Thursday, October 6, 2011

Enjoying nature, as directed!

Being friends with my daughter's mom on Facebook has it's very high perks and also very low disadvantages. She doesn't update very often at all, but every now and again she posts pictures which I love to see. The majority of them are ones she has already sent to me just a few days prior to posting them, but a few are new to me, which is a nice surprise! I can see what friends and family write on her wall, which gives me even more insight and confirmation that she is the type of person I thought she was, which I also love. I know that, with it being almost 11 months into the adoption, that she is a person true to her word. However, it's nice to see it spelled out for you by third parties who don't even know you are reading what they write. I don't know if she's told her family that the 'Elizabeth' on her friends list is her daughter's biological mom or not. I haven't commented and probably won't, but if I do, I'll never say "OH MY GOSH....she has her father's eyes!," or anything else that is a dead giveaway that I am connected to their daughter. I will never write on her wall, other than maybe on her birthday next year (we weren't FB friends on her birthday this year). I am honored that she let me into her 'life' in this way..I know you can easily make your life seem however you damn well want to on Facebook, and share only what you want to share, but it is still an even more personal glimpse into their lives. I will admit, it hurts a little when she has 30 comments on one picture that are all some variation of "she's goregous," "what beautiful hair!" "what a cute outfit," "I can't wait to see her again," you get the idea. It stings even more to see "your little girl is so beautiful," because I can't help but feel like I get no credit for her existence. Then I wake up and realize how irrational I'm being. She is her little girl! Adoption has made her their little girl, and it would be foolish of anyone to say, "your little girl is so beautiful, thanks to her birth parents!" SERIOUSLY? That totally takes away from C and C who deserve the praise. Sure, 23 of my chromosomes and 23 of G's chromosomes made her into who she is physically, but they are the ones raising her...which holds so much more value. I guess it's only natural and instinctual for me to get a little possessive when someone compliments her beautiful eyes or hair or smile. But I should see the compliment as a good thing, right?!

A month or so ago, when C first asked me to be her FB friend to share videos and things with me, I was looking at her profile. Again, it was like a slap in the face but a slap that I saw coming. I felt like I was cracking up a little so I sent my friend a text, saying that I couldn't bear to see the messages saying "congrats on the new addition to your family," and "I heard the great news, you're so blessed to have a little girl!" etc. This is what she replied with - "my love, that is insanely hard to read and not let it affect you. i know it seems that people don't realize your role/part, but C knows of course, and one day Arianna will. I can't imagine how you feel, but if you can focus on the good, like how happy she is and how people adore her and fall in love with her, you can emphasize your involvement in tht way, and know she is that loveable because of you - think about what in her magnetizes people to her...its you. and they are lucky to witness and share in that love." (I have the best friends in the world.)

I logged in just a few minutes ago and someone had posted something on her page about not being able to wait to come visit in a few weeks for Arianna's birthday and how she can't wait to "hug and kiss her neice and nephew!." It hit me, hard. This 'stranger,' who I've never met, is calling my daughter her neice. It's such a hard thing to get used to; although there's nothing there to really get used to, because this is the way it's been since she was born. She has been C's daughter since she was born. She has never and will never know anyone else as an "aunt," even when and if she is a part of my life again physically, because I don't have any sisters. To Arianna, this is not a stranger, this is now her aunt not by blood but by love. I know this, I am fully aware that just because they aren't blood relatives of hers, that they are her relatives none the less, even much more so than mine and G's family are her relatives. It's just hard, sometimes, to see it in black and white like that. It's just a simple, innocent and friendly statement made by someone who loves this beautiful little girl as her neice, but it digs a rusty nail through my heart. I know it will get easier in time. You're probably thinking, "then don't look at her Facebook, simple as that." Ha, that is so much easier said than done. It's like when your ex gets a new girlfriend and you don't want to see all the mushy lovey dovey stuff they write on each other's pages, but you look anyway because not looking drives you insane. Or like a car wreck. I could  go on and on with the analogies, so I'll stop there.

My first therapy appointment went about as well as can be expected. I went into it with a whole different attitude this time....I went into it truly wanting it to help me, truly hoping for some type of coping mechanism that can help me to want to get out of bed every day. The first appointment was, for all intents and purposes, like an interview. She asked the basic questions and then she dug a little deeper. She asked me if I had suffered a loss recently, to which I replied yes (I remember saying 'no' in my first round of therapy last fall and then when the story of my daughter came out she said "that is a loss," so this time, I reformed my answer). She then asked me who, and I said 'my daughter.' Her face crumbled and she said 'your daughter??' I then said, 'I chose adop--' and the water works began. I got the words out, but not before I became a blubbering mess with mascara running down my face. I rarely cry when I talk about her, because I shut that part of my brain off when I talk about her. I remove myself emotionally, somehow, so I can talk about her and seem 'fine.' Now I realize how unhealthy that was. In that room with the doctor, I knew I could (and was supposed to) let myself really feel how I felt. That's why I write so much. I just write and write and write and don't stop to think about how what I'm saying actually feels. But when you're speaking, it's a lot harder to do that.

We talked about Arianna, my pregnancy, my relationship with her father, and my relationship with my parents. Well, we touched on that last one. You can only talk about so much in an hour, and by the time the initial questioning was over, it was more like 35 minutes. Each subject that we talked about she said we would have to 'come back to' throughout my time with her because they were all major things. She also told me that she felt that my emotional instability began long before I had the baby and even before I got pregnant, they began sometime during my relationship with her father. She asked me if I knew deep in my heart that things weren't working out but I kept clinging on to it, and I told her yes, because I can almost pinpoint the time when things started going downhill. It wasn't a specific event or argument or anything, but it was about a year and a half into the relationship and I was just tired. Just tired of almost every aspect of it, but scared to lose him completely and scared to change. I walked out of there with the diagnosis "clinically depressed," and instructions to (1) spend time out doors at least once a day, for at least 20 minutes. This means I can go for a short walk, go for a bike ride, or just be outside reading or thinking (this is also good because I needed a little bit more of a boost to get off my butt and exercise). And (2) to call the doctor I am the most comfortable talking to, whether it's my OB/GYN or my primary care physician, so that I can get on an anti-depressant. I told her that I was taking my fluoxetine again and she said that maybe it's time for me to try something new and suggested I see a doctor that can prescribe medication (she is a LICSW, not a psychiatrist). She also told me that depression, at the level she thinks I have it, can actually not only affect you mentally but physically stops your metabolism. So, now I have an answer as to why I've gained back some of the 'baby weight' I lost, and why I feel miserable about my appearance.

 I love my primary care physician, however I truly, truly cannot say enough good things about my OB/GYN. She is a nurse practitioner and when my mother first found out that was who I was going to see for my first internal during the pregnancy (not my first internal ever, but my first with the baby), she called and requested that I see a "doctor," because of how far along I was and because she was, understandably, freaking out, too. They told me that the soonest a doctor could see me was a few weeks out, and we needed answers then. We needed to know exactly how far along I was, I needed another ultrasound for measurements, etc. I wound up seeing the nurse practitioner rather than a doctor and I fell in love with her. She was visibly pregnant but it didn't bother me at all. She was the sweetest doctor I've ever had. When I went for my 6 week check-up after Arianna was born, she asked me how I was doing and genuinely cared about my answer. She had tears in her eyes as she asked me if I loved the family I chose and told me that I was one of the strongest women she knew. She also gave me her direct line and told me to call at absolutely any time that I needed her and if a nurse intercepted the call  because she was in an appointment or for whatever reason, to tell them that she gave me permission to ask the nurse to politely pull her out of a room and speak with me. That is going above and beyond, and I will forever appreciate it.

When I called to schedule the appointment, the receptionist was a bit short with me. I requested an appointment with this specific doctor, and she told me, "Dr. so-and-so can see you much sooner," and I told her I'd rather wait. She asked what the appointment was for and I said "Just a consultation for a prescription." She told me I was 'overdue' for my annual, and asked when the last time I had a pap done was. I told her it was in April when I got my IUD and she said that in her computer, it says that my last one was before the baby was born. Okay, whatever, I told her I'd have the exam done too (might as well kill two birds with one stone...or with one co-pay). Then she says, "what's the prescription for?" and I told her it was for an anti-depressant. She tells me that the NP won't prescribe me an anti-depressant, and I told her that she did after I had my daughter, and she then asks what the medication was. I don't think that was any of her business, but I was trying to be friendly, so I told her that I 'thought' it was for Prozac. She responds, "hmm, ok, but that was most likely for PPD or to try to prevent the onset of PPD." At this point, my voice started cracking because I was trying not to cry (I hate confrontation and arguments of any sort, even teeny ones like this, and I was also crying thinking of how sweet this nurse practitioner was and how I just wanted to skip the middle-man and see her ASAP, because I knew she'd understand).  I told her that "she told me to call any time I needed to and she would see me and help me in any way she could." This shut the receptionist up and she said "hows Oct 25?" and I said "perfect," and that was that. I didn't even look at my calendar, but I'll clear anything else to go see this woman and take that next step towards getting better.

I spent a good deal of time this morning outside, as I was instructed to do. I went to Houghton's Pond which is sort of near my house, and I told myself to be in a  good mood while I was there. I started going there with Arianna's bio dad four years ago last month. That was where we had our first 'date,' and the first place he kissed me. We have a special spot there that we deemed 'ours,' and I still think of it that way to this day, four years later. I didn't go that deep into the Blue Hills...I'm not ready to be in that spot again just yet. I was sitting on the giant rock that we used to sit on together while we just looked at the stars and talked (it's so romantic I could almost vomit), and it was hard not to be flooded with those memories. This is the time of year we started going there, we spent almost every Saturday and Sunday night there during the entire Fall, until it started to get too cold to go anymore. I'm determined to make that be just a place to go and be alone and think, without the memories overshadowing the peacefulness of the lake and the trees. I want to overlap those memories I shared with him with new memories, happy memories, of a place I can go to work on myself.

I took a few pictures to illustrate just how beautiful it is there, especially in the fall. I was so upset that I didn't have my *real* camera with me, so I had to use my cell phone camera. Excuse the quality!

 The view from the side opposite our old little 'nook and cranny' which is inside that mass of trees in the background
 The view from the highest point on this side of the lake
 FINALLY.... time for Uggs and hoodies!
 The lake, and clearly, my shoes :)
 I love this one because of the contrast in the greens and oranges (which looked so much more beautiful in person, as always)
 Crunchy leaves :)

And, finally, a picture I took one day that I was there with her birth father. I took this with my old cell phone, and I think it was taken in May but I uploaded it to Facebook on November 2, 2007. Really, of all days??...


  1. that is beautiful!
    yay for you wanting to get help! i'm a firm believer that help is only beneficial to those who actually want it, or recognize that they need it.
    i meant to say this on an earlier post, and now i don't know which one it was, but i absolutely think you should do a balloon release for your daughter's birthday. i think it will really help with "closure" and definitely make it into a happier occasion for you :)

  2. I love the balloon idea and have done that myself and it felt nice to celebrate my daughter's birthday. In the past, my husband had tried to make cake but cake without the birthday girl/boy taste rotten.
    I don't know if a birthparent can get "closure" It's seems like it's a revolving door of lost milestones and memories that don't belong with the birthparents. I hope that makes sense not as don't belong cause we don't deserve it but just all the missed moments cause we are not the parents.