First, about comparing reunions.I was generalizing in my thoughts about the different things I read at FMF. There are many who do not fall into the "worst case scenario" when it comes to reunion, but there are many who do. I want any expectant mother considering adoption who may stumble onto my blog to know the possibilities of "what may be" if they allow adoption into their lives. They are not giving up their motherhood for only 18 years, it may be forever. Reunion isn't a sure thing. Growing a loving relationship after reunion isn't a sure thing.
Isn't that part of what is so hard in navigating through a reunion? There is nothing to compare to. There are also no "rules" to follow. When there are no rules or nothing to compare your reunion to, there is no real way to go into reunion except with trial and error. Hopefully the error isn't enough to completely de-rail the reunion. What works for one person will horribly fail for another. All we can hope for is that all parties are in it for the best, and are willing to get to know each other despite ourselves.
Now for the part that has really been bothering me.
Putting up walls.
Linda said... I love the "I took the baby I gave up for adoption out of the day" comment. Once I let go of the baby who was given up for adoption (me) it really helped me. I cannot change what my Mother went through, and I cannot change what was done to me. It's taken me 45 years to get to this point.
I don't remember who it was that gave me that advice. To take the baby I gave up out of my reunion with Christopher. It was the best advice I received, and was a tremendous help to me when I was first navigating through reunion. It helped me be happy to get to know the young man who Christopher is, instead of only being sad about the baby who grew up without me. It didn't always help, there were and still are times it is impossible to take the baby out of the equation. I love Linda's words "I cannot change what my Mother went through, and I cannot change what was done to me" ~ substitute son for mother, and it's taken me 48 years to get to this point!
lolokey said... I wasn't sure, so I went back and checked. When you met your son for your first f2f he told you one of the conditions was that you couldn't cry! Maybe you put that wall up at his request, not yours? (which by the way is a very maternal thing to do!)
Yes, that was his one condition to meeting that October day last year. He said I couldn't cry. Which I didn't think was going to be a problem, as I have been unable to cry in front of anyone for years. I had become an expert at putting up the walls and not letting out my emotions. So having Christopher put that request out there only made it more necessary for me to put and keep that wall up. It became necessary to me to completely take that baby out of the day, in order to make it through meeting the wonderful young man without tears for the baby I lost.
The thing that really bothers me though is that I have become so good at burying the emotions. I feel as though it's emotionally unhealthy for me, it makes me angry at myself, it just plain drives me crazy that I don't/can't cry over all of this. Or is it? Am I mental (quit nodding), or is it something else?
lolokey said...I struggle with putting walls up as well. Maybe the most important thing is that we allow ourselves to feel the emotions, not beat ourselves up about when we do (or don't) feel them. Maybe we can start to learn to see our walls as a place to lean on when we need support and not use them to protect ourselves.
Is my lack of crying because I buried the tears? Or have I actually come to a place of.... acceptance? Maybe I need to quit beating myself up for what I think is not feeling the emotions. I do feel love, fear, worry, etc. for Christopher, for all the loved ones in my life. Have I been leaning on my walls, not hiding behind them? This all sounds so stupid when I go back and read these last words. I so wish that I was able to get the swirling thoughts out of my head and into a sentence that makes sense when written!! I guess what I need to do is take lolokey's advice and not beat myself up for not feeling the emotions. Because maybe that's not what's going on after all.
I wish there was a guide book for all of this...