Sunday, September 13, 2009

I am ok

I made it through Izzy's birthday. It was hard, but not as hard as last year. I have so many points that I want to write about but don't quite know where to start. Also, I feel like I could write a book. So I will probably have to post several times to process my thoughts.
I am going to focus today on how I was hoping that by me slowly trying to come out the birthmom's closet with friends and family and I mean slowly coming out that the outcome would be different. I was hoping maybe just one person would remember that I have said that her birthday is hard on me. No one called. Not any of the coworkers that I told. My sisters didn't call. My mom didn't call. The pastor and his wife didn't call me. I think that probably hurt the most. I went to them for assistance with my grief and the shame around my daughter and her birth and they didn't even bother to check in on me.
I really shouldn't say that nobody called, because that's not true. My older son called the night before remembering that tomorrow was her 18th birthday. My husband was also more supported this year.
I have to learn to not have expectations of other people. It's a big day to me but not to them. Them meaning all the other people that I mentioned.
Today, I was able to take both my boys to the Sunday morning service and there was Pastor K and his wife to greet us. They got to meet the boys for the first time. Even though, they didn't call, I am happy to have them in my corner.


RB said...

I'm glad to hear that you're ok and that this year was a bit easier than the last. Sometimes, people just don't know what the right thing to do is. It very well may not be that they don't care or don't think of you. They might just not know what the right thing to do is.

That's very sweet of your older son to call and let you know that he remembered. And kudos to your husband for being more supportive.

Sarah said...

I'm so glad to hear that it was okay this year.

One thing I have learned over the years in dealing with relationships in my own life, is that other people don't get subtleties. Sometimes we think we're being very overt about what we want, but we're not. We're just dropping hints, or being passive-aggressive. I've had to learn to just come out and set expectations and think it would work well for you too -- a lot of times people don't realize that we're expecting something from them!

It might help to say something like, "Family and Friends, this day will be particularly hard for me, and I would love for you to do something with me. Please let me know if you cannot so I won't expect you." That way they know you are expecting a response one way or another.

Or, "Family and Friends, it doesn't bother me to speak about Izzy or for you to speak about Izzy. If anything it hurts me when people avoid talking about her, and it really is helpful to my healing process to speak with people about her and my experiences. If it doesn't make you uncomfortable, feel free to ask me any questions or to speak about her at any time. I welcome it!" Then they know that, 1) you don't mind talking about her or answering questions about her, but 2) you're also acknowledging that you understand some people may NOT be comfortable talking about her and it's okay if they don't bring her up.

I find setting expectations by making statements, instead of dropping hints or asking passive questions really makes things much clearer in communicating with folks around me that I have relationships with. It's hard to get used to doing, but it's works very well!

Sorry this is so long -- I hope that it's helpful! Again, it's a different way of communicating and hard to make a conscious effort to do it, but it really helps! I really am glad this year was easier for you and so glad to hear that things seem to be going better for you. I think of you all the time in interactions with our birthmother, so if nothing else, you're a very good reminder to all of us adoptive parents to always keep our birthmothers in our thoughts.

Rebekah said...

God bless you. I'm sure it was a difficult day.

BTW, I'm planning on responding to the comment you left me last week (I think it's an important one.I'm working o n it right now :)

kalibug said...

Happy to hear an update! I am sure people did not forget, but since they know it is a hard subject for you, they did not know what to say and didnt call or stop by because they knew how upset you would be on her birthday. I know it seems horrible, but unfortunately that is how people are.