I mailed the letter to my birth mother on Monday along with a family medical history checklist and some photos (our holiday picture from this year, a picture from my wedding day, a picture of me from the 1990s). While I am looking forward to her response, I am mostly at peace that I’ve come this far in my search for and communication with her.
In therapy this week my therapist commented that she found my birth mother’s note interesting in that a lot of times the emotional development of birth mothers who placed in closed adoptions during that era is stunted and that it is likely that she has held the trauma from her experience of placing me inside of her all these years further freezing her in time. I very much believe that to be true and think about it in terms of my experience and processing of the traumatic death of my brother. The trauma was locked inside of me, freezing me in time as an eleven year old girl for many years. Sure, I grew up, but there was a part of me that was stuck right back on the day he was killed. It wasn’t until I got into therapy in my 30s and even now in my 40s that I was able to process my trauma surrounding his death and how my family dealt with it and grow/move past it. When I review those events, I no longer feel them as an eleven year old girl but can reflect on them as an adult woman and mother. It has brought me much peace.
I suspect my birth mother has never gone to therapy and that she bottled up everything surrounding her relationship with my birth father, pregnancy, placement, and return home no longer pregnant, and that the events truly changed the person she was destined to become. It makes me sad for her because I know it didn’t have to be that way but was so in keeping with the times back then.
Below is the checklist I created. I wanted to keep it to one page, allowing for the capture of information for all maternal nuclear family members, and be easy for her to check off and include dates (if known). For now, I wait.
“There is no terror in the bang, only in the anticipation of it.”