The truth hurts, so the saying goes. I walked out of the fog the summer of 2010, and into the truth. The saying is right, it hurts. I guess my mind wanted to protect itself and it took this long before it assumed I could handle it. I am now plagued by my memories as they haunt me whether asleep or awake.
My story begins multiple times. It has many events that seem to be the reason I am where I am now. I walk a living death daily. I write this to expose the secret and with it the silent suffering of many women. My story is not the exception and is not the worst. I have been struggling writing this, I have written my story only once before but am editing it to post here. For whatever reason, in writing about my personal story, I feel like my chest is being crushed and I can hardly breathe. Here I am again attempting to do it.
I was 14 when I found out I was pregnant. The daughter of an upper middle class family who scandalously had divorced a couple years earlier. I had been living with my father who was not too pleased to find out I was pregnant. The family reputation might get muddied even further than it was already. My father would threaten to kidnap me and bring me across the border to force me to abort my daughter. I started locking my bedroom door at night. The next threat was to send me to a maternity home. In hindsight I may have had a chance to keep my daughter if I had gone there. I turned 15 that summer.
I guess I don’t need to put too much background info in the writing of my personal story. It all ends up in the same place. Here, in hell. Ultimately, my father kicked me out and my boyfriends parents took me in. They kept asking for me to make a decision and had also informed me that as soon as “the baby” was born that I would need to find somewhere else to live as they had decided to move back to another province. My boyfriend was sleeping with another girl the whole time I lived there. He got her pregnant too. She had an abortion. Needless to say, being 15 with a cheating boyfriend, his parents kicking me out after the birth and not being able to go home to my father’s house had directed me to only one possibility, which I never even uttered. I had also contacted social services while I lived there and they had told me that due to my age, they would not provide financial support to me. I have found out since being an adult that it was illegal for them to do so.
I guess my boyfriends mother felt it her responsibility to make a decision for me. She arrived home from work one day and announced she had made an appointment with an adoption agency. It was night-time and she drove. I believe it was out-of-town. I never spoke a word the whole time I was there. I was shut down. I collapsed inside myself. The worker spoke with my boyfriends mother and then before we left, she told me to pick a family out of the three she had presented to me. I hadn’t even read any of it. I pointed at one and just wanted to get out of there. She had given me a bunch of pamphlets with adoption propaganda like, “if you love your baby…”crap. I remember being fed this shit from everyone around me.
Some of the following things I am about to recall in writing, I didn’t remember until last summer. This is what is called coming out of the fog. It hit me like a ton of bricks and most of my memory from that time came rushing back to me with one tiny little discovery. The tiny discovery that the one thing that I thought I had control over, was a lie also.
My boyfriends mother took me to and from all of my appointments including a lawyer for the adoption. I have no idea where she got this woman but I was just being shuffled along. I had never even agreed to adoption. I was silent for about 4 months. Regardless, after one doctors appointment, I was sent in to the hospital for an emergency induction. I called my mother in Vancouver, but got my sister instead. My sister told my mother to get on a plane immediately. This is one of those fateful moments. Had she not pushed her to do so, my mother may have been present and I may have never lost my daughter. This was October **th, a Monday.
Thursday, October **th, I finally went into labor. My mother, boyfriend and his mother were all present. My daughter was born and I was bleeding to death. I did get to hold her before I passed out. I have wished almost every day since that they didn’t stop the bleeding. It was more cruel for them to let me live after what they did.
October **st, I was so weakened from the loss of blood and unable to even sit up. I spent the day in bed at the hospital while they decided if I should have a blood transfusion. I never left my room.
On October **nd, I was able to function. I asked to see my daughter. I was stretching my neck out as we approached the nursery. The nurse pushing my wheel chair told me that babies for adoption do not get put into the nursery. That we would be going to a different floor. I spent every waking moment down there with her. I loved her and still do. I love her no differently than if I had raised her myself.
I have no idea who called the lawyer. I imagine it was my boyfriends mother. The phone calls from this lawyer kept coming. She kept harrassing me to sign the papers. I kept putting her off. I wasn’t feeling right the whole time I was there (medically speaking). I felt off in addition to not wanting to sign away my daughter.
One night, the lawyer called and told me that I would not be released from the hospital unless I signed. I felt trapped. The hospital sent in a social-wrecker to see me. She asked some questions and then left. The lawyer called right after and put the pressure on harder. I told her that I had to meet these people. She set it up that they would come and meet me at the hospital. They told me what wonderful christian people they were and what a wonderful life they could give my daughter. I had already been beat down with the “it would be selfish to keep her” mantra. They promised that I could send and receive pictures and letters throughout her life. I thought that since I had no choice (I was being held hostage in the hospital) that maybe at least I could still be a small part of her life and see her grow. So I signed. True to thier word, they allowed me to leave the hospital as soon as I had signed. I collapsed outside the doors from my grief.
My daughters adopters did not live up to thier promises. They cut off contact with me after she turned one. They had what they wanted. I found out 19 years later that they continued to send pictures and letters to my ex-mother-in-law (I married her father later) until she was 2 or 3. My ex-mother-in-law never shared this with me. I found out from my ex-husband after I had found our daughter.
It has been 3 years since I found my daughter. There was no special reunion moment of her running into my arms. We barely have contact and it has been via email only, I have not seen nor held her since she was 4 days old. She isn’t interested in meeting me face to face at this time.
Last year, she met my ex-mother-in-law face to face. Since then she has been fairly cold toward me. Actually she stopped contact for 8 months. I felt as if I was drowning when she met my ex-mil. It was as though I was missing information/memories and emailed my ex-mil to ask if she remembered the name of the adoption agency she took me to. I was hoping that the paperwork from them would fill in the holes. She emailed back and demanded to know why I would want that information. That is when I knew that something was up.
I had joined an online support group for mothers in reunion. I told them what was happening and they suggested that I call the post adoption registry in my province since records are open. I found out that I had the information in the adoption order that was sent to me two years earlier. The man on the other end told me that if I couldn’t locate it in the documents, to call him back once my file was in front of me and he would help me. I was a bit embarrassed as I had these papers for so long but never read them. I had only wanted to find her so I read what her name had been changed to. I went home from work that evening and pulled out all my papers and read them. I was shaking as I read through all the lies that was written in those papers, but, I remembered that some of the women in my support group had mentioned that thier files were filled with lies too. I wasn’t able to find the name of the agency.
The next morning, I took the papers to work with me so that I could call as soon as I had a moment. I played a bit of phone tag with the man and finally got through. He must have pulled my file while we were trying to reach each other. He stopped me as I tried to explain that I could not find the name of the agency and he told me that he had looked and that there was NO agency involved. This adoption had been facilitated by a doctor and lawyer only. That was the moment. The little closet that hid all the secrets that they had done to get my signature burst open in that very moment. I was screaming over the phone and word vomitted EVERYTHING I remember that they did. I told him how they held me hostage in the hospital and lied to me about who would parent my daughter.
I have found out more since. I requested my hospital records. They had drugged me with sodium amytal while I was there. This makes a patient compliant and easily coerced which explains why I felt “off” while in the hospital. I found out from my mother that the lawyer had called her screaming at her wondering why I wasn’t signing the papers. This lawyer was supposed to be working on my behalf. I also found out that she is the one who told hospital staff to hide my daughter in the hospital. This lawyer demanded to know why I was seeing my own daughter. I have only one conclusion in all of this. My ex-mil was involved from the start and had colluded with my doctor for the purchase of my daughter. My eyes are wide open now and the pain is never ceasing. The memories are still coming back a year later. I dream of her and I relive moments when I close my eyes.
This is my story of my awakening.
Awakening by vampporcupine is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.
Based on a work at canadianbanishedmother.wordpress.com.