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Adoption Ghosts

23 Jan

I saw my mom crying in the living room. There was a video playing with a woman’s uterus on it. It was explaining an abnormality that was genetically passed and caused by infertility. Mainly it talked about the pain it caused. It was painful to have because anything to do with the uterus caused pain–menses and childbirth. It wasn’t a video on the disease as much it was a video about the feelings these women had towards it. Their sadness and tearfulness over what had robbed them of what made them women.

Despite this it was information that first hit me and made me curious. I sat down in the door hallway and watched it with her. I asked her questions that I now know I shouldn’t have. She explained as she always did. She talked about the facts. I wondered if there was guilt. I only connected the pieces later and realized this was what my mom had.

She said during my questions that she really wanted to give birth to a baby. She was still fantasizing over it. This startled me. I was much older by then and hadn’t thought in those terms.

At the same time those events seemed to never happen. The video was filed in the video cabinet somewhere near her exercise videos and the Disney films that my paternal grandmother had sent.

She continued to complain about her period and how painful it was. I would think and realize it had to do with that video tape. She rejoiced when her periods stopped and when she went through menopause. She told her sister in NY that it was bad, but worth it. She talked to me about her estrogen injections warning me about the needles. But we never discussed the tape again.

In the meantime I took some of what she said. My subconscious played with it in forms of dreams. I was walking towards my parents in the living room. Their backs are turned towards me and then I see it. A baby boy–unnamed. The dream doesn’t offer how the baby got there, but it does tell me that this is their genetic child. I can feel joy and the knot of mixed feelings which include horror and the fear of replacement. Why did they need me anymore? This dream played again and again. I couldn’t reason with it.

But this was my encounter with my other ghost. This was the person I replaced when I was adopted into this family. I had killed them. I am a replacement for a child that was never born.

Because we never spoke of it again, this memory of my mom watching the video feels unreal. Perhaps I’m pushing it back like the little girl I was who pushed back her own memories. Coming face to face with this other self is never pleasant. They haunt me in revenge. They say perhaps I am not Jewish, because they would have been. They talk about things they would have been that I never can be. And sometimes I think that voice is right.

However, My brother never saw the tape. So I never know if he has the same ghost whispers too.

 
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Posted in Adoption Philosophy, Childhood

 

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