Mental Health and Regrets

An expectant mother says “I’m not sure with my mental health I can parent another child.” This is despite the fact, that she is a good parent to her first child and that child isn’t suffering. Does she really think giving away her baby is going to do wonders for her mental health? She may be the happy mommy for a while after doing, this with no regrets. But she can only lie to her self for so long. Eventually, she is likely to wake up and wonder wtf did I do?

One woman replied – I was this mother. I placed my 3rd. I had absolutely NO idea what it would do to me.. it absolutely broke me! I could barely function for almost 2 years. I don’t think people really understand what giving away a child means. Adoption is pushed as sunshine and rainbows in society, so I think we somewhat look at it in a positive light when we are contemplating making that choice. . But no it absolutely will NOT help your mental state in any way.

And she is alone, another one said – Me too. And yet another one said – Same with my third also. Fact is, it is the rare person who won’t realize they exchanged one set of mental health issues for another and this one lasts a lifetime for yourself, the child, other children, etc…Then this, my mental health took a nose dive after adoption. Mentally I always struggled but since then, I have been in and out of behavioral health facilities and have made 3 suicide attempts. Someone else thought – it’s a way to delay the trauma and people should be honest that all you’re doing is delaying it and compounding it later.

On that last note, came this reply – i think that also delays trauma for many in a different way, too sadly. Granted each can choose for themselves but I have supported friends who have chosen this route for a variety of reason and again, they weren’t supported after or informed of just what an emotional roller coaster it can take you on, for a VERY long time.

Now I get that’s not for everyone and some may not be as impacted by it, but my friends who have (and many were moms already) came to me and told me, they wished they had listened to me (because I told them – I’m not sure it’s going to help in the ways that you believe it would help) and many were seriously already struggling (hence not feeling able to add another kid) and they didn’t think they could nose dive further but many have. In fact, one reached out this week to me talking about how 2 years after, she still regrets it and wishes she had listened to me.

I believe support for people who go this route is lacking and very much needed – many are left to deal with it in silence and it’s a dirty secret and they have guilt and shame, which contributes to more issues they have in the long run because they don’t have a proper healing outlet to deal with all the feelings and even physical stuff sometimes after (my one girlfriend ended up with an infection and needed to be hospitalized which compounded the trauma).

Finally, this – If there are reasons causing these feelings they usually stem from trauma and lack of support – and if those were addressed, it would be still hard to parent (cuz lets be real – its hard!!) but when you have a better support system vs a system working against you (like Child Protective Services or whatever). I said to my original mom recently, what happened after Termination of Parental Rights ? She jumped at the judge when he said they weren’t her kids now, they were HIS. She spent the night IN JAIL after losing her kids. 

Abortion As An Ethical Decision

#1 – never pair the two issues.  Adoption as a counter to abortion.  Pro-Life should be positive in the support of keeping babies with their mothers.

Honestly, many adult adoptees will say “if I had a say in my birth mom doing it over again – hell yes, I wish she’d never had me.”  That may be hard to understand, if you were not adopted but this is the truth.

An abortion makes life going forward easier. If someone doesn’t want to be a parent, then putting themselves through a pregnancy and birth makes no sense. If someone does want a baby, then they’d regret adoption forever, if they chose that as an alternative when what they really lack to enable them to keep their child is the emotional or financial ability to parent that child.  This is also the truth.

An adoptee is forever the child whose mother gave her to strangers and all the emotional wounds that come with that.

If society were willing to make it more feasible for underprivileged mothers to keep their own babies by providing financial and other supports – then the truth also is that adoption and abortion rates would both likely drop.

There are options other than adoption for infertile couples to conceive children.  It is known as Assisted Reproduction and that entails a variety of potential treatments that may prove successful and be a better choice than creating huge psychological problems for adoptees and their original mothers, who are separated at birth, and under the best future possibilities, will still have a painful road to reunion.


You Have To Get Over It And Connect

If you gave up a child to adoption, regardless of the reasons and whether it was totally your own choice or someone pressured you to do so, you have to get over the trauma and connect if the opportunity for a reunion comes your way.

Today, I was reading about the unbelievable pain that a young woman is experiencing.  She is an adoptee and her original mother lives in the same city and refuses to have any contact with her.  She lives in total fear of an unintended encounter and how painful it would be to be snubbed in person.

One such mother shared – about how she thought about the daughter she gave up all the time.  I don’t doubt it.  A piece of a mother’s heart is torn out with any surrender.  Deep down she always did hope her daughter would get in touch with her once she was grown.  The day came.  She  got a Facebook message from her daughter.  Next, the Face Time started to ring and she just froze.  Unbelievably, she couldn’t answer the phone.

Fortunately, her daughter was persistent.  She called 5 times in a row before this mom had the guts to pick up.  She acknowledges how selfish and f’ed up that was.  She admits that the anxiety of talking to or eventually seeing her was just so overwhelming.  She understands now in hindsight that the reaction comes from a place of fear and self protection.

The story does have a happy ending and an encouragement for other women who might be in the same situation.  Once they got past that initial step, now they talk every day.  And even though they live 100s of miles apart, they find a way to meet face to face on a regular basis.

Don’t let fear keep you apart.  The only way to heal is to reconnect.