Mother, Mother

lockedThere are the words I don’t want to say. They are the things I do not want to talk about. When I look around and realize that there is nobody who understands what it feels like to think I know my own story, only to be told it is nothing like I had thought.

I define and redefine who I am, and what makes me tick. I assess my progress through this life, silently marking my achievements, my joys, my growth. I feel adrift, disconnected though I cling tightly to the ones I love.

I stare into faces that somehow resemble my own for the first time in my life.

I do not understand how I could ever be apart from my children, or live my life not being their mother. I cannot understand how someone made the choice to leave me behind. There is no sadness with these thoughts, just empty curiosity. Incomprehension. I cannot fathom how strangers took me into their home and hearts as their own or how they can possibly process what has happened in the last year. My own life confuses me.

Where once there was only me, now there is a rich history to which I feel no attachment. There are people where there was only imagination, and expectations where there was always nothing.

The mechanisms set in motion are things I cannot contain.

The weight of it all compresses my chest.

For the first time in my life, I am pretending to know myself while I try to interpret this story that is not my own.

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22 thoughts on “Mother, Mother

  1. You are on a path of bravery and courage. And I know you have the strength to love yourself even more by travelling it. xo

    1. I don’t know that it’s brave or courageous, but it sure is confusing. But thank you, as always, Louise. xo

  2. You know I’m here if you need to talk, and I can also send your resources and resourceful people who have experienced similar life altering events. What you’re experiencing is ‘normal’. Some people click immediately. Other people never look and when they do discover, there’s no reaction. There’s no right or wrong. I think you’re brave for sharing and allowing yourself to experience.

  3. I can’t fathom the wash of emotions and questions you’re experiencing. I would argue though that you are yourself, separate from your genealogy. But you now have a huge backstory to digest.

    You are brave and amazing. xo

  4. My mother hated me. She told me so. Constantly. Said she wished I’d never been born. Told me she wanted to kill me. Then she tried to do it. She tried to drown me in the bathtub. My father intervened in time, pulled me out, pumped the water out of my lungs and stomach after I’d blacked out. I still cannot bear to take a bath. I don’t know what it is like to be wanted and adored by a mother. You do. You were raised by a mother who chose you. You’re lucky.
    I raised a daughter not born to me. I cannot imagine it is possible that I could have loved and cherished, feared for or delighted in her any more deeply than I did. And when I buried her after she died in a seizure 6yrs ago just before she turned 16 I assure you it cannot be possible for me to have grieved more deeply if I had given birth to her. I did not bury someone else’s child. My world ended then. I am still desperately seeking the light. I wanted to die and was suicidal for years after. You know me on Twitter. We’ve ‘talked’.
    I am not in any way negating your experience. I do not know what it is like to not know my lineage. But it’s just genetics. I have not had any contact with my family of origin in years. They were abusive and unsafe. I stay where I am respected and loved. It is enough. In fact, it’s more than I had before.
    I wish you the very best on your journey. I wish you peace, contentment, and fulfillment in every way.

    1. I want you to know that your story breaks my heart, all of it. Your own, that of your daughter… it’s tragic and terribly and terrifying. I’m sorry you’ve been through all this. And I know you’re not negating my experiences.

      I also want it clear that I am not questioning my parents’ love for me. There has never been a doubt in my mind that I am lucky, that I have two of the most amazing, loving, kind, wonderful parents for whom I’m grateful every single day. My words here just expressed awe that they were so easily able to make me a part of them, when I’m not sure I could so easily do the same.

      To me, obviously, blood does not a family make.

      1. Sorry Alex…I wasn’t trying to break your heart. Truly. My story does not break my own heart! It fills me with awe. Amazement. I am amazed that I have known so much love and tenderness in my love after such a childhood when I was sure I would never know such joy, such an incredible, intimate bond with another person.
        The trust, faith, love, tenderness and loyalty I thought I missed out on forever because I didn’t experience it with my mother I experienced, unexpectedly, through the child I raised.
        I did not expect to be a mother. I did not look to fall in love with a man who had children, much less children so very young. I did not want to be a mother. And then I met them and I did not want to be *their* mother, specifically! But then something happened and there was a connection. I saw their special needs, and I had the insight and the desire to meet those needs. And I did so. It just happened.
        It was not the same with my mother. It is not the same with every person who gives birth. Keeping children in clothing and making sure they don’t starve to death is NOT the same as “meeting their needs”, much less each child’s particular special set of needs.
        You say you don’t know if you could have bonded with and raised a child you didn’t give birth to the way your parents did. I say it happens all the time. Yes…you are right to be amazed by the ways of the heart and mind. I am amazed myself. I wasn’t looking for it, but it took me over completely, and I am forever grateful! I am blessed to have been a mother.

  5. Oh Alex, your post is so raw and honest, thank you for sharing. I hope that by writing it, you are able to work through some of your swirling emotions. I’m sure all of this is quite overwhelming. Perhaps only time can help you process all of the mixture of feelings and give you peace with them, but whatever it takes, I do hope you find your peace.
    Thinking of you…hugs.

  6. I love how you let us into your world and your thoughts with your words. You do it so eloquently. And thank you for sharing.

  7. When you write about it, it makes me feel so much. I love how you write and share a perfect amount. <3

  8. Thank you so much for this post! I have been dealing with my own struggles with my “adoption” and trying to find my birth father. I’ve ended up on a dead end and dealing with the genetics and issues with my mother’s side of the family has been a struggle too.

    If you ever want to talk it through with someone… 🙂

    1. Thanks! I know a search angel, if you need some help digging. I found my birth mother more than a year ago now, and have had a relationship with one of my siblings since last winter. It takes awhile to get used to things, for sure. But if you ever want some help, let me know. 🙂

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