Scars and Chain Link Fences

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.fence flowers 1

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.

Warm Fuzzy

Warm Fuzzy

I especially liked the “I like you very much” part. [warm fuzzies]

13 thoughts on “Scars and Chain Link Fences

  1. I have been thinking about you. Your blog certainly hits home even though we do have differences in ‘our’ stories. Thank you for sharing your story and letting us all in. Your words have helped me.

    I am glad to hear that your relationship with Jackson is going so well. Of course he likes you…and Margaret would too if she had at least a little window in her wall.

    “May we never let the things we can’t have, or don’t have, or shouldn’t have, spoil our enjoyment of the things we do have and can have. As we value our happiness, let us not forget it, for one of the greatest lessons in life is learning to be happy without the things we cannot or should not have.” – Richard L. Evans

    We all deserve the truth and I hope one day that you find out all the pieces to your puzzle.

  2. Your responses are so brave. Your objectivity is amazing and so mature. You rise above all the BS of the situation. I’m so in awe. X Barb

    Sent from my iPhone


  3. Your posts never fail to choke me up. I too was touched by the same words, “I like you very much”. There is something incredible about those words, even more than “I love you”. Jackson is obviously a good man. It is a privilege to know you Laureen and it will always be Margaret’s loss.

  4. I love reading your story. Thank you so much for sharing it with us all. I completely understand your reaction to Margaret’s reluctance to meet you. As Lynne said, it will be her loss as those of us who know you realize what an amazing woman you are.

  5. Laureen, you are a wonderful writer and express your feelings so well. I admire you for sharing this emotional and difficult journey with us, and I am amazed and happy that you now have a relationship with Jackson. You have really touched him, and I have a feeling that eventually he may get in touch with Margaret. But even if she does not respond, you have gained so much and I wish you the best outcome.

  6. Laureen, I have been so captivated by your story! You are an entertaining and interesting writer. I have a weird story too and completely relate to many of your experiences! I literally just started a blog to process and organize thoughts somewhere besides my own tiny private island or brain. People just don’t get why you would continue to pursue a dead end road like this when you have the best adoptive family on the planet. But that’s the great thing about getting closer to 50 – you have to take risks and not worry about what everyone thinks. So thank you for your example and encouragement and I look forward to following your story and hearing more!

    • Hi! I am really looking forward to reading your blog–I just peeked in and read your short bio. Please keep going! I know sometimes it’s difficult, but once you start, it just comes flowing out! I have 3 biological half-sisters and 2 biological half-brothers–I have never met any of them. A couple of them live fairly close. I have difficulty reaching out and just coming right out and asking to meet them and their family. The fear of rejection (and having experienced it enough already!) keeps me from just doing it. And believe me, I am not a shy person. I know exactly how you feel.

      • Ahhhh, love the encouragement! Will probably have time to focus after May – can’t wait! Love that you have a food blog as well. Love to cook for friends and family (my mother is the most amazing cook I know). Feeding people good food makes me happy! Ok, going to get through May…unreal.

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