "the baby" (MY BABY!!!!!) would be given up for adoption. They decided that, not me.

When my daughter contacted me in April of 1993, I was ready with any information she wanted, including the name of her father. For her, it was important that "the circle be closed." I knew that, where her father was concerned, I was persona non grata, especially to his wife. So, we decided we would contact her paternal grandparents.

No one could have been sweeter or more welcoming to her than her grandparents. They considered her family, at least until her father decided that he didn't want that happening. She had met him only once and he was not eager to acknowledge her even though she could tell he knew she was his daughter. He eventually cut off all contact with her.

She sent a floral arrangement when her grandfather passed but the family had it removed. He spent years denying that she was his to anyone who would listen. His family knows better. However, they ARE his family, so my daughter is a subject not to be discussed because he wants it that way. He has a sister that is kind and open to her and to me, but her loyalties are, first and foremost, to her brother.

So if anyone wonders, this is why I get frustrated with the "good old Dad" stuff that I hear from a lot of adult adoptees. When I say that many of us were abandoned in our time of need, know that the "putative" fathers were usually the first ones out the door and running down the road. This didn't just happen to SOME of us. It happened to MOST of us.

Remember young love? Remember the lovely ache of it, deep in the chest, the fire in the belly and the stars in your eyes? Remember the sweet dreams and the joys of just being held and kissed and hearing those sweet words? I would have carved out my heart for him, back then, and handed it to him in an ivory box lined in silk. I lived to see him look into my eyes and smile.

The reaction of my family and some of my former friends really hurt. Being sent away like a dirty little secret hurt. Being a social outcast hurt. But one of the things that hurt the most was that uncaring rejection, that being kicked to the curb like so much rancid garbage by the one I loved. The only other thing that hurt worse was the loss of my child.

He spoke about me to others in the most disparaging of ways, hinting that I was easy and promiscuous. He lied like a politician who was losing. And, stupid me, I still loved him! It took me years to get over him and, when I  finally did, I felt a thousand pounds lighter. Obsessive masochism is a heavy load and he wasn't worth the damage it did to me.

He is now doing the same thing to our daughter, kicking her aside and refusing to acknowledge her. She offered to have a DNA test done just to still his protests, but he refused. And the ultimate insult to her is his refusal to allow her to join in the mourning for her grandparents.

I remember them both stumbling over words, way back when, trying to make excuses for him and apologies to me. I was, and still am, grateful to the core for their kindness. Their hearts were in the right place and the world is poorer for their passing. I see the best of them in my daughter.

I lit a candle for Hazel. I hope there is something there, on the other side of death, and that she is with her husband again. I hope they both are at rest.

I just wish my daughter didn't have to mourn, alone.

4 comments:

Sandy Young said...

Everything about adoption is lies on lies on lies. It takes a lot of energy to maintain that level of denial. I am sorry that she is having to go this alone, and that her father is so invested in his denial. I cannot but think that Karma is a bitch....this is the second, third and on generation that he and his lies have screwed over. Wonder what he will be coming back in his next life as....a bedbug?

Just Me said...

Very beautiful post, Robin. And although you don't sugar coat anything, you certainly show you are the better person for not being nasty in your writings about this (excuse me) prick.

dawn said...

I am sorry that your daughter's father's actions are harming your daughter and continuing/creating the harmful legacy of adoption.

I agree with/have noticed the tendency among adoptees to have different standards or at least ways of thinking about their moms and their dads and I think it's partly motivated by the way the relationship between adoptee and mom is more discussed or thought about. (I did expand on this, but moved it to my blog because of length.)

Anonymous said...

Robin,

Such a sad commentary our babies were
not only denied their moms they were
denied their families on both sides. I am
sorry for Sara and you to have to put up
with the non acknowlegement.
My family just lost an aunt my son who
who knew this aunt not very closely will
not be attending funeral. None of my other
grown adults will either to be fair to him.
I will go it alone this aunt took care of my
daughter when I was a young teen mom
who had no mommy and me class to go
to back in 63. What a time it was and this
aunt helped me.