under construction

August 15, 2013 § 5 Comments

Outside my apartment, a new high rise is being added to the skyline of big buildings. The noise and shouts go on all day, six days a week, and the workers start and end each day, undeterred by the amount of work that still needs to be done. The concrete and steel has grown into a looming skeletal frame and soon it will be a building like all the others. The workers will move onto their next project. They don’t waste time over-thinking how much progress needs to be made. They just dig in and work, because work is survival.

There will be changes going on around here. I would like to try to forgive myself, and forgiveness is a sticky concept so maybe that’s the wrong word. I’ve been all too eager this last year to hate myself while making excuses for everyone else. I’ve slowly come to the realization that this hating myself, this disgust, is no better than those who would place me so far up on a pedestal they can’t see me and call me a hero, a loving and selfless angel. I’ve always refused this kind of treatment. However, it’s just as patronizing and cruel to despise myself, to believe that my son will want nothing to do with me, to disparage my “choices,” for freely made and well-informed they were not and I don’t want to debate that in my head any longer.

For now, I won’t worry any longer about him hating me. That’s one thing that has been so counter productive. Even if he doesn’t want to know me, it won’t be because he hates me. I just sincerely doubt he will feel that way. There will also be no more use of the ugly birthmother word (on my end), no swallowing blame four meals a day, and I should probably try to get into some classes this semester, so I can finish school in 2 years and not feel worse about myself for not finishing. Maybe if I get registered, some motivation will follow.

His birthday & relinquishment day weren’t horrible like I thought they would be. It was more like the entire month of time from mid July to mid August was horrible. I feel it tentatively fading into the distance for now and I don’t miss it. Now is the time for construction. I could’ve done better in various ways. So could a lot of other people. At least I admit it. I will always have guilt and regret and “whatthefuck have I done”, as long as I have a memory. But I need to have respect for myself, that base layer I allow for everyone else, so let’s take seriously the need to be kind to ourselves. It’s a lot of work, but that’s what we have every day for.


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§ 5 Responses to under construction

  • freebairn says:

    (: cheering you on!!! :)

  • {{{Ariel}}}, you are a gifted writer and incredibly insightful woman. I love everything you wrote. “Even if he doesn’t want to know me, it won’t be because he hates me.” Amen! How could he? I’m glad you feel ready to be kinder to yourself.

    • I’ve read so many adoptees who do hate their first moms or remain disinterested in their origins, and it has always shattered me. I am just trying to remember that it’s not something that will come up for a very, very long time and I don’t need to worry and assume the worst for now. Not being interested or not wanting contact, for most adoptees, isn’t usually a judgment on their first moms who they don’t even know at that point, therefore it shouldn’t be taken personally; it seems to be out of denial and fear of exposing an alternate universe, or acknowledging you really are adopted and your family isnt the same as everyone else, or destroying a lifetime of fantasies, or finally seeing the smoke and mirrors of adoption. All of those things might be hurtful to future me, but they’re not about me.

      And as far as hating their first parents, I know there are some cases where the adoptive parents turn the adoptee against their origins, but most adoptees I think have good reasons for their hate if they feel that way. Some first parents have done or continue to do despicable things. So I’ll have to try harder to remember, they hate them for a reason, I shouldn’t imagine that’s what our future relations will be like. I won’t ever give him a reason to hate me.

      Sometimes I wish there was something more wrong with me that I couldn’t raise him. At 23, I can’t even say I was “too young.” I know what I would say if he asked me but it’s so hollow and sounds dishonest. Putting myself in his place, if I felt abandoned, I would not be consoled by some stupid platitudes about “she wasn’t ready and she wanted the best for you.” That would flat-out sound like “she didn’t want you.”

      Anyway, had to ramble a bit. Thanks for your support and the compliments. :) You should update more.

  • damagedbytheageof3 says:

    Ariel, I haven’t logged into WordPress for a long time, so am just catching up with the blogs I follow….

    I’m an adoptee – I was adopted when I was three years old so I spent a lot of time in the care system here in England before I was finally placed with my parents.

    It’s only in recent years that I’ve realised that those precious formative years really affected me. I was passed between Childrens homes and Foster homes like a yo-yo.

    When I was finally placed with my parents, I used to repeatedly walk to their bedroom in the middle of the night, just to ask them if I was *really* staying with them forever… my insecurity as a three year old was immense, and still is to a degree at the ripe old age of 41.

    I’ve come to realise that my insecurity issues are nothing to do with my adoption – they are to do with those first three years of my life. Had I been adopted from birth, like David was, I wouldn’t have those deep-rooted memories to torment me.

    I don’t have any desire to trace my birth Mum, but by the same token I would never turn her away if she found me. She made a decision that was totally and utterly right for her at that stage in her life, and I cannot and will not berate her for that. I completely and truly understand her decision.

    I don’t have a shred of hate or bitterness towards her – not a single jot.

    The media is very quick to run stories about adoptees who blame their birth Mums for everything that has ever gone wrong in their lives, but for every story like that, there are a thousand other adoptees who don’t feel that way at all.

    I don’t fully understand how the open/closed adoption works over there in the US, so can’t comment on that and I feel like I’m perhaps not making much sense, but I just wanted to post something to say to you that not all adoptees resent their birth parents.

    And now I’m going to go on Facebook and leave you a BIG hug! X x x x x x x

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