A dear friend pointed out that I don’t seem to believe I have the right to be a mother. The circumstances of my life have done this to me. The tears come. She was quite perceptive.
She noted that on a photo of my daughter and her family (children and husband) I wrote – that I could take no credit for the wonderful person she is because I didn’t raise her after the age of 3. My friend noted – When men take your children away they really do a number on women.
This is sadly true and it has happened to me with ALL of my children in one way or another. So, my ex-husband ended up raising my daughter when my own desperation to financially support us led me to try driving an 18-wheel truck to make some decent money because he simply refused to pay any child support and I wasn’t going to spend my life in court fighting against him.
Truth be told, I never intended for him to raise her. I left her with her paternal grandmother for temporary care that I had no idea how long that would be needed. The grandmother could be forgiven for viewing that as my having abandoned her. That was never my perspective but I can see how it may have looked that way as the days turned into weeks and then months.
That her father could give her a family life with siblings had everything to do with my not even attempting to interrupt that blessing (which is how I saw it though I have learned recently that “blessed” was not exactly how it was experienced by her and more’s the sorrow in this mother’s heart). She rightly views her step-mother as her mother and who am I to argue with that perception.
Then there are my sons who are donor conceived. Therefore, I do see them as more rightfully my husband’s than my own. Again, robbed of my own children by the circumstances of my life which I do not claim that I am a victim of but the one who made every choice to bring these circumstances about.
So I wonder about the grief that is passed down the generations. Both of my parents were adopted. Therefore, BOTH of my own grandmothers suffered the same kind of grief I experience and my sisters experience (both of my sisters also lost either by surrendering to adoption or the courts) an opportunity to raise their own children.
The only good thing I can say about it all at this point is that our children have survived and are managing to raise their own children, even a nephew who in a sense is fulfilling my friend’s insight as he has custody of his own son after a divorce. You just can’t make this stuff up.