Collage_Life (collage_life) wrote,

They can't be serious... but sadly they are.

Since Child was away this year, I decided months ago that I would spend Thanksgiving with my First Mom and her friends (who are like family) in Maine.  They do this every year; last year I couldn't see my way clear to not being with my family - the adoptive family, my parents et al and Child was home last year so we were with my family (my parents and a couple of their aging but nice friends.)  Of course. No question.  Dare I say it's sort of like being married and having to choose between out-laws and in-laws.  Thankfully, that's not an issue.  (Should I ever lose my head and marry again the holidays will be a non-issue:  everyone at my/our house - leave your baggage home.)


This year, Child away, I saw myself as a 'free agent' and opted to do something completely out of character:  I went my own way.  Maine. First Mom.  New people. New tradition?  I told my folks I'd be in NYC visiting some old acting friends for the holiday...blah blah blah... Child's away, etc., etc. 

Bottomline: This was one of the most memorable weekends in my life.  Exhilerating, loving, empowering, wide open with acceptance, humor and wonderful company.  If there was dysfunction - apart from my lying to my parents to be there in the first place - it was well cloaked.  No yelling or fighting; no outrageously embarrassing drunks; no upset or egregious acts meted.  It was healthy, good, fun.

So my week is off to a stellar start riding this great spiritual, lofting high.  Filled and accepting the love from new friends and those who knew about me for 40+ years but never met until this weekend.  All was sailing along so beautifully.

Until yesterday.
Yesterday was like one giant car wreck. 

My father (and I mean my only father, my adoptive father, my Dad) called me at the office to let me know of his complete and absolute displeasure.  (He'd been oddly short and brusque with me over the phone since last Wednesday and I wondered if he knew, but he never said anything.  We both let it go.) 

Somehow - and it's no matter how - he found out.  I knew too well the anger and anxiety and perceived betrayal would be the risk - but when would we confront - and did we have to??   Would they ever know?  It was a risk. 

It could happen either in front, if I'd been up front and told them my plans before going; or, at the back end, like yesterday.  Whavever.  I knew this aspect wouldn't be pretty so I tried putting if off as long as possible (the lie).  The rest, them finding out, was part of the risk.  Poorly calculated as it was.

My father's, along with my sister's, reaction was so far over the top of a "normal"  Dad and Sister reaction that I was actually speechless.  (Doesn't happen often.)

My father segued the opening topic of yesterday's call (something about a future Family Court date) into a harsh and angry, “And WE need to talk.... I know for a fact you did not go into the city this weekend.  I know for a fact you were in Maine.  With your BIRTHmother and her FAMILY..." and he continued to spit, literally, out those words he couldn't swallow any more.  "It was a FAMILY day and you chose to ....."  I'd stopped hearing by then.  Numbness was about the only thing going on.  Another Trial of the Family Scapegoat.  Another "who's worse than whom" episode.  My fault.  Everything has always been my fault.  Pitiful, really.  And untrue.

Mostly, I listened to him for what seemed to be long time but was only a few moments.  I was stunned when he hung up.  He told me knew "for a fact" I went to Maine, that I wasn’t in NYC.  He told me I caused serious and permanent “damage” – his word – to my family and that relationship - and going to Maine was a “very, very bad decision” that will have lasting effects.  His tone had every subtext of threat and you're going to be disowned adhered.  I heard him loud and clear.

"I'm sorry you feel that way, Dad, I really am...."

"WELL I DO FEEL THAT WAY! and I'm coming over tomorrow night after I get my hair cut.  You're going to know how I feel about this!"

"Dad, I can hear how you feel about this, exactly how.  I don't need to hear any more.  You've made that quite clear.  And I'm singing tomorrow night and won't be home until very late and Child would be there.  Honestly, I don't need to hear anymore."

 - not versed in people with boundaries, he paused a bit... then,

"Why don't you spend Christmas in Maine, too?  Good. Bye."
And he hung up.
I'm free.

The frequent saying in recovery programs - bastardized here because I don't know the accurate wording - is even if you were never the one with the problem/issue/addiction, the healthier you become, the more upset and scared the other people in your circle/family become.  They're going to be left with their problems and as you move on - literally or figuratively - they don't have you to use/blame/be angry with anymore. 

I have always been the Family Scapegoat - capitalized here for the respect due me for a lifetime of eating shit served with a monogrammed silver spoon.  And, yes, I love them.  Dearly.  For all their flaws, and for all of mine, they are my family.  But, I cannot save them nor can I make them whole, or stop the drinking or mend and re-vamp the passionless marriage that is theirs.  I can't make my sister fertile, or give my father a backbone or stop him from enabling my mother's destructive alcoholism.  I can't make them understand my need to search for my biological mother / family, and I will not continue any further explaining myself.  It's pointless.

Funny how they adopted a stranger's baby into their lives to show them they weren't doing so well after all.

I'm not calling back.  I'm sorry they hurt.  Maybe someday they'll find their way to forgiving me for several things: being adopted and not like them (this makes me laugh), and for searching, finding, and exploring that part of my history.

More, it's bothersome knowing my sister (natural to my parents) and brother in law (natural to his parents) are approved-by and listed-with Catholic Charities as potential adoptive parents.  How will they handle this very issue should (when) their (adopted) child has the same needs?  For that child's sake one can only hope they don't react this way.

In the end, as always, I will be just fine.

It's already happening.

Tags: adoptee, fear, thanksgiving

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