Monday, May 24, 2010

Speaking of Negative...

I recently spent some time with someone else's mom who can be extremely negative. If she's not doing something or talking about something she particularly enjoys, then she's being negative about whatever is going on. If she's not personally interested in it, it's weird or it sucks. Now, I don't expect her or anyone else to be all Susie Sunshine all the time. Lord knows, I'm not! But can she maybe just be neutral about something? Or maybe think something else is the slightest bit interesting? Or think something besides what she likes to do could also be fun? All of this happens very infrequently. VERY! She also assumes the worst about people. If there is potential for someone to have a bad intention, then she's sure they do! It's extremely frustrating.

I just want to put it out there that I am so very glad my mom is not like that. With all of her faults, she is never someone who is all doom and gloom. She's interested in plenty of things (sometimes too much... i.e. the $1000 sewing machine for her to take up quilting... that has sat untouched for over a year). And what's better, she's completely supportive of me and my decisions and the places I travel to and my education and my hobbies. She's always quick to compliment the latest $12 purse I got from Target. She doesn't sit and judge and pick people apart. She's always interested in trying anything I cook (my dad and grammy turn their nose up at it). She wishes I lived closer so we could do more things together. And honestly, I kinda do too. I feel sad that we haven't been closer over the years. But that's just how it's worked out. I am thinking of her this week as I'm contemplating taking a crochet class at JoAnn's. I know she'd want to go with me. Now, she might not show up on the day of the class for whatever reason... but her flaking out on me is another issue all together! We won't go there right now! Especially considering that being positive and supportive and excited for your children's lives is such a wonderful trait for a mother to have! So, thank you Mom! (And yes, I'll be sure to thank her directly.)

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Negative and Untrusting

I think I have become completely negative and untrusting when it comes to my family. I don't want to be that way. I am not a negative person. I'm a critical person... I can almost always find what is wrong with a situation. But that doesn't mean I'm negative. I can quite easily look at the bright side of any situation. And I don't think everything is doom and gloom. I just think some things are really stupid. Like reading celebrity mags or watching those shows. Plenty of smart people I know watch them. But I still think the act of doing so is stupid. But I digress...

I called my mom this past weekend to talk to her about an upcoming trip to Santa Barbara for wedding stuff. At the end of the call she asked, "Did I tell you what happened to Dad?" "No," I said, worried. With my family, an intro like that can mean anything from a splinter to a lost limb. She then proceeds to tell me that he was driving to work one day, got 1/3 of the way there and then can't remember a thing after that. The next thing he remembers is ending up miles away from his work 45 minutes later. Blackouts aren't good. My mom made him go to the doctor. He was first trying to NOT go. CRAZY! They were worried that he had a small stroke (my mom used the term "mini stroke" but that sounds ridiculous and my parents will use any words they can to downplay a situation so I think she made that up). There's no evidence of a stroke or any other problem. My dad decided when he left there that he was "the picture of perfect health!" I had no idea that perfect health was being overweight with type 2 diabetes, insulin dependence, and a family history of heart disease and dying in your 60's. Good to know!

I'm pissed that they didn't call me sooner. I'm really worried about him. I tell him that and I get sloughed off like I'M the one being ridiculous. I don't think it's negative of me to be worried. That's just the reality of the situation. Not to mention that I can't be sure they are telling me the truth (obvious reasons there). I remember once my mom was really sick (they thought she maybe had cancer) and my dad downplayed it to me the entire time until I get a call one day that she's been in the hospital for days and the doctors just called him because she's crashing and he needs to get there just in case she doesn't make it. And I was thinking everything was fine the whole time!

My sister does this crap too... the lies. I have been calling her every day, twice a day, since Sunday to find out if I can pay for her children to ride on the train and come see me for the weekend to take them out, do nice things with them, take them someplace they haven't been, help them out with school work, etc. In other words, I'm hunting her down to ask her if I can do something nice for her children. A little backwards there! Finally she calls me back today to tell me my older nephew has plans this weekend. He's starting surfing lessons for the summer so he has to do "something" for that. A little vague! She said she wants his summer to be occupied with activities. Huh. Interesting. Her vagueness plus the fact that it's just not like her or them to do something new or different made me think she's lying. My nephew hangs out with friends after school and doesn't come home until 9 or 10 pm every single night. Why would she all of a sudden be concerned with his schedule? But why would she lie? The only thing I can think of is that my older nephew (he's 17) didn't want to come because he's got some girlfriend or something and wants to hang with her all the time. And my sister doesn't want to argue with him so she just gave in and decided to lie to me so I don't then question her.

I hate it that I assume she might be lying. But I can't help it. I can't help but think about past situations and use my brain to analyze this one. I hope she's not lying. Surfing lessons would be awesome for both the kids. Anything other than "hanging out" and playing video games would be. That's all they do. Really. The younger one is so bad about it that he gets pains in his legs when he runs. The doctor said it's because he doesn't exercise enough. A 10 year old having pains from not moving enough. Crazy! I know my sister isn't making him exercise more. I just know it. And there I go being negative again! Bah, Humbug!

Monday, May 17, 2010

Weekend at Bio-Mom's

The weekend went well. I went to bio-mom's house for the first time and she met some friends for the first time. I lost a few friends along the way (emergency gallbladder surgery and a little internal bleeding brought some worry but everything turned out fine... phew). 2 ended up at her house. She cooked for us and even bio-sis hung out for a while. Bio-sis is really sweet and nice but she didn't totally want to be there. She wanted to go hang out with her friends on a Saturday. I can't blame her! I was a teenager once myself!

Bio-mom was completely gracious and her home is lovely! While I was there I got to see her wedding photos. It was totally 90's... a fun, casual backyard wedding. Her husband was very patient as well while girls took over his house. What I didn't tell bio-mom was that I had been there before. An unnamed friend found her address using unnamed resources. We drove there, waited until a resident opened the gate into her housing complex (yes, we're stalkers), found her house and sat outside it for a few. Sort of hoping someone would walk outside and at the same time hoping someone wouldn't walk outside... and catch us! Yeah, I didn't share that with bio-mom.

After we hung out at her place, we went to a bar where another friend was working. We sat and had drinks there for a couple of hours. Shared stories. Laughed. It was nice.

I have recently heard so many horrible stories about adopted kids and bio-parents. Hearing all of this has made me very grateful. I'm so glad that bio-mom is as great as she is. And I'm very grateful to my parents for not trying to ship me back to her when I got bratty. And for even [gasp]... loving me through it!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Fiesta at Bio-Mom's

I'm seeing bio-mom this weekend. We're going to her house for the afternoon. A few other friends will be in town too and have agreed to go with me. I was going to turn it into a sort of 'Wedding Workshop/Bridesmaid & Bio-Mom Meet and Greet'. But now it's just a 'Please come with me to bio-mom's because I know you're curious to meet her plus she's inviting her friends over so I'm nervous to meet them' afternoon get together. I am so thankful to my friends for coming with me. Bio-mom is inviting her friends over too and usually I have Andrew for support but this time it's just going to be a girl's thing.

Why do I need anyone's support, you ask? (And yes, I do find that annoying about myself.) Just because I get nervous. Everyone is watching me and watching her and looking to see what the similarities are. And I hate being watched. Plus, I've met some of her friends here in California and it's just a tiny bit awkward going into another friend group where everyone has known each other for years. Everyone is completely nice, but still... I do not infiltrate friend groups very well. I always get anxious and assume no one will like me and that I won't fit in. It's hard to throw out that old habit. I try and sometimes I succeed, but not very often. And most people won't believe that I actually get anxious. It's because I work very hard to hide it. VERY hard. I can be really good at hiding my emotions when I have some prep time in advance. I can be wicked good at it. Seriously. You. Do. Not. Know. You may think you do. But you do not.

I'm hoping the weekend is easy-breezy. And I'm sure it will be. Bio-mom is making Mexican food. Ah crap. I didn't think about the fact that I'm half (some variety of) Hispanic. It now seems very cliche. And I'm the one who suggested Mexican because I know everyone likes it. Oh well. There will be margaritas and that takes away the cliche from anything!

I just want to say this to the friends who will be there. Please don't get tipsy and tell her about any of the assholish things I did as a teenager. Please. If it turns into a Christina roast, I'm out the back door and over the fence. The situation is still too sensitive and new for that.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Mother's Day

Today is Mother's Day and I've been feeling really bad about sounding so down on my mom on this blog. Part of the reason why I don't often tell people what I think and feel is because I really hate it when I get misunderstood. I see people misunderstand one another constantly, all day long... and my communication style makes me pretty susceptible to that! But human emotions are complicated and multi-faceted. Even though I'm disappointed and frustrated with my parents right now, that doesn't erase everything great about them.

This mother's day I am thankful for the things my mom has done for me. She was always there for me when I was little, when I was sick, or fell down, or had my feelings hurt at school. She was always the one to tell me that everything would be fine. That I would feel better. That kids are just mean but they don't mean to be. She would dry my tears.

My mom loved to spoil me and really had fun doing it. She always did all the Christmas shopping and bought me so many dolls and toys and games. She also loved arranging family trips. We took road trips to Disneyland, Knotts Berry Farm and Magic Mountain every year. And even to Disney World and on cruises to the Bahamas and Mexico. She loved to take me new places and watch my excitement!

She was always very proud of me and would support me in everything I did. I belonged to a youth group from the age of 11 to 20 (many blog readers know of these years well) and she was very involved in it with me. She would chaperone and drive on trips, help out the other kids, was always giving rides, buying snacks, and telling us how proud she was of not only me but all of us.

She was never a stage mom and she never pushed too hard. Okay, from time to time she would put in her 2 cents, tell me what was the right thing to do in a situation, what I shouldn't say or do or wear. But that's what moms are supposed to do. In the end, she would always let me be me. And I appreciate that so much!

My mom is a woman who hasn't had a job since she was a teenager. She embarked on a few entrepreneurial missions with my grandmother, but mostly she raised her kids and that was her job. But that also made her very dependent on my dad. She still is. However, she instilled in me from a young age, that I need to be smart, and brave, and not to be too dependent on anyone so that I can always do for myself, be my own best friend, be my own hero.

I have many great memories with my mom. She would let me ditch school sometimes and we'd relax all day long, enjoying a day off watching old episodes of The Brady Bunch. She had several back surgeries when I was young and I'd take days off of school to be her little helper. My dad would take me to get my assignments and I'd take them to the hospital and sit beside her to keep her company and help her out.

My mom and I have shared a lot over the years. I just want everyone to know that. I feel like I can seem extremely negative at times but the purpose of this blog is to share a small piece of my story, and to vent, and get advice, and keep interested friends updated. It is not to provide a perfectly fair and balanced account of everything I think and feel and experience. I don't think the world is ready for that, even if I wanted to share it all! ; )

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Anniversary of Sorts

Message from bio-mom this morning:
Good Morning...Do you know that it was a year ago today that I found you on FB...WOW! How time flies by....It was one of the happiest days of my life.....
So nice, especially on a day when I'm really busy (school and work and wedding, oh my!) and have some serious potential for grumpiness. And on top of being generally busy... last night, we noticed water leaking from behind our bathroom mirror. We took the mirror off the wall to find a big wet spot and mold. FUN! We think that maybe when we hung the new mirror (months ago) we nicked the pipe coming from the condo upstairs and now it's finally leaking. Either that or the guy upstairs has a problem he'll have to fix. Luckily we're friendly with him and we talked to him about it last night. Hoping it's a cheap fix, whatever it is. And luckily, Andrew knows how to patch dry wall!

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Great Expectations

Bio-mom made a trip to the east coast this weekend to visit family. These are aunts and uncles and cousins. She has been very close to them over the years. But they didn't know about me. Her mom wanted her to keep the teenage pregnancy a secret so as not to embarrass them. This was standard operating procedure in those days, aside from the few that were ahead of their time and didn't give a crap what anyone thought. Those trailblazers! Even today, though, I'm sure that still goes on. I think it's pretty damaging. Now bio-mom is an adult woman and she had still not told her family about me, probably due to lingering feelings of embarrassment that her mom placed on her.

Well, the Christina's out of the bag! She told them. And how did I know this? I received a new friend request on Facebook! It was a cousin of hers (so, I guess a cousin of mine). She sent me a very nice message welcoming me to her "crazy" family. She said she was excited to find out about me and said how much she loves bio-mom and her family and now that includes me. It was a really nice message. She also pointed out how weird all of this must be for me. And yes, it is!

I am coming upon a real growth opportunity here. I am not very good at telling people what I want and need from them up front. I try to communicate subtly, but it's always too subtle. And then something happens, an imaginary line I have drawn gets crossed, and I get upset. Then I feel bad for getting upset because it's my own fault and I feel guilty. Then those guilty feelings seep out into my interactions with that person and it's seen as negative feelings toward that person. Ugh - ugly, messy and exhausting situation! I'm going to take this opportunity to get better at it.

I don't feel 100% comfortable with being thrust into the lives of everyone bio-mom knows. My own family is pretty isolated. We weren't very close with aunts and uncles and cousins. After my grandma died, we just didn't see them anymore at all. I found a few on Facebook (I found them, they didn't look for me at all, I guess), friended them and emailed them. I heard back from 1 cousin and 1 aunt contacts me but in a weird, crazy way (another story). Please, I'm not even that close with my parents and siblings. Cousins? Fuh-gedda-boud-dit! If I could orchestrate all of this and get everything I want, I'd get a little more from my parents (for them to at least meet bio-mom and get over the anger toward her) and get a little less from bio-mom's clan. I am completely comfortable with bio-mom (hanging out with her, talking to her, sharing things with her... heck, I'd even go on a weekend road trip with her). But I am not too sure how comfortable I would be attending a family reunion of hers, you know?

While in the beginning stages of all this, I'm going to make myself perfectly clear about how I feel. I just don't want to end up in an uncomfortable position. And I will want 1 question answered before I do anything or meet anyone - "What do you expect of me?" I'm happy to be friends on Facebook and share pictures. It will probably come to the point where I will meet them at least once. But what else do they expect? Will they be disappointed if I'm not more "like" them? Because I may not have a lot in common with them. I certainly don't look like them. And I grew up in a totally different environment (though I'm not like the people I grew up with either... and tend to have some things in common with bio-mom, so who knows).

Honestly, I think it may seem like I'm obsessing over expectations and perceived differences. But these things are important to me. I can never get a grasp on what the expectations are from my parents (even when I flat out ask they are dishonest with me) and I have trouble sharing what I expect of them (lack of trust). It's the same for every boyfriend I've had and so many friendships. And I grew up always feeling different from my family. That's why I would ask them if I was adopted. They always told me I wasn't, so what does a young child's mind do with that disconnect? I figured it must be me. There was just something different about me, something wrong with me, and my feelings about being adopted were totally off, so I questioned and doubted my own intuition. And then I took all of those doubts into every relationship I had. Feeling disconnected became the norm... the expectation.

Logically, I know I'm going overboard and I need to reel it back in. I'm not that child anymore. I'm an adult and I can change all of this. I refuse to be the, "But that's how I was raised" kind of person. I don't want to say that or think that way. Using it to understand a situation, yes. But using it as an excuse is not acceptable. The only problem is, there's a delay in my emotions picking up on where my head is.

So, for the time being, the emotions and anxiety will churn under the surface and I'll work on getting them to the calm, cool place my head is in. Doing things right from the start will help. I'll talk to bio-mom tomorrow about it all. Tell her that I could be overwhelmed with everything. Ask her about expectations. Explain to her that I don't really know what a healthy relationship feels like with family, let alone a bio-family I have just met. The helpful part is, I know she'll be completely understanding. Even if I am unreasonable.