Triggers and Damages

Resurrecting myself today and exploring a sentiment expressed in an adoptee’s comment on an adoptee blog.  She said she needed to know her mother was destroyed by losing her to adoption.

If her mother had been totally destroyed she would have no mother.  She does have a mother, one that she appears to value in part because of the damage she suffered at losing her daughter. I am grateful that her mother is able to reveal the irreparable harm she suffered in a way that makes her daughter feel loved. They are a lucky pair.

Any woman surrendering her child is wounded.  Each one heals in their own way to differing extents. There are scars.  In our vanity some try to hide the scars, fearing that our wounds and scars make us less desirable, less lovable. That hiding in itself is a way to make us appear less than who we are. When we hide our damages, we don’t allow them to be loved. Our scars are part of us, not necessarily the part we put out for the world to see.

Good Friday felt like getting nailed. The lead in was DD asking if I get triggered by stories of our separate pasts.  Like hearing about her childhood? Yeah.

I’ve tried hard not to fall apart, to be “strong”. I’m supposed to be The Mother. But I usually don’t really know what that means. Maybe I’m supposed to be the destroyed mother and the unconditionally loving mother at the same time. How do I make up for being the abandoning mother~suffering  and supporting and giving at the same time? I’m not sure how. I don’t feel at all successful in that. I don’t find myself qualified.

It’s similar to trying to figure out how to write here ~ of myself, for myself, knowing that DD may read it and find in it something triggering.  How do I be myself, my damaged and imperfect self? How do I bear to be myself when that may be a trigger to more sorrow for her?

There have been periods when I couldn’t bear to read her blog because yes, it can be very “triggering”. Friday’s conversation was “triggering”. Holy Saturday I put my wounded self in the tomb/womb. Today is my day for rebirth, to open myself to God’s loving presence and share who I am right now. Willingness to be exactly who I am is my protection.

I am triggered at times. I am damaged and scarred. I am perfectly moving through the confusion and struggle to be a good mother.  I have not been the mother I wished to be for DD. Giving her up for adoption was not what I wanted. I trusted that she would be better off without me. I didn’t trust me.

The one thing I wish I could give her is to feel loved.  I failed to do that so far.

We seem to counter each other rather than work together.  We take each other the wrong way.  Each time I jump in with an idea of a step forward I am blocked by my history.  I will wait and hope that she comes out strong enough to look past my scars and that we can some day see the radiant beauty and loving that we really are.


10 responses to “Triggers and Damages

  1. “They are a lucky pair.”

    That sums it up. Their feelings are somewhat in alignment. Not for everyone, it seems.

    Making someone feel loved. I’ve never understood how that is done–tried twice in my life unsuccessfully . Loving someone I can do, though.

    • “Making someone feel loved” That might be a whole other post. In order feel loved, we have to be able to receive it. There are people that I feel loved by. There are people whose loving I recognized immediately. There are others where it took a while to grow because there were blocks inside me. And some people I know I love best when I leave them alone.

      The thing that drives me here is thinking DD wants to be loved (?) and there is some huge block between us that deforms the energy flow.

  2. **knowing that DD may read it and find in it something triggering. How do I be myself, my damaged and imperfect self? How do I bear to be myself when that may be a trigger to more sorrow for her?***

    This has always been my greatest struggle in writing my blog, expressing and being myself while always fearing something I might say and my son might read could trigger even more pain or sadness for him.

    I think where you are with your daughter is a very hard, and yet, unfortunately, common place with First Mom’s.

    It’s such a delicate relationship we find ourselves in with our children and adoption and I don’t think there will ever be an easy answer.

    In so many way we are taking two people who have suffered loss and are hurting from it in someway or another and we put them together in a situation that is so foreign to all we know as mothers and children.

    How can that not create so many different emotions?

  3. The words “needing to know that one’s mother was destroyed” are indeed troublesome. On a personal note, I don’t know anyone who has those feelings and actually I’m glad that I don’t. Why would anyone wish his or her mother to be destroyed?

    • It might be from feeling powerless and wanting to be compensated for feeling helpless. I’m not sure. Feelings aren’t logical.

      Maybe it’s feeling that the mother being at least as hurt as the child means that the child is as important as the mother.

      I think some adoptees have a great desire to be recognized or validated and that absence would “destroy” their mothers could be validating their importance. IDK.

      I have a reputation for making up reasons and pontificating about other people’s feelings, instead of just observing and watching and listening… So these are just my ideas, nothing more.

  4. unsignedmasterpiece

    Once long ago we all let somebody or somebodies define us. It was a huge mistake, we were too young, dumb, traumatized – pick one- not to believe their definition. The defining led many of us to make a decision that we know in retrospect was not the right one to make for two of the parties involved.

    I find I am very resistant to any one who wants to define me in any way for whatever reason because once – well see above.

  5. Well hello there! An interesting thing to add is that the adoptee in question (myself) is also a first mom.

    Yes I needed to know that losing me was painful in a way that words can’t describe.

    And it was. As was losing my daughter.

    In as much as the love lives on in a way that will never fade, so does the pain that we are not with each other.

    A therapist write in her blog, “Grief is loves unwillingness to let go.”

    I will never let go of my love for my daughter, and I needed to know that my mother never let go of her love for me.

    And keeping the love alive is painful.

    But it is worth it.

    • Hi Rox,
      Your presence and passion is great.

      The love I have for my daughter renews itself constantly, regardless of pain. I am still learning to listen to it and direct my expression of it.

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