Thursday, May 01, 2008

My mother's silence

My mother has my home address. She doesn't write to me.

She's got two self-addressed stamped envelopes from me that she's never used.

She has my home phone number, but never calls.

She doesn't call my cell phone number either. She's got that too.

My mother has my work email address. There's nothing in there from her.

She also has my Philly voicemail number I set up just for her so she wouldn't have to call me long distance.

She's never called it.

Not once.

Not even to hear what my voice sounds like.

Not even curious enough to dial it.

That's the worst part of it. I mean, wouldn't you be at least curious? If you knew it was just a voicemail number (because you had been told that is exactly what it is, you knew that the other person wouldn't pick up, you knew 100% that it was just a recording) wouldn't you at least want to hear the other person's voice?

Just once?

If you cared?

Or if you didn't want to talk to them, wouldn't you at least have the courtesy to call it and say, "Leave me alone."

But I haven't even gotten rejection. All I've gotten is silence.

If I saw a hang-up call on my account, at least I'd know there was some type of connection, that there was something there.

Even if it was that she was just curious.

I feel guilty bitching about it. I have friends who went through or are going through years, or even decades of silence. My silence has lasted just under a year and it doesn't get easier. It gets harder with each passing day.

Just as a brief backstory for any new readers, my fizzled no-where reunion went like this:

June 07 - Send mom a letter with no reply
August 07 - Call mom, who when she answered the phone, told me I had the wrong number and she had moved away (she didn't. That was verified.)

And that's that.

I sent her a second and I think my final letter last week. I'm not expecting anything different. But I can't help hoping and wishing. I wish I could but I can't. I hope someday I can stop wishing. I wish I didn't care. Hope is the evilest emotion.

I don't know if rejection is worse than silence, because I haven't experienced rejection. If I had, I'd probably be saying rejection is worse than silence, but just for me, just for today, silence is worse by far.

Silence keeps me in fantasy and daydreams and hopes and wishes. Silence makes me somewhat irrational. Rational enough to know it's too soon for despair but just irrational enough to feel it anyway.

Silence says, you're not even worthy of a fuck-off. You don't even rank that much.

16 complaints from ingrates:

Anonymous,  May 1, 2008 at 1:27 PM  

Hugs to you my dear friend. You know I understand only in reverse. I could have written it all only with my daughter substituting for your mom.

As I say on my blog “...lukewarm acceptance is far more bewildering than outright rejection” - Martin Luther King

I am curious, did you consider having another BSE Mother write to her? Maybe another mom, in her place, that understands her pain, guilt, horror, might be able to thaw her?

Its not you T. Anymore than my daughters decision to avoid me is about me. I know that seems trite but I have to believe its true.

Big hugs.

Ungrateful Little Bastard May 1, 2008 at 2:12 PM  

Thank you Suz, you've got mail lol

Unknown May 1, 2008 at 2:22 PM  

part of me still feels like there is still a missing piece of the puzzle here.

i'm sorry to hear your mother is missing out on such a wonderful loving daughter.We have to believe there's still hope even though it hurts like hell

(((Big Hugs))

Anonymous,  May 1, 2008 at 7:11 PM  

Oh Theresa - ((((HUGS)))

This mother is glad that you are in her life (I know it isn't the same thing but I am here for you anyway)

Life just sucks so badly sometimes.


Anonymous,  May 1, 2008 at 8:19 PM  

I know this hurts like all holy hell, and I can totally relate, but really I do not think that "Silence says, you're not even worthy of a fuck-off. You don't even rank that much." is necessarily true. I think Silence says that someone out there is facing the biggest fear of their life and they can't deal with it. I think it's absolute terror.

And I KNOW - we're not scary or dangerous or mean people so it is so so so upsetting when people treat us like we're terrifying monsters, but that is what secrets and shame do to people; they distort their ability to understand this.

Anonymous,  May 2, 2008 at 7:12 AM  

I was thinking just what Susan is, that she's scared.

But mostly, Theresa, I'm just so very sorry for what you're going through, just so very sorry. *hugs*

Anonymous,  May 2, 2008 at 8:01 AM  

I can tell you getting a fu*k off isn't all it's cracked up to be either but I completely understand where you're coming from. Silence sucks. But T you KNOW my sweet, wonderful, amazing friend that it is HER worth that the rejection speaks of.....NOT YOURS.

I love you dearly and I am incredibly proud of you for sending that letter.

Anonymous,  May 2, 2008 at 12:39 PM  

That's one of the universal themes in the adoption world- especially "our 60's era adoption world"- silence, secrets, and lies......and fear- mostly unfounded irrational fear. Silence can be really loud can't it? I feel your pain.

Still Born May 2, 2008 at 5:04 PM  

I'm sorry T. I wish there was more to do or say.

Anonymous,  May 4, 2008 at 12:15 AM  

rejection... silence... not knowing... they ALL suck.

I just read your last few posts all in one sitting and I'm hurting inside for you right now...


halfsister May 4, 2008 at 4:35 AM  

Lately I've been irritated with my half-brother who in my view is being overly pushy in 'gaining access' to me and the family. We share father, and I'm daddy's girl. I found out about him only 2 years ago, and it's been quite a family upset. He also insists on starting every contact with the words 'little sister' which eventually had me explode at him; I found it insanely insensitive.

But I've never wanted to reject him, can only imagine how awful it would be for him to be rejected. But lately, as mentioned, I've been distancing myself and not wanting to deal with his 'neediness' (sorry! I'm being very uncharitable here).

This post made it very clear to me that this is most certainly not a good tactic and that perhaps I owe it to him to let him know how I feel, and why.

Thank you.

I hope your mother one day finds the strength to accept you. I've just sent my brother an e-mail.

Ungrateful Little Bastard May 4, 2008 at 8:42 AM  

Thank you everyone. I appreciate it. I simply don't know what to think. There's a part of me who intellectually 'gets it' when it comes to the idea of being frozen by fear, but then there's another part of me that simply and unapologetically wants some type of a response from my mother. And I don't think that's wrong.

I had thrown a little plug in for 'The Girls Who Went Away' in my last letter. If she seriously has so emotionally barricaded herself to the point where she feels really alone, and if she's a reader like I am who can't get enough of women's issues books, maybe it might be a starting point for her.

And therein lies the problem with silence - it keeps me hoping. Which as I said, is evil.

H.Sister- Could you please send me an email (my email address is in my profile) or a note through Myspace? I know someone who may be able to help a bit.

Being Me May 4, 2008 at 2:27 PM  

Wanting SOME type of response from your mother is not wrong. Not at all. It's basic. I want that for you too. She must be very fragile to not make any response at all.

I am in awe of your persistence and courage and thoroughness. I wish I had something more to offer.

Third Mom May 7, 2008 at 6:18 PM  

Hi, Theresa, everyone has said what I think - which is that you mother must be very, very afraid.

I hope there's some way for her to get past that fear barrier. I'll be keeping my fingers crossed for you.

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