Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Come Out, Come Out, Where Ever You Are

When I was pregnant with Ashley I tried to hide the pregnancy as much as I could…mainly to protect me and my baby.  My family thought of me as a disgrace, my adoptive father and his family disowned me.  The people I thought were my friends vanished.  My mother would humiliate me and make me feel unworthy.  My boyfriend would tell me repeatedly I was ruining his life.  So I had to build the walls to protect me.

At the time I didn’t know anyone who was in my position.  My classmates were getting abortions.  The counselor at the agency kept telling me there was another girl, we were the same age, and her baby was due shortly before mine.  I never ran into her.  When I was in the hospital another girl came in, she was going through the same thing as me.  I knew she had a baby boy after I delivered Ashley, but I never saw her either.  I felt so alone, I had no one who could understand.  It seemed like I was alone on some deserted island with stories of others; but I would never meet another.

This feeling of isolation made me believe I was not worthy of being loved or wanted.  So my experience as an unwed teenage mother who lost her daughter to adoption became a way for me to push people away.  I honestly believed no one wanted to be associated with a Birth Mother and I believed I wasn’t worthy of being treated like a human being.  This is what adoption did to me.

For many years I carried this shame.  As I met people and I started to feel close to them I would get scared.  I was taught to believe that I was this horrible person, so in order to protect myself I would tell them about Ashley.  If they stuck around then I felt safe enough keeping them close, if they ran the other way then I would be glad that I didn’t give them the chance to hurt me.

So all of these years I never ran across another Birth Mother…talk about feeling alone!  Right before Ashley turned 18 I joined adoptiondotcom.  At the time I did not realize how “Pro-Adoption” it was (I was still slamming down the kool-aid).  I just wanted to connect with another Birth Mother.  I needed to find others so I would feel so alone.

I was meeting other Birth Mothers, they were scattered all over the United States.  I live in Texas, why was I feeling like I was still alone?  Thanks to my online friends I was making (our super secret sisterhood) I no longer felt “less than”.  I was starting to feel empowered, the shame I had felt was slowly slipping away.  But I was still feeling like the only Birth Mother in the Lone Star State!

Until one day…it finally happened!  I met another Birth Mother on adoptiondotcom; turns out she lived about 10 miles down the road from me!  I couldn’t believe it, I was no longer alone!  We were about the same age and her first daughter was a little older than Ashley.  We grew up not far from each other and we had the same OB/GYN!  For the first time in 18 years I was face to face with another Birth Mother, someone who actually understands!  We are still friends; we are there for each other.  She has a relationship now with her First Daughter and she was the one chanting on the phone “Do it! Do it!” when I sent the message to Ashley two weeks ago.

This sense of empowerment I felt actually made me step out of that awful Birth Mother closet.  I opened up to a friend of mine.  We were both Girl Scout Leaders and we were inseparable at Girl Scout events.  One night I told her about Ashley, not to push her away, just to confide in her.  She reacted in a way I never expected; she was a Birth Mother too!  Her son was born about a year after Ashley.  We talked and cried and laughed about how we were brought together.  I quickly began to understand that she was still on the kool-aid…she was getting heavy doses of it!  We stopped talking about adoption when I could not agree with the adoption lies.  We are still friends, I love her dearly, and when she is ready to kick the kool-aid she knows I am here for her.

After meeting these two Birth Mothers I realized something…we are EVERYWHERE!  We are your friends, sisters, mothers, daughters.  We are your neighbors, school room moms, baby sitters, and teachers.  We are your Girl Scout Leaders, Camp Leaders, and Mentors.  We are EVERYWHERE!  So why is it so hard for us to find each other?  There isn’t even a support group in my area for Birth Mothers that doesn't serve up Adoption Kool Aid as a refreshment!

I know we aren’t the only three here in Texas.  We aren’t second class citizens, we are deserving of being loved and respected.  We are amazing, strong women who lost their children to adoption and this Birth Mother will no longer allow anyone to treat me like some piece of trash!

Come out, come out, where ever you are….


birthmothertalks said...

Great post. Twice, in different situations with different birthmoms I didn't come out when they came out because of all the shame and guilt. I wish I knew another birthmom closer to me.

Susie said...

Yes, I wish there was a group near me also. I'm in northeast Nebraska, near the IA/SD/NE borders

In Blind Faith said...

It's comforting to actually meet another Birth Mother who can truly understand the emotions. I just wish I could find more.

Demeter said...

I live in Austin, TX and your post just made me tear up. I have felt the same so often. Where are they? why is there no (true) support group? I often think the "support groups" that exist are just another coercive tactic...keep them brainwashed the rest of their lives so we can keep selling babies kind of thing. Ugh.
Thank you for this post. You should feel empowered...you are not and never were trash. You and only you deserved to raise your child. Stand strong sister!

In Blind Faith said...

Thanks Demeter!! I'm just north of Dallas, still a drive from from Austin. I think the reason we don't have a good, legitimate, kool-aid free group here is because we still live in the "Bible Belt". Hopefully we can pull enough of us out of the closet to actually form some kind of support network...even if it is a sporadic meeting at a Starbucks!!

Andrea said...

Stumbled upon your blog and am so glad I did. I've never read another birthmother whom I can identify with so closely. I chose this entry to comment/respond because...I live in DFW, am 39 & a birthmom to a 19 year old son.