Sunday, May 24, 2015

In which I say very little with a lot of words

Long time, no blog.

More than six months, to be exact. I started and abandoned about thirty-seven updates. I read somewhere that a lot of perfectionists eventually outgrow their quirk but I feel like I've just gotten worse. The older I get, the more critical I am of myself and what I write and think and feel.

I've reached the point where I hate and would like to re-write every word of this blog, or maybe just delete it forever. I no longer relate at all to the woman who wrote it. I don't know who she is. She's not me, that's for sure.

Without getting into specifics I'm just going to say that the last 18 months of my life were some of the worst of my life and some things happened to me that should never have happened and I ended up checking out of a lot of things that used to be important to me, blogging among them.

If I don't let myself think about the things that happened I don't feel destroyed by them anymore which I suppose is a sign of personal growth. On the other hand I feel like I'm a lot more bitter and angry than I used to be and I don't like that side of myself. Two years ago I was anxious as hell but I had a little smidgen of hope and things were for the most part under control. Then I met this guy and I one hundred percent believed this was it, this was my guy, and one thing led to another, and the United States dropped two atomic bombs on the sovereign nation of Japan.

No, sorry, I'm channeling Brian Regan.

I digress. It's been a rough road and I'm a little beat-up. But here I am.

Roo will be six this summer. She's wonderful and I'm proud of her and I love her to bits. I will not be writing much about her on this blog anymore. She's getting older and I am fiercely protective of her and her family. She's not my daughter and what people know about her isn't my call. I will be vague. But I will say this: I think the two most important things for a person to be are happy and kind, and Roo is both of those things. She is also brave and feisty and smart and it amazes me that H's and my messed-up DNA produced such a fantastic human being. I credit her parents. They're the best. If I ever grow up I want to be like them.

I want to blog again but I don't know what my focus is going to be. I've thought a lot about why there are so many more long-running adoptive parent blogs than birth parent blogs. I think it's because as a birth mother eventually you've got to sort of move on - not from adoption, necessarily, but from having "birth mother" as the sole focus of your identity. At some point you have to just go do something else.

Personally, I wonder how much longer I can keep saying, "Hey, adoption's great, Roo's great, openness is going well, I'd do this whole thing again in a heartbeat." Because I feel like that's mostly what I've done for years.

I guess as long as people want to hear it I can keep saying it. But I've got other things I want to say; I'm just not sure anyone wants to hear them. I've said before that an unplanned pregnancy isn't a problem, it's the symptom of a problem. I was thinking the other day about how placing a child for adoption screws with you mentally and then I realized, I've always been screwed up mentally; placement just gave me something to blame my dysfunction on.

I'm working through the dysfunction the best I can. Some days are easier than others. Many days lately have been harder. I've been missing my dad like crazy lately. I was watching TV at the gym and there was an ad for breakfast cereal that made my throat fizz up. The commercial showed a man playing catch with his son in their backyard and I thought of something I have not thought of in probably 15 years.

I played softball for 3 or 4 years when I was a kid and to help me improve (I was beyond awful) my dad would play catch with me in our backyard. Once I quit I shoved that memory away and I honestly forgot that we ever played catch, even when I remembered playing softball. But then this Frosted Flakes commercial came on and I thought, I'll never play catch with my dad ever again (even though I haven't done so since probably 1993), and it just about killed me.

Everything I did with my dad is something I'll never do with him again. He's been gone for almost seven years, and every now and then I look around and realize how little of him is left anymore. I hate those moments. That's when I have to look in a mirror and smile, the genuine smile I don't usually show because I don't like the way my nose crinkles or the shape of my mouth and chin. But I give that smile to the mirror and I look at the lines fanning out from the outsides of my eyes. These lines should horrify me; I'm not yet 32 and I have a murder's worth of crow's-feet. But I look at them in the mirror and I think, Oh, there you are, dad. And I miss him maybe an ounce less.

I forgot how cathartic it is to write things down. I should do this more often. Blogging, I don't know how to quit you. Self-criticism, I don't know how to quit you, either.

Frosted Flakes, I don't want to quit you. I'll meet you in the kitchen in five minutes, even though you made me cry.