Thursday, May 13, 2010

Me, Myself and I

In my darkest hours of despair
and self-pity....
One thought kindles a fire
that warms my otherwise cold
and empty soul
One thought fills
the barren void
once brimming over with
motherly love
affection and attention

I take some comfort
and consolation
in knowing,
believing with every ounce of my soul
that each and every one
of those who have acted
in ways that separate
mothers and children
will find a very special place
in hell someday

That every lawyer, and judge
every social worker, parent and grandparent
anyone and everyone who because
of what they've done
or haven't done
to break the sacred bond
or keep apart
or widen the gap
or speak negatively
or act indecently
or uncaringly

Those who have deliberately or
unknowingly contributed to
the pain of separation
or not contributed to the healing
of reunification,
Those who aided and abetted

Those who conspired in the
conspiracy of tearing apart
and putting asunder
What God in Her great wisdom
had joined together
Will answer to a higher power
Will suffer for what they've done

I know this
above all else to be true

Excerpted from Passover '94 in motherless child/childless mother: collection of poems by mirah riben

In the years I have been blogging, and all the articles and the two books I've written, conference presentations, etc....I have almost never written or spoken about anything personal. It is far less painful and more empowering for me to write from a 'professional' objective perspective about the harm done "in general" by adoption. I am also uncomfortable with the silence my sharing brings to a room; the palpable pain and discomfort of others. And, I loathe feeling pitied. I thus try to avoid my personal pain as much as possible, for my sake as well as for others.

The pain I have been subjected of late in trying to keep with that format causes me to break that tradition and bear my soul in a very personal way.

I ask that you allow me this self-indulgence without any criticism.  If my pain - or the words I chose to describe it - offends anyone in anyway you will need to deal with it yourself as a very strict screening - and censoring, if necessary - process will be in place for any and all attempts to post comments to this post.

FOR pain ebbs and flows but is always there. Even when I am able to numb it or have periods of "remission" it is still there...

The first year post surrender, I numbed myself with street meds. Not a healthy choice. That was the only brief period of "denial" I had and it was at a high price that I am paying for dearly to this day, and will no doubt be the ultimate cause of my demise.

For the next 42 year, I was vividly and keenly aware of comments ranging from "any dog can give birth" to being told I was not welcome on a support email list for others who lost children to adoption, because my daughter's death would be too painful for others, while another rejected me because i had met my daughter three times as opposed to finding a grave.

My support options dwindled, despite the fact that when my daughter died, at the age of 27, I lost all hope of recovering any relationship with her...of ever knowing of her happiness at marrying or experiencing motherhood.

The family who had the joy - and the sorrows - of raising her have feel threatened by me even now, as if sharing our joys and sorrows would take away something from them that is all there's alone.

My precious angel daughter lives on for me in my heart with far too few actual memories. She is memorialized at and also on Facebook, the later of which was threatened to be removed by a family member who feels I am not entitled to mourn her in my own way without somehow offending them.

On Alicia's Facebook memorial page, with the help of one of her friends, a cash prize was offered for her friends to submit photos of her to share. A couple of her close friends responded that they had some, would find and send them. I was elated with hope! Then came the threat and no doubt her family member contacted those friends and put them in the same loyalty bind that contributed to (among other factors, some hereditary) my daughter's suicide...

Mothers Day was the photo contest deadline and not one single photo was submitted, despite promises made.

It was a sad day...

The children I raised called, visited, sent cards, brought flowers and was good to see and hear from them, especially as two live very far son and my grandson, literally on the other side of the world  (But, I have had the joy of being a mother - not all who lose a child to adoption are as fortunate.)

My heartache over the loss of my first born has effected everything and everyone in my life, spreading its venom like a cancer. My children have all lived under the shadow of the ghost of their missing older sister...watching me for hours on end as I worked on my first book, the support group I co-founded and facilitated during all of their growing up years...the conferences I attended...adding an additional layer of guilt for the harm it has caused them;  could I, would I have been a better mother had such a traumatic loss not occurred? More attentive? More "present"? Less fearful of losing one of them in an accident?

Clearly my youngest daughter would not have otherwise feared her own demise at the age of 27.  It has deeply wounded us all in ways that no one who has not experienced such a horrific loss could ever understand.

My family of origins never recognized my daughter when she was alive, or the pain her loss caused me...nor did they send a single condolence card or express any sympathy at her death. My former husband, father of my three children, used my relinquishment against me in our divorce and went for custody of the thre kids I had been a full-time at-home mother to for 18 years. In a serious and devastating case of parental alienation, he told bold vicious lies - that I had "sold" my firstborn and filled my vulnerable, impressionable children's heads with tales of how I would abandon them as well...

The loss of my firstborn tore its tentacles deep into my life in unimaginable ways.

Though there are precious few who share the double loss of a child...there are compassionate people. I have learned that both hardship, time and the ability to forgive are the true test of friends and I survive with the help of those to whom I am eternally grateful.

I will not succumb or go off quietly licking my wounds...

I cannot – and would not if I could - apologize for the permanent scars I am left with or that they sometimes show themselves and might be ugly or offensive to those who see or hear or read about them. I will not hide or be silenced because my expression of my pain hurts others.

Instead, I will continue to use my pain, my anger, my voice and my pen  - my intense focus and passion - toward preventing others from having their lives destroyed by the greed of adoption profiteers and the demand that drives it, because...

“Women can and must stop putting in orders for other women's children.” 
Joss Shawyer, 1989. Death by Adoption

'Be kind because everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.' 


KimKim said...

It's been a hard road for you, I'm very sorry. You are one of the best writers here too.

Mirah Riben said...

And you are so sweet, KimKim...

RussiaToday Apr 29, 2010 on Russian Adoption Freeze

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RT: Russia-America TV Interview 3/10

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