Post Adoption Week 5 – The Big Mistake

I crashed and burned again on Sunday into Monday.

It all started because I didn’t sleep well for 3 nights straight.  I woke up Sunday cranky. For some reason, Peanut wasn’t having a great day either.  The day progressed where I was getting more and more irritated with her by the hour and finally by the minute.  I hit the boiling point when I screamed at her to shut up.  I grabbed my purse and drove away from my house and family.

I didn’t know where to go so I drove around until I found a park.  I tried to read a book to calm down, but mostly I just sat there.  I must have sat there 2 -3 hours before I could bring myself to go back home.  I only went back home because I had nowhere else to go. Had I a viable option, I don’t think I would have gone back that night.

I wish I could say that a good night’s sleep worked wonders.  Monday, I woke up still feeling negative and despondent.  I could barely look at my family and I left for work as quickly as possible.

At work, I continued to feel hopeless.  At that moment, I didn’t like Peanut and I couldn’t see myself ever liking her.  When D called to check up on me, I told him I wanted out.  I didn’t want her in my life anymore.  I was tired, so very tired, of trying hard every moment of every day and not making any real progress.  Four weeks of so much effort and to feel this hopeless again is devastating.

I called my therapist for an earlier appointment, I called my social worker, I left a message on the adoption forum for anyone who’s had problems bonding with their baby to contact me.  I started researching for therapists specializing adoption.  I read a bunch of articles on post adoption depression.  As much as I wanted to give up, I had to continue to try.

Finally a few people from the board contacted me with their stories.  Of them also feeling hopeless, helpless, disconnected, wanting to give up, wanting to stop trying, and regretting the decision to adopt.   Of them not loving or liking their child for a long time.  Of how it took months and even a year to get to a better place.  Of needing help, therapy, even medication.  They told me their darkest moments.

Again, I hesitated writing about this.  This is so raw and personal.  It makes me feel so vulnerable knowing that my friends and family are reading this and judging me.  And why shouldn’t they when I judge myself.  I told D that I feel like a defective machine, like a lemon that can’t be fixed.  As much as I tried to give myself a break, I feel a tremendous amount of guilt.

I write because hearing these dark personal stories help.  They help me feel less alone and less of a freak.  They help to lighten the nightmare I’m going through.  They help me to have hope again.  So, in turn I tell my story for someone else.  To help them in their darkest moment.  Unfortunately, these stories are perhaps more common than we know, but less commonly told.  And they need to be told.  And they should be easier to find.

The big mistake?  I was so euphoric at having finally stopped the seepage, turned the corner, seeing a light that I ignored my own rules and warning about potential pitfalls.  I got complacent.  I thought I could work through the difficult day.  Now I know that I can’t and that whatever steps I make are truly teeny tiny baby steps.




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