Well, I just found this written last summer, after the last time I saw Joy. Things were good. The fall has been challenging. The funny thing is that this morning I was again working with owning it instead of denying it. Getting over the shame and guilt that I laid upon myself seems to be a repetitive activity. Forgiving myself for not keeping her safe, for not healing her. I have to keep forgiving myself to keep going forward.
I had a fantastic weekend a week ago (actually July), attending my uncle’s memorial service with my first daughter. My aunt and cousins all welcomed her warmly. They asked me questions about the adoption before she arrived. They were eager to meet her. They were just open. Sitting in the church next to her was very healing for me. I’d been at the church before, visiting my cousins sporadically over the past 40 some years. The same denomination I was raised in. Familiar. But this time it was different. This time my daughter that had been hidden and a secret, was sitting near the front WITH me. I cried through most of the service and only a little bit was for our loss of our dear uncle. It was mostly joy at the wonder of our family accepting and including me with Joy.
Letting go of my parents’ loss. They were both gone before I was ready to talk about most of what happened with my first pregnancy and the tragedy of the adoption. They never let down their efforts to protect me, never seemed to see that I actually felt hurt by their “protection”. It was separation, not loving. I know they loved me to the best of their ability. They meant well. But they were stuck and couldn’t see that separation corrupted us. I wasn’t able to accept the truth of my experience until I found the blogs of other first mothers and of adoptees. Reading of others experiences that were so similar, validated me, assisted me to see my own damages and to accept them.
Then I read a blog about shame and adoption reminding me of last Tuesday’s encounter with a newish friend. She assured me that what I’d told her about Joy, would be kept in confidence. I hadn’t asked for that. But I didn’t clarify that I don’t want it to be a secret. That’s something I really want to correct. I was never good with secrets. And the main thing I’ve learned with all this revealing blogging is that I am DONE with secrets. (Tact is another thing. I am working on developing greater tact, sensitivity etc.) But my aim is to accept myself no matter what I do or say. I want to correct the mistakes I make. And I know I have to accept them in order to correct them. Denial is a big mistake. I know that one. I’m confronted by it regularly in wanting others to think well of me, worshiping the God of Opinion.