Sunday, February 15, 2009

the Outside


I am feeling extremely anxious these days.

I also am realizing that being an adoptee will always carry with it a degree of isolation and alienation. I don't mean this in a fatalistic, dark-cloud, the-glass-is-always-half-empty kind of way.

I simply mean that there are certain circumstances that one experiences to which it is difficult for those on the "outside" to relate--and I'm not referring simply to adoption. Whether someone has lost a spouse in war or someone has faced near death to be brought back to life...unless you have experienced such an event yourself, it is hard to relate to what that person is experiencing.

Not to say that we cannot try...I think we should try.

Yet no matter how much we try or come to think we understand, perhaps there are certain aspects of experience that remain unique to each human being...

Perhaps it is finding a careful balance of that which keeps us all connected as one humanity and that which keeps us separated as individual human beings.

But what do I know? I'm just blathering and thinking out loud here.


I feel like such a weakling.

More and more I am sensing that some wounds may never heal fully...the smallest tampering or even just a slight rub can break it open all over again.


I hate it when people leave.

I feel my heart split even before the leaving takes place.

And I discover that all the blood and tears that I thought had found their way out were simply the opening act. The director nudges me and whispers in my ear, the play has only just begun.

If only this were a play with a defined number of acts, with a designed beginning and a clear end. If only this were entertainment. (Well, sometimes, it feels like entertainment.) But then the curtain goes up, and what I see with my eyes and feel with my heart is so much more than a show.

It is my life.


I have always felt like I was the one waving good-bye.

Whether I was the one leaving or they were the ones leaving.

No one seems to remain forever these days. Whether it be career or restlessness, people seem to constantly be on the move. Just when I get comfortable somewhere, someone leaves, or I leave. And it feels pretty miserable, at least it does to me nowadays.

I always hear, "Well, that's just life."

And maybe it is.

But I don't have to like that part of "that's just life." Frankly, I don't like it all. And I feel like stomping my foot like a two year old throwing a temper tantrum.

Stomp. Stomp, stomp.

I hate it when people leave, and more specifically when it feels like they're leaving me. And I know all the right things to tell myself--all the so-called mature and responsible thoughts that I should pound into my head. But the force of the emotion that the act of leaving stirs in me always knocks those thoughts loose and onto the floor, where I end up pulverizing them inadvertently or not so inadvertently beneath my feet.

I want to shout and plead with my fists quivering at my sides, "No! No! Please, don't leave! Please. Please, don't leave me!"

And then, some very melodramatic lyrics from that Alanis Morissette song ring through my mind, "Would I be clinging if I said I needed a hug? Would you feel slighted if I said your love is not good enough?" I know--talk about melodramatic. I always have been, and I think I always will be...and then another quote comes to mind from the "Joy Luck Club" when Rose responds to her mother by saying, "Because I like being tragic, Ma..." and rolls her eyes...

I think I feel my eyes rolling...


When we acknowledge those parts of our character, those weaknesses that make us who we are--those qualities of our being that are annoying and frustrating not only to others but even more so to ourselves...there is something equally liberating and debilitating in doing so...

Although lately, I'm feeling debilitated more than liberated...I have a tendency to feel trapped by who I am. Although there are certainly elements of who I am that I have the ability to tweak and overcome, to grow in and change, the absolute, relentless fact that I am an incredibly emotional being will never change.

(And yet, I am constantly trying to hide that fact from the people around me; albeit, probably not very successfully. Still, though, I most often feel as though I am showing only the shadow of who I really am, only the more pleasant and acceptable facades of the one who lives within me. But now I'm sounding a little too introspective and psycho-babblish...moving on...)

I'm hot or cold--nothing in between. I've consciously worked over the years to become more steady, more self-controlled, and yet there is a part of me that despises that I feel as though I must even do so.

My emotions feel like the enemy. I told my husband that I wish that my emotions were not a bad thing, that I wish that they could be a good thing. He took my hand and kissed it, and said that to him, they are a good thing.

But they're eating me alive from the inside out.

To allow myself to feel every emotion that burns and weeps within me is to choose to feel weak. But to feel so weak for so long wears on me at times.

My emotions feel like my kryptonite (although I unfortunately and obviously do not possess any super powers, and so the analogy kind of breaks down...but you know what I'm getting at...). Yet, I cannot escape them. I've tried. And such attempts have resulted in me becoming somewhat wall-like and robotronic, if you know what I mean.

And I certainly do not want to be a robot woman. You laugh (don't worry, so do I), but there are days that, had you bumped into me, you would have thought that the scientists had finally perfected "artificial life."


But I want to be real. I do not want to live an artificial life.

Much easier said than done for me.

Because the authentic is vulnerable.

And vulnerable can be painful.

Yet, somehow I would like to believe that it is actually from our greatest weakness that we discover emerges our greatest strength. And hence, the weak can become strong.

One can only hope.


Melissa Scanlon said...

i just love you!
thank you for saying all of that.

sherinala said...

i swear you are in my head! how do you say everything so magically - there, and so perfectly expressed - well, not how do you, but how do I NOT? i am so so amazed at your expressions, and wish i could find it within myself to be able to express myself in the way you do; so people can understand - and i can extract everything from the inside to the outside. you are one strong lady. and i wish you could express my emotions for me too, since you can verbalize them so well! :) i feel blessed to have 'met' you!