Monday, November 30, 2009
Monday, November 23, 2009
Thursday, November 19, 2009
I have not really written much yet about my second trip to Korea back in September.
I realize that I have been somewhat strangely silent about it.
* * *
In summary, I am glad I did it.
In all honesty, I would not do it again.
* * *
By this I primarily mean that I would not travel to Korea again without my husband, and I would not do things in the same way that I did the second trip.
It was just so much all at once without any of my normal supports.
I don’t know how other adoptees have done it. I feel like a weakling in comparison. I feel as though I am a different breed—one that would not necessarily survive according to the theory of “survival of the fittest,” if it did not allow for exceptions.
I am definitely an exception.
* * *
During the second trip to Korea, I learned some hard truths about each of my biological parents, and consequently, I had to face some not so pleasant truths about myself.
Yet, there were those moments that made me beam. When I got to meet my Uncle—my Korean mother’s younger brother—and his children for the first time, I could not stop smiling. My heart swelled with hope and joy. As we all gathered on the floor around the table for dinner, I felt as though I had found a home once lost but finally retrieved.
But as always, at least for me, it is a strange pendulum of gratitude and grief on which I swing. Each moment filled with joy seems not to pass without an equal amount of angst.
As I sat at the table observing this strange and dreamlike moment, my heart filled with comfort, while I equally felt an aching nostalgia for a life and a people I had never known. I felt envious of them. I felt pained that I would never know what might have been.
* * *
Rather, I must simply embrace what grace I now have to strive for something new and hopeful, albeit broken and uneven.
To quote Carl Sandburg, “One knows what one has lost, but not what one might gain.”
Certain things have diminished beyond recovery. Some things cannot help but remain irrevocably lost.
We cannot gain what never existed.
Yet I can gain those who have emerged, only that I may reach to grasp them and never again let the distance grow—so dark, so wide.
Wednesday, November 11, 2009
Were wounds so old, ever so raw…
* * *
It would seem that one never quite recovers from that first loss.
We must endure a severance of that which was never intended to be severed.
So, almost as though we believe there is no other way, we spend the remainder of our lives dropping pieces of ourselves as we choose to leave or to be left—convinced that there is no hope of ever being whole again.
* * *
I see it over and over again among adoptees—a pattern of being left and leaving. It is as though we cannot but repeat that which was done to us.
We cannot live life without wounding ourselves and wounding those who surround us—time and time again.
It is as though the abandonment has become a part of our blood, our flesh so that it begins to trickle out into everything and everyone we touch.
* * *
Nothing seems able to satiate the persistent emptiness and loneliness, the ravenous depth of insecurity and uncertainty that tells me the world will always choose to leave me behind.
* * *
Body convulsing and mouth quivering, the words were choking in my throat.
Please, don’t ever leave me.
And how does one ever convince someone like me that he or she will not leave?
It is not his or her fault nor within his or her control that I am consumed by such a fear. And yet, how can a human being ever make such a promise without telling some form of a grey lie, wrapped in a thin veil of good intentions.
I know you’ll say that you will never leave me. And you would be the first to ever utter such a commitment, such a vow.
To this day, you have kept your word.
This makes me cry. This will always make me cry.
But these are the kind of tears that taste sweet, and those without which I hope I will never have to live.
Tuesday, November 10, 2009
I have waited for this all my life.
Yet already, I grow weary.
It is not that I am wishing for something else. I do not regret the room of simultaneous horror and joy that I have found.
But I realize that this process imitates the nature of a marathon; I need to pace myself accordingly.
* * *
I feel guilty for feeling the way that I do—for feeling the need to take a break, for feeling the need to retreat.
And yet, just as the body needs time to recover from extensive physical exertion, so the mind and heart need times of rest and recuperation from periods of intense and prolonged emotional exertion.
The past ten months have indeed been a marathon of emotional toil and labor. And that’s in addition to the preceding seven years of emotional perplexity and strife as I searched for those whom I have now found.
Again, it is not that I am despairing or lamenting.
It is not that I am second-guessing.
It is simply that I am completely exhausted and enervated.
I want to be full of excitement and thrill. I want to be bubbly and happy, and somewhere underneath this haze, I believe I am.
But right now, I see an image of myself in my mind that has the look of a woman with her head and shoulders slumped over, heels dragging, legs quivering, and eyes heavy.
* * *
I need to write a letter back to my Omma.
I need to fight to keep in contact with my Appa.
I do not want to lose the connection that has been so delicately and carefully forged. And yet, I seem barely able to find the strength to lift my mind and to take hold of my heart long enough to build the words and fortify the emotions necessary to continue.
I know that eventually I will.
Ultimately, I want this to last.
* * *
For now, I just need to take a deep breath, close my eyes, and find the rest for which my mind and heart are aching.
Friday, November 6, 2009
Wednesday, November 4, 2009
I am a woman who is divided.
Not because I want to be divided. It’s just hard to be whole when there are pieces beyond my reach, beyond my control.
My hope is that with time, those that have flown apart will one day be able to come together.
In the mean time, I feel like one who is living two completely separate lives. I feel like one who is two separate people.
I want to assimilate the two. I want to incorporate the two. I want it all to be one. But it is never that simple.
I still feel as though my life is filled with secrets. And feeling as though one’s life is full of secrets can lead to a life that feels quite lonely and isolated.
Secrets make one feel unknown and alienated. No matter how many people may think they know you, you still feel like a shadow. An impostor. Invisible, obscured.
Like a sun eclipsed by an eternal night sky.
Tuesday, November 3, 2009
You know how sadness feels. It is both a dull and intense pain.
* * *
It begins as a muffled twinge in your heart and head. Slowly, as it intensifies, it begins to seep into your chest and throughout your limbs until it overtakes your entire being.
* * *
It has an unbearable weight to it that is almost suffocating.
It obscures you.
It is a dark, heavy residue, a thick and crushing fog.
It sticks to you. It presses down on you.
Until, you can take it no longer. Until, your body and mind begin to tremble.
Until, the tears break forth and cascade downward, falling into a kind of miserable freedom.
The release. The breaking. The exodus.
* * *
The deep sadness extends itself and collects upon the ground.
It has found its way out.
* * *
While leaving me behind.