Tuesday, August 23, 2011

The Cat Is Out Of The Bag

Last Thursday I received a text from my kept Daughter's (we will call her C) best friends Mom (we'll call her F).  What I read really made me angry.  I was at work and I wouldn't be getting off until 8pm, so I was stuck.  The message I received was a snapshot of a text C sent to her best friend H, about a boy coming over to the house earlier that morning.  All kinds of things went running through my head.  I heard C and H's other best friend was also at the house, this concerned me because this friend, L, was not allowed to be at our house if we weren't home because her Mom (who we will call B) didn't completely trust her to be alone.  I called B, she knew we weren't home and L was at our house for about 15 minutes before the girls came over to her house.  I told B about the text, she found it upsetting also and she said she would get back to me.  She later called to tell me last Tuesday my 12 year old daughter thought it would be a good idea to have 5 of her friends over and 3 boys.

I did call C about this, she kept changing her story.  I called my husband and he told me I was over reacting.  Over reacting?  Seriously?  

I left work and rushed home.  My daughter was sitting in her room.  I pulled out my photo album from high school and called her into the kitchen.  I was furious!  I explained to her what could have happened, she kept saying these boys were only friends.  So I flipped open the photo album, pointed out the boy I dated for about 4 years.  I told her about the "gatherings" in his parents house when they were out of town.  I told her about the drinking and about how some of them would smoke pot, or drop acid, or take ecstasy (which was legal back then).  I told her about how we would sneak off and have sex.  Then I asked her "Do you know what came of this?" She shook her head no.  I went back to my bedroom and grabbed the picture of Ashley on my nightstand.  I showed it to her and told her this is what came out of it.

C was looking at the picture and I told her "This is your half sister, I had her when I was 18."  I gave her the cliff's notes version.  I told her this was the reason I didn't have her until I was 29, this was the reason she was an only child, this was the reason I can not hold babies.  She stood there in shock.  I told her about how I was paranoid that someone was lurking in the corners waiting to take C from me when she was an infant, this was the reason I was very protective of her, this was the reason I spoiled her.

My husband came home right in the middle of this.  C asked if this was the reason I acted weird in July and around the holidays, I told her yes.  She asked who knew, so I told her.  Then she started asking questions about Ashley, I told her what I could and I told her that I sent a message to Ashley the day before.  I asked her if she wanted to see a recent picture of her, she nodded yes.  We went to my computer and I pulled up a picture.  C stared at the picture for a few moments then said "Damn! She looks more like you than I do!" (Yes, C is allowed to use minor curse words as long as she can spell them properly, know the definition and use it in a sentence correctly and she can only use them at home)

We went back into the kitchen.  She asked my husband how long he knew.  He told her from the beginning, he thought I did that to push people away (I did).  What he did next floored me.  (When I first started getting info on Ashley my husband told me I had no right, I was no mother.  This infuriated me and I had told him when he miraculously grows a uterus and gives birth then maybe I will listen to his opinions, but until then shut up!)  

He told our daughter that he never had a uterus and he never spit out a child (His words, not mine) but he knew this not only hurts me, but this also affects all of us.  I was shocked!  Not only did the things I said to him 5 years ago stuck with him, but he finally understood that losing Ashley to adoption affected ALL of us and not just me!!

My husband explained to her that it's okay to talk about it, but she needed to be very selective about who she tells.  He told her that unfortunately we live in a society full of ignorant people and there is still a stigma attached to Birth Mothers and I could be under "attack" again like I was when I was 18.  We did tell her that she could talk to her best friends because I had already opened up to their mothers.

I don't know why I told her about Ashley, this certainly wasn't the way I wanted to tell her.  C took it better than I expected.  She hugged me and told me she loved me.

The following morning as I was taking C to the doctor for her check up and sports physical she asked if I checked my messages.  I told her I didn't and I didn't expect a response anytime soon.  My brilliant child smiled at me and said, "Ashley didn't want contact before because I didn't know about her.  Now that I know about her she will respond."  That would be amazing if it really did work out that way!!

Later that Friday afternoon I received a text from F.  She knew how everything played out the night before.  F said, "I went home for lunch.  C came up to me grinning from ear to ear, she asked if she knew about her good news.  I asked what good news and she said I have an older half-sister"

Everything will be okay, the cat is officially out of the bag.  No more secrets.  I actually made direct contact with Ashley and hopefully she will respond, so I can let her little half-sister know.  If the response is negative then I know I will still be okay...no more secrets.


Anonymous said...

Thanks for telling this story - it gives me hope that my kiddos might too take my news in stride....sending good thoughts your way.


In Blind Faith said...

Thank you Sara. I'm trying to remain positive.

Barbara Thavis said...

Walking to work today I was thinking how infuriated people must be that I am no longer a silent good little bmommy. Thank God the cat is out of the bag for me. My daughter found me when she was 29. I had a five year old son and a seven year old daughter. My husband didn't see eye to eye about telling the kids about their sister. But I let him know that was the only way I could go on living and finally he consented. today everyone that knows me klnows about my daughter and my eight year old granddaughter. Once she made contact I screamed it from the rooftops. It didn't happen overnight but the shame fell away when I realized that I had a beautiful daughter. My daughter. I really don't give a rats ear what other people think of me. I bet some have a field day behind my back and I could care less. I love my kids and I am heartsick I lost my daughter. My life mission is to keep this from happening to others. I blog www.motherhoodexpunged.blogspot.com and I facebook and in time I will figure out how to find time to be more active changing the laws so they protect mothers and children. Congratulations on telling your daughter. I hope your lost daughter responds soon.