I never “let go” or “moved on” from losing my daughter.
Apparently, that was something I was supposed to do. It was expected of me from the agency, my parents, my extended family, my pastor, and society.
Having no other birth mom friends, I believed myself incredibly selfish and broken for not “moving on” from my daughter. What was wrong with me? I was supposed to move on as if nothing happened. I was supposed to be happy for her and her fairytale life. I was supposed to return to who I could never be again.
I was selfish for wanting to keep her while not being married. And here I was being selfish again, not “letting go” and “moving on” now that she had this “better” life without me. A double-whammy. They say other moms let go and move on from their babies. Why can’t you, selfish girl?
I did get married. I had a stillborn.
And people showered me in condolences, and food, and mementos, and visits.
People told me that the worst thing in the world was to lose a child.
My mother, the very one who coordinated the adoption of her first grandchild and never spoke of her again, bought me books about grieving miscarriages and stillborns. She had acquaintances write me heartfelt letters about their miscarriages and stillborns in an effort to give me a support group.
I had a son. I had another daughter. I had another daughter.
There are moments every day that I study them. Whether they’re sitting in my lap or busy at play. I study their faces, their personalities, their mannerisms.
And I wonder what deranged world I live in for anyone to tell a mother she could or should ever “let go” or “move on” from the loss of her precious child?
Words of a psychopathic culture.
It’s hard having to live like a psychopath when you are, in fact, not a psychopath. (I’ve been in trauma therapy a few years, my therapist insists that I’m not one)
It would probably be much easier to be a birth mom if I were a psychopath. Maybe that should be the first question adoption facilitators ask moms. Are you a psychopath? Yes? Then this should be a walk in the park for you. No? Then you’re going to find the “letting go” and “moving on” part a bit more difficult. Like therapy for a number of years more difficult. Like in 20 years the most trivial things will trigger you more difficult.
For many years, what put me to sleep were fantasies of a long-awaited embrace. She would turn 18, and as they promised, she would be back. We would run towards one another in a crowded airport. Pictures would be taken. People would be clapping and cheering. Those were good thoughts to put a restless mind to sleep.
It’s been 19 years. No airport. No embrace. She’s living her life as she should be.
I no longer rely on the fantasies to put me to sleep.
But some nights, I do wish to be a psychopath.