Monthly Archives: March 2008

anger revealing

I was weeding at my volunteer job in the local botanical garden and chatting with a new volunteer this sunny morning. She asked my name again since we just met last week. I’ve spent maybe a couple hours with her, weeding or transplanting. I said my technique for remembering her name worked. It’s the same as my daughter, Joy’s, middle name. It’s her daughter’s middle name too, as though that was some kind of bond between us.

I was suddenly tempted to tell her that the name isn’t my daughter’s REAL name. It’s the name her adopters gave her. I didn’t name my daughter that. It’s not like I like that name. I never chose it.

There is nothing wrong with the name. It’s fine.

But I’m pissed off. And I’m not about to go into a diatribe about being forced to relinquish my oldest daughter to this woman I barely know. But if she has any sensitivity at all, she knows something is wrong. Dissembling is not my forte.

female-ca-fiddler.jpg

It’s my undoing. I’m still learning to reveal myself to me.  Astrologically I’ve got Cancer rising. That’s what people tend to see in me. On the positive it’s very caring, nurturing. But it’s also represented by a crab, a sideways scuttling creature waving it’s ‘big claw’ at any comers, tough, fearsome and protective. But my true strength is my vulnerability, not my claw.

Looking for a picture to illustrate my thoughts I came across a twist. (turns out it’s a male crab and) “The California fiddler crabs use a lateral wave that looks much like a human beckoning ‘come here,'” deRivera said. “It also seems to serve as a ‘come hither’ signal.”

Hmmmmmm…..

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Mirroring

Whoa, two posts in one day?

I was just plucking my eyebrows (and upper lip) in a 10x magnifying mirror – a weekly examination of my face.  Really looking, after a tumultuous day of phone calls and inner examination.  And I was looking at my face and feeling glad that Joy knows my face, with all its imperfections.  And my ‘big bones’ and pear shaped body.

I can almost laugh at the futile efforts I put into trying to be good enough for her, trying to come up to the standards of her aparents.  I was suddenly struck by the absurdity of ME trying to be ‘as good as’ her amom.  It’s not just the stupidity of comparing myself to a more (in my mind) fortunate woman.  More fortunate because she raised my child.  Trying to live up to what she had become accustomed to never served us.

I suddenly got a brief glimpse of how much Joy needs to see me, her mother, her biological heritage.  She had the other mother to compare herself to all her growing years and the futility of trying to match someone else’s genetics.  She deserves to see ALL of me, the way a kid I raised would, warts and all.  She deserves to see where she came from.

That is another one of the absurdities of our relationship.  I didn’t have the luxury of mothering, loving, caring for her needs.  So I got it in my head that who I was wasn’t good enough for her.  I desperately wanted to show her I was ok.  I didn’t want her to be ashamed of me.

 If my ‘raised kids’, Buster & Ezzy, thought I was foolish or inappropriate I always figured they just had to deal with it.  REALITY.  But I tried to alter reality for Joy, to be a ‘better’ mother than I really am.  The best I can be for her or anyone, is just me.

 

Maturing

My choice of bringing Joy onto this planet was from loving her.

I want to give myself to loving.

My daughter judges me as cruel and shallow. She has felt hurt by my words and actions. Dear God what do I do now? She was left alone in the maternity ward, then given to strangers.

That’s a fact. Done.

I now know one prepares for reunion. Read. Talk to people. But when she found me in ’92 I was totally unaware. Reunion and birth mother were unknown terms. I blew it as ‘mother’. I was not prepared. I was knocked on my a**.

That’s a fact, done.

Bit by bit we have built a relationship in which I feel joyous and content – sometimes. Sometimes I look at her, in person or in blogland, and I see grace and beauty in her movement, in her speech, her presence on this earth is magic. And our connection, inside me, is sublime.

But it’s not easy. It was over 15 years on before I learned there’s a ‘honeymoon phase’ to reunion. If I had known maybe we would have had one.

We didn’t.

All my mistakes are mine, my lessons. They were not meant to hurt her.

I was angry this morning. I felt I was being blamed. Joy said how cruel I was and that my intention was to make her feel like sh*t.

How do I work with that? I’d like to have it be water off a duck’s back. Perhaps I’ll learn to groom my feathers, keep them oiled instead of getting ruffled. But part of giving into love is to look for the good in my angry response. I’ve mentioned before I don’t see myself as noble. I’m working on just seeing myself as worthwhile, on equal footing with the rest of us, as part of humanity, rather than as not good enough. And getting angry is part of that, because it didn’t roll off me. It hurt. So I said stop it.

It shifted. Then I felt sad for her, for her believing me to be cruel and shallow. That’s sad. I want to take her in my arms and stroke her hair. Bring her a glass of water or a cup of tea. Honey? Lemon?

I was ‘too young’ when she was born. I wasn’t self sufficient. I was uneducated and unemployed and needed LOTS of help. I was still her mother. We’re still growing ourselves up, and due to adoption, there is so much more to it.