Wednesday, July 20, 2011

anger and resentment

There is a bit of a scuttlebutt in the trauma mama blog-o-sphere lately. Last mom wrote a post about HOPE and letting go of the anger and resentment directed toward our kiddos. I get what she is trying to say, I do. But it irritated me. And I will tell you why.

For YEARS I have had suicidal ideations. I understand that these were there long before we adopted a "broken" and hurt child. But the struggles I have dealt with over the last few years I believe were directly related to the sense of failure of my ability to parent him and more importantly the self loathing that I felt for myself at the feelings I had for him.

Yes, I hate his mother for what she did to him. I hate that she was unable to care for him in utero. I hate the selfishness that allowed her to drink and whatever else while pregnant. I hate the PTSD she has caused him with allowing abusers into her home. I hate the mental illness that runs in their family. All this allowed me to focus my anger on something other than my child. But, when I became honest with myself and allowed myself to be angry at my child for his choices (whether or not they were conscious) I began to hate myself.

Recently a secure place for me to vent and be honest with myself and others opened up. The darling Courtney opened a private group on facebook where we can share and support one another. I have always said that blogging saved my life, I think this group has saved my sanity. Blogging made me understand I am not alone in dealing with the crazies of kiddos like ours, this group made me understand that I am not alone in feeling the feelings of dealing with kiddos like ours.

Sometimes things I read there are depressing and sad. Sometimes they make me laugh. I have said, "OMG I understand!" more than I ever thought I would. Some people would not like the things they read there, heck, I don't like everything I read there. I sometimes cringe at things that are said. But I quickly realize that this is the ONLY outlet some of us have. So many moms have come in thinking they are the only one feeling this way, and low and behold they find out they are not the only one! It is freeing. I have to pace myself, some days I cannot read everything there or I will go crazy. Sometimes I need a break from the crazy or I will focus on nothing else. Sometimes I am struggling so much I need to dwell there a bit. It has been a definite god-send.

As I was reading the post from Last Mom today I realized that I have been doing really well with my anxiety. I have been pretty chilled out with the son's behavior. I am pretty sure that is directly related with the opening of the group. I have had a place to vent AND hear others vent. It has taken the taboo out of saying "I don't want to look at my child" or "Hugging them makes me want to vomit". Do we still hug? Sure. But there, it is okay to admit to yourself and others that you had that feeling. It may sound really ugly and really bad, but you realize that those feelings are not solely in your own head. For me it has allowed me to love myself again.

By admitting my anger and resentment of my child it has allowed me to love myself in spite of the feelings, by knowing I am not in this alone.

By admitting my anger and resentment it has allowed me to release it and love my child despite the feelings, by knowing I am not in this alone.

The past few months has been pretty amazing. I was hooked up with an Orlado Trauma Mama who is more like me than I ever thought possible. Through her messages and her blog she has touched me more than she knows. The women of the facebook group may not know how much I have appreciated their candor and their raw honesty. They may not know they saved me from the self loathing I felt every time I looked in the mirror. For that I am eternally grateful.


  1. Wow! There is beauty in being able to look past the negative feelings and still act on principle-thinking about the thing about not feeling like hugging, yet still doing it. It is hard to separate a child from his actions.I will never know what your particular life is like,I won't even pretend to understand. But even with my unaffected children,there are days I don't want to talk to them,when they've crossed me to many times.When they spend time undoing things I've done,when I'm so tired and my back is aching but now have to fix up,clean their mess.Love isn't about 'feeling' the sunshine and roses, it's about doing right,no matter what.I admire you moms a lot.

  2. Babe....I love you!!

    I often think about the 'what-ifs'...

    What if...I had someone like you? Corey? Christine M? Laurie S.? Diana? and the list is sooooo much my life when Cor was at home.

    It is what it is....I can't change that.

    Regardless.....I love you. Your candid ability to blog. (and not be choppy...omg my post is I looked back at it I thought "what was I smoking?")

  3. This has been the most fulfilling part of blogging (and creating Orlando) for me.. Helping other women realize that they are not alone in carrying these huge burdens. We are all living it, but now we can share it, and process it. It does not necessarily change the situation (hear me, Gala? I still plan to relinquish Daniel, and send V out of my home) but it makes it easier to get through knowing that other people are doing this, have done it, that it is survivable, etc.

  4. New here - sorry to hear about your struggles, but was wondering if you could explain something to me... Why would you adopt if you - by your own admission, suffer from "suffering from anxiety, depression and obsessive compulsive disorder". In this entry you state that you had "suicidal ideations" before you adopted.

    What I am stuggling with is that your mental illness would be (in my opinion) a bad environment to raise a very well adapted child in, let alone a child with any difficulties! So what was the motivation behind the adoption? Was it so you could feel loved, and have a family? Children are really sensitive and perceptive - they would be very aware of your mental state... And your mental illness makes it so much harder to parent in general... So why adopt? This is not meant as an attack, but is an HONEST question - because I don't understand why you would think that even a well-adapted child would thrive in this enviroment. I have noticed that a LOT of the people in this blogging circle suffer from mental illness and personality disorders... Seems to be a trend... Then they adopt? And some have done multiple adoptions?

    It just doesn't make sense to me, and I was wondering if you could explain... I know one of the bloggers openly admitted that she had wanted to have a family, so it was her selfishness that caused the mess -so to speak...

    And I realise that being charged if you 'give the child back' is unfair, it really, really is - but don't you also feel that YOU make the choice to adopt, and so you are responcible for your actions? My concern is that things will continue to escalate - can you see doing this for another year? How about 2? 3? Because it is quite likely that things won't magically get better... So perhaps it is best to find a solution NOW, even if there are serious consequences? Aren't a few legal complications easier to deal with then a complete mental breakdown?

    I honestly don't mean to be offencive - just blunt and honest, and want to understand... I hope you can bring me some enlightenment as to how this happens - and why people don't relinguish the child (even though the penalty is unfair...)

  5. Wanted to add:

    I guess I kinda see a lot of people in this blogging circle as adopting because they just want to feel important, be loved, have a family... And that is the same reason that young people join gangs. There are legal consequences for joining gains... I know it is unfair that there are legal consequences for giving up a child you can't handle (it is sort of like being fined for leaving a gang) - but it was YOUR choice to adopt - and some of the people in this blogging circle fought like hell to adopt, even when they met with substantial legal opposition!

    It just seems like many people that adopted were not primarily thinking of the child - they were thinking of themselves - and how they just wanted to be a Mommy or whatever. I believe that unless you can provide for a child mentally, emotionally, physically, spiritually, and financially, then you should not have a child.

    That being said, I know that no one is perfect, and that everyone tried their best. (Allthough one of the bloggers admitted that she didn't even love the child BEFORE she adopted?!?!?!?!?).

    I know I sound crass, but I really am trying to understand. I know these child have more behaviors than a usual child... I know some of these behaviors developed long after the child was placed. FAS is permanent brain damage etc etc... But what I don't understand is why people who seem to be quite damaged adopt... I have read several blog where I kind think that they wouldn't have been sucessful even with a perfect child...

    I do hope you can provide some answers and understanding.

  6. Oen more question - sorry I am so sporatic - but was also wondering. It seems to me that you had trouble coping with daily life BEFORE the adoption (you say in this post you had been thinking about suicide, etc.) Did it not occur to you that even a very easy child would bring stress and expectations etc? How did you plan to deal with this? It seems to me that you already lack some healthy coping skills - thus the mental illnesses... I have seen this trend with others in this blogging circle... So I guess the question is: Why do the people who are not coping with general daily life in a positive constructive manner choose to adopt and expose children (with or without behaviors) to this environment?

    I know I am strong worded - and I apologize. I am not saying that ALL mentally ill people should never have children - just that I can't understand why you chose to, given that it doesn't seem that you were in a healthy place.

    I hope things get better for you, and your child.

  7. Okay - hope this is the last question - if someone is stuggling with being alive (suicidal tendancies) why would they choose to have ANY child - biological or adopted?

    What they are battling with is "life sucks and I don't want to live". Or "I can not handle living.". etc...

    If they choose to have a bio child they are essentially saying that life totally sucks, but I am going to bring someone else into this world to live a hellish life. MOREOEVER, there seems to be a correlation between genetics and mental illness. Therefore, the person with mental illness is also choosing an increased chance that their offsping will inherit mental illness. (What child or person would purposely choose an increased risk of mental illness.).

    In the nature vs nurture debate, choosing to have a bio child is a double whammy - they may be genetically vulnerable to mental illness - AND they will be raised in an environment where mental illness is present...

    Did you address these thoughts at all before you decided to have a family? How did you come to terms with this line of thought?