I wrote earlier this year about giving up a child for adoption when I was 15 years old - in 1967. I met her when she was 20. That was the last time I saw her. Meeting her was very traumatic and I ended up being hospitalized for depression for the first time in my life a month or two after the meeting. Then I lost contact with her in 1990. I could have called her adoptive parents, but they weren't very happy about my being in her life and I wanted to respect that. Besides, I had very mixed emotions about having her in my life and trying to incorporate an adult into my young family.
It had been difficult enough to sit with my 12 year old son and 9 year old twin daughters and explain to them that they had a 20 year old half-sister. But I did that, and they met her.
After our meeting, she "dropped in" on my sister's business in New York City, quite drunk. My sister is a very successful business woman, and very wealthy. She was horrified that some stranger would embarrass her and try to insinuate herself into her family. I had to apologize. I never realized that she would use information I had shared with her about my family to do something like that.
And then in February 2009, my daughter sent me an e-mail. After 19 years. She knew where I was all that time. She wanted to come to visit me, along with her 18 year old daughter. I told her no. I told her I would like to see her, but I would like to meet somewhere neutral. She ignored that and kept telling me she was going to come and visit. She wanted to be my "friend" on facebook, but I wouldn't accept the invitation because that would give her access to my entire family, and I don't trust her with that. She kept writing me e-mails telling me she wanted to be my "friend." She wanted to talk to my kids.
I finally wrote her a long e-mail explaining that I wasn't ready to have her back in my life to that extent. That I felt she was unreliable and unpredictable. That I didn't want to put my kids through that if she was just going to evaporate again. Her answer to me on that point was "I am reliably unreliable." And that was a good enough answer for me. I don't really want to have anything to do with her.
I have felt guilty about it. But then I think:
- I did my level best for her when I gave her up for adoption
- She HAD a Good Family who adopted her and raised her well
- I have a family for whom I have a responsibility not to screw up any more than I have
- I get along well with my kids - they don't play these kinds of games - ever!
On Saturday night I got the following message - out of nowhere. I haven't heard from her since Christmas:
"I thought it over and this is the fakest relationship I ever had. Please do us both a favor and forget I'd ever existed. I'd thank you for life itself, but the fact is there weren't a real lot of options in 1967. Enjoy your "real children" and don't bother responding. Oh, I just realized I am flattering myself. So, yeah, save it. I'm absolutely positive Jesus would advise you similarly. Best wishes to you and your REAL family for a happy, and wonderful life filled with lovely memories."
My first thought was that she was drunk. The second is that she is very angry - maybe drunk AND angry. I thought of responding and saying "As you wish." But I just left it alone.
My own flesh and blood - she looks just like my mother - and I really don't want to have anything to do with her.
It is a sad thing. Very sad.
The wreckage of decisions made when I was 14 years old. I thought I did the right thing. I have no doubt that I did. But now I am supposed to have another daughter - who is 43 years old?
God help me please. Please.