Thursday, May 26, 2011

Never Too Old To Learn

Anyone who ever gets the idea that you reach a point where you have all the wisdom of life sewn up needs to be given a dose of reality. At 65, I am learning that you never stop discovering and you never stop changing. I'm a pretty stubborn "middle-aged-plus" dame, but I know it is unhealthy for me to not allow myself to continue to evolve. You're never too old to learn.

While I doubt I'll ever be able to tolerate the "B" word with grace, I have learned a lot about how different we all are, even with the shared experiences we have. I'm still anti-adoption but I have a more realistic view of how and when that institution might finally fall. It won't be in one night, like the Berlin Wall. It will take the constant and concentrated efforts of many different people, Mothers and the Adult Adoptees, chipping away on all sides to bring down that monolith. I doubt that will happen in my lifetime, but I'll go to my final reward still chipping.

I have been the object of some anger that was really misdirected. I have been dismayed to see us all lumped together as a group under that nasty Barfmuggle term, and I have been frustrated by the number of Adoptees who still see us as the cause and the culprit. I have also had my heart torn by watching these same Adoptees deal with their mistrust, frustration and sadness. I am teaching myself to remember that not everyone has reached the same level of healing and enlightenment. I'm working hard at not taking it personally.

I am also working hard at trying to help others understand the Mothers of coerced surrender. I really can't say too much about those who weren't coerced or who think they weren't, anyway. But when it comes to the whys and the hows of our separation from our infants, we are the experts. We were young, for the most part, naive, without autonomy, without financial independence, shamed, abandoned, betrayed and terrified. Our burden to bear is that we were old enough to remember it. The Adoptees bear the burden of the inability of our species to remember our infancies.

I know there are quite a few Mothers who have gone so deep into denial that they suffer from a sort of selective amnesia. I tried to do that and did manage to forget a few things...things that came back to me with a sickening rush over the first few years of reunion. Others are terrified that the house of glass they have built out of lies and secrets will come crashing down or are just terrified that they will have to face that trauma, again.

Our children, in our age group, are middle-aged adults, some even with grandchildren. They don't have a memory of the time spent in our wombs or what little time we had with them after they were born. All they know is what they were told and too often what was related to them was conjecture, urban legend and outright lies. How could they help but be confused and how hard must it be to trust? Mothers have their own trust issues so, though they are for different reasons, we're fighting the same demons, there.

My last two blogs have been about putting things into perspective. I am hoping that idea can be a healing one for some. There has to come a time in our lives when we stop blaming others, even our parents, loved ones, whoever, for our personal difficulties and start looking inward for answers. The social injustice issues are another thing, altogether. There IS blame to be laid, there and it isn't on us.

I strongly believe that a terrible injustice was done to us and to our children. I strongly believe that this injustice needs to be addressed, records opened, truths told and the entire concept of breaking up one family to form another investigated, thoroughly, and apologies and recompense offered. I also believe that it is okay, permissible, even good for us to let it be the rest of the time and live our lives with humor, humility, gratitude and optimism.

I consider myself an activist. But I cannot and will not live, breathe and eat surrender and adoption trauma twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week. You see, this old broad learned something. I learned that I, that we all, deserved better then and we sure as Hell deserve better now. I want my "better" before I die.

So you'll excuse me if I don't rush to the altar of adoption separation pain, anymore. However, I'll be waiting at the door to the temple, ready to go get some work done and then have some fun when you get finished there.

I hope a lot of people I really like a lot are putting their best efforts into healing. I still am doing that. It's a learning process and you're never too old to learn.


Von said...

Thanks for reason and sense.While adoptees might not remember the detail they do remember other things, but lets no go there again!
We all deserve a healthy life and that means balance.
Out here adoption is hard to avoid right now with the Inquiry going on and new information and horrors coming to light every day.There is still work to do, hopefully for you in America in time, a new generation will step up to take on the reforms that all hope will happen.

Lori said...

Robin, growing and learning... my favorite things... may we both get what we need and live happy.... As for me, I am taking a much needed vacation and going to DC in August, then next year, enjoying Orlando! I finally understand how to do for me first... So off to study (I will get my doctorate) and hope you continue to write ... I enjoy your blog.

Gail said...

I'm sorry to read that you've had to deal with anger directed toward you. If it had anything to do with the last to posts, then for certain it was misdirected. Your goal was to put things in perspective and in my book you deserve an A+ for doing just that.

Life is too short to spend it wallowing in misery or at the altar of adoption separation pain. I work hard at finding enjoyment each day that I'm here and I try to make sure that I make at least one other person I share this planet with have an extra special good day as well. By the end of the week then it is my hope that I will have touched the life of seven different people in a positive way!

Have a great day.

Anonymous said...

I'm always going to be an activist. Something I just recently learned, is that I want to have fun, and be creative in all that I do. While there isn't really anything fun about adoption trauma, I look within and find a way of turning the experience at hand into something creative or fun. Or, at least try.

If I can't dance at your revolution, I don't want to be a part of it.