Finally in reunion with my son..

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Re: Finally in reunion with my son..

Postby cleo » Fri Dec 13, 2013 4:44 pm

i have just finished reading the link too, thankyou, crikey, its so difficult to know whats best for our situation, on one hand i think i should wait until my son's ready to get in contact with me again, even though after a year i thought things would of slowed down for him...and on the other hand i feel as though i should try and keep some kind of contact in case he doe's start to think i i don't really care about him, even though he was the one who shut down all contact!! Perhaps this is hanging onto an illsusion now instead of chasing after it.

I too did chase for the first couple of months, just wanting him to be honest with me, but then i began to give up, thinking he knows how to contact me, so i'll just have to wait.......

My husband has said i should let go now, that after over a year its more than enough time...a simple hello won't hurt, or a thankyou for the parcel i sent just last month. But nothing ;-(

Give up and let go what i've been waiting for the last 30 years, or try and hold on abit longer not wanting to lose him all over again?
cleo
 
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Re: Finally in reunion with my son..

Postby Turtle » Sun Dec 15, 2013 10:19 am

ssbnh wrote:he said all this would kill her meeting a dirty @@@@ like me


You don't know that she actually feels this. This is second hand information. She may not feel that at all. I feel, that unless something comes from the horse's mouth, you should take it all with a pinch of salt.

Maybe, your son made that statement, to keep the two of you apart. Adoptees struggle with dealing with a.parents who seem to find it so hard to relate to the b.parents. Often, it seems to me, a.parents can take quite an extreme view of b.mothers. They either pity them, or despise them. It takes a brave and stable a.parent, to take a more neutral and welcoming stance. My own a.mother, who says she is open to me talking about the subject, simply isn't. She will smile at the time and pretend she is ok with it and then for days after she will be offhand and negative towards me. I now don't even bother bringing up the subject and I am not even looking for a reunion.

I also think that adoptees do need time to process new information and situations. This is probably also true for b.mothers. Dealing with all those hidden emotions and new information about the situation can be hard. I know that I always need a period of time to just take things in, especially the more shocking discoveries that have come to light. During that time, your emotions can be all over the place. Various extremes of anger and sadness can emerge and so I often wonder, when b.parents talk about meetings going sour, if it is a case that the adoptee is just battling with a fireball of emotions, that in time, will settle down. That is why I think it is always good to keep the door open, so that even way down the line, if the adoptee can deal with things in a more logical, unemotional way, that the b.parent is still approachable.

Then there is the guilt. Adoptees, on the whole feel great loyalty towards their a.parents. Approaching the b.parents can seem wrong and disloyal. So many seem to keep the meetings a secret because of that. They simply don't want to upset their a.parents, particularly if the a.parents are getting older and dealing with various problems because of that. They don't want to upset them at "their time of life". So some wait until the death of a parent, which to me, seems even worse. Then they could feel that they are trying to replace them, which brings even more guilt.

The bottom line is, that it is all a mess. So many expectations and emotions to be catered for. It amazes me that there are any happy endings......but there are a few.
Turtle
 
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Re: Finally in reunion with my son..

Postby cleo » Sun Dec 15, 2013 6:22 pm

Dear Turtle,

yes my son has a great loyalty to his mum and to his dad, and never came looking for em before because, as he said, he did'nt want to hurt them,a lthough from what he told me, his parents told him from a very young age about him being adopted and also talked about me openly, they were very hoest with him.

then in 2010 his dad died, 6 months later he came looking for me, he said he has always wanted to look for me, because he had the info from his birth certificate that his parents showed him. But he would start looking then back down, asking himself what would happen if i told him i regretted having him or i did'nt want to know him once he found me? But he took the step and a year later he found me (well his girlfriend did) He was over the moon when he learn't that i have been waiting all these years for him to get in touch, as i knew nothing at all about him, i was lead to believe he was in a different part of the country..whereas in fact he lives in the same area as where i had him adopted...that was a shell shock for me....

Anyway i think he would never of really come looking for me if his dad had'nt passed away.....we now have no email contact for over a year and a half, and no text messages since january...he siad we needed time for things to calm down....but still no news ;-((
cleo
 
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Re: Finally in reunion with my son..

Postby Turtle » Sun Dec 15, 2013 7:46 pm

It is such a sad situation for you cleo. I can understand how you are left confused by the situation, when it was him who made the first move and made contact. You must feel as if you have now lost him twice and that must be heartbreaking. No doubt you keep going over all the contact you had with him in your mind, trying to work out what went wrong. Try not to analyse what was said and why things changed because, unfortunately, you may never find out the answer to that and may just have to accept the situation as it is, for the moment. It may be that he really does need some time to get things straight in his mind, so never give up hope.
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Re: Finally in reunion with my son..

Postby sylvie » Sun Dec 15, 2013 11:52 pm

I read this recently on First Mother Forum (http://www.firstmotherforum.com/). It was written by an adoptive mother in response to an article posted there entitled 'The adoptee dilemma: Navigating between opposing parents' :

Susie said...

I must say that I disagree with the statement in the post that adoptive parents feel "hurt" or "angry" or "pushed aside". When my daughter reunited with her first mother, I was completely delighted and encouraged the meeting. That was 11 years ago. They talk frequently and get together several times a month. Kay and I also talk, and invite each other to various events in our neighboring communities. And we often host holiday meals at either house. There's not a jealous bone in my body over their relationship, and I have told my daughter as much. I very much view adoptive and biological parents as being two sides of the same coin. When I look at my relationship with my parents, I had a very different relationship with my father than with my mother. And, that's how I feel about Kay...she's just another parent in my daughter's life...another source of support and love.
Yes, their relationship has had some rocky times, as has mine with my daughter, but that's just family. When I first met Kay, I told her that I would always be honest with her about how I was feeling and asked for similar consideration. As far as I know, we've been honest with each other over the years.
Perhaps you all just know the wrong kind of adoptive parents. Because I would rather be flayed alive than keep my kid from her roots and connections.

December 11, 2013 at 4:44 PM

http://www.blogger.com/comment.g?blogID=574300303008890516&postID=2728896587930034130


I've also heard from women involved in adoption-related matters in other countries who say that a hostile attitude from an adoptive mother to a first mother would be regarded as highly unacceptable and unusual behaviour.

I think it's important to know that such an attitude is not necessarily inevitable. Or perhaps even justifiable.
Reunited with my beloved son after decades of separation which began when I was a young teenager and he was newly born, and finally ended a few years ago when we met again as fully-grown adults.
sylvie
 
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Re: Finally in reunion with my son..

Postby cleo » Mon Dec 16, 2013 3:26 pm

Hi sylvie and turtle,

I think too that if i had conatct with my sons a.mum she would be great about the whole situation, as she has always been honest with my son from a very young age, he said they often talked about me, but he was the one to "shut down" and not want to talk about it.

I honestly think that his a.mum would be chuffed to finally know about me, but left it up to my son to do the searching if he ever felt the need too. He has'nt told her that he has found me, which of course at the time was normal as she has just lost her husband a year previously, then when my son did find me she had a new man in her life...not at all a good time to tell her he had found me, and i think it knocked him for six too. But now i've had a year to back down and try to understand from his point of view, which is not easy, like he cannot understand how i am feeling, even though i have tried to expalin to him and having all the ghosts from the past appear, little by little...at first i could'nt remember much, as i had hidden my memories deep down, then sometimes i think...my goodness i now remember that thing or that happening. Its frightening......
cleo
 
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Re: Finally in reunion with my son..

Postby sylvie » Mon Dec 16, 2013 9:24 pm

The shock and intensity can be frightening Cleo, but I think it's how we put ourselves back together. I may be wrong, but I think that's what's going on, for me at least.
Realising and remembering things. Seeing things anew.

Best wishes.
Reunited with my beloved son after decades of separation which began when I was a young teenager and he was newly born, and finally ended a few years ago when we met again as fully-grown adults.
sylvie
 
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Re: Finally in reunion with my son..

Postby Turtle » Tue Dec 17, 2013 8:51 am

It never ceases to amaze me how the brain can block out such intense memories. It seems to be its coping strategy.

It is interesting how you both say the memories come back to you. Do you then see the events through more logical adult eyes, or do you go back emotionally to your younger self and so still struggle with those images and emotions?
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Re: Finally in reunion with my son..

Postby sylvie » Tue Dec 17, 2013 11:46 am

Hi Turtle

I've felt feelings as if I am 16 again and losing my baby. I think these are feelings that I numbed out to back then because I couldn't find alternatives to the adoption so I felt I couldn't stop it. I think reunion has either allowed or made me experience those stifled feelings because I see the very real human being in front of me who was affected by it (my son), and because he returned to my world (which meant my survival strategy for coping with extreme loss was no longer fitting or even helpful). There may be other reasons for those feelings but these are the ones I can identify at the moment.

I think being older now allows me to investigate the situation back then with my mind. I look into that part of the past and say 'Were there alternatives? If so, why couldn't I see them?' I look for what could've changed things (A little bit of support. Someone saying 'It'll be okay. We'll manage' or 'Do you know you can get this help?'). It also allows me to understand the very specific social and familial context in which it happened and which are at the core of why it happened.

But those younger feelings are immediate and overwhelming, and my older self can get temporarily tsunami'd if they are unexpectedly triggered - somethng I've only just realised.
One such trigger happened around the time of my grandson's birth. My son wanted me to be included (simply as one of the family visitors after the birth) but his amother overruled his feelings with hers by having an emotional meltdown so huge that he was never going to have his own wishes heard, let alone respected.
To spare my son any further demands at a time he was preparing for fatherhood, I offered to retreat out of sight for a while, to calm the waters for him. He agreed but it upset him greatly.

The thing is, I thought I could do that without a problem, because my son and I are close, but it unexpectedly triggered alsorts.

Suddenly I felt isolated and shut out again from relating to a baby I am directly and closely related to (my grandson this time, as it was my son thirty years ago).
I was back behind the veil that forces first mothers to be invisible and silent.
And not allowed to take part. Not permitted at the relatives table. Entirely erased.

My reaction took me aback - I couldn't sleep or eat, and couldn't stop crying. I was beside myself, absolutely wrecked. I didn't think anything would ever make it alright again. (I kept all of this from my son. I didn't think it was fair to dump all these emotions on him - he had enough to deal with and it was my stuff to resolve, not his).
It was only when someone pointed out that this WASN'T the same situation as thirty years ago, no matter how similar it seemed and felt, and that I COULD make choices and do things that I couldn't make or do back then - like arrange to see my grandson at a later date, away from the hospital - that I began to calm down and emotionally time-warp back to being 50.
And that's just what I did, spending a lovely, memorable day with my son, and newborn grandson, and lovely daughter in law. A treasured opportunity which the absolutely closed adoption of my son thirty years ago did not permit. So it WAS different. Things HAD changed.

I often wonder if we contain all of our younger selves still. It sometimes feels like it.

Anyway, just to be clear, I am so happy my son and I reunited, despite the arrival of so many new and intense and often painful feelings, and I know he is too.
I think this is just part of the landscape, or the fallout, of adoption. And I think that landscape keeps changing over time and experience throughout reunion.
Last edited by sylvie on Tue Dec 17, 2013 11:46 pm, edited 2 times in total.
Reunited with my beloved son after decades of separation which began when I was a young teenager and he was newly born, and finally ended a few years ago when we met again as fully-grown adults.
sylvie
 
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Re: Finally in reunion with my son..

Postby Turtle » Tue Dec 17, 2013 1:05 pm

Thank you so much for sharing that Sylvie. I find it sad that you still find so many of these emotions so raw.

Regardless of the rights and wrongs of my own adoption, I would hate to think, that all these years later, that my own birth mother was still consumed by the feelings that she felt back then. I would hope that she could now view things through more rational eyes and realize that a lot of the decisions made were either forced on her or beyond her control. To me, you simply can't be accountable for things beyond your control. Yes, there were things that she did, that I am sure, with hindsight, she would want to change, but hindsight is an amazing thing, where we see things in a different light, but it is not the facts of the time.

Of course, the impact of the things she did have control of, had an affect on both of our lives. I am sure we have both suffered in different ways, but I realise that most people do the best that they can at the time with the knowledge and abilities they have. Although she definitely made mistakes, they were just that, mistakes, not hanging offenses. We all make mistakes, it is just some of those mistakes unfortunately carry a higher price. So I would hope after over 40 years, that she would have let go of that pain and allowed herself a bit of forgiveness.
Turtle
 
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Re: Finally in reunion with my son..

Postby sylvie » Tue Dec 17, 2013 5:39 pm

Hi Turtle

Just to say, I don't feel those feelings all the time, and in the numbed-out time before reunion I was...numb.
It's just that they are there, like a zoo full of wild animals, sleeping unless something triggers a memory or experience of the past.

Your thoughts are very kind, and I've noticed your honesty and kindness in other posts too.

I didn't write the previous post to garner sympathy - it was really in response to your question about viewing things from a logical, older perspective or re-feeling them from a younger, emotional self. I was exploring that, using a particularly triggering time as an example. Please don't think it's always like that. Laughing my head off with my son is also a part of my life too :-)

Personally, I think those deep and raw feelings are natural. We haven't evolved to be separated from our babies, quite the opposite, so if we are - for whatever reason - the impact is great. As it should be really. Our children (no matter how old) and our relationship with our children (no matter how long separated) matters enormously. It does to me. Nothng is more important to me.
Reunited with my beloved son after decades of separation which began when I was a young teenager and he was newly born, and finally ended a few years ago when we met again as fully-grown adults.
sylvie
 
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Joined: Thu Oct 13, 2011 9:39 pm

Re: Finally in reunion with my son..

Postby cleo » Tue Dec 17, 2013 9:18 pm

Evening ySlvie and turtle

syllvie you have hit it on the head all that you said, its an enormous thing to try and understand...and the past few days, i have reflected back on this past year away from my son, at first i thought maybe its best to let him go, but i can't, i have waited 30 years, and there is no way i'm going to let go/lose him again, at first i thought i was being selfish, but like you rightly said, he is our son, no matter how long we've been separated, i know he was worried that if he found me that i would'nt want to know him, as his girlfriend has a collegue who is also adopted..he tried to find his mum and when he did she wanted nothing to do with him :-(
I think too, and would like your opinions on this....at the beginning my son called me mum a couple of times and also told me he loved me....so obviously he has feelings for me otherwise he would'nt of said those things and would of just would've continued to call me by my first name?
I have given "us" time as he has asked...a year no mails or texts and have'nt seen him in nearly two years.....I;m hoping he will come and contact me again soon....i don't want to miss out on my grandson growing up, although i know he has already 2 other grandmothers, so maybe i'm not to be in the equation, i say this because of the no reply when i sent his birthday present not long ago.
I've had time to reflect too...could things of been different...i don't know, although i feel anger now at the SS for, how can i put it..lying....telling me he would be adopted in another part of the country..then 30 years on finding out he has lived just up the road!!!! I have recently asked SS about this and they said they left him in the same surroundings to where he was born and because of my age i was not a thret!!!! Being told i should'nt hand over the gift i wanted to give at the time for the adoptive parents to give to him, if ever they told him about me and certainly no letter...only to find out that i could've written something for him :-((
Since my son came back into my life it has opened up alot of things...things i have kept deep down, only to emerge if a programme came up on tv or a film etc and of course birthdays etc, where i'd just cry, but then it would pass. Now though, the tears are harder to control because i do not know what he is feeling..;we got on so well, i'm just thinking that he doe's still care about me, he made the first move to come and find me....i just want him back, i'm not going to let him go again......My feelings change and i go into over drive thinking what i could of changed back then, and now, how do i explain when its all so confusing for me too.
He knew he was coming to look for me so had time to get used to the idea (in a way) i was all over the place when he contacted me, like i said we got on really well, maybe too well looking back now, and thats why he said we were going to fast..i'm wondering now if his feelings were over the top too and he needs to get a grip on everything, it cannot be easy having a 'young' mum who thinks the world of him too. I'm really trying to look at it from his point of you thanks to all of you. And i'm getting hopeful when i read sylvies story that one day things will get better with my son too, it may not work out in the end, but this time i'm not going to let him slip away..i'm not the 16 year old who did'nt realise the deep harm we'd both go through, even though he has had a great life i could never of dreamed of giving him...but its the hurt, its unexplainable, but its there..in different ways,but we have both been hurt all these years to an extent which will have to be worked through and talked through too. I just want to sit down and talk to my son like a grown adult now and not like a 16 yr old i was back then. My emotions were high when we first met and i didn't talk much, but now its time, we are both adults and we can get through this.....he just needs to know that i will never let him go again.
cleo
 
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Re: Finally in reunion with my son..

Postby sylvie » Tue Dec 17, 2013 11:40 pm

All reunions are unique. What is hard is that we meet up again as independent adults, with a choice of whether to stay or go and a myriad of hopeful/painful feelings to manage.
It's also difficult, trying to respect everyone's feelings whilst balancing the need for space and the need for reassurance.

I don't know what I would do in your situation Cleo. My son has never called me mum (and I've never expected or sought it) though he acknowledges me as his mother, and sometimes names me as that to others. (Thankfully, he has never called me his 'birthmother', at least not to my face. I would find that deeply hurtful. And alienating. And undermining - of me and our relationship to each other).
Also, our reunion was fairly slow in that we took our time to get to know each other a bit before meeting. Plus our decision to find each other happened at around the same time, so we were both ready for it when it happened.

That's quite different to your experience.
I think the difference in your son's words and actions (following your meeting with him) would have emotionally scrambled me, and been terribly painful.
But I also think it's highly likely that your son is processing absolutely loads, from what you've said about his past few years.

I don't know Cleo. Perhaps you can't change anything that your son is doing. Perhaps you can only change yourself, in that you look after yourself and be kind and caring to yourself and learn up about what people who've been adopted often feel, and what other mothers like us feel, and just keep that door open for him to walk through if and when he chooses to. I realise that might be hard to hear, but we can't make people do things if they don't want to or aren't ready to. We can, however, understand why we are so upset, and grieve and console ourselves for our losses, and move through all the very painful feelings that often follow reunion.
I read somewhere the idea that reunion is about permitting the grief to be felt, for those involved. There's some truth in that, I think. It's not all it is, but it's there.
Last edited by sylvie on Sat Jan 11, 2014 3:51 pm, edited 2 times in total.
Reunited with my beloved son after decades of separation which began when I was a young teenager and he was newly born, and finally ended a few years ago when we met again as fully-grown adults.
sylvie
 
Posts: 308
Joined: Thu Oct 13, 2011 9:39 pm

Re: Finally in reunion with my son..

Postby cleo » Wed Dec 18, 2013 6:35 am

Hi sylvie,

I know, i was not expecting him or ever thought that he would call me mum either, or saying all the nice things he did. I felt abit odd about it to be honest but at the same time over the moon that he did call me mum ;-)

Yes maybe we did meet up too quickly but it was at christmas where i was coming over anyway and seemed like the right time for both of us and were both looking forward to finally meeting. Like i said we got on really well, even though we only spent an hour each day because he was busy and so was i with our families over the christmas. I know i cannot change him and would'nt want to either, he has grown up completely different to me, although we have alot in common which we have said about too. I know he has alot to cope with and i think that too is why we needed to slow down, i know when i came over in the april of that year he was backing away and when i saw him for an hour i told him i had a gut feeling that things had changed ;-( sadly i was right.

I think the grieving maybe something to come to terms with if my son tells me now that he wants nothing to do with me..but i will cross that bridge when i come to it, for the moment i'm still holding onto hope. i will try and put down in words what i feel too because its never easy to put our emotions together, its alot to grasp onto, thankyou for your words, it helps me to see things too ;-)
cleo
 
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Re: Finally in reunion with my son..

Postby Turtle » Wed Dec 18, 2013 9:34 am

sylvie wrote:I didn't write the previous post to garner sympathy - it was really in response to your question about viewing things from a logical, older perspective or re-feeling them from a younger, emotional self. I was exploring that, using a particularly triggering time as an example. Please don't think it's always like that. Laughing my head off with my son is also a part of my life too :-)


I absolutely realize you are not looking for sympathy. I asked a direct question and you were kind enough to answer it for me. You see, Sylvie, the chances of me ever having contact with my own b.mother are somewhere around zero, and so the only chance I get to get a feel for how she could be thinking is if b.mothers, like yourself, are kind enough to answer my questions with such honesty. I really appreciate you being so open.

I had also assume that these feelings were only ones that visited you occasionally. It is good to laugh and laughing with your son must be heart lifting. I just hope my b.mother laughs too. I am sure, with all her family around her, she does.
Turtle
 
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