Monday, February 05, 2007

Reunion: 1st Casualty

Umph.

My half-sister, 19 years old when I was born and one of the few souls who knew of my mother's predicament, has changed her mind about meeting me.

At least for now. I guess.

This coming weekend I'm heading south to check on my adoptive Dad who's in lockdown in a dementia unit plus getting together with my niece and meeting my birthmom for the first time.

Had planned to see my half-sister who cried when we first talked. She was very welcoming. Said a day had not gone by that she hadn't thought of me and wondered how everything had turned out. In fact, she said she'd begged our mother not to go through with her adoption plans but that our mother was determined from the start.

I always wanted a big sister so I took care to take it slow and easy. I was never emotional or clingy or needy.

So it came as a bit of a surprise when I called to confirm our plans only to discover that she'd had a change of heart. Not that she said so directly. It was all sort of mysterious and vague.

I suggested coffee on Friday and she said, Oh no, you're having dinner with our niece. No, said I. That's Saturday. Then she said she didn't want to be there when I met our mother on Sunday because that would be too many people, and concluded by saying I'd be very busy and she'd meet me next time I came down.

To be honest, yesterday, I just shrugged my shoulders and thought, "Oh well, I guess she's just not ready to meet me yet." But now it's beginning to nag at me. There are the faint stirrings of what I now recognize as my old fear of abandonment and rejection except, this time, I can identify those feelings. It's a sort of bubbling up of panic. I hope it doesn't get too bad and that I can overcome it. Especially because this half-sister is much more significant than my dog sitter who didn't call me back for days or the guy I once dated who disappeared from my life without a phone call or explanation.

Intellectually, I can understand her reluctance. She didn't ask for me to come back into their lives. She may be scared. The reason may be simple or complex. Maybe she doesn't know why she isn't ready to meet me but simply can't. She's obese. Maybe she wants to lose weight, first. Our mother, apparently, brags about how well I turned out and are siblings ever too old for rivalry?

I mean, really, who knows?

But I care.

Okay. This is definitely a trigger. Someone pulls a fade and I get all freaked out. Okay, okay. I'm gonna reach into my imaginary cupboard and take two chill pills with water.

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22 Comments:

Blogger suz said...

oh, gosh, nina, i am so sorry. i so understand. aint it the shit when you can understand something intellectually but it is of no help emotionally?

would you consider asking her flat out if she is avoiding you? is that too scary to you?

(((nina)))

12:46 PM  
Blogger Nina said...

Hi Suz..I was thinking about asking her straight out but then it occurred to me that's exactly what she's doing because, it's hard to explain, but she was definitely dodging and weaving. I'm not sure I want to hear her explanation. At least not yet.

THANK YOU!!!

1:05 PM  
Blogger suz said...

Thats fair. Trust your instincts.

I was only encouraging becuase you deserve a direct answer and not to be left to your own devices and worry and insecurity (I know that all too well with my daughter.Oh, the things I have I have told myself why she wont meet me after two years in reunion).

Nothing wrong per se with her being uncomfortable with meeting but its not appropriate (imo) to leave you hanging.

Good luck.

1:28 PM  
Blogger chez said...

So sorry Nina - this sucks - especially so close.
Do take two of those chill pills - with a few good deep deep breaths.
You WILL get through this.
You have done so much work - emotionally - and it's quite possible that she hasn't.
Plus - if your mother has told you that you worked out so well - maybe it's a good bet that she's said that same comment, about you, to her other daughter - without batting an eyelid. (ouch)
There is probably much excitement to see you - from your mother - and she might now be feeling niggling bits of jealousy towards you.
It's all your mum's fault - not yours. Keep being your open and honest self towards your sister - and she will come around.
You ARE someone worth knowing - and she possibly just has to get over her own insecurities to see that clearly.
Sending you big hugs Miss Nina - it must be hurting like mad.
(wish we could fix these hurts with a good sized band-aid/plaster!!!!!)
Take care of you over the next few days.
Hugs, C. xxxx

1:49 PM  
Anonymous Mom2One said...

Oh, crap. I'm sure it hurts.

Just know that these are her issues and have nothing to do with you. I'm sure you do know that, like you said intellectually. The heart is sometimes several steps behind the head, though.

Sending you *hugs* and strength.

2:22 PM  
Blogger Nina said...

Suz...Yeah..you're right...it is being left hanging. Actually, I guess I realize how much - too much -- I was trying to put myself in her shoes instead.

Chez. Such kind words! I feel like I HAVE done a LOT of work on my issues because instead of me totally being a total panicky mess right now, I'm not. It has not gotten worse w/as I'd feared. The niggling is still there but it's not overwhelming. Which proves that some of our adoptee issues can be helped with therapy/retraining/or being conscious of them.

Mom2One...I LOVE that: the heart several steps behind the head.

2:45 PM  
Blogger LeRoy Dissing said...

Your mom will probably be able to shed some light on why your sister changed her mind about meeting you. I view it as her loss (even though you feel it as yours too) for now. I would also not be too surprised if she just shows up while you are meeting with your mom. If there is anything you can count on in these situations, it is probably that you can't count on anything.

And it is encouraging that you can identitfy your feelings and work through them. Another sign that you have come along way. Yeah, you might have a set back now and then but the direction and movement is a good one for you. You can still care about others while taking care of yourself first - that is healthy.

Expect more surprises before, during and after this weekend visit. I have a feeling there will be more to follow.

11:19 PM  
Blogger Joy said...

For a different point of view, I can really see myself reacting like your sister.

I get overwhelmed pretty easily and am sensitive to other people getting overwhelmed.

From a selfish point of view, I might want a quiet non-rushed time just for me to meet, and to make sure you had the space you needed.

Just an idea.

10:36 AM  
Blogger Nina said...

Leroy...Excellent reminder. Am bracing myself for the unexpected, including how I behave/react. And it is heartening to know that with therapy or some sort of mindfulness about the particular issues we adoptees face that it IS possible to retrain ourselves. Although, as you say, relapses DO happen but if we expect them as part of the process, it's still a vast improvement that struggling in the dark!

Hi Joy...You could be right. Hope so. --Sigh-- I was trying to follow her lead. She suggested lunch or coffee and I thought that works great...low stress, casual, and I'd cleared the afternoon but...I guess time will tell.

6:03 PM  
Anonymous Paula O. said...

Thinking of you, Nina. Hope you find out some more concrete answers from her sooner than later.

Sometimes it can be such agony just NOT knowing what another is REALLY thinking and leaving the imagination to conjure up endless scenarios - many of which tend to beat ourselves up for stuff we don't even know the other person is or isn't thinking (at least this is what I tend to do when I am left to speculate about the really difficult stuff)!

8:28 PM  
Blogger Being Me said...

Yay for meeting your mom! And your neice!

10:43 PM  
Anonymous mia said...

I'm wondering if maybe just maybe your mother asked your sister not to involve herself this time around. Since it's your first meeting maybe it was too much for her to have your sister involved? Just an idea. Trying to give sister the benefit of the doubt. Not that you don't fully deserve to feel hurt!!!!!!!!! Actually I only bring this possibility up to make YOU feel a bit better.

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