Thursday, July 1, 2010

I Feel Like I'm Taking Crazy Pills!

So in the talk I had with my mom last night about a wedding shower, I decided to bring up bio-mom again. I needed to address the issue of the shower and things that might come up in the future (kids). I have never had the chance to discuss this with her as our conversations about bio-mom at the wedding have been so emotionally charged and so abrupt as a result.

Many things were said last night. First, I told her, "Mom, I know your feelings about bio-mom but I'm concerned not only for the wedding but also for future events." "Like what?" she asked. I swallowed the massive lump in my throat and responded, "Well, like the shower and..." She interrupted, "The shower? Why does she need to come to the shower? She doesn't need to be there. Why would you want her there?" I answered...
C: Well, just for the same reason I want her at the wedding. Because I've gotten to know her and she is a friend now and someone I value in my life. And Mom, there will be other things too. Like other life events. Like when I have kids!

M: What do you mean when you have kids? [She's getting louder now.] Why would she be involved? I am the grandmother!

C: Well Mom, I would want them to know who she is and know her like I do. It's not just you, you know. There's Andrew's mom too, his extended family, our friends... and she is a part of THAT group, the family friends.

M: Well, I don't know what to tell you. I don't know what you want. Do you want us to all be one big happy family?

C: [Feeling so defeated and losing all hope. Why doesn't she get me? Why doesn't she understand this? Am I the crazy one or is she?] No, of course not, Mom. I would never expect that or ask that. I just want you to not ignore her existence and harbor anger and for there not to be a weird negativity or anxiety in the air if you are in the same room with her, which is bound to happen.

M: I'm not angry. I'm just... disappointed, I guess. Disappointed that she contacted you. She broke a promise to me. She signed something saying she would never contact you, you know. [Back to this AGAIN!]

C: Well mom, I don't think that applies when I'm an adult. Plus, she was told by Dad that you guys would tell me I was adopted. She figured he would do what he said he would do. She thought I knew.

M: Dad never told her that. He never spoke to her. She's lying to you.

C: [Oh boy.] Mom, you know Dad lies to you a lot to protect you from things. Maybe he had a conversation with her because she was having second thoughts about the adoption and he told her that to ease her worries. And then he didn't want to tell YOU about it because it would worry you.

M: No, I don't think that happened. [Of course she doesn't. Cuz she's from another planet, I have decided! One where reality and logic are dangers one must avoid in order to protect your soul from the Jabberwocky monster who will eat you if you say/do/think things that make sense.]

C: Well, think what you want. But I don't want to dwell on that. Please remember that I'm not dwelling on the fact that you guys didn't do what you should have done. It was your job to tell me I was adopted. You didn't do that. That's part of the reason we are where we are right now.

M: Well we weren't going to interrupt your life and tell you about this when you were a kid. I did what I thought was the right thing to do. I never would have let you go out and meet her before you were 18 even if we did tell you. [Again, completely drifting away from reality... and pissing me off! "Would have never let me"??? Say what? Telling me I can "never" do something didn't go well when I was a teenager and it still won't go well now.]

C: Mom, I'm not talking about that. That's fine. You're the mom. It was your decision to make. But I'm talking about the 11 years when I was an adult and you didn't tell me. You know what I think? I think you planned on never telling me, never letting me find out. Even though you know full well that I wanted to know. And now she ruined your plan. And you're just upset at her for that. But this is the way it's supposed to be. I should know this about myself. The situation is righted now.

M: I said I'm not angry with her.

C: Fine, disappointed, upset, whatever.

M: I just don't know what you expect.

C: I expect something in the middle. Something in between ignoring her existence and having her over for the holidays. Maybe you acknowledging her. Meeting her for 5 minutes. Letting her apologize for upsetting your life, because she does realize she did that and she is sorry for it. She wants the chance to do that.

M: Why are you worried about her? You should be worried about me!

C: I'm worried about EVERYONE! I'm just trying to make everything formidable here. I don't want you upset. I don't want her upset. And I don't want to live the rest of my life playing this game, this balancing act, with this awkwardness. I feel that if you meet her, you will see what I see. That she isn't trying to be a Mom. That she's just an addition to my life! And it will ease your worry or pain or upset.

M: I know you're trying to make everyone happy. But I just don't want to meet her. I just can't do it. You know I never say no to you. [Crying now] So you must know how big of a deal this is for me. I just can't do it.

C: [Pause for a moment. Bewildered. Wondering what to say next.] Okay. But you know this leaves all the anxiety and pressure on me, don't you? What if she's at the wedding and you happen to end up in an elevator together. And someone says her name and you know who she is and she knows who you are. That is really awkward. I will be worrying about that every minute.

M: That's probably not going to happen. But if it does, I'll deal with it when it happens. I'll say hello and then go my own way.

C: [Big sigh.] Okay. Still. It makes me uncomfortable and her uncomfortable and I feel like when you're there, it will make you uncomfortable too.

M: Well I won't. And you don't have to feel uncomfortable. I'm not mad at her. Tell her not to feel uncomfortable either. That she's welcome to come to the wedding if you want her there. I just don't want to meet her. But really. She is welcome and I won't say or do anything to upset anyone.
So, we're back to square one. And I'm a bit dumbfounded. I asked Andrew when I got off the phone, "What planet is she from?" "Planet 1942" Andrew said. He also threw in a, "Let me talk to her!" "What will you say?" I asked. He said he would yell at her and make her see the light. I'm not too sure about that.

But really, she's got issues. I said a few other things toward the end of the convo. Such as, "Aren't you curious? Curious to know who gave birth to me or where my DNA comes from?" She said no, she's not. That she thinks of me from her DNA. She literally said those exact words. Now, I understand that she thinks of me as "her's" (As do I. I think "mom" and of course I think of only her. I always will!)... but that statement about the DNA kinda made me realize that she truly does create her own reality in her head. She's also commented that she met my bio-grandma and "that was enough to know I came from a good family." I've told her that bio-mom says bio-grandma isn't so great. That she was unsupportive and mean and unstable. Well my mom brought it up again. "I just don't understand how that stuff about her is true. She was so nice and polite and well mannered and well dressed."

A bonus tip for all you criminals out there... you wanna rip off my mom? Just wear a perfectly pressed outfit, be clean cut and clean shaven, say please and thank you, and have freshly polished white tennies! She'll assume you are an absolutely wonderful person! And the converse is also true. I know it. I've heard the remarks. If you've got a tattoo or piercings or poor clothes or uncombed hair that isn't in some kind of "cute" or classic do... you're a shady character to steer clear of! Oh, and criminals... you should also probably be white (YEP, I said it!). That would help tremendously. She'd most certainly trust you and your spiffy getup then! You'd have a world of diamonds at your fingertips!

It's my educated guess that she secretly wishes bio-mom was terrible. That she was a horrible, mean, thieving drug addict that I would want nothing to do with. I really do believe she wishes that. At the very core of me, I believe it. She already tried to make bio-mom out to be a liar twice in 1 conversation. Which is rich coming from lying liar liey-pants like her.

Now, I'm just left to wonder if my relationship with them can ever really recover after all of this. I don't like to view the world as good and bad, right and wrong, black and white, etc. We're all a bit of a mixed bunch, a melting-pot if you will. And I don't view my parents as all bad. But the dark stain of the bad is beginning to mix in greater quantities with the good. It's starting to overflow my cup and turn it a grayish-greenish-pukish-brown that makes my stomach turn. How long can I continue to sip from this putrid vesicle? How long can I even keep it near me without it leaving dark rings on my furniture and staining my fingertips? And how horrible would I be if I moved away from it or dumped it out? If I really did drift farther from my parents? How will the annals of history judge me then? A part of me judges myself harshly for even thinking it. Another part of me tells the judgey part, "Fuck off! You don't know what you're talking about. You. Don't. Know. Me."


  1. This is the sonofabitch about parents. Even when they're hurting you, you want to draw them closer, you crave their approval and understanding. I wrote once how jealous I was of other friends who managed to find some comfortable middle ground with their mothers, but now I'm not so sure. It might be in or out. "Out" doesn't have to mean out of your life, but it can mean out of your control and therefore no longer something that causes you anxiety. This is your life, your wedding, your future - I hope you can find a way to claim and enjoy it without worrying about what kind of experience everyone else is having (choosing to have!) for themselves.

  2. I think at some point, you will realize your anxiety, your discomfort, your frustration with this situation has moved past the stage of being easily resolved by negotiations with your parents or bio-mom, and the choice will shift to you. And that choice will be wholly yours to make. How do you want your life to be? How do YOU want to live it? You could make the choice to stay engaged in what is a completely ridiculous situation (no honey, you are not taking crazy pills, it it truly nonsense)or you can figure out a way to live your life, have your wedding, enjoy your marriage and raise children without this parental situation being the crux of anyting. Even if there is never a resolution to this situation, your life can and will go on in relative peace and happiness if you let it. If nothing else, you are already internalizing all these lessons about how to NOT be, helpful little indicators of where you DON'T want your life to go. I don't think anyone gets to escape that push/pull with our parents, but I do think people find a way to push through situations like this with grace and humor. And I cannot think of any person more capable of making it through this patch of nonsense with grace and humor than you.