Posts Tagged Social support
I called my birth mother Maya yesterday. I knew it would feel better to talk before we met. All of the reunion arrangements had been made by email with my half-sister Ruth.
“Hi Maya, this is Carol. I just wanted to reach out to you before our reunion since we haven’t talked in a couple of years. I’m sorry I dropped out of the communication loop but I’ve been overwhelmed helping with my mom’s care . . .”
Click, answering machine off and a voice saying, “Hello Carol, it’s Maya.” Some discomfort, a little small talk and then, “I didn’t want to give you up…I didn’t want to cause my parents to be ostracized from their community…the day you were born was surreal…the next many months were surreal…were they good to you? Did you feel they were your true family? I remember your mother brought me some lovely talcum and perfumes at the hospital when they came to get you…I have felt so guilty all my life…Are you angry?”
“Maya, it must have been awful for you. Surely there was no social support for your grieving in the 50′s.”
“No,” she confirmed, “I was completely isolated. I just kept saying to myself ‘life is hard, you must be strong and brave, put one foot in front of the other and tough it out.’”
“Oh Maya. You made the best decision you could then but it didn’t change the fact that you were traumatized. We were traumatized. I am not angry. My parents loved us. I didn’t have words for it as a child but yes, I felt a disconnect. Something didn’t add up but they loved me and my sister very much.”
“We’ll probably do some crying when we meet,” Maya said.
“Oh yes, there will be some of that. It’s okay. We need to grieve; it will be healing.”
“I’ve felt so bad for so many years, so angry, so guilty.”
“Maya, I’m not sure there is ‘good’ or ‘bad’ in this life. The moment we label something as one, it transforms into the other before our very eyes. It is what it is. Grieving the trauma of separation will continue to be healing for us both.”
“You sound very accepting,” she replied.
I watched The Sixth Sense again last night. The first time I saw it 10 years ago, tears smeared the ink in my journal as I tried desperately to put into words the profound insight that had appeared with as much startling clarity as the dead people had appeared to the young protagonist in the movie.
It’s a no fault universe Maya.
Carol & Tucker
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