A moment in a thought

My thoughts, in my life, of adoption and other such things

A rose by any other name would smell as sweet…. February 26, 2007

Filed under: Adoptee,Adoption,Uncategorized — Jessie @ 2:05 pm

$300

Three hundred dollars and I can change my identity…

Ok, so maybe I don’t want to change my identity, just my middle name.  And for three hundred dollars, and a whole bunch of hoops, I can do it.  I do not like my middle name, I feel this way for a lot of different reasons. 

For one, its very common (well so is the one I want to change it to).  But there are a very many Jessica Lynn’s.  I don’t want to be Jessica Lynn anymore.  I want to be Jessica Marie.  Maybe it doesn’t flow together as well, maybe it doesn’t sound as nice, but for me, its music to my ears. 

I was named after my Aunt Linda, my godmother, and person that I do not care all that much for.   She gave birth to a son, my cousin, who did things to me as a child that no child should ever have to go through.   Things that screwed me up more than being adopted fifteen times over could ever do.  Things that were brushed aside, ignored, even to this day.  So yes, I have a little bit of an issue with my name. 

I never really considered changing it though, until I got an email that said that I had a name at birth.  One that was given to me by the woman who gave birth to me.  She named me… Honestly in all the years I had wondered about her, I don’t think I ever wondered if she had given me a name.  I always assumed that naming me would be the last thing on her mind.  Turns out I was wrong, turns out she did name me.  She gave me a full name, with her last name and all.   Bethany Marie.  I don’t want to be Bethany Marie, I am, after all, Jessie.  I have never had too much of a problem with my first name, other than the commonness of it.  I will however, always think of myself as Jessie.  My middle name however, is an entirely different story.  I don’t identify myself by it, I don’t think of myself, and never have thought of myself, as Jessica Lynn, except when I was in trouble.  When my middle name came out, I knew I was in for it.   What if I had a reason to get rid of the name with so many hurt feeling tied to it.  What if, in doing that, I could connect who I am to the baby who was born then.  If I could connect my name to the one given to me at birth, and to the woman who gave birth to me and gave me the name to begin with.

Well, for three hundred dollars I could do it.  I can think of a lot of better things I can be doing with $300.  However… I could think of a lot of reasons why, in the grand scheme of things, $300 is really nothing.  Three hundred is more than a weeks worth of pay… lets just call it a week and a half.  Am I willing to give up a week and a half of my life to get rid of the name that carries nasty feelings, and instead change it to one that carries good ones?  Am I willing to trade a name that I carried with me for 24 years of my life, and trade it for one that I carried for moments?  I guess the more I think about it, the more I discover that the answer is yes.  Yes, I am willing. 

I have begun the process of changing my name.

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The turns in the road of life February 25, 2007

Filed under: Adoptee,Adoption,Adoption reunion — Jessie @ 3:42 pm

I have issues…

Whew, I am batting a thousand with these post beginnings here aren’t I.  It however, is true, I have issues.  Yes, I have diagnoses to go along with these issues, the main ones being ADD and BPD (borderline personality disorder).  Along with being spazzy and not being able to pay attention for five seconds, I also have attachment issues…  I didn’t attach to my mother… now I am attached to my mother… yes I do realize this doesn’t make much sense, but if you look at it in the form of I have two mothers, it will. 

I have two mothers, how much more confusing can life be?  One who raised me, and one who gave birth to me.  I know the one who gave birth to me isn’t really my ‘mother’ but in reality, the truth of the matter is, she is.  

I have attachment issues, well I have many issues.  I suppose sometimes the attachment thing really gets to me though.  I don’t attach easily, I don’t bond easily, I don’t share myself, or open my heart up to anyone.  Except for a select few.  All of my life, or at least since I can remember, I had certain people in my life that helped me get through.  It was almost as if it were assigned, I don’t know if I was assigned to them, or if they were assigned to me, I am not really sure how that worked.  Needless to say, it just happened.  I have since grown to call these people my ‘people’, original, I know it, Im making ya gag.  

My people were always older than me, anywhere from 2 to 30 years.  They were my parental figures, my safety net, my everything.  They were not always the same kind of person, but they always had some of the same qualities.  The gentleness, kindness, the will to listen to me.  Some of these people I knew for a short time, but lived with me in memory for much longer, some of them I knew for long periods of time, years even.   I got very, very attached to each one of these people, it always showed to them on the outside, however, I didn’t always show to what extent.  I suppose I would have possibly freaked them out, or scared the sh%t out of them if they knew.   However, most of them had some kind of attachment to me as well.  I could never understand why it was that I was able to bond with these people, but not with my parents.  Why I had to get what I needed from people who were outside myself, but couldn’t get it from the ones I live with. 

It never accorded to me really, that a lot of these issues had to do with the fact that I am adopted.  That the reason that I didn’t bond with the people I lived with was because I was the trapezoid peg in a square hole.  I always knew I didn’t fit well with my parents, but I could never understand why everything was so difficult. 

I guess I am just having a hard time with this whole thing, sometimes its all fine, and others it will hit me like a ton of bricks.  I am fighting an attachment to a person who isn’t a parental figure, but is actually my biological parent.  The problem is, I am not a child anymore, I do not need a mother.  I have a friend.  I feel so many things changing within me, its quite amazing really, how quickly it can happen.  I am fighting the need to hold on as tight as I possibly can, and letting go, because I know, in my heart, that she isn’t going to go anywhere. 

Reunion… reunion brings so many questions to the table, so many emotions up to surface, so many that I didn’t even realize were there.  I have said before that I never defined myself as an adoptee, and its true.  Now…  now I do.  Now I think of myself as an adoptee who was separated at birth from the woman who rightfully should have been the one to raise me.  I understand now where the abandonment fears and the lost identity have come from.  I am just now learning to deal with these things, so that I can let them go.   As I sit here and wish for the millionth time that the person I am was somehow better.  That the person I am was somehow more ready to deal with this.  I feel like I put more stress on Meemo, stress that doesn’t need to be there.   I know she loves me, but I wonder sometimes whether she somehow resents this intrusion into her life.  Somehow resents the fact that I am not as well adjusted as I could be, and not as easy to deal with as she would have imagined me to be. 

The road of life takes many turns… some expected, some not.  Even the ones that we do expect can turn into the unexpected.  I feel like I am on a giant curve.  One that appeared to be a drastic turn and has turned into a drastic curve, one that I have yet to see where it ends, it just keeps going.  Eventually, I would supposed this curve will end, and I will find myself on a new path.  For now, I am just taking the curve, and taking it slow, for who knows where it may lead to. 

 

More liberations and decisions to be made… February 24, 2007

Filed under: Family,School — Jessie @ 11:45 pm

beware… long and boring… read at own risk 🙂 

I do not generally make decisions for myself.  This may sound like a bit of an odd statement, but it is true.  I am just not good at it.  I get nervous, I don’t have the confidence to know that the decision I am making is the right one.  I suppose that I have learned that it is very rare that you really do know for sure what the right decisions in life are. 

I have made quite a few (obviously) in my life.   I remember each and every large decision that I have made, and generally the events that have lead up to it.  Most of the choices I have made have come at a moment where a choice was inevitable.   Either that, or it is an impulsive decision that I later had to tell myself was ok, or not ok, and learn from them. 

I chose to move out of my house at 21.  It was a result of a long standing battle with my mother.  I hated her rules, I hated living under her roof, I hated the fact that she couldn’t treat me like an adult.  I wasn’t allowed to do things that any 21 year old adult should be able to do.  I wasn’t allowed to have tattoo’s (I had two) I wasn’t allowed to have piercings, other than one hole in my ear (I had four in my ears, and one in my belly button)… alright so I wasn’t very good at the whole rules thing.  I had an 11 o’clock curfew on work nights and one am on weekends.  My mother had to know where I was going and what I was doing. (  I know these don’t sound horrible, there were many more, and I was 21 years old… an adult in my own right!) If I didn’t follow these rules she took the keys to my car, needless to say, I begrudgingly followed those.  

I don’t know why moving out of the house didn’t accour to me earlier, I take that back, yes I did know.  It was one of those decisions that I was no good at making.  Same with getting my licence (didn’t happen until I was 19) getting a car (happened before I got my licence, but only because my parents pushed me).   Same with getting a job (again, parental intervention on this one), same with a lot of things.  I hate change, and I am terrible at deciding to change things.

The decision to move out of my mothers house was a fast one.  I came home from Georgia with a brandy new hole in my tongue, thinking I could hide it as well as I did (not) hide the others.  My mother noticed it immediately, she said either it comes out, or I get out, right there, right then.  Unfortunately since I didn’t really want to sleep on the street, I took the damn tongue ring out, and moved out of the house.  This whole escapade took almost exactly a month.  I found a place, came up with the security deposit, boxed my stuff and moved out, within a month.  Who says I can’t make a decision.  Who say’s I can’t handle change.  I was so unbelievably and happily liberated that day… and got my hole back in my tongue the next. 

I have made many decisions since, the largest being the decision to go to school.  I hated school… actually saying I hated school is an understatement.  I was unsocial, didn’t have many friends, didn’t get good grades and was constantly at odds with my parents because of it.  Concentrating is not my strong suit, neither is motivation.  Doing homework was a joke, something I did when I absolutely needed to, to pass the class, otherwise homework was nothing.  I decided that I had to go back to school to make my life better.  Besides moving out of my house, it was the largest decision I had ever made, and suprisingly enough, another one that was made very quickly.

Now I am in school, I am ready to pull my hair out, having a hell of a time keeping my stress level down enough to actually do the work I need to do.  I am in my fifth semester and just wishing it all to be done.  I was looking forward to a reprive, next semester, I have to take five classes and an internship ( I normally just take four classes) on top of working full time.  No Way In Hell.  Soo, I was figured it all out, I was going to get a very large grant, use that for my finances, and cut my work hours down to something in the range of 10-12 per week.  A BREAK!! A much needed, much sought after BREAK.  Ahhhh. 

Then the bomb drops, of course, don’t they always?  I am losing my major form of financial aid.  The aid that pays for over half of my school tuition, losing it, because I have already gotten the six semesters worth that the state allows you to get ( I went to college once before right after high school, didn’t turn out so well).  Soo, there goes my reprive, there goes my break, there goes my everything. I freaked, I was so upset, I figured the world must be ending, my long sought after break was crumbling before my eyes.   Thanks to Meemo, a half a chicken (yes I do dip chicken in mayo… I know its weird, aparantly I am not the only one tho) and a bunch of smokes, I calmed down.  Realized that in fact, the world was not crumbling before my eyes.  It wasn’t insurmountable, and I could get through this.  I can figure out what I am going to do.
(thanks Meemo)

I made yet another large decision in my life, I decided that I was going to take the semester off of school.  Well duh, why didn’t that occur to me sooner?  A whole semester, to myself.  A whole semester to have a life.  A whole semester to do what I want, when I want and not have to worry about school!  Amazing.  I will have four more months to figure out finances, four more months to figure out what I am going to do.  Four more months to get my head on straight and get my life back in order.  Yes, it will take me four more months to graduate, but if that is what it takes.  I have been going to school, non stop, for a year and a half ( I go all year round, no summer or winter breaks, only about two weeks between each semester) Its time for a break, its time to breathe. 

I feel vindicated.  I feel like a giant weight has been lifted off my shoulders.  It is almost as if liberating myself to make a small decision also liberated and cleared me to make a larger one.  I discovered that it is perfectly alright for me to make these decisions without making sure they are the right ones first.  They are the right ones for me, and who cares what my parents or anyone else thinks of them.  It is what I am going to do. 

 

Liberation! February 23, 2007

Filed under: Uncategorized — Jessie @ 9:53 am

Yesterday, I spent entirely too much money. 

Yes, what a way to begin a post. 

Let me begin to tell you that I am a poor college kid.  I live on my own, I make next to nothing, and I make it work.  I don’t buy a lot of frivolous things… I have one pair of sneakers, went through all the stores in the mall until I found a nice pair for under $20.   I am a great shopper, I have many things that should have cost me much more.  I have walked into work many a time with a nice new outfit, only to explain that the whole thing cost me like $20…. In general, I am a tightwad. 

I have to be… I make next to nothing.

Every once in a while, I want something.  I want it, and I buy it… not really concerned about the cost.  Is this so wrong??  This wanting things, mostly comes in the form of technology.  Yes, I wanted a specific cell phone, and yes, I bought it.  Yes it was expensive, but its really cool… wanna try it out?

About a year ago, I found myself in a situation with school where I needed to take online classes.  Therefore, I needed a computer.  I walked into the store, and without barely batting an eyelash, I bought a laptop that was worth more than my car (my car is a piece of crap btw… so it wasn’t a huge as you might imagine).  Me the girl who wont spend more than 10$ on a shirt… bought a computer than cost more than my car is worth.  Hmmmm.  

I wanted a digital camera… so I bought one. 

My newest endeavor… I wanted to be able to get online, wherever I wanted to get online.  Of course my computer has integrated wireless… but… that only works if there is WiFi around.  And lets face it, there really isn’t always that option. 

I am an Internet junkie… I will admit it.  Before I had my laptop, I barely went online at all.  I had a few choices, I could go to my mom or my dads… both who have crappy computers and dial up… and sit around and wait for that to work.  I could go to the library, or I could go to one of the little Internet cafes in the little town I live in.  For Internet, those were my options.  When I went to school, I was able to get online at school.  It was nice, I started to discover the true joy’s of the Internet.  When I got my laptop… it was all downhill from there.  I used to read about four to six books a week… that was down to about one.  I used to spend a lot of time cuddling with my cat, he learned how to adjust himself around the computer.  I got a wireless hub, and my broadband Internet… I was totally stoked.  Then I met my Meemo… and well that Internet fetish turned me into an Internet junkie.  My computer is the first thing I turn on in the morning, the first thing I turn on when I walk in the door at night.  It comes with me when I go babysitting… in hopes for an unsecured wireless network nearby.  It goes with me to work… where, alas, there is no nearby wireless.   This is how my Meemo and I communicate… via email… every day.  Plus I just love being online.

So… I decided that I was tired of fighting with wireless networks babysitting.  I was tired of sneaking on the computer at work (I got caught, this is what started this whole thing)  I was tired of going over to my moms or dads and not being able to get online.  I decided that I wanted a wwan…. wwan means world wide area network.   I can get online now, wherever I go (well, as Meemo pointed out to me, wherever there is cell phone reception, it runs off the cell towers).  I can go to Chicago, or NYC or Pittsburgh or New Jersey.  Or my moms house and my dads house and work and babysitting.  And in one touch of a button, I can get online.   Its one of the coolest things I have ever done.

Do I feel guilty… yes, increadably.  From the girl who won’t spend more than $10 on a shirt, yes I feel increadably guilty.  Do I need it, no, I really don’t.  I wanted it.  I feel like, through all the crap and hard times I have to go through, for everything in life that sucks,  there has to be something a long the way that makes it worth it.  After all, why else should we be here?  I am responsible, I am good with money, so what if I spend way to damn much for Internet.  Thats ok… right? 

I sort of feel this tiny little epiphany going on in my head.  I realize, that it is my life, my choices that I make that makes up who and what I am.  There is absolutly no one who is going to sit there and say, Jessie, no you can’t do that.  Jessie, no you aren’t making a wise choice.  I am liberating myself from my parents and attitudes about the choices I make.  I am liberating myself from boundaries.  I am liberating myself from even myself.   I am saying, I am worth it!  I am getting rid of all the what if’s, and instead changing it to I can.  Ok, so maybe not all the what if’s… maybe just one.  But everyone needs a start. 

Its my incentive to quit smoking… alright so I havn’t actually quit yet, but I am going to now!

 

Silver Linings February 18, 2007

Filed under: Adoptee,Adoption,Adoption reunion — Jessie @ 9:54 pm

This blog entry is so long overdue…. and has actually been started quite a few times, but never finished.  Due to the nature of what is going on in my head and the fact that Meemo reads this.  It is ok… I talked to her. 

So yes, if anyone has read Meemo’s blog they know that Meemo, my sister and I all went to see a movie together.  I have been wanting my sister to meet her for a long, long time.  However, our schedules are both very full, and I knew it would be difficult for Stacey.  Stacey will never have the opportunity to meet her biological family, she will never have the opportunity to know what I know about myself now.  I have always felt really sad for her about that, and even more so now that I have met my family.  They got on great, I was nervous at first, but it turned out my fears were unfounded.  My sister adored her, and Meemo adored my sister back… they even had a little one to one chat the outcome of thatis best described by Meemo… so click on the link on her name, and you will see… 

I have found this blog hard to write for a number of reasons.  The biggest being that I almost feel bad for having the feelings that I do.  I feel like everything is going well, why should I be so depressed, why should I feel so angry.  I should be busy feeling happy, and I do a lot of the time.  But the truth is, this whole thing is so much harder than I ever could have imagined. 

When I spoke to Meemo about it, I said I will begin at the beginning and end at the end, for that is all I really know how to do at this point.  And I guess the beginning is that this sucks…

Adoption sucks.

There I said it.  I almost feel better already.  I guess the biggest suckiness of this whole thing is realizing that I am a screw up, a product of nothing more than an oh sh%t… I am pregnant.  And because of that, I got to be raised by people who are no more biologically related to me than the neighbor down the street, or the old guy that lives next door.  People that I fit in with about as well as a round peg in a square hole… or a freaking trapezoid peg in a square hole for that matter.  DONT get me wrong… I am not angry, or even upset that Meemo made the choice she made.  At seventeen years old, there aren’t many choices, and I much prefer being adopted to the other A word… at least I got the chance.  At least I am alive, and here, and able to write this blog.  I thank her in my mind every single day for that.  She gave me the best option that she had… who’s to say what the right option is.  I understand why she didn’t keep me… doesn’t make it suck any less.

I never defined myself growing up as an adoptee… yes I was adopted, but that didn’t really make up a big part of who I was.  My parents were my parents and that was that.  I loved them, and they loved me, we’re a happy family N O T! 

I had a lot of things growing up that many other children would have given a lung for.  Trips to Disney World, a mountain of presents for my birthday and Christmas, a swimming pool, a hot tub, a trampoline, a playhouse all in my own back yard.  I skied every weekend from when I was two years old, right up until my parents divorce when I was 20.  Had all the best ski gear, even went to Colorado to go ski.  I was a girl scout, I was involved in sports.  My parents were willing to do whatever it takes to do what they thought would make me happy.  They showered me with love… but only not the kind that doesn’t look past a mistake or two, or a hundred.   Unfortunately, I wasn’t THEIR child.  I wasn’t athletically inclined… I didn’t have what it took to be a good skier, or swimmer, or girl scout, or runner, or baseball player.  I wasn’t going to be a dancer either, or an actress.  I wasn’t going to be a famous artist.  I wasn’t going to be anything that they thought they could mold me to be.  I wasn’t going to be good at school, I wasn’t going to be polite and use my manners, I wasn’t going to be any of those things.  All I could be, was me.  And somewhere, somewhere in all of that expectation, in all of that hope that I would be the child they wanted me to be, I was lost.  

When my parents adopted a child, they were counting on nurture beating out nature… they were counting on the fact that they could take a child that was completely unrelated to them, and make it into THEIR child.  My mother thought if she tried hard enough, her daughter would get good grades, my father thought that if he tried hard enough, his daughter would be good at sports.  I was neither…  I was an ADD child, an ungraceful ADD child who was not going to be any good at sports.  I was never destined to be great, I was only destined to be me.  Unfortunately, that me, was just never good enough for them.  The why can’t you be more like___ and the If you put half the effort into your school work as you did to moping around.  I got a lot of those. 

I know that all of these things are not necessarily a product of being adopted, I know that a lot of children go through this.  However, being adopted didn’t help.  Being adopted only added to the fact that I was a trapeziod peg in a square hole. 

When I met Meemo… I discovered I wasn’t the only trapezoid in the world.  When I met her and her family, I realized that all along, there was a trapezoid hole that my trapezoid peg would fit into.  When I went to the Casino with her, I realized that I really did belong somewhere… and unfortunately, I spent the first 24 years of my life completely lost to where that was.  And I discovered that I really was angry.  Angry that I had to be that peg, the one that didn’t fit.  Angry that I wasn’t one of those people that could turn my peg from a trapezoid to a square so that it would fit.  Angry at my parents because they didn’t see me for me, they only wanted the child they wanted, and I just wasn’t it.  Angry that all along, I really wasn’t so bad, I just didn’t know it.  I am angry because this isn’t how life was supposed to have been.  

However, it is how life was, absolutely nothing can change that.  What I can change is now.  I wish I could say I don’t waste time on these emotions, but unfortunately, I think just to get through this, I am going to have to.  I deal with them, one step at a time.  There is one thing that I am not angry about.  I am not angry about the relationship that my Meemo and I have now.  I am a little upset that it has to be formed now, instead of when I was an infant, however, I do not believe for one second that the relationship we have now is the same thing that would have formed had she been the one to raise me.  It would have been so different.  Sometimes I wonder if because we are so alike, if we would have liked each other much growing up.   I don’t know, these are questions whose answers I do not have.  What I have is now… What I have is an amazing relationship with an amazing woman who just happens to be my biological mother.  For as much as I wish I could change the way life went, I wonder how much I would really want to change that.  I don’t think I would know her as the woman that I know now… and I don’t think she would know me as the woman that I am now. 

I guess the whole point of this, is that there are silver linings to every storm cloud.  For every nasty emotion I feel, there is an overpowering happy one.  For every wish I have, another has been granted.  I not only found my mother, but I found a friend… as corny as it sounds, its the truth.  Sometimes I wonder if I would even want to give that up.  After all, the last 24 years of my life are gone, over, what I have is the present.  And surprisingly enough, I think I am ok with that. 

 

something interesting February 14, 2007

Filed under: Adoption — Jessie @ 8:33 pm

Suggestions every adoptive parent should see

Just a link to a site… the author, wraith, has compiled a list for adoptive parents.  I found it very interesting, and thought that maybe, just maybe if my parents had read this…

Compared a lot of others, my life growing up was fantastic.  However there are just some things that every adoptive parent should know… I just liked the list. 

 

Thoughts on a relationship forming February 11, 2007

Filed under: Adoptee,Adoption,Adoption reunion — Jessie @ 1:35 pm

Maybe its time I do a Meemo is blog….

Meemo is….

The woman who gave birth to me

The woman with my face, my eyes, my freckles and a smile that lights up the world (and I don’t even think she knows it) 

The woman who has a sense of humor that is indescribable, and yet funny as all get out

No nonsense and tough as a box of rocks 

The woman who somehow knows my dislike of tomatoes and my fears of being left

An endless number of amazing stories to tell

The woman who can take just about everything I have thrown at her, and just take it in stride

I think she is amazing

Our relationship however, is indescribable. 

For the longest time, I have wanted a mother figure, someone who will love me unconditionally despite the fact that I have my flaws and issues.   Who can know who I am, who I really am, and like me anyway.   Someone who won’t second guess me, what I do and the decisions I make.    Someone mushy and lovey who would love the child in me that just really, really wants to be loved. 

To most of you, you are probably thinking that all this time I had my biological mother in the back of my mind as this figure, but the truth of it is, I didn’t. 

I always thought that my bio mother and I would meet someday, I though we would have some kind of relationship, however I wasn’t ever sure what it was going to be.  Mostly, I was largely afraid that she would be disappointed in the person that I was, that I would be too fat, too unsuccessful, too something and not enough something else.  I never imagined that the relationship would go anything beyond a hello, how are you, we should do lunch sometime.  I never really wanted another mother, I have one, don’t need another.  

Now you are probably expecting me to say that I got my mother figure anyway… this is partly true, and partly not, and I have discovered that the relationship that I did get is far better than either A. the weird one I always expected to have with my bmom one day or B. the mushy motherly thing… she is so NOT the mushy motherly thing

So what is she….

I wondered since I met her what our relationship was going to be.  It is different from anything anyone can describe, and there isn’t a book that you can read on it, there isn’t a description in the world that can possibly describe it.  It just is what it is.   I think both of us were unsure where any of this was going to go, however it didn’t take long to realize that it was going to go somewhere… somewhere beyond hello, how are you, we should do lunch sometime.  I knew from the moment when I first called her that it was going to be different from that, after all, this woman is a lot like me.  ME!  Who would have thunk it…. someone out there that was like ME!

It took a bit to get into the swing of things, her family really tipped it off to me, it was like, wow, I fit here!  I was so afraid that I was going to lose her that I hung on as tight as I could.  Almost as if it were a dream and if I didn’t hang on tight enough, it was going to vanish before I could get my fingers around it again.   Once I realized she wasn’t going anywhere, I could let go of that.   But still, what do we become, what do we do with this relationship. 

We went on this little trip of ours, and I realized that we really have fallen into something.  Something that I think is going to stick as what our relationship is going to be. 

Meemo is, biologically my mother, but in reality more like a sister.  The age gap between us is not large, she was far too young to have me.  The turn of events could have been so different, but we met as adults, so both of us treat each other as adults.  It is amazing because I feel that we have this adult relationship that is somewhat separate from the fact that she is my mom and I am her daughter.  The fact that we are both adults, and the fact that she didn’t have to raise me changes the course of any relationship we have.    Over the time of this trip, I looked at her differently, I see her as an entity all of her own, and yet one that is shared with me.  I see her as a woman with a lot to teach me, and a lot to share.  I see our relationship forming as one that makes perfect sense for both of us.  She is not mushy and lovey, and surprisingly enough, all I had to do was look inside myself and discover that I really don’t need that, nor want that, particularly from her. 

I now think of us as somewhat akin to close sisters, the ones with a large enough age gap for there to be that mother instinct between them, but without all the mother stuff to go along.   She doesn’t need to tell me to do my homework, or to make sure to clean behind my ears… there are no fights about curfew, where I have been and what I was doing.  No issues seeing me as the adult I am because she met me as the adult I am, and even though I am her daughter, I don’t need to fall into the daughter role with her as I do with my mother.  We can share stories of the stupid things we did in high school.  We can share our fears of things and life and the mistakes and successes we have had along the way.  She can give me advice that her 17 extra years on me have given her, and we can tell our secrets without fears.  I can look up to her, and see her as an equal, at the same time.   It truly is amazing to me. 

Sometimes this relationship is difficult, sometimes there are expectations and previous images that are hard to break.  Sometimes its tough to get past that she is my mother, and other times, even though its like looking in a mirror, I forget that she is.  Really, I am just thankful to her, and her family, for accepting me.  I got my acceptance, my unconditional love and trust from a source that I never even saw, or imagined, coming.  And for once I have found that I am happy it worked this way.