Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Post Adoption Reunion Confusion

For those catching up, an update: Seven months after finding my birthmother, I'm told she allowed a child in her care to be sexually abused by her husband over a period of years. That my mother is still in denial. This child, now a woman, never received family help. News of my adoption unleashed a tsunami of anger and sadness and confusion in this woman, a close relative.

Learning of my mother's addiction to alcohol and bad men came as a bit of blow. For those of you who read my nearly giddy post just after talking with her for the first time, go ahead. Shake your head. Tsk tsk. You knew it was just a matter of time. The honeymoon couldn't possibly last! And just when I thought I'd "processed" the real, anti-fantasy version of my mother, another nasty dollop of information. That she may have been more than in denial that her ex-husband abused a child in her care, but that she told the child to lie to the police about it. And it just wasn't one child. It was several.

What makes it especially difficult now is that she constantly brings up the fact that she "rescued" this child from a bad home situation. Of course, there's no mention that this child was sexually abused under her roof.

And the IRONY OF IRONIES? She's actually a lot like my adoptive dad...who's a high maintenance narcissist. Good job, social worker! Good job matching! The social worker described my mother as "loquacious" which is a nice way of saying she talked non-stop. Ditto my adoptive dad.

During our last several conversations, my mother did ALL the talking and I could hardly finish a sentence. When we're done, I'm feeling invisible and more like her parent than her child. I'm already the parentified "child" of my a-dad. How many more "children" am I willing to take on? They take and take and take and are unable to give. Even if she is my biological mother, is this relationship healthy for me? I'm so glad I found her and now know my backstory and heritage, but maybe it's time to reevaluate the situation. Take stock. For once, I think I need to be a bit selfish...protect myself...my energies and focus on my kids and husband.

Taking a badly needed break from all this adoption post reunion craziness for a couple days in - yippee - the Wine Country.

Whew. Take a deep breath. Drink some wine. Hit the hot mineral pools. Forget about it for awhile.

8 Comments:

Blogger LeRoy Dissing said...

A very healthy response Nina! The time away will give you another perspective...but I think you have a good one already! Enjoy the hot mineral springs.

5:05 PM  
Anonymous Manuela said...

Wow.

Wow.

What a lot to absorb, my mind is simply reeling with the enormity of what you describe here. You do indeed deserve a break, but I'm so glad you recognize that fact.

And yes... be selfish, be absolutely selfish... except learn to call it 'being kind to yourself'. Because that's what it is!

11:11 PM  
Blogger LeRoy Dissing said...

Rereading you post Nina, I thought a bit about people in their own families where dysfuction exists too (I don't know of a family like "Leave It To Beaver"). Many adult children maintain a healthy distance from their own famliy of origin because of the dysfunction - whether alcoholism, drugs, sexual or physical abuse, etc. They know the family, in all liklihood, will not change so they think the only way to maintain some sanity is to limit contact. It may sound sad, and to some degree it is sad, but the other alternatives (no contact, trying to change thru confrontation, etc) may be worse for you and your own family. Never any easy answers it seems.

5:38 AM  
Anonymous Christy said...

OMG, that is just like my birthmother. After the honeymoon period wore off, I quickly saw past my rose colored glasses a relationship starting to morph between us where she was the child, I the parent. I finally said, enough, and just have had to put a lot of space between she and I. What you describe is so much like her. Do you think there is something to birthmother characteristic similarities? Just again wanted to let you know, there are others who can completely not only sympathize, but emphasize.

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