Thursday, February 4, 2010

Coercion, or not?

My mother gave me away. She chose to do it.

There are many people out there who would say it was cercion, she was brainwashed, she didn't *really* have a choice. Even me, I thought that once, and not so very long ago. But I am really beginning to wonder now. Just where does blaming coercion end and facing responsibility for your own actions begin?

Yes, adoption agencies and "counselors" all have a very powerful and effective marketing strategy. It's business, and if you're to succeed in sales, you must be able to pitch your product and sway the public.

I was unable to sleep one night, a while ago, and well when you are awake at 3-4 a.m. there really isn't much on the television worth watching. I found myself glued to an infomercial, Chalene Johnson was telling us about her amazing Turbo Jam workout, and you know everyone who bought it has lost soooooo much weight it's unbelievable. And I have to admit it was not my finest moment, but I was sucked in to this, swayed by the emotional aspect of hating all this baby weight and feeling like such a loser for having it, and she what she was offering really did seem like the answer to my prayers, the one and only thing that would help me.

I ordered it.

And when it arrived, and I stood looking at these 4 DVD's and an overgrown green rubber band, I thought, what the hell was I thinking? How could I have gotten sucked in and led to think that I needed this?

At the end of the day, I did not place all the blame squarely on the shoulders of Chalene. I was not coerced into buying this. This was purely my fault for allowing myself to believe that what she was pitching was some magical cure to all my ills.

I should have stepped back, and used my brain instead of my emotions, and really thought this through and weighed the pros vs. the cons, the "is this really what I need?" and "is there any other way I can succeed without resorting to spending my hard earned money?"

And I'm just talking about 30 bucks for some unwatched DVD's. This isn't even nearly as monumental as giving away your own freaking child.

So - how is an adoption worker pitching adoption any different? They know how to play on our emotions, they know how to hook you and pull you in. But what you DO with this is up to you. It was up to my mother. SHE, like me and Chalene, allowed her heart to rule her mind.

So when does it stop being coercion and start being a choice, albeit a bad one, that ultimately is her own fault? She could have sought out other opions, she SHOULD have stepped back and thought logically about it. Just as we all do when we are faced with any type of decision in our lives...but I don't think it does anyone any good to cry victim and claim coercion.

Because at the end of the day, Chalene didn't call the number and order the DVD's for me, I did it myself. And the adoption agency didn't give birth to me and sign away their rights, my mother did.

1 wisecracks:

tk91 said...

So, so true, at least, for my situation! I can't really speak to the process your birth mother went through, of course. Maybe it is the shame (the aghast "I can't believe what I've done!) that causes people to say I was forced or coerced. It's like you feel as if you don't even know the person who did this thing...and yet it was you! It is really a shocking realization!

And you hit the nail on the head with your comparison...adoption agencies are business...just like with car sales...if you can't afford to buy the car, you're better off staying off the car lot! So now I'm at the point where I'm questioning myself "why was it that I went to an adoption agency in the first place...like they're going to help me make the best decision!! Hell no! They are there to sell the product of adoption to you...plain and simple...and they are damn good salesman...it is also what makes pregnant woman who "choose" to place feel duped...the whole process-they hook you with "we'll help you make the right decision for you". But the reality is that they will tell you whatever you need to hear to decide you are not ready to parent and would not be the most deserving or appropriate parent to your own child. Lots of mind games involved. It is so much more about the mind...because the whole time your heart is shouting "STOP! YOU CAN DO THIS! YOU WANT YOUR BABY!"

It is possible that some women were coerced...it may just depend on one's perspective of the word. But you are right!

It would be helpful if all pregnant woman had to read a HUGE WARNING before setting foot within an adoption agency...BE FOREWARNED: PLACE OF BUSINESS-SELLING ADOPTION. NEEDED: YOUR BABY! PRICE: UNENDING LOSSES FOR A LIFE TIME! MORE PAIN THAN YOU'LL EVER IMAGINE! YOU WILL BE HELD FULLY RESPONSIBLE FOR ALL ACTIONS WITH NO EXCUSES OR BLAMING TOLERATED BY ALL ONCE YOU ENTER.

Great post!

 
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