I absolutely don’t think I need to explain to adoptees how Mother’s Day is a shit show of emotions.
Excuse my language…
It’s a shit show or emotions, baggage, and it’s downright a trigger day for all of us.
It’s a double edged sword.
On one hand, many of us have a wonderful Adoptive Mother who we cherish. I do. She’s a God Send. She’s a trooper. She’s a survivor. She’s strong. She’s a planner. She’s a “I’ll get this shit done” woman, but I’m going to do it as kindly and sweetly as possible.
And I cherish her.
On the other hand a lot of us struggle with our Birth Moms. We don’t have any idea who or where they are. We know they didn’t want us. They wanted us, but could not do it for whatever reason. They rejected us not once, but twice… or a thousand times.
The hurt runs DEEP.
It has the power to run our lives and a lot of don’t even realize yet how so.
I dread Mother’s Day simply because I feel obligated to contact my Birth Mom in some way.
It’s like going to church on Christmas or Easter. Or like going to Uncle’ Ted’s Thanksgiving party where he will drink too much and get hands-y and “that’s O.K. Because she’s adopted and not my real family.”
But I do. And I did. Partially out of obligation, but also because I AM grateful. Without her I would not be here. That’s a fact. Without her giving me up, I would not have had the parents I did, or the childhood I did, or met my husband, or had these beautiful babies I have.
Yes, I experienced grief and pain in my adoptive family, but I also was given more opportunity to educate myself, heal, and end the vicious cycles my genetic family carries with them.
I AM grateful to her. And I do thank her mentally each day.
But that doesn’t mean I have to put myself under the bus for her.
A lot of us who have met our Birth Moms experience secondary rejection in many ways. Mine is more covert. Our story looks pretty on paper, but everywhere else it’s a bloody mess.
I did text my Birth Mom.
And I got back a package of guilt, shame, passive aggressiveness and rose colored blarney I was not expecting.
And thank the LORD I’ve been through so much counseling I am able to see her hurt and her pain in those messages even if she does not. She may not. She may not be in a place where she is able to see the depth to her response.
AND thank the Lord I am able to recognize and be aware of my own cracked lens I filter her voice through. I know I filter her voice through hurt, rejection and abandonment.
I’ve been processing it for the last three days and here is what I have come up with:
It’s not my fault, nor my responsibility, that someone else broke my trust.
I’ve healed in so many ways, but I am also still carrying around a lot of shame, guilt, and responsibilities that are not mine.
It’s time to set them down. To let abandonment be what it is.
It’s not my responsibility to heal anything other than myself.
For the sake of my own marriage and my own children.
And for myself.
Not because I want to be like an entitled, self seeking millennial. (I’m one generation ahead anyway. Almost middle aged. YOIKS).
But because as I tell my kids a trillion times a day, “If it’s not yours, DON’T TOUCH IT.”
And our parent’s shit isn’t ours. So DON’T TOUCH IT.
And it’s time I worry about celebrating Mother’s Day for myself. Because I am a mother.
And I am mother-lovin’ good at this job.