I’ve found my birth mother but want to get closer

The Hamilton Spectator - - GO - el­liead­vice.com

Q. I was adopted at birth 30 years ago. At 20, I found a let­ter from my birth mom say­ing she hopes I find her and she’ll try find­ing me be­cause she wants a re­la­tion­ship with me.

I was look­ing for her for years and couldn’t find her.

Five years ago, some­one started up a con­ver­sa­tion with me and, by chance, hap­pened to know my birth mom, so gave me her name.

I’ve tried com­mu­ni­cat­ing with her many times.

She comes around once ev­ery two years and only talks to me when I mes­sage her.

She has four other kids who know noth­ing about me. She gives my kids gifts and they won­der who she is. I can’t tell them be­cause she’s never around long enough.

I’ve told her sev­eral times that I’m done try­ing.

It’s eat­ing me up in­side to see how good a mom and grandma she is to her other kids.

I’ve told her I have to let her go, but she keeps say­ing she wants a re­la­tion­ship.

Am I set­ting my­self up for fail­ure? Should I just re­al­ize that I’m never go­ing to be part of her fam­ily?

A. There’s al­ready an emo­tional link be­tween you and your birth mother. But there’s also the re­al­ity of her past, when her cir­cum­stances led to her giv­ing you up for adop­tion.

She must’ve been fright­ened and up­set, and did what she thought or was con­vinced was best for her and for you.

She’s never for­got­ten that you’re her daugh­ter.

But her present life with her other chil­dren and grand­chil­dren was formed un­der dif­fer­ent cir­cum­stances, and she hasn’t felt able to bridge the gap and bring you into that fam­ily.

She may fear they’ll judge her dif­fer­ently if they knew about you. She may be pro­tect­ing you, too, from not be­ing ac­cepted by them.

But the same woman, who reached out to you years ago, does keep “com­ing around.” You mat­ter to her.

That’s why she gave your chil­dren gifts.

Try to ac­cept that she can’t take the con­nec­tion fur­ther. Keep mes­sag­ing her pe­ri­od­i­cally; she needs to know you’re do­ing okay.

You do know who your mother is, and that she’s a good per­son.

Feed­back re­gard­ing the man who wrote, “I’m a guy whose girl­friend wants me to wear ladies’ panties” (Jan­uary 20):

Reader #1: “I can’t help but won­der if that’s some kind of sex­ual ha­rass­ment or abuse.

“I’m won­der­ing if a man were do­ing that to a woman, what would your ad­vice have been?

“I’m not say­ing he should charge her with any­thing, but I’m cu­ri­ous about the dif­fer­ences be­tween how sit­u­a­tions are per­ceived and treated, de­pend­ing on the gen­ders of the play­ers.

“I was glad to see you warned him of the po­ten­tial dan­ger he’s in there.”

Reader #2: “With no in­tent to triv­i­al­ize this man’s sit­u­a­tion, I get it. I used to teach hu­man sex­u­al­ity in the col­lege sys­tem.

“You have to sus­pect that her de­mand is not the only power she’s wield­ing with him.

Not to get too Freudian, but she’s lit­er­ally emas­cu­lat­ing him. Maybe he should cut bait on the re­la­tion­ship in short or­der.”

El­lie: Whether it’s cross-dress­ing, a sex­ual fetish, or act­ing out a fan­tasy, what two peo­ple agree on as a (safe) part of their sex­ual play­book, is their busi­ness.

But this man’s let­ter also de­scribed threats to re­veal photos of him if he didn’t com­ply with her in­creas­ing de­mands.

That is ha­rass­ment and abuse, and it doesn’t mat­ter the gen­der in­volved. He needs to end it.

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