Scars fade with time. And the ones that never go away, well, they build character, maturity, caution. — Erin McCarthy
Relationships develop slowly. Because they have to. Adults, with their character, reasoning, actions and reactions having been molded by a lifetime of individual (and sometimes solitary) experience, are often cautious. Sometimes the lifetime of experience builds walls, causing unintended isolation and a kind of numbness to what’s real and what matters. The walls can not only separate you from other people, they can separate you from your true self–making relationships difficult, or even impossible.
I like to think that I have no walls. But I know that is not entirely true. I would characterize them more as fences, rather than walls. Something like a chain-link fence that I can see through and past. It’s easy for me to let people in . . . most of the time. It’s super easy for me to go outside of my fence and do whatever it is I need to do. But there are times when I don’t let anyone in. And there are times I just hang out . . . alone. But doesn’t everyone have walls or fences?
Writing this blog is a big deal for me. I’ve let all of you in. You know my reality–I’ve told it exactly like it is. The truth–except for changing some of the names. My reality. As much as I know. As much as I allow myself to feel.
I know that my reality, or my adoption truth, is different from anyone else’s. It’s even different for those who are directly involved in my story. A person’s reality, whether or not adoption is part of the picture, is a obviously a product of many subjective perceptions, filtered through a personal and unique emotional, psychological and sometimes spiritual lens. But without the truth, reality is skewed. It’s wrong.
Everyone is entitled to know the facts or learn their own truth. If an individual does not know his or her truth, the lies become the story. The lies become the history. The lies become the untruth. It’s unfair.
Why can’t we all be on the right side of history? The correct and only reality: the truth . An adoptee’s experience as he or she grows should be affirmed with the truth–the story of what really happened. It’s understood that as a child she is told only small parts of the truth. As much as a child’s brain can handle and still allow love and trust to enter the picture. But as an adult, she should be given the opportunity to hear the truths from those that lived it, and to be offered context in order to process and to own that truth. With that truth, an adoptee can build a sense of trust and openness, as well as a willingness to share. Intimacy.
I am thankful that Jackson is open and honest. He and I are learning about each other. I am happy that he is open to learning more about himself by letting me be a part of his truth. It’s amazing, really. He’s still grappling with the idea of having a “new” 50-year-old daughter and he has many questions himself. Questions that I can’t answer. His truth, like mine, depends on context and answers that can be provided by only one person: Margaret.
Talk about walls. As you know, I was not able to break down Margaret’s walls. I believe she’s
happy content oblivious numb living inside those walls. She feels protected–from what, I do not know. Jackson still toys with the idea of writing to Margaret. He’s even mentioned wanting to “see” her.
He asked me recently about how I felt about Margaret today. My response:
I want to be as clear as possible about how I feel about Margaret. I know enough about her (her situation 50 years ago, as well as her life as an adult, which includes a successful career and fierce independence as a woman), and while I would have loved to have had some sort of open communication with her over the years, I understand that I won’t. Frankly, the person that I am today doesn’t want to meet her. In my heart I believe that she would disappoint me if I ever did meet her in person–she was not meant to be a mother and she absolutely did the right thing in relinquishing me for adoption. That being said, I am not angry or resentful. Disappointed–yes. But not angry. And definitely not longing for some motherly relationship I never had.
I loved his response.
Laureen, I like you very much…. you are honest and straight forward. I am more and more inclined to write your mom and tell her exactly what has happened here. She needs to understand that whatever has happened is old business. Life is what it is about right now. Making things better on this planet is what it is about. I just don’t want to cause her trouble.
I especially liked the “I like you very much” part. [warm fuzzies]