Thursday, January 14, 2010

Pity Party

WARNING: I am feeling petty and whiny and immature and selfish and crabby, and I need to vent.

I am having one of those days. I hate them. Days like this, I mean.

It's not so much that I miss my Roo (although I do miss her terribly). It's more that people are so imperfect, and don't think, and I end up feeling like some of the people who should care about me don't care at all.

People like my LDSFS caseworker, S; one of her fellow caseworkers, A; my fellow birth mothers at the support group that meets on Wednesdays; and a few other people I know.

If I'm honest, some of what I'm irked about goes back a month. I was scheduled to tell my adoption story at the birth mother group on December 2nd. A few hours beforehand, an e-mail went out to the group saying that group was meeting that night, and that according to the schedule I would be speaking. Then it said to make sure to come for check in at 5. Not for me, but for check-in. I was irked. Especially when only about half as many people as usually come actually came. Four birth moms, an agency rep or two, and maybe three other people. And then S made two announcements - she told us that a birth mom had just placed a few days ago, and then she said that one of the girls who usually comes was in labor, and everyone got excited and talked about going to visit her in the hospital. I know it's stupid and petty and immature, but I wanted to leave then. I wanted to say, "Fine. You all want to go see her? Go see her. Not like anyone cares what I have to say anyway."

But I didn't. And I told my story. I tried to be brutally honest. About how I don't have any kind of social skills, and how people make me nervous because I'm always afraid people are looking at me and judging me and finding me lacking. I had hoped that opening up like that might, if not endear me to people, at least help them to see that I'm not stuck up or standoffish. Just socially awkward. What can I say? I'm an optimist.

The next week, the reminder e-mail that was sent was something like, "[name] is telling her story tonight. Everyone needs to come and support her and show her you care." So apparently it was really important to show support for her but not for me. And when I got there at group that night, the room was packed. Everyone had indeed come to support her. I counted eight birth moms who hadn't bothered to show up the week before.

Now, I know - I KNOW - that it wasn't anything personal. It's not like those birth moms all hate me and didn't want to hear me talk. But it was their absence when I spoke, coupled with the tone of the reminder e-mail, that just made me feel like no one gave a care about me.

And then there's S. How can I explain S? I love her, but she reminds me of ... of a noncustodial parent. A weekend dad. Like, she makes promises and then doesn't keep them. Much the way a weekend dad might promise a trip to the zoo or the carnival and then not show up.

I can't be sure, but I suspect that it's LDSFS policy to have, you know, follow-up meetings with birth moms after placement. I haven't had a single follow-up with S. I have made a few frantic phone calls to S at odd hours, and she's talked me out of a few crises. But when I've tried to make appointments to go in to the office and talk to her, it never happens. Her schedule changes, she has to cancel, or we end up grocery shopping or chatting in the car while she drives from house to house doing her other job.

I needed her - I really, really needed her - when this mess with H's mother came up. I contacted her, frantic. I told her, and I quote, "I am really freaking out here." She said she'd call me as soon as she could. She never called. We ended up hanging out almost 2 weeks later and she seemed not to remember at all that she'd let me down. I really screwed things up with how I handled things with H's mother. I could have used S's help. I never got it. She's too busy for me. I'm not important. It hurts. It bothers me. But, like a child of divorce, I keep forgiving her. I never tell her she's hurt me. I'm just happy when she decides to pay any attention to me.

I got e-mail this morning from A. It was sent to me and three other birth moms. A wanted us to reach out and support this birth mom she knows of - a birth mom I have never personally met. A wrote: "I don't know if she has ever come to group since placement in August but she is trying to get through this emotionally by herself and I think it would really help to have some other birthmothers there for her. Maybe it could help her feel more comfortable coming to group."

This e-mail irritated me more than I can say. First off, as I said, I've never even met this other birth mom. How phony would that be if I wrote to her and acted all supportive and nice? She doesn't know me. And she has a boyfriend, so it's not like she's all alone in this. You know who is? Oh, right. That would be me. Also, why is this one birth mom so special? Is A sending out e-mail about other birth moms? We ALL need support. We ALL need to have other birth moms who are there for us. And I sure as heck don't feel comfortable coming to group. I sit alone there more often than not. Hey, A, read MY blog and see how well I'm doing - or not doing. Send out an e-mail telling other birth moms to talk to me, to sit by me, to make me feel welcome and important and loved.

I'm just feeling like since placement no one cares about me anymore - about how I'm doing or how I'm coping or whether I'm miserable - which, for the record, I am quite a bit since I don't have anything going for me at the moment. I have no job, no friends, no boyfriend, no money, no social life, nothing to look forward to. I live with my mother and I spend most of my time on-line or watching TV or doing housework.

I try - Heaven only knows how I try to be happy, to find peace and joy. But it's so hard! And I feel like no one besides my mother and my oldest brother actually cares about me. And P and M. They're awesome. I know they care.

But what about S? She's paid to care, for crying out loud. A, I suppose, doesn't have to care, which is just as well since I've never gotten the impression that she thinks a whole lot of me. Which is fine, I suppose. I reckon I'm a bit of an acquired taste, and not everyone is going to like me - they don't have to. I'm learning to accept that.

But still, I think ... why am I less important than any other birth mom? Why shouldn't I get encouragement and support as well? Urg. I hate it when I get in these moods. But it's so irritating! It's irritating to feel like, for some unknown reason, I'm less important, worth less time and attention than other people. I've felt that way my entire life and I guess part of me thought that in doing this amazing thing, in being a birth mom, I would finally get someone who knows me to say, "Jill, you are amazing. You did an amazing thing. You are important. I care."

I'm not proud of myself. I'm not proud of feeling so petty and selfish and juvenile. I'm not even sure I'll post this. Part of me feels like this sort of ranting and raving is beneath me, unproductive and brings down the quality and purpose of my blog. And I don't want anyone to think I'm fishing for compliments. I knew a girl in high school who used to put herself down all the time so that people would compliment her, and it was highly irritating. That's not my aim here. I just need to ... to vent. Should I vent on this blog? Maybe I should have a separate blog, just for venting.

But then, I've always striven to be brutally honest about my experience as a birth mom, and this is part of it. It's an ugly part of it, but a part of it nonetheless.

I think I'll just save this as a draft and think about it for a while. I'll probably feel less whiny in the morning.

1 comment:

Angee said...

Sending good thoughts your way! If you ever need someone to talk to or lean on, please feel free to email me! :) I may not have placed a baby and know what that is like, but I do know pain. I do know forgiveness and the atonement. I'll keep you in my thoughts and prayers! <3