Over the last few days I have been taking time to relive my journey in view of my actual emotions and feelings. When I do this everything makes me well up. Its madness and tiring at the same time. A cute kitten on a Utube video, watching my child dancing creatively to her current favourite song , even an online article about a possible cure for Parkinson’s had me in floods. Its weird how feelings you suppress for years rear up like a pile of leaves whipped up by a brisk wind. I am not a weepy sort of person. Never known to be anyway but I do feel deeply . My reaction is usually silence and I go in on myself until the cloud leaves behind blue sky
Over my Journey my ability to Forgive has been tested many times. Usually I can pretend to myself that something that hurts didn’t really matter but sadly this is untrue.
I want anyone reading this who will one day embark on this journey to be assured it is all worth it. I promise you. The shit hurts, the joy warms – but its a mix you would expect from any life-changing journey. I know many braver women than me…with more courage in their little toe than I have in my entire body . One such woman who I’ve known years told me recently she had been on her own personal journey to battle breast cancer. I love this woman and hope she knows this, I feel I should have known but she kept it from her entire family and I am just a friend. This lady helped me through a tricky time of life. Divorce can be a lonely time when all your mates are loved up but she was there and helped me in a way even she doesn’t realise.
Her recent admission to me about her battle left me in total awe of her and of the resilience women display when the shit hits the fan. Going it alone with a disease? you imagine that to be a very unfair one-sided fight. She hid the sickness, the treatment , the hair loss and the whole process of recovery from her nearest and dearest and told me once she came through the other side. I pray she is clear now as that’s a secret that cannot be kept forever…..brave beyond words. She fought with every healthy cell in her body and looks to have won…She worked her arduous and physically challenging job whilst coping with the effects of the Chemotherapy. To me, she is Superwoman!
The reason she kept it from her loved ones? Because they had recently lost her own mother and were grieving. She wanted to spare them the additional grief of knowing her own diagnosis. The fact they might put a death sentence into the situation was too much responsibility and I commend this lady and I also love her dearly. Selfless and dedicated to the life she lives , she’s pulled through.
In short the love of her family is what has determined her decision to stay silent and spare them the worry and sadness. This post is dedicated to her and if she’s reading this, she knows who she is. She needs to know she is my real life living heroine…..
Her family would have to respect her secret. How could they not forgive her ? Which brings me to Forgiveness. I told you before , its not something that resonates loudly in my persona…a flaw I am working on, I promise, but nevertheless I have realised its something I need to apply more often.
My last visit to see my BM was that fateful Christmas….Drama Queen Central.
I reeled for months following the event and the realisation that my wishes not to be confronted with other DNA had been ignored. Furthermore my requests to leave it to me to share my past with my child .More critical to me was the fact that it is my place to share my history with my own child. I’m her Mummy after all.
I am not sure anything previous or since had effected me in the same way emotionally. Apart from the vitriol displayed by my own mother of course. I learned that Christmas that I had to grow into someone my daughter would rely on as her font of all knowledge, her place of trust and safety. Her world of truth.
Sadly some people appoint themselves as this place regardless of knowing its not theirs to claim. Without going into too much detail my Mother decided it was her place to tell my child chapter and verse about my adoption, my history, my story to tell. Not hers. The result was a confused little girl who only showed us she had heard this tale by asking her Daddy if she was in fact his?!. You can imagine that went down well!? Not! The resultant fall out almost ended my relationship with my Mother. I tell you the red mist descended like a cloak of crimson over my whole being. The next conversation with my Mother questioned whether in fact her constant punishing of me for finding BM was healthy enough for me to continue as we were. It took some time for me to move past this but we are on a totally different page going forward. Whether its right or wrong, its working as I have not forgiven her for either Controlling and manipulative episodes. Deep down I love her. However it is now a love of a different kind. They say you cannot love without trust. You can, as long as you know that is what it is. I don’t have faith in her ‘having my back’ as I have to watch that back. I don’t believe she feels in any way different now about me finding BM than she did 3 years ago. My surface forgiveness works because I love her but mostly because I refuse to discuss anything remotely Adoption with her. My daughter however developed a massive curiosity following Granny’s Story telling session and her constant wish for a) Mummy to find her half sister b) To look at the photos of BM and of late for Mummy and Daddy to adopt her a sibling!!?…………….Oddly I often find myself protecting Granny from the negatives to own actions..When my child tells me in a confident tone ‘So Granny isn’t really your mummy then? Or ‘So I have another Granny then?’ I find myself explaining that NO , that’s wrong, Granny is still Granny. My BM is my friend and not someone you need to figure as part of your life …she has more Grannies than she can shake a stick at and all serve her well in their own special way. Add another to the mix! Dear God! I can barely cope with the extended family we have adoptively…doesn’t bear thinking about how she would latch onto the delinquent Diva in Manchester. Not on my watch!!
So in essence I forgive on the surface. My brother is forgiven for being naive and stupid in his behaviour. But it is the behaviour I cant forgive. Not the Brother. My Mother? In her way she regrets saying what she said ..both to me and later to my child (as she got serious shit for it, I tell you!) However I would bet good money that she meant every single poisonous word . For this I pity her rather than forgive. I have to live with the ingrained pain of mulling those words over in the small hours when too much red is coursing through my veins. For her, that day cannot be un-lived and never hearing me say ‘I Forgive You Mum’ will probably feel like the worst unintentional punishment in return. I cannot help her with that. I learned that you cannot be responsible for someone else’s issues but you can choose how you react to them.
“YOU need to get help So YOU can see how Youve made ME feel” – remember this ?
So recently I hit a dip emotionally and wondered if in fact a little counselling might be just what I needed to help put these feelings of disappointment, resentment and inability to forgive, to bed , once and for all. So a good friend made a recommendation of a ‘Shrink’ Calling it that for the purpose of simplicity…and because I cant spell counselling without spell checker kicking off at me…
I went along like a good emotionally screwed up adoptee.
Sat in the car chatting to a friend for Dutch courage as I arrived early for the appointment. I was in fact a fair walk away from the ram shackled house where my Shrink lived. I wandered through her garden. You’ve never seen so many gnomes, stone shrews, squirrels and rabbits in one place. It was like Narnia! They were all watching me approach the wrong front door and stifling laughter? She let me into the lobby. Stuff everywhere, umbrellas, wellies and clothes over backs of chairs. She showed me into a tiny library…set up as a clichéd therapy room should be. Books upon books covered one wall behind her tiny arm chair. An identical chair faced her at the other end of the small room and a log burner roared in the middle. It was pretty hot even by my standards so I took off my gilet.
I looked around and wondered how someone who lived in such chaos themselves would possibly be able to make sense and order of my chaotic emotions. Never gonna happen! was my conclusion. But, I was here and willing to give it a try so took a deep breath….
I asked if I might use the loo. Jeez! The look on her face! Anyone would think I’d asked her if I could borrow a bloody kidney. Surely if you hold a clinic in your home sometimes people need to pee? So reluctantly she leaves me at the bottom of a narrow staircase, stomps upstairs and puts on one light at the top. Leaving me to climb a pitch black stairwell she guides me to step over laundry baskets into a tiny spare room en suite. Whilst in there I cant help asking myself if the next hour is going to be worth the quoted £55 in either my time or her ‘expertise’ I had serious doubts this was the best idea I had ever had.
I found her sitting ready in her Shrinks chair , eyes shining like an excited child. I was guessing she already figured I was an odd ball because I needed to pee within a minute of arriving….
She opened with asking me to just talk. Tell her my life, my reason for seeking ‘help’ and said we then would decided between us if ‘this ‘ was what I needed…I am not one to shirk an invite to chatter but this was quite different. On occasion she pointed out to me that I seemed ’emotional’ or ‘angry’ No shit, Yeh I’m pissed off about a lot of this stuff and you asked for it so you are hearing it love! So I ranted and railed and basically talked through from birth to present day. After what felt like only minutes she looked at her watch and said ‘ We have 10 minutes left, just letting you know!’ I thought ‘Oh OK I forgot I was on the clock’. She had said very little. At one point she had tried to suggest maybe the weeks I was in foster care could have some bearing on how I related to my Mother? Really? What am I missing?? Sadly this woman herself was the age and not dissimilar in demeanour to the very woman with whom I have the issues! Not helpful and I felt probably compounded my frustration. Let me be clear, I have many friends of my mothers age. My issue is not with the age. I got along just fine with her for over 40 years and then I stepped over the line of compliance and it went pear shaped.. I was in the wrong place.I told her I wanted solutions. Tools to help me manage my reactions to my mothers behaviour. I didn’t need to take the lid off any other issues she might dream up for me and run with. Honestly, is this value for money?. At least it was warm right!? At the two minute warning she told me to sit silently with my eyes closed and decide it we were a ‘match’ . Silence..you want £55 and you want me to sit in silence? What? I did as I was told but call it a two minute sulk!
We decided to give it another session. I promptly text and cancelled the second appointment as soon as I got home. Partly due to her farewell comment. She asked where I parked and suggesting I parked in the village centre car park next time, she pushed me out the door, forcing me to have to back up and grab my discarded gilet. I wasn’t leaving it there, I loved that damn gilet , even with its wonky hood!. Before she did so, she remarked that there was in fact a public toilet in that particular car park!!! Ha! Now, was I the worst person ever to grace her spare room throne? Was I the great unwashed? Or was she a total fruit loop with toilet issues? Maybe she didn’t expect her clients to bring their bladders along to sessions?! Who knew? Maybe she needed a Shrink? Just a thought!. Saving myself further embarrassment was priority over having layers of me peeled away like a withered Onion. Not the best hour spent..However what I did learn was one very important thing. I am Adopted. Yes. That is it. I don’t need Therapy. I have no more issues about being Adopted than the next person. Those around me who have the issues should be paying £55 an hour to sort out their own shit. I don’t need Therapy!! Yay! Almost the realisation of this fact was Therapy in itself!
Don’t let other people push their issues onto you and expect you to get ‘mended’ when you aren’t even broken!
I am Adopted. Not Broken…..
Thanks for reading