There are days, like today, that I don’t feel worthy. That I don’t deserve to grieve because I’m not a “real” mother. No matter how many times others tell me not to feel this way, it’s still there… An internal message, repeated over and over again.
My own personal recording – I put it there, and it’s become ingrained.
I’m pretty sure it all began as a way to get through the initial grief of the adoption, and once in place became a crutch. It’s not necessarily a bad thing. It was a coping mechanism; a way to get through the day-to-day without completely falling apart. And a way to get through all those birthdays, mother’s days and holidays.
The times I did give in to grief it was still with a lingering sense of unworthiness. I can remember hearing whispered comments or seeing judgmental looks at particularly vulnerable moments, and they reinforced these internal messages, but it’s not anyone else’s fault. It’s mine. Just like it is now my responsibility to silence them.
Because unfortunately, the message is still playing. And it doesn’t help anymore.
But I don’t think stopping the message is enough. I must instead replace the old message with something new. So here I am, yelling out into the universe “Yes, I am a mother!” and challenging myself to remember that even though there’s been more pain than joy, there has been joy, great joy.
YES, I AM A MOTHER!