What it feels like to be a birth mother…

‪Responded to a birth mother about to meet her child for the first time since she gave him up for adoption and bam..triggered. All those unresolved emotions and trauma. All that PTSD..brought back to the surface. 47 yrs old and I’m still not “over it”. You never just get over it. You just learn coping skills and carry on. ‬‪I didn’t understand I had been experiencing PTSD from that since I was 16 yrs old until early this year. Diagnosed right before the corona hit us and quarantine began. A fun little bag of extra WTF to sit with while the entire world fell apart around me. It’s been‬‪…a lot. Never mind dealing with other more recent traumas..the giving your child up for adoption thing is deeply rooted and beyond complicated. I was fortunate (and I automatically cringe with that word) to have my birth child in my life now. I know I’m fortunate. ‬‪I see and hear stories quite opposite of mine a lot..too much..but there is this never ending void..loss…you experience that does not just “get easier with time”. It’s always there. You sit in front of 6 lawyers and have them each ask you.‬.‪..”are you certain this is what you want to do” and not experience the haunting of that moment. By the 6th lawyer I wanted to stand up screaming…”NO..IM NOT CERTAIN THIS IS WHAT I WANT TO DO..IM 16 YEARS OLD!!” I remember sitting there and picturing myself doing that and then I pushed it way deep down and answered “yes..I’m certain”. That never goes away. ‬‪And it is traumatic. Very. It’s your child. My first child. My first moment feeling true unconditional love for another human being and the natural instincts that are just there and you feel every cell in your body ready to protect that child with your life if needed..and then..nothing. No one to pour that all into. No one to cradle and love and protect. They are not dead you remind yourself over and over..but they are not there in your arms. It’s traumatic. I see that now. I see how it affected ‪my life choices now. The insecurities I carried with me. The guilt. How could you do that? How could you just give your child away to strangers. It’s always way back in your mind that you did that. I’m grateful I can talk to her now. Grateful I can‬ ‪text her and tell her..”I love you” and receive the response of “I love you too!” I am beyond fortunate. My daughter is amazing and beautiful and I am so grateful she had a beautiful childhood. I should feel peace about that. That should be healing right?‬ ‪And it is in moments. But the trauma..it just…it’s a lot to go through and process. Years of it. Like sifting wet sand. It just doesn’t do as you would like it to do. ‬It doesn’t just fall into nice smooth piles and then you go on about it like nothing ever happened. If only.

And no one talks about the relationship you have after if you are fortunate enough to have your birth child back in your life. Equally complicated. Equally triggering no matter how you try to stuff that crap down. I love my daughter so much…and I don’t want to spend another moment not knowing her or having the opportunity to simply be around her..but no one talks about the buckets of emotions..good and bad that dance around in your head when you speak to them or are around them. It too is triggering. It too leaves you emotionally exhausted. It’s one of those you just won’t fully understand unless you have experienced it yourself kind of things so you don’t get to talk about it much. You just deal because the alternative is not being around her..the alternative is losing her again. And you can not…lose her again. You can not. Suck it up. Deal with it. Carry on.

It’s so complicated. So many many layers of trauma. I keep peeling them back. Looking at them. Understanding them. I write about it. That’s my therapy at the moment. I would like to take it further and create a piece about it but I keep putting that off. It’s still so raw. How many years later and I don’t even know where I would begin to try and put all that into one piece of art. Maybe I don’t need to put it all into one piece. Maybe layers of it will do. But where to begin. Where do you begin to explain it..express it..put it out there? I honestly don’t even know where to begin. I’m hoping the act of writing about it will open something up for me. Some kind of porthole door where it all just spills out. I know I need to. I know to well the benefits of expressing myself through my art. It has saved me countless times in my life. I just need to figure out where to begin.

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