An angry day

Last night, I was working on a guest blog post I had been asked to write about my NPE experience and how I was dealing with it. I wrote a piece, tried to be as informative as I could, had one of my adult kids edit it for me and sent it off. It was chock full of positive language, and when I wrote it, I really did mean every word of it.

Today, I feel like a hypocrite. I am not okay.

I’m sorry if this post is somewhat scattered and angry. It’s just been a bad day.

Are you my mother?

I am 95 percent sure I found my biological mother on Facebook, along with some of what are my aunts/sisters and uncles/brothers/father(?). I bit the bullet and sent messages to each of the profiles that are my biological mother’s ( she has about five of them along with profiles under a different first name. Oddly enough, it’s the same first name as my adoptive mom) along with friend requests, and I also did the same with two of her sisters. I never said why, just that I was looking for this particular person.

The end result? I got the rejection that is the deep down fear of many adoptees. The friend requests sent to her sisters were rejected, the messages never read. I don’t know if the requests have been seen by my biological mother or not.

This leads me to the two feelings that I have found to be the most difficult to deal with. The sadness and the anger. Neither is rational, and I am disappointed in myself that they are there.

Sometimes, I feel just like this little bird…

What’s wrong with me?

I know there is no logic to it, but it’s hard to deal with this feeling of rejection. Heck, the one person in the world we are supposed to know loves us is our mother. Before I received the NPE result, I assumed mine loved me. She loved me enough to allow me to be born and then to give me up. I know the paradox of giving a child up equating to love, but in this example, it really does.

I don’t think my mother loved me, and that is incredibly sad to me and hard to write. The logical side of my brain tells me this is to be expected. Her whole pregnancy and me being born, let alone having to see me was just a big reminder of her abuse. She may well have been told to hide what really happened, and it could be that’s the origin of the fairy tale I was told. I wonder if she even started to believe it herself?

My friend who was also adopted, had a similar experience to mine. The difference is, her birth mother was attacked by a group of men and has no idea which one is the father. Right now, my friend is coping with her own difficulty, as she’s had a DNA test done and some biological brothers and sisters have popped up. She’s struggling right now with what to say to them to explain why they have a newly discovered sister in her 50’s.

I know it’s not fair to compare the two women, but it’s hard not to. Why is her mother able to have a relationship with her, but mine can’t with me? Does she imagine I’m really that horrible?

I know, in the rational part of my mind, that this may simply all be too much for my biological mother to cope with. I also know it’s not “me” she’s rejecting, it’s the situation. Even so, it’s still a blow.

I hate to admit this

If I look deep down and am honest about it, there is also a lot of anger about my situation. I hate that it’s there. I don’t want it to be, but again, it is what it is.

Why am I angry? There are several reasons.

First, I’m angry that I have been lied to by so many and for so long. I’m not even sure where and when it started, or even why. If I’m in a charitable mood, I think it’s to protect me from an unsavory truth. If I’m feeling low, then it becomes a whole lot darker. Was the lie of my origin crafted to protect my mother’s abuser? I expect knowing that I was to be bundled off to a foster home once I was well enough to go home from the hospital was actually a huge relief to my biological father, not to mention the rest of the family.

Secondly, I’m angry that I’ve been made to feel like I’m a beggar, pleading for information, both medical and genealogical. Again, in a charitable mood, I paint this as being due to a desire to protect me from a painful ( and let’s be honest, for my biological fmaily, embarrassing) situation. I understand that, but who asked anyone to do this? For goodness sake, I’m in my late 40’s and am able to weight the positives and negatives of a situation and determine what is best for me. I don’t need a stranger, or group of them, to decide this for me.

If asked what one of the most unsettling aspects of all of this is, while it’s hard to pick just one, it’s this odd feeling like I am walking evidence of a crime. I wonder if my mother’s abuser ever had to face justice for what he did to her?

A few final thoughts

I apologize if this post was sort of all over the place and rather whiny. That’s not my intention. One of the reasons I started this blog was to write about my feelings and experiences, as it helps me to work through them and maybe, it will help someone else too. As usual, please feel free to comment and share your own story.

It really does help.


Baby bird lost…

(this post may be very upsetting and even triggering for some. It’s just me working through some feelings, and while it may be dark, there is a proverbial “light at the end of the tunnel”)

When my kids were small, I used to read to them a lot.One of their favourites was a book named “Beaky” (sp.?) about a baby bird of paradise who falls from his nest as an egg and doesn’t know who he is. He tries being several different animals, including a fish and snake, before he sees another bird of paradise like him and realizes who he is.

I know it sounds silly, but right now I feel like little Beaky. Who am I? I keep thinking that, at age 47 I ought to know, and up until a few weeks ago, I thought I did.

Who am I?

I’m lots of things. I’m a mom to some amazing young adults who I am proud to now be able to call my friends as well as my kids, I’m a wife to a great guy whom I really love and I’m also a writer, as a hobby and by trade. I love to garden, look after my pets, travel and volunteer. I try and “do good” in in the world. I have fantastic parents ( although my mom passed away several years ago) and a brother, aunts, uncles and other relatives who I’m close to. I have a couple of undergraduate degrees and was a “military spouse” for many years until my husband retired.

I’m autistic and that does colour the way I see the world. I also have several serious chronic illnesses, but they are being managed well and other than being in pain most of the time ( and a bit cranky too…lol) , I’m able to function quite well.

This is me. There’s nothing spectacular, just average. Ordinary. Not really an outlier…until those few weeks ago. Now what am I?

A stranger to myself

That NPE result for me was just a few words. A few words that changed a lot. It’s not just a belief about myself that changed, it’s a whole lot more. It’s hard to explain, as really, it is only semantics. The problem is those semantics carry a huge weight.

Many times, if you ask about adoption, people think of a child who’s parents died, or maybe their mother and father were kids, too young to care for a baby. Either way, the new life was conceived in love, or at least a moment of consensual enjoyment. Many wouldn’t see how that could possibly taint the child.

Now, consider a baby conceived in circumstances like my mother’s. Sadly, there is a negative stigma attached to that baby. It is a child of incest, sexual assault and these words have no positives ( nor should they). Who hasn’t heard a joke about cousins who got married, etc.?

If all that is bad, then what does that say about me?

A dark place…

When you get right down to it, I suppose one of the parts of this whole “saga” is the fundamental feeling of rejection. I know there is no logic in that, but it’s hard not to feel that way. We’re always told how mothers love their children and will want to know they are doing well.

I don’t think mine does. If I am being completely honest with myself, I can understand why she couldn’t love me. What am I to here but a 47 year old reminder of her painful past. Would I feel any differently? I’d like to think I could, but I don’t know.

We’re also told our family will always be there for us. I don’t think mine will.
I don’t think I’ll ever see my biological mother or be held by her. This is something I think every child deserves, whether or not we stay with our biological mothers.

There is light in the darkness…

Just when I’m feeling really bad, something happens to let the light in. My dad calls to see how I’m doing and to talk. My kids come home from school or university and tell me about what they’re doing in their classes, my husband comes home and gives me a hug, my aunt calls for a chat, etc.

Those moments help bring clarity. I am very much loved, I do have a fmaily that cares and I was held by my mom. My real mom. The one who was there for me when I was sick, when I was growing up, when I was pulling the nonsense I did as a teen. She was there when I graduated high school and university, when I got married and when my kids were sick. I was able to be there for her at the end of her life.

I don’t even feel like I have a biological father. I just have a “sperm forcer” ( I can’t even call him a “donor”). My dad , just like my mom, was always there for me and still is.

That’s what really counts, and when I look at it form that perspective, I have been held by my real mom and dad.

As for who “I” am ? I am still the person I was before, and while I am not going to say I didn’t wish the circumstances of how I came to be weren’t different, they are what they are. I can choose to have the grace to learn to accept them, or I can choose to continue to be hurt,angry and fundamentally sad. Those are my choices, and the patch ahead is relatively clear.

For now, I’ll probably keep “riding the roller coaster” of the ups and downs of my NPE experience. My hope is that I can learn and grow from this and maybe even help someone else who is struggling.

And, of course, I would still like to meet my biological mother and family one day. I do think they’d be proud.






Where I’m at today

So now you know my story. It’s not exactly pretty, but it is what it is. I found that out about a month and a half ago, and since then, I have been on the damned emotional roller coaster, which I can’t stand. It’s so confusing. Sometimes I feel like my genetic background doesn’t matter, and sometimes, I think it does. Most of the time I feel empathy and sadness for my biological mother, but every so often, the anger creeps in. I don’t want that. It’s not so much anger at her as anger at the whole situation.

Medical and health details please…

A big part of why I want to find my biological family is that I’m sick. I have a several serious autoimmune diseases, and the medical information could be really helpful. I could send away to the Ontario government, but from what my doctor told me, it tends to be loathe to release much information, and even if they release the scant medical information they have, it wouldn’t help. No one knew to look for these types of diseases back then.

Aside of knowing this information for myself, I would like it for my kids. For example, if I had known depression runs in my family, I may have been better prepared to watch for signs of it in my children, and my oldest wouldn’t have spiraled down the way she did. I would have known to watch for the signs of an autoimmune disease in my younger daughter, and she could have started treatment before the damage was done. She wouldn’t have been accused by an ER doc of using drugs and we could have gotten her treatment started sooner.

But you have some background already!

No, what I have is a sheet full of false details. I wasn’t born at 40 weeks gestation like my redacted birth certificate says. I was born two months premature. I was smaller than my redacted BC indicates, and the name of the women listed as my biological mother is also a lie.

The social history ? Why even bother. It’s nearly all made up. A fantasy either crafted to protect my biological mother, her family and maybe even me, although I doubt my feelings were high on the list of considerations. The story of a teenage romance that ended before my mother found out she was pregnant may sound nice and maybe even a bit romantic, but who does it help?

No one. That’s who. Why even bother saying anything at all?

The search begins

For anyone who would like to know, yes, I have started trying to find my biological family. I admit it’s both for medical reasons and curiosity. Ms. More was able to help me track them down and she and her team were even able to make me a family tree. It’s actually ironic in a sense because I, the unwanted child that many in the family/extended family don’t even know exists, know a whole lot more about the family and it’s genealogical background than many of them do.

Some might say that should be enough, and it could be that it will have to be.

Why?

Some of you may be asking why I feel this need to know my genetic heritage (for lack of a better term). My honest answer is that, aside of the medical information, I really don’t know why I want to know. I already have my adoptive fmaily whom I love very much. They are my mom and dad. My biological mother, right now, is nothing to me. She’s a stranger.

As for my biological father?

In the ‘social history” prepared for me and my adoptive parents when they adopted me,my biological father was dating my biological mother. He was a nice guy and a good listener, but was a bit older than she was ( a couple of years). There was a physical description of him as well as his age and the country he lived in. I used to joke he came up this way as a draft dodger. Boy was I wrong! The porblem became the lack fo information beyond this allowed my mind to build up all sorts of scenarios, some good, some bad. I never thought the truth woudl be what it was.

When I was in university, I took a sociology course, and one of the topics covered was serial killers. The assigned reading was a text about the psychology/social development of a psychopath, and in the back of my mind I would wonder, ” what if one of these men is my biological father…what would that mean for me? Will I end up like him?”.

Turns out, the reality isn’t much better. While my biological father may not be a killer, he’s still a pervert ( i don’t know the correct term for a man who molests his daughter and gets her pregnant or a brother who molests his sister and gets her pregnant, so I’m using “perv”. While I’m no “perv”, I cna’t help but wonder what all this means , long term for me and my kids, two of whom are now adults.

So what now?

So here I am, stuck in the middle of trying to come to terms with all of this and also attempting to figure out what to do next. I have made a couple of small attempts at contact, but I’m not sure what the best approach to all of this is.

If you’re reading this and have any advice, I’d be more than happy to hear it. Right now, I can use all the help I can get.