Thursday, December 09, 2021

This Day

This day rocks and slides around every year. The day in 1969 I gave birth to my second child. The day she was placed in an incubator beside me, I couldn't touch her immediately as her skin was too delicate. In those days there was a long post- natal recuperation in hospital (8-9days) so she was laid out at the end of the nursery beside a huge window, stark naked, below the weak December sun so the Vitamin D could embrace her. Which it did. I read many books and smoked many cigarettes as I recovered. (Smoking in a maternity room sounds impossible now, but yeah, us funky daredevil hippie mothers all did.)

I got to hold her when the sun went down in the first couple of days as I healed and then could go to the nursery and be with her as she sunbathed. It worked. Her skin cleared up.

She was a bright and curious child and when she was in kindergarten she sat me and her father down and asked us seriously if there was a night school she could go to as her days were far too busy for day school. She ran with boys mainly as she found girls far too wishy-washy to her liking as she climbed trees and built a small tree house with the assistance of her far more "proper" older sister. Her seventh birthday, which took place at the Ponderosa Steak House (her choice) had only boys, her gang, in attendance apart from her sister. A cowboy outfit we bought her was worn to shreds on her. She wore her socks with one matching her sweater and one matching her pants or skirt. That made total sense to her. And to me.

She was unique and different and extraordinarily bright with illuminating insights on how the world worked. There was a patch of enormous trouble with her at fourteen when she found drugs and ran with an alarming bunch of teenagers. I didn't deal with it well at the time, I had my own demons. But through Tough Love, a support group for parents which was absolutely fantastically helpful, I began laying down tough rules and curfews and she ran away from home for a few weeks. It was a hellish time, but she did come back (long story), bedraggled and subdued and got back in school and off the drugs, shining in scholarly achievement after the first semester. 

She lived with me, just about, until she was twenty-eight. And subsequently back- emigrated to Ireland.

She is currently in the UK. And about twenty years ago now, cut off her entire blood family and her friends here.

So there is this huge chunk of wandering love chopped right out of all of our lives. I understand that not being a mother herself she has no idea of the pain of loss I and her father suffer. Or her sister and niece. 

It's like missing a limb. And the phantom pains never leave. 

35 comments:

  1. Such pain never, ever leaves. And the love and the longing doesn't diminish either. Huge hugs.

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  2. Oh, so difficult. I completely can relate since I've a similar situation. It haunts me as much as I try to refrain from thinking too much about it. Hugs and warmest wishes from the base of the mini-mountain in Maine.

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    1. Thank you Regina, so sorry you have the same situation and sadly, it's not uncommon.

      XO
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  3. I cut off my birth family for a period of time, only reconnecting when I heard that my mother was dying. Tried to have it out with her about why I did what I did but she did not get it. I knew I was never going to get satisfaction on that so I just sucked it up and stayed around until she died. In retrospect I wish I had not done that but once it's done it's done. One of my sons did something similar, disappeared for several years. He said, much later, that even though he realized it was probably a mistake, he could not make his way back on his own. It was one of his half-brothers reaching out to him that broke the ice. I wish you whatever peace you can have about your daughter, and maybe she will find a way, or someone will reach out to her at just the right moment.

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    1. So sorry you underwent something similar, Annie. I did reach out to her along with a brother and she went deeper into estrangement. I have found her on the web after 5 years of desolation and worry but she doesn't know this as she would cut herself off again.

      XO
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  4. Same here with a family member. I just hope she does find her way back to me.

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  5. I wish you acceptance and hope, though they may not seem to fit in the same place.

    ElizabethAnn's son's words about not being able to make his way back on his own are striking, and thank you for sharing them, EA. I have a son who seems to push me away and I have to allow it, of course, but at the same time I continue to reach out. I've had short bouts of anger when I thought screw it, I don't have to be treated this way and go back for more, he can do without me then. But they haven't ever lasted long because I'm like my mother, who would always make an effort to "patch things up" no matter how bad they seemed, and I'm glad she did. My dad made the effort too, and a good thing because "youth" are so friggin' stupid sometimes.

    I also understand the unwillingness to be rejected, slapped down time after time. So disheartening for a mother.

    -Kate

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    1. The main fear for me Kate is that she would disappear again as she did before when I found her, so that is the terror, the unknowing, as she has threatened suicide. So different scenario.

      XO
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    2. Even more horrible; I'm so sorry. You are in a very different place than me and my son, who also has a suicide plan; I pray he never carries it out.

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  6. A close friend without any apparent mental health issues was advised by a psychiatrist to move on from his old life and cut out toxic people in his life. He bought a cheap house in the country, cut off all friendships and nearly thirty years later we have never heard from him since. Someone else told us about the psychiatric advice, but to this day we don't really understand, and we were very close.

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    1. Very strange Andrew, I guess there were sides of him you weren't aware of - evidenced by the therapy he seemed to need?

      XO
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  7. Sad. I hope for one reason or another you reconnect at some point in the not too far distant future. A trip to England?

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    1. A trip to England a few years back when she was in crisis had her refusing to see me and threatening etc. A very frightening time. She has mental issues. So leaving her be is the best policy, I could not contribute to more distress for her, whatever the cause.

      XO
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  8. Heart breaking. I hope your wandering star does reconnect one day, even if just for a few moments, to let you know she is okay.

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    1. That would be wonderful River but I'm not holding my breath.

      XO
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  9. I can feel your sadness. I hope that perhaps some miracle will change the equation between the two of you.

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  10. I am so sorry for this emptiness in your heart. We can only hope and pray that somehow she will find that missing piece in her heart and resume communications with you. I cannot imagine what you are going through but I will pray that you will be reunited very soon.

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  11. That is too sad to lose a child that way. Hopefully, she will reconnect with you and her sister soon.

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  12. Heartbreak is all I can say. How we survive the things we never would have thought we could.

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    1. I know Molly, we are astonishingly strong when put to the test.

      XO
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  13. Mary, I noticed the date; I'm so sorry.
    A friend of mine decided to "do the right thing" and reconnected with his Dad.
    How did it go?
    "OK"
    Will you continue seeing him?
    "No"
    However badly it went, it may hopefully have helped both of them to gain some sort of closure.

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    1. Or worse pain like a friend of mine had. It was awful. His son called the police on him for hanging around on the road outside the house to catch a glimpse of grandchildren he had never met. My heart broke for him as he cried. Intrusion into the life of deliberate estrangement can be devastating. I don't think I could cope.

      XO
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  14. It's all very sad. But, I don't know her side of the story. i had to remove myself from my husband's family as they were highly toxic and so dysfunctional. Thirty years and they never could understand why I couldn't be around them.

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    1. Her pattern of walking away started in childhood and continues in her checkered employment history and treatment of other relatives. All baffling and confusing. Weed and paranoia contribute I would think.

      XO
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  15. I can barely imagine the pain of that. I send my very best wishes, good energy and healing thoughts that you will reconnect

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  16. This happens too many times and is often inexplicable. I watched a close relative, a single parent, raise her much-longed-for children with many outdoor outings, family gatherings, and fun activities. Those continued until adulthood, until they didn't. She, too, is heartbroken. A friend, currently in the hospital, cried when talking to me last night because her son has completely cut her out of his life.

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