Facing my own demons

adoption, adoption loss, life,

How long is this journey?

When I started this blog, I began a journey. A journey of self discovery. I did it with a purpose. I knew what I was doing and I knew it needed to be done. I had closed off my anger, and pain many years ago….Locked away in a closet and threw away the key were all the bad feelings that I couldn’t deal with any more.

I had allowed myself to live with the pain and anger for two years, when it all happened. When I lost my children, I lost my family, I lost myself. Those first two years were the hardest years of my life.. I was sure they were the hardest years of anyone’s life. I begged God on a daily basis to let me die and end the torment. If I was alone at all, for any time, I was curled into the fetal position, sobbing and pleading with God to stop the pain. For two years this went on…behind closed doors… I couldn’t let anyone see it but it was always there. Over and over, I kept remembering something my step mother had said many times during my life;

 “God will never put more on you than you can handle.”

But it was of no comfort, because I was not handling this pain at all. I knew I couldn’t keep it up… I felt …. Forgotten. God had forgotten me… The pain just got worse and worse and God had forgot to turn it off and soon I would implode because it was indeed more than “I” could handle! At some point I decided that I must have been so evil that I was sentenced to hell. I was sure that my life was the “hell” that everyone warned about. So this was how it was. You didn’t die to go to hell… You lived.

And I laid in secret, in my fetal position and begged God to forgive my evilness and release me from this hell. Everyday, every night, for two years, I begged, I cried, I screamed for escape from my own hell.

Then one day, I just accepted it. I “knew” that there was no release for me. I could find no way out. This was all I had, my hell.. It was all I would ever have again. I stopped begging for relief from the pain. I accepted that I was evil and I had to pay for it… Forever.

A strange thing happened when I accepted the pain. Somehow, when I stopped fighting for relief, I was able to shut out the pain. I shut out the pain that was always there in my chest. I didn’t dwell on it, because I accepted as part of my normal life…Some how, this made it possible to forget the pain… The anger… I simply shoved it into that “closet” and closed the door. And I lived again. I can’t say that it was like freedom from the pain, because it was if the pain had never existed. I had completely eradicated it… Or so I thought…

What I didn’t know, all those years, was that when I locked away the “hurt” I had to lock away the memories…and a part of myself. The only way I could forget the bad parts, was to forget the good parts as well. I couldn’t lock away the pain of loosing my children, if I didn’t lock away the memories of being a mother.

Becoming a mother shaped who I was…loosing my children was tearing away part of myself… Forgetting the pain of that was loosing myself. I had to start over. I had to rebuild who I was… I became a different person. In truth, I never liked this new person I had become… But I had to do it to survive.

When I began to remember… I found that closet door and found a tiny crack and tried to peak into it. What I discovered was that I had not locked away all my pain in that closet after all. I had locked myself into the closet and everything else was out side….The person I was… Life… And yes all the pain that goes with it is just outside that closet door. And so my journey began.

The first time I had a “revelation” I thought wow, look at me, I’m out in the real world again! I felt elated that I had beaten down the denial so easily. I had found myself again and I was so proud. Then I bumped into a wall. Bam! What was that?! A wall? How could there be a wall out here? Sure enough though, I bared the bruises from that wall.

Finally, I realize the truth. I have begun the journey, but only just.. I haven’t stepped out of that closet yet… I haven’t even found the door knob yet… I managed to build a window and let some light in.. But it is still to easy to shut the curtains on the light, when I feel the pain…The pain is so bad. It is just as bad as I remember. It’s too much some times and I can’t take it, I can’t relive this…But I have to. I know that. And so I peak past the curtains, even open them a bit again… Until the pain is too much and I close them again.

How long is this journey? How long will it take to tear down the curtains… When will I find the lock? Can I turn that door knob? With each new discovery, I hope I gain strength, strength enough to make it out all the way.

I can’t go back… I know that… But I have to learn to go forward. I can’t go forward until I am completely able to face my past…How long is this Journey?

October 18, 2006 Posted by | future, life, Uncategorized | 5 Comments

A letter to R.

Dearest R.

Happy Birthday my sweet daughter. I so wish I could be in your life this year as you embark on another year of your life. I’ve missed so many of your birthdays. I missed being with you on each and every one of them. I miss you so much. I want you to know that. I miss you! I love you!

For your birthday this year, I wish I could give you something that you’ve expressed a great desire for. But of course, if there is anything that you have wanted greatly, I do not know what it might be and I have no way of getting anything to you. So I write this letter, in hopes that someday you will receive it.

It’s not good enough. I know that there is no way the written words in this letter can be good enough to be the present that I want to give you. But it is all I have right now. I assure you, my whole heart goes into this letter, in hopes that you could somehow feel my love for you, through the words.

My dear sweet oldest daughter. I’m sorry for not being there for you all these years. If I could take back all these years and change it!!! Oh how I would fight for you, if I had known then, what I know now. R I never, never wanted to “give you up” Never! I didn’t know how to fight.

You have to understand, I was raised to believe that people in “authority” are always on the side of right. I believed that if anyone like me, just an average every day person, were to try to fight those people on “high” the average person would always loose! I believed the social worker when she told me I’d never get you and your sister back. I believed all the lies she told me. I thought if I tried to fight “them” I would loose and just make life harder on you and L. There was even a time, when I thought “they” must be right. I did, for a minute, believe that I was not good enough to be your mother. I did, for a minute, believe that you’d never have a happy life with me. I did. I’m sorry for that also!

In the end, I chose what I believed to be the lesser of two evils. I thought there were only two options for you and L. One was to be in foster care, shuffled from one home to the next until you were 18 or I could give you a chance at being adopted into one home where you’d be loved and taken care of. Ether way, I was lost. I believed that. It was the hardest thing I ever did in my life! To sign those papers, giving up my rights as your mother, almost killed me. I want you to know that, because I want you to know that you were never, never unwanted. Never unloved. Never did I believe that I would have a better life without you. Never!

I love you more than you’ll ever know. I want you to know, I am still here, for you. Always. I don’t have all the answers, but I think I have some of the answers you may need and I want to give them to you. I hope some day we can be… Together… In some way. In what ever way that would help you.

I wish I could say something profound that would make everything all make sense. But I can’t. All I can say is Happy Birthday, R, I love you.

Love mom.

There is more to this letter, but I edited it out because it was just too personal to share with the world. I hope someday I can share it with my daughter. I miss her so much. The pain is like the beginning and I can’t handle it any better now than I could 18 years ago. Are birthdays easier when you are in reunion? Maybe I’ll be in reunion before R’s next birthday. If I am, will it be easier? Will I still feel this crushing weight on my heart? Will I still want to drive into the brick wall in hopes of ending that pain?

Or will I finally be able to celebrate R’s birthday with her?

August 19, 2006 Posted by | if only, my angels, Uncategorized | 4 Comments

All I have of my daughter… Memories…..

As I said in previous post, this year, birth months have been particularly hard on me. With R’s birthday rapidly approaching, I find my memories of her penetrating my every waking and sleeping moment. The bitter sweet memories of the child I had and lost seem to be somehow tangible. As if I could reach out and hold her in my arms again. Sometimes, like last night, I do reach out in my sleep for her, only to find the motions of my physical body wakes me from my sleep and R is no longer there, reaching for Mommy.

So this morning, I would like to write some of those memories of the brief time that I had this wonderful child in my life. She is no longer a child, I know, 23.. Wow, it’s hard to comprehend that my daughter is going to be 23 years old this very month. While I am forever locked in her childhood, because she was so violently ripped out of my embrace and I was never allowed to see her grow into womanhood.

Even though I did get to see her once as a teen, my dreams are always of that five year old girl who I so long to hold again and make it all better. I wonder how this will play out when (I no longer allow myself to say if, it is when) I do finally get to meet her as an adult. Will the five year old girl grow up in my dreams? How will this happen, when I never got to see the process of that growth? Maybe my dreams will just suddenly change from five to adult.

But as for now, my memories are all I have. My memories of that beautiful baby growing so quickly into such a beautiful child, inside and out. I was always amazed, with both of my girls, how quickly their personalities seem to start forming. When they were just babies, they started showing their own unique personality that grew with their physical and mental growth.

Even as a tiny baby, when R was first learning to focus on objects other than mommy, showed signs of amazement of the world around her. That “amazement” never went away, it only grew into a wonderment for all the beauty she saw in almost everything and everyone. Seeing the world a new, through her eyes, helped me see beauty that I had forgotten.  With nature, R saw beauty to be equal in a fresh new rose bloom as she did with a weed that had popped up through the cracks in the sidewalk. All of God’s earth was beautiful in her eyes. “Look mommy, pretty!” was a statement I heard from her many times a day.

It was no different for her with the people and animals she saw ether. I had a hard time teaching that child about the danger of stray animals and strange people, because all she saw was the beauty of life. On any of our outings, when a stranger would stop to talk to her, as people often do to young children, R would stare at them intently, drinking in every nuance of their physical appearance and their mannerisms. No matter what they appeared like to others, to R they were “pretty” just because they were alive.

When someone said, “My aren’t you just the prettiest little girl.”

She would reply, ” No,You pretty.” and some would engage her in a mock debate over who was the prettiest. She’d always win, as most adults are busy with life and can’t out argue a toddler. LOL

 R also had some of my personality traits, that she took and happily bent to suit her own personal beliefs. She had my sensitivity. She would just as easily cry for the poor spider that was stepped on as she did the stray dog that got ran over by a car. She got her feelings hurt easily as well, like me. That was unfortunate because of the way she saw the world. If someone dared to disagree with her about the weed being “pretty” she would be heart broken that they couldn’t see it’s beauty.

She was only four years old the first time she ever saw a homeless person. We were grocery shopping and he was laying on a broken down box in front of the store, sleeping. She asked me why he was sleeping there, why didn’t he go home to sleep?

I told her, in the best way I could explain to a four year old, that he didn’t have a home. She cried. I cried. We cried all the way through the grocery store. I let her pick out a few things to give to him to eat in the store and along with the pre made sandwiches, which was something she loved so naturally she picked them, she chose some candy bars and a teddy bear. She said the teddy bear would help him feel safer.

She often, even as a baby, would try to mock me in motherhood. Even before her little sister was born, R seemed to be the “older” sister. She would love on her dolls and toys and feed her toy cars when “they were hungry” and teach them things that I had taught her. Like the alphabet song. Even though she had trouble with the proununciation, I would catch her teaching her stuffed animals and correcting them if “they missed a part” with so much patience. That patience was not reserved for her imaginary friends. When her sister came into her life, she showed the same patience with her. She never lost her temper with her baby sister, never. It was amazing to me how they never seemed to disagree at all. Maybe because they were so young, or maybe because it wasn’t in R’s nature to disagree. She couldn’t stand to see other’s hurt.

R was not, however, a good child to learn from in the sence that she was the first and I had no clue how to teach her some things. When her little sister was born, it was like I was still a first time mother. Because most of what R had to learn in the early days of childhood, she learned almost on her own, with little help from me.

Not that I didn’t want to help her, she just didn’t need that much help. As in winging her from the bottle. When the time came that I thought she was ready, apparently, she thought so too. I put away all her bottles and she never cried for one, she would just gladly except her sippy cup. I didn’t know that you could wing them slowly by only allowing a bottle at bed time for a while. And R never complained about it at all. Never had trouble going to sleep. It really was just that easy.

Or potty training, Just before I lost my girls, I was struggling with ‘Tish to potty train, because I had learned nothing about it from R.

When R became able to follow me, that is exactly what she did. She followed me. I no longer had to put her in her crib while I went to the bathroom because she followed me. I learned quickly that going to the bathroom alone was a luxury not afforded to mothers. I didn’t care. I loved it. I loved spending every minute with R. Sometimes at night when she was sleeping, I was very lonely without her.

So from the very beginning of her life, I always gave her names of objects and events. These names evolved as she learned more understanding of words. “Whea we go?” she’d always ask when I started somewhere, “Mommy’s got to go potty.” I’d answer. Evenually, I purchased a potty chair, R had just started walking at the time. I put it on display in the bathroom, right across from “mommy’s potty” I did this, knowing that she was too young to potty train, but it was my introduction to her. And I talked about it. I talked about someday she’d wear pretty big girl panties and use the potty instead of using a diaper.

To my amazement, shortly after I began the “talking” phase and without actually showing her the “pretty big girl panties” of which I spoke. One day when she was “helping” me fold laundry. (which really means she was grabbing my folder laundry and wadding it up. ha.) She picked up a pair of my underwear and said, “pretty panties. I wear!” Oh man, I can remember that as if it were yesterday. I can see her in my mind, her face all full of exitement.

I think I explained to her that she would have to use the potty to wear panties… What exactly I said or she said after that is a little fuzzy. But it ended with me pulling out her “pretty big girl panties” that I had already bought and put away and she never wore diapers again, except at bed time. And truly, she had very few accidents. Most of those few accidents were my fault. Because she would cry if I tried to put a diaper on her when we went out and I would always give in to her. Then I sometimes couldn’t find a bathroom in time, when she “nee to go potty”

 I know that all parents tend to exagerate how smart their child is. But honestly, I don’t have to exagerate about R. She was that Amazing. Of course, this my memories of her, and it’s bound to be a little bias. Of course, she did, like all children must, struggle at times to learn new things. Sometimes she stumbled and might even fall, but she always, as they say; “Got right back up” and kept trying at whatever her task of learning was until she had it down pat. She was so eager to learn new things. And when she did learn them, she never forgot. She would hang on to her new knowledge tight, even as she forge ahead to find a new knowledge to gain.

Oh how my heart aches for her now. I didn’t see that in her when we reunited while she was a teen. Did being ripped away from her mother rob her of her desire to learn or her love for beauty…Or perhaps, I wasn’t with her long enough to see those traits. Are they still there? Does she still see beauty in a weed? Does she still feel compation for a stranger? Does she still know how much I love her?! I want to know that more than any thing else. My sweet R. I love you still! I ache for you to be in my life. My heart, my soul cries for the loss that we both had to endure.

August 6, 2006 Posted by | past, Uncategorized | 3 Comments

Can’t afford a child? Consider this!

This was sent to me by a friend. I have to share it! If you find yourself pregnant and don’t think you can afford a child that you know you would love…. Consider this….

The government recently calculated the cost of raising a child from birth to

18 and came up with $160,140 for a middle income family. Talk about sticker

shock! That doesn’t even touch college tuition.

But $160,140 isn’t so bad if you break it down. It translates into:

* $8,896.66 a year,

* $741.38 a month, or

* $171.08 a week.

* That’s a mere $24.24 a day!

* Just over a dollar an hour.

Still, you might think the best financial advice is don’t have children if

you want to be “rich”. Actually, it is just the opposite. What do you get

for your $160,140?

* Naming rights. First, middle, and last!

* Glimpses of God every day.

* Giggles under the covers every night.

* More love than your heart can hold.

* Butterfly kisses and Velcro hugs.

* Endless wonder over rocks, ants, clouds, and warm cookies.

* A hand to hold, usually covered with jelly or chocolate.

* A partner for blowing bubbles, flying kites

* Someone to laugh yourself silly with, no matter what the boss said or how

your stocks performed that day.

For $160,140, you never have to grow up. You get to:

* finger-paint,

* carve pumpkins,

* play hide-and-seek,

* catch lightning bugs, and

* never stop believing in Santa Claus.

You have an excuse to:

* keep reading the Adventures of Piglet and Pooh,

* watching Saturday morning cartoons,

* going to Disney movies, and

* wishing on stars.

* You get to frame rainbows, hearts, and flowers under refrigerator magnets

and collect spray painted noodle wreaths for Christmas, hand prints set in

clay or Mother’s Day, and cards with backward letters for Father’s Day.

For $160,140, there is no greater bang for your buck. You get to be a hero

just for:

* retrieving a Frisbee off the garage roof,

* taking the training wheels off a bike,

* removing a splinter,

* filling a wading pool,

* coaxing a wad of gum out of bangs, and coaching a baseball team that never

wins but always gets treated to ice cream regardless.

You get a front row seat to history to witness the:

* first step,

* first word,

* first bra,

* first date, and

* first time behind the wheel.

You get to be immortal. You get another branch added to your family tree,

and if you’re lucky, a long list of limbs in your obituary called

grandchildren and great grandchildren. You get an education in psychology,

nursing, criminal justice, communications, and human sexuality that no

college can match.

In the eyes of a child, you rank right up there under God. You have all the

power to heal a boo-boo, scare away the monsters under the bed, patch a

broken heart, police a slumber party, ground them forever, and love them,

without limits, So . . one day they will like you, love without counting the

cost. That is quite a deal for the price!!!!!!!

July 30, 2006 Posted by | Hello World, Uncategorized | 2 Comments

the making of evil

A little bit about J, my first husband.

Not that I think J deserves an excuses for what he did to me and my beautiful babies. But to be fair, he was a very very sick man and I believe that his childhood had a lot to do with his illness.

J told me one day that he was adopted. This was before we were married and it was said as a "as a matter of fact" statement. We were discussing family and family traits. It didn't seem to be an important issue to him at the time he told me, just a fact of his life.

At the time, I knew nothing about adoption. In fact, I had never really thought about it at all. When J told me, I thought oh that's nice. For some reason his mother could not raise him, so this woman, V adopted him and raised him as her own child. But I found out that wasn't really the way it happened. Now, there are holes in the story of course, since J told me what his adopted mother told him as a child. The story as he told it to me, seemed to be some sort of Steven King movie. I was shocked and repelled that this sort of thing could possibly happen in this great country of America. At the same time, I realized that many things could happen if it involved someone with enough money and political influence. (at the time, I thought I would like to have that kind of power, to change things for the better. Of course, I know that would be just as wrong. You should never use power or influence to change something that goes against someone else's rights, or hurts someone.)

Here is the story that V told her adopted son as a child. The important thing to see from this story is not how terrible she was to use her power and money to get what she wanted, but that she told this story to a small child! Imagine what damage that did to his emotional well being!

V was married to a man who worked very closely with several elected officials in the town they lived. He was friends with many of the political leaders in the small town. Although, with the money they had, they were probably only upper middle class, the town they lived in was very tiny and very poor, so V and her husband were considered rich. They were probably the riches family in the town. V was enjoying the good life of respect and yes, envy from her neighbors. She loved that if she suggested something at a town meeting people would immediately agree that it was a wonderful idea, even if they had publicly opposed it before. There was only one thing missing. She had failed to have a child. Somehow, she felt that she was incomplete as a woman unless she was a mother. And that was very bad for her image.

So she decided that she would adopt a child. She never went to a doctor to try to find out why she did not conceive. (Maybe at the time there wasn't that much knowledge on the subject.)

Her husband did not want a child though and told her that. He was quite happy that she had never conceived. But that was of no consequence to V. She told him that she knew about his affairs, which she had suspected about him but until that time was not sure, and if he didn't go along with her on this adoption thing she would go public. So husband and wife made a deal. He would go along with the adoption of a child as long as it took, then he and V would divorce and he would give her a one time, large settlement in exchange for her silence of his indiscretions.

V chose J because he looked very much like people in her own family. Red hair, very light skin, blue eyes. The problem was, he was a toddler, living with his mother at the time. His mother was a single mother of questionable reputation. She was very poor and worked two jobs most of the time just to keep herself and her son in a small house in a bad neighborhood.

It took a lot of money and all of V's influence to get J removed from his mother. But by the time he was three years old, she had succeeded in getting the mother's rights to her child taken away and had adopted J as her own.

J had no real memory of his real mother or anything that happened before he became V's son. But he told me that she told him many times through his childhood that it would have been better if she could have adopted him as a baby. Because then she would have not had to tell him that he was adopted. But since he was a child when the adoption went through it was a good thing that he knew the truth. So that he could know how she saved him from a horrible life living with that poor white trash of a mother, who should have been forced to have an abortion when she became pregnant and made to have an operation so that she'd never have a child.

So I can look at this and know why J was so messed up in the head. Can you imagine having your mother tell you this story as a child?! Can you imagine what kind of effect it would have on you if your "mother" continually told you that you were born to trash and you'd better appreciate her for saving you!?

But even so, I can not forgive him for what he did to my precious baby. I know that he was a sick sick man, but he knew right from wrong! He knew what he was feeling was wrong and he did not seek help, he acted on those wrong feelings and destroyed an  child's life! His own child! No, I can not forgive him for that! But also, I can not forgive V for creating that sick mind. And I can't forgive myself for not knowing that this man would hurt my children. I can't forgive myself for thinking that the only pain he would ever inflict would be towards me. I should have took my sweet sweet baby R and ran as fast and as far as I could away from J the first time he ever hit me. But I didn't. And now I will pay for the rest of my life for that. But worse, my sweet daughter will pay for it. The damage he did to her will haunt her and shape her for ever. How could it not?!

June 24, 2006 Posted by | past, Uncategorized | 2 Comments