Friday, 5 October 2012

Absent Motherhood

Oh, how I quarreled over writing today’s blog. I sought out every possible excuse for myself and exasperated every possible angle of deception. However, my self imposed battle was lost and I decided for my own sanity it was time I faced the ugly truth of this long lurking demon.


There is no sugar coating it. For what I will share is truly a demon of all circumstances. I envision this entity now fat and content sitting on a lazy boy made up of years of my internal struggle, my condemnation, my guilt, my anguish, my hatred, my judgment, and my questions of self, family, and God. This demon is now settled in his place in my life. He has a past with me of over 20 years. The majority of what is in my cognitive mind in which he can recall at will. My life is consistently scarred by the small cuts he had made into the background.

I’ve tried to say I’ve dealt with all of it. I’ve claimed in public that I now understand the truth. I can put on a face and falsify that I have accepted the reality.

This is all a lie. I have, although, had enough and I am officially evicting this demon from my life. He will no longer take a residence with me.

My birth mother and father married young. Truthfully, they were the same age as Dear Hubby and myself when we married. F (birth mother) was the same age as I was when Lil Mister was born. The biggest difference however is that when I was 19 marrying the man of my dreams it was my first marriage and Lil Mister was my first child. F on the other hand took my father as her second husband at 19 and I was her second child. The first of which she already no longer had contact with (both husband and child.)

Oh, the deception this woman must have spun in her web. The filth that spewed from her lips in her mastery as she convinced my father that he was different. The disgust as I was formed from her. The lies of it all.

Then, tragedy fate struck. It was like clockwork. It was as if it had all been planned. F and my dad had separated and one morning I was left with my father and all of my stuff as she drove off. At 22, my father stood with a 1 year old girl and no wife. I praise him for the pieces of himself he had to strive to put back together as he made a home and a life for us.

I am sure the questions that have formed in my mind over the years have also plagued him on many sleepless nights. Nothing and no one can quench the thirst that will overwhelm you as you ask ‘what did I do’. There is not a person that can come into your life and replace such an overbearing form of rejection. No number of years passed will convince you that it IS better this way.

F left us. F left him. F left me. Judge A$$ ruled that I was to go with F at the age of 3 for two weeks to visit her family. I have bits of memories from said hiatus with F. They are few to say the most and take but a minute of recall. I do not remember her face or anyone else. I do remember a baby. Apparently my brother by the third man she’d caught in her web.

I returned to my father and F never looked back. In 20 years, there has been no contact, no letters, no phone calls, and no surprise visits.

Dad remarried. She is now my mom to this day. I am thankful to her but we are not as close as we may have been. My demon prevents this.

Around the age of 13 I began to get curious. I would look for her online. I’ve done this every since. For 10 years I have searched her name getting as far as a year back on information and then stopping because I need to pay for more updated information. I can’t bring myself to do it. I can’t take my feet off and jump. 10 years of the heart racing feeling of wonder. Each time I search I find an article or a previous address or relative. I’ve phone to get no answer or a person who claims they don’t know F or they don’t speak English. I’ve envisioned myself getting into my car and driving to the address’ on my list until finally I arrive at her house.

In my dream, I would walk up to the door on a hot summer evening. She would answer and at first have no idea who I am. When I told her my name she would start to cry. I imagined she would embrace me as if she has missed me her entire life, as if this is as big a dream come true for her as it was for me. She would invite me in and we would sit in the backyard, drinking ice tea, and catching up all the time we’d missed. I’d meet her family and be accepted and we’d all live happily ever after.

No, my home life wasn’t bad. My mom and dad were wonderful parents and I have so many cherished memories. Still, the one who bore me had left and I’d always asked why. We were always listed in the phonebook so I assume she actually could have found me very easily. But never did….

So here we sit. I am 23 years old with my second child on the way and married for 3 years. That is 2 years longer than I’ve any record of her marriages lasting and I’m still my children’s mom and ALWAYS will be.

I wish I could admit that I’ve stopped the search or at least gotten the balls to pay for her current address (I guess I feel if I stumble upon it for free then it was meant to be but I’m pushing things if I pay…) but I cannot say either of these. Just a few months back I feel succumb to the trap of needing wanting to know. I found out that about 3 ½ years ago, almost 1 month to the day, before I left America for South Africa, the house she’d been living in had burnt down. She survived because her dog woke her up. There was a newspaper article and it had a picture of her. I printed it. For days I sat staring at her face. I cried everyday. We look so much alike. Eventually I had to put it away.

All the questions come back. Why didn’t she love me? Was it hard for her to leave? Has she ever tried to find me? Why weren’t we good enough?

Then I think of my son. I grow a hatred for F at the idea of putting someone so small, innocent, and incapable through something so tragic painful.

I realize that even if I ever did find her, things would not go like they do in my imagination. There is the chance I would show up just to hear her say I never wanted you. I couldn’t or didn’t love you. I never tried to find you. I would listen to her reasons and be overcome with more grief and anger. There is even the chance that she would say she had tried but my dad wouldn’t allow it. Then I have even more questions that I don’t want to have.

I wish I could say I’m fine. No, today I secretly cry sometimes when I consider the rejection. Today I have an overbearing sense of need to control EVERYTHING that is going on in my life (and yes I realize this is impossible and that it affects my husband…we’re I’m working on that one!) for fear that if someone else is in control it will not work out. And yes, I am indefinitely scared that anyone I attach myself too is eventually going to leave me, especially women (a blog on my relationship up’s and down’s and the struggle to be a daughter to my MIL is a whole blog in and of itself…because she is truly amazing!). Thus, my reason excuse as to why I have left every meaningful relationship in my life (my parents and family, friends, churches).

I guess I’m a work in progress but there is one thing I understand more than ever now. After having my own children, I understand the deep seeded necessity that is your mother. No matter how amazing another woman is. No matter how much another mom loves you. There is an understated drive in us that fuels a need want for at the least knowledge of that person. I say want because we are capable to survive without this desire being fulfilled. My children NEED me because I WANT them. Although I grew up in a two parent home there was a parent missing and I understand now the fear that so many adults walk around with. I also understand now, even if sometimes I cannot accept it, that it was not me. I could not have done anything to drive her away. It was an issue within herself. Whether it was hard for her or not I don’t know…for me it would be impossible. I’ve learnt so much respect for what my father went through and love him so much more than I can express for building the life he did for us. I respect him for moving on no matter how destructive it felt to himself. I respect and love my mom for stepping into a role that she didn’t have to. I thank her for loving me as her own. But the most precious lesson gift I’ve received from all of this, is knowing I am NOT F. I am me. I love my children and will NOT leave. For years I feared it was genetic and that I’d do the same as her. I am NOT F. For that I can sleep.

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