If you keep me, I promise to be a good girl. We only need love, not material things They're just things after all and nothing could replace you. I just need you. Imagine all of our years together celebrating milestones, birthdays, tucking me in at night, all of the beautiful things shared between a mother and daughter. I swear I'll be a good girl and you'll never regret keeping me.
How does one feel, when the one person who is supposed to love and protect you the most leaves? Unloved, unwanted, and unworthy....these feelings would pierce right through me. They wove their way into every relationship I would ever have. I worried my parents could leave me also, so I assumed the role as the good girl. Don't rock the boat, don't disrupt others with your feelings and emotions, stay small and quiet. As a child I strived to be the teachers pet. I raised my hand first, had the most stars on the chart, and if someone inched before me I became ill, sick to my stomach, and wanting to go home. I fabricated my story to my classmates, making them believe I was the real life version of Annie. Like Annie, I believed my parents were out there somewhere, heartbroken, and searching for me. As a teenage girl, I looked for love in all the wrong places. I assumed if I gave myself away, in return I would be loved, wanted, and they wouldn't leave me. I numbed myself, felt the weight of shame and disgust, and felt more empty than I had ever felt before. I learned that love was far from unconditional, but a hustle I would have to learn and strive for my entire life. As God often does, He helped me see the beauty in my struggle. He helped me smooth out the rough edges and to use them to show me my worth. Loving, loyal, transparent, forgiving, sensitive to the brokenness around me, He made me aware to seeing the radiant, bright light that shines in others. That everyone carries a story, and collectively we all desire to be seen and known.
Two years before I reunited with my birth family, my adoptive parents made the decision to sell their home that was ten minutes from mine, and move to Florida. They lived ten minutes from me, but rarely spent time with my children or myself. Not much would change relationship wise if they moved, and yet I had a sadness and anger for the expectations I had as their daughter, and the grandparents of my children. Through tears over the phone I gathered the courage and bravery to share my heart, my sadness, and that I was probably experiencing some abandonment issues. I use the word brave, because we NEVER talked about adoption or my feelings. My mother assured me that she loves us, told me many families live miles apart, and that they deserve to be happy.
One week later, while visiting my elderly grandparents my mother said to me " hmm...haven't seen you here in a while, I bet they ( my grandparents) have abandonment issues." All said in the most snarky tone of voice with head tilted. I had forgiven my mother many times for her sharp tongue- but this time I thought how can I ever forgive her? I had shared courageously with her my deepest wound, and she in return used it to hurt me and say I wasn't a good granddaughter. Not to mention, I WAS the granddaughter who visited, packed up meals for them, and helped when needed. Not out of duty, but because I loved them. I had four kids ranging from preschool to high school at the time, so my hands were full, my schedule stretched, but never too much that I didn't make time for my loved ones.. Not only was this statement hands down the most hurtful thing anyone has ever said to me, it was unfair and untrue. Abandonment issues wasn't an insult to her or a reflection of her parenting. It meant that people who are supposed to love me the most left, and I'm scared of everyone else in my life doing the same. To this day my mother claims " not remembering" the conversation. An amnesia of sorts.
Some days I fear I will never shake the feelings of not being good enough. I easily feel like the outsider looking in. I hold my breath waiting for people to leave. They will discover I'm too clingy, too boring, too broken, just all together TOO MUCH. I will continue to practice self love, and see myself as love and being loved. I will allow myself grace for striving and become more familiar with whom God says I am. He calls me daughter, He calls me redeemed, and He calls me worthy- not because of anything I've done or haven't done to prove my worth. Because HE IS, I AM loved, chosen, worthy, and transformed.