Mother…Did You Know? Questions of a Son Given Up at Birth

Did you know what it was you gave away? What was it to you? Was it a mistake perhaps that could be erased by a simple act of false generosity?

Was it easy for you or did you lay awake at night tormented by the few options life had left for you?

Was there a sense of great relief or regret when I was no longer a part of your life?

Did you look back as you walked out the door?

Were you alone in the final hour? Did you regret the decision when it was over?

What does it feel like to lose a part of oneself, not to death, but to a future of unknowing? Were there tears of joy, or sorrow, or both, or neither?

Did I cry? Did I understand the totality of the decisions made on my behalf? Did I latch on to anything that was willing to comfort me, or did I know you already in my inner being and long for you with an invisible bond? Do you know what I felt when you left? Not even I can know the pain of separation from a love at that vulnerable age.

You were my first love and my first lost love. Truly a tragedy to have learned one of life’s most difficult lessons at hours old.

Was it similar to the loss of my first love when I was a teenager, or even worse? The body protects itself. Perhaps to truly feel that kind of loss would cripple my capacity to function.

You gave up a lot. I have struggled to like myself throughout the years. Rejection in the conscious life allows you to rationalize ones feelings and soften the blow. It is easy to see both sides of the story, and make excuses for what might have been.

But my first rejection came when I was without a defense. I cannot blame myself for I did not know myself, and to blame one’s mother seems too painful. Blame sits by itself in the middle, no one wanting to look it directly in the eye. Later on we all take small pieces of this thing called blame. There is enough for small pieces to be taken for a lifetime and more.

There is not hate, but an open wound of unknowing.

If you knew me would you do it all over again?

I have part of you with me. Only you could identify what it is that I carry. Is it the way I smile, the way I cry, the shape of my eyes?

You do not carry a part of me. You have only memories of a baby who was losing the life support it desperately relied on. How sad that your last memory of me was on the surface, perhaps a health happy baby, but on the inside was a spirit whose very soul was being ripped apart.

If my heart knew then what I have felt over the years in my inner self, I would have died that day. A body cannot take that kind of pain in a single blow.

You probably thought you did what was best for me. I have no way of knowing, but life cannot be compared to what is and what could have been.

Life with you ended when I was removed from you, but the pain of your anguish as you decided to give me up was not in isolation. I felt you touch me differently; hug me differently, as if this was a guilty hug and kiss, not an embrace that is filled with the wonder of things to come.

Was I wanted in the womb? When you felt me growing was it like watching a beautiful flower develop with the anticipation of the final glorious bloom, or was it a dreaded anticipation of weeds overtaking a well-tended garden.

Was I a prisoner in your womb taking in all of your despair and anguish?

What went through your body and entered my sacred home? Was the foundation of my marrow a blend of happiness and optimism, or was my body at its very soul begun with despair, fear, regret, and embarrassment?

To answer this question I must know that moment, in your deep unconscious when you knew, really knew, that I would not be yours, but given to another. At that point my psychic connection to your psyche felt a rift.

Was there a slight tremor, shock, or disturbance that alerted me to set up a defensive wall? When was it, before I was born or at the moment of my birth?

At what point did the focus of my life turn from drawing in as much love and goodness as I could, to defending my inner being from pain. Can you do both at once? I know I can’t.

Did you look down on me with loving eyes, longing eyes, or eyes of sorrow? When I looked into your eyes did I see love or loss? Were there tears of joy or sorrow?

I would have known the difference, must have known the difference because all I saw and felt were the eyes and tears. No other distractions interfere with the need of a baby to connect with the soul if its mother.

I saw the tears and hollow eyes. I transported through my look into your eyes my need for you and what I got back was not acceptance but resistance.

Have you ever wanted something so bad and felt with your whole being the need to encompass that thing? This is what I believe that I had when I was born, a tremendous desire to belong, and a sense of attachment to the security of love.

How long can a person go without a sense of security before natural defenses go into place? One minute, one hour, one day, one week, one year?

I lost that from you somewhere between my development in the womb and your decision to give me to another.

Was my birth a final cleansing of your body of all that was sad, disappointing and degrading? Was I purged and then removed from the last connection to you as the umbilical cord was cut?

Was there ever a connection after that, or did I go from being a part of you into a world void of attachment. Did you reach for me as I was covered in your blood and fluids, or did you look to the side and sigh with relief that I was finally out of your life.

I was not chosen. You choose ripe fruit, fresh fish, and a good car. Chosen is an excuse for abandoned.

I had many foster parents. However, none adopted me to save me from a life without parents, but they in most cases did all they could do.

They tried to love me, nurture me and did the best they could with a damaged soul. You can restore some of the harm done to the soul of a child, but you can never replace it.

Wouldn’t it be nice if the foster parents could have put into my spirit the excitement, desire, anticipation and deep love for my life ahead? They were too late. By one day, by one week, by nine months, they missed the opportunity to influence a virgin spirit.

The holes in my spirit must have been many, and one set of foster parents filled many of them, but you cut me too deeply in parts.

The surface healed, but the deep wounds fester every once in a while. Those are the times, like now, that I wonder who I am, what I might have been, who you are, and if you know what you gave up.

Now I am an adult. The turmoil of my youth is behind me though forever ingrained in my memory. Today I can make my own decisions.

Should I look for you? What would I find?

I think of who my mother is often, but not my father. I do not know why I am not drawn in the same way to know who my father was. I knew you!

I don’t know what I knew, but I knew you enough to want to know more. I don’t want to find an old mother who has gone through life.

I want the mother that was young and optimistic and whose future I could have shared. Perhaps that is the fantasy, to go back and find the person and relive life.

I missed you, I needed you, and I have now begun to look for you.

I search, hunt, inquire, but have hit so many roadblocks along the way.

There is a deep need in me, a need to be wanted and loved. You failed at meeting this need early on, and for me to look for you is painful.

If I find you, the wounds will remain but just maybe you will be able to answer the ever-festering question of why you didn’t want to know what you gave up.

I have known loss. My foster Mom and Dad died in years ago, it deeply saddened me and left yet another hole in my life.

That loss is deep, and reserved only for those who we have truly known and loved. To feel that too often would be overwhelming.

That is the problem with my pain for you. I feel it over and over again. You are at the core of my very being.

I will only lose my foster Mom and Dad once. I lose you every time I search for you and fail.

I don’t know if finding you would make any difference, but I do know that not finding you continues a cycle of hope and pain that is demoralizing and weakens the fragile self that I am. You surely gave up a lot.

I thought more about the need to think of you as a young person in the prime of your life. It is because when I think of you, I see myself as a child, not the man that I am right now.

You are forever a young beautiful woman in my mind. I never picture you pregnant, and wonder what that means if anything. You are always thin, without child.

If you were young again you could take me back. Then I would grow up with the smells of your hair and body, the energy and radiance your body gives off and the pattern in your eyes that is unique only to you.

To see you as an older person means to admit that you have stuck with your decision and I am finding you after the rejection. To find a youthful mother means there is a possibility of reversing the tides, and erasing bad memories.

Will I ever be able to see you as an older person who is in their 50’s? I don’t know.

I thought as I grew older I would see you age as well. This hasn’t happened yet, and I guess it probably never will. I can’t imagine what other life event could change your picture in my minds eye other than seeing you in person.

My birth father has yet to make a big dent in this stream on consciousness. Did he stay with you? Did you have other children? Did he see you as a mistake and leave, making the same assumptions about me?

My only way of knowing my father would have been through your interactions with him. Was he loving and kind, or distant and insecure? When he touched you with me in your womb, if he did, was there a fusion of love that I may have felt, or was there a charge of anxiety and sorrow? You both gave up a lot.

I was in you, and lived as you did for nine months. How much of whom I am today is determined by those nine months I will never know, but I do know it has something to do with who I am.

I remained in a nursery for almost a year after you left. I of course have no memory of it, but the nurses were my surrogate mother. Out of necessity I bonded with them. Felt their arms around me, focused on their eyes and began to attach.

But this was not to be my final security blanket. I was taken from a second love, and placed with one family after another.

We know from experience that it is best to leave baby animals with their mother until they can be weaned and are more stable. I guess this logic doesn’t apply to children who are moved from family to family at an indefensible age where ego and vulnerability are wide-open wounds.

I lost my first love, and then my second love all within the first year of my life. What does the body do to avoid pain? It had autonomic reactions and functions that perform unconsciously.

Starve a body of food or water and it goes into crisis mode and begins to preserve what it has in storage. Starve a body of love and a maternal connection, and what does the body have to fall back on in storage at birth. I guess nothing.

Perhaps the womb experiences, but those are weak at best. My gut tells me that foster kids are in an unconscious state of self-survival where their very existence and identity must be at risk from the very day they lose their mother.

Years of searching have come to an end. I have found you, met you and have gotten to know a bit about you. I have not felt the elation I dreamed so often I would feel.

I did not find the young, beautiful woman I hoped you would still be. I found an older very embittered woman. I found a woman whose mind, heart and soul remained in 1950 while her body moved forward with the passage of time.

While, though not easily, my life marched forward as you remained stationary in life. You were filled with hatred towards your father, my father and even me. You allowed this hate to swallow you up in self-pity and control every step you took since that day long ago.

We never developed the relationship I had searched for. I didn’t search for a mother as those years of need had long passed us by. I hoped for a friend in whom I could share my inner most thoughts and feelings…a friend of whom I could ask those many questions that still yearned for answers from my childhood.

For twelve years I struggled and fought for a relationship with you beyond one that I would deem an acquaintance though connected far beyond. You fought me every step of the way, making sure there was a certain distance between us.

You never asked questions about my life. Anything shared was at my initiative. A few times you seemed interested while most times you stared in a distance.

To most of my questions of you; you either changed the subject or gave as little as possible.

At one point I took your statement of, “I wish you had never been born, my life could have been different,” as how you truly felt from the depths of your heart. You blamed what turned out to be a life of misery for you on everyone but yourself. We were all the reason for your failures…even when we were not present when you fell.

Despite all this I continued, in every conceivable way I could muster, to strive to get beyond the day we first met and build a relationship with you.

The fatal blow came on that Christmas night too painful still to reflect upon. Though you bore me within your womb for nine months you could not bear knowing the son you gave birth to as he is. You wished me dead because you gave birth to son that happened to be gay.

The abandonment of childhood you had no control over, this time you did. You were in complete control and knew exactly what you were saying and doing. All the wounds of childhood were again opened wide as if freshly inflicted. Nothing I said or did caused you to change your bitter heart.

That bitterness and hate filled heart went with you to the grave just a few short years later.

Now you will never truly know the son you gave birth to nor will I know that mother you could have been.

Do I sound angry or wounded? Do you sense that I hurt? Do you really care? Who you are?

I am. I think. I breathe. I have become. What have I become? A whole person made up of many parts.

I became without you. I must now continue to become without you. We both have lost!

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