July 7, 2008

Insanity...Doing the Same Thing Over & Over...

I STILL have such a hard time saying "no" sometimes. I feel guilty and obligated to spend time with my Mom...part of me truly wants to, while part of me fights against it at every turn and gets angry with myself for "making" myself do it when I really don't want to. It is almost like two different parts of myself fighting against each other. Scary. lol

I want to spend time with my Mom because of compassion and love I have for her. I want my son to have a grandmother and have those memories. But EVERYTHING is a huge trigger for me and I am reduced to some kind of perpetual child or something when I'm with her. (wonder why? lol)

For example, we somehow got stuck in this "tradition" of going out to eat with my Mom after church on Sundays. My son's nap time is very close to that time, but because of this "tradition", my Mom doesn't seem to care or understand that...and she is always hungry and wants to go. Sometimes (before it got too hot) we suggest getting something fast "to go" and going to a local park to eat while my son plays for a few minutes, because he doesn't do well in restaurants at all. But for some reason we always seem to find ourselves in a restaurant nowdays as my Mom takes her sweet loving time to order and eat...while we are fighting with our son to "behave". And it disgusts and triggers me so much.

Yesterday, we were going to sit in an outside eating area (because he does better) but it was too hot, so we ended up in a small, crowded Mexican restaurant.
My son gets easily overwhelmed with a lot of noise and he is very sensitive to my moods, so he can detect when I am tense (and for some reason I always am around Mom). He didn't want to sit and eat (he's still on Pediasure for most of his nutrition anyway, due to oral aversion from being intubated for so long, and sensory issues). It is only when I'm around Mom that I try to be the "firm" Mother and somehow expect him to sit (like other children) and enjoy a nice leisurely family meal. (ha) Any other time, when it is just my husband and I, we accomodate his needs and see a lot more progress and peace. The pressure situations are what makes meal times unsuccessful, and I get so disgusted with myself for trying to "please" everyone else when I know damn good and well that it isn't beneficial for my son or me. My husband is usually good about not pushing pressure situations, but we've both given in at times, and it usually ends with us arguing about how to "discipline" or "handle" the situation, tears from my son, and anger and tears from me ~ because I am mad that we even tried, am sad that my son deals with so much from being premature, angry at myself (and feeling guilt) for his prematurity, and the list goes on and on...I can't even express.

I have gotten VERY GOOD at not caring what other people think...a complete and total turn-around for me from my "good adoptee" days. My Mom doesn't understand me, because I flucuate from trying to "please" and becoming a t-total bitch because I'm still struggling with it and not finding a good balance...circumstances make it hard anyway.

But in PUBLIC I've gotten good at not caring ~ so when my son "acts up" I just remove him from the situation and comfort him. But yesterday I noticed several people giving us "dirty" looks...really for the first time. And it was warranted, actually, and I'm ashamed. They were watching a table of adults not acting like adults...but all in total disagreement about how to handle the situation. I was fine with my son making noise. But then he got mad at the entire situation of us trying to get him to "sit and eat", so he started trying to dump the food out of the plate; and when I told him "no", he started what I like to call his "primal scream" ~ the scream that all kids should be able to let out, but few are given the freedom to do.

My Mom and husband immediately started trying to get him to quiet down, and because that triggered the bejeebers out of me, I snapped back that "it is OK if he cries". I'll admit, though, it wasn't a cry ~ it was a blood-curdling scream ~ but hey, he's my son and I'm used to his noises, so I guess I expected everyone else to be also. Especially when I was trying to make a point. It's damn ok to let your feelings out. As a toddler and child I guarantee I wasn't "allowed" my emotions. My husband, unfortunately, grew up in a home where even his biological parents didn't allow emotions. So...I've got some massive triggers about this, and I SO want my son to be allowed to show his emotions. I REALIZED that from the very beginning of my being a Mother, that it made me (and my husband gets even more uncomfortable than me) very uncomfortable when my son would cry or get angry...we did everything possible to make him happy and stop crying. It showed me that neither of us were comfortable with negative emotions. And I so want to reverse this in my current family...

I wanted my son to be able to sit there WITH his emotions and still be accepted. Even if it was socially "unacceptable". My husband almost climbed over me trying to get to him to get him out of there. I refused to move. Mom sat smug-faced. I was close to losing it. Looking around, I noticed people looking (I would have been too lol), and got even more angry...literally visualized myself standing up and dumping plates of food, and telling the entire restaurant to "bite me". The funny part about that is, I am the LAST person anyone would ever imagine "making waves" and I've never used the term "bite me" in my life (lol) so that is why these intense feelings scared me a little (thinking how close I actually felt to making a complete fool of myself), but also amuses me at the same time.

What I did (instead) was finally allow my husband to get up (he had already eaten fast) and remove our son from the situation. I sat in silence shoving my food in, & then got up and left my Mom still eating her first bite or so, and took my son outside. Left hubby with the job of sitting there while my Mom finished her meal...that is exactly what she wants, it seems. For all the attention and assistance to be on her, because she MUST have her leisurely meal, even at the expense of others (mine and my son's) unhappiness.

On the way home I told my husband about the "bite me" thought (he bust out laughing)...and that I was never ever going to another restaurant with him or my mother again. Never. lol

The SAD thing is that my a-cousin is getting married in TX in two weeks and we had decided this would be our inagaural "trip" as a family. We have never taken our son on a trip anywhere overnight, and Mom acts as if she can't go see her relatives unless we take her. I guess she forgot that she can drive herself or board a plane. She's always been like this. And I've always given in. And I still do. Because I love her and WANT things to be better. But without more healing, or something, I don't see it happening.

My son has several doctors appointments in July as well as this planned trip to the wedding (the SAME week as the Adoptee Rights Demonstration in New Orleans), so I had given up on the idea of going to the very event that I would LOVE to attend. This is the typical "loyalty" fight that I think ALOT adoptees deal with...it seems like, even in my reunion, that I have always had to CHOOSE where I would be spending holidays, weekends, events...with my afamily or my first family ~ and things DO SEEM to all happen at the same time, creating a CRISIS of emotions and choices that are debilitating to adoptees. Very sad. I dread being in the same car for several hours and trying to spend nights away from home for the first time with my son, WITH the added pressure of RELATIVES (and that could be relative, as well). lol

I need a good protest...


Eve said...

Peach, it probably isn't much comfort to you, but it isn't only adoptees who go through these sorts of things. Adult children (of fill-in-the-blanks) go through it, as do people whose parents are divorced, who feel they have to try to please everyone during the holidays. Had you been born to your adoptive mother, you might well have the same problems with her now, as it doesn't sound like she's a very empathetic person. Seems like she could ask you what you've been through as a mother, for example, and learn to accommodate your little boy, rather than have to have things her way every Sunday, stuff like that.

I'm sorry it's so difficult for you, and that being adopted makes it worse. It must be impossible to tell sometimes what's adoption related and what's the result of your having a mother like yours. I hope you find the courage to do your family trip your way as much as possible. As Nike says "just do it."

the passionate "peach" said...

Eve ~ thanks for your comment, and I will definately try to enjoy my trip, of course. It is a matter of perspective and attitude.

I appreciate your reminder about the fact that even non-adopted people deal with issues that I shared...I see it everyday actually, as does the rest of humanity in today's world, unfortunately.

However I think the one thing that needs to be separated out, though, when talking about adoptees, is the fact that the way adoption IS in America makes it a huge uphill battle for adoptees to individuate and actualize.

A lot of adoptees on the web are accused of being "stuck" when inside we may be the most "unstuck" of them all, and we are finally courageous enough to face our losses and begin to heal.

The fact that the "business" of adoption is based on supply/demand principles is appalling. That principle alone DRIVES the "business" and in effect, completely envelopes adoptees from their beginnings. "Positive" adoption language used, the refusal of so many to admit to the loss that adoptees experience, all because they are WANTED by adoptive parents, their identities changed to reflect that, etc.

Our "anger" is at the big picture...kind of like black people who were "angry" at being flogged, beaten, and denied civil rights equal to their white counterparts. They possibly could not "determine" how many of their "issues" were being part of the human race, versus how many were related to the fact that they were not given an equal voice in society they lived within.