I feel insanely guilty when I hear this. Because for me, the relinquishment and being away from Cricket is already miles easier than it was at first–but I think that there’s a reason. When I was a kid, I was molested; I know, super common, break out the tiny violin. But what happened to me was that it made me crazy–I remember being actually crazy for much of fourth grade, until I finally decided that I needed to forget what happened . . . and I did. I remember almost nothing about what happened. I just shut that part of my brain down, and that’s what let me be okay. Why am I telling this gruesome story? Because I think I did something similar with the grief over Cricket–it was really too much for me to bear, so I shut it down somewhat. I decided to love him less than I wanted to because loving him like a mother, really like a mother, meant that I was too overcome by grief to stand. This is something I hope I never have to explain to him. If it does come up, I really don’t know what to say. “Yes, it got easier–because if it hadn’t, I would have died.”
I’ve found birthmother group therapy in town–it’s once a month, $20 a pop, and I think Mr. Book will be open to budgeting for that, even poor as we are. I realized before the get-together on Friday (and during it, and after it) that I feel guilty about my grief when I’m around closed-era firstmoms–I think that they think that I am just a whiner, that I know that he’s okay and they didn’t even know whether their children were alive. On the other hand, the psychologist who runs the therapy group was there, and she mentioned that according to the research she’s read, open adoption makes things easier on adoptees, but birthmothers grieve just as hard and just as long. Hearing that was such a relief; I am allowed to be sad, it’s okay. I admit that it also helped with the guilt that I brought food for everyone on Friday; the caramels and oreos were popular, but the cranberry newtons were what everyone raved about. (Yes, I bake things that are more easily obtained from Walmart, what of it? ;))
I talked to my mother yesterday, and she was bored and lonely and so decided to hassle me about the adoption again. Sometimes when my dad is out of town she picks fights for something to do; yesterday, it was asking me what I would tell Cricket when he wants to know why he was placed and then telling me that those were crappy reasons and I need something better. Gee, thanks, mom–what do you think I should make up? “A gypsy fortune teller revealed to me that unless you were placed, you’d surely die! What did you expect me to do, baby?” I failed to give her the fight she was looking for, even after she tried the “But if you do have another child that will be so hard for him!” gambit–this, after she’s spent the last nine months [really] trying to talk me into getting pregnant asap. I know that I sound really ungracious here; my mom loves me, and on some level she’s expressing a genuine concern. But she’s been opposed to and weird about the adoption since before day one, and sometimes it’s just hard to sit through.
Pathetic revelation time: I’ve mentioned that I spend much of my pocket money on baby stuff–well, I’ve got a pair of tiny Converse high-tops coming in the mail. They’ll wind up crammed in the hope chest with all the other baby stuff. It’s starting to get awfully cramped in there.