Friday, June 22, 2007

The Cut-Off Time

It's the longest 30 minutes of the day.

9:30 to 10:00 at night. The countdown to the cut off time.

11:00 AM is bad, but it's over with quickly. 11:00 AM is when the mailman comes. 11:01 is when I know there's no letter that day. But I've still got that 11 hour window of opportunity for the phone call.

At 9:30 I start. Usually I'm on the couch watching a movie with my son at that time, or on the computer if he's out. But at 9:31 my eyes start to drift over to the clock.

Whatever happens between 9:31 and 10:00, I never remember.

9:45 is ok; there's still 15 minutes left before most people think it's too late to call.

9:50 blows.

9:55 there's always still hope she's sitting by her phone.

But by 10:00 it's gone.

I read a story once about a woman who sent a letter to her mom. She waited three months with no contact, so she sent a Christmas card. And waited another six months after that, before she got the courage to call her.

Her mom screamed at her. She called her horrible names. She asked her how she could do that to her. She called her a nightmare.

A nightmare.

Can you imagine, your own mother, calling you a nightmare?

It makes me wonder if there's a cut-off time for search too. Did it take me too long? Lots of people in reunion are twenty-somethings. Twenty-somethings are cute and cuddly and beautiful and fun to have reunion with. We fourty-somethings though... we're not so cute and cuddly anymore. Especially overweight ones like me with bad thyroids and crappy metabolisms caused by years of binge dieting and eating disorders.

Did my search take too long? Did the years I took breaks because the emotions overwhelmed me ruin it? Did my dips back into the pretty and serene fog screw myself over?

Separation from my mom has been a nightmare.

Am I hers?

16 complaints from ingrates:

Paula O. June 22, 2007 at 10:21 AM  

((((((Theresa))))))

We may no longer be cute and cuddly, but we ARE worthy, strong and beautiful in mind and in spirit.

The biggest hugs possible to you, Theresa.

suz June 22, 2007 at 11:09 AM  

I can only speak for myself. Separation from my daughter has been a nightmare. It is a life long wound that bleeds daily. Your mother is older than me, by at least 20 years, this age gap can be HUGE in the differences in mothers and how they respond to reunion. I am in your position, hungering for feedback, acknowlegement, for my child to see me as a person and have compassion.

Your mother has far more to deal. I encourage you to work hard at not making it YOU. I know that seems trite but its true. Its not you she is rejecting (if she rejects). It is the pain, the horror, the loss, and more.

You have other options if she doesnt respond. You can call. You can write to a family member. Shoot, you can knock on her door. I would take a road trip with you!

Hang in there. You are wonderful and talented and gifted, funny as hell and you have great hair.

Anonymous,  June 22, 2007 at 1:31 PM  

Have a friend call and deal with it for you.

You are not and never will be a nightmare. You deserve your mother. You have a RIGHT to hear from her and to be received lovingly.

Judy June 22, 2007 at 2:24 PM  

I just want to offer you *hugs* and friendship. And so much more.

Who knows what she's thinking. Wondering. Feeling. I think what Suz said is spot on.

You're a wonderful person, Theresa. Never a "nightmare."

No, not ever.

elizabeth June 22, 2007 at 5:45 PM  

Oh Theresa I can't stand that you are going through this awful wait. Urrgh. I really hope you hear something soon.

Possum June 22, 2007 at 8:51 PM  

I ache for you Theresa.
Right down deep in my soul.
Take care sweetie.
Poss. xxxxx

Erin June 22, 2007 at 9:42 PM  

((((Theresa))))

that really sucks :-(

joy June 22, 2007 at 10:21 PM  

oh adoption can feel so awful I am sorry.

Newlyorphaned June 22, 2007 at 10:40 PM  

Hon,

I'm forty something and I'm still cute and cuddly and so are you! Okay let me back up here to a couple of years ago...I found my brother or so I thought. I sent the letter, with nofication of receipt. It never was picked up! He'd moved and the address I had was no good. I had to find other relatives before I could find him since they had to tell me where he was. How sure are you of the address you've got? I thought I had his but didn't. You might spend this time backtracking and searching for other relatives. Birth Indexes on your mom see if she has any siblings. Marriage indexes. IT's frustrating but helpful and can fill the time. I found 2 different cousins who sent me pictures that I treasure to this day. You might have hubbie call the number for some other reason and play it off like he's got the wrong person by that name. Just some idea's. Don't go to the what if's! I know them well! All the times I started to search and quit because I got my feelings hurt because they were'nt searching for me. I could have met her, things might have been different but things are what they are! You have fought so long and so hard don't give up! Might be something as simple as an out of date address. Take that fighting spirit that got you this far and forge ahead. I realized I didn't have anything to loose, I never had her anyway so what was going to change if she rejected me!

Being Me June 23, 2007 at 1:30 AM  

Twentysomethings are way overrated. Teresa, you da bomb. If your mom has nightmares it's from the loss and pain, NOT from you.

She may have nightmares. She may be slow at overcoming the wounds. No matter what her response is, you are fabulous and you made the first move and that is awesome.

MomEtc. June 23, 2007 at 1:52 AM  

Wanted to send you some (((Hugs))) and support. I wish I knew the right thing to say or do. I think the other folks have made good points. There may be lots of reasons your Mom hasn't contacted you, but none of them are because of YOU. She has to love you. You are NOT a nightmare.

Simon Bell June 23, 2007 at 11:52 AM  

Write again.

Thinking of you love.

Amyadoptee June 23, 2007 at 7:05 PM  

Theresa,

You can do this girl. It will be okay no matter what happens. I will be there cheering you on no matter what.

jim,  June 23, 2007 at 10:07 PM  

It’s so easy to imagine the worst. I find myself fighting it every day while awaiting reply from my brother which, of course, may never come.

newlyorphaned is right – occupy yourself with uncovering everything you can about your family. Some families are all over the internet. Mine’s not though I’ve found that all aunts and uncles are dead. Now I need names of cousins. I figure that even if my brother wants nothing to do with me there are other relatives who might be more receptive and have valuable information.

This would be a worst-case scenario for you. I think your mom will call. We have that fantasy vision of them opening the letter, eyes widen and tear, quavering gasps of “oh my god”, hands shaking as they frantically try to dial… but more likely she opens the letter, says quietly to herself “oh my god”, and retreats to process, cry, rejoice and think of how she will tell everyone…

The wait is hell. But we are all here for you.

LeRoy Dissing June 24, 2007 at 8:58 AM  

I don't think there is ever a good or bad time for reunion. There are more variables in this then there are stars but I am praying the stars shine brightly in your favor and a favorable response is short coming. And then the nightmare will be over cuz you will awake.

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