(first published Nov 2007)
In the last few weeks, 3 of my 5 children have acquired a Webkinz and so much frivolity, merriment, and all out stuffed chaos has ensued. I was just having a conversation with my oldest about her monkey ChiChi. I was reprimanded because I kept calling it a HE when of course it is a SHE. All my girls’ stuffed toys are female, “of course Mom, because we’re girls!” I am informed.
But growing up, I imagined all my herd of stuffed toys to be male. Every last one of them. I just tried to picture myself loving, hugging, and bonding with a “female” teddy bear, or horse, or octopus 🙂 as a child and I just couldn’t.
I can’t even picture it now. I almost feel repulsion, a kind of anxiety. Like I can’t let myself relax and be comforted by a female. Maybe I am being totally goofy, but I wonder if this is some kind of protective mechanism due to losing one mom and having another that was sort of standoffish and, well, bitter about a lot of things. I think in general I refuse to be close and comforted, but especially by something “female”.
Silly, I know, but it’s what I feel…
(first published Sept 2007)
I have not read the book, The Primal Wound yet (it’s around here somewhere!) – here is an article on the theory behind it:
Quantum Parenting: In Appreciation of The Primal Wound
I found this passage to be particularly true for me:
Throughout our childhoods, although this deep knowing [that our mother is not the woman who carried us in her womb] prods us down deep, telling us that the emperor is naked, we come to embrace, out of our existential survival instinct, the position that the emperor is fully clothed, because that’s what everyone else is saying, everyone upon whom we depend. We gradually become alienated from our own inner knowing, which leads to a hollowness inside, a hollowness that can’t be filled by the noisy details of our lives, our school plays, our swim meets, our slumber parties, and 20 years later, our own kids’ soccer games, our promotions, our exciting plans for the new house, our baby on the way. The hollowness just feels more hollow when none of these blessings can seem to fill us up.
and I loved this:
Dr. Wendy McCord, a therapist specializing in pre- and perinatal issues, suggests that there are things adoptive parents can do to acknowledge and allow an adopted infant’s loss, hurt, and anger, and thereby begin a healing process. [Contact this author for further information.] These are simple, concrete things which, while perhaps challenging of parents’ idealized vision of the adoptive experience, will begin to establish an atmosphere of trust for their child. This trust leads to the kind of intimacy which, more than any piece of paper, decrees them as that child’s “real parents.” For parents who act not out of their own needs and insecurities, but rather out of a truly respectful, supportive commitment to child’s needs, those are real parents. And that is real love.