So, I Finally Said My Piece…

So today I sent my birth mother a long email, basically spilling my guts at how I feel about our situation. 

Backstory, since you’re probably a bit surprised at the above statement…

I was adopted at birth by my parents who raised me.  It was a private adoption – no agencies were involved.  My mother was young and single and unable to provide me the type of life she wanted me to have.  I found out I was adopted at a very early age, after this stupid little girl at school told me.  I didn’t know what she meant, but it sounded bad, the way she said it.  I went home and asked my parents, and they confirmed.  I am so glad I didn’t grow up with it being a secret.  I can’t imagine how people take that, when they find out as adults they were adopted.  Anyway, at 18 I started asking questions, saying I wanted to find her.  It was remarkably easy.  She still kept in touch somewhat with a good friend of my adoptive mother’s.  A phone call, literally, was all it took.  We spoke over the phone.  My mind reeled.  It was surreal.  A while later, she was back in Oklahoma (she had long since moved across country), and we met.  That same day I met my newborn half-brother, 18 years my junior.  We’ve met a couple other times in the 14 years since.  She used to send me poems (I get my writing talent from her) and letters, and gifts.  She still sends thoughtful gifts at holidays or birthdays, but the relationship has been somewhat tentative all these years, much to my chagrin. 

After my parents that raised me died when I was in my early and then mid-twenties, I began to focus more on needing to develop a connection with my blood relatives.  I reached out to her at one point, even mentioning that I was toying with the idea of moving to a city near the town she lived in, just to be close enough to have a shot at developing the meaningful relationship that had been denied us all our lives, but with enough distance to not be, you know, right next door or anything.  I think it’s about 20 miles away.  Close enough to see each other, but far enough to be busy working and such all week.  That sort of thing.  I don’t know why or how, but the relationship I naturally assumed would develop…never has. 

Her letters have always been filled with shades of regret, and longing for us to “one day be together…as a family,” and yet, she always says she feels too shy to call me, and that “someday” my brother will know who I am (though she thinks he’s figuring it out in little bits, by himself), etc. 

Today I sent her an email from work, on a whim.  It started out innocently enough…a “how’s everything” sort of short email.  Several long paragraphs later, I pretty much laid my case for exactly how I felt about the seemingly growing distance between us, and asked a few questions that I feel entitled to know (any major illnesses that run in the family, my father’s name, etc.)  The father’s name part is another blog post altogether, I’m sure. 

I wasn’t mean, but hope nothing sounded harsh or angry.  I will admit, however, that I was writing from a place of emotion and frustration.  It has boggled my mind for 14 years.  It’s not been the “adoptee-meets-birth mother-everyone-rejoices” sort of TV special I’d envisioned. 

Anyway, so that’s done.  Um…yeah.  We’ll see what comes of it.  I guess I’m at a place where I’m tired of not saying all those things out of fear.  For too long, I’ve been afraid of being selfish.  I mean, she’s got her own family, and a teenager to raise, her own life and job, etc.  She’s dealing with a health issue with her mother.  So I’ve always been afraid of intruding with my “problems” and needs.  Telling, I suppose. 

But I’m at a place right now where I also realize I need to protect my feelings, and ensure that my needs are being met.  I’m even open to something along the lines of, “I have so much else going on right now, I can’t focus on this until I sort some things out,” or whatever.  Anyway, I could to an exhaustive blog entirely on this topic, I’m sure, so I’ll cut this one off here.  More to come, no doubt…

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Things Could Always Be Worse

In the midst of my somewhat stressful workdays, and everything else that comes along with grown-up life, I would like to simply take a moment to remind myself (and maybe others) that the things we put importance on may, in fact, not be actual “problems,” and that all said and done, we probably have it pretty damned good.

I apologize if some of these images offend; they are meant to provoke thought, to shake out of the mundane trappings of stupid, superficial “life.”  Remember why today was good for you, if it was.

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The Work That Makes Relationships Work

 

"mine" by Chidi Okoye

 

Today has been an interesting Saint Valentine’s Day.  It started out as normal as any other Monday.  Woke up, got ready, gave the wife a kiss bye, and did my usual commute to work.  Then things turned weird for a while in the early part of the day.  I won’t go into all the details – suffice it to say there was a…disagreement (not a fight, per se) resulting in both of us being upset at the situation, and emotional.

Luckily, we were able to work it out, as we always do.  We are both so different, and so strong-headed (read: stubborn), but when we really open up and just put everything on the table, our love always wins out.  That’s one thing I love about our relationship.  Somehow, in spite of itself (and us), it works.

A little while later, we were Facebooking cutesy messages back and forth (hey, it is Valentine’s Day, after all), including this little drawing I made of us at work.  I think she liked it.  😉

and this, taken at work and sent to her

What can I say?  I’m a romantic at heart. 😉

It’s a very low-key V-Day at home, but some celebratin’ is in order this weekend, after payday and the work week is over.  I have her to curl up with, so I figure I’m all set.

Rules that work for us in rocky moments:

  • Never go to bed angry
  • If what we’re fighting over is stupid (which it usually is), somebody just give in already and say, “I love you, and this is stupid.  Let’s not fight.” (or some variation on this)
  • Tell each other we love one another somewhere in the vicinity of 239847324 times a day (yes, even after 4 1/2 years together)

There are probably more, but those were the first to come to mind.  Hey, maybe I should start a romance column and change my name to Carrie (Larry?) Bradshaw.

 

Hmmm...I have been told I have nice legs...I dunno.

 

The bottom line is, never forget why you love each other in the first place.  That can usually work through anything, if both parties are willing to compromise and be open.

30 Days – Day 10 – Someone I Need to Let Go

If you’re following this blog, you know I’m participating in the ‘30 Days of Truth‘ project I’ve seen on other blogs.  It’s helping me commit to posting every single day, since I’m also taking part in The Daily Post project.

Day 10 → Someone you need to let go, or wish you didn’t know.

Luckily, I’m at a place in my life currently where I don’t have any dead weight in the friendship category.  I have a smaller circle of intimates here in my early 30s than I did around 18 or 21, etc.  And that suits me just fine.  I have also cut out unnecessary drama, as many my age have.  So I don’t have anyone making me miserable.

That said, there is always room to grow; to move forward.  Living in the past is a waste of time.  We would all do well to keep the past fresh in memory, and learn from the mistakes contained therein.  However, if we are spinning our wheels in yesterday, we cannot see today or hope to see tomorrow.

I must continue to excise negativity from my view, and my life.  This could include acquaintances, social networking “friends,” and so forth.  I can be negative with the best of them.  However, it’s usually bitching about something in my life I’m unsettled with, as opposed to one of my biggest pet peeves: people who constantly bemoan their lot in life, but refuse to actively do anything to change it.  Those who fall into this category will not find any sympathy from me.

“There are many ways of going forward, but only one way of standing still.”  – Franklin D. Roosevelt

Piece For Wind I

(inspired by my current read, ‘Grapefruit‘ by Yoko Ono)

Take a bag of woven cloth, or plastic
Whisper your secrets into the bag
Go outside, wherever there is wind
Open the bag and let the secrets fly to the wind
Forget them all

2011 winter

30 Days – Day 8 – Living Hell

If you’re following this blog, you know I’m participating in the ‘30 Days of Truth‘ project I’ve seen on other blogs.  It’s helping me commit to posting every single day, since I’m also taking part in The Daily Post project.

Day 08 → Someone who made your life hell, or treated you like shit.

Right… so anyway.  Jeez, it must be hot – that dude is sweating.  Hmmm…why do I feel the need to submit that photo here?

Oh?  Okay, any how…wait, before I get started, can I just say Hell/hell would be way cooler if it was anything like the place in ‘Constantine.’

The other one just looks shitty.  Okay, okay…as usual, I digress.

I have really, really been avoiding this post.  I’m just not sure how I want to address this topic.  I’m doing my best to just stick to the topics during the 30 Days challenge, so I’ll give it a go.

Kids in school sometimes made my life hell.  High school, really.  I wasn’t really popular.  I fit in somewhere between social pariah and cool kids – though probably closer to pariah.  To draw from one of the best movies ever, if there was an A, B, and C group in high school, I lodged squarely in the B group.

Ever been in the B group?  Let me spell that one out for you.  You’re high enough up the food chain to make fun of the truly outcast among you, but certainly not above being made fun of to the delight of those “cooler” than you.  WTF is up with that?!  How’s that for a false sense of security?

I did make fun of someone “lower” in the ranks than I once.  He was a nice kid, named Chris.  It was easy.  He was an easy target, on so many levels.  And yes, it was totally to deflect attention away from myself.  I still regret it, every time it crosses my mind.  I’m sorry, Chris.  I really am.

It’s very sad to me that so many young men have been taking their own lives because of bullying.  Man, I hate to sound old, but times sure are different.  Granted, not that this type of thing was unheard of when I was growing up, but as with many other things people of my generation (AW, are you listening?) 😉 will say about “back in my day,” kids got bullied, and it fucking SUCKED, but you just dealt, and knew that one day you’d get the hell out.

That’s precisely what I did.  There were 26 people in my graduating class – roughly 200-250 in my entire middle & high school (7th – 12th).  So, there was no fading into the masses.  Everyone pretty much knew everyone else.  But, looking back, I’m sure we were all struggling to find our own identities and get the F out of there.  Even the cool kids, I’m convinced.  Funny thing, so many of the people I graduated with didn’t get out.  Some of them stayed right there in that little town, and life unfolded or imploded, depending on one’s viewpoint.

Hey, to each their own.  I actually landed a job in, and moved to, a college town about 45 minutes away from my hometown, a month or so after graduation.  That was my first taste of freedom.  I happened to run into a guy who’d tortured the hell out of me in high school, working as an assistant manager at McDonald’s or something.  He’d graduated a couple of years before me.  We’d been friends when we were little boys, but then came a time when I guess he caved, as many of us do, to the peer-pressures of high schooldom, and he picked on me (publicly, of course) mercilessly.

That’s the first time I really remember feeling betrayal.  Anyway, when I ran into him, he was really, really nice to me.  His kindness redeemed not only him, but in some small way humanity.

I wonder if he ever thinks back to those days, and harbors any regret.  I have long since forgiven him, and forgiven myself for not standing up for myself more.

30 Days – Day 7 – Someone Who Has Made My Life Worth Living

If you’re following this blog, you know I’m participating in the ‘30 Days of Truth‘ project I’ve seen on other blogs.  It’s helping me commit to posting every single day, since I’m also taking part in The Daily Post project.

Day 07 → Someone who has made your life worth living for.

I have to confess – I’ve sort of been avoiding this post.  Honestly, I don’t know how to respond to it.  So, I guess I’ll just respond in my own way, not necessarily according to the title – these challenges are just a guide anyway, right?  Right.

I don’t think anyone has ‘made my life worth living.’  If I required someone else’s presence to need a reason to live, what would be the point?  I’m glad that I live, and for my life, even with all it’s MANY faults and shortcomings.  I’m grateful to my spouse, the love of my life, who gets me even though she doesn’t get me, if that makes sense.  I’m grateful to my true friends – the number may not be huge, but they know who they are and what they mean to me.  And I’m grateful that I know what I mean to them.

I’m grateful to the teachers I come across – random strangers, friends, acquaintances, coworkers, and so on.  I’m grateful to those people I learn from, and as long as I see another person during the day, I’m bound to learn something new about the world.

No one person has made my life worthy.  No one person has made it any less worthy.  The people I hold close in the dark hours are the people that enhance and enrich my life, and help make it all that it is.

Sorry, I hope this isn’t any less astounding than you might have been hoping for – under the assumption you seek anything profound in these posts.

I’m grateful to myself, for seeing what I’m worth, even in those moments when I don’t feel all that worthy.  I make my life worth living for, and the people I love enrich it in various ways, adding something spectacular that I couldn’t dream up on my own.

“Religion is largely irrelevant to most young people who rely instead on a ‘secular trinity’ of themselves, their family and their friends to give meaning to their lives …” – here

via PostSecret.com