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A Girl and Her Gun: Grace

Wednesday, March 7, 2012


I can not tell you how good yesterday's post felt to write. It was my screaming, kicking the dog, throwing the plates across the room declaration that I am officially done and it felt great! Plus I didn't have to kick an actual dog or break any plates. I think the last few months you have seen that I was pretty much there already. I really had dealt with the guilt and had moved on and was and am doing well, but when I read that email about Jeanne, imgot very angry at the bad guys of the world and the idiots that feed them. I thought it was time I wrote a strong post to the other women out there and try to use my story to encourage them to put the blame where it belongs, on the criminal. I believe Jeanne has done that, but the rest of us need to, too. I have had help in learning that the guilt has no place and I wanted to pass that knowledge and wisdom on. With that I want to share a story.

I recieved several emails last night and I was blessed by them. People are hurting and healing and I want to be sure I am clear on a few things. I don't normally like to tell another person's story and that includes my children, but I think this story is important because it illustrates how many times we are more gracefully to others than we are to ourselves.

This is not a story of violence and no criminals were involved. It is a story of guilt and shame though.

When a family is waiting to travel to China to adopt their child, they are often looking for ways to occupy their time and also find any information on their child that they can. One way to do this is to join a Yahoo group for that child's province or SWI(social welfare institute, aka, orphanage). For our 2nd daughter(not the one with me that day) we did this. She was from a small mining town of just over a million people. In China that is considered small and her SWI was one of the smallest I had ever heard of. It was located in a 2 room apartment on the 4th floor of an industrial building. Less than 40 kids there. About 2 days after I announced the adoption of our daughter, I got an email from someone who said they had information on our daughter and would I like it. This is not unusual. Many times families that travel earlier to get their children will take pictures of the other children and then pass those on with any other information to the new families. When I got the email I was excited and I said yes please. What I got was unexpected.

The woman sent me 50 pictures or more along with an email that said, we travelled to China to adopt this little girl(my daughter), but found her to be no good, so we returned her. Now, at first her choice of words was upsetting, but there was a language barrier and I do not believe she meant those words in the way we might think she did. Anyway, at first I was a little mad, but I wanted information, so I was nice and polite, but as we exchanged emails, she revealed to me her guilt and shame over not adopting our daughter simply because she was deaf. She told me of how she would sometimes close her eyes and rock in the rocking chair and she could feel A's breath on her. She said she didn't sleep and she cried a lot. She would apologize to me and I knew she was hurting. It was tough for me to separate out my anger for her and my compassion, but in the end, I could see no value in harming her. I could see no value for me or my daughter and I could see no value for her. What good would it serve? I thoughtmif I could help her heal a little then there would be some good. I can not image a worst fate for a child than a guilt ridden mother. I was not responsible for her redemption and I wasn't sure I could help, but I tried. I told her she made the best choice she could at the time and that she didn't owe me an apology. I told her A was with the perfect family and that she was loved. People would tell me this woman was awful and I should tell her so, but I never wanted to do that. I thought a lot about her children and what they deserved. They deserved a mother who was free from guilt and who could focus on them and love on them. We spent about a year emailing back and forth and finally it came time to go our separate ways. I had no intention of telling my daughter about her and I felt she needed to move on. She thanked me and I could tell she had healed that year and while she may always have tears for the choices she made, I believe she isn't reeling from the guilt any longer. I think what she did was wrong and it profoundly effected my daughter in very negative ways. In a ways it took her and us years to overcome, but I don't think beating herself up would be have good for anyone and I wanted to be a part of the solution and not the pain.

I thought about her the other day, for the first time in years. She just poppped into my head and I thought, I extended grace and forgiveness to her in a way that I hadn't allowed myself. Other people offered me that grace,but I kept harping on my mistake.I would take giant steps forward and then my daughter would share a memory and bam, I was right back to knocking myself around. I bet if you were a victim and you read my story you say, she is too hard on herself or something to that effect and then you go right on beating yourself up. It's time to stop.

What good are we if we let our situation turn us bitter or into a drunks or paranoid? What kind of mother am I going to be if I sit around wallowing in what I should have done for my daughter? What about what I can do for her now? She has 6 years of me being a good mommy and 1 day of me messing up. Yes, it was a big mess up, but it was one day and she deserves to have the rest of her life without having her mommy reliving it everyday. She deserves a well rested, happy, carefree, loving mommy to teach her how to love, how to trust, how to avoid danger, how to fight. The best thing I can do for her is to let it go. It's the best thing I can do for myself and it's the best thing you can do for yourself. It's time to let it go.

Whatever you did or didn't do that day, you are here and there is plenty of life left to live. If you didn't fight, you can fight now. Fight your way back to your life. If you fought, then maybe it's time you stop fighting and give yourself a rest. A rest from the guilt and all the what could have been or should have been. My time table is not yours. It will take some people more time and others not as much and that's fine. There should be a process, but if it has been several months or years and you are not moving forward then it's probably time to take a deeper look at why and perhaps start taking those steps forward. These bad guys don't deserve our lives, not our blood and not our joy.

I hope you find encouragement here and peace and I pray that today you allow yourself some grace.


At March 8, 2012 at 5:15 AM , Blogger Tango Juliet said...

You're on the right path.

At March 8, 2012 at 9:56 AM , Blogger RabidAlien said...

I was going to comment on your post from yesterday, but I was a peek at the blog while also trying to run the video during choir practice, soooo....sorry!

Anyhoo, I'm no expert (on much of anything), but it seems to me that you've grown over the past year or so. You've taken a bad experience, and taken control of it. You've learned from it, benefited from it, wrung all the lessons that you could have from it, and have now moved on. There's no sense in hanging on to the guilt when there's nothing left for you to gain from it. Hanging on to it would give the arsewipe that little bit of power over you. So, from one unedumikated guy, Kudos to you!

And it gets better (no, no Ginsu knives, sorry)...your daughter is watching you. She's going to see that, while it may take time, that its okay to learn, grow, and move on. She's going to see that bad things happen, but they don't have to have control of our lives. She's going to watch your example, and (may take some time) start taking her own steps to recovery.

I'd also be willing to bet that there are those who read your blog who will come to the same conclusions. Keep it up!!!

At March 8, 2012 at 1:06 PM , Blogger Larry said...

It's about time. :D

Seriously though, I'm glad to see you are done beating yourself up over it. You are absolutely right, he doesn't deserve any more of your attention.

Veni, vidi...


At March 8, 2012 at 1:38 PM , Blogger agirlandhergun said...

Yeah, yeah, yeah...I'm slow, but I made it:)

At March 8, 2012 at 1:40 PM , Blogger agirlandhergun said...

What you do something other than read my posts??? I don't follow:)

You are very kind and wise and always so nice to me. Thank you!

At March 8, 2012 at 4:05 PM , Blogger 45er said...

It's not about the feelings you have. Everyone will have feelings of some kind or other, it's what you do with the feelings that matter. Obviously, you've turned them into a positive thing and that's great. You made a good point that you can try and drink them away or turn bitter (or in a lot of cases go into depression). I'm so happy that you went down the empowerment path. As far as how you handled the lady that couldn't take A, that shows a lot of character. She's in pain and has her own guilt and burden to bear. You were right to not take out anger on her.

At March 8, 2012 at 5:35 PM , Blogger Unknown said...

Guilt is a burden that gets heavier the longer you carry it. Bless you for helping the other woman through hers. And good on you for not allowing yourself to be burdened with the shame belonging to someone else. The bad guy deserves that, not you.

At March 9, 2012 at 3:31 AM , Blogger agirlandhergun said...

Exactly right! Thanks!

At March 9, 2012 at 3:32 AM , Blogger agirlandhergun said...

Your words are always so comforting to me. I am trying to make something positive come out of this craziness:)


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