About four days ago, I read this article. (I found adoptees reasonably spot on. I don’t think Liz matches up to a lot of the comments on birthparents, but what else is new.) And then a thing happened that pretty much ticked every box. My American mother didn’t talk to me as much for four days because she was busy.
I know. I realise how ridiculous that sounds.
Today she asked me, “why do you think your mood and emotions are tied to getting what you want from me?” and she had me. My first feeling was everything went cold. I felt immense fear. I’m so tired of being scared of the loss of her all of the time. I never want to look at that part because it seems to cause other people to make an exasperated face, and I’m left curling up into myself, ashamed. I have felt immense love from a mother for the first time in my life, and the feeling that it could be taken away from me haunts the corners of my mind like a ghost. I have been so scared that my legs shake and I can’t eat. And it makes me feel like I need help.
And I probably still do, and probably will for a while. I don’t think it’s a thing that’s wrong with me, so much as a product of what’s happened in my life coupled with my personality. I’m not really angry, so much as scared.
Sometimes it feels like I’ve lost little bits of our dynamic already, and that scares me into holding on to the bits I have even tighter. I know I can’t do relationships like that, and it doesn’t have a place in a healthy relationship. And every article I’ve ever read (and my AM) has told me it’s counter-intuitive, it breeds rejection instead of stopping it – because it makes my issue her problem. It makes me ugly and self-centred. So then I’m scared of that. My brain developed a way of dealing with it. I think I used to really lash out, so now I just repeat bits of logic over and over and over. I am hopeful that one day I will have repeated them enough times that I believe them. It feels like an armour, a little. It makes me stiff, and abrupt, because I’m trying to hold all my edges in. It also makes me tired, so I suppose it takes a lot of brain power to tell my head gremlin to shut up. It’s favourite saying is still that I am a consolation prize. I can’t help but wonder when the first time was that I thought that. I wonder if that might answer some questions.
I had breakfast with my aunt this morning. I didn’t go into details about my family, but I said I’d rather not stay with them again. She looked at me in horror, and I looked at the wall beside me instead of keeping her gaze. “Are you still talking to your Mum?” she asked, and I nodded. I said how I feel about my brother, and my place in that family, and that it was better for me if I didn’t stay at their house anymore. She said it was really sad, and did that thing people do where they say “oh well, we didn’t get along either when we were young, but now look!!” (that’s not helpful, don’t do that). I didn’t continue that conversation, and instead we talked about the agricultural changes in the later-Ming dynasty in China.
I don’t know how helpful typing out the truth is. Or why I have been finding it necessary to tell people on the fringes probably more than they need to know. I’m sure I would type pages if I was let loose. Something is stopping me from that, though. I feel like I’m supposed to do better, be better. Be over it, be useful, be thoughtful of others. Be less selfish, less consumed. Be normal.
Or at least get a life so it doesn’t affect me so much. Maybe that.