Saturday, October 9, 2010

Private Moments

Whenever I see a cute family out in public, a parent chasing after a child screaming with delight, a father carrying a child on his shoulders, a mother and father walking both holding the hand of their child, or a crying child comforted lovingly by a parent I feel compelled to watch. I want to capture this moment on film so I can study it later and not feel like a freak spying on someone else's private moments. Maybe I can learn from it. Maybe I can heal from it. I imagine how these scenes could fit in a cute movie or maybe even a sad drama on Lifetime. I wonder if they will remember this moment like I will. I wonder if it's as precious to them as it is to me? I wonder if they realize what an amazing gift that moment in their lives really is.

Through my mother I have five siblings, two brothers and three sisters.  One of my sisters, B. passed away when I was 7 or 8.  She was a toddler and I don't have any photos of her or many memories of her.  My youngest sister was born when my mother was in prison.  The photo to the left is one of the very few ever taken with all of us together.  That little baby is now 17 years old.  She was adopted, her name and her family moved away to Nebraska, never keeping in contact with any of us.

   There were only four of us left.  Then my youngest brother and my sister moved back to the middle east with their father because their father somehow won the case to take them back even though he was charged with every kind of child abuse.  Somehow my mother goes to prison but he gets to take his biological children away from their siblings, their country and back to the middle east.  So that just left my brother and me in foster care....The two originals of my mother.  The two bastards from my mother.  
My brother was adopted.  He had a lovely family with a mom, a dad, and two giant fat dogs.  The dogs were so fat their backs were square.  They were like walking coffee tables.  My brother was adopted but he became extremely violent.  His family tried to love him.  I believe they really did but ultimately my brother spent the better part of his childhood and teen years in a mental health treatment center.  So really people wanted my brother but they couldn't help my brother.  
That just leaves me.  The only one of us never to be adopted.  My biological mother tells me that it's impossible to love me.  I'm unlovable.  Maybe she's right.   My therapist says that it's not my limitations that prevented people from loving me, but their limitations.  How can I believe that when it happened over and over again?  There can't be something wrong with everyone else but me.  Clearly the problem lies in me. 

I had a few foster parents say they would adopt me.  People always told me that their love for me was unconditional, but it never was.  Love always has conditions.  Always.  One family became foster parents just for me when I was 15.  I met the foster mother when I was 12 and mute.  They were going to adopt me when I was 18, they promised.  I only lived with them for seven months!  They spent all the time and energy becoming foster parents just to take me in and then only kept me for seven months.  Seven months is a long time if you compare it to the majority of homes I lived in, but seven months is also ridiculously sad.  They learned in just seven months that they didn't want me after all.

This rant and pity party is inspired by my littlest sister finding me on facebook a few months ago and my interactions with her.  I'm not sure how to handle it.  She's always had a family, an amazing family at that.  She's had a great life and I'm very happy about that.  I'm also happy that she searched for us but I don't know how to interact with her.  She doesn't seem to want to do more than just spy on us on facebook.  Her lack of interaction with me makes me feel like I have something to prove to her... my worthiness to be her sister.   Am I worthy?  Probably not.  Her lack of response to my attempts to connect leave me feeling unwanted, rejected, and sad.
removed photo for privacy
She posted a photo of her family on facebook today.  My sister is the oldest child with the red flower in her hair.  I have such mixed feelings about this photo.  On one hand I'm so happy that my sister had a great life and has a great family filled with lots of love.  On the other hand....WHY weren't the rest of us good enough to be a part of that huge family, all adopted from foster care?  Why would they take seven other children out of foster care but leave us behind?

I wish I could watch some of her family movies so I can see her grow up.  I can feel like I was a part of her life and family.  I want to see some of those sweet private moments she got to share with her mom and dad.  I want to watch her life story on cable television.  Perhaps this desire is just a selfish one.  A selfish desire to try to live vicariously through my baby sister that I never go to know.  What is it like to grow up feeling wanted, safe, and loved?  I wonder what kind of person I would be today if I had what she had growing up?  Would I be different?  Would I be a better human being?