Thursday, August 17, 2006
A long and winding road…
“Be kind to your web-footed friends, ‘cause a duck maybe somebody’s mother” childhood ditty
As CUB election results are about be announced, I have decided not to serve as Vice President of CUB.
After much consideration, I have decided that I can affect more positive change on adoption practices devoting my time, energy and efforts elsewhere.
I want to thank those who nominated and voted for me, and I wish CUB success as they select and appoint a replacement.
I look forward to being renewed, refreshed and supported at the Retreat in October; to seeing old friends and making new ones.
I believe that each of us as individuals and together in groups, need to have a vision and check back in every once in a while and see if we are on the best path to attain our stated goals. Readjust goals of necessary, but stay the course of our vision! Each of us as individuals and collectively as groups stumble and fall, occasionally, or take “wrong” turns on our path. We need to learn and go on and be stronger and better. I wish the best for CUB and for ALL who suffer.
Loosing a child to adoption has been substantiated to create psychological trauma
that leaves us with post traumatic stress disorder. The cause of the damage done to our souls and psyches may be the same for each of us.
Pull a dozen people out of a burning building and each will be burnt to a different degree on a different body part. Some are dead. Others suffer smoke inhalation. Some have lost limbs. We have been damaged in different ways. Some of us have experienced repeated damages and/or multiple wounds in our lifetime. Others have wounds that fester and ooze…
We stumble out of the raging inferno trying to find our way. Some go one way, others another. Some just sit right where they are, paralyzed, too devastated to move an inch. No one consciously “chooses” to go into denial. Denial is one of the mind/body’s unconscious ways of protecting us from harm the perceived as far too frightening to even think about consciously. It is as involuntary as breathing. Both, denial and breathing, are mechanisms that keep us alive and we have little control over either.
Some of us come out of the ashes almost immediately angry! Some of us either immediately or later are determined to find who lit the match! Anger, is simply another way to avoid our pain. We build walls of anger instead of silence. They are equally impenetrable. Anger is an emotion like any other. It can be a motivating force for action, or it can be turned inward into depression. Anger is often misdirected. Sometimes we just feel rage at the tiniest thing – like the person in front of us in the supermarket or a car on the road. When we work on adoption issues our pain and anger may be closer to the surface and we can easily lash out at one another.
It is also human nature to be critical and judgmental because we are critical and judgmental of ourselves. Our need to control is very real and should not be seen as us having a “control issue” in the negative way that is often said. It is quite natural for us to want to take control of our lives. The trick is to find the things each of us is able to control and let go of the ones that are out of our control and just draining. I am learning…
Like the classic stages of grief, we can volley back and forth from one to the other (anger, depression, denial, etc.) sometimes in the same day – or we can get stuck in one for years or a lifetime. Our grief is never ending and I have recently been reminded that no matter how well, or for how long one has dealt with it, it recycles and resurfaces. We revisit it and deal with it sometimes in a different way.
The road toward healing is a long slow one. We hope in time the open wounds form scar. Like victims of physical trauma, we each go at our own pace, and our path to healing is based on the support (or lack thereof) we get, and our individual own coping skills. Some of us had lives of torture, others grew up in Mayberry and our pregnancy and surrender was the first “bad” thing that ever happened to us, or our family. Others were raised with family secrets like alcoholism and learned early and well various coping skills.
The coping skills I developed early in life – pre-surrender were to be “strong” and “tough” and use various addictive and obessive behaviors to block, or "self-medicate" the pain. It was a matter of surviving the inner pain. Not parenting my first child added a new layer of pain; her death yet another.
Because of my stoic ability to be strong and tough on the outside, it has taken 61 years, and the study and practice of Eastern philosophy, to get in touch with feelings and emotions that have been packed away neatly in boxes and buried since 1967. Feeling the pain has been cathartic. Like excising an infection.
The path to healing is a long and twisted one and different for each of us. There are forks in the road – go this way and marry again; go another have a new career. We make what some call “mistakes” and others call learning experiences. We stumble, fall and we pick ourselves and go on, sometimes in a new direction...sometimes with a renewed commitment to continue with our original vision toward our goal.
I came to such a fork in the road several months ago. A road sign said: Come join us this way. A new opportunity to help others who suffered loses! It was very appealing. I had great plans and lots of hope. I began to prepare, filled with enthusiasm and excitement. I began to further explore what might lie ahead if I chose that path... like reading a travel brochure before starting out on a big trip.
And then, an old favorite song came to mind from 1974:
I haven't got time for the pain
I haven't got room for the pain
I haven't the need for the pain
Carly Simon, 1974
The stillness of my mediations helped me to recognize discord with my vision. I have learned that I cannot repair all of the suffering in the worl...or even all adoption suffering. I have learned that I need to prioritize and be kind, gentle and caring to myself first. Gandhi says: “You must be the change you wish to see in the world.”
Carly goes on to say:
Suffering was the only thing that made me feel I was alive
Though that's just how much it cost to survive in this world.
'Til you showed me how, how to fill my heart with love
How to open up and drink in all that white love
Pouring down from the heaven
I see now that she was not talking about earthly love. I hope we all find the support we need to “fill our hearts with love” and help heal.
In practical terms, I am re-devoting my time and energy toward the publication of my book. I hope it will be of help to others, as I have been told my first book has been. I know it helps me to write it. Kind and gentle though I strive to be for myself and others of us who have suffered seperation and loss by the adoption of our children, make no mistake. My forthcoming book pulls no punches. It kicks some righteous ass, where appropriate! It is very directed, and action-oriented anger.
Peace, love, solidarity…Namaste
Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard(er) battle.