The first person to teach me love also taught me loss. Those depth of those memories of love and loss were stored in the deepest and darkest areas of my mind and heart.

It was a wake-up call when I learned my mom hadn’t died.

She’d made a choice, and though many say it isn’t a choice, it feels like it was.

It’s August and I’m already dreading December. Every August I try to wrap myself in the heat outside because soon, it will be the anniversary of her choice, and Christmas and then my birthday. Such a cold time of the year.

Every time I talk to her, which isn’t much these days, I can feel both the heat and the cold waging a war inside me.
WarmthandColdThe sound of her voice brings warmth, but the memories of her leaving leaves me feeling cold and sad all over again. I wish she could know how terribly difficult it is just to say hi. I always answer her calls. But in the middle of the incredible amount of work it takes just to talk to her, I wish I could simply hang up. It’s like throwing a non-swimmer into the deep end. I’m constantly looking for the edge of the pool so I can simply get out of there alive.

Once, here in this space, someone made this comment:

“I feel so sorry for your mother. I feel sorry for you, that your heart is so cold.”

There is so much truth in that statement. That wake-up call has stayed with me and I wonder which is worse – grieving her loss or finding out she hadn’t died. She’d made a choice and I’m not sure how to trust her again. How does one trust the person that taught such a complete and thorough lesson in loss?

I vacillate between extremes. Working so hard to see things from her point of view, to feel her pain. Yet it takes an insane amount of work to step outside my own loss of her. It feels like I’m trying to inhale smoke without getting the scent of a cigarette on me. Such a fruitless effort.

Though I lost her, she is still here. She taught me love. Then she left me. And in December, I’ll be wishing it was August.

5 thoughts on “August

  1. Cindy

    Kat, your heart is not cold, hurting yes. Cold? No. Sending lot’s of hugs your way. This isn’t easy is it? I think for adoptees there may be no way for some or many to see that their mothers had no real choice… to you dear ones as long as mom still lives she made a choice and walked away. If mom didn’t go to ‘war’ to fight for me, she made a choice. No matter what the full circumstances were. No matter if there was any real freewill choice or not. and you’re absolutely right. She /we left you. I can feel for where you are coming from. I hope she can do the same for you. In time.

    I gotta say this, I wish I had opened up a “can of whoop-ass” on those involved and I’m sorry as anything that I didn’t. It may not have changed the outcome, but it would have meant something. It would have meant I tried….instead of ‘giving up’.

    1. Kat Post author

      Thank you for your thoughtful reply, Cindy. I realize that it’s not that I necessarily have a cold heart. People use so many terms like “come to terms with” “make peace with” “find forgiveness” etc. and I definitely don’t think I’m anywhere near any of those things or whatever the correct term would be that would allow me to trust her again.
      I’m the first to fight for first moms because I know that there really wasn’t much “choice” in it all, but still, I wrestle with how I feel which is in complete contrast to understanding so many issues behind this so called choice. It’s just my heart keeps getting in the way, if that makes sense.

      1. Cindy

        It makes perfect sense to me.

        Here’s hope to ‘getting there’ /’making peace with’ for all of us in this place called adoption land. I don’t know that I ever will completely. I think adoption is awful and I can’t argue *my heart* into seeing it any other way. 🙂

  2. Friend

    Who says you have to step outside of your own grief and into hers? Who says you need to make peace or come to terms with anything? Trying to reach these ideals doesn’t seem to be the best way of serving YOU in YOUR situation right now.

    1. Kat Post author

      Very true. None of this seems to be serving me very well. Maybe I shouldn’t place that sort of pressure on myself, but it doesn’t come easy. Thank you for the encouragement.


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