Where to begin!
I relinquished a child over 20 years ago. I was 22 at the time and not much support around me. Her birth father never knew. Therefore I made the decision to relinquish her so she could have the best life that I could not give her.
At the start I had a little contact, but as my life moved I felt it best to let her live hers. Not a single day has gone by where I don’t think of her.
My life moved on, and I really didn’t talk about my past, basically suppressed it. Travel, work, house, marriage and two beautiful children and unfortunately a divorce followed.
So in dealing with all that I was getting my life back on track and my first born walked back into my life.
It has been an emotional roller coaster ride ever since. She pressed to contact her birth father and they have since developed a wonderful relationship, which I am extremely happy about.
However I put the wall up and walked away, as our relationship was still being established all I could see was how wonderful theirs was. I feel anger, guilt, hate, envy, and have such deep seeded issues I can’t seem to find the happiness in any of this or within myself.
She has since contacted me and she’s frustrated and hurt which I totally understand, I just feel overwhelmed and want to run again.
I have struggled to find proper counselling to address all of this complex mess. So here I am as a starting point.... hoping to find any help I can.
Thanks in advance
Hi there Nomoreblue. I have no real solid advice to offer, but I am sure that there are wise people online here who can help.
I can see you are in pain over this, but I just want to say how great it is that you are able to identify the turmoil you are experiencing. I am also a 'runner', so I can relate to your feelings of wanting to get away from the situation. I also have aspects of my past that I have suppressed - although widely different to yours - and it is such an ingrained habit which I think is linked to wanting to run. I think maybe when we are faced with tapping into or opening up about the feelings we have squashed down for so long, that we have been so good at suppressing for so long, our reaction is to escape from that.
I am sure you will get some great advice here. All the best to you.
Welcome to the forum.
I can see how distressed you are about this situation. I'm not sure how much I can help. I think you have a lot of grief about giving up your child for adoption only to find her back in your life. It must be confusing for you. Added to this is the relationship she has with her father which both pleases you and makes you sad for yourself.
This is a fairly complex situation. Your child's father has not spent 20 years wondering about his daughter and perhaps feeling sad or guilty. He has come fresh to meeting his daughter which I think may be easier for him. You have thought about your daughter constantly and whatever the reasons for giving her up at that time I suspect that you have changed your mind about the rightness of this many times since.
I wonder if it would help if you wrote a letter to your daughter telling her the circumstances of her adoption, how you felt at the time and about your doubts and fears since then. Tell her about the emotional roller coaster. You do not need to give her the letter unless you feel it would help both of you. Sometimes just writing it down can be most helpful.
In the meantime ask your doctor to refer you to a psychologist with good skills in this area. Like all professions people have different skills and your GP is best placed to know who's who. It sounds as though you need an objective person to listen to you and help you identify what's happening. It is important to untangle this as much as possible especially when you have such intense feelings about it.
This is what causes you to want to run away. I know for myself that the greater the turmoil the more I want to run away and it can take lots of energy just to stay in one spot. This is where a psychologist can help by gently leading you through this maze of emotion. You can stop at every hurdle and work out the best to get past the barrier. It can also help you in future to use the same process in other intense events.
I hope this helps.
welcome to beyond blue.
firstly, I want you to know that you write well. That might sound odd, but I could see where you were coming from, and the feelings you experience(d). In one session with my psychologist I mentioned the bond between children and parents. And that bond is probably stronger between a mother and her child(ren). I am sure you would also be frustrated in finding proper counselling, that might enable you to find a way to move forward. And you are still looking for a way to move forward which is encouraging. The one thing I would like to convey to you is that there are reasons why we do things in life and at the time (will seem?) are the right things to do - so your actions are/were real and natural for you.
Now I hope you don't mind if in any of my posts I ask questions; your story brought out quite a few. Sorry.
- You said in your did not talk about your past, or suppressed it. Were you able to accept yourself for the actions that your younger self?
- Have you told your daughter the full story of what your younger self did, including the reasons behind those actions? (Even if you have, it may take time and possibly retelling the story for your daughter to go understand and reform a relationship.)
Many of us have secrets in our past that we have trouble facing, including myself. I am unsure of the answers you might be looking for here, but if you do come back, I will always listen to you tell your story.
Hi Tim. Thank you for the response.
Yes good counselling for this type of situation is hard to find. But others have suggested the GP first l, so I might start there.
In answer to your questions... I never once have regretted my decision. It was the right thing to do. So yes I believe I’m accepting of it, but I guess it’s not something I spoke of with many people. So deep down I never have come to terms with it.
she is very aware of the situation and has no ill feelings towards me. Whilst she has her own issues about things, this for me, is about the guilt I feel and not being able to love myself.
I guess here I felt I could open up about it and understand that this is normal to feel the way I do.
I feel for you so much as you struggle with an incredibly complex set of relationships. From what you write, perhaps the most complex relationship is the one you have with yourself. As I often say, our 'I am' (aka our identity) and all that comes with it can be incredibly complex.
I imagine you felt a huge amount of conflict when you faced such overwhelming challenges earlier in your life as well as the conflict you experienced in the months leading up to your divorce. I imagine the conflict you feel now is also enormous and just as life changing, for you face having to re-identify in a huge way yet again.
Conflict is an interesting topic, whether it's internal or external. I find that when it comes to conflict with others, if I do decide to change my mind completely about something or reach a compromise, I know one thing will have to happen; I will have to become a different person. I will need to change from 'I am someone who believes this' to I am someone believes that' (or even someone in between, if a compromise is involved). Anger, guilt, hate and envy can be some of the emotions which prompt me to identify differently. Whilst these emotions feel torturous at times, I believe they call for my evolution, whether I'm prepared for change or not. Sounds a little weird but such emotions are found on the path that leads toward self love, personal evolution.
Finding someone to help you evolve through your emotions is key to helping you re-identify in a truthful positive self-loving way. For a start, I believe (in this situation) the truth is you are a powerful loving person who has given the gift of life on more than one occasion. You gave it twice to your daughter, when she was born and when you gifted her into a new life with new parents. You gave an amazing gift to these parents. You gave a gift again when you did not stop your daughter from coming to know her dad. You are a giver of life and love. The greatest of all gifts is the one you now face - that of life and love for yourself, on this journey. It's a liberating gift you so deeply deserve. The question is 'Are you prepared to carefully unwrap it?'
By the way
- Anger may ask us to face disappointment (releasing our self and/or others from a particular role/appointment)
- Guilt may ask us to choose the most enlightened of 2 paths and not look back
- Hate may ask that we let go of that which challenges us most and
- Envy may ask that we recognise our own opportunities and abilities