other people’s words

December 31, 2012 § 1 Comment

“In your soul are infinitely precious things that cannot be taken from you.” – Oscar Wilde

“No one saves us but ourselves. No one can and no one may. We must walk the path.” – Siddhartha Gautama

“Why didn’t I learn to treat everything like it was the last time? My greatest regret was how much I believed in the future.” – Jonathan Safran Foer

“The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars, but in ourselves, that we are underlings.” – Shakespeare

“And I am joining all my thoughts to you.” – Sufjan Stevens

“‘It doesn’t happen all at once,’ said the Skin Horse. ‘You become. It takes a long time. That’s why it doesn’t often happen to people who break easily, or have sharp edges, or who have to be carefully kept. Generally, by the time you are Real, most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop out and you get loose in the joints and very shabby. But these things don’t matter at all, because once you are Real you can’t be ugly, except to people who don’t understand.'” – Margery Williams

“How lucky I am to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard.” – A.A. Milne

“Sometimes I feel like I’m seeing it all at once, and it’s too much, my heart fills up like a balloon that’s about to burst. And then I remember to relax, and stop trying to hold onto it, and then it flows through me like rain and I can’t feel anything but gratitude for every single moment of my stupid little life.” – American Beauty

“Little solace comes
to those who grieve
when thoughts keep drifting
as walls keep shifting
and this great blue world of ours
seems a house of leaves
moments before the wind.”
– Mark Z. Danielewski

“Closure is a greasy little word which, moreover, describes a nonexistant condition. The truth, Venus, is that nobody gets over anything.” – Martin Amis

“There is no God and we are his prophets.” – Cormac McCarthy

“Ernest Hemingway once wrote, ‘The world is a fine place and worth fighting for.’ I agree with the second part.'” – Detective Somerset, Se7en

“blackness lunged in my heart,
and something that had been good,
a sort of kindly oxygen,
turned into a gas oven.” – Anne Sexton

“Is there no way out of the mind?” – Sylvia Plath

“One need not be a chamber to be haunted,
One need not be a house”
– Emily Dickinson

“So this is my life. And I want you to know that I am both happy and sad and I’m still trying to figure out how that could be.” – Stephen Chbosky

“I love you much most beautiful darling more than anyone on the Earth and I like you better than everything in the sky.” – e. e. cummings

“You know that place between sleep and awake, the place you can still remember dreaming? That’s where I will always love you, that’s where I will be waiting.” – J.M. Barrie

holidays are for happy people

December 25, 2012 § 12 Comments

Christmas: yet another reminder of everything I could’ve had and how much happier life could have been.

Instead I get to play “not a mother,” “person with no child,” “heart in one whole piece.” Like when my boss told me the other day, “you’re so lucky you don’t have kids.” Ouch.

(Have I ever mentioned that I can’t stand when people complain about being a parent?)

It should be an easy role to play. I’ve only experienced 44 hours of motherhood. It was more than 4 months ago. And yet that alternate life still lives on. I can see it in my mind’s eye, the way things would be if things were as they should be. If they hadn’t been separated and taken apart and broken and twisted into something false. It’s a cruel carousel of images and words and feelings that seem more real than my reality, no matter how much they are left alone unspoken. Somewhere, somehow, there is Ariel on Christmas morning with her baby, unwrapping knitted booties. That is all I can see. I can’t imagine the day when it is not.

I wrote about Thanksgiving and how I felt I had nothing to be thankful for, but I since realized that’s not true. I have this. I have a place to say everything I can’t say, everything that cannot seep into my life because there’s simply no place for it, no one to tell it to, no grave to throw myself upon and scream. The fact that there are people who read this and care is an unexpected gift. So to everyone, much love and Merry Christmas. May we find the light of hope in our darkest days.

christmas mourning

December 14, 2012 § 12 Comments

I wish I could talk to C and L for a few minutes, just a quick conversation, and see how things have been for them and determine if they’re still on board with maintaining contact. I can’t stop worrying about this. I was so happy to get pictures at 3 months, but what if that’s the last time I ever hear from them? I’m not happy with the degree of contact, especially the agency mediation. But if I could just find out how they feel about it, I would be happy with keeping things as they are or increasing openness, or if they had reservations, I could try to smooth that over and explain away any fears. I would do anything to decrease the chance I’ll never see you again. I might never meet you again, but if I could just see you and know how you are, that’s what I want. But there’s no way to talk to them about it, and no way to know any of this with certainty.

Every time a news story about adoption is published, I’m rarely happy with what is said or how it is written. If I’m in a particularly masochistic mood and I want to feel like setting myself on fire and jumping out the window, I read the comments section. So many vicious, judgmental, cruel words. I wish people would stick to discussing things they understand, like celebrities’ lives, or the finer details of how to coupon, and save their hateful opinions on subjects they know NOTHING about. It disturbs me how many people perceive open adoption as “co-parenting,” birth parents as trashy abusive crazies who deserve the 9th circle of hell for their “selfishness,” adoptive parents as perfect parents who are superior to their child’s genealogy, and the adoptee as some sort of retard who will be “confused” by having two different sets of parents.

For everyone who would say that I need to back off and know my place and forget about my kid and move on and think of what’s best for him, not me, don’t be so selfish: how dare you kick someone when they’re down. Of course I know my place. Of course I know I am nothing. How could I forget.

I guess what worries me most is that I don’t know how C and L feel about it. They could easily share those opinions, and I wouldn’t know. Maybe they were fine with open adoption before, but some family members/friends/news story said things that made them question it. Maybe they were uncomfortable with it before the adoption, and now they feel good about it. Maybe they never intended to maintain contact with me, and soon, that will be what happens.

I used to love this time of year. Now the holidays are a big punch in the face. They only exist for children and families. To work in retail and live by yourself, Christmas feels very lonely, like standing outside looking in the window of a fabulous party that you are not a part of.

baby #2

December 10, 2012 § 12 Comments

The idea of having another baby is really stressful. In so many ways, I think I want to, because once you were born it dawned on me how much I would love being a mother. I may not be naturally good at everything, or even most things. But I’m such a capable person and I never realized it, because of doubt and fear.

I was never a good athlete when I was younger and I was always picked last. I took Lifetime Sports when I was a sophomore and I hated group sports so much that I never went and I managed to get an F in a fucking gym class. But I took a weight training class with football players during my senior year, and I loved challenging my body and that high feeling I got. A few years later I had the self-discipline to regularly go to the gym, and go on hikes and runs, and enjoy it.

I’m not an outgoing, social person, and I hate customers and dealing with their problems. But I’ve always been good with customers. I get how I’m supposed to act, and I do it. I’ve spent years watching and learning from more socially inclined co-workers. I’ve been promoted in every job I’ve ever had. Now I’m a commissioned salesperson, and I’m good at it. Selling is not my strong point, but I’ve found my niche (men’s suits and dress clothes) where I can do it very comfortably. None of it came to me naturally. I’ve just worked hard and learned it.

Even my good taste and sense of style comes from reading fashion blogs and magazines, and studying people who know how to dress.

Hard work can compensate for talent. Hard work can even trump talent. I’ve known people who were a lot more talented than I am, and they didn’t always succeed because they weren’t good at the most basic things, like holding down a job.

All my life, ever since my doula mother scarred me with her home videos of birth, I saw pregnancy and giving birth as repulsive. It was never something I wanted to do, or thought I would do. But when I found out I was six months pregnant, I set my mind to doing it and doing it correctly. It was a desperate attempt to focus on the actual event of birth, and not think about the aftermath of being a mother with no baby. My denial was rather successful, as I never considered once what the “after” would be like. I wish someone had kicked me and told me to think about it.

Anyway, while I was busy denying the reality of a baby, I became very focused on the reality of pregnancy and that I would have to push a baby out. I educated myself on everything. I can’t even tell you how many books and web sites I read. I practiced breathing and relaxation, and I went on walks every day, trying to stay in decent shape. I massaged my stupid perineum. When I felt a living being pummeling me from inside, I began to understand why people thought pregnancy and birth was beautiful. I made a very detailed birth plan, had my baby naturally, and everything went perfect. I can’t say anything negative about the labor and delivery, at all. Of course it was painful, but I dealt with it as if I was running and I felt tired. Just get on with it.

The night I spent in the hospital after signing the TPR, I had the revelation that even though I knew nothing about babies or how to be a parent, I could have devoted myself to learning it, just like I set my sights on having a perfect birth. It makes me so angry still that I thought I wasn’t good enough. I thought parenting was this thing that should be carefully thought over and planned. You have to be married. You have to have lots of money and security. You have to be finished with school.

But not everything in life can be planned and controlled, in fact most of it is impossible to control, and it’s not a bad thing, it’s just how it happens. And it doesn’t mean that I’ll always be impoverished or single or I’ll never be able to give you everything you deserve. A lot of mothers have been younger and in worse situations than me, and they made it. If I had to move in with my parents temporarily or ask them for financial support, they wouldn’t have minded. They were not thrilled that I was pregnant, but once they met you, they loved you so much and would’ve done anything for us. If I had figured that out, I would still have you with me. I would be happy. I would be complete and whole.

I know I write the same things over and over here. It’s not meant to be entertaining.

Back to the original point I was trying to make.

In some ways, I want to be a mother now. I think I would enjoy it. I love cooking and cleaning and playing with games and crafts far below my age level and taking care of others. I can totally see myself as a thoroughly domesticated housewife mom. Let me tell you: I would be all about it.

With equal intensity, I can’t stand the thought. I can’t imagine how many painful memories it would bring up if I was ever pregnant again. I would miss you so much. I would be so depressed. The novelty of pregnancy for the first time is over and gone. I can’t have that back. During that time, I had zero support, emotional and otherwise, from the one person I wanted it from, and it was not an experience I’d want to repeat. So I can only imagine how dependent and clingy I would be. I’m half convinced that if I did have another kid, I should do the single mother thing intentionally. And by that I mean, find someone with attractive genes and fuck them while I’m ovulating. It would be so much less to deal with. No worries about my significant other cheating on me or leaving me, or if he’s going to be there for me and love me, because he already has left and he’s clearly not there. And really, how likely is it that anyone could love someone so broken? I don’t think anyone realizes just how broken I am. Even once they knew about the adoption, they wouldn’t understand and be prepared for how it changed me, and dealing with that in the context of a relationship is not something I anticipate.

And once this hypothetical child is actually there, I can’t imagine what kind of mother I’d be and what kind of issues I’d give them. I would be so overprotective. I would never stop worrying about something happening, because I’d shoot myself in the face if I lost two children. It also worries me that I don’t think I could love another, not as much as I love you. You are perfection and everything I could ever want. I know if I’d kept you, I would have been the best mother possible for you. I know you don’t mean as much to your parents as you mean to me. This is the only place I’ll ever say that. C and L would be happy with anyone’s baby. I don’t want another baby, I just want you. I wouldn’t be happy if I had a girl and had to play princesses and Barbies with her. I wouldn’t want to have a baby when my 20s are over, because I wouldn’t have the same energy and drive. Everything would have to be perfect, and I would go crazy if it wasn’t. I think I would love being a mom, but any other offspring would be a replacement. And they would probably know it.

All of this is ridiculous to even think about now. I keep telling myself to cross that bridge when it comes, if it even comes.

I sound like a fucking psycho nutjob.

Where Am I?

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