Monday, March 12, 2012

Honesty In Reunion. Yet Not Completely Honest...

Is it ever going to be possible to truly live an authentic life?  From the very first moment of my reunion with Christopher, I vowed to only be honest with him.  No matter what he may want or need to know.

But I'm NOT being completely honest.  By omission.  It's in the unsaid and unwritten that the lies come in. 

I was looking at my own facebook page and saw a couple of things on there from some of my "adoption related" friends and groups.  Is he a fb "stalker" like I am with him?  Does he check out the new friends I make there?   Does he go look at the movies/groups/links that I "like" there?  If he does, what does he think about my emerging voice in things adoption related?  Going beyond facebook, has he found this blog?  Does he think that I've become a "bitter birthmother"?  Is this a part of why he has been so silent?

I wish that I didn't worry about what he would think if he found my on-line presence in the adoption world.  It is not because I am saying anything untruthful that makes me worry.  It's because I am speaking out about how adoption has effected my life.  I'm speaking with complete honesty here on my blog, in my comments out and about in blog-land.  I don't want him to really know that truth.  I don't want him to know how deep the hurt goes for me.  I don't ever want him to think that he, himself, has hurt me so deeply.  Because is wasn't "him" that hurt me, it was the loss of him.  It was my own "choosing" of adoption that has hurt me.  I don't want him taking my pain and loss onto himself.

So I continue to lie to him.  About my thoughts & feelings on adoption loss anyways.  By omission.  While he does know the summary of  how adoption has effected me, I hope to never let him know the true depth of it. 


In the re-reading of this, I'm really uncomfortable with it.  I started this post days ago.  I have come back to it at least 5 times.  Hoping to see why it has been bothering me so...

It wouldn't even help to have someone to talk to, because I can't even put what I'm feeling\thinking into words!

                            Am I again making a choice about his life leaving him without a say in it? 

                                 Deciding what he can and cannot handle knowing?

              Am I using that as an excuse for something else? 

                            As a way to continue to hide my feelings?? 

Or is it simply to avoid confrontation? 

Is it because I don't want to be the one to kick Christopher out of the adoption fog?  Because it was so much easier in there, while I was in there. 


I guess this is just something I'm going to have to ponder on for a while.  I hope I can figure out why this has brought back the tornadoes of thoughts that won't settle... 

Yet another thing they don't tell you when you are considering adoption.  The self-doubts.  The questions.  The confusion about it all ~ even 33 years later. 

I wish that it was possible for expectant mothers considering adoption to live inside my brain for just one day...


  1. I never told my first Mother how much I missed her, how I had wished she had kept me, or the things that went on in my adoptive family. I didn't because I was afraid she would think I was blaming her. I regret it now, but can only blame the brainwashing that still had a slight hold on me when I was 21 years old.

    In the early days of our reunion, my Mother let me know some of the things she went through, and I didn't blame myself. These things, these painful things we go through when we are separated, are all part of our story. If we truly want an honest relationship with someone, we have to be honest.

    How can any of us live an authentic life if we are not honest? It can be really ugly getting to that authentic place, but it is so worth it.

    1. I really appreciate your input Linda ~ thanks for your comment. You are so right, it can be ugly getting to that authentic place. I just hope that if Christopher is hurt by my honesty, that he will soon realize that it's not his hurt to take on. It's the adoption machine's...

  2. Susie, I try to mostly keep adoption related stuff out of facebook because I just don't want to weird her out and I can't risk causing her to turn away. I am friends with a few people from blogging so I do worry slightly about things being said that shouldn't ect. I haven't been complete honest about blogging with my daughter. I have given her a link to my family blog and I created a blog for her but from looking at the stats she isn't paying any attention to it. I only write in it a couple times a month now. I would be upset if she found my blog but I just can't stop blogging because I enjoy it too much.

  3. Oh I wanted to say that for some people. They don't think too much about somethings. I can't recall anything in specific but I have panicked and got myself really worked up about things and it didn't even cross my daughters mind to get upset about it.

    1. Yeah, I always over think stuff. Christopher himself has told me that before!

  4. Susie,
    I've been thinking about this a lot lately. In my blog for my son, I was pretty honest about how the loss of him in my life affected me. I told him that having him and not getting to raise him, changed me, wounded me, damaged me. I wrote this thinking I might never hear from him and I wanted him to understand my deep love for him through my loss.

    Over the last two weeks, I have had this thought running through my mind. My adoption experience and his adoption experience are different. Yes, we both suffered a loss, but his life got filled up with time spent growing up, having his heart filled with love, experiencing things for the first time, becoming his own person. My adoption experience started when I was almost an adult. It was filled with loss and grief that I fully understood as a person with mature feelings. I had a hole in my soul that no one could fill and I could not let go of. I tried to fill it with the wrong things sometimes, I told him this, too.

    For me, the depth of my pain is directly correlated to the depth of my love for him. You are not telling him about your pain to blame him, or make him feel that pain. I think you would be telling him about the depth of your pain to help him understand the depth of your love.

    As for him finding your blog, try not to be afraid, try to be proud. Yes, it is the place where you have expressed your pain, rage, outrage, grief and more. It's the place where you have shared your secret fears with our little part of the world. It is also the place where you have consoled people, encouraged people, expressed concern and great support for many, many people who have needed to hear your voice and you have done it with eloquence and compassion. He'll see all sides of it.

    I don't know if this jumbled mess of a reply helped at all, I hope it did. As you can see I'm not too clear on all this myself. Sorry for the length of this :-/

    ((((HUGS, SUSIE)))

    1. Yes Laurie, your jumbled mess helped a lot ~ as your words always do. As for my blog, I don't know if I can quit being afraid of him finding it. In addition to the raw emotions, I worry that I'm overstepping boundaries on his part somewhat? Telling his story, although I try hard not to speak directly of or for him?

      I love what you said about the depth of the pain relating to the depth of my love for him. That is so very true...

  5. Susie:
    Your post really resonates with me. And I really like Laurie's response about the depth of the pain being correlated to the depth of your love for him. I wrestle with this issue too. My young adult son and I are in a reunion of sorts - we have yet to meet although we live in the same city and we are definitely in a communication limbo. I too want to figure out how to be honest with my narrative on pregnancy/relinquishment/loss but don't want to dump things on him that aren't his to take on. Someone told me once though that the little boy in him that fears he wasn't good enough to be kept probably needs to hear of the depth of my loss and grief. Maybe that person is right. I think it's a tricky thing. Never do I want my soul-crushing grief to make him feel that he doesn't have the right to be happy about the things he may have gained from being adopted and the experiences and family and friends he has as a result of being adopted or the happiness his adoptive parents have had in the privilege of raising him. I do think we have to be truth-tellers and somehow find a kind way to do so. I appreciate Linda saying that she didn't blame herself for her mother's grief and hopefully our sons would understand as well without taking it on. Take care of yourself.

    1. One time that I did mention something of my loss, Christopher mistook it to mean that I would deny him the "wonderful life" he has had. So yes, you are right on that finding the way to be truth-tellers being the hard part.

      I hope your limbo ends soon!

    2. " Never do I want my soul-crushing grief to make him feel that he doesn't have the right to be happy about the things he may have gained from being adopted and the experiences and family and friends he has as a result of being adopted or the happiness his adoptive parents have had in the privilege of raising him. "

      Maybe this is the key. Our grief and their happiness are separate issues. I want him to know that I'm overjoyed that he's had a happy life, that he has people that he loves, people that love him. He told me he's had a great life. That's what I want to hear. Whether we raise them or not, the goal for our children is that they have a great life. That being said, our grief needs to be shared with them. My grief has been a huge factor in who I've become as a woman, as a parent, as a partner. I can't honestly talk about myself, without at least acknowledging that. It was also, sadly, the only way I was allowed to show my love for him. Maybe that's why I could never let it go. (wow, just had an aha! moment there).

      It's important, I think, for them to own their truth around adoption and us to own our truth around adoption and for everyone to acknowledge that those truths are different and that's okay. It gives validity to each others experiences. UGH! this is so complicated, isn't it?!

  6. I too am amazed by Laurie's comment. She has found words for my grief and why it is so deep and painful. (Susie I completely understand your statement about how sometimes I cannot even put to words what I feel.)

    I have tried to explain that losing my child to adoption, through my own 'informed choice' has caused a hole in my heart that will not heal.

    So many well wishers tell me this is unhealthy and I need to look at the positives and not dwell on the negative. Which I feel like I do, to the best of my ability.

    I know that my little girl is loved and happy. She is little and has no idea of the complexity of her family structure, yet.

    But as an adult, I know more. I know that someday she will realize all of this. And she will recognize that I am the reason that her life is complicated.

    I love her so much. So what I have done to her hurts me so deeply. And as Laurie succinctly stated, the depth of my grief correlates to the depth of my love for her.

    1. And what those well wishers don't understand is that it's unhealthy for society to not look at the negative and only dwell on the so-called positive!

  7. At the beginning of my reunion, I wasn't honest with my first parents about my true feelings. I do think it's slightly different because I don't blame them but I don't want them to think that I do. Like if I have negative feelings, it's because of a decision they made. So I hid a lot of my feelings. I realized later that by doing so, I was merely hurting my own relationship. I wouldn't hide my real feelings in another other relationship that was important to me. So I finally opened up to my first mother about how I felt. And you know what? That's the only email she's responded to in six months. I'm getting to meet her now because I was honest with my feelings.

    I can't speak for your son, nor would I ever want to try to. But your blog is an expression of your love for him. I know that your blog has helped me so much ever since I started reading. Thank you for writing. As Laurie said, be proud of your blog!


    1. Thank you Jenn for your kind words. It is really reassuring to me to know how you feel about my blog. Hopefully Christopher will think the same thing one day.

  8. There was no internet or email when I reunited with my son (well, there was, but most people weren't on it yet). I was very honest with him, in person, on the phone and in letters — perhaps too honest, since he has used things that I've shared against me. I thought he was being honest, at least very forthcoming, although much of what he told me wasn't true, more a play on my sympathies and guilt. As far as I know, he hasn't read my blog. If he had, I'm sure he would have reacted. We are not friends on FB. Also, as far as I know, he doesn't know my book is out there. He knew I was writing it, years ago, and refused my offer of an early draft. Honestly, I don't think he cares what I think or how I see things. Which is part of the problem. Anyway, Susie, I understand what you're going through. I'm certainly not the best person to offer advice, but if I did I would say: try not to worry about what you write/say and whether or not it's causing his silence, because it could be any number of things. Continue to be honest. If I've learned anything, it's that situations like ours can change in a heart beat. (((HUGS)))