There are more women like me?
There are more women, who lived through the same experience as me. Women who were pushed through the same agency; the very one that was determined to make me a “birthmother” from the moment I walked into their office? There are women who feel similarily to me from a spiritual and religious perspective? Women who walked away from a church who served no help to them after they relinquished their child, or “were freed” of their sin by giving their baby away in a sacrificial manner?
It all just seems too good to be true. I really believed that I was the only “rogue” LDSFS mother out there. The idea, the very idea that I was only one of many? That I am one of many mothers who have been taken by this agency? Consider me blown away. For all these years, I have been under the false pretense that I am the only one. That I was the only one who could have these doubts lurking in her brain, bouncing around, making me feel a little crazy at time. I was supposed to be happy like all those other women, the ones who were the picture perfect version of their birthmother. The one who they wanted to place before adoptive couples, and “potential” birthmothers. I wasn’t supposed to feel like I had made a horrible, terrible mistake.
Of course there would be other women like me. How incredibly shortsighted of me. Of course there would be other women who felt like they had their sins dangled above them, like a banner, being blackmailed with threats of eternal damnation and a life of societal out-casting. Of course there would be women like me, who would go through it, and completely numb themselves to the utter trauma of the whole ordeal, until one day, something acted as a trigger; a metaphoric gunshot going off and shattering the silence forever. Of course I would feel impassioned to write about all of this, to join with those voices who were solemnly singing the same choruses of greed, and wrong that were executed against us in the name of faith. Our silence, any type only serves as further punishment and torture to ourselves.
I can no longer be silent. I will no longer be afraid to share the truth of my story, all of it.
When I was pregnant with The Kiddo, I did a lot of writing. I filled three journals my entire pregnancy with him. Occasionally, I would write a piece, and show it to the agency worker whom I had grown close to in the absence of my own mother. Over lunch, I would carefully push a piece of paper toward her, almost begging for some sort of validation that my voice still mattered. As she would read, I’d absentmindedly play with my food, watching her every move, watching her face to see if she reacted in the places I hoped she would, to see if she saw the message I was trying to convey. Every time, she’d look up, startled to a degree, stunned, and would say in some form or another,
“Your voice is unique. It’s beautiful, raw, and articulate. Beautiful. One day, you’ll share your story, and it will inspire other young women for good”.
I believed that. I believed her. I had been told many times throughout my life that my writing had an age, a wisdom of sorts to it. Something that most writers desperately strive to find. I had teachers who would pull me aside astonished at my descriptions, and the execution I used to get a point across. I was always told I could write, that it was a gift, a talent. It wasn’t until she said it, that I believed it all. I felt something stir within me while I was pregnant with The Kiddo; he inspired me in away I have never been inspired prior. I knew that there was a deeper lesson, a message that was boiling within, something I needed to share.
When I laid eyes on The Kiddo moments after he was born, I felt it even stronger. Something about his face said, “Please don’t let these moments be in vain”. For years, I dug, and I dug, while anestheized to the reality of the adoption. The words were there, I could feel them, they just seemed to refuse me. At one point, I ended up volunteering with the agency to share “my story”, hoping it might help that aching feeling that there was something missing. It didn’t help at all, and I ended up feeling dirty, like I was a carefully crafted pawn in some sort of game I was blissfully unaware of. I kept writing; writing about how proud I was of myself, hoping that wearing it as a badge would inspire me. Nothing fit. Nothing felt as though it was the message I was meant to convey. It wasn’t MY message. I didn’t believe anything I was saying. I didn’t believe anything I was feeling, and I knew at the core, there was trouble brewing. The brutal reality was I was not being honest. When a writer isn’t being honest, you can tell. They can tell. All of my writing was a group of meaningless words spread out neatly on a page.
I have never been that kind of writer. I have never been that kind of person.
The first time I wrote on this blog, when I finally allowed myself the space to walk out of the seclusion I had been in, the words flew out of my finger tips. They had been dying to get out and when the right button was pressed, they just spilled over, almost with a sense of relief. I remember feeling breathless as I finished the first entry; it wasn’t anything award worthy. It wasn’t anything memorable, it was just something. Finally something with truth in it. It was honest, and I felt bold, but empowered for finally finding the courage to say what I needed to say. It was for me. For him. It just felt so freeing, and so right.
While I am sure that the agency worker would be slightly aghast at my epiphanies as of late, she was right. I would write about this experience, it would serve as a source of inspiration for myself. Will it be a resource for good? I don’t know, and I’m not egotistical enough to say it will be beneficial to others, but I will say this:
There are others like me. There are others who could be like me.
I write for me. For the Kiddo. But I write for all of us. We need a stronger voice, and I willingly add my voice to the chorus. I will no longer be silent.