It is now 26 years since I met my son on April 10th, 1987. I have written and celebrated that day many times. If you would like to read a couple of those posts that reflect on that day, here they are. 2011 is complete with photographs.
Meeting my son changed my life for the better. I still celebrate it even though for the last eight years things have not been going so well. For the last four years they haven’t been going period. I have made a few attempts to reach out. I never wrote about them here because I don’t really believe in giving a blow by blow description of everything that’s going on. Let’s just say, things remain the same.
I heard on the news today some one has decided this is International Anti-Bullying Day. Perhaps you have seen the Wear Pink Campaign. It is rather ironic that it International Anti-Bullying Day should fall on April 10th because I feel that it was my son’s attempts to bully me (and his father) that put the distance between us. The last time he communicated with me, from what I could tell, if there was going to be a relationship, my role in it was supposed to be that of whipping girl. When I refused to play it, he tried to embarrass and hurt me.
He wrote to friends saying nasty things about me. And then he went on Twitter. I said to my husband, I think I’m getting cyber-bullied by my own son. Definitely not a trust inducing exercise. I wrote about what happened here a few months later with some help from Eddie Money.
The events that I describe in that post occurred right around this time of year. There was often trouble around anniversaries, like his birthday, with my son. Of course I have some sympathy for that because I used to get troubled around his birthday every year too until I figured it out. Many people, adoptees and mothers, have written about the triggering anniversaries can cause so I won’t say any more about that here.
But I do want to say a bit more about mothers and bullying. We don’t respond to it well. I don’t know that many birth/first/natural mothers IRL, as they say, but I do know quite a few of them on line. Most of these women seem quite strong to me. I suspect most (all?) of them would say that they are strong women too. And, in the next breath they will admit, they can’t believe they were so stupid as to have lost their children to adoption. There may not be a lot of guilt but there certainly is a lot of regret. Where was all that strength then? But back then, when we lost our children, we were the women/girls people told us we were. Most of us have vowed that we will never let something like that happen again.
Bullying can consists of one or more types of abuse – emotional, verbal, and physical. It typically involves subtle methods of coercion. For most of us that coercion involved destroying our confidence in our ability to raise our own child. Most of us know now that was ridiculous. We weren’t lacking in ability or potential, we were lacking in support. And that is why, when someone, anyone, tries to tell us who we are, we don’t buy into it.
I think when an adoptee attempts to bully it often has its basis in growing up with the birth/first/natural mother myths that abound in adoption. The myth that the adoptive family was always better than. The original family lesser than. The myth that mothers are troubled or drug addicted or worse. When I first contacted my son, his adoptive father told him to be careful if that woman asks you for money. It’s laughable but then really it’s not. That kind of attitude enters your brain by osmosis.
But enough about bullying. Even though the irony of the juxtaposition of Anti-Bullying Day and our reunion day was too strange to ignore, I have strayed farther afield than I intended to do.
It’s the anniversary of meeting my son. I am remembering and smiling. I remember the wonderful visit I had with him. It was at this time of year too. Ten years ago this week. I hope my son is doing well. I hope he is happy. I hope he has found someone who loves him and who he loves back. And although we may remain apart, I think of him often. I hope he has found peace. I will always be grateful that we were able to meet.