Last week i was reunited with my beautiful daughter and her wonderful family for the first time in 23 years.
She is everything and more than i had every hoped -- valedictorian of her high school, graduated college at the top of her class in architectual interior design, gorgeous, kind, talented. Her parents are some of the most compassionate, wonderful, interesting people I have ever had the privilege to meet, and they have welcomed me into their family with open arms, literally saying I was now a member of their family and welcome for holidays, visits, and family vacations any time. We all had a wonderful 5 days in San Francisco (they live in WA, I'm in CA) together and spent our time laughing, crying a little, sightseeing, and generally having the time of our lives. It was true magic.
They left one week ago today, and have been so considerate ever since, sending affectionate emails, making multiple phone calls and sharing photos of the trip with me over the net. We're already planning for a second reunion at their home in September. Everyone is excited about the future, and I've spent the week feeling grateful and walking on air.
Then suddenly, today, I've been constantly bursting into tears, feeling lonely and depressed, and at 2am, unable to sleep, was curled up in a ball crying for that tiny infant I let go of 23 years ago. WHAT IS MY PROBLEM??? I couldn't have made a more perfect choice for my daughter, and she couldn't have had better parents or a better life. Why am I suddenly so grief stricken and sad? This is a wonderful new beginning.
Am I going insane? Is this some kind of delayed response to a second parting? Has anyone else out there experienced this? I literally feel knocked out by pain and sadness. I know I am sooo lucky and I should be only grateful and happy for the future...I'm really really confused and I hope it doesn't last because I simply can't even speak to any of them feeling like this... I tend to withdraw when I feel down, but I absolutely don't want to in any way seem to back away from them -- they are such wonderful people and I have so much love and respect for them all.
If any of you have ever experienced this, do you have any advice on how to handle it? What do I do??
Ignanny,
It is relieving to me to hear that you experienced the same feelings because I have been disturbed by my feelings and I believe eventually I will settle into the "motherly" role, but I have such a rush of emotions and feel like I'm a high school girl waiting to be asked out on a date. I have not told any family or friends of some thoughts because it sounds incredibly disturbing.
Do the bmoms tell the bson of the wide array of emotions and how intense they are, or is that not something to be mentioned? I don't want to push away my bson and am, not sure how he has digested our 2 previous meetings. Am I able to tell him I get extremely depressed and have been having difficulties with my post reunion emotions? Or is this something (as a bmom) I need to work through on my own (without unloading all of that information onto him)?
Thank you so much for your responses and helping me through this. I have never been an advocate of therapy, but I have been contemplating it because I feel like I need something to fully comprehend what I am going through. Like you said, unless one has been through the situation, nobody could provide empathy for me with these rollercoaster rides.
Ignanny,
It is relieving to me to hear that you experienced the same feelings because I have been disturbed by my feelings and I believe eventually I will settle into the "motherly" role, but I have such a rush of emotions and feel like I'm a high school girl waiting to be asked out on a date. I have not told any family or friends of some thoughts because it sounds incredibly disturbing.
Do the bmoms tell the bson of the wide array of emotions and how intense they are, or is that not something to be mentioned? I don't want to push away my bson and am, not sure how he has digested our 2 previous meetings. Am I able to tell him I get extremely depressed and have been having difficulties with my post reunion emotions? Or is this something (as a bmom) I need to work through on my own (without unloading all of that information onto him)?
Thank you so much for your responses and helping me through this. I have never been an advocate of therapy, but I have been contemplating it because I feel like I need something to fully comprehend what I am going through. Like you said, unless one has been through the situation, nobody could provide empathy for me with these rollercoaster rides.
Kaseyb,
I have had feeling and thoughts for my bson that I would never divulge with him or anyone else and I think he feels the same. It is hard because sometimes I think he forgets I am his bmom and thinks I am his playmate. I am trying to set those boundries with him now by cutting off his bad behavior and taking more of a parent role and less of a playmate role. It has only been three months for us and it has been a rollercoaster ride. We have had many time outs from each other, we have got into nasty texting sessions, we have loved and shared warm times together, but right now I am trying to instill a little tough love because his behavior is very bad. My son has a lot of underlying anger he has not discussed with me but it always comes out when we talk but it is never about the real issue.
I wish I could start new like you because I would do it all differently. I was so excited to have him back in my life I poured out every feeling and emotion I had. I let my walls down and let him go places in my mind I hadn't been to since I had him. My bson on the other hand has given me nothing in return. He refuses to tell me how he feels about the adoption, about me, about his anger, about his life, or if he even wants me as a part of his life. I regret jumping in with both feet. If I were to do it again I would take very small baby steps. My bson is currently angry at me because I talk to his sister who found me and I recently reached out to his girlfriend who he lives with. This enraged him even though he has been telling me all along if you want to know who I am ask the people close to me. I don't know if we are ever going to talk to each other or see each other again. It really is all up to him, which just tears me up inside. I have such a hard time functioning at work, school, and at home. I feel like I am just going through the motions but my heart is being crushed and I just want want him to walk though my front door with his arms open wide and say I love you and I want you in my life forever. Was it your son who wanted to find you?
Kakuehl,
Did you and your son go through a lot of hard times in the beginning? Do our emotions even out after awhile? Did your son ever open up and let you know how he feels about you, the adoption, and having you back in his life? Is it hard knowing he is far away? Do you still want to see him everyday like in the beginning?
Kakuehl,
Did you and your son go through a lot of hard times in the beginning? Do our emotions even out after awhile? Did your son ever open up and let you know how he feels about you, the adoption, and having you back in his life? Is it hard knowing he is far away? Do you still want to see him everyday like in the beginning?
If you look at the top of the page where it says "welcome "your name"., you will see the words Private message. Click on that and it will take you to the page where you can send messages. Or click on the name of the person at the top of the post and it will take you to their page where you can click on the "PM" button to send them a private message.
Feelings between mother and son can be very intense at the beginning (and you may even feel a sexual attraction). This does fade. I don't recommend talking to your son about it, unless he seems to feel that way about you and then I would treat it matter of factly and simply remind him you are biologically mother and son! My son doesn't usually talk much about his emotions although he did tell me once that had I found him when he was 18 or even 25 things wouldn't have gone as well because of his anger. I found him at a good time in his life. He had just married the love of his life with whom he had a baby and he was 32. I don't know how old either of your sons are (or how old either of you are). I think it takes young men, especially, a lot time to mature to the point where they can deal with their emotions well - especially their anger - and our culture still doesn't encourage men to share their emotions.
It is hard to have D so far away, but I had practice with my other two (now adult) children. My my daughter and the son I raised served in the military. My daughter lived an hour and a half away from my and son J lives three hours away so I don't see any of my children daily. D truly invited us into his life and when he lived in PA, we had many holiday meals and birthday celebrations together. The last time he was in my home was for Easter when my one grandson (who is now 5) was an infant. That was before they moved. At this point they have 4 children and traveling across country is not really an option. (My avatar was taken in their home before they moved. I know have several more grandson)s and the oldest three in the picture are out of high school.
In the early days we did communicate on a daily basis, mostly by text and emails. As we got over the first high of reunion and he got most of the questions answered (at least those he was willing to ask) things got a little calmer. I still hesitate to call to frequently because I don't want to become a pest. (My feelings, nothing he has ever said.)
My advice is always - take some deep breathes and try to relax. Answer questions he asks (depending on how open you are willing to be) but don't overwhelm him with information and emotions that he hasn't asked for and may not be able to process.)
I'm also always available by PM. I'm on Facebook as Kathleen Kuehl if you want to friend me their or email me at kakuehl@aol.com.
Kakuehl,
My bson is 22 years, old appears very well adjusted and no anger or resentment or issues. Our reunions have been fabulous but then days afterwards I am hit with the lows. I'm consumed with this and some days a struggle to perform daily activities. I sometimes feel like I wish I hadn't agreed to meet him, but I never imagined I would have such a variety of these emotions.
Do you think it is acceptable for me to tell my bson of my sad feelings when I don't hear from him? Of course I won't tell him all of my thoughts and emotions and I don't want to tell him too much to push him away. I believe the dynamic is different, too, with son (rather than daughter) and that they are always taught not to be so emotional. We do not communicate every day and he has a different work schedule that would only allow us to connect every other week. The anticipation of when I will hear from him next (if at all) is frustrating and confusing for me.
Question for bmoms:
Did you attend a few sessions of professional help from a counselor to sort out your feelings and assist in dealing with how to proceed with your relationship with bchild after the reunion?
Thanks-
Hi Kaseyb,
I'm sorry that this isn't from firsthand experience, but my good friend (and co-worker here at Adoption.com) has found going to conventions and conferences really helpful. If you'd like to get in touch with her about what conferences are out there, PM me and I'll put you in touch with her email here.
My hopes are that you find the support you are looking for, and that it is helpful for you. :)
Kaseyb, I personally did not attend any counseling but I have known quite a few people who have found it very helpful. I think from what you say about your relationship, I would tell him that you really look forward to hearing from him and that you are sad when there is no message and at the thought of how his job is going to change the frequency of contact. Try to remember that this is really your problem not his. Remind yourself that each contact will not be the last contact. (I guess what I'm saying is to ask yourself why you are sad, scared, frustrated. ) Remember that this is a young man at the beginning of his career and he will need to be giving attention to that. He has found his birth family at the time when most young people are pulling away a bit from family as they become independent so this may give him some conflicting feelings as well.
Kakuehl,
I am trying to put things into perspective, and compartmentalize, although I am still grieving and some days are an emotional low. Thank you for pointing out that my bson is at an age where most are pulling away from family to establish their own identity and I am yearning for every day connection to make up for lost time. My heart feels so heavy and last week I had texted him to see if he wanted to get together for lunch and I never got a response. I hate not knowing what he is thinking or if he changed his mind about re-connecting and establishing a relationship. The 2 times we spent together were so wonderful and I am consumed by my emotions (good and bad). I have never outright asked him if he wants a relationship or to have me in his life, but I do intend to ask next time I see him.
kaseyb, have you tried journaling? I'm not good at it myself, but many people find it a helpful way to deal with emotions. (My husband started journaling about 15 years ago when he was clinically depressed and has found it a very useful tool. I don't remember if you said, what is your son doing now? If he is in college, most are getting close to spring finals which means most students have a great deal work and stress. Hang in there!