Tagged: whore

A Birth Mother Exposed

My adoption is not a secret.  My family knew all about it.  My husband knows all about it.  A few, trusted friends know about it.  So in the strict sense of the word, it’s not a secret.  However, I certainly don’t go out of my way to divulge the information.  For years now, I have lived with all the pain on my own shoulders.  I can probably count on one hand the number of times I have brought it up in conversation. Maybe on 2 hands if you count all the times I had to explain while I was pregnant and when I had to tell a doctor or nurse because of medical issues.

Birthmother Shame Only Serves to Silence Us

I have such intense feelings of shame surrounding my experience.  I am not naive and I know how most people view birth mothers, even if it’s not a conscious thought process.  The thought that someone could view me as some deadbeat loser who gave away my child scares the hell out of me.  I want to be liked.  I want people to think highly of me. Doesn’t everyone?

For too long, I have been silent.  I have allowed those around me to believe that my experience is buried in the past and has no effect in the present.  Too many of us feel this way.  Our silence is part of what forms society’s opinion about adoption: That it is a beautiful choice.   Most people only know about adoption from the adoptive parents’ perspective.  For them, it is a miracle.  I can not contribute to that any longer.  I will not.  I decide to no longer be silent.  I decide to no longer let my shame be a part of the adoption machine.

I am so afraid of the consequences of my decision.  By lending my voice to the other brave birth mothers who speak out loud on adoption issues I am opening myself up to scrutiny.  I am opening myself up to ignorance and judgement.  This is going to be uncomfortable. This is not going to be easy.

I shared this video about the Life long Impact of Relinquishment today on my facebook page. It was hard. Hard because even though it is certainly not my video, it is exposing me to all my facebook friends as a birth mother.  Old high school friends and current friends who know nothing about it.  Family members that thought I was “over it.”  I was scared as soon as I hit the share button.  What would people think?

I posted it a few hours ago and only one person has commented on it thus far.  She is an old high school friend who I haven’t seen in years.  I’m not entirely sure if she realizes why I shared it.  What is amazing is that she said she “had no idea it was like that.”  Okay, so I know not everyone will say that or agree with it, but it was the exact reason I posted it.  To present a different side to adoption that people are not aware of.  It was an affirmation of why I am starting to go public.

At some point, I will connect this blog to my facebook page.  I am not ready to be exposed to that extent yet. It is something I am going to come to terms with, but it is a process.  Baby steps people, baby steps.

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Tell Me More, Tell Me More

 

“You are the most selfless person I know.”

“Don’t you know what a gift you gave those people.”

“You did what was BEST for your baby.”

“You would never have the life you have now if you kept your baby.”

TELL ME MORE, TELL ME MORE…yes yes I am selfless, more please…You’re so right, I am a SAINT, keep it coming….

I have never felt comfortable when well-meaning friends and family have said these things to me.  I wanted to believe them, I desperately needed validation, but deep down inside it just never rang true.

I was selfless in one sense.  I had no sense of self worth when my adoption took place.  I was a people pleaser and the only thing I knew was that I didn’t want to be the slut who got knocked up anymore.  I wanted to make my family proud of me again.  I needed to show everyone that I wasn’t the irresponsible whore who couldn’t do anything right.  If everyone thought that giving my baby away was the right and good thing to do, well then who was I to argue?

Yes, it was a gift I gave to the adoptive parents.  I wish someone would have told me that babies should not be given away as gifts.  I wish someone had told me that if a baby was a gift, then I was just as worthy as the adoptive parents to receive that gift.

I didn’t do what was best for my baby.  This is a truth I have just recently come to in my life.  What was best for my baby was to be with his mother, me.  I had formed a bond with him when he was inside me.  He knew my scent, my voice, my body.  The only differences between me and his adoptive mother were money and a ring.  I wasn’t married and I didn’t have any money so I wasn’t worthy.

No, I probably wouldn’t have the life I have now if I kept my son.  I have 3 children and a husband who loves me.  I am not rich, but we get by just fine.  I more than likely would have never met my husband if I still had my son.  I am not negating my children who I love or my life by saying I wish I had kept my son.  My life wouldn’t be the same, it would be different.  DIFFERENT does not equal worse or better, just not the same.

The reason I never felt comfortable with being put on a birthmother pedestal is because none of these things were true for me.  Most of the time these things are said out of love for me and I get that.  But what I wish everyone would understand is that these were also things said to me by people while I was pregnant who should have been giving me support in KEEPING my baby.  These things were said to me to make me feel GREAT about giving away my baby to strangers.  These things were said to placate and coerce me into giving up the holy grail of babies, the womb-wet, white american infant by an adoption counselor who I trusted.