Cognitive Dissonance

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Here’s another analogy, to try to explain this.

If you have children, you’ll understand this a little more… maybe.

Your 4 year old daughter has a doll (made of cotton material) that she loves. She takes that doll everywhere. Your daughter’s doll needs a good washing. Very badly. For whatever reason, you can’t wash her doll, while she’s asleep at night. It’s not an option.

You’re now on both sides of this. Some definite cognitive dissonance (excessive mental stress and discomfort experienced by an individual who holds two or more contradictory beliefs) is going on here.

1) You want your daughter to be happy. You want her to have her doll.

2) You know that your daughter’s doll needs to be washed. The doll fell in the mud and needs to be washed NOW. Your daughter likes to take her doll to bed with her and you can’t allow that muddy doll in your daughter’s bed.

This is the Steyer wife’s inner struggle, having to do with these adoptions. She’s good friends with Mr. and Mrs. Zumba (adoptive parents). She also knows me. She housed me. She fed me some awesome homemade food. Her family sacrificed, to help me.

Mrs. Steyer is accustomed to being strong. She sacrifices for many people. She has a difficult time saying “no” to (some) people.

Why am I trying to map out what I think Mrs. Steyer feels?

Empathy. And an attempt to explain how I feel, without hurting her. I don’t want to hurt her. I appreciate her. On my list of people that I appreciate, she’s near the top. I’m close to tears, right now, because I don’t want to hurt her.

Here’s how I feel:

Lady Bug is 4 years old. Sweet Sesame is 6 months old.

What am I going to do? Talk to their mom 3 times a week, for the next 14 years?

I can’t figure out whether I’m being selfish or this is what naturally happens within adoptions. I’m not very good at letting things naturally happen. I over-think everything.

Letting go (to the point that I feel that I should) feels somewhat natural. Again, I suck at this.

 

Now…

here’s another analogy:  (…finding an analogy that’d make you feel anything close to how I feel is not easy. Just remember that the “thing” I love are my children, not some pet.)

Your parents tell you that you’re moving 500 miles away into an apartment that is not going to allow your 100 pound dog. You love your dog more than anything or anyone (besides your parents, sometimes).

No, really. You really love your dog. A lot. You’ve had him since you were 3 years old.

You find a really good home for him. A lake, 3 acres of land, 5 other dogs to play with. Just a perfect home for him.

You met this “perfect home” family through a friend of yours.

You have hysterically cried over the loss of your beloved pet. You know that he’s where he should be, but it still hurts to be without him. It hurts a lot.

Your friend (who helped you find this home) periodically tells you how your dog is doing. Your friend sends you pictures. Your friend visits your dog’s home, from time to time.

Yes, this makes you thankful that you have such a direct connection to your dog’s new home.

A year and a half later, you’re still missing your dog. Sometimes, you still cry.

Now, you’re about to “begin a new chapter.”

Your friend will always be friends with your dog’s (“new”) family.

It’s just life, for your dog’s family and your friend. But it’s not “just life,” for you.

Part of releasing the pain of your loss (which, in reality, very few people love DOGS this much… so, remember, these are my children – not a dog!) …. is to “put away” constant reminders of your dog and your loss.

 

…another explanation:

if a mother’s child is kidnapped, she keeps the child’s room AS IS – until her child returns.

if a mother’s child is killed / dies in an accident, she keeps the child’s room AS IS (for a while), but eventually things are packed away and put into storage, so that she’s more able to accept her loss and allow life to “go on.”

 

Adoption shouldn’t be compared to a child dying, no, but the loss and pain are similar – but not equal, at all.

I hope what I feel is understood. I don’t want to hurt anyone. I’ve never wanted to hurt anyone.

I’ve tried to put you “into my shoes.” If you can’t understand, I’m done trying to explain.

If you do understand and aren’t hurt, thank you.

Letting Go // Bug & Sesame

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Lady Bug is 4 years old, now. Sweet Sesame is 6 months old.

I’m feeling an inner prompt that I need to let go – a little more.

I won’t see Lady Bug or Sweet Sesame, possibly for another 14 years. I have no idea. It’s whenever they’re ready to meet me.

I’ve received information and pictures, at least bi-weekly. Usually more often than that. I appreciate each anecdote and each picture that I receive.

But at what point does life begin again? I feel like I’m trapped in the past. I feel guilty “saying” this, but I really don’t want to be trapped there any longer.

I don’t EVER worry about Lady Bug or Sweet Sesame. The only worries I have are the kind that you can’t do anything about; the kind of things that no one could ever be blamed for. 

Babies, I love you.

I want to let the past go.

That doesn’t mean entirely letting go of you. It means letting go, to the point that I can stop with the “what ifs.” It means letting go, to the point that I can look forward to the day that I’ll meet you again.