Friday, August 07, 2009


It was a rough July.

A bunch of stuff has accumulated and apparently pushed me over some kind of line. I admit I can be uptight/hyper/high strung ... pick a personality adjective. I've wondered from time to time if I am a little too stressed, maybe a little crazy even. Now I've got some physical issues stemming from my neurosis of never being good enough and feeling like I'm running on some kind of damn hamster wheel. In early July I started having tingling in my hands, which made me worry, which made it worse, which made me lose sleep and appetite.

I know part of my issue is my ongoing grief about my dad. I burst out crying at stupid times. It seems like this summer the reality of his death has really, truly hit me. With all the physical tingling I decided to try grief counseling and it felt good to have someplace to go where it was safe and expected to grieve. In a break-out session I was paired with the hospice chaplain, a female Episcopal priest. As my story tumbled out I came "this close" to telling her about my son because that's all part of it, too.

While I thought that knowing he didn't want contact was at least some kind of resolution and therefore good, it is still a rejection. Yes, he must feel some rejection, too, but my sense of self worth is zero. My son wants nothing to do with me, my dad is gone. Do I matter to anyone?

My husband is a sweetie but he loves his recliner and his laptop ... and I am tired of competing. My daughter is so young and shouldn't be responsible for my happiness. Then I realize that really, no one is responsible for my self worth except me. But at my age it's hard to become comfortable with that mindset. I am so used to the idea that I have to perform, that I have to strive to be perfect, that I am not good enough.

And I circle back to the performance thing. Is that why I gave up my son? Because I was performing as the 'good girl' who does what she should? That I could redeem myself? That I would earn P&M's love/respect/gratitude/fill-in-the-blank.

Well that didn't quite work out and lately I have truly been regretting my decision to give him up.

I am too old to be the mother of a 3 year-old. She wants me to be her playmate. I have trouble playing with Little People. I have no imagination or patience. Then I feel guilty for not being more enthusiastic. I hear my mother's negative thoughts in my head (can't I have a moment to myself?) and again feel guilty.

Would I have been that worse a mother 18 years ago? I somehow think I would have managed and he would have been fine. He wouldn't have the private education he's gotten or the time at the summer home they have, etc., but he still would have been loved.

And because I have felt so guilty for giving him up, I have only left my daughter when I've had to go to work and a few rare occasions when I've gone to the movies. So I haven't had any time to myself. I've not left her overnight while others I know have left their INFANTS! in the care of grandparents and gone off to the beach for an entire weekend. HOW?!?!?

And now I think I'm burning out.

So in the past week or so I've flirted with the idea of returning to work full-time (I work part-time) and putting her in a good daycare where she would have the interaction with other children that I think she needs (playmates!) and the structure of a day that would get her ready for kindergarten. But then I think to myself, "Isn't that like giving her up? Having someone else teach/train/raise her 5 days a week for most of her waking hours?" Which is a voice that is also saying, "See? You aren't good enough to be a mother."


Blogger tk91 said...

Jayne...I realize I don't know you, but somehow as a birthmother (who also placed in Sept '91) I can relate to much of what you write in this post!! (And I need to take time to read more.)

I hear you saying you are "burnt out" and with the physical symptoms you describe...your body may be telling you what your mind and heart are saying as well. You need TLC girl!

Getting a massage may be a starter. What's wrong with asking someone to help watch your little girl for a few hours?!? Though I don't know your will only hurt you more to pull into a shell and "tough it out"! Your heart is hurting and you need support!

And YES! you will never measure up to those tapes in your head!! So maybe it's time to work on erasing them and replacing them!

I will be glad to be there for emotional support (something difficult for most birthmoms to find). My email is (I really don't look at my google email.)

I blog about adoption myself at tk91. You can find it on my blogger links, if you are interested.
Please take care!

3:51 AM  

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