I was so sure I would be able to stay away from the computer today. So sure, so determined. Here I am, unable to “not write”. I’m usually pretty good at not letting “special occasions” get to me now. It’s taken a lot of work and reprogramming of those deep-seated beliefs.
Mother’s Day, of course is a tough one when you haven’t had a mother.
Yet, here I sit. The Almost Daughter..one of the thousands of Motherless Daughters.
Hope Edelman wrote a book called Motherless Daughters: The Legacy of loss. She was writing about the death of her mother but the loss applies to those of us who have lost our mothers from birth as well. We also are motherless daughters in a different sense, especially if you didn’t have mothering in your adoptive home.
“There is an emptiness inside of me–a void that will never be filled.
No one in your life will ever love you as your mother does. There is no love as pure, unconditional and strong as a mother’s love.
And I will never be loved that way again.”
How does one begin to understand or explain the depth of what it means to have never experienced a mother’s love. For the last few days my news feed has been inundated with pictures of flowers and dinners and moms and children. I look at them and smile, happy, that for them, the day holds memories of nurturing and love.
Inside..deep inside..there is a place that screams of loss, of pain, of not knowing what that feels like. Of recognition that I will never know.
My adoptive mother never wanted, nor should she have had children. There was no nurturing there, no love, only the harsh reality of not being wanted which was reinforced daily.
I have great compassion for her now. She’s been dead for years and I have forgiven. Of course, none of its forgotten and the wounds still spill out their pain every now and again..like today.
I met my birth mother in 2003 after searching over most of my life. I was 50 and terrified to meet this woman who gave me away. It doesn’t matter why you are given up. The primal wound still exists. The in utero knowing of “not being wanted” the energetic connection that was severed early, even before I entered the world.
She never saw me. She never named me. I never existed.
She lived in my heart and I lived nowhere.
I moved my life across the country to get to know “my family, my mother”. Life changed forever when I got that first call that there was a family. A family that had existed all of my life but without me.
Thirty years before that, I had found a cousin. Everyone knew I was looking except my siblings who never knew I existed. I often wonder if we had the fortune of meeting then, would things be different?
Our kids could have grown up together. We could have grown up together. It would have been 30 yrs less of secrets and lies. Would we have been able to heal at a younger age? Would my mother have loved me then? Would she have been able to mother me then? So many would haves, should haves, could haves.
Don’t get me wrong, I do believe things happen for a reason and I suppose the time wasn’t right…but then when is it right?
There is never a right time to expose a secret for the one who holds it close.
I will never get over the loss. I try to embrace the tiny bits that emerged to connect us. She loved horses and of course Finding Heart Horse describes my passion for horses and my search for my Heart Horse. We both had a standard uniform of white shirt and blue jeans. The first time I saw her picture I was speechless. It was like staring in a mirror. Never before had I seen myself reflected back so vividly, so genetically. My daughter was my first biological connection. I can look at our pictures now and see the resemblance but for the longest time I didn’t know what “I” looked liked so couldn’t see me, in her.
The Almost Daughter: not wanted in my adopted family, they wanted a boy
The Almost Daughter: my real mother died 9 months after I moved across the country to get to know her. On this day, mothers day, 8 yrs ago. I never got to be mothered. I never had the chance to be her daughter, nor she my mother.
As I’m writing I understand why I’ve fought so hard NOT to write on this day. It’s difficult to express authentic emotions in our society. We tend to push them down and not release them. We speak in social talk which I’m so not good at anymore, nor do I want to be. In the adoptee world the social talk is translated into meaningful connections with honest words. Much has been talked about with the work up to this day. I thought I could just let the day be a day..
I found my mother and lost her all in the same breath, on this day. I hold great compassion for her as well. How terrible to have lived with that “secret” for all of those years. How painful, what a terrible loss to hide from everyone.
I had to “grow myself”, raise myself in an environment I was never meant to be in. Even running away at 15 didn’t solve the problem. I grew up on the streets looking for where I belonged, where my family was, where I fit in.
The Wall of Secrets has finally been submitted and the self publishing process begins again. Perhaps you will understand me better knowing my journey or perhaps you aren’t really interested, it doesn’t really matter either way. This journey, my journey, my healing, is the gift I am able to give to my daughter on this mothers day and that’s all that really matters.
To all of us..To the Motherless Daughters and Sons of adoption and death I am holding you all in my heart today as we grieve our loss together.