A Bond Unbroken
"The child, me, is given a new life. Like picking one off the shelf but with no instructions included. No genetic link. Given a new set of parents – picked off a different, unfamiliar, unconnected shelf. Like a puppy taken home from the pet store, can its new parents fulfill all its needs as completely as its birth mother?"
I know you exist by the letters and Christmas cards that I receive. But there is more than that. Under the surface behind the good daughter, good wife, good mother façade.
You gave birth to me.
We didn't meet then, that day in December 1970. I was removed from your body. That safe, loving, nurturing, warm place. So coldly and automatically. So involuntarily. Stolen from you. And you from me. Attachment forbidden. The connection severed, so was thought, by the physical and traumatic removal. All those lovely warm safe feelings displaced in an instant by fear, insecurity, rejection, anxiety. A trauma implanted into both of us. Never to be the same again.
We start our separate lives. Knowing each is out there. Not knowing if our lives would ever collide. Hoping. You try courageously to pick up the pieces of your old life, your inner turmoil and struggle concealed from all. You are alone to deal with your anguish. The pain so deep and so immense it amounts to a physical hurt. What is my pain like? How much emotional pain does a newborn feel?
The child, me, is given a new life. Like picking one off the shelf but with no instructions included. No genetic link. Given a new set of parents – picked off a different, unfamiliar, unconnected shelf. Like a puppy taken home from the pet store, can its new parents fulfill all its needs as completely as its birth mother? When the puppy looks at its new ‘parents’ surely it wonders why there are so many physical and behavioural differences.
Years pass. Does your pain diminish? Do you find contentment? Do you find peace within yourself? Or do you live burdened by your secret, by your self imposed shame?
We met once in a park, a beautiful sunny August day in 1996. A chance to finally introduce ourselves. An opportunity to at long last say hello. How strange. A mother and her daughter saying 'hello' 26 years after spending just a precious nine months sharing the same body. Looking each other in the eyes for the first time. Feeling a connection. A strong connection!
Something unexplainable and unexpected. The bond between mother and child. Unable to be severed. Unable to be denied.
Today, nine years later, although in irregular contact though letters, we are still finding each other. Even though I know where you live I am still searching for you, my birth mother. Yearning for our lives to be reconnected. To what degree, is unknown. Wanting, needing, to explore more thoroughly the genetic and emotional connection which binds us.
A connection not completely severed by that initial heart wrenching separation 34 years ago.