Would a Committment Make a Difference?  

Saturday, May 2, 2009

For those who have not been following, Rachael and I have had several discussions lately about reunion, what makes some successful and what sabotages others. Most people know that we belong to a forum that allows opened discussion. Rachael posted a question about trying to regain that family bond early in reunion as opposed to starting off at ground zero as friends. Again most know that Rachael and I have chosen the friends path. I am her mother but not her mom. Our thoughts on that can be read in other posts on our blog. Come to think of it maybe I should use that as a topic and let it have its own paragraph or two. Something to ponder. Pffft, maybe I already have.

In reading some old emails I came across something that I thought might be helpful to others in reunion. It is something that Rachael had to do for me to get me to stop being so afraid of reunion.

Yes I was afraid of reunion. I wanted it more than anything, I was willing to do almost anything for it, yet I was afraid of rejection after she soothed her curiosity about who her first mother was. I wasn't sure I could handle that so I held myself in reserve.

To keep other comments I have made still in clear view, I feel it necessary to address some of the things I have said in the past that may give the impression I'm back peddling, but try to understand that reunion and surrender is emotion filled and extremes are not uncommon.

I have stated in the past that I was willing to let my daughter beat the crap out of me if she felt it was necessary upon reunion. I was willing to accept that in exchange for even a glimpse of her. I have also stated that after a few years in reunion that if I was to continue to be her personal punching bag, to be used when ever she felt it necessary to feel better about the issues she was left with because of my decision to surrender her, that I would probably walk away myself. I have had a long hard road accepting my decision, and no one could beat me up more than I could myself, and I took full advantage of punishing myself over my decision. Although very different extremes, I still mean what I said. I was willing to let her physically hurt me, but not for the rest of my life.

So this brings me to what I read in an old email. That she was in it for the long haul.

I was afraid of losing her again and I had grown so attached that I held parts of me back. She knew it, she could see it, she could tell that I struggled with responses at times because I was afraid of what she might think if I were to just be myself. After a few short weeks, (JOKING, it took years,) of her telling me that she was in it for the long haul, I started to believe it. I gave my true responses to questions, opinions, situations and tried to have faith that she would really accept me for who I am. Not only is she still around, but she actually likes me most of the time. I find it hard to believe than anyone could like me all of the time, but that's human nature. We have found that we have the same slightly ummm, okay we have the same "really" twisted sense of humor. And we are both very devoted to one another, fiercely at times, which is both scary and really cool.

So to get to my point, (oh yeah we're both fairly looong winded too) we would like nothing more than to find things that would help people in reunion. Every reunion is different, but Rachael and I are trying to find any thread of similarities that may help. She has already posted about a few and will continue to do so as they come up. By no means are we trying to state that if you "do this", you will have a successful reunion, but if we can find even one thing that could make the difference between successful and unsuccessful it would be worth it.

Do you think that telling the other person that you are in it for the long haul would put your mind at ease? Would it take away even a little of the fear of being rejected again as an adoptee or being rejected after soothed curiosity as a first parent? I honestly believe it helped me to forgive myself. If she could forgive me, accept me, and stay for the long haul, if she could give me that commitment, and that's what it is, a commitment, then I had no excuse to not forgive myself, begin to heal, and commit to my daughter for the time we had left.

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3 comments: to “ Would a Committment Make a Difference?

  • maybe
    Sunday, May 3, 2009 at 8:51:00 AM PDT  

    A committment would make a huge difference for me...I am acting just as you did, holding back, waiting for the bottom to fall out. I think I could get past that with just a little reassurance that this is a permanent relationship.

  • rachael
    Sunday, May 3, 2009 at 9:26:00 AM PDT  

    just out of curosity, is there alot of reunions that are nothing more than satisfying curosity and moving on? i understand the whole wanting to find your nose, your smile, your flintstone feet (thanx lori)and things like that. things that you can see in the mirror. but it never crossed my mind to see her and walk away.
    i was prepared to let it go if it didnt work out. the last thing i needed was another toxic relationship, even if it was a parent, but is there truly alot that have a f2f and then part ways?

  • Being Me
    Saturday, May 23, 2009 at 12:32:00 PM PDT  

    Hey Lori & Rachel,
    Mmm. I'm back and loving this discussion. My *guess* is that there is often some expectation that an adoptee will just want to satisfy curiousity. But once the contact is made (I guess again)often times emotions erupt that had not been anticipated and all kinds of desires for some form of an ongoing relationship show up.


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