I have some really amazing people in my life who have been wonderfully supportive and encouraging to me. In the last couple of days I have re-connected with some fantastic and inspirational people. Adoptees, Adoptive parents, families with adopted siblings and people who simply took the time to read and share their feelings and kindnesses with me. After I gave birth there were a select group of people whose mean spirit made me feel guilt and shame. I put up a wall around my “heart” and my secret and very few people were let in to that part of my life. My need to tell this story comes from a good place inside of my heart that hopes that maybe there is someone out there holding the weight of guilt and shame on their shoulders and she can see from my mistakes how ridiculously unnecessary that is.
Here is the dictionary meaning of shame:
the painful feeling arising from the consciousness of something dishonorable, improper, ridiculous, etc., done by oneself or another.
I think we can agree that I did a good thing, nothing dishonorable. The unprotected sex was definitely improper but that wouldn’t warrant years of shame. Holding onto years of shame was detrimental and unnecessary. If I can prevent one person from feeling that; it is a very good thing. That weight off my shoulders has been the most absolutely freeing. My whole life has been changed. Last night when I was writing about the death of my Dad I thought how sad it would be if it all ended now. I finally know who I am and I am happy and confident and proud. My Dad always told me “life is short” This is something he said all he time. He never saved for a rainy day, if he wanted something he got it, if he wanted to do it he did it. You can say that is irresponsible but he died at 39 years old. LIFE IS SHORT!!
I wondered a lot about what might have been. I pictured us all as a happy family. I thought of Dad spoiling Jeff rotten and buying him a race car. None of that was meant to be. I knew that taking myself back and placing me in those times of such emotion would be difficult. To be real and honest I have to be there in the moment. When I was writing about being in the hospital room after giving birth I was in that room and the pain was excruciatingly emotional. I bawled all the way through the process. This is not a bakery, I refuse to sugar coat any of it! For many years I wasn’t true to myself and this is my truth.
I did have one person send me a message that was mean spirited. It was suggested that this story should be about the parents that loved Jeffrey and raised them as their son. I was told that it wasn’t all about me. This is MY story. I cannot tell anyone else’s story, but I have earned the right to tell mine! I will of course talk about them later on in the story. I feel overwhelming love and admiration for them, but I cannot tell My story from their point of view. That being said, everyone is entitled to their opinion and I knew that opening myself up in an intimate and vulnerable way I would have to deal with that as it came. My daughter has a “theme song” and she plays it to remind herself that words can’t hurt her and nobody can bring her down. I will post it at the end of this blog. I admire my daughters, their strength and their capacity to love and put themselves out there without fear. They play Roller Derby. It has been such an empowering presence in their young lives. I try to teach them that nobody can make them feel inferior without their consent and it is something that I need to remind myself of frequently. Haley and I have this new thing that we do before bed where we gather up all the good things that happened to us during the day in our hand and put it to our heart and then we gather any of the bad things that happened and we crumple them in our hand and then we throw them far away! I took that mean comment that made me have a little mini meltdown in my truck this morning and I threw it to Never-land. Being strong doesn’t mean you don’t feel things. I feel everything!! My husband said to me today that I was the brains of our operation and I disagreed, I am the heart. If my brain worked as much as my heart does we would be millionaires.
My heart wasn’t always this kind and pure. If you have ever heard the saying “misery loves company” it is very true. Hearts that are happy love, embrace, endure and encourage. I can show you everything I have learned but I cannot tell you what to see. You will interpret however your heart allows.
In English class they tell you that every story has a beginning, a middle and an end. I believe this is the beginning of my story!
Date: Thu, 4 Feb 2010 09:54:52 -0400
> From: JENNINCR@gov.ns.ca
> To: email@example.com
> Subject: Fwd: File#35674
> Above is the receipt of the first correspondence I ever had with my son. Apparently it had been stuck in a spam filter for two weeks because his email was grapedrink (if you are from N.s. you may remember those delicious drinks that used to come with the milk delivery)
I know you are all anxious. It is really hard to condense 23 years! What a journey! I can give you a little glimpse and tell you this….everything I endured to get to the day that I was reunited with Jeff evaporated immediately when I met him. He has a beautiful spirit and though I was prepared for all sorts of scenarios I wasn’t prepared at all for the one that actually happened.
I will continue I promise……xo