Monday, August 7, 2017

No Winning

"I think that that's the problem.      I respect you and dad a lot more than I used to so I don't mean to offend you guys in any way, I know that you guys have done so much for us and I appreciate that a lot and even though AL doesn't act like it she does too. And I know you guys have tried to understand us and it hasn't worked. But we aren't like normal people we don't see the world the same way that you guys do. We were raised by drug addicted parents who did not want us so we never really had parents so we don't know how to have parents in the first place. We grew up being very independent. If you want it to work with AL you need to be extra patient because she will be worse than me. The thing you do when your mad at us when you just walk away or say mean things or sarcastic things  or calling us names like you called me a liar all the time is not gonna make us want to have a relationship with you guys it's only gonna make it worse. And if that made our relationship worse then it's gonna be hell with AL. And you saying  that you regret adopting us or never should have adopted us it fucks with us mentally it makes me alone think that I'm not worth anything to anyone and makes me not want to be alive, who knows how it makes Allison feel. If you are doing things the way you did when I was there it's only gonna go the same way and I don't want that for her I promised her better. You just need to be fragile and gentle. And I think her seeing me more will help. I'm not going to kidnap her or feed her drugs instead of cereal for breakfast.I just want to be able to see her more, for her to be able to spend the night with M and I. She and I both need time with each other or it doesn't go well. And THE OTHER MOM isn't going to get in contact with you she doesn't mind if AL comes over or spends the night. But I'm an adult and I'm not her responsibility. And if you don't want to take care of AL anymore I will gladly take her off your hands. Maybe we could take about this more in person whenever if you want but this is important to me. And AL has nothing to do with this at all it's just I hate when you say stuff like that or make it seem like it's too hard or impossible to take care of us. You just need to find a different way to approach her or it's end up being really bad for all of us including me."


This is part of a text messaging frenzy that you and I had a week ago. It lasted until well past midnight and, as usual, started because of your sister. I responded at the time, but now, a few days later, I've had time to think to consider more clearly (instead of a blurry eyed, sleep deprived response). I don't want to argue with you, but I would like to clarify a few things. 

"We aren't like normal people..."

I know, believe me, I know. Having lived with the two of you for a few years now, I've figured out a few things. The emotional and physical abuse the two of you suffered changed the way your brains are wired. Neither of you see or hear the way others do. In fact, often times, you only hear a part of what's said. I use to think you both just ignored us, but then I saw you do the same thing to teachers and others. I can't imagine what it must be like to miss out on key elements of conversation and then try to respond in the appropriate way. 

"...like calling me a liar all the time..."

Yes, you are right. I did call you a liar. Do you know why? Because you LIED ALL THE TIME! You lied to me about being gay, about your boyfriend, about skipping school, where you were and what you did. You lied to your teachers, your coaches, your teammates. YOU LIED. From your point of view, it must be frustrating to have someone, a parent, tell you that LYING is wrong. After all, you've spent your entire life lying to everyone to get what you needed or wanted. Maybe I shouldn't have called you a liar, but what was a supposed to do? Half of the time I didn't know what was true or false. I spent nights laying awake trying to stay one step ahead of you and it wasn't always about controlling you...although I admit I have a control problem, but I'm working on it. KK, I want good things for you. I want you to graduate, I want you to get some form of an education. I want you to deal with your past, so that you can have a better future. Everything I tried, failed. There was no win for me.

"And you saying  that you regret adopting us or never should have adopted us it fucks with us mentally it makes me alone think that I'm not worth anything to anyone and makes me not want to be alive, who knows how it makes AL feel."

This part really pisses me off! I never said I regretted adopting you! I said maybe you would be happier somewhere else, what else could I possibly think? You and A treat us like shit. You lie at every turn, or you ignore us. You're nice to us when you want something and the rest of the time treat us like you wish we were dead. And you know what, that 'fucks with us mentally' too. That being said, I do understand how you could view that statement as a passive aggressive statement, wishing that we hadn't adopted you.

We are not perfect KK. We screwed up and I'm totally willing to take 50% of the blame, but you have to own your share. You were a nightmare and made it as clear as day that you wanted out. You wanted to come and go as you please. You didn't want a family and specifically, you didn't want us. That hurts, more than you will probably ever know.

" And I think her seeing me more will help. I'm not going to kidnap her or feed her drugs instead of cereal for breakfast.I just want to be able to see her more..."

Then see her more! How many times have I or AL asked you to come over or go somewhere with us/her? I know she needs you. You were your mother, for years and years. You fed her, protected her. The problem is, you want it your way or no way and that's just not going to work for me and here's why:

Your boyfriend's mother let you move in without ever meeting me. She just bought all of your stories and there you are, sleeping with your boyfriend and doing whatever the hell you want. Good for her, but I have a very low opinion of someone who doesn't even bother to get the ENTIRE story. I'm being brutally honest here. AL needs to be with you, but not over there. 

And baby, I know you wouldn't feed her drugs for breakfast, I've told you repeatedly that I trust you. When it comes to AL, I trust you more than just about anyone, because AL is the ONLY person you have ever truly loved.

"And if you don't want to take care of AL anymore I will gladly take her off your hands. Maybe we could take about this more in person whenever if you want but this is important to me. And AL has nothing to do with this at all it's just I hate when you say stuff like that or make it seem like it's too hard or impossible to take care of us."

I do want to talk about this in person, because I don't think you fully understand. You are an adult and have more street smarts than most, but I don't think you understand what we were trying to do here. This entire adoption was about helping you both succeed. Remember the goals: graduated, no pregnancies and no addictions. Small goals, but meaningful. You are both statistics and those stats say that you have a higher risk of failure than most kids. 

Mistakes were made, certainly. I've been frustrated and angry. I've been so mad I just wanted to tear you to pieces, but I never did, not when you lied or laughed at me. Not when you set me up to be the fool. I'll take 50% of the problem but you have to own it too. That's part of being an adult - owning your mistakes and apologizing when you are wrong. 

This has been pretty heavy but I need you to know a couple of things before I close. 

1. I love you. I love because I choose to love you and I always will. It's okay that you do not love me. I've learned that you don't have to receive love in order to give it. 

2. I'm proud of you. I know this life is a real struggle for you, but you are fighting through it, like the tough little street kid that you are. 

3. I believe in you. I know you can do whatever you set your mind too, but you've got overcome those voices in your head that tell you your dream isn't possible.

4. You need me? I'm there. Any time, any day. 

5. I love you. I know I said it before, but I need you to know it and remember it. 

Sometimes, more often than not, I feel like a loser. I have said to you, for me, there is no winning. I've come to understand that I don't have to win. If you go on and live your life and are happy and successful at whatever it is that you want, than that's enough. You do not have to love me, respect me or ever speak to me again, because I'm learning that your success with or without me, is all that matters. 

I love you KK - more than you will ever know.


Saturday, July 8, 2017

A Little Truth a Little Lie

I have a question for you. Do you know that your sister lies to you? I mean, she likes to twist words and sit back and watch the drama. It's her thing. You, of all people, know she loves the drama.

I learned recently that she told you I thought you were lying about your illness. That wasn't completely true. What was said, which she heard first hand since she was standing in the kitchen next to me, was:

"I think her stomach issue is her anxiety. If I thought it was serious, I would make her go to the doctor."

I didn't say you were faking it. I just didn't think your illness was anything other than the usual issue you have. You never intimated it was more serious.

Thankfully, your issue wasn't life threatening.

Unfortunately, there could be other issue down the road, but you are not interested in my two cents, so I keep my thoughts to myself.

Every time I think that you and I have made headway, I learn that it's a lie. We haven't made any progress. It's frustrating.

You do not think of us as your parents and certainly not as friends. Where does that put us? I don't know how to fix us.

People ask about you and I lie.

"She's doing great!"

How would I know?

Just another little lie.

Saturday, July 1, 2017

The Slow Learner

There are moments when I feel like we are making progress. Fleeting, whispy seconds when our words are sweet and promise floats between us. It dissipates rather quickly and the familiar stench of distrust returns.

You have been unwell, but didn't want me involved. Another reminder of my place in your life. Always the outsider looking in. Peering through a lock, searching for the entrance to your heart.

Failure is bitter to swallow.

I prayed you would be okay, that the doctors would figure out what was wrong. I prayed you weren't pregnant, that your appendix was healthy, that cancer would never be mentioned. I was relieved to hear that you are going to be fine.

What if your illness had been more serious? Would you have wanted me then?

Stupid, isn't it? My desperate desire to be needed. It's sick really. I'm disgusted with myself, but I am learning.

Learning to stay away, to forget. I'm a slow learner, but you and your sister remind me constantly to let go.

Let go. Just let go.

Thursday, June 15, 2017

The Road Hard Traveled

One thing I want you to know is that we didn't really understand all the ins and outs of adoption. We weren't told that you and your sister would never really like us, much less think of us as family. No one bothered to tell us we were fighting a losing battle.

It's a shame, really. I like to think if I'd known we couldn't win, that we couldn't truly be your 'parents', that maybe we would have looked at our relationship with you differently.

What if we hadn't adopted you, but instead were your guardians until you turned 18? Would it have been different.

What if we had turned a blind eye to your bad behavior and just let you be. What if we'd told you the plan was for you to move out on your 18th birthday and helped you save money from the job you would have worked from 16 years old.

What if...

I think about these things. They ramble around in my head both day and night.

Sometimes, I dream that things were different and in that perfect world you and I are friends.

It's silly, isn't it? My longing to be a part of your life.

Adoption is NOT an easy road. It's a lie. Forever families are a lie too.

And no one told us.

This hard road gives me a headache. It's too long, too bumpy and around every corner is a new scar.

If I could shut off my heart and wipe my brain clean, then maybe thoughts of you wouldn't darken my life any more.

You are my greatest achievement and my largest disappointment. Not because you don't love me, but because my love wasn't enough for you.

The heart is a funny thing. It loves who it loves. You can't shut it off, even after someone throws your heart back at you, it rebounds like a boom-a-rang.

I hate this hard road.

This road doesn't allow for U-turns. There are no exits to Happy Land. The road is just bumps and detours and pot holes. You drive and drive, but never reach your destination.

I hate this hard road. So.Much.

Sunday, April 30, 2017

Nails

I sat across from you today. Sunshine streamed down, a breeze caressed your blond hair, your smile soft, unsure.

Your text, the night before, surprised me. You gave me your new number. You didn't have to, but there it was. An invitation to communicate.

A new phone, a new job, a new family. Your boyfriend and his parents take good care of you. New clothes and a sparkly new drivers permit.

There you are, taking care of your own business. Your anxiety controlled. A fact the new growth of your finger tells.

You are better...without me.

I wish I'd been wiser and let you go when you were squirming for your freedom. Would it be different now?

I pray for you. I pray for protection, for wisdom. I pray for our relationship.

I'm so proud of you. I hope that's okay. To be proud in a parent kind of way.

I can't wait to see you again.

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Word on the Street

Things aren't going well for you.

We heard you've moved out of your friends house. It didn't end well. The word is, you've moved in with your boyfriend's family. You're spiraling out of control, sick all the time. Your coach said you were a mess....

Oh baby

I wish I could scoop you up and carry you home. Give you a shower and a bowl of ice cream.

I wish I could help you to see other options.

I wish I could heal your brokenness.

I don't know what to do. I've emailed you, but you don't respond. Your sister isn't helpful.

So, day after day, I wonder and pray. I worry about how far you'll have to fall and if you do fall, will you be able to get back up.

I want to remind you that you have healthcare and it's just a call away. I long to tell you that I do love you. I do. Through the yelling and the anger and the frustration, I love you.

There's still time, I know there is. We could come up with a plan, get you back on track, get you to your therapist & your doctor.

The future is still yours and there are so many people who would be willing to help you get there. Don't give up.

Don't ever give up.

Monday, April 3, 2017

Bruiser

I saw you yesterday. We had arranged for you to spend some time with your sister. She needed it more than you.

You were all sassy with your new gauges. You, who look about 12 years old, trying to look bad ass. It's your thing. Whatever.

The only disturbing thing about seeing you was seeing your bruises. Why? Why was your arm covered in bruises shaped like a hand and fingers? Why was there a bruise on your neck. What are you doing?

I didn't ask. Its clearly none of my business, but I can't help but wonder.

Your sister has been strangely quiet. What did you say? The mall was probably a bad idea. Time alone, just the two of you. God, I'm an idiot.

I don't know what to do with you. There is no best place to put you and I. We don't fit. Its a push and a pull. Your sister is in the middle. How do we avoid destroying her, while we try to figure out us?

My friends say, you shouldn't have contact with her. That doesn't seem right and we both know you would sneak around and see her anyway.

What do I do with you?