A comment on FirstMotherForum brought up another aspect of the emotional fallout of doptio loss: bitterness.
Do you feel bitter? Are we entitled to feeling bitter?Are adoptees more enttiled than parents who have lost childre to adoption? Is bitterness ever motivating or useful in any way?
It often hear the term used pejoratively to attack our empowerment, much like the words "bitch" and bitchy are thrown at females who are in any way assertive, successful or powerful. It is part of women's inhumanity toward women which is all about self-hate, jealousy, and misery loving company. Be "nice" and weak instead!
Personally, loosing my child was a very bitter pill to swallow that has left a bitter taste in my mouth I cannot erase 40+ years after the fact.
Looking at the dictionary I see the following definitions for bitter (besides in terms of food): “hard to bear; grievous; distressful: a bitter sorrow.
causing pain; piercing; stinging; hard to admit or accept: a bitter lesson.”
These certainly apply!
Bitter is also defined as: “intense antagonism or hostility: bitter hatred.
resentful or cynical: bitter words.”
It is, I suppose, this extreme that is being refereed to, extremes which are found in some. In my experience I see such hostility in a very small percentage of mothers who have lost children to adoption and such labels should thus not be used with a broad brush to define all activists who speak out against adoption wrongs and for reforms.
Wallowing in bitterness or cynicism is as worthless as wallowing in self-pity, despair, hopelessness and pessimism.
I myself see it instead as righteous indignation and when focused properly is very motivating. There are few activists in any field who are not driven by anger to right a situation that needs to be changed.
Are gays fighting for their rights in the military and to marry called "bitter" about the years of discrimination they have suffered? Some may well be and have every right IMHO to be. Were Blacks who fought for their civil right bitter; cynical at times? Were our foremothers who fought for our right to vote? Does it matter? It took both the martin Luther Kings Jrs of this world as well as the Black Panther extremists – driven more by “intense hostility” to get us to where we are today in regard to racial equality.