These days, all these memories unshared by my words, unspoken by my mouth, keep coming up, wishing to be told. And my inner child is wishing to free me of the load I have carried for years trying to figure my life out. And why my Mama left me so long ago and to come to terms with he pain that leaving left me with.
When I was growing up, I was really never given the choice on what I wore. My Mama Jean ruled the roost. She used to tell me, many times, I lived with her, she did not live with me. And I imagine in a normal home that would have been acceptable, all thought I personally do not think it a nice thing to tell the child you brought into this world with our actions such a thing. But in my home growing up, this was what was spoken over me. And it made me feel, well very small, and like a possession of some sort, that was put on a shelf and taken down to dress, and wash and feed and then placed back in the place it was supposed to stay until called down again. Rather like some kind of doll. And I had to wear what Mama Jean wanted. She may not like me telling this, but it is my truth.
I remember going to the store with her and being told that if I put up any kind of fuss, we would leave. Which meant I could not voice my opinion about what I wished to we are at all, or I would get nothing new to wear. So I was taught to compromise, I was taught that my voice would not be heard and that she would speak and choose for me what she felt was suitable for me. I remember one time, I had made the mistake of speaking my mind, as I often did, and having her tell me that she was going to put me in the trunk of the car. I thought, well, I guess I could be ok in that trunk? We owned a Lincoln continental and the trunk was quite big. I imagined what it might be like riding around in the trunk? I thought in my little mind, ” well, with a blanket and some pillows, maybe a tv and my favorite doll, it might be nice in there. ” That is what I did when Mama Jean hurt my feelings by saying such things to me. Imagined it into something better.
When I was growing up, I never painted my nails. Mama Jean never painted my nails? She never bought me nail polish like the other girls Mama’s did. She was to busy for such kind of things. But I tried my best to love her anyway, and to understand. It was hard though, I wanted those things. But Mama jean was just not like that. She painted her own nails, but not mine. I remember when I would get my dress on and I would go out and I would ask her, If i looked beautiful, she would tell me, “Beautiful is Elizabeth Taylor, you are pretty.” It hurt me, cuz I knew I would never hold a candle to Elizabeth Taylor, and so would never be beautiful to Mama Jean.
When I was three, I was watching Mama jean make something. I standing up on the dining room chair watching her work. And I don’t know why, but I spit at her. She did say some mean things to me. Maybe I was trying to fight back at her? I don’t know. But she, out of reflex, and quite matter of factly, swong at me and knocked me clear across the table, and I hit the wall and fell to the floor. I don’t remember this incident, Mama jean told me, and it did not seem to be a bad thing at all for her to do. She seemed quite vindicated in doing so. I had spit and so she just hit me out of reflex, no shame in that? Besides, I lived with her, she did not live with me. Remember?
When I would want something, I got told, “Beggars can’t be choosers”, so much, that I really began to feel like I was a beggar, and that she was the chooser. Remember she chose my clothes and everything. She told me what to wear for school. My shoes she chose. And it was hard to make choices for me, being told what to do all the time does not exercise a young girls to choose very well. So I just would follow along. I just wanted to be loved and accepted, and letting Mama Jean make the choices seemed to gain me some love and acceptance I guess. But it never really satisfied me, if you know what I mean?
My Mama Linda may know this? I think I tried to tell her when we met, but she did not want to hear it either. She seemed to busy. And did not want to see the life she had provided for me when she gave me away. She did not want to see how another woman treated the gift God sent to her. She did not want to ruin her own story she had written without my chapter and I seemed to mess her story all up by coming back. It was painful to watch and experience. It seems I have no place like home here on this earth I would muss in my mind. When will I find my place, Lord?
I wonder why God brought me back to this woman at all? And it was so painful, those first years, seeing all the photos of my sisters, and knowing my place was supposed to be there, but I was not visible in them. But I know I was there, in spirit at least. I loved my sister so. I had dreamed of the day we would meet, and I would not be alone anymore. WE would have sleep overs and visit. They would love me. And they would make it all better, cuz sisters do that, don’t they? Sister fight for you, they kiss your booboo’s and they fight with you. Oh, how I missed someone to fight and make up with. And I longed for those sister that I remembered from my time in the womb. I have a friend I grew up with, and I would talk to her about my sisters. Oh, how much I wanted sisters. And she stood in for my sisters, she is a sister from another Mother.
Its strange being adopted, kind of like being in a bubble. You just float through life, and you feel on the outside of it all, watching others, have the lives you wish for deep within. You are trying so hard to appreciate what you have been given, and you don’t want God to be mad at you for being ungrateful. For the world does not like ungrateful children. No it does not. And it will tell you and put you in your place if you get out of line. But gratefulness was not the deal with me. I just wanted my Mama and my sisters most.
And after my parents went through a nasty divorce. After I watched my Daddy walk away from my Mama Jean, and had pushed me away during the fight before he exited our lives as a family, when I ran up to give him a shell to remember me by, a piece of me broke. And I mourned another loss. A loss that hit my loss of my Mother. It wa hard after the divorce, because my Dad started to see my Mama Jeans best friends who’s husband committed suicide, who lived two houses down. And my Daddy did not come see me for quite some time after the divorce. And Mama Jean would make me give him gifts and cards, I did not want to give him anything, but she made me. Always making me do things I did not want to do, wear what I did not want to wear, go places I did not want to go, eat things I did not want to eat.
And my Daddy was now dating the very woman who’s son molested me. I am just now telling this here. I never told my Dad, I just carried it. Because I tried to tell them what was going on, but no one listened to me, no one heard. So after my Dad died I told my step brother what his brother did. And he was so upset, and told me how upset he was to hear it, that it made him sad and all. He acted as if I had burst his pour bubble? I thought,” Well, I lived with that for years, and your upset?” What a blow it was to him, and yet he could not see the blow it was on me, his step-sister? He had known me since birth. His father my Uncle John was the one who did my adoption. I loved uncle John. And my aunt Joey did not like that. She did not like that he bought me gifts and did not buy gifts for her boys and she did not like me for that. She was cold towards me.
I let those boys have my Daddy. They seemed to need him more than me. Or was that true? Did I just tell myself that? Beggars can’t be choosers, remember? So I did not beg for my Dad, I just took what he could give me, which was not really much. He would take me places every now and again. And I imagine he blamed that on Mama Jean. They fought a lot about me. But it was not her fault. It was his choice, remember, he was the chooser. I chose to just let them have what they wanted, I was just a child and had no rights. Mine had been taken from me at birth when my Mama lost her mind and gave me away, thinking someone else would surely do better than she.
I remember my Dad did not pay child support, much. I remember Mama Jean showing me a check for 125.00. And I thought in my mind, because Mama Jean also taught me to play the quiet game, Is that all I am worth? My Daddy did not send anymore checks after that. He made good money too, he sold tractors at the local Case Dealership. But he spent it on good times with Aunt Joey and her boys. I was just a memory, a bad one. He did not like to look at that life he started and walked away from.
He was not faithful to Mama Jean. She told me, he was running around on her. One time the bank manager called her and told her to tell her husband, my Dad to stay away from his house? I wonder why he did not tell my DAD? I guess he showed up and my Dad was at his house with his wife? Maybe he should have been a better husband? Why is that Mama Jeans responsibility? But after Aunt Joeys husband, my uncle John shot himself one morning, life would forever change. No to long before this, I almost lost my parents from a plane crash in Albuquerque, New Mexico, when a bolt came out of the plane and flew into the engine while they were traveling at 50 thousand feet int he air. It was quite scary for me as I watched the news with Auntie Elmo, who was watch me while they went a trip they were coming back from a Caribbean Islands cruise.
I was grateful they came back. I did not need to loose again. This pattern was just getting to be ridiculous! I would pray, ‘how much God??” I am trying to be the best little girl I can, please help me get back to my Mama, please. Mama will make it better if she could just see. Help me please. I remember one time, I prayed for snow. I am born in January, on the 8th, the same day as Elvis, but I did not feel like a queen, that is for sure. I felt more like cinderella. Oh, Lord, when can I be a real daughter? I would think. I am trying so hard to feel like a real daughter in this adopted family, why is it not working?
God would answer me years later, after I found my Mama. God told me this, God said, ” Belinda, you rode nine month in a woman, you cried with her, you laughed with her, you did everything with her, and when your nine months was up, you knew the difference.” And that was exactly right. I did. Mama Jean did not smell right, she laughed funny, she did not rock me right. In fact, she tried to rock me, I would not let her. What she thought she was getting was a daughter, but what she got was someone else daughter. And she was just playing house with me. She had stolen a daughter from a sister who was down and took off with her gift. I know, sounds kind mean to have me write that. But I think you can see why I feel that way.
That is why I write here, to show folks the reality of Adoption is not some happily every after story. It is the ripping of a child from their Mothers breast, her heart and it is the story of a child left longing to be returned to their rightful place. This is my story, this is my song. This is what adoption poured into the vessel that is me, and this is what pours out of me now, for all to see. For a vessel can only pour what has been poured into it, now can it?
Thank you for your time. Thank you for reading my words, I did not mean to make you cry, if I did. But, well, I cried a lot growing up, inside, where no one could stop me, and no one could tell me to play the quiet game. I played that game, yes I did. Until I was strong enough to speak the truth crammed inside me by a world that did not want to hear my song, did not even want to see the wound Adoption inflicted on me.
Thank you for having the courage to dive deep with me down here, where I hid it all away, waiting for the day when God would tell me it was safe to speak my mind and cry out to my Mama. God told me my truth would wake her up and that she would show up. She just was lied to. And it was like an evil spell cast upon her so she could not see what she did to herself and to me.
God bless you for coming here. Truly It means a lot. To have your support and to see your numbers growing each day. I am grateful for those of you that come from Sweden, Germany, Ireland, Africa, and many more places. It gives me hope and it give the child within me, who went through this, hope for a brighter day for children all over this planet that mourn in secret for their Mama’s.
Mama jean did her best don’t get me wrong. But she was not my Mama. Ok? She just was not. Dont hate me for wanting my Mama, I am tired of that. A child should want their own Mama. Even adopted children. OK?