Thursday, June 14, 2012

"The Strings of Life"

I stumbled onto the writing of Dabeshim a couple of days ago.  One of his poems caught me from the very first stanza.  I again am amazed at how the words of someone adopted can be so meaningful to me as a mother of adoption loss.  Below is the poem, interspersed with my own rambling thoughts brought to mind as I read the words. 


There once was a day
The winds were cold, darkness creped as far
As the inside, It had its say
We did as others wished
Serving them on a golden dish.
We knew no other way.
Like marionettes we lived,
Upon the Strings of Life.
Giving no thought at all.


The Florence Crittenton building was a big, old brick building. Dark. Cold. Always. Not the temperature, it was the atmosphere in that building…

I did only as they wished. As society expected of me. I made sure to let them all know that I wasn’t “one of those girls”. I really was a good girl, not a crack-whore. I really did love my baby, I really only wanted the best for him ~ It wasn’t at all that I didn’t want to be a mom, it wasn’t that I wanted to have a life full of fun instead of responsibility. I proved that I really did love my baby, loved him even more than I loved myself. I served my son up to the adoption industry on a golden dish…

What a good marionette I was, right in line being the good birthmother without any further convincing necessary. I already knew that there was no way I would raise a child in the way I was living. I knew that the only way I would be able to raise my child would be to move out of the house, and that would have been impossible on my own. I gave no thought towards the future, only to finishing what I had started by becoming pregnant while unmarried and young. No thought was given to what it would actually be like to give birth to my child, much less live without him. No thought was given to the fact that I couldn’t really ensure that my child would have a better life. No thought was given to what an adoptees life was like, how their life was affected by adoption. I was just following along with what was expected of me, like a marionette I lived…

I returned to school that fall unable to really be myself. I was sure that any classmates who knew of my pregnancy thought of me as either the classic whore or as a heartless person who gave her child away. I never breathed a word of my son to anyone afterwards, losing the freedom to be myself. Always fearful that someone would find out the truth. In addition, without even realizing it, my heart was locked up tight in order to not fully feel the loss of my son. How heavy was the weight of that prison I imposed on myself…

For our own freedom, our own call.
Now after so many years
I awoke to see that the power to live is
In you and in me.
We could be
Light as the air
With the wind through your hair

Free to move, here and there.
There and here, everywhere.
Now that we are no longer tied to the loom.
We can go from room to room.
We are Free at last,
no more strings of life to hold us down,
making us like clowns


In the moment of reading the first emails telling me that my son was looking for me, I awoke. I awoke from 30 years of denial and felt the power, the freedom, of living in my truth. I felt as light as air ~ the weight of that self-imposed prison was lifted. Once I had the chance to bask in the joy and treasure this new life that now included my first born son, I wanted to share the news with everyone. Christopher himself told me that I could go stand on the sandhills of Nebraska and yell the news out to the world. I was no longer tied to the loom that was labeled birthmother. The loom of shame. Shame that wasn’t mine to take on, but that I willingly accepted from the judgment of our society. The loom of despair and grief from the loss of my son ~ loss that I wasn’t even allowed to speak of. Loss that nobody in society sees, much less understands to have any empathy for. (Except for the others who live with the loss of adoption that is)

In talking to the search angel who matched our profiles, I felt as though I had beaten the system. Even though deep down I knew it wasn't true, the remnants of former beliefs were still there. I had believed the social worker when she told me it would be against the law to ever look for my son. Taking on that lie, it tied me further to the loom of adoption loss. Now here I was, being told by an angel named Kim that my son had been searching for me for a while, was very excited and waiting to finally hear from me. Just as I had been tied to the loom of adoption, so had he. In the finding, we were both freed from the looms, we were free to go from the room of secrecy into the room of truth.

The past is the in the past
None of that matter anymore
Yesterday is out the door
Let’s make the most of now
Since time doesn’t last

We made our own many mistakes
Sacrificed the best of ourselves at the stake
Yet we are free now to move every which way
To say what we want to say
no more strings of life to tie us down
making us look just  like clowns


Yes ~ the past is in the past. I can’t get back those lost years with Christopher. I made my mistakes. Many mistakes were made in the years after I lost Christopher to adoption. My biggest wish is that I had been strong enough to live my truth, instead of hiding from it.  For I wasn't really hiding from it.  It was always there, just under the surface, just out of reach of my conscious being.  I not only sacrificed my son, I sacrificed my authentic self. Being silent after the loss of my son to adoption only allowed the myths to continue. Being silent gave the impression that losing my son to adoption was ok. Being silent kept the tremendous loss and grief hidden. Did another mother go on to choose adoption because she saw that my life did seem to go on as before after losing my son to adoption? I will never know. But I do feel that I fed the adoption industry with my silence. The strings tying me down are gone, I am free now to speak of my experience. I am free to speak of the child, now a grown man, forever lost to adoption. There are no self or society imposed strings keeping me silent now. I speak out of the truth of adoption loss on my life. I speak out not because it can change anything for us ~ but maybe I can change something for another mother, for the children of that mother. I speak out now to help another living with the loss of adoption to free themselves from their own loom, to no longer be a marionette of the adoption industry.



We are as light as the air
With the wind through your hair
We have no more cares
That will hold us and keep us,
From ourselves,
like marionettes up on the shelves.

Oh you must believe me!
Oh can you see me?
Can you hear this song I sing?
It brings me here to you!

The strings of life have all disappeared
The strife we lived, sheared and blown away
We are free now to move every which way
To say what we want to say
no more strings of life to tie us down
lifting us high above the ground

We are free now to just be. The strings of adoption no longer control us as though we are only marionettes. I am his mother, he is my son. I love Christopher no less than the children I raised. The strings of adoption could take away my legal rights, but could never take away my love for him.

Oh come with me
And Fly! You will see
The music is playing, the choir is saying
We are Light as the air
The wind through your hair
Free to move, here and there.
There and here, everywhere.
With no more ties
Gone are The Strings of Life.

………………………………

© 2012 Dabeshim

Thank you for sharing these beautiful, yet haunting, words Dabeshim. Thank you for allowing me to ramble on and write of how the words touched my heart.



5 comments:

  1. Susie has not only complimented and interpreted my poem "The Strings of Life" she has likewise created a beautifully expressed narrative revealing the pain and joy of a mother who lost a child to adoption with the words of pain and joy of an adult adoptee she doesn't know.

    Well done!
    Dabeshim

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    Replies
    1. Thank you for your kind words Dabeshim!

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  2. Susie, thank you for this moving and honest post. You captured the experience of a relinquishing mother perfectly.

    Hugs, Denise

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  3. Susie, It has been a long time since we have connected, and I'm not sure how I stumbled here tonight, but this post had me shaking and shuddering in tremendous sobs of sorrow and empathy, with desperate hope that our freedom is just on the horizon. It has been almost a year and a half since I found my beloved first born, but despite her words that she "would like to meet me, with [her] mother and father" she is still not ready as she hasn't connected with me since. I left the next contact up to her (and I told her so) after my overzealous communication, once I found her, left her shaken. She just wasn't ready and unfortunately I think I scared her... scared of me? It grieves me..........
    I desperately long to know that missing piece of myself. She is out there, somewhere in a 1/2 hr radious of me and I have no idea.........

    Mel~

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  4. Oh Mel... I'm so sorry you haven't heard from your daughter for so long. Is she scared? Probably. Of the unknown, of the unexpected. If you haven't sent her anything in this time, I think you should. Sometimes they feel they can't reach out again as it's been too long. Just a short note to let her know you are thinking of her, that you are and always will be there for her. I'm sending out some positive energy to you and your daughter ~ hoping she will open her heart to you soon.

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