Thursday, September 11, 2008

Off the Cliff

Today is a hard day.

I think blogging about my adoption experience is stirring up more emotion than I had initially anticipated, simply because writing about my adoption experience, of course, forces me to give thought to my adoption experience, which in turn, stirs up emotion that I often keep tucked away.

That’s usually how I work. I plunge every molecule of my being into something without really giving thought to the emotional repercussions. Then, once I’m drenched and pulsing, the emotions hit, and I’m thinking, what was I thinking? I think there’s a name for that…Hm, uh, I think maybe, er, we call that impulsivity?

In some ways, I am incredibly calculated.

In other ways, I jump off cliffs and figure that I’ll devise some way to break my fall in the midst of falling. Not so smart.

I like to excuse myself by saying, “Hey, my life isn’t boring. It’s an adventure.” (In the mean time, my husband’s eternal wealth is increasing exorbitantly, particularly in the assets of patience and mercy...).

And I tend to turn to humor and sarcasm when I get uncomfortable with what I am feeling and how vulnerable what I am feeling is making me feel…a bowl of vicious cycles, anyone?

In all truthfulness, my heart is breaking. I feel weak. I feel harangued by intense emotion. Tears gather at the sound of two words…

Birth. Mother.

She has so much power over me.

And yet I have never known her.

I have no idea what she looks like other than fantastical conjectures when I am looking in a mirror.

I squeeze my eyes shut and concentrate. I try to conjure up some image of what she might look like today, if I were to meet her.

But I can see nothing but black and empty space.

I think about the possibility that she could be on the other side of the world, this very moment, strolling down a sidewalk or having tea with a friend.

She could be happily married with a family of her own. Who most likely know nothing about me.

(Dirty little secret).

Or she could be dead.

The trick is that I have not a clue about her whereabouts or her state of being. And the reality of it all is that I may never know.

And that’s what makes today a hard day.

These are the kinds of thoughts with which I wrestle. The types of unknowns for which I seek resolution and yet for which resolution is nearly impossible, and certainly beyond my control.

These are the kinds of questions and uncertainties with which adoptees must learn to live and accept.

It is a powerless place to be.

Not that we are powerless. But there are certain matters over which no amount of power does a thing.

Yet, every once in a while, somehow peace comes to visit me. She sits down beside me and reminds me that I am not alone.

That there is always hope.

I just have to move my eyes and see it all around me.*


* I fear bringing shame to my fellow adoptees because of my weakness. I fear fueling misperception and misunderstandings due to my weakness.

Yet, at the same time, I am compelled to remain true and sincere. People-pleasing never gets me anywhere but miserable, trapped, and stifled.

I guess I just want to clarify that these are simply my experiences and my ramblings, nothing more and nothing less. A.K.A., be careful not to over-generalize my expressions to apply to all adoptees. I’m sure you know this already. But I just need to clarify, a disclaimer, if you will.

Although there are commonalities and similarities among adoptees, each adoptee experiences his or her own individual reactions, emotions, thoughts, perceptions regarding adoption. I just don’t want what I think and feel to be used “against” my fellow adoptees.

Although there may be some who can relate to my experiences, there are many who do not. And I think that’s an important detail that we all need to acknowledge as adoptees and as those who are close to or trying to understand the experiences of adoptees.

There is no formula or equation that one can apply to this adoption dilemma. Some would even be offended that I refer to it as a dilemma. But to me, it is a dilemma, in the true sense of the word. It is a complicated social experience that eludes clear, precise solutions and simple, linear explanations. No symmetrical lines or shapes apply to these issues of social architecture and experience. The issue of adoption is most certainly a shape-shifter, to use sci-fi geek-speak (smile, wink—there I go again, trying to throw in some humor, even when it’s bad humor, when I start feeling uncomfortable…).

Anyhow, I’m always feeling the need to attach disclaimers. It’s my insecurity, I suppose, that I might step on toes. Maybe one day I’ll get passed it…(Help me JR to be less apologetic…).

4 comments:

Jae Ran Kim said...

One never has to apologize for their feelings -- and it's hard for people to deal with feelings of what they think should be opposing thoughts. I think that's why I'm such a fan of the framework of ambiguous loss. It IS possible to hold multiple feelings and opinions at the same time and have them both be valid.

You have a big net - so while it may seem really scary taking that jump, the growth you'll experience will hopefully be worth it.

And as long as you treat people with dignity and remain open about everyone's experiences, you won't have to apologize for your own.

Cheering for you!!

Teri Brown said...

Konoyoomo, my heart goes out to you. As a birthmother I ache for every child who hurts over what they don't know and their often off-the-wall emotions that keep popping into their lives. I ache for my own daughter who gets angry and resentful at me for giving her up and almost in the same breath she thanks me for the wonderful family she was raised with. Even after 22 years of reunion, she still has issues she can't overcome altho I have to admit that for the most part we've remained friends in spite of her conflicting emotions.

My hopes for you are that someday you will find your answers and put your heart at rest.

Take care kiddo.
Teri

Mia_h_n said...

It's a powerless place to be...I hear that!

You know you and me can relate but I agree with Jae Ran Kim, you should never feel like you have to put a disclaimer or an apologyafter your feelings - none of us should! You are entitled.

And the fact that you are able to focus on the positive, on hope on a bad day - well, you know I both admire and envy that :)

PS. Reading this post again today, I couldn't help but be so happy that you have reached the next level in this journey, and in many ways have gotten your answers to a lot of the questions you asked on this day :) <- happy me

Melissa said...

Thanks, Mia :) It's so surreal to think back on posts like this one, and realize, that, woah, look how things are transforming! This whole thing is so bizarre, and sometimes I can't even believe what's happening. And I'm also grateful that through this journey I've been able to come into contact with people like you! :)