Love Hurts

I was impressed when I saw Issy identify herself as an ambivalent adoptee.  (See Issycat in blogroll).  Since learning the word as a college freshman I have admired and cultivated tolerance of ambivalence.

It is woven through reunion.  In our first contact Joy explicitly stated she was not looking for a mother.  She was not angry.

I was eager to meet.  She was not so sure.

She was hurt that I didn’t embrace her fully into my family life.

The first time she was invited to my home for dinner, she arrived in time for bed.

After years of hesitating, I accepted her invitation to visit her home, now just 275 miles away.  She rescinded the invitation a week before I was to arrive.  I went anyway.

Ambivalence manifests as tardiness.  Not knowing one’s family is uncomfortable.  There are articles in our local paper about how to get along over the holidays; when you know a certain uncle is going to be bombastic or your mother is going to make you feel immature etc.

How do we cope with not knowing?  Will she come or won’t she?  Will she be welcomed or won’t she?

I am ready to welcome her, and to cue others to welcome her, to accept her ambivalence in the group.

Neither of us intends to hurt anyone, but we do anyway, without suspecting the impact of our words or actions on others.  It’s only a question of when our feelings will get hurt again.

I’ve been tolerant of ambivalence to a fault.  I’ve also been ambivalent to a fault.  I am my daughter’s mother, one of them.  Good and bad in my behavior, I am what I am.

My intention in relinquishment was that she would prosper uncontaminated by her origins.  That foolishness was followed by more foolishness of lingering in the shadows of confusion and mixed messages.  One foot in front of the other I am continuing to own who I am and who my family is, however we are.  Walking in a multiplicity and oneness.

This is what I can do.


6 responses to “Love Hurts

  1. Neither of us intends to hurt anyone, but we do anyway

    So true, so very true.

    The song is beautiful, and also true.

    And I don’t say this to be flip or to downplay the hurt caused by anything that you mentioned, the hurt caused by people towards each other — it just occurred to me in this context that yes, love does hurt . . . . . but while love hurts, sometimes love also heals.

    (again, not meant to downplay any hurts and I apologize in advance if anyone reads it that way)

  2. Yes it heals too. That’s where the beauty comes in. Going past the hurts and disappointments and mistakes and wrongdoing and loving anyway.

  3. Love does not hurt, the lack of love hurts.

  4. and what you did recently to me has not a thing to do with love, not a thing.

    It was abusive.

    Abuse hurts.

    Scapegoating is not love. Telling my sister I am a horrible person to save face is not love at all. It is mean.

    Telling me that I am upset because I am not a part of your husbands family, as if I don’t have my own, is not love.

    Trying to make me fight for a right to exist is not love at all.

    Love doesn’t hurt, love didn’t hurt me. You did.

  5. OK Joy. I’m in a quandary about your comment. I don’t want to censor you if this is what you want to tell the world that’s your choice. It’s weird to have it here on my blog because parts of it are outright lies. It also helps me see how differently you and I perceive things.

    I care about you, the way you are right now. Is there anything I can do?

  6. I have never indicated to your sister that you are a horrible person, but that you have experienced horrible things.

    I love you.

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