Friday, October 29, 2010

Good Times, Bad Times

For the most part, I feel like I am doing remarkably well for myself 13 months post-placement. I have good days and I have bad days, but mostly good days, and the bad days aren't as bad.


Today is the rare exception.

I've made a conscious effort to be less negative on my blog (I've been criticized for my negativity in the past) and I think I've done fairly well. I no longer feel the need to express every thought I have in such a public forum. I might have done so in the past when fewer people read this blog, but the more people that read it, the less comfortable I feel sharing certain personal things. I have another blog for Roo, a private one, where I do write every thought I have about her and about her adoption. I've thought about giving P and M access but I worry that they'd think less of me for some of the things I've written. Or that they'd worry about me, and I don't want that. Of course, that probably happens enough with this blog. So I don't know. I've never been a fantastic communicator, and even after all this time I still find myself re-reading my e-mail to P and M eight or nine times to make sure it sounds okay, because I think that if I say the wrong thing, they won't like me anymore.

(Much of my relationship with H is a blur now, but I can recall him once telling me affectionately that I am "action-packed with issues." I think he said it affectionately. Although in retrospect it might have been more like disbelief. Either way, he wasn't wrong.)

But all that aside, this blog is still first and foremost a place for me to write about what it's like to be Roo's birth mom, and that includes bad days, of which today is one.

Sometimes I can actually feel a bad day building up. I'll have a sniffle or two here and there, but no major sob explosions for a while. Then I'll realize that my bouts of sniffling are getting closer and closer together. At the same time I'll find myself thinking of Roo more and more often, and the next thing you know, my mental dam bursts and everything comes out. I'll sit and cry for a bit and miss Roo. Then I feel a bit better.

Except sometimes, today for instance, I don't sit and cry for a bit. Sometimes, like today, I will be fine one minute, and the next minute I'm choking back sobs and wondering if I could possibly leave work early because I'm having trouble breathing and holding myself upright.

Today, I miss my little Roo so much that it physically hurts. I feel a little sick, actually. I just ... I miss her. I miss her, and that sucks. Most of the time it seems strange to think that I ever had a baby, that I was ever a mother for a few brief weeks. But on days like today, it's all I can think about. On days like this, all I can think is, I used to have a daughter, and now I don't.

It feels wrong to even put this into words, but sometimes I wish I didn't love her so much. I think, if I loved her less, it would hurt less. It seems unfair that I have to love her as much as I do but that I don't get to reap any of the benefits.

I hate feeling like this. I hate the selfishness of it, the fixation on what I have lost rather than on what Roo has gained. But hate it or not, it's there, and I'm stuck with it for a while.

I wonder if I ought to even post this. I'm not sure. It's hardly beneficial to anyone at all, is it? But then, I think maybe when Roo is older and she reads it, it'll help her know how very much I love her.


jgirl said...

I don't think that such feelings could be thought of as "hardly beneficial" if they are real and make up you and no one who reads this would ever have to wonder if you love her...(((hugs))) for all the tough days.

Anonymous said...

Huge hugs Days like these suck.

I hope you dont mind i refrenced you in my blog.


Kristin said...

It is beneficial, because it is real. Raw and truthful. I'm sorry that the truth is painful for you today, but I am glad you express it here. I learn a lot from you.

As you know, there are losses and gains for everyone involved with adoption, and I think it's natural to feel some things more strongly at times than others.

Be tender and take good care of yourself.

Ashley said...

It's not selfish. It's love. You couldn't have given her what you did if you didn't love her as deeply as you do. As an adoptive mom, even though I wish Carri would feel nothing but Disney-esque happiness for the rest of her life, I know she hurts still and I know it's because she loves our daughter so deeply. How blessed are we (myself and my daughter) that someone loves our daughter that deeply?

I hope someone held your hand, gave you a hug and didn't say a word.

Bad days happen. When we have one, I tell myself, "It's okay. We'll try again tomorrow."

Mother of the Wild Boys said...

<3 Love being sent your way <3

Amy said...

This is an honest post about how you feel... you should not hold it inside. I think sharing these feelings, releasing them for others to read helps to ease the burden of grief.

The hurt can be intense sometimes. And the tears can be unpredictable. Or sometimes predictable. Who knows really. There is no road map to emotions, you just have to experience it all.

While our experiences are different, so much of what you write resonates with me. I find myself shaking my head in agreement, knowing I've written nearly the same words before.

There are bad days.... very bad days. And there are good days.... very, very good days. But always, forever, there is love, even if love hurts, there is love.

Rachel said...

I love your honesty. You capture life in such a real way. One of my favorite scriptures is "Weeping may endure the night; but joy cometh in the morning." Psalms 30:5

Hang in there!

LeMira said...

These "negative" days are real, just like the others have commented. They are a huge part of adoption, and I think it's so important that others realize that, too, and that we hear it. Sorry you were missing her today -- Cyber Hug!

Liddell said...

I just stumbled across your blog today, but I think you should know that your words ARE beneficial. As a very, very new birthmother I have a lot of bad days and think a lot of things that I feel I shouldn't, like wishing I didn't love my girl so much. Reading this and seeing that I'm not the only one that has these thoughts is reassuring. And it's reassuring to hear (read) that the bad days lessen a bit. Thank you for your honesty. I hope you've felt better in the couple days since you've written this. xx

Susie said...

Do not, for one second, feel that you are being selfish because you miss your daughter!! It is natural that you love your child so much. It would be wrong if you didn't.

It is wrong for people to tell you that you are being "negative", when you are simply stating your truth. Don't stop speaking your truth. Don't speak only of the good days, as that is not the reality of adoption.

Adoption hurts. Adoption sucks the life out of us mothers living without our children. A mother is just that ~ a mother. Giving a child up for adoption cannot stop the love and the natural instincts we have to nurture and raise our children. What is unnatural is to be a mother who is not raising her child.

Allow yourself to grieve. It only makes things worse if you deny yourself that. I did that for almost 30 years, and am now paying the price. It's hard enough being a mother without her child, don't make it worse.

Speak your truth, the world needs to know the truth about adoption loss.


Jill Elizabeth said...


I very much appreciate your kindness. I do want to address a few things in your comment for the sake of clarity. People who have accused me of being negative did so at at time when I wasn't a very happy person, and I am willing to concede that some of them were right - I was at a point in my life where I had a hard time seeing the good in my life and I was focused mostly on the bad.

With the exception of maybe the first day or so after placement, I have never felt that being a birth mom sucked the life out of me. I am so sorry that you feel that way! I hope that your reunion has helped you to heal.

The truth is that for me, the overwhelming majority of the time, I am at peace with my decision. I am happy with the choice I made for Roo. Actually, I'd say that I am always happy with the way things turned out for Roo. It's myself that I feel sorry for - that's why I said I was being selfish.

I know that many of the people who take exception to the things I write do so because they didn't understand adoption and they were treated unfairly by the system, as it were. They have never been able to have peace about their adoptions, because for one reason or another, adoption was not what they expected or chose.

In those instances, I can understand the phrase "adoption loss" being used. I'm not going to argue about that.

In my situation, however, I knew as much as I could what I was getting into. Adoption was 100% a choice that I personally made because I felt it was best for my child. I see it as an example of a child-centered adoption, where things are done for her sake, rather than for the sake of anyone else involved.

I don't expect anyone else to understand or appreciate that, but it's how I see things. The time immediately after placement was incredibly difficult, but I absolutely don't see Roo's adoption as a loss. That's the truth.

I hope that makes sense. I am so sorry that placing your son impacted you so negatively. That shouldn't ever happen.

I don't feel that sense of loss or anger. My bad days are just that, bad days. I got my sadness out, and I have been quite content in the days since.

Mary said...

I admire your honesty, Jill, It's much better for your sake to be honest at the risk of other people's judgment's who may not understand, rather than stuff every unpleasant emotion. (And I think it helps to educate others as well.)

Jen said...

I just want you to know that this post was helpful to at least one birthmom. It's always helpful to know that you're not alone in your feelings, especially in a society (Utah adoption community) that is all warm fuzzy feelings about adoption and being a birthmom.

ME said...

It helps me to know that I'm not alone. That I'm not crazy for having my bad days where all I want to do is grieve. I do envy your openness and eloquent way of putting these feelings of ours into words. It's easier for me to give loved ones, who wonder how I feel a link to your blog and say here this is how I feel rather than try and put it in words myself. It's been almost 11 years since I placed and I can tell you it ebbs and flows but you may never fully get over the grief. I know my husband has often wanted to say, "seriously not this again." or "aren't you over it by now." He understands better when I share other BM's stories.

Amanda said...

I stumbled across your blog today (tonight? last night? I've been here for a while), and I love it. We're at the very beginning stages of preparing for adoption, and I'm really just trying to take in so much. I don't really even know how I ended up here, but I'm so glad I did.

Your raw honesty is so amazing, so challenging. I never really gave much thought to all of the loss associated with adoption. I am intimately familiar with this pain -- this pain that can knock you flat out -- but my pain came from recurrent pregnancy loss and through the loss of our son who died after he was born far too early. How could I be so dense not to recognize that a birth mom would experience that same kind of loss? Maybe your loss is even worse, what with your heart walking around outside of your body and all. I don't know.

What I do know is that I have to seem like the most awful, insensitive jerk by commenting, but really, I just want to honestly thank you for your openness and vulnerability both in this post and throughout your blog. I feel like I am learning so much by reading your words.