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The Road To Thursday

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On Thursday I met the woman I called mother for over ten years…after a good 5 years of having practically no contact with her. This is a brief summary of what led up to this meeting.

Some of my readers know that it was me, who insisted on having no contact with her, while I kept in touch with several relatives from that family.
I was adopted by my aunt and uncle when I was 4-ish. Why and how is a long story, and everyone says different things about it, so I won’t go into it. Things went downhill from there. I was (much later) diagnosed with RAD and PTDS, which never got addressed–partly due to religious reasons. I know that it didn’t help that soon after the adoption I became ill requiring long stretches of hospitalization, at the same time when my older brother had a complicated heart surgery that landed him in a completely different hospital hours away for 11 months, my adoptive father dying (I don’t even remember him!) and Mrs. O having two other kids to take care of. I felt abandoned and I was abandoned by the people who ripped me out of the only family, culture, religion and yes, language that I could call my own. To add to the already toxic mix, Mrs. O remarried, to Mr. O Nr. 2, another Irishman in the States, who was emotionally, verbally, physically and sexually abusive. I know that he had inapropriate sexual relationships with at least one of the children in the home besides me.We moved a lot during the years, thanks to Mr. O’s job. Depending on where and when we were life varied between pretty good and downright miserable. As my brothers went on missions and to college, things were getting harder. My stepfather expected me to be like my brothers: athletic, smart, obedient and religious, a model Christian. That I was not.
The church hopping was all part of his control games. His wife was born to a Jewish mother, raised Catholic, and she was raising her children Catholic. Till new husband decided that Catholicism wasn’t true, and he started to look for another faith for the family. He liked the husband rules the family mentality of Jehovah’s Witnesses, but the blood thing was a turn off. I guess he liked his black pudding more than Jehovah. Then we went to a few Christian churches before he settled on Mormonism and the whole family converted. He received the priesthood and ruled the family with an iron fist. When I started to pose a threat to him (I was old enough to to understand that what he was doing was a crime) I was sent back to Ireland to live with my then 21-year-old med student brother Seán.We lived in the family flat in Dublin… and we paid rent, paid for our own food, utilities, etc. It was hard, but it wasn’t without great times, like our bike trip around Ireland that summer.Coming out as gay publicly just made things worse. The man who was sexually abusing two boys in his care thought the only apropriate thing to do was to cure me, and Evergreen International and ex-gay camps were to do the job. While it broke me in many ways, it didn’t change the sexual orientation G-d created me with.Adoption dissolution was the next step. At that point I ceased to be a part of the family in the legal sense as well. For three years I was ignored, then there was about a year or so in my life when the O family entered my life again, only to be treated badly by the parents. They pretty much intended to keep the inheritance after my spinster aunt within the family, and as Aunt Luise never changed her will after I was kicked out of the family, they had to make sure I’d give it up by my own free will. A few weeks of kindness, helping with my insurance situation and things like that was enough for me to sign my portion of the property over to my brother (I was smart enough not to sign it over to the parents!) and even consider and prepare for an LDS mission…

Eventually Kevin and I met and we settled far away from her. We had kids, and things started to go better. My relationship with my bio family improved dramatically over the years, even after the death of my mother. At the same time, my brothers and sisters from the O family became more and more distant with their parents, and that didn’t improve after the death of Mr. O. either. I was, of course, to blame for this, at least according to Mrs. O. She was constantly trying to get me to do this or that, she was bribing our kids and trying to turn them against us, and yes, she had her little games trying to isolate me from both my bio family and from her other kids. She went as far as to report us to authorities in Hungary as unfit parents. After several unexpected appearances in our door and she once picking up the boys without our knowledge and approval at the preschool resulted in the strictly no-contact decision from my part.

Of course, because I was always in contact with all my siblings–even my annoying little sister Emily, who was adopted at age 10 when I was 18–she always knew more about me than I preferred. Nevertheless, my siblings never gave her my exact address and location. I am really grateful for that.

Shortly after my family’s move to Israel, the now all grown Emily converted and made aliyah, and being a lone soldier, she has became a frequent visitor in our home. She kept me informed about Mrs. O, who is now Mrs. Phillips, and her recent adoption of two Ukrainian teenagers. It wasn’t till a week ago that I found out that the Phillipses were taking a trip to Israel, and they wanted to meet us. I reluctantly agreed to meet them at the Thanksgiving dinner at one of the Jerusalem hotels…. And that’s where we went on Thursday.

4 Responses to “The Road To Thursday”

  1. Annie says:

    well………. That is quite a story (to say the least). I thought MY life had a lot of dramatic and interesting changes; this woman's life leaves mine in the dust. But, you seem to be following her, at least in her ability to get a lot of interest and drama out of one lifetime.

    You don't say much about what you think of her. Weak? Or worse? I can't help but be curious.

  2. Hevel Cohen says:

    Selfish, slightly delusional, very dependant on men in her life… She is naive and blind to the wrong people around her do.

    Yes, I was a problem child. Yes, there were serious attachment issues with me.

    To be honest, I feel like the amount of drama in my life has greatly decreased since she is not part ot it!

  3. Happymom4 aka Hope Anne says:

    Hey, I totally missed this–probably because I was living in the hospital with Katya Thanksgiving week and not doing much if any blog reading! You were brave. I don't know if I could have done it. Will you do it again? (or don't you know yet? And it's OK with me if you do not. . . )

  4. Hevel Cohen says:

    I don't know if we'll do it again. I doubt they'll be coming this way much, and I probably won't be going to the States much. So we'll safely have all of Europe and parts of America between us!

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