So, the life that it took me over 20 years to build for myself and my family, has taken a severe left turn over the past year. I found the love of my life. We planned to be together and have a family. We made a conscious decision to become pregnant. Life was great for the first 5 months…even though I was so physically ill I had to be on meds that they give to cancer patients to keep the nausea away that accompanies chemo treatments. Life was still good…..and then, well then all hell broke loose. I discovered some things that were going to make things financially difficult for us as a family, and that pushed me over the edge. I truly believe that I became severely hormonally unbalanced. I’ve even come up with a term for it. ‘Hormonal psychosis’. I bullied my son’s father into relinquishing, I relinquished my son, I became emerged in ‘cyberadoptionland’ logging in a every spare moment I have, and even more than that at times. I’ve dug into the adoption industry, and found out how truly uncaring people can be. From adoption ‘professionals’ who omit the facts, to adoptive parents who crush the very people who have made their dreams come true to be parents. I’ve learned that my son will never have his original birth certificate. I have found wonderful women who have helped give women a chance to parent first, and place later. I’ve been in my first car wreck, totaling my car, no fault of my own. Life has….well, changed.
You see, while I was making this ‘decision’ (I refuse to call it a choice) to place my son, I ‘presented well’ to everyone around me. Meaning I was a ‘rational’, calm, cool and collected professional analyst.. Well, to everyone who didn’t ‘know’ me that is. The agency ‘professionals’, the 2 people at the office I worked at who I let in on my ‘plan’ and the ‘therapist’ that I had 1 visit with before I placed. All thought I was extremely confident in my decision. All thought I was ‘at peace’ with it. None of my friends who were geographically close knew about the plan at all. I had isolated myself. Feeling overwhelmed, trapped and frustrated that I couldn’t get help with any financial stuff in order to keep my baby, and not able to qualify for Medicaid (which I would have, which the agency SW failed to tell me that – until after I had signed).
But the people who ‘knew’ me…..H2 (W’s father), K (my daughter), my sister and my very best friend of 25+ years knew that something was ‘off’. Something wasn’t right. I had driven H2 away, I had lashed out at him….not by being verbally or physically abusive, but whenever I would see him, I would lose my mind and become a hysterically, out of control crazy pregnant woman. So, badly in fact, for two months that he was afraid to come around because of how upset I would get, and he was worried for me and the baby. (Not that I’m making an excuse for him not coming around by any means mind you.) My patience with K was, well, to say it honestly, there was none. From the second the poor girl got picked up from after school until the second she was in the bed – I was an over the top, out of my mind, pregnant and (I’m ashamed to say) a MEAN drill sergeant. She has ADHD and her med would be worn off by the time I got home from work. Then, once she was in bed, I would lie on the sofa and cry myself to sleep….every single night. That is, when I could sleep because my body and brain would just finally have to shut down from being pushed too hard running on only 3-4 hours of sleep per night. Then I developed gestational diabetes, that led to more appointments (time off work = no pay = more stress), and then, changing my diet.
I went OFF on my sister, who I am actually very, very close to, who knows that I love being a mom, and live for K and that I wanted W. When she heard of my ‘plan’, she was so upset and begged me not to go through with it, but there was no getting through to me. I was psychotic about this. She said one night she hung up the phone, and said to her husband….’That is not my sister…..I don’t know who that is….’
Then my girlfriend called me one morning on my hour drive in to the office….and she asked me…’Are you sure you’re going to be able to do this?’ See, she had lost her 18 yr. old son in an auto accident just 2 years earlier, and was still reeling from the grief. She didn’t think that I should do this either. I responded to her question, ‘You know….I’m trying to disengage from him, I don’t what to get attached, I can do this.’ She has since told me that she could not believe that someone was going to ‘choose’ the grief of losing a child. But, again…..I didn’t listen. She hung up the phone saying the same thing to her husband that my sister did. But, being 1500+ miles away with their own families….what were they really going to do to help me? They weren’t here to help me with daycare, they weren’t here to be able to give me a break from the kids when I needed one. I rely very heavily on my neighbors for my breaks since I’ve moved here and couldn’t even fathom ‘asking more’ of them – they do so much already.
No one was close enough to help me. No one was close enough to sit on the sofa with me and TALK to me – really TALK to me. They all knew that I wanted to keep W. I mean I did buy all the items I would need for him. I had begun building a nest egg to help with the bills while I was off work on maternity. I had taken some steps while I was desperately trying to figure out a way to keep him. But no one could sit next to me, hold my hand and tell me that it would be OK. We would all be together as a family, and it would all be OK. H2 tried to tell me that, but I just couldn’t pull myself up out of the ‘psychotic episode’ I was having, to really HEAR what he was saying to me. He was saying, he would be here and that he always would be. He would help me however he could. I just wasn’t having it, I was out of my mind dead set on this. (By the way….he is…..still here.)
I’m not sure if I would have listened to them. I don’t know. But what I do know, is that no one suggested I speak with anyone who had placed. No one did, not a professional in the industry because that would have helped me see, and parent – and the deal would not have happened. No one close to me – because they didn’t know. I didn’t know.
Someone mentioned to me at one time….’I didn’t know, isn’t an excuse…’
OUCH was my initial reaction. She didn’t know me, my unique situation, or, most importantly my state of mind, or if I had really made attempts to keep my son with me/us. Which, I’ve now come to firmly believe that my state of mind (as of 6 months after placing after all the hormones have been forced completely from my system as my son is not with me to nurture them), was seriously compromised.
So yesterday a friend of mine texted me in the morning that she was in town and wanted to see us. US – meaning myself, K AND ‘the baby!’ At first, I was like – great! But as I started to realize what I was going to have to deal with……the panic, anxiety and stress of it set in. I thought about it, and felt that she is a friend that I could talk to about this, and well I really had no choice now. Then she texts me, she is 30 minutes out, and her brother and his wife are along. GREAT! (More stress, panic and anxiety building up.) I know I’m gonna lose it when she is here…and now….there are more people that I have never met. People who I don’t know, people who do not know me – they only know of ‘the old me’. So, I text her and say…..’Look, baby isn’t here with us. He is with a family in XX state, loooong story and it’s a tough one. I’m sure K will tell you all about it. I’ve really been keeping to myself for the last year.’ She replies..’Awwwwww, I told my daughter she was going to meet the baby….. but no big deal….I know my brother & his wife are along and that is why I didn’t want them along…but they are along.’
So, they arrive, the girls are so happy to see each other – it’s been over 2 years. And we sit down & start talking. Her sister in law went outside, brother left the room, and just as he was coming back in, I had begun to lose it. I apologized to him, and he was SO visibly uncomfortable, he got up and mumbled something to excuse himself and left the room. And I continued to lose it. She was kind and gracious, as I knew she would be, she gave me a hug, and said she totally understood. Then I told her my new mission of informing expectant moms thinking of placing. Of all of the good, bad and ugly.
About how no one told me ‘You won’t be ‘you’ anymore.’
I just want to crawl in a cave, and hide. I can do that behind my keyboard, continuing to inform those who God brings to me. But I am no longer who I was, I do not want people in my home, I’m not ready for that. I don’t want people in my business. I wanted to be somewhat ‘anonymous’ before, but now, I have no problem never leaving my home on a weekend. Heck, never leaving the sofa most weekends. Before, I was someone who was the most open individual – an open book as they say. But now…now I’m totally different than who I was…….closed, reserved, and always watching my step, watching my comments, guarding what is left of my broken heart. Sooooooo not who I was.
And that’s right, no one told me I wouldn’t be ‘ME’ anymore…..