I wonder if any of you can help. I met my birthmother a few times about 12 years ago, the relationship didn't work out for various different reasons. I was her second child and adopted, her older child was fostered and he kept in semi contact with her.
When I met my birthmother I also made contact with my brother and we have always stayed in touch. We get on really well & won't be without each other. He hears from our birthmother once in a blue moon.
We have just discovered that she is terminally ill & wants to see us both. I said I would go to support my brother but as the day is coming nearer I really can't face opening up old wounds. Part of me feels so sorry she hasn't got long and it's a dying womans wishes to see me the other side of me can't face it at all. I'm hardly sleeping & feel quite sick about the whole matter of the visit. I don't really know the woman, I feel disloyal to my adopted mother the emotions just go on. I don't know if I will regret it if I don't see her as she has only been given to the New Year but I know I don't want to start communications again if it is longer (which sounds awful).
If anyone can offer any advice it would be much appreciated.
Something that might help. Take a sheet of lined paper, and write down all the things that could go wrong. From the least, to the biggest. At the least this gets them all out onto the paper, instead of spinning around in your head and stomach.
Then write down what, if anything, you could do to minimize the effects of any negative results. For instance, if she lived longer, and wanted more contact, you could say that you're feeling traumatized about adoption, and can't handle it, sorry. Or whatever you'd like. You might even seek the help of a trusted friend or counselor (good one on referral), to think of options for each negative outcome, that would help you cope with it, or set up a boundary to stop it.
Then write down good things that might result. For instance, you would not be sitting around 3-30 years from now thinking, "I wish I had gone." On both sides, brainstorm anything and everything that you can think of.
I don't personally think that this would be disloyal to your a-mom, those relationships should be *completely* separate. But that's just *one* of a multitude of dynamics. I do think writing down the different complex dynamics should help.
Thank you for the replies. I did write down all the options and how I might feel if I didn't go etc and it really helped. I also thought how I would handle it if she wanted further contact. I spoke to my brother who totally understood, and he went with his wife for support. It all sounded a very sad visit.
In the end I decided to write and send a letter with some photos of me, my husband and my children. I ended the letter by saying I appreciates how hard it's been but she must take comfort that the outcome have produced such wonderful children (her grandchildren) who bring so much joy to so many.
Life has been so tough on this lady I can not begin to tell you how she was treated for post natal depression in the 70's!