Biological Mother's Lifelong Distress
A number of mothers have mentioned the guilt they have felt in not having grieved the loss of their baby at the time of surrender - how they felt a total numbness for years and often decades afterward. As a result it was decided to include a personal non-identifying psychiatric diagnosis (see below) in the hope of helping others understand why this might have occurred, by explaining how a sound mind protects itself from unbearable distress by shutting off from the trauma until a trigger event occurs where the mind is no longer able to repress the event.
For too long adoption separation has been minimised by being referred to at best - as grief and loss, at worse something we are often expected to "get over" and put behind us. Some of us even thought we had - but had we really?
The possible reason many mothers have been unable to speak of their experience is because their experience had become unspeakable i.e. To speak of it is to make it real - and to make it real is to then have to face their loss - something many were unable to do until adoption legislation gave them hope, bringing their as if dead babies back to life and making them real again.
Naturally the length of and depth of dissociation differs from mother to mother depending on 'trigger' events bringing her out of denial i.e. Some mothers do not block out the experience but cannot access their grief until much later, some grieved immediately and then blocked out the whole racking experience for years.
Some mothers blocked out entirely for years or decades - their grief manifesting itself in other forms - at other objects or life events, some remain dissociated even when they have met their adult child and cannot access reality until sometimes years after reunion, (this often results in delayed emotional bonding between mother and child) at least for a time.
For some mothers the pain of their experience and brainwashing is so deep they may never allow themselves to access their own reality and sometimes place vetoes or deny their relationship with their searching child, disclaiming (as was required of them) that their maternal instincts even existed, some spend their lives denying the existence of their child and cannot physically or psychologically fall pregnant again or until a trigger event (eg entitlement) forces them to be no longer able to deny.
For many the combination of sedation, trauma, not seeing the baby etc causes the mind to manifest an unreal quality regarding their experience (the picture never becoming quite clear until or unless some tangible information is acquired to help piece it all together eg obtaining medical records, social work reports, revisiting the unwed mothers home/hospital, speaking to other mothers with the same experience and with whom they can identify etc.
For some the moment of dissociation is upon signing a consent, when their newborn was taken at moment of birth, when the revocation period had expired, when they attempted to reclaim their baby only to be told it was too late.
For others that moment of dissociation occurred much earlier - somewhere after their pregnancy was diagnosed, when they were told the foetus they were carrying was not their baby but already belonged to someone else, that they could not keep their baby.
Also when their condition was seen by others as a problem to be gotten rid of, when all hope was gone as no-one saved them at the eleventh hour after-all. When they were forbidden to see their child and did not know how to ask, or when they asked and were ignored.
Sometimes it was impossible to dissociate and mothers turned to a lifetime of drugs, alcohol, anti-depressants etc to get themselves through, tragically some took the permanent way out.