Thursday, April 11, 2013

Finding My Voice ~ Taking Back My Power

For so long I kept silent.
As I thought I was expected to do in those days.
My motherhood, my first born son, was only spoken of a handful of times in the almost 30 years between  the time he was born till the day I read those first emails four years ago.  
I kept silent.
Out of doing what I thought was the right thing.  Out of fear.  Out of shame ~ shame of first becoming pregnant, then shame of giving my own child away. 
Not that I knew how to put into words what I had gone through anyways.  Nor did I have anyone care enough to ask me about it ~ while going through it all nor afterwards ~ so I had no reason to speak of any of it.  Oh, maybe they cared, but didn't know how or whether to bring it up.    

As is usually the case ~ when you close off one thing, you are actually closing off much more.  

Through fear of speaking about my motherhood or my child, I soon became afraid to speak my own opinions and thoughts on most things. 

I said what others wanted to hear.  What I thought I needed to say (and do) to prove that I really was a "good girl" despite the fact that I had gotten pregnant and given my child up.  I also lost my voice from fear of saying something "stupid" or wrong.  I can't blame that one on adoption though...
I hadn't even realized that I lost my voice until after reunion with Christopher.
All of the above has been sitting as a draft for quite a while...  Two things have happened in the last couple of days to bring me back to it.  

First ~ a couple of days ago in a private fb message the subject of what to call ones biological parents came up.  In my reply to that question, I wrote of why I don't want the title "birthmother" to be used for myself.  After I sent the reply, I felt bad that I had gone off on a rant to this person.  I apologized for it the next day, was told that it was ok & not a big deal but I still felt bad about it. 
Then today I read a blog post "on the power of our voices" by the wonderful artist kelly rae.
Reading her post brought me a few "a ha" moments.
* I wasn't ranting in that fb message.  I was simply speaking my opinion. 
* I didn't just lose my voice.  I gave it away.
* I didn't just give away my voice, I gave away my power.

I had spent so many years, decades, hiding my voice that what I felt was ranting was simply stating my stance on an issue.  And that's a good thing!
It was simply taking power over a piece of my life as a mother without her child.  

Speaking out in that message was nothing to be ashamed of, rather it was something that has been a long time coming.  Me taking back my voice.  Taking back power over my own life, my own story.  

In her post today, Kelly writes: 

Our voices are precious. Beautiful. Important. And they change the world.
May you be careful with yours. Be fierce around protecting it, nurturing it, and celebrating it, always.
 I will.  I will now stand stronger in my story, in my life, in the power of my voice.
If you haven't read Kelly's post yet, please take time to do that.  There was so much that I wanted to share here, so much that could have been written by/for me, it was almost her entire post!  So much of what she writes in this post is important for all of us who live with adoption loss.  We need each others voices, adoption reform needs our voices!!

Friday, April 5, 2013

The Meaning of a Dream...

The "feeling" of that dream is still hanging on...

Where did that water come from?  It seems as though I was the only one able to see it, though the room was full of people.  Why was I so worried about getting it cleaned up before Christopher's mom saw the mess?  Why would she be able to see it if nobody else was able to?

Was it tears as Kelli and others commented? 

I do worry about Christopher's mom (as well as he himself) learning about how deeply losing him to adoption has hurt me.  Not that I feel that I have to keep that to myself, it's more that I don't want him/them to feel guilt over what adoption has cost me.  I especially don't want Christopher to ever take my pain onto himself and feel as though he is the one responsible for what adoption brought to my life.  So... it could be tears that the water symbolizes.  Although...

In the first few years of having Christopher back in my life, I had a deep fear that I would lose him again.  I obsessed over everything I wrote to him, scared to death that I might say something to scare him away forever.  However, 4+ years into this, I no longer worry about that.  If I haven't scared him away yet with some of the things I have said and done, I don't think it's possible!

Or was Rebecca onto something with it being water from child birth?

The feeling this dream has left me with is almost... primal?  That's the only word that comes to mind when trying to put a name to it.

I do think that it's my motherhood that is symbolized in the dream ~ the very fact that I gave birth to Christopher.  It's ok that I'm around, but not ok to have my full role (as a mother to Christopher) recognized or acknowledged.  In the dream I am being treated more as a "novelty" of sorts by the adults who do come over to visit with me.  Yes, a novelty...  You know, that legendary birthmother who did such a selfless, wonderful thing by letting my son be raised by another family.  On the other hand, the children all fully welcomed me, as children do in their innocence.  They didn't see my "title", they saw me the person, someone who adored children and enjoyed talking and laughing with them.  So maybe the water does represent amniotic fluid?

It breaks my heart that Christopher is in the dream by himself, not enjoying the family and friends in the room.  The "feeling" I have about this in the dream is that he feels stuck in the middle of two moms/two families.  It's as though he knows he's going to hurt one of us by showing love and/or affection towards the other.  I hate that.  How awful does that have to be for those who are adopted and feel that way? 

Ughhhh....  I wish I could get rid of this dream.  While it was just a pretty nice dream, a chance to "be" in the same room as the son I miss so horribly, it has become somewhat of a nightmare in my waking hours.  I have been in such a good place adoption-wise for a while now, this dream is really throwing me off.

Today especially.  As I was wondering why, I realize that it's almost exactly a month away from Christopher's birthday...

It's also been a year since I saw him last.

And I miss him...