Friday, June 1, 2007

My Other Mother

This is a question I received last night by email and I wanted to address it here in case anybody else was wondering.

What about your adoptive mother? Are you close? Do you feel as though your birth mother has replaced her?

I guess I was pretty much posting by the rule of "If you don't have anything nice to say - say nothing at all." Don't get me wrong - I do love my adoptive mother but in regards to certain situations, she has chosen to exclude herself from them. Most notably would be my cancer diagnosis and my reunion with my 1st mother.

Fortunately I have a wonderful woman in my life who sometimes gives me my adoptive mother's POV and this allows me a window into what she may be feeling and dealing with, without this, I would not know because she doesn't share a lot with me.

I do not feel as though my 1st mother has replaced anybody in my life. She is an addition to my life that has been absolutely beautiful, kind and loving. She is someone in my life who adds no burden or no pain. She is just simply herself, a wonderful self.

I have worked hard to accept my adoptive mother for who she is - this wasn't an easy task. Immediately after my diagnosis and surgery, she made a few comments that were really blows to the gut. I saw her about 20 minutes after awakening from anesthesia and immediately after being told that
1) I had metastatic cancer and 2) I would never have children. The latter being the biggest blow at that moment because anybody who knows me, knows that my biggest dream in life was to become a mother some day. That day, those dreams were crushed. The doctors gave me hope of recovering from cancer, but there was no hope for children. My adoptive mother told me that she was glad I would never have children because now I would understand what she went through.

Take out a knife and stab me in the heart - that is exactly what it felt like to me.

Even though I now understand what she possibly meant and how those words probably came out the wrong way. That very moment in time changed my relationship with my adoptive mother and I no longer felt that I could come to her when I needed her.

Fast forward a few weeks - Chemotherapy began and I was not expecting it to hit me so hard. I often felt so sick to my stomach that I could not even lift my head out of bed, but she would leave me messages on my machine in a child's voice (picture the puppy dog eyes and whole bit) saying how lonely she felt, and felt as though I abandoned her. When I didn't return the calls right away, the messages would increase and she would begin to say things such as "remember who pays your insurance."

My reunion with my 1st mother has brought more of it. The comments then switched to "Well, is she planning to pay for your insurance?" Now that I am physically stronger, it doesn't affect me as much emotionally. Like my friend has said, she loves you the best way that she knows how. So that is what I have learned to accept. She can't love me the way that I need her to love me, but she loves me the best way that she knows how.

Again, I do love her. The things she does for me do not go unnoticed. Without her, I'd be up **** creek without a paddle financially, because she does in fact pay my insurance as well as my co-pay. I'm not ungrateful for it - which is pretty much why I don't complain about it. I recall the words of one of my friends in my first year of college, during a debate

she said: there is a price for everything.

But when you are sick and tired, and your ear is so infected that you are screaming in pain, and your so nauseous that in order to go to the bathroom, you must crawl to get there. You don't wanna pay a price. You want love, you need love. You need to believe you are loved and you need to feel it. I don't get that from her. And that's a hard reality to overcome.


Anonymous said...

(((Nicole))) I had no idea things were that bad with you adoptive mom. You deserve to feel loved more than any other person I know. You have mine always, always and forever.

Love ya (feel that)

suz said...

okay, scuse me a a second as I call for an resounding round of WTF! OMG. Nicole. Thats terrible. I am sorry. I dont mean to be offensive to your amom but that is so cruel, so narcissistic. Gosh, I got so angry reading that and it didnt even happen to me! (Makes me wonder if my daughter deals with any of that and if that is why she wont meet?)

Julie said...

"My adoptive mother told me that she was glad I would never have children because now I would understand what she went through.

Take out a knife and stab me in the heart - that is exactly what it felt like to me."

Toxic, my dear Nicole. Looks like NPD. I see it all too often in adoptive mothers. I am so very sorry.

Sarah said...

Omigosh.....there is no price tag on love, your mom has it really wrong. So sorry that you've had to put up with that but Im also so glad you have your own people now, people like you, that you belong to. I can imagine your happiness in that.