Wednesday, September 29, 2010

I Plead 'Not Guilty'

You know, I was starting to like Nancy Verrier a little bit, when I read her first book, until she up and opined that we Natural Mothers needed to apologize to our adult, reunited children. I want to ask why I should apologize for something I didn't do? Am I responsible for the conception of my surrendered children? Well, yes and no. I was deeply in love with the father of my first born so I will claim my 50% of the responsibility for her conception. I don't think being sexually assaulted by the sire of my second would allow me to claim that responsibility. But so what? NO CHILD ASKS TO BE CONCEIVED. I didn't, unless I was extremely precocious and could send out messages via uncombined DNA.

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.


J. Marie Jameson said...

I agree with you. I never asked or wanted my birth mother to apologize for surrendering me. I understood that she was young and I assumed she was scared. I also had been told by just about everyone that it was her mother that forced the issue. So, I never had any desire or need for apologies. My life didn't suck because of the decisions that were made; so, why should she apologize to me?

BUT - what I wouldn't mind getting an apology for?

Her not having the guts as an adult to tell her mother where to shove it regarding us having a relationship now.

HOWEVER - I don't expect to ever get that apology.

If it never comes, even if we mend our fences and are able to have a relationship in the future, it's okay if that apology doesn't happen 'cause all I want is my 'mum'.

Soojung Jo said...

I wasn't laying a trip on you, I misunderstood the nature of your defense. Please also don't take me out of context. I said that you don't support unrestricted OBC and I think that is still accurate even if I don't explain every aspect of why. None of us are black and white. We can't put a caveat on everything we say.

And I agree, I think the world owes my biological mother an apology too. I almost want to apologize to her because I almost certainly got a fairer shake out of this deal than she did.

Robin said... are not the only adoptee that has questioned my reservations about the bills that have been introduced that call for contact vetoes, mandated medical and psycho-social histories and place mothers in a position of having to oppose these bills. Since I was being discussed on another blog, I feel I had a right to correct misassumptions there and here.

I had three people send me private messages about the fact that I was being misrepresented on another blog. Just covering all the bases, here.

I hope your natural mother receives more than just an apology. I hope she, and all the rest of us, start receiving the respect and justice that is long overdue us. But knowing the nature of the adoption beast, how it is skewed and what kind of financial and political clout it carries, I won't be holding my breath.

And, I hope that free and equal access to OBCs and amended BCs without all the riders and conditions comes true for us all.

Real Daughter said...

Like Just Me, I did not expect my Mother to apologize...just for the things she has done over the past 10 years. I am also able to recognize WHY she has done the things she has done in the past 10 doesn't excuse what she has done, but I realize they are symptoms of what the adoption machine did to her.

I completely agree with you about "dirty bills", and uncompromised access....but my Mother's health records are none of my business.

Chris told me what she had to fill out in order to put her waiver into her daughter's court file....and it was despicable. Our Mother are not a science project for the government, any more than we are.

Thank you for responding on the GIMH blog. I respect your beliefs and it pi$$ed me off to see your words twisted.

ElaineP said...

idk - I apologize for stuff I had not control over. When my daughters come home and say that they had an awful day or a bad experience, I typically say, "I'm so sorry" and give them a hug. I'm not saying that I had anything to do with their bad day, but I'm acknowledging that they are hurt or things didn't go well.

Robin said...

Elaine, I do the same thing. That is apples and oranges. I say I'm sorry when someone says they are hurting or when someone dies. That is a lot different from apologizing for something someone else did.

Unknown said...

I saw the Grown in my Heart thing last night and was going to call you about it today. Thank goodness you saw it. Your words and thought, of which I am intimately familiar and share, were totally distorted. And, Raina, it was more than a simple faux pas!

I think that the adoptee rights thing, of which SMAAC will be joining in July in San Antonio, our position is crystal clear...if not, perhaps we should AGAIN put it out there, on SMAAC's website! I will do so today!

Chris said...

I did apologize to my daughter, because for me, it was the right thing to do...she was crying, she told me how she missed me all her life, she felt so hurt because I left her. Of course, I explained as best I could...still in the end, she was my child, and I apologized to her the same as I would to my raised children, if I had unintentionally caused them pain and hurt. But I will not apologize to the whole damn world! Hell, I deserve an apology from the adoption agency and the nursing staff at Illinois Masonic Hospital for the gross mistreatment they afforded me when I had my baby girl. And they need to apologize to my daughter as well, for denying my baby the comfort of her own mother.
The only thing I was guilty of was not using protection at the time I was having sex with my much loved boyfriend..his guilt as well for not using condoms. BUT! We were young, we were engaging in what came easy to us as young people, SEX! So sue me!! Neither one of us in our lustful moments evidently didn't or couldn't recognize the fact...that sex can equal baby. With just a little help for me the baby would have stayed with me..and there would be no need for apologies or guilt, ever. Can't change the past though..what's done is done.

And Verrier can kiss my ass...yeah, right...I need an adoptive mother to tell me what I need to do! I don't think so! N. Verrier, you can stuff it!! Don't you just love it when an Adopter Mother wants to tell us what to do????? Pfffffft!

Von said...

Never expected my mother to apologise, it never occurred to me to even think about it.
I'v never heard a mother say she wanted an anonymity athough I know of a couple who didn't want reunion.
Adoption industry hype gets it's tentacles everywhere and they're dangerous and destructive.
I see the AdoptionCon announcement is attracting a few interesting comments!Great name hey?

Anonymous said...

I am an angry, ferocious adoptee but will never ask for or do I want an apology from my first mother or any first mother.

I am angry at the adoption industry that f'd us all over for profit.


maryanne said...

I think there is a difference between the adoptees on line who will never have enough apologies and who want to inflict further suffering and guilt on their mothers, and adoptees who can accept an apology and move on, like my son.

I agree with you about those who adoptees who endlessly blame all mothers without exception for "abandoning" them. They do need to finally grow up. And some of them need to see things just a bit from their mother's perspective.

I usually disagree with Nancy Verrier, do not believe in a universal primal wound, but for me, the advice to just say I was sorry, along with a full explanation or circumstances leading to surrender, really did help further my relationship with my son. It cleared the air.

But my son has never been accusatory, abusive, or even rude. He has always been a real gentleman, and a gentle soul.One of my favorite pictures of him is his great big hand bottle-feeding a tiny orphaned kitten:-)

I do not feel I have demeaned myself or have had to compromise or put up with anything negative by saying I was sorry for surrendering him. And he has never brought up the subject again.

I understand why mothers who have been treated badly by their kids have to say "enough", but that has not been my own experience. It does work for some of us, but the adoptee has to meet his mother half way too.