Monday, November 30, 2009

The "L" Word

I saw bio-mom over the Thanksgiving break. We were at my parents but drove into Vegas late Thursday night. I saw her on Saturday night. She met Andrew's mom and they shared stories. Andrew's mom gave a baby up for adoption when she was young too. It was nice. It's always nice to see bio-mom, really. She's just a really great person and there is nothing I feel from her but genuine interest and care and concern and excitement all over stupid me. It's weird. Weird AND nice.

My parents made a big step forward. They gave me baby pictures. I asked for them in May but I should be thankful that they gave them to me at all, right? They even said, "We have some of your baby pictures.... so you can show bio-mom." Well, they didn't call her bio-mom, but I don't think I should use her name here. It was really great of them to get me those pictures. I think they are finally getting past the denial. It's a good step. I'm proud of them and glad that some tension might be released.

So, I showed bio-mom the photos over dinner. She was happy to see them. She said her daughter had lots of dark hair when she was born too. She also said that her daughter and I had similar hands - long fingers apparently. They're pretty normal now.

My parents also included a couple with them in the photo with me. They said, "I don't know if she would be interested..." I assured them that she would.

They look happy to have me. I'm sure that made bio-mom happy to see. I brought several pictures for her to see including a couple with my siblings and grandmothers.

We were at dinner for almost 3 hours. At the end of dinner, we walked outside, chatted for a minute in the parking lot and hugged goodbye. That's when it happened. I wondered when it might happen. When and if she might ever say it and what I would say in return. I just didn't expect it to happen so soon. I was unprepared. As we were going into the hug, "It's always so great to see you, sweetie." Mid-hug, I said, "You too." And late-hug bio-mom said, "Oh, love you so much." And I tried not to skip a beat. I didn't want to look shaken or taken aback or weirded-out or offended because I wasn't. I just said what I was going to say anyway, "We usually come in around New Year's so we will definitely plan on seeing you guys again really soon."

Maybe I was slightly startled. I just didn't expect it. And the problem is, I am not very open with my emotions. I didn't hear the "L" word much growing up. My parent's just weren't that openly affectionate. I even have problems with it now. I feel super weird about having the whole wedding she-bang in front of everyone. I would rather drive splinters under my nails then have everyone staring at me for a "couple's first dance." I feel that saying my vows in front of everyone is even a bit exhibitionist. It's no one's business! I do say I love you a lot with Andrew and the dogs though. Several times a day, every day. And we sit close and cuddle on the couch almost every single night. But no one's there when we do that stuff. I don't mind holding hands or putting our arms around each other at the movies or the mall or whatever but I guess I have an imaginary line that I draw in public.

So, with bio-mom I just didn't know what to say. I do have warm and fuzzy feelings for her but it's difficult. I don't even say it to my own parents very easily and they didn't say it to me regularly until recently. I think being grandparents softened them up a bit. I need to let this one simmer for a bit until I figure out what I am comfortable with. However, I don't want her to think that I am uncomfortable. I hope she's not worried that she freaked me out. I made sure to email her so she knows I'm not avoiding her. I didn't address it though. I'm sure she wont either but she might be worried. Jeez, this feels a lot like dating!


I knew she would do it. I knew my mom would slip. I think my exact words were something like: "I bet my mom is going to try to forget all of this ever happened. I bet she is going to slip and try to tell me a story about when she was pregnant with me." Well, she did it. She slipped. Andrew was there as a witness. He heard the whole thing. When I was at her place in October, we were in the kitchen and I was telling her that I recently had ANOTHER root canal. You know what she said? "You must have inherited your teeth problems from me." Oh really, mom? You think that, do you? Interesting! How so, through osmosis? Are my teeth 'guilty by association' from just being in proximity to your teeth all my life? I know, I know - old habits are hard to break and they've been covering it up for 30 years so I will give them a little slack. I just ignored it when she said that and kept the conversation going. I'm afraid I won't be able to ignore it if she does something like that again. Not that I would be mean about it, I would probably make a joke. But I don't know if she can take jokes about it yet.... or ever.

Family Ties

I haven't written in a while and a few friends expressed some disappointment at that. Sorry! I've been super busy watching So You Think You Can Dance and Dexter. I've also spent some rushed hours doing school work and am editing 2 books: The Normative Case for the Free Market System and Why is Everyone Else Wrong?. I am enjoying the latter a bit more for reasons clear just looking at the title. The second book actually provides a nice discussion (and possible explanation) why people argue so much, our perception of right vs. wrong, and how people end up believing so whole-heartedly in an idea that truly is wrong (based upon the current knowledge available). The truth of the matter is, there really is a right and a wrong way to run a country, to treat people, to do your job, to interact with others, to raise children, etc. The right or best option does exist, but identifying it amongst all the propaganda and bullshit is the difficult part and those of us who make the wrong decisions get caught up in that. Also some of us are just dumb and lazy. It's just a fact, sorry people.

That leads me to my Thanksgiving weekend. Last year after the holidays I wrote about some vague frustrations I was having with my family. Aside from often feeling different from them and like I just don't belong over the years, I also am in stark disagreement about things that I feel are harmful to the other members of my family. I feel that a lot of wrong choices are made. For example, I hate the way my dad shelters my mom. I feel it has made her weak over the years.

The bigger problem is with my nephews. There are things going on that I not only disagree with but that I think are harmful. I really struggle with this. I am not their mother. She has the final say. But, I could still talk to my sister about it and present my case, right? Well, she's such a hothead that I really don't know how she would take it. I don't know what she would do and then I leave myself open to the severe frustration of giving (what I feel is) sound advice and having it ignored. But I can just deal with that when it happens, right? The priority is the kids.

So, here are the issues. First of all, she has been in and out of a terrible and abusive relationship with a guy for almost 10 years now. She moves in with him and then kicks him out. She has followed my parents to Denver (dragging the kids with her) TWICE to escape him but has gone back to him and to Vegas each time. He yells at her, shoves her and I think he hits her too in front of the kids. They hate him. But she keeps going back. Now she has moved to San Diego (following my parents there again). She pulled my 16 year old nephew out of school to do this. 16 is a hard age and especially for him. He is Special Education because it seems he is just always behind the rest of his classmates. Part of the problem is that he isn't always in attendance. How does she let this happen? And this isn't just a recent thing. It's been a problem for years - started when he was younger and easier to control. So, he was behind in school by Nevada standards and California is ahead of Nevada so that makes him even further behind. I don't know if he will graduate. Andrew helps him sometimes but he lacks even the basic math fundamentals. There is only so much we can do to help. While we were there helping, the younger one (10 years old) showed us his tests and homework and he does well, thankfully. I asked the 10 year old if his mom has looked at these. He said "no." I asked if she ever sees his tests or homework. He said "no." Her older son might not graduate in time, if at all and she hasn't decided to pick up the habit of looking at her kids' homework? WTF?

And on a personal note... the 16 year old thinks that his dad is his biological father, but he is not. The 10 year old's dad adopted him when he was little and married my sister. He doesn't remember it. Well, my sister's charming boyfriend got mad at her one day and in order to hurt her, he hurt my nephew. He called him and told him, "Your mom used to be a drug addict and did terrible things. Your dad isn't your real dad. Your real dad is some black guy your mom met at rehab." All of those things are true. And of course, my nephew asked my sister about it and she denied it. He asked my parents about it too and they denied it. But it's quite clear he doesn't look like his dad. His bio-dad was 1/2 black so he is 1/4 black and does have darker skin then the rest of us. I want to tell him the truth. I told him about me so he knows that my family likes to lie. He brought up the discussion with me a year or two ago when he caught his mom in some lies. We talked about it on the phone for an hour. He even ignored his girlfriend's beeps during that discussion - so you know he was seriously upset!

On Thanksgiving day something else was discovered. My nephew has started smoking. Terrible, right? How did my sister let this happen, right? Well, the worst part of it is his asthma is so bad, he uses a breathing machine several times per week. So, his health is in immediate danger. I asked my mom and my sister how this happened. They had already known about it. I asked, "What is being done about this? Doesn't anyone care?" I got a bit of silence and then my sister got defensive, "We're working on it. Yes it is a big deal, we ARE working on it." Me: [sigh, pause] "Fine" [exit kitchen left]. I need to have a talk with him about it and it's that simple. I just need to figure out what I will say. If I were his mom, he would be cut off so completely from everything enjoyable until he stops, he would be completely miserable. Christmas would be effing canceled. No joke. The whole scenario on Thanksgiving day culminated with, "We have known he was smoking for a while but he didn't want you to know because he was embarrassed. He didn't want you to be disappointed." Oh, so let's not tell me about it. Let's make hurting himself as comfortable as we can for him! WTF??????

I will form a conversation in my head about the smoking ASAP but I don't know what to do about the bio-dad stuff for him. I think I just need to tell my sister, "Look, he's talking to me about it. I am going to tell him the truth the next time he brings it up because I know how bad it sucks to be lied to about it. I thought I should let you know in case you want to tell him yourself." I'm working up the nerve to do it. It's only a matter of time. The bio-shit is about to hit the fan again in my family. I'll get my umbrella ready.

Thursday, October 1, 2009


When I told my dad that I was meeting bio-mom, he advised me not to tell my mom about it. Right off the bat, I knew that was terrible advice. He said, "She gets emotional about it. It's best not to tell her." His 'protecting' looks a lot like a complete lack of confidence in his spouse... and his children... and the entire human race for that matter. I mean come on, they HAD to know this stuff would happen, right? And it's not like THEY just found out that I was adopted. They have known it for 30 years! And they knew for 2 years before that as they waited for a child to adopt. They knew that they should tell their child she was adopted when she was young (as advised by everyone they knew). They knew that the possibility would arise that their child would seek out her birth parents whether out of sheer curiosity or rebellion or whatever. They knew what they were getting into. The idea of not telling my mother that I met bio-mom is completely ridiculous. I can't go on for the rest of my life pretending that this never happened. I think that's what my dad wants. It's probably what my mom wants too.

So, just like I was a teenager again (or an adolescent or a toddler - okay, I've always been like this), I didn't listen to parental advice. I knew my dad wouldn't be mad at me, though. He was never good at staying mad at me. Besides, I am doing the right thing by telling my mom and he knows that. What is there to argue? I delayed telling her. I knew I shouldn't tell my mom about it before I met bio-mom because I didn't want her to sit and stew over what we might be doing or talking about over the entire weekend. I figured I would just tell her after we met and then I could tell her how it went and do everything at once. I also wanted to probe a bit... ask my mom, "Do you want me to tell you about this stuff?" and let her have the chance to speak for herself.

So, I made the call. Luckily, my mom had a lot to tell me about my sister so there was plenty to talk about right off the bat (I'll post about that later because I KNOW many of my friends are interested in my sister's antics). Then as I could tell the conversation was going to die down, I did it. I told her that I met bio-mom and she said something like, "Well, I knew you would want to," and she asked how it went so that was a good sign. No crying either - a very big relief. I told her that it went well without getting into how easy it is to talk to bio-mom and get along with her and be friends. My mom doesn't need to know all the gory details. When I asked her if she wanted to hear about this stuff, I threw in, "I think it's weird to not tell you about this... like I'm doing something wrong and sneaking around. It shouldn't feel like that." She said that it was okay to tell her about it and she even added, "I know that she can't replace me as your mom." It was good to hear her say that because it's true. Even though my mom and I have never been close and even though I talk to bio-mom often and find it very easy to share things with her... I don't have those memories of bio-mom growing up, opening presents on Christmas morning, going on family trips, staying up late and watching movies together.

So I'm glad to get it off my chest and overall it went well. My mom got a few things off her chest too. She indicated where her frustration lies. She said that she feels as though bio-mom broke a promise to her by contacting me. However, bio-mom was 16 and scared when she made that promise, and she made it under the pretense that I would one day know about her. I can see both sides to this argument and I am definitely not taking any sides! Bio-mom does understand her frustration and even my mom understands that it must have been hard for bio-mom to wonder about me all these years. So, at least both can see where the other may be coming from. My mom did, however, throw in, "But it's not like I want to have Thanksgiving dinner with the woman." I guess I can't blame her. I think with time, any frustrations my mom has will wear off. I'm going to see bio-mom again this weekend. We plan to just do lunch and maybe browse around the mall or something. I'm looking forward to it! Then I'll head down to see my mom in San Diego in a week or two. I'm looking forward to that as well!

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Jail Birds

Bio-mom doesn't have the perfect 'Leave it to Beaver' family. But who does? Her own unit is in tact and doing fine (husband & daughter) but her extended family is not so great. She has a nephew in prison in Nevada. It seems to be one of those gray areas. Basically, he was 19 and the girl was 16 and her family pressed charges. I think he had trouble before that though. I don't know bio-cousin so I'm certainly not rushing to any one's defense. I don't rush to persecute in this case either... so that's where I stand in case you were curious.

Bio-mom tells me that she looked up her nephew's release date and decided to also look up my bio-dad and see if he has a record. And it turns out he does. He did some time (a few months) in late 2007 for attempted theft. So, that's nice, huh? She told me that bio-dad at some point had a lurid affair with cocaine... on again, off again. That's when she lost touch with him. He's probably still been in and out of that world. So, I'm really not in any rush to get in touch with him. I haven't decided yet whether that makes me feel guilty or not. Bio-mom says not to feel guilty. She doesn't want the drama either.

It's not that I would hold it against him or judge him harshly or anything like that. I have another close relative in prison too - the brother that I (sort of) grew up with. I say "sort of" because he was in and out of trouble from childhood and considering he is 8 years older than me, that's all I remember of him - being in and out of juvenile hall, jail, and then prison. He wasn't around all that much. This situation is different though. My brother hurts people in ways that are unforgivable to me. I don't know what bio-dad's situation is but the main reason I don't want to rush to contact him is because I don't want the drama. I know what will happen. I will feel like I need to keep in touch with him because maybe that will help him in his life. I will feel like maybe I should give him some money for this or that because I know that the hole he may be in grows exponentially more and more difficult to dig your way out of the further down you go. I know that life is such that the better off you are, the easier it is to achieve success. I feel it's important to give people a boost in life and to give second chances. And I feel somewhat responsible when it's someone I know. But there is only so much of me that I can give. I have to look out for myself and my future too. And maybe that can be an example for others to do better at looking out for their own lives and taking care of themselves. But at the same time, people learn in different ways and have different needs in life. Okay.... now I'm starting to delve into the debate for and against individualism. I'm really not in the mood to talk philosophical or political theory today. But now everyone has an idea of the internal debate that goes on in my head. I hope I'm not the only one who debates with herself. I don't think I am.... but maybe I am. I'll debate that with myself for the rest of the day!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

I'm Busy

I'm busy. Really pretty busy. But I hate those people on Facebook who are always posting about how busy they are:

[at 6:30am] "Working out at the gym. It should be illegal for anyone to look THIS good!"

[at 7:43am] "On my way to work, stopping for Starbucks and a morning meeting... I'll be sure to roll my eyes at anyone in line who looks like they're taking their sweet ass time cuz if they are they must not be busy and important like I am."

[at 9:08am] "It's time to make some sales calls. Channeling my inner douchebag."

[at 10:52am] "Now I'm off to give a presentation at a client! Uptight, boring suit - check. Pretentious brand name brief case - check. Phony, upbeat, shallow personalty - check. Creepy smile that makes children cry - check."

[at 12:01pm] "Off to lunch at that new restaurant owned by that hot chef on Food Network."

[at 12:04pm] "Gotta cancel lunch, just got a MAJORLY important call. Things are about to get out of control. I. AM. SO. COOL."

[at 6:39pm] "Crazy day man. Off to a dinner to launch my idea for crotchless jeans to Levis. I'm an innovator."

[at 10:22pm] "Picked up a piece of litter on my way home from my super awesome busy day. I like to give back to the community. Besides, I threw that Panera cup there DAYS ago and it hasn't moved since. WTF is up with that? Don't homeless people pick this stuff up for extra cash from the city? Whatever dude. Tomorrow I am SO BUSY!"

It's as if these people think they will instantly vanish from the face of the earth if they aren't always telling everyone how busy they are. And it's not exactly a stretch to say that this makes them feel more important. Doesn't take a psych Ph.D. to figure that out.

I don't want to be one of those people. But really, I'm busy. I hate telling people, "Well, I'm doing this and working on this and starting this and finishing this..." Part of me doesn't want to be held accountable in case I decide to drop one of those things or if one isn't successful. Another part of me feels, "Who gives a shit?" But I think my friends probably do..... I guess??? I've always had trouble gaging how important I am or am not to other people. It's safer to just assume no one cares and not let myself be vulnerable.

So, for those of you who care... I'm busy. Doing what, you ask? Well, I started school. I got accepted to Chapman University's master of arts in education program. My focus is educational leadership and administration. It will be helpful for me in order to advance my career in the university setting. It could also be helpful if I want to work in other school settings. I'm thinking I might look back and thank myself for doing this once I have school-age children. Also, because I work at Chapman, the degree is pretty much free. Can't beat that with a stick!

I'm taking 2 classes for the MA on Wednesday nights, back to back. But I'm also taking a photography class with Andrew on Monday nights at Goldenwest community college around the corner from my house. It's a digital photo class so teaches us photo basics (I need a brush up, it's been years) as well as how to operate my awesome new camera and how to use Photoshop. I'm loving it so far and so is Andrew. Gonna get some great photos of Europe for our honeymoon!

I'm also really busy at work. Things have been rearranged and I have been given more responsibility. It's good but there's just lots to do, plain and simple.

Tonight we signed a contract to put in all new ceramic tile floors in our condo. We're also redoing the kitchen and bathroom. New cabinets in both. New granite counter tops in both. Tearing out old lighting in the kitchen to put in recessed lighting. Cutting a hole in the wall in the kitchen to open up the living space. I think that's it. Lots of stuff to pick out. People in my home. Busy. But again, fun & a positive experience so far.

Wedding planning... yes, I'm still working on it. We're going for 10/10/10 for those of you who haven't heard yet. I picked the place and have made choices on what packages & events I want. Just need to get the quote from them and sign the contract. It's on my to-do list. So is honeymoon planning. And I'm further along with that! = )

Changing some habits. Trying to get to sleep earlier (I failed tonight). Also trying to eat healthier and exercise more (not doing so hot at that). Trying to quit procrastinating so much too. Taking more of a head-on approach. No, not the headache reliever you apply directly to your forehead. Trying to be more assertive with a few things that have eluded me. Trying to shape a few things & relationships in my life that have caused me stress.

I'm also still just trying to live my life and do the things I enjoy... reading Jennifer Weiner and Jodi Picoult books, going to the movies, going to the dog beach, seeing friends, seeing family, playing Guitar Hero, sewing, conjuring up social commentary and political soapbox topics, etc.

I'm trying to do some more sewing for profit. I think I might like it. It's a scary endeavor though. You're really putting yourself out there when you offer something you created with your own two hands.

Oh, and I am doing editing work too for one of the professors I work with. He has a project every other month or so. It's nice extra income. I'm working on a book of his right now. I'm going to solicit my services to some other professors as well. I want more money.

Speaking of money, I'm gathering up anything and everything to sell on ebay for my wedding & honeymoon fund. I'm doing pretty dang good so far. Ebay is easy but still takes a little hunk of my time every month.

Lastly.... I'm writing a book. It sounds silly for me to actually state that intention. Who the hell am I? I'm no one. I can't write a book. Crazy. Several of my friends have been SO (EXTREMELY) kind as to suggest that I should. I don't know how serious they are about it but I have thought about it for a few years and now I just have more and more to add. The problem is, I'm not willing to talk about some of the stuff I want to... should... need to... will... put in the book. I think I'm just gonna start writing and see what happens. Can't hurt, right?

So, just so all interested parties know.... I'm busy and this is what I am up to. Not complaining or trying to seem AWESOME. It's all good stuff and I'm excited about it. Life's too short to not just go for it. Besides, I have all of the opportunity in the world in front of me. I just need to reach out and grab it. Or maybe tickle it. Or smack it on the ass. Whatever. I would be an ignorant fool not to appreciate it and wrap myself up in it's potential.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Finally, We Meet!

Finally.... I say finally for bio-mom's sake. She didn't get to lay an eye on me when I was born, didn't get to see my full head of black hair or count fingers and toes. I have only known about her for 4 months but she had been waiting 30 years to see me, meet me, hug me after kicking around in her stomach for 9 months. And apparently I was very kicky, always moving around. Me? Kicky and fussy? I know what you're thinking.... no waaaaaay, not Christina! ; )

They drove into town on Friday night. We decided earlier in the week to meet on Saturday afternoon. After tossing around lots of ideas in my head about when, where and how to meet, we decided upon meeting at my place first and then going out to a restaurant for lunch. It was a good decision. I didn't know how I would react when I met her and I was pretty certain the opportunity for emotion on both sides was very great. She asked if I just wanted to meet her or if I wanted to meet her daughter and husband too. It was an easy decision for all of us to meet: bio-mom, bio-mom hubby, bio-sis, Andrew & me. Oh yeah, and Maisy & Charlie too of course. They came over at about 1pm and the gate was open for them to drive in (thank goodness - I didn't want to have to come down to the gate and let them in and then meet her in the parking lot). She called when they drove in and then she appeared at my door moments later.

Let me just say first that the week leading up to this, I was a complete mess. I was stressed about everything and my anxiety and stress manifested itself in frustration (as usual). Everything made me upset all week. Andrew was thrilled to be living under the same roof as me... never a dull moment! I told him early on, "Look, I'm just going to be upset and stressed and I'm not going to sleep well and everything will frustrate me and I might take it out on you a bit. Don't take it personal." I had all these stupid fears in my head - "What if they don't like me?" "What if she's disappointed that I don't look more like her... blonde, thin, light eyes?" "What if she thinks I'm an annoying idiot?" I tried on different outfits before they arrived and I even went so far as to corner Andrew about which eyeshadow to wear. As though she might say, "You know, Christina... I really don't like your eyeshadow. This just isn't going to work out. Have a nice life."

I wasn't just stressed out, I was emotional about it too. I don't know what it is.... I seem to be hard-wired to only show emotion when I'm alone. Well, "only" isn't fair to say.... "mostly" is better. And that's a lie, I do know why I do that. I'll save that for another post. So, in my car on my drive home from work that's when I will often let my mind wander and that is when I would get emotional about it. Just the thought of bio-mom's emotion was enough to get me started and bring the tears.

Back to Saturday.... They were standing there on my welcome mat at about 1 in the afternoon. I could see fuzzy but familiar figures smiling through the screen door. Familiar from their pictures, of course. And all of the anxiety seemed to culminate in sort-of an anti-climactic way and then just fizzle out (like some unseen force was making fun of me about being anxious in the first place). Then I was just genuinely happy to be meeting them. It was a good feeling. They came in, the dogs showed their typical excitement at having a visitor, she met Andrew first, hugged him, I think. Then she turned to me with a happy and relieved look on her face and hugged me for what seemed like a long time. The emotion was there but the happiness and relief seemed to take over. We both let out a big exhale.

Now my attention was turned to bio-sis. She's 16 so, "is she going to be angsty and not want to be here?" was my big worry. I didn't see any signs of it though. She was smiley and her body language was relaxed. She actually ended up bringing a friend at the last minute and I think that was a good idea. The friend was very... well... friendly! And she seemed genuinely interested in what was going on. I can't blame her. Reality TV stuff going on around her! I hugged bio-sis and there was no tension. Bio-mom hubby was completely relaxed and easy-going. After we all met, it was small talk for a bit. I showed them the condo and we hung out in our little back yard for a few minutes. After a bit it was time to head to the restaurant so we hopped in our cars and headed out to the Rusty Pelican. It's a nice place, kinda beachy, not too fancy, especially at lunch time. And we were having such a late lunch that it was nice & quiet and almost empty.

We sat there at lunch for 2 and a half hours talking about our lives and family and Andrew wanted to hear the story about how all of this unfolded for bio-mom but from bio-mom hubby's point of view. It was good stuff. Not awkward at all. Bio-sis was very quiet but she wasn't exactly disinterested. She just had heard most of these stories before and I'm sure she didn't know exactly what to say. Bio-mom said it is not unusual for her to be quiet. All through lunch I could feel all of their eyes staring at me, breaking down my face, trying to figure out how I look like her, probably studying expressions and gestures too. When we finally left the restaurant, we made tentative plans to see each other again the next day.

Sunday she had plans with her friends to come out to Huntington and ride bikes on the beach. We ended up meeting up with them. It was her family and 2 other families. Everyone was very nice. They are very easy-going, "let's order another pitcher of beer" kind of people. One friend met me, hugged me and told me, "Thank you for making my friend so happy." It was sweet. Later on during lunch that same friend said, "I'm sorry to be staring but I'm just looking for how you two might look alike." It was funny that she called it out like that... I appreciated it. There are similarities in the smile and the shape of the eyes. I did notice that it seems we have the same hands. Maybe some of the same hand gestures while we're talking too and even a tilt of the head that seems familiar.

They had to leave town on Monday morning so when we said "bye" it was with anticipation of our next meeting. I told her there was a good chance we would be in their neck of the woods in the next few weeks. I'll make sure that happens. The next thing on my life's "to-do" list is to tell my parents about the meeting. My dad already knew about it but he advised me not to tell my mom about it. I wasn't surprised to hear that, especially considering they decided not to tell me I was adopted. Keeping secrets seems to be their specialty. I'm not going to follow his advice but I still need to be delicate about it. My dad has been so protective of my mom over the years that it has actually turned her into the fragile person he has always assumed her to be. It's true that what we expect from people and from life, we often get! I expect my relationship with bio-mom and her family to be a good one and although in it's infancy, that is already a reality.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

It's All Happening!

It looks like it's going to happen over Labor Day weekend. I'm going to meet bio-mom. I'm so nervous. I'm a bit sick to my stomach just thinking about it. I know it's stupid, but I'm just worried that she'll be disappointed somehow: that she'll think I'm weird or crazy or stupid or she'll be further disappointed that I don't look like her (although she already knows that from pictures). I know it doesn't really matter. I have nothing to lose here! I didn't know about her a few months ago so if for some reason we lost touch, it wouldn't change my life any, right?

As much as I try to convince myself of that, it isn't true. There will be something lost, something missed and my life will be changed if I lost touch with her. Because now there is something there. There is opportunity. The opportunity to get to know her and be great friends with her, and bio-sis and even bio-mom's husband (bio-stepdad? bio-husband? not sure what nickname to give him). I do want this to go well. I can't imagine ever thinking of her like a mother but it's clearly not just a "friend" either. It's almost like meeting a long-lost aunt, I guess. I don't just want this to go well for myself. I want it for my future children. I have always been a bit sad that my kids wouldn't have a very big family. Andrew has 6 half-siblings, none of which he grew up with, all are much older, and only 1 we sometimes see and talk to. My sister is so much older than me, she'll feel more like an aunt to my kids. My kids won't have any cousins their age either. So now with bio-mom, that's another "aunt-like" figure for my future children. In addition to the future kids, I also want this for Andrew. I want him to have 2 mother-in-laws to have to answer to! [inserts bitchy snicker here]

Now the only question is, where do we meet? Do I have her come to my house? I kind of like that idea because it's private but I also kind of like the idea that there may be distractions if we meet at someplace neutral. Maybe a well-chosen, quiet restaurant or a park or the beach or even at her friend's house. Part of the reason she is coming to California is because her friends have invited her family out for the long weekend. So, there's that option but with all of these options comes strangers. And those who know me best know how much I LOVE [please apply your own unique sarcastic tone to that] having my life and emotions put on display in front of anyone, let alone strangers. So, where to meet? Votes? Ideas, anyone??

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

The Cat's Out of the Bag

Bio-mom sent me an email this morning... just like every other morning, but this time there was a new development involving bio-sis. The email went something like this:

Well, it's over. We had a discussion last night [bio-mom, her husband and her daughter] about trust and honesty and she told me that I wasn't being honest with her. I asked her what she thought I wasn't being honest about and she said it was "you." She found a letter I wrote to you a while back and got returned.

So, bio-sis has known all along! She knew about me before I knew about me....HA! At least she wasn't the last one to know. This is kinda comical and I should have seen this coming. I found out so many things my parents tried to keep from me in order to protect me (present situation excluded). When you break down this situation, you can clearly see that bio-sis was being sensitive about the situation and protecting bio-mom a bit. She could have easily confronted her mom right away or called her out on it any time since she found the letter but she must have thought about it and didn't want to hurt her mom. I think it's thoughtful of bio-sis. Bio-mom asked bio-sis if she had any interest in meeting me. Bio-sis's response was, "Yes, she is a part of me." That was nice to "hear." I would love to get to know her but she's a 16 year old girl... they aren't always rational, you know? I just don't want her to feel weired out by my existence or feel like I'm trying to push myself on her. I'm not. Not at all. If she doesn't want anything to do with me, I'll get over it.

I was forming a new blog post in my head this week. It was going to be titled... "Stalling" because bio-mom was kind of stalling on telling bio-sis... out of some fear for her daughter, for herself, for the stability of her family. She told me last week that she was thinking the coming weekend would be a good time to tell her. But then she emailed me on Monday that bio-sis was not feeling well so she didn't want to have that talk then.... it "wasn't a good time." Stalling.

So, now bio-mom is free to tell her extended family and her friends about me. She was waiting because she didn't want to tell other people and risk them bringing it up around bio-sis without bio-sis knowing yet. Bio-mom says she is eager to tell everyone about me because she's so proud of the person I have become and how great I am, yadda yadda. Just a reminder that she doesn't know me very well yet! HA!

This brings us to the point of having a REAL discussion about meeting [biting my nails at the thought of that]. She thinks they might come to California over Labor Day weekend. That is only a couple of weeks away. YIKES! My stomach turns a bit with nerves and anticipation [do you see that? No, of course you don't... I'm biting my nails again as I pause in typing this blog - STOPPIT CHRISTINA!].

So, it's getting even more "real" folks. Really really real. The real deal. Fo' real. Fo' sho. Fo' shizzle my nizzle. The universe is screaming 'THIS IS YOUR LIFE, BIOTCH' in my face.... Ay Dios Mio!

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Who is Daniella Salazar???

I have worked very very hard to know who I am... to know what I want, to understand my strengths and my limitations. But now, every once in a while, I wonder who I might have been. I'm sure everyone wonders about "What if I had made this choice differently?" or "What if this event hadn't happened?" Finding out that I'm adopted has brought me a new round of those questions.

When I was growing up, I didn't look very much like my parents (and I was suspicious), but I didn't look very different from them either. Bio-mom has posted pictures on Facebook. She has blonde hair and blue eyes. I do not. So, I have wondered from time to time... was there a mix up here? Was there another child at the hospital being put up for adoption that day? Do I have to hurl myself into a 1980's made-for-tv movie and start looking into this?

Well, I found an explanation for that early on... bio-mom tells me that bio-dad is Hispanic. So, that explains things a bit. I guess the Hispanic gene is stronger than the blonde German gene (TAKE THAT, HITLER... UP YOURS!). My name was almost Daniella Salazar (Dani for short). I was almost raised with exposure to some cultural heritage. Bio-mom says bio-dad didn't speak Spanish but his parents did. I just wonder what my life may have been like growing up with that. I just can't help but wonder, who is Daniella Salazar? What is she like? Would Christina Williams like her? Would she be very different from me? Happier? Better off? Or maybe she would be lame? I don't know... but I can't help but wonder.

Friday, July 31, 2009

A Little Added Cheer to My Day

I was sent flowers today! So bright and cheery and vibrant and beautiful. They really made me smile. And guess who they're from? Bio-mom! So sweet of her. And great taste too, take a look....

A friend at work asked, "Are you gonna tell your mom that she sent these to you." My immediate answer was "NO!" Come on now... would I tell Andrew that one my other boyfriends sent me flowers? Of course not! ; )

I emailed her a photo of the flowers and called to thank her. She told me once that she used to buy me things on my birthday. Just little trinkets here and there when I was little. She thinks she may have kept them and they are in storage somewhere.

My dear friend Dawn (one of the dearest and the closest... physically, mentally and in my heart) pointed out something pretty amazing. It must make bio-mom very happy just to do nice things for me. She has had that motherly urge for the past 30 years and had no outlet for it (of course she has her daughter, but no outlet when it came to her thoughts/feelings about me). How strange and incredible is it that there is someone in this world who just wants to do nice things for you, and learn all about you, and who just can't wait to meet you and see your face and just hug you. So very strange. Very very very strange. If that's the reality though, I'll take it!

Thursday, July 30, 2009


My birthday is drawing near. I was feeling great about it yesterday. Not so much today. Honestly, it's not about "I'm turning 30, BOOO HOOO I'm old." I don't really feel that way at all. It's just the reflection that comes along with those multiples of 10 birthdays.

I don't know what the ultimate "meaning of life" is. Honestly, I don't believe there is one on a universal level. I think we each make our own meaning. When these birthdays come around, I think about my own. What the heck have I done in the past 30 years that has any meaning? Maybe a few things. But there's some nothing there too. I have no regrets, just some "wish I woulda's."

I have some depressingly pathetic thoughts to add to my personal reflection this year. Finding out I was adopted and how I came to be... there's some discomfort there. Because I exist, a few lives were seriously disrupted. I was a mistake, let's face it. I should not have happened. Yes, so many of us can say the same thing. Very few pregnancies are planned. But I can't escape the thought that my biological mother and her mom might have a better relationship if it weren't for me. She wouldn't have gone through the past 30 years with that sadness looming, wondering about where I was and what became of me. My biological father it seems has had some struggles in life since me (more to come about him) and I know the whole situation was really tough for him so perhaps he wouldn't have had those struggles if it weren't for me.

Yes, I know these thoughts are stupid and I shouldn't have them, hence the title of this post, "Pathetic." I know what people would say in response to this and I can say those things to myself. I just don't think my emotions quite understand. I think my emotions are ESL. They hear what everyone is saying.... they just don't get it.

Even more pathetic, I really don't want to have a birthday party. So many of my friends can't make it... like 90% of them (and for completely understandable, legit reasons). I just kinda feel stupid having a party at this point. I know what will happen.... because it's already started. A nasty bout of sadness where my inner bully taunts me, telling me I have no friends and that I'm unimportant. I know, I know... that isn't true... I'm great, I have lots of friends, blah blah blah.

This is why I'm posting this as opposed to talking about it with anyone. I already know what everyone will say. I can easily say it to myself. Hearing what I already know will just make me feel stupid on top of it for even having these feelings. The good thing is, I know it will go away. It always does. I know I have the best partner in life that anyone could ever ask for and it will be a wonderful birthday mostly because of him. I also know I have great friends and I love and appreciate each and every one of them.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

A Room with a View

Just last week, I was "upgraded" to a room with a view at work... YEAH! I love it. It's in the main office for the business school (that's where my old office was, but it was sort of in an inside corner... no window). My new office overlooks the Atallah Piazza here at Chapman as well as the Leatherby Library, part of Wison Field and our kinda-jumbo tron, some of Anaheim Hills and plenty of greenery. Here's a tiny glimpse (children playing in the water sold separately)...

Someone (we'll call her chick X) had to be moved out of this office in order for me to be moved in. Chick X did not leave her position. She was just kinda shifted somewhere else. Somewhere without a window, down another hallway. It's a tiny bit awkward. I used to report to this person. The hierarchy was Associate Dean > chick X > me. But now I report directly to the Associate Dean. The student workers used to report to both chick X and to me. But now she has no reports. They all report just to me. The Assoc. Dean sent out our new job descriptions in table format. There was her column and my column side-by-side. My column is about 3-times as long as hers. Awkward. What's worse is that some things in her column, I have been doing. She has just always had seniority over me because she's been here for almost 10 years and I have been here for less than 2. Because she's been here so long, they gave her an Assistant Director title. Of what you ask? Administration. Kind of a BS title, but whatever. The situation is still.... you guessed it, awkward.

So now that I have a new office and some added responsibilities, I'm asking for a raise. Ballsy in this economy, yes. But I don't care. They're certainly not going to fire me just for asking. So, if you're ever in the neighborhood, stop by and see my new digs. I'm having it painted on Friday and hanging up artwork on Monday. It will be gorgeous for the start of the new semester on August 31st!

Saturday, July 25, 2009


There are a few things (2 or 3 come to mind immediately) in my life that I have very little control over. I guess they can be considered my addictions, although I hate that word. It sounds so cliche, so desperate, so pathetic and it's such an easy label to apply. I REALLY don't like cliche, desperate, pathetic and easy... when it comes to anything! And I REALLY REALLY don't like not having control.... usually.

I like having control in so many ways. I prefer to be in the driver's seat rather than the passenger seat, even for a short trip around the block. I like being very deliberate about the jobs I have, what I do with my time, the friends I have, and how my relationship goes. I am waiting to have children until what I consider will be the best time for me. I am careful not to get too close to people or reveal too much of myself until I consider that person or that situation "safe"... nothing unexpected please! Control, control, control!

But on the other hand, I kinda do like losing control with my addictions. It feels really good sometimes. Just letting go and falling backwards into that comfortable abyss. The free-falling feels great and the place I land feels great too. It's just that the watercolors begin to run, the facade beings to chip away, the music fades and the weather turns bad. It happens each and every time. And every time I leave feeling as though I've been assaulted. I think to myself, "I don't want to go there again." Yet I still wind up anxiously awaiting my next visit to that realm. As though somehow the next time, it will be all good... it won't slip away or fall apart or bring me harm.

Clearly, I am making some wrong choices here. I'm thinking that maybe I need to switch some things up. Maybe lose control in some of the areas of my life that I'm clinging to and take control of some of those addictions. I feel I may be able to do the latter quite easily if I put my mind to it. I have done it before, for short periods of time. And it felt good. I liked the control over those things that feel so darn good but are kinda bad for me. I felt energized, like a weight had been lifted, I walked a little taller and smiled a little easier. I can see myself making it happen long term. I'm not so confident with giving up the control over some things, though. I don't know how to do that. I don't know what that looks like or feels like. I don't even know where to begin. Asking this of myself seems almost impossible. Like changing the way my heart beats. I must admit though, I do like a good challenge! ; )

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Fact Sheet

My parents had been looking to adopt a child because they couldn't have any more of their own. Mom had to have a hysterectomy due to some cysts. They were on the waiting list for a state adoption for about 2 years before they found me.

In the meantime....

Bio-mom was 15 when she got pregnant with me. She turned 16 two months before I was born.

Bio-dad was 17.

They dated for two years total, including some time after I was born.

They were going to get married but bio-mom called off the wedding the day before. Her mom had been married and divorced several times. She didn't want to end up divorced and alone with a baby as a teenager. She knew she was too young for all of this.

Bio-mom and bio-gramma told the doctor they wanted to look into adoption. Her doctor worked in the same office as my mom's doctor. Bio-mom doc tells folks, "I've got a teenage mother who wants to put her baby up for adoption." Mom doc finds out and says, "I've got a family who is looking to adopt," and voila!

Bio-gramma wasn't very nice to bio-mom through it all. They didn't tell anyone she was pregnant and when bio-mom wavered... changed her mind about giving me up (which she did several times), bio-gramma told her that she would embarrass the family and told her she wouldn't support her if she needed help with me.

I asked bio-mom if she thought about abortion (come on, don't tell me it didn't cross your mind). She said that she didn't tell anyone she was pregnant at first because she was too scared. Eventually she told bio-dad and he wanted to marry her right away. So together, they waited to tell people. Then when they finally told bio-families, planned to get married, called off the wedding and rethought everything, bio-gramma brought up abortion. But by then, it was too late.

So, bio-mom intended to keep me at first. She spent some time as a mommy-to-be. She went through all the emotions. She got excited about it. It was hard for her to put me up for adoption.

At the hospital after I was born, they wouldn't let her see me so that she wouldn't change her mind.

Bio-dad didn't want the adoption. He showed up at the hospital and asked bio-mom to marry him again. She said no.

My parents took me home when I was 3 days old.

When I was little, bio-mom used to come into my parent's jewelry store to try to see me. She never did.

When I was a teenager, bio-mom sent a letter to the jewelry store. It said something like, "If you have told her that she is adopted and she wants to contact me, this is where I can be reached. I have a stable life, I'm married and I'm not trying to interfere with your lives." My parents hadn't told me I was adopted so they didn't respond to the letter.

Bio-mom couldn't track me through them anymore after they moved away from Vegas. She tried to find me other ways. She registered on every adoption network she could find. She even hired a private investigator. She found nothing. She knew about Facebook, signed up for an account and searched my name. She knew what high school I went to (she had a connection with the school district). She narrowed down my popular name by school and there I was.

She hesitated to contact me at first but then when she did, and she realized that I didn't know I was adopted, it was too late.

Bio-mom is married now and has a 16-year old daughter. Her husband already knew about me but her daughter does not. She will tell her daughter sometime this summer. She's a little nervous and I'm nervous for her. I'm nervous for myself too. I don't want to be rejected by her.

I don't know about bio-dad, where he is, what he's doing. Bio-mom knows how to reach him through his sister but she's hesitant and so am I. I've got enough to work with right now, I think. One thing at a time, please!

Sunday, July 19, 2009

A Conversation with Mom (both of them)

I have been messaging with bio-mom on Facebook every day since she found me. That's right, every day. Crazy, I know. Well, maybe not for some of you, but I have never in my life (since moving out of my parent's place) talked with my mom or my dad or my sister every day. But she's not really like a mom, of course. It's more like a friendship with some stronger emotional ties... or maybe like an aunt (because she clearly has a lot invested in all this - some strong motherly instincts appear from time to time). It's strange and I don't know if it's just the way she is or what, but it is so easy to talk to her. Perhaps we are similar in many ways. I feel that we are but I am a bit too close to the situation to assess it objectively. I have always held the belief that some personality traits are genetic, and now I can use myself as a subject for some nature vs. nurture research! Maybe I'll be published one day! HA!

So, it's been very easy talking to her online. But I imagine it would be very easy talking to just about anyone online. I have no idea what she sounds like, what her mannerisms are like, what her facial expressions are like... I have pictures but that doesn't really cut it, you know? She gave me her phone number on the first day she contacted me but I was too afraid to call. Hearing a real-live voice on the other end of the line would make the whole thing... too real! Then I just got comfortable with the emails. But I have been wanting to call her, wanting to hear her voice. You can't tell much from a voice but putting together what I already knew about her from emails, along with the voice, I can begin to get a feel for who she is.

Last Saturday, July 11th I decided I would do it. I actually decided it the day before and told her in an email that I would like to give her a call over the weekend (I wanted to be held accountable for it because I knew I might chicken out). Her response was very cute, "OMG, I would love a phone call but only if you have time." Last Saturday, I sat indian-style in the middle of the bed, door closed, alone, for about 30 minutes... palms sweating, knees bouncing, played a game of tetris, read some emails and got a bit short of breath before I brought myself to dial her number. Finally I dialed, sort of hoping to get her voicemail (at least let me hear her voice before I carry on a conversation with her). But no voicemail, she answered:

Bio-mom: Hello?
Me: Hi, is this _________?
Bio-mom: [voice happy, feminine and melodic] Yes.... is this Christina????

I couldn't help but smile. She was completely pleasant and intelligent and friendly and the conversation was great. It was small talk at first, but then some stories about her mom, my biological father, her pregnancy, my birth, her 16-year old daughter, and other personal things. We spooke for about an hour and a half and there were no awkward silences at all. She appologized again that I found out the way I did (via Facebook message) and expressed her respect for my parents (she calls them Mr. and Mrs. Williams as though she's still 16 years old) and how she never had any ill intentions. I believe her 100%. I have complete faith in her. I've had faith in a lot of people in my life, many of which dissapointed me. I don't think she will.

It was truly great talking to her and I can't wait to talk to her again. But after the phone call, I am worried. I have to tell my mom that I spoke to her. I am not going to give my mom details. I know her and she is the "What I don't know, won't hurt me" type of person, but I have to tell her that I spoke to bio-mom on the phone and I have to tell her when I meet bio-mom. I was dreading that more than anything else so far.

I called my mom with some small-talk at first and then I just flat out told her that I spoke to bio-mom on the phone. I told her that bio-mom seems very nice and I want to get to know her because I am so curious about her and where I came from. Then I told her, "I hope you don't feel weird about it at all because I could never really think of her as my mom." My mom cried a little and said she understood and that she knew I would want to get to know her and meet her, "because I know how you are," she said. She also threw in a, "But I am always your mommy" somewhere in the conversation. I really want to make sure my mom is okay with this and I want to prep her for what is to come (meeting bio-mom) so I am sure to tell her that bio-mom is very nice, has a stable life, is intelligent and seems like a great person. But again, I don't FEEL like she is my mom and since she is so young, it is more like she is a friend. My mom seems to understand (or at least says she does).

I'm really hoping this can go smoothly.... that I can do what I want and need to do for me without hurting anyone. But, that is always my wish in life. It just seems to get a bit tougher as you get older. I don't like that part of adulthood.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Beginning to Find Some Answers

Four months and two days after the post below, I received some news that was every bit as shocking as it was enlightening. I have not made my blog publicly known to my friends until now. It's not that I've felt I had nothing to say. It's not that I don't want to share things. It's just that I wasn't ready; it wasn't the right time. But now, it feels right.

So, let's start at the beginning. On May 6th, 2009 at 11:42am I received this message on Facebook from a woman I do not know:
HI, I am looking for a Christina Amber Williams that graduated Bonanza High School - whose b-day is in August 1979. If this is the wrong Christina Williams, I apologize.
I replied at 1:34pm:
I am the Christina you are looking for. How do I know you???
I get the reply at 1:59pm:
I really do not know how to explain. Did your mother & father, [names deleted] ever mention anything to you about a [sorry, had to delete the name again]?

I replied at 2:25pm:
Not that I can remember.
I get the reply at 2:31pm:
Did they tell you anything about you as baby?
I replied at 2:33pm:
Nothing particular or out of the ordinary. Please explain how you know me and my parents names.

The mystery woman then goes on to explain in her next message at 2:50pm that she has been looking for me for a long time but because my name was so common, it was hard to find me. Then she tells the story. She was 16 years old and pregnant and knew that she could not take care of a baby. She heard of a great family that was looking to adopt a baby so she made the decision to give the baby up. And the baby was.... TA-DA... me!

I sat in disbelief for a bit. I have my birth certificate. On it are the names of the only parents I have ever known. I have always felt different and I have flat out said to my parents before, "I'm nothing like you guys, I must be adopted." And they would flat out tell me that I wasn't. I have a cousin who was adopted and everyone in the family knew and it was no big deal. I had a project for health class in the 7th or 8th grade in which I had to ask my mom details about her pregnancy with me. She gave me those details. Yes, they were completely standard and cookie-cutter and safe - "I had no problems at all when I was pregnant with you... was in labor for 8 hours... you came out and now here we sit... the end."

BUT... I have always felt different (see post below for more about this). I don't look exactly like them. I don't look terribly different from them either. And I just figured, "Well, a lot of kids feel different from their parents." But I always felt different from my siblings too and my cousins. Several of my cousins were close but I never really was with any of them. I hated that. I felt so jealous of them because it seemed so easy for them to feel like family. I always felt like I was blue square in a patchwork quilt made up entirely of green squares. Different shades of green, yes. But I was clearly blue, not green at all. I'm not sure if my parents noticed this or if I ever complained about it when I was little. Perhaps not. I think I wanted to avoid pity or avoid drawing more attention to the situation. But I digress...

The first thing I did after hearing this woman's story (my alleged birth mother) was to get some confirmation. Not from my mom. She would be a mess if it was true. Not from my dad. I knew he was at work and this wouldn't be a good conversation for him to have there if it was true. I called my sister, who is 12 years older than me... old enough to remember. My phone conversation with her went like this:
C - I need to ask you something and I need for you to tell me the truth
S - Okay
C - Am I adopted?
S - [loud sigh]
So, clearly that's a yes. A whirlwind of emotions begins, even though I kinda knew what mystery woman/bio-mom was going to tell me from the moment I looked at her facebook page after her first email - it is completely blank, seems like it was created just to find/contact me, her graduation date from high school was 1981, I did the math (several times) she would be 16 when I was born. Doesn't take a Ph.D. to figure out what might be coming. Still, when it's officially confirmed by my sister, my heart is racing and I'm in my office with the door closed, pacing while I'm talking to her. I can't sit still for the remainder of the day so I leave work early. "Hey boss, I'm calling in adopted - that's a new one, huh?" I get in the car, alone for the first time, away from prying eyes and ears. That's when the wrecking ball hits me. My chest hurts so bad, throbbing and pounding. I can't breathe and the tears first burn and then just begin to pour out of me. My boyfriend called me in the middle of one of my phone conversations trying to get some more info. I sent him a text asking him to come straight home at the end of his day. I don't have a ton of time to devote to him at the moment he calls but he insists on knowing what is wrong (thinking someone is hurt). I yell into the phone, "I'm adopted - just come home!" I sent out an email to my closest friends with the subject line, "You're not going to fucking believe this shit" and copy and paste the facebook convo in the body of the email. For the first time in my life, I am going to people when I need something, need to share, need support. How can I not, though? This is crazy stuff, especially considering the dynamics of my family.

I talked to my dad that night, after I knew he was home from work. Told him I knew. Mentioned bio-mom's name. He scrambled for a bit, clearly caught off guard. I am dying to get off the phone. I just want to tell them that I know and that we'll talk about it later. Before and after the phone call I'm stewing in anger. Not only because in my 29 years of life they never told me, but because I am so worried to tell them that I know. I don't want to hurt or upset them (especially my mom). But THEY should have been the ones worrying about how to tell ME this news, not vice versa. I'm really pissed about that at the time... still am.

The next day I ask bio-mom what she wants. Does she just want to know I'm alive and well and that's it? Does she want to get to know me and maybe have some kind of relationship? I'm hesitant. I don't know who she is.... could be any type of person I could possibly imagine. But so far, she has been nothing but.... great! She at first apologizes profusely for being the one to tell me (and has done so several times since). She begged me not to be mad at my parents. She is clearly trying hard to not overstep her boundaries. Her reply to my, "What do you want" email is very long and in the end, says something like, "What I'm trying to say is that I would love to get to know you and be friends and be a part of your life." Right now, that's what we're working on.
This story continues to unfold and I will use this blog to share it. I have found it pretty interesting to go back and read my previous post knowing what I know now. I always felt different - and now I know part of the reason why. It's helpful information to say the least. Stay tuned for more!

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Isolation Problem

All of my life I have felt like I didn’t belong. I have felt this with family, friends, boyfriends, my peers, older people, younger people, probably even with my imaginary friends when I was little. The reasons for this are complicated and some are too personal to discuss (at least for now) but mostly it all comes down to the fact that I just felt different all the time. I have always wanted to do and say the things others weren’t. I certainly don’t stand behind each and every thing that I have done and said my entire life. Many of those things have been completely stupid and they still linger in my mind. Sometimes I think I have a diagnosable illness - some sort of antisocial disorder or some form of memory-provoked, disturbingly self-deprecating depression problem. I actually lie awake at night or can be found alone in my car on my commute thinking about stupid shit I said or did 10 or even 20 years ago (yes, I’m going pre-pubescent, here). Does anyone else do this? I literally have to tell myself to shut up (I even say it out loud sometimes) over and over, then blast some music in order to clear my head. Often my attempts are futile.

Sadly, I feel that this problem I have (feeling compelled to go against the grain, followed by an intense critical review of my actions) keeps my isolated from other people. Mostly, I like to blame others for this… the old “misunderstood” proclamation but of course I must analyze this conclusion as well. I am mostly torn here because two of the things I like most about myself are that I question everything and that I think differently. Unfortunately these qualities have an unwelcome side-effect – isolation.

This past Christmas (like many of the Christmases before it since I was about 10) I found myself surrounded by my family and I gazed at everyone in awe wondering, “Who are these people?” and “Where did I come from?” I don’t know why I feel so different from them. Is it just an illusion or is it actually so? I certainly seem different from my perspective. I agree with less than 10% of the things that are said and done in that environment. I find myself wanting to know as little as possible about them and what is going on in their lives because I just feel greater distance with every detail. Do a lot of other people feel this way? I honestly hope no one else does because it is a very sad and lonely feeling. It takes every bit of my strength to not have some sort of outburst or breakdown around my family. But here’s the bigger problem: I would feel terrible if I let them know how I feel (because it would hurt them) but it physically hurts me to not speak up when I see things happening that will only cause them pain or harm. I feel a pain in my chest, my head hurts, I bite my nails, I don’t sleep and I end up with a terrible stiff back, neck & shoulders the entire time I am with them.

My family isn’t that different from most… there are problems with tempers, health concerns, financial strains, addiction problems (in various forms) and deception by the truck-load. I like to think of myself as a pretty strong person but for some reason I am unable to cope without some sort of ramification. So, what do I do? I have made small remarks in the past and I see it only hurts them when I barely scratch the surface of my true feelings. What would the truth actually do? I don’t think I can bear to tell them what I truly think. I guess I just have to remain silent. But then what do I do with the guilt that I feel when something bad happens? Many things have already happened that I foresaw years ago…. Unfortunately a few of those things have involved my young nephews. Aren’t I a horrible person for not doing something to prevent it? I’m sure I could get valid advice arguing both cases. Honestly, I don’t want the advice… I already know what it is. I just need to speak up. I was fine staying quiet when it just meant that I would lose a few hours of sleep and suffer some mild anxiety attacks but now it involves children. I’ll let the adults worry about themselves but I can’t let my nephews suffer. I just have to figure out how to do this as gently as possible. Does anyone know how to smack someone upside the head… gently?