Wear Your Love Like Heaven

Joy asked me how I experienced growing up in the ’60s. Was I inspired by the radical activists in the news? My sensitivities ran more to Frank Zappa than the Weather Underground. I wanted to explore and see things from as many different perspectives as I could. The causes of the day elicited my sympathy, but perpetuating violence didn’t. I really did want to love everybody.

Her father scoffed at me as being both arrogant and naive to have such a dream.   Relying on his emotional support,  I chose to hide my ideals away along with his judgment that I was unworthy of them.

So now, remembering is part of reclaiming my experience. I was mystified by desire to be with him. Our relationship didn’t match who I though I was and who I would choose for company. Joy says he is charismatic which was news to me. Was it his charisma that overcame my resistance to his views and his selfishness? Whatever it was, I loved him, despite “knowing better”.

I explained that I would not have sex with him because  my intact virginity was my priority.  However I understood young men had very strong sexual urges, so I would not object if he chose to have sex with anyone else. Unfortunately my own sexual urges combined with lack of practical information got the better of me and suddenly I discovered I was not a virgin.

( Wish I’d heard of reclaiming virginity. I thought once lost, forever lost but now I prefer to maximize options not surgically, just psychologically.)

I felt I had lost control of myself, my choices and who I could be, that there was no going back. Back in the day it was not all free love and roses.  In my community, in my head, being a virgin was necessary to be worthwhile. By losing that, I lost connection to my community and became dependent on my boyfriend to escort me through the rest of high school lest my indiscretion be exposed.

… back to  my political inclinations. I was uneasy with the “off the P*gs” rhetoric.  My instincts were not aligned with condemnation, a variation on the current theme of fighting for peace in Southeast Asia. Big talk without a foundation of understanding. Illusions? Nixon looked like a creep, but trying to reconcile vilifying him with peace and love didn’t work.  It was a larger demo of my own drama. The world was an angry rather than a supportive place.

All this reminiscing and trying to communicate my experience parallels my present awareness of the circle of blame/shame  riding around adoptionland. I habitually blamed/judged myself, for failing to figure out how to operate in society, how to raise my first born child.  The world was hard! I blamed her dad in part. But that just came back to the fact that I chose him. My parents forbid me to see him. But I did it anyway.

Entering blogland in 2006 I found there was lots of other ways to place blame.  My favorite was the evil adoption agencies. Money, greed, commerce were all familiar evils to me. I still carried a torch for blaming her father, feeling wronged and betrayed by him.

The real novelty was blaming aparents in general– victims of their baby lust as well as society’s expectations. I can carry that as far as blaming my own daughter’s aparents (although I do respect that, THEY were the ones that took her home and cleaned her bottom, and fed her and wiped her nose etc.) But still, it’s easy for me to blame them for not living up to my expectations.

In the long run blaming anyone as an escape from my pain is running away from myself. No matter who I blame or where I go, the pain comes along for the ride. The pain is the response inside me.

It may seem like someone else is hurting me. My boyfriend abandoned me. My parents turned me out. Her parents let me down. But it’s bound to look different from their point of view. The pain I experience is inside me and that’s where I have to deal with it. Blaming anyone avoids dealing with the source of it.  It hurts inside me. Deciding some else caused it doesn’t make it go away .

Accepting what is going on without judgment or blame, including for myself,  I gain authority over my pain. I don’t have to change. Nothing has to change. If and when things do change, that’s ok too.

I’m here with what I’ve got and so is everyone else. We’re doing the best we know how  with what we’ve got to work with, and there’s no need to blame anybody.  I didn’t have perfect parents. They didn’t have perfect parents either. Nor were we perfect children.

Playing the victim, belies that I am responsible for my life. It’s the one thing I’ve got. Empowering something or someone else through blame is taking my life away from me; to live in castles in the sky, the way I think it should be — cheating myself out of my own life.

I am not to blame for my experience. My experience is my resource. I am in reunion with my exquisitely perfect and beautiful first born adult child. I am cooperating with the process of uncovering the blocks and obstacles in our path.

The loving between us is always present waiting for us to return and pay attention to it. Our separation can dissolve instantly when we turn to our connectedness.  We can relax, enjoy the respite of our caring for ourselves.

The past is a reference point. I’m looking at it with awareness – for information, not for blame or judgment.

Blogging is an opportunity to grow in peace. Looking through eyes of peace, I don’t see enemies or opposition. I see opportunities.

Happiness is a state of mind. Happy thoughts have power. Regardless of what I’m doing or what has happened, I’m choosing to be happy and share that, by cooperating with what is present.

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11 responses to “Wear Your Love Like Heaven

  1. I did the blame rounds. I still firmly believe that the way agencies and lawyers behave is not ethical and needs to be dramatically changed.

    I still blame my mother for rushing me to sign, for putting me on an aeroplane with a one way ticket.

    I blame her father for being selfish and not helping me.

    I blame myself for being weak and inexperienced and not emotionally able to handle the situation.
    And I don’t blame anything anymore, it just is. I have become accepting of what happened in that how can you blame yourself for not being what you are now?

    I take full responsibility because I feel it’s easiest to have some control or power over the situation if that makes sense? Not blame, that’s too naive. I have compassion for that pregnant girl and I love her, I feel very sad for her and very protective. I know what was in her heart so I cannot hate her, I love her.

    Having relinquished my daughter has been the biggest tragedy I have ever experienced. I think it’s the hardest thing I ever did or will do. I can’t change what happened. What I can do is try to be the best mother I can for her now. If she needs space I give her time, if she needs money I try to find some, if she needs anything I am there. If she needs for me not to say I am her mother I will do that. If she needs me to claim her I claim her. I am not saying I am some pliable weakling, I am saying that the person I am now can be there for her and wants to be there for her.

    I believe in second chances, I am grateful for this.

    I love her, I always loved her. I always wanted her.

    I blame myself in that I didn’t understand trust, had no self value, believed the professionals, wanted to do theh right thing, be responsible, be grown up about this after having been immature enough to get pregnant. Yuk such a lonely evil time. So glad it’s over.

    I woke up this morning and thought the reason that my life if flourishing right now is because of my daughter, it’s because I am in reunion.

    Ever since I found her everything has just shone and been better.

    I’m so grateful that she lets me be in her life again.

    • Kim, I want people to be more aware of what they’re doing especially to practice more care and gentleness with babies and the mothers they are born to. Reunion is a precious gift after the trauma of loss.

      You and I have both matured over the past few years. That is good too.

  2. I disagree with a lot of this post.

    I mean for one thing you are right, that you are the one who ultimately has to deal with your emotions.

    That is true.

    The parts that I disagree with, well for one, I have seen you as always being willing to negate other people’s role in your life. It is very American —pull yourself up from your bootstraps kind of thinking.

    You like me, are not individuals as MUCH as we are part of a system. We are individuals, but we are also intrinsically part of others.

    My father did fail you, he did manipulate you. He had his reasons. His reasons were cruel. I don’t think you get how he is. I feel like I get it more because he is in me.

    It is not your fault you fell for him. You may have “known” better, but your biggest need was to be loved. As is every persons.

    It pains me when you say my adoptive parents did not live up to your expectations. I don’t feel like that is fair. Your expectations were a fantasy that had no basis. You didn’t give me to them, you gave me to the state.

    Women should know this when they give a baby up. I am sorry you were not informed.

    • Blaming your aparents is not fair, just tempting. I believed and trusted what people told me which was naive and foolish.

  3. To Kim:

    Why were you immature for getting pregnant?

    I disagree with that.

    We didn’t design our bodies. I am mature now, and much less likely to get pregnant. In fact it may be impossible.

    It is God’s design, and I am not being sarcastic here, that your body got you pregnant young. Your community may have failed you, but your body was doing what it was designed to do. There is no failure or immaturity on that point, that is yours, mine and others very design.

  4. Joy,
    Immature for getting pregnant when I didn’t have the resources to take care of a child, that’s what I meant. I meant emotionally not physically.

    Oh yes totally, different family reactions, different community reactions, more self trust would have made the situation one to celebrate rather than it be seen as a disaster.

  5. YOU were not immature though. I don’t care what you say.

    If you had been rich this would not have been an issue.

    So rich people are mature? No.

    Privileged people are mature? No.

    You were let down.

    It is okay to be let down, that doesn’t mean you are bitter or full of hate or immature.

    That just means you were a perfectly normal young woman fulfilling a destiny that you had no part in creating.

    Did you decide to be female? decide to menstruate?

    This is the way you were designed. There is nothing wrong with wanting to be loved, there is nothing wrong with loving.

  6. Don’t know about Kim, but I was told (among various other things) that getting pregnant outside of marriage, *especially* at such a young age, was clear evidence that I was too immature to actually get married and/or raise my child. You hear these things often enough, even when implied indirectly, and you might start to believe them.

    Like Sister Barbara (or Susan or whoever) said, getting married didn’t ‘solve’ the problem.

    I don’t think we were too immature per se, just scared and vulnerable and consequently ill-equipped to resist the pressures put on us. Though perhaps that in itself was a kind of immaturity. I don’t know.

    All I can say is that when I signed the consent forms, I recognized it as the final betrayal.

    On a different note, I never understood why virginity was supposed to be such a big deal.
    I still don’t. Not really, even in the context of the times – and especially if one was with someone one was truly fond of. And me a daughter of the manse and all.
    I’m still struggling to ‘get it’.

    Obtuse of me, I know.

  7. Joy, I knew your father differently, when he was younger. I remember the picture you have of him and me. I was in his thrall and now it makes me laugh. Looking back through my own pain, it’s easier to see his. We are what we are. I am more mature now. I don’t know him now.

    I am grateful for that.

  8. Thank you Joy that makes me feel really emotional reading that. It’s so kind and supportive.

  9. (((((Kim)))))

    It always boggles my mind how people think that young people should be able to duel with mother nature and they are put down if she triumphs.

    She is a forced to be reckoned with and she doesn’t take kindly to people trying to mess with her.

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