adoptee, adoption, anger, birthfather, birthmother, brainwashing, death, family, father, mother, pain, rejection, reunion, Uncategorized

One Year Ago

pug

 

One year ago I found out that my mother was dying.  I can’t sleep, and I’m filled with anger and thoughts of my family again.  I checked them out on facebook, again.  I found out that my Aunt Susan has retired after 41 years of teaching art in the public schools.  I found out that my half brother is becoming an uncle, again. I see their lives, 5 years after I  found them.  I see my father, wishing everyone a Happy 4th of July, adding that he’s feeling “happy”.

4th

He told me he was ill and miserable, and not up to contacting anyone. This was a few years ago.  I guess he’s recovered,while my healthy mother has died. I smell a rat.

Will I ever be able to accept that I will never be part of their lives?  I don’t see how.  Every thing I see reminds me of my loss, and how much I long for a connection that I am forever denied.

At times like these, nothing seems to help. I hope this passes soon.

adoptee, adoption, anger, birthmother, brainwashing, family, mother, pain, rejection, reunion, senior, Uncategorized

My Adoptive Mother

scolding

 

I don’t know what to think about my adoptive mother. Sometimes she comes out with things that really upset me. They really make me think about our relationship,as mother and daughter.

It’s a relationship that has always had problems, as many relationships do.

My husband is from a family of 5 children. He is the youngest.  I’ve known his family for many years, and have been included in many family gatherings.  Ramona, my adoptive mother was sometimes included too.  I honestly don’t remember how many times, or to which gatherings.

As time has gone on,  we all get together less.  Our children are grown. The siblings that have grandchildren do most things with their kids and their extended families.  We don’t do Christmas together any more.  We do go to big things, like weddings and such, but the rest has changed over the years.  Don was never close to his family. We all live in the same area, and are friends. The relationship is fine, and we are happy with it.

Don’s Nephew Sam is getting married to a lovely girl in June.   I attended the bridal shower last week, with my daughters, who are the grooms first cousins.  Ramona,my adoptive mother was not invited.She was not invited to the wedding. Don’s sister usually does not include Ramona in her family gatherings, and has not for years.  I don’t know why she stopped, I think our kids just grew up and Don’s sister had more people to include,so for the sake of expenses,she only invites close relatives and friends.

One of Don’s siblings invites Ramona to his kids weddings and events.  His wife feels closer to Ramona, and likes to include her, even though my sister in law is one of 11 children!  Some people just think differently than others.  Ramona is not a very nice woman, and maybe some of Don’s siblings don’t care for her.  I really don’t know,but Ramona thinks she does. She told me this the other day.

“Don’s sister does not invite me to things since she found out that you are adopted”.

I was shocked.”Ma”, I said, “Don’s sister has always known that I was adopted.I never kept that a secret from anyone. Everyone knows.”.  Did she really think that I didn’t ell people that I was adopted?  Close relatives of my husband,and children?  They deserve to know that my kids have another family,and that Ramona is not blood kin to me, or my kids. I also never wanted anyone to think that Ramona was my mother, because in my mind, she is not.

Then Ramona changed her tune, “well,then since you found your mother,they stopped inviting me”.  My husband’s siblings know that I found my family,but they have never met any of them, and probably don’t think about it a whole lot.  And I’m fairly sure that is not the reason she is not invited to their family events.  I do not think that me finding my family has any bearing on how they treat Ramona.  I had no idea that she was harboring these ideas.

It just goes to show how my adoptive mother feels about me finding my family. I broke the rules,and she gets punished for it.  Fantastical thinking, but it hurts me.  I feel blamed for finding them, for the crime of wanting what Ramona,and most other people take for granted.  For wanting my mother.

I was also approached by my adoptive cousin a few months ago.  My adoptive cousin Marty was the first baby i was allowed to hold.  I was 11 when he was born,and baby crazy!  I loved him to pieces and liked to stay with my adoptive cousin, Deidra when baby Marty was around.

Deidra is Ramona’s late sister’s daughter, and they are pretty close.  Deidra and Ramona speak on the phone several times a day,and Deidra and Marty go to Atlantic City with Ramona every few months. Deidra can never get here to visit Ramona, or help me take care of her, but somehow Deidre and Marty always make it here when it’s time to take Ramona to Atlantic City, where Ramona gets comp rooms and food, because she gambles so much.

Marty approached me, after having a few cocktails,and asked me how I could not consider Ramona to be my mother.  He said “She’s like a grandmother to me,and you are so mean to her,she raised you,she is your mother”.  He said that once I found my family everything changed. I changed my feelings toward Ramona.  He added that Ramona could go live with him anytime.

Ramona lives with me,and my family.She has a full apartment that is part of our house.  I treat her with kindness and respect.  I actually, do not feel that she is my mother, and things did change once I found my family.  It was as if the blinders had fallen from my eyes,and I could finally see, far too clearly what had been done to me.

Marty has no right to tell me how to feel.  I have never told him how to feel,and never will.  His words came out of nowhere and really hurt me.  It also shows how he really feels about me,an adoptee.  I’m out of line, for wanting to know.  I’m wrong for waking up and seeing my truth.  I’m wrong for not following the script.

Ramona has spoken to Marty about how bad I treat her, about how I’ve changed.  Marty is addicted to painkillers and visits Ramona every few months when he has a doctors appointment in our area.  He takes Ramona to lunch.

Ramona has no desire to go live with Marty. He lives in a rural area a few hours away with his girlfriend and her two young children.  Marty has children from another relationship who live with their mother.  Ramona has it pretty good here with me. I cook dinner and clean up.She has my daughters to take her anywhere she wants to go, since Ramona does not drive.   Ramona worked until she was 80 and has few outside interests, apart from gambling.

Ramona is 86 now,and will be 87 in October.  She  has lived  with my family for 19 years, since my youngest was born.  She says she moved in to save us from financial ruin, since we had 4 kids and only 1 income.  She helped us make our house bigger,and we added the apartment at the same time.  She sold her Co op apartment and invested the money in my house.So I did take from her.  She says I asked her to come live with us, she didn’t want to.

I really don’t remember.  I remember my husband urging me to do it, to “keep my eye on the prize”,the bigger house.  I did it for my kids, so they could live in a nice, big house,even if it meant selling my soul and happiness to do it.

So,here she is, in good health.My daughters take her to the doctor, and the market.  She is rarely alone.

I can’t stand her.  Never could.  I left home at 19, with Don and never went back.  My concern for my children brought her back to live with me,and now she’s here until the end.  And I have to hear how terrible I am for finding my own family.  For not being what the agency promised. For wanting to know who i was.  I can never forget her screaming at me, “I am your only mother” when I was 4 years old. I thought to myself, “she is lying to me, I don’t like or trust her anymore”.  I hated her from that day on,though I had to depend on her.

We are there for her everyday,as she gets more and more feeble. I have to watch and take care of her as she ages, and my own mother is dead.  I think when she finally goes,the strongest feeling will be relief, freedom from this lifetime of servitude,  where I am never quite as good as blood.

 

 

 

 

 

 

adoptee, adoption, anger, birthmother, family, father, pain, rejection, reunion, Uncategorized

Five years in

5-year-anniversary

 

I found my family 5 years ago.  I hired a searcher,and called my mother on Dec 12, 2010.

My father’s family treated me to a big luncheon in April of 2011.  I thought everything was great, and that I would be part of the family, but a few weeks later I got my first taste of betrayal.

My Aunt C, my father’s brother’s wife innocently wrote my mother a letter, and asked if Mom was invited to Auntie Matriarch’s wedding.  She was not, and neither was I.  The wedding took place in June, 2 months after the luncheon, and the reception was held in the same restaurant where the luncheon was.  No one mentioned the wedding at the luncheon.

Not one person mentioned that my Aunt was getting married in 2 months, at the same place we were in.  My father’s family is good at keeping secrets.

Being excluded from the wedding, when everyone else in the family was invited hurt me terribly.  It was my first taste of rejection, and I was going to get a full helping later on.

Five years later, and out of the 20 assorted aunts, uncles and cousins that I met from my father’s family, not one is in contact with me, including my father.

I speak to 2 cousins on my mother’s side, and my Dear Auntie.

And that’s it.

Not what i expected, at all.

 

 

 

 

 

adoptee, adoption, anger, family, father, pain, rejection, reunion, Uncategorized

My Father

father

 

Now that my mother’s gone, my father is my only living parent.  I think about him a lot.  I have no idea if he thinks about me, but I imagine I must cross his mind from time to time.

He’s 75 now, and lives about 4 hours away, in a small town in a deserted part of the state.  He was born in the same hospital that i was, and grew up in the little borough of NYC where I was conceived and born.  He moved to his current location almost 9 years ago.  He lives with his son and daughter, my half sibs.  They are 19 and 27.

I have never been to his house.  I have never been to my father’s house, though I did drive by once.  My 3rd child attended college not far from where Dad lives, and I couldn’t resist driving by to see the house.  It was nice, neat and spacious, with a built in pool, for his kids.  My father has always lived in a house, and has always had money.  I grew up poor, and lived in apartments, until I bought my own house, with my husband when I was 26.  We still live in the same house, where we raised our 4 children, 3 of whom are still living here!

I don’t know too much about him, firsthand.  I’ve seen him 4 times, the last time was December 2012.  We communicated by email and Facebook message for awhile, but the last communication was a few years ago.

I didn’t hear anything from him, or anyone in his family when my mother died last September.  Two of his sisters, and his niece attended Moms memorial service.  I did not, because I didn’t think I belonged there. My three daughters and my husband went.  My Aunt, dad’s oldest sister, The Matriarch spoke to my children, but his other sister and my cousin did not. This is my cousin D, her mother is the Matriarch.

From my mother’s description, he wasn’t much of a guy.  She said he was s sex addict.  He saw other women regularly when they were together.  He started sleeping with his second wife when she was 14.  She is 4 years younger than me.  I think he was her landlord.  he owned rental properties in our little borough.  He made his money in real estate and inheritance.

When we last communicated, he said he had a mysterious, incurable debilitating disease that has caused him to withdraw from society.  Only him and his doctor know about it.  As far as I know he’s still alive, while my healthy mother died.  I guess the mystery disease is not fatal.

Hi M, this was a very truthful & understanding letter.  I do & did understand your problems, and was soon aware that I could not help.  I’m glad we meet and I saw what a beautiful family you have.  You have everything you need, and you do not need to look back, live for now, and look to the future.  I wish things were different, but it seems what is will probably stay as it is.
I’m going to tell you a little about my life, and maybe you will understand where I’m at now.  First, I am at the worst point of my life, and it doesn’t appear there is chance for an improvement.    There is all kinds of problems with the family here, every day it’s just a mess.  It would take to long to go through all the problems, it involves others not in the family as well.  Then there are health issues, we all have some problems there.  I’ve had a problem for the last few years that are causing me to become extremely reclusive, and it’s untreatable.  I have not spoken to anyone, except doctors,  about this condition and do not plan to.  We are also having financial problems, no one works here, are income is my SS check, and that’s not much.
 I know you feel bad about me not keeping in touch with you, or your family, it’s just difficult under my living conditions.  I do not keep in touch with anyone in my family, except A, she will call every month or so.  I did not wish anyone a Merry Christmas, or a Happy New Year, nor did they to me.  I guess where all on our own, it’s been a couple of years since I’ve seen any of them, and probably be a few more before I do.  I know this is a bunch of stuff you would rather not hear, but maybe it can help you see why I’m not able to be more understanding.  My life is not one you can be inspired by, I’m trying to be as truthful as a can.  I am not looking for sympathy, just hoping you can understand me. Everyday I spend by myself, and it seems like it works best that way.  I’m not depressed, I just accept what is, I try to make things as good as I can, but realize there is only so much I can do.  I take the responsibility for what is, and hope all will work out. 
Not sure how you will take all this, and how much you can understand where I’m at right now.  Sorry for all the wrongs I’ve done in my life, and how it has affected the ones I love.  All I can see for my future is to observe, and hope I can help in someway.
 
Love to you and your family,
Dad   
This was Jan 2014, the last communication from that family.  Earlier, he explained why they gave me up.
M, sorry it took so long. 
 
Your mother got pregnant at a young age, her mother convinced us to get an abortion, she helped us find someone to do the job. We had the abortion. If that child’s soul could have a say, it would be angrier than you are, even more confused and heartbroken than you.
 
I am sorry about all the things I have done in the past, to you, to that baby, to the baby I made my second wife abort, for neglecting the kids I had 25 yrs after you that I kept, but was cold to at times, maybe even because of what I’ve done in the past.. (It hardens people) making these tough life decisions, for the emotions I’ve kept from you all.
 
When we got pregnant with you, we decided to try and make things work between us, even though they were rocky from the start. We liked to drink, party, do drugs, and have multiple partners. Your mother wanted to stay in this lifestyle while she was pregnant with you, and I decided it was not going to work, we would just be two druggies with a neglected child, that would end up worse off than I feel you’ve turned out.
 
I ended up in the hospital about 6 months after we gave you up, from hepatitis from sharing a heroine needle. I almost died, I was in the hospital getting blood transfusions for many months.
 
I can’t change the past, I am old and gray now, and my mind goes at times. I’ve lived with nothing but craziness with your mother, and with the next women to come, and even my children, who at times go through mental problems also. Then again, who hasn’t.
 
I don’t know what to say, at times when I share my emails, it is only to get help how to tell you what I cant say, what I never say. I ask them for help on how to let you know gently things that have happened, when they tell me to tell the truth, I always end up with a meek reply, because I don’t like to put Sandra down, and what point is pointing the finger when what’s done is done.
 
My son and daughter have mixed feelings about the situation, they’ve always known about me having an adopted child, my second wife did also, we always talked about looking for you, wondering if we would find you, if you turned out okay.
 
My children never wanted me to distance myself from you, if I said that, it was just an excuse to keep people from prying into why I don’t respond the way they want me to. Because I don’t even know myself how I should respond.
 
I was mentally ill also, I went with a much younger girl, she moved in, got pregnant, got an abortion, and eventually married me, when she was in early twenties, the marriage was different, we married out of love, not to keep from having a baby out of wedlock. When we had our child, it was a year later. This was a different time in my life. I was a different person, this was a different stage. Just like you will go through stages in life, although they may not be as extreme.
 
I am not sure why anyone would say we would’ve killed you after a year. that is very harsh and I cant even find a way to give that one a response.
 
a few years ago, I got injured on a drug induced trip with your mother, she left me in her apartment bleeding from my head, so she could go back out to bar hop. She can get very angry when she is drunk. From my experience I would avoid drinking with her.
 
This right there is proof that you ended up in a better place. We are both dysfunctional in our own ways, and that is why keeping you would’ve resulted in much more pain and heartache for all three of us, you would have endured the worst being so young.  We were young and naive. We were irresponsible, more so than most people.
 
All I can say is that I’m sorry you feel the way you do, but I honestly still feel it was for the best. We couldn’t pick who you ended up with, but if we could’ve, we would have picked the very best caring people for you, because that is what you deserved.
 
 It is the harsh truth, it is something I wanted to spare you from but your brother and sister felt you should be a part of the reality. They felt I was making it worse for you by not letting you know these things.
 
Truth is, from the beginning I felt you came on a bit strong with the adoption links and all the emails that made me feel like you had strong resentment towards me. It did keep me pushed back a bit because I was a bit reluctant to upset you further. I wanted to just try and keep the peace.
 
It is nothing personal, I haven’t went out of the way to keep you pushed away. I have been a recluse for a long time, I barely visit family, or keep contact. There are many weddings that are going on this year in the family that I am not even going to because I’m too depressed to even bother traveling.
It is hard being near the end of your life, it makes you feel alone, and very mortal, and I’m just at a point in my life where I keep to myself.
 
You have a beautiful family, you would have never met your husband if you hadn’t have been given up, you would never have those same kids, I believe fate has been kind to you, and given you a chance to be happy through their smiles, and their love.
 
 Dad
105486interesting
That gem was from 2012.  I found out that he was showing my messages to his family, and they were all passing these things around.  It was a horrible blow.
My children have never had a grandfather in their lives.  My adoptive father and my husbands father died before they could remember.
In a strange coincidence, my youngest daughters childhood friend, who grew up with our family knows my brother.  They live on the same floor at college.  My father and I both have a kid in college, and my daughter and his are the same age for a few weeks every year.
I look at my fathers family on Facebook.  I can’t help myself.  I saw that my cousin’s daughter was looking into adoption, she posted on Facebook asking for info.
I want to put my feelers out there on something without anyone assuming anything. Does anyone have personal or family experience adopting a child? It is impossible to find any general information on the matter. All I hear is that it is expensive. And impossible. So no need to post on this if you are just going to say it is expensive and impossible without why or details. Looking for real information on domestic and international adoption. Thanks and like I said, I am just looking for general knowledge. O is staying an only child for now.
This young woman is the same age as my oldest daughter and my half sister.  She has a toddler son, and is married and owns a home.  I have no idea why she’s looking into adoption.
I am adopted, I’m her cousin!  I wrote her a letter.  I looked up the address online, and mailed it.  I told her that adoption had been a nightmare for me.  I asked her to consider helping vulnerable women keep their children instead.  I told her adoption was like being separated from her son, forever.
I didn’t make a copy of the letter, so I’m not sure what else I wrote.  I recommended ‘The Primal Wound”, and some websites that I like, http://www.firstmotherforum.com/ and http://www.againstchildtrafficking.org/ and http://www.adoptionbirthmothers.com/musings-of-the-lame-an-adoption-blog/.
I never received any response.  I’m not surprised.  My father’s family believes in infant adoption.  They think  my feelings are wrong. They think my father did, and continues to do the right thing by me.  She is The Matriarch’s granddaughter, my cousin D’s daughter. This young woman’s mother once told me that there was no reason for my father’s family to question my death!
This Christmas, for the first time since reunion, 5 years ago I didn’t receive a Christmas card from my father’s younger sister.  She was the only one who sent me one.  Maybe this letter made her stop, but I have no idea.
They are a very strong, united family.  There is no room in that family for me, or my children.  And there is nothing I can ever do about it.
adoptee, adoption, anger, death, drugs, family, overdose, pain, rejection, reunion

My Cousin Overdosed

help

 

I never met my cousin.  He was 37, and lived in Florida.  He was my dear Auntie’s youngest son.  He led a troubled life.

My Aunt had a terrible childhood, like my mother did.  She was sexually abused since before she could remember.  My grandmother would bring home men from the bars and pass out, leaving her young children at the mercy of predators.  And prey they did.

My Auntie was a prostitute before she knew what it was.  The men would give her candy, or a few coins, or sometimes drugs when they were finished.

Everyone who grew up in Nana’s house was damaged.  She had 7 children in all.  Three are alive, Auntie, her sister China, and Uncle Charlie, who lives in a tent.

Auntie had 2 sons, one black, from a rape when she was hitchhiking at age 16 and one white, with a simple minded neighborhood guy.  She had substance abuse issues, and struggled to hold onto her sons.  She was in family court many times, even appearing before Judge Judy, before her TV fame.

One of her social workers convinced her it would be a good idea to give up her youngest son for adoption, the white one.  The social worker adopted him.  She promised openness, but fled to another state instead.  Auntie says she was tricked out of her son.  I wasn’t around, so I don’t really know what happened, but her son was gone.

When her son, Larry was around 14, the adoptive mother placed a ad in the local paper, looking for Auntie.  Larry had become a problem child, and the social worker/adoptress needed help. She told Auntie that she adopted the wrong son. Larry was never OK.  He was in jail, involved in drugs and crime.  He had at least 3 children with different women, and now he’s dead.

My mother died in Aunties arms on Sept 1, and now this.  And Aunties girlfriend broke up with her while Mom was dying, and started a relationship with Aunties ex!  They met through Auntie.

Another dead adoptee.  My cousin, who I never got to meet.

 

 

 

 

 

adoptee, adoption, anger, bar, cocaine, death, drugs, family, pain, rejection, reunion

So, My Mother’s Friend Wrote a Book….

cocaine heap

My late mother’s good friend wrote a book.  He wrote a chapter about her.  He changed her name, but it’s about her.

If you follow my blog, you know that her friend bragged to me about how he knew all about my late mother’s childhood abuse, and that he put a chapter in his new book about her.  The book was released on Sept 22, 21 days after her death.

I was sick to my stomach when I read it.  I don’t doubt that the story is true, but having my late mother used as a prop for this guys amusing story sickened me.  Here is the chapter:

“That reminds me of the time my boyfriend made me drink a gallon of gin to bring on an abortion,” I heard as I served the ginger shrimp dumplings. “Well, did it work?” I asked as all my dinner guest’s mouths fell open. “How the hell should I know? It turns out I wasn’t pregnant. But at least he showed me a good time.”

Typical Christine, who has made a career out of dropping statements like this into conversation whenever she feels left out. It’s her way of reminding people she’s there… as if anyone could forget the 60 year old woman wearing a red wig and an orange sweater dress. From the first day we worked together at Radio Mexico, I “got her.” While all the other waiters hated her because she’d yell at them when they tried to eat leftover wings out of the bus bin, I welcomed her bluntness. She was realer than real, and most people 

just don’t know how to deal with that. Snobs commented on her Staten Island accent, but I found it endearing. My sisters commented on the fact that she always wore a different wig, but I found her ever-changing identity refreshing. People recoiled as she referenced childhood molestations over cocktails, but I found her openness daring. She forced you to realize life wasn’t perfect – but that was no reason to start feeling sorry for yourself or blame other people for your problems. She was the penultimate self-help guru, and always knew the right thing to say. Whenever I was lost, she shined a light at the end of the tunnel, bringing me through to the other side.

We quickly bonded over a forty bag of coke the first night we worked together. After the restaurant closed, she invited me to her favorite bar, The Kastro, on East 5th street for a drink. Within minutes of being there, I knew I was home. Richard, the bartender, made me one of his world-famous margaritas, and we waited, along with the rest of the bar, for the arrival of Valeria, the coke dealer.

There was no mistaking her when she finally stepped through the door. She was a stone-faced Puerto Rican in her early 40’ s who was dressed in a style I can only describe as “Mother of The Bride.” She wore a purple floor-length gown covered in rhinestones with matching pumps and earrings. Why someone who dealt drugs for a living would choose to be so flashy was beyond me. All anyone needed to do was tell the police to look for the brassy-haired Puerto Rican in the sequin gown if they wanted to turn her in. But that was Valeria’s M.O. I would comment on whatever she was wearing – “Valeria, I just love that gold and black pant suit” – buy a forty bag of coke, and be on my way.

Christine would relay tragic stories of her upbringing as we took turns buying rounds of margaritas. She seemed to know everyone at the Kastro, and I loved meeting these bizarre creatures of the night – some of whom changed genders depending on the weather. Mark, a painter, would sometimes show up in drag, as his alter ego, Julie. As opposed to regular drag queens, who live for the spotlight, Julie preferred to sit in an unlit corner and flirt with straight men. I guess she figured if it was dark enough, they might not realize this 6’3″ woman with an Adam’s apple was really a man.

Our Sunday night trips soon became Sunday and Wednesday night trips. When I started catching later trains back to Bellerose, Christine told me she sometimes went to an after-hours club named Brownie’s. Two hours later, I found myself stumbling there at 4:30AM.

When we got to the club, Christine told me to stay behind her as she knocked on the door. Ten seconds later, a very good-looking man opened up. It was Dominic, the bouncer. Christine said hello and introduced me. “And this is my friend Greg,” she said. “He’s good people.” “Cool, Greg, nice to meet you. I’m Dominic,” he said as he extended his hand. God, these after hours people were classy. “Quick, get in,” he said as we scooted down the steps into the dungeon that was Brownie’s.

Once inside, my eyes adjusted to the darkness and I realized I was surrounded by dirty stay-outs drinking canned beer and cocktails out of plastic cups. Although everyone was high, there was only a low hum of conversation. These after hours people really did have class! Christine and I stumbled over to the bar and lit a cigarette. “What the fuck is going on?” I asked her. “Excuse me, young man, what did you just say?” I heard from behind me. “Oops – I forgot to tell you the rules,” Christine said.

I turned around to see a portly 55 year-old black man in a cowboy hat. “Young man, I will have you know that cursing is not allowed in this establishment.” I turned to Christine, “Who the hell is this clown?” I whispered. “He’s Brownie,” she told me. “And he takes these rules seriously.” “I will not have anyone using swear words, and I take it you will follow these rules, or do I have to ask you to leave?” he continued. He was serious. “Uh, no, I had no idea – but now that I do – you won’t have any trouble with me.” He smiled. “That’s what I thought. Miss Christine doesn’t hang around trash,” he said, and kissed her on the cheek. She blushed. “Oh, Brownie, stop.”

It dawned on me that Christine and Brownie were lovers. If I wasn’t so coked up, my heart would have stopped right there. “See you later, Brownie,” Christine said, as she ushered me over to the pool table. “I just love that rule of his,” Christine said. “Since people can get so messed up when they party, the fact that you know there’s a small rule you need to adhere to keeps your subconscious mind aware that you need to stay under control. It’s a great way to keep people in line without having to be forceful, don’t you think?” “Uh… what?” I asked. She had lost me at “adhere.” But in hindsight, her theory made a lot of sense. As I sat around, snorting coke off a pool table, I knew there was something I was forbidden to do, and it kept me in check.

That was the best thing about Brownie’s – since it was an illegal club, there was no reason to take that long, unnecessary trip to the bathroom – all one needed to do was whip out your drugs in the middle of the bar. I soon learned this wasn’t the best tactic, as lowlifes would run over acting like your best friend. I had a lot to learn about all these after-hours clubs. While I tried to sort out the do’s and don’ts, I heard someone banging on the front door.

Everyone froze and looked at Dominic. A hush came over the room as he went to investigate. He came back and told everyone to head to the other side of the room in silence. Like cattle, we shuffled over to the side of the club, awaiting more instructions

against a dank wall. Since I was totally out of my mind, I was convinced there were mobsters with machine guns on the other side of that door, trying to get in so they could mow us down. In reality, it was probably just the cops responding to a noise complaint. I whispered to Christine, “Has this ever happened before?” “No,” she said. “Not in all the years I’ve come here.” So the gangsters had chosen the night I came to gun people down! Seconds felt like minutes felt like hours! And still no word from Dominic!

When the thuds died down a few minutes later, he told us we couldn’t leave for at least an hour. Great. So now I was trapped in a literal dungeon at 6 in the morning with no hope of getting out. “Baby, it’s gonna be okay. This reminds me of the time my foster father locked me in the basement for two days when I lived in Michigan.” “What happened? How did you get out?” I asked. “Well, I finally crawled out the window above the washing machine and went to my case worker and told her what happened. She placed me in a new home and that guy didn’t molest me like the first one, so it all worked out fine. You see, there’s always a window open for you, waiting for you to find it, even in the darkest of places.”

I was in no mood for her New Age nonsense. “So where’s that window now?” I asked. “How the hell should I know? This place is a rat trap. If there was a fire, we’d all be dead.” Thankfully, that window did present itself two minutes later, when Brownie told Christine he was “getting out of dodge” and heading back to Brooklyn.

Once at the door, Dominic checked to make sure East 9th Street was clear. He opened it up to admit us into the blazing sunlight. Normally, I would have been completely depressed to greet the day in this condition, but after what I had been through, I was thrilled.

Two hours later, as I was lying in bed trying to fall asleep, I ran parts of the night through my head. What kept coming back to me was Christine’s comment about how she was happy about getting a new foster father after being molested. It suddenly hit me and I realized why I had no problem listening to this woman’s agonizing stories. Although they were horrifying, she had a way of looking at them that made me laugh. Comedy was her way of dealing with the tragedies in her life; something I related to ever since that fat bitch who lived above Bellini’s Pizzeria called me “Gaygory” when I was five. But even though Christine and I were able to find humor in the abuses she experienced as a child, my friends didn’t. In fact, they were often traumatized whenever she shared one of her tales.

Years later, after the Kastro and Brownie’s had come to pass like so many gems of NYC, I invited Christine over for a New Year’s Eve dinner party. During dessert, she shared a story about how she spent her weekends as a child on Staten Island. “Every Friday night, I sat at the dining room table with my mother and helped her melt paraffin wax so she could fill in the missing teeth in her mouth before she went to the bar. A few hours later, she would stumble back home with a strange man, wake me up and said, ‘This is your real father.’ Then she’d go have sex with him on the pullout couch.”

While I howled with laughter, the fondue forks fell out of my dinner guests’ hands. “So how did you feel about that?” I asked. Without missing a beat, she replied, “How the hell should I know? But I sure did love making them fake teeth. Every night was like Halloween.”

Scarnici, Greg (2015-09-22). I Hope My Mother Doesn’t Read This: A Collection of Humorous Essays (Kindle Locations 1235-1239). Thought Catalog Books. Kindle Edition.

Charming stuff, huh?  This is my late mother, the woman so traumatized by abuse that she gave her own newborn daughter away to strangers.  The one who cut me out of her life after I found her.  The woman who died from liver disease, after a lifetime of drinking and drug abuse.  This asshole uses her, to tell his shitty stories.  Not funny to me, at all.

I don’t even know where my mother’s ashes are.  I guess she was cremated.  I did not go to the memorial service.  This guy, Greg, spoke at the service, crying over the friend he lost, my late mother, his drinking and coke buddy.

adoptee, adoption, anger, death, family, pain, rejection, reunion

My Mother Has Died

She is gone.  The woman who gave me life is no more.  We will never see each other again.

The non-adopted can never understand the way I feel.  It’s not just loss, I lost her already, so many times.

She died the day after I was kicked out of hospice.  I don’t care about that anymore.

I never got to say goodbye.  When I left the room for the last time, I thought I’d be going back again.  It didn’t work out that way.  She was asleep anyway, but I still wish I had more time with her.  At least her sister was with her at the end.

I found out some terrible things, the morning after my mother died.

My mother’s good friend,(I’ll call him Prissy) posted a memorial to my mother on Facebook.  My family and I were left out.  I was devastated when I read it, because I knew the man who wrote it.  I had been to his house, with my mother.  We spent the day there in June 2013.  It was a tense visit, and I think I may have drank too much.  I often drank too much with my mother.  It was easy to do.

I answered his post on Facebook, asking why we were excluded.  I asked what my family did to deserve this.  This is the reply I got from the Prissy’s partner (I’ll call him Gross)

horror

I don’t know what this guy is talking about.  This is not the first time I’ve been accused of hurting my mother.  I felt guilty, because I said some things to my mother that were not that nice.  I did hurt her, but I never did it on purpose.  I was hurt and angry that I never got a chance to know the wonderful woman that my mother was.  I lost out on a lifetime with her.

Years ago, when our reunion was new, I found out that my parents had faked my death.  It was something that my adoptive mother told me.  She heard it from the agency, but I never knew if it was true.  Many things my adoptive mother was told were not true.  This was.

When I found out the dead baby story was true, my blood ran cold in my veins.  It haunted me, night and day.  I was angry that no one buried my body, that no one did anything for the dead baby that I was.  I wanted to know what happened to stillborn babies, and I looked on the internet.

I found out that unclaimed babies, and adults in my city are buried on Hart Island, in potter’s field.  https://www.hartisland.net/.

This was horrifying to me.  I told my mother and father.  It wasn’t nice, I know, but that’s what I did.  I wish I could take it back, but I can’t.  I know now that it upset my mother more than I could ever imagine.  I also told her that I wished I had been aborted, like her first pregnancy.  I still feel that way.  Living without her in my life was torture.  I would rather have never been born.

I could not breathe.  I felt that I was being attacked by this man, and this was the morning after my my mother died.  It was a terrible blow.  I private messaged him

Conversation started Wednesday
Michele
9/2, 8:24am
Michele
Hi, please tell me what you’re talking about? I really need to understand.
Greg
9/2, 8:26am
Greg
First off, I am so sorry for you loss and my knee-jerk reaction this morning. Paul and I are style very emotional over here, as I’m sure you are.
Now is the time to grieve and remember Sandra, and not attack one another.
I apologize for that.
Michele
9/2, 8:27am
Michele
It’s OK. I never understood what happened between us.
If you know, please tell me,
Greg
9/2, 8:27am
Greg
I’m sure there were years of pain built up before meeting that made things difficult for nothing you.
Both of you.
Big thumbs. Lol
Just try to rest up and take care of yourself right now and we can talk about this in the future if you’d like.
This has got to be s difficult time for you.
Michele
I never tried to hurt her. I’m sorry I made her last years so bad.
I amde her whole life bad, by being born
Greg
Not at all. She loved you. Like the mother she was.
She was sooooo happy to reconnect with you.
It put her mind at ease about so much pain she held inside about it all. Was very hard for her to do what she had to do.
I remember when you first found her at Christmas time. She called it a Christmas miracle.
Michele
9/2,
I really want to know what I did to her. What sick cards are you talking about? It’s important to me. You knew her better than I ever could.
Please, don’t hold bak. I’ve always wanted to know
Greg
9/2, 8:34am
Greg
The one with the dead babies in Potter’s field, saying you wish you weren’t born. frown emoticon
Michele
9/2, 8:34am
Michele
Did you see that card?
Greg
9/2, 8:34am
Greg
Yes.
Michele
9/2, 8:34am
Michele KS
Because I don’t remember it!
Greg
9/2, 8:35am
Greg
There were a lot of cards and gifts sent to her that we referred to as booby traps. She’d get them, thinking they were presents or cards, and inside would be something sick and twisted that made her heart ache.
Michele
9/2, 8:36am
Michele
Like what?
I really thought I was sending her nice gifts.
Greg
9/2, 8:36am
Greg
Paul has a better recollection than I do. They talked about it more.
Michele
9/2, 8:36am
Michele
Am I really crazy?
Greg
9/2, 8:36am
Greg
Lol. We all are!
Michele
9/2, 8:36am
Michele
Yeah but sending thigs I don’t remember…
I never intended anything i sent to be booby traps!
Greg
9/2, 8:37am
Greg
And to be honest it was probably subconscious hatred you had towards her. Maybe you sent them after a few drinks?
Michele
9/2, 8:37am
Michele
Are you really sure about this?
Greg
9/2, 8:38a
Greg
Yes.
Michele
9/2, 8:38am
Michele
ok. I wish I could see the stuff, maybe when John goes through her things he’ll find it.
Greg
9/2, 8:39am
Greg
But let’s not dwell on this. Let’s get through the next few days and remember your mother, who we both already miss so much.
Michele
9/2, 8:39am
Michele
I just remeber trying to get her thigs that would make her love me.
Greg
9/2, 8:39am
Greg
We can talk about this later. I have to get dressed and get to work. Missed yesterday! I’m open to talking whenever. XO
Michele
9/2, 8:40am
Michele
OK, don’t hold back!
Greg
9/2, 8:40am
Greg
XO
Michele
9/2, 9:08am
Michele
Are you sure my mother wasn’t suffering from projection? Can you have Paul contact me? I’m reeling from all this. I truly had no idea.
Thank you for your honesty. I really appreciate it.
If what you’re saying is true, I really have problems I never knew about.
Wednesday
Michele
9/2, 12:39pm
Michele
I feel like I’ve been punched in the gut.
Michele
9/2, 1:41pm
Michele
And my children deserve to be left out of her obituary because of the things she claims I sent to her?
Greg
9/2, 2:02pm
Greg
I have nothing to do with what Paul wrote and there is no “claiming” anything. She brought everything to our house you sent her to show us. We’ve seen it all and they were real.
Let’s move on an concentrate on her right now. She deserves that. This isn’t about us. It’s about her.
Michele
9/2, 3:07pm
Michele
But please, Greg, what things are you talking about?
I’m really freaking out about this. Do you know my daughter saw what you wrote about me? She’s away at college, all alone and just heard her grandmother died.
Can paul call me? XXXXX or email me,XXXXXXX
Greg, I really don’t know what I did. I am not lying, and am not prone to amnesia.
I did everything I could for my mother. I paid for Sharon’s bus ticket, because I knew my mother needed her.
I never knew why everyone was hostile to me.
I feel like I’m trapped in a nightmare.
Michele
9/2, 3:25pm
Michele
I can’t move on until I know what you’re talking about.
Greg
9/2, 3:31pm
Greg
Paul does not wish to speak to you. And I find it bizarre that you have no recollection of your hostile relationship with your mother…? I was witness to it on Fire Island. And to be honest, you brought this on yourself by asking, “What have I done to deserve this?” in your comment – turning Paul’s beautiful tribute to his best friend into something that was about you. Which you’re doing now again. Let us grieve Sandra and we can revisit this at a later time. I’m trying to be patient with you, but you keep bringing this up…once again, this is about Sandra, and the pain we are all feeling due to her loss.
Michele
9/2, 3:32pm
Michele
What happened in Fire Island?
My mother told me that the gift I sent her on mother’s day was the ugliest thing she had ever seen, and I was heartbroken. I chose the gift with my daughter, with nothing but love. Please if you’re going to accuse me, at least tell me what I did.
What did I do to Paul?
I was very upset that day, it’s true
I don’t remember hurting anyone
It was about me and my children, because we were omitted. How would you feel if it happened to you?
Greg
9/2, 3:37pm
Greg
Paul doesn’t know your family or your children. Why do you think he would? Write your own beautiful tribute to her and include them!!!!
Michele
9/2, 3:37pm
Michele
He knows we exist
Greg
9/2, 3:38pm
Greg
He doesn’t know the names of your kids!!! And he doesn’t like you!
Michele
9/2, 3:39pm
Michele
Greg, I don’t understand what’s going on. I’ll leave you alone, but please try and tell me what these things are and what I did to hurt everyone so much.
Greg
9/2, 3:39pm
Greg
Just hurting her hurt us…
Michele
9/2, 3:39pm
Michele
But how did I hurt her?
Greg
9/2, 3:40pm
Greg
we’re going in circles…
Michele
9/2, 3:40pm
Michele
I can’t defend myself if I don’t know what I did.
And no one will tell me
Paul doesn’t have to like me, just email me what I did
Greg
9/2, 3:41pm
Greg
I’ve told you already. Sending her cards saying you wish you were a dead fetus in potter’s field that was aborted for Mother’s Day…how’s that for a start?
Michele
9/2, 3:41pm
Michele
I never did that.
Greg
9/2, 3:42pm
Greg
I saw the card.
Michele
9/2, 3:42pm
Michele
Absolutely never
how do you know it was really sent by me?
Greg
9/2, 3:42pm
Greg
…and the envelope it came in…addressed to her.
Do you think someone else sent it?
Michele
9/2, 3:42pm
Michele
No, I sent my mother cards, but I never, ever wote anythng like that!
Greg
9/2, 3:42pm
Greg
…pretending to be you?
This is so bizarre then!
Michele
9/2, 3:43pm
Michele
I was so careful to choose cards that would not offend her.
Greg
9/2, 3:43pm
Greg
Eek. Then either someone was trying to sabotage your relationship or you have an alter ego that comes out…?
Michele
9/2, 3:44pm
Michele
Oh Greg, my mother was severely abused as a child.
Greg
9/2, 3:44pm
Greg
I know all about it.
Michele
9/2, 3:44pm
Michele
I have no explaination
Greg
9/2, 3:44pm
Greg
We had lots of discussions about it over the years.
I even wrote a story about her in a book that’s coming out in a few weeks..
Michele
9/2, 3:44pm
Michele
But I did not ever, ever send anything like that to my mother. I had no idea this was going on
Greg
9/2, 3:45pm
Greg
Oh wow! There were lots of cards like that…
This is crazy.
But that’s where we’re all coming from…so you know.
Now I have to get back to work. I have a meeting at 4 I have to get stuff ready for….
Michele
9/2, 3:45pm
Michele
I’m sorry. I know you don’t believe me. This is heartbreaking.
Greg
9/2, 3:46pm
Greg
I can believe anything. It’s a crazy world!
Michele
9/2, 3:46pm
Michele
All of you?
Greg
9/2, 3:46pm
Greg
well Paul and I..
Michele
9/2, 3:46p
Michele
OMG
Michele
9/2, 5:52pm
Michele
Greg, one last thing, I promise. You did me a big favor today. I had no idea that this was happening and could not understand why I was being treated so badly. Now the pieces are falling into place. I have no idea what John and Jeanmarie think of me, and what they think I did to my mother. I loved her, but she was a damaged person. i really didn’t know how badly until now. All you know about me is what my mother told you. I understand your hatred now. Thanks again, and thank you for being such a good friend to my mother.
Greg
9/2, 6:30pm
Greg
Of course. XO

I think my mother altered the cards that I sent her, then showed them to these men.  I still don’t know what they mean by booby traps.  I sent my mother “The Primal Wound” and a CD of The Foundling, by Mary Gautier, but I don’t think those things qualify as “booby traps” or “sick and twisted”.

I think my mother was throwing me under the bus, framing me!  Or, maybe one of her alters did it, and she really thought it was me.  Either way, it’s pretty bad.  I had no idea.

She has sent me some pretty scary things over the years.  These were from back in 2012.  We never saw each other much after I got this package.

brown bagbrownbag3

My mother handed this envelope to me the day after I picked her up from the hospital after she had a hernia operation.  My dear Auntie took care of her then too.  These things upset me so much, I read them and burned them out in the yard.  I took these pictures just to prove, to myself that I wasn’t nuts.

I never told anyone outside of my immediate family about this.  It’s too painful.  I can’t imagine a woman, a mother showing friends things like this.

I can’t go to the memorial service for my mother.  My brother didn’t invite me anyway.  I guess she was cremated by now, but I don’t know that either.

I NEVER WANT TO SEE THESE HATEFUL MEN AGAIN.  I can just picture them all sitting around, talking trash about me and how terrible I am.

I don’t know what to think about my mother.  I still want to love her memory, but it’s hard right now.

adoptee, adoption, anger, death, family, hospital, pain, rejection, reunion

The worst thing, so far

My mother is in Hospice care.  Her days are numbered.

All I want to do is be near her, for this last time in her life.  I got cheated out of so much, but I am not even allowed this last bit.

My mother kept her last child, a son, born 4 years after me.  She had one abortion, one adoption and finally she got it right, she kept him.  She appealed to his father’s family, and they helped her.  She told me she has never gone more than 4 days without speaking to him.  He is 48.

I was going to work today, woke up early and got dressed, but I hadn’t slept much the night before, and I really wanted to see my mother.  She was moved to the hospice floor last night, after I left the hospital.  I left when kept son came.  I don’t like to be around him.  I do not like him at all.  Part is jealousy, and part is the way he treats me.

My sweet husband drove me to the hospital, about 1 hour, by car from where I live.  I got there at 9 am, and found my dear Auntie lying in the empty bed in the peaceful, orderly room.  Mom was in the other bed.  She is emaciated, her bones sharp in her still beautiful face.  Her nose is mine, her chin and face, all so strange, yet so like my own!

I sat in the comfortable chair, and looked at my mother, marveling at this stranger who brought me into this world, and was so soon going to leave me again.  I sat with Mom while Auntie got a cup of coffee and smoked a cigarette.  I was glad to be with her, even though mom is not conscious.  She seems to be sleeping, snoring with a slight gasping sound.  It’s heartbreaking, but since it’s all I have left, I cherish it.

Then Auntie got a text, kept son was on his way!  Soon his face was at the door.  He began crying loudly.  We went out to get some air, and leave them alone for awhile.   Auntie wanted to get mom something pretty to wear.  Mom was very fashionable, and made a lot of her own outfits.  She studied fashion, and was an accomplished seamstress.  We went to the gift shop and picked up a pretty bed jacket.  Mom was wearing the fuzzy socks I had given her yesterday.

We went back into the room, and Auntie asked kept son to leave, so she could put the bed jacket on Mom.  He disappeared.  He then texted Auntie, asking when he could have time alone with his mother.

So we waited for him to come back, and we left.  Auntie had been at the hospital for 2 days, and had not showered or changed her clothes.  She headed back to her place and I headed back to mine. We rode the bus together for awhile, then she got off.  I stayed on until I reached the train station, where i caught a train home.  I had been planning to stay all day, and my husband was going to pick me up after work.

That’s not how it works when you’re given up for adoption.  He is her son, I am nobody and nothing. He kicks me out, and I get on the bus.  He is the alpha and the omega.

This was my parents choice.  they did this to me.  There is nothing for me to do but accept it.  Kept son can kick me out of my mother’s last days at any time.

I am nobody and nothing

I am nobody and nothing

Wasn’t a lifetime with her enough?  Why can’t I have this, too?

adoption, reunion

The Dead Baby Story

My parents faked my death.

empty-crib2

My father asked my mother to marry him when he learned she was pregnant.  They had been keeping company since she was 14 and he was 17.  Mom got pregnant when she was 16, and her mother knew the name of a good, illegal abortionist.  My Grandmother had had her own abortion a few months earlier.  They pulled twin boys out of Grandma, and it was probably for the best, because Grandma was not a very maternal woman.  She was a fertile woman though, having 7 children with 7 different men, not counting the doomed twins.

Mom had an abortion, and Dear Old Dad worked hard, all summer to pay for it.

Well, Mom fell pregnant again 4 years later, and this time Dear Old Dad  asked her to marry him.  They had the wedding reception in my Dad’s parent’s house.  They showed me home movies of the party, all the relatives there, and me, just a little bump in Mom’s belly, as she twisted the night away.

Mom and Dad began fixing up a little apartment attached to my grandparents large farmhouse.  Everything was going great until…Something Happened!

This is where things get murky.  This is where I lose my family.

According to Mom, she went to a church with a sign out front promising help for women with problem pregnancies.  She was having problems with my father, and problems all around so she went in to get advice.  It was a front for an adoption agency, and they told my mother, a troubled young married woman that she should give away her baby.

Mom went home and told my Dad what happened at the church.  She was expecting him to react with horror to the suggestion of giving me up, but instead he loved the idea.

He moved Mom to another part of town, where they didn’t know anyone.  As mom’s belly grew larger, Dad started to work on her, telling her I would have a horrible life if they kept me.  He told her I would have a worse life than she did, and she had a horrific childhood.  She began to believe him,and she finally agreed to give me up.

According to Dad, they planned to give me up before they got married.  They got married because people in those days didn’t have babies unless they were married.  They planned to give me up and get divorced from the start.

Then he told me that they got married, then he realized that it wasn’t going to work.  My mother and father were heroin addicts who had sex with multiple partners, and Mom wasn’t willing to give up that lifestyle, so he thought it was best if they gave me away.

They decided to keep my birth a secret, then tell their families that I was stillborn.  And, that is what they did.

According to Dad, everyone believed the story and no one asked any questions.  No one asked where my body was, and there was no funeral.

My Adoptive Mom told me that story before I could speak.  It was part of my adoption story, “your parents told their parents that you died at birth”.  And in a way, I did.  Family life went on without me, and now I’m like a ghost to them.  It’s all very gothic.

My mother says she never said I died, except for one time, when her mother came to my parents apartment to see the new baby, and there was no baby to be seen.  She asked where I was and my mother screamed, “She died Mom, she’s dead”.  My grandmother never spoke of me again.

The dead baby story has haunted me my entire life.  When I was younger I imagined I had a grave out there somewhere, and a tombstone with my true name on it.  Little girls should be dreaming of growing up and having a wonderful fulfilling career and family, not wondering where their grave is, or why their mother left them, for goodness sakes.

When I found my parents, my cousin told me that the death story was true.  My dear cousin also told me there was no reason for anyone to question my death.  I think that the fact that I continue to draw breath, is a very valid reason to question my death as a newborn, but maybe I’m just screwed up. I had hoped it was a lie told by the adoption agency, but alas, it was not.  I began to wonder about that story, and wonder what happened to stillborn babies back in 1962.

I did some research online, and found out that unclaimed babies are buried in mass graves of 1000 tiny coffins in a municipal cemetery, on a lonely island in the middle of a large river.  Prisoners from a nearby prison bury the bodies.  They are the only attendants at those sad funerals, for the unclaimed dead of the big city where I was born.  And that’s what my parents did to me, and no one asked any questions.