As I wrote yesterday, last evening was an emotional one with tears shed as information was shared and erroneous statements uncovered. As parents, we want to protect our children as best we can, wanting to keep certain facts and information to ourselves so the hurts and pains of the past remain where we’d like them, in the past, especially as adoptive parents since we know why our children came to be our children.
Alas, that isn’t how life hardly ever works. We can’t protect our children from everything, and we can’t protect them from their own past experiences.
And apparently, we can’t always protect them from those we trust to know better about watching their words around children whom already had had hard pasts.
Last night, amongst all the emotions, our daughter shared something that when the words came out of her mouth, was a bit of a shock, but not a surprise. She looked at me and told me I hadn’t wanted her, and someone in our inner circle had essentially told her that because I didn’t like women, I didn’t like her. That I hadn’t wanted her in the first place.
Because of the emotion of the evening, I remained calm and tried not to show my hurt at that moment. The evening was about her, trying to help her through who was responsible and accountable, to blame, for what had happened to all of our kids prior to becoming a part of our family. But I was hurt to the core.
I think Richard picked up I was having a moment of inner shock and turmoil as he jumped in to say it wasn’t that I hadn’t wanted her, it was that he specifically had wanted a daughter. This wasn’t said, but it didn’t matter really to me if we had all boys, all girls, or a mixture like we do. I just wanted to have kids, a family.
He also jumped to defend me. He told her to think about how I took care of my mom and treated my sisters, and someone who hated women wouldn’t act in those ways.
I have to admit I don’t fully remember what I said in the moment. I was caught in a bit of a time warp as I was trying to process why anyone would tell my daughter something like that. How that person must really dislike me for some reason to have said something like that to a child without thought, or maybe they did think and care, about how it might affect how my daughter felt about herself and about me. About how it would affect my daughter’s relationship with me.
The past several years flew by in my mind of how things had changed in our relationship. I had thought it was because my daughter was going through puberty and being a teen, which I know is a part in the shift in our relationship,. As with any parent, I’m not a perfect parent and make mistakes, so I also thought I must have done something, but did not know for the life of me what it might be. So I accepted this new dynamic as the new way it would be and I would just have to accept it.
I’m now left to wonder how many of the things that have happened over the past few years may be rooted in my daughter thinking I didn’t want her and that I hated her. That is what has cut me to the core. How different the past few years might have been had that person not made those statements, and did they say it more than once and over what period of time? Was it still being said? So many lost years over lies being told to my daughter.
It also makes me wonder if how I was and am treated by my children may have been negatively affected by something this person has said, and said, and said over time. I’ve known this person hasn’t cared about me for years as our relationship didn’t follow the path most people who have met this person usually took, but I’ve always tried to be respectful and never spoke ill of them in front of my kids. In fact, I worked to reiterate this person should be treated with respect. Because my kids are close to this person, as is my husband, this person has remained a part of our lives.
Personally, I’ve known from a young age not everyone will like everyone. That’s a part of life. What hurts and saddens me is the negative affect this person has had on my daughter, and mostly likely has had on my children and maybe, had they acted like an adult, some of the turmoil and friction in our family might have been avoided.
The saddest part is, we’ll never know.
What I do know is, even though it may hurt my husband and my children, I will not subject myself to being around this person again. I don’t trust myself not to say something I’ll regret later, and I’m old enough to know better than to be around toxic people. Life is too short, and I want to live long.