I have a secret
There's a tightening in my chest. It's getting harder, and harder to breath. My heart races, and there's this flutter of a rhythm that is off. I'm off. Oh God, I'm so off! Why am I crying again?
The last two years has been the most beautiful and terrifying times of my life. Pre adoption reunion, my adoption wounds were present, they were real, they were also like an out of body experience because there was no room in my life, in the way society views adoption, in the secrecy and shame to be real and honest about those feelings.
Post adoption reunion became the great unraveling, thread by thread...piece by piece. Anxiety and depression tried to take me under. At forty I was meeting my biological family for the first time and I was feeling like I was dying. When I went to the hospital for a complete 360 degree scan of my heart, certain I was having a heart attack, the technician smiled, said you have a perfectly healthy and strong heart. Do you have any stress in your life right now? That's when I smiled. If you only, knew dear sir.
There are waves of feeling so overwhelmed by the love and open arms of my new found family, and then it's always met with thoughts of maybe they think I'm too much. Loving me means facing my cracked open heart, and it's so damn messy.
There are highs and lows of feeling alone in this world. Even the people closest to me will probably never fully understand. It's like I'm trying to communicate without words, or without sound, a sign language very few can understand. It's maddening, so the tears flow, the anger takes over, there's that pain in my chest again....why on earth can't I take a deep breath right now. God, I just want to breathe. Then you find others who know your language, know that unsteady rhythm, and you're like ok maybe I'm not alone. Maybe I'm not absolutely crazy.
To some of you looking in from the outside you might be thinking who would put themselves through all of this? You'll want to protect your loved one from any of this madness, but hear me when I say, it doesn't work that way. The best parents I know do not guard their children from pain, but teach them how to grow through it. I needed to know and feel all of this. I needed to know who I am, feel all of the love, and to work through all of the highs and lows.
My own adoptive mother recently said, " We never knew you had any pain. We should have never told you, you were adopted." Avoiding pain doesn't cure pain and avoiding truth doesn't change the story,
" There is no coming to consciousness without pain. People will do anything, no matter how absurd, in order to avoid facing their own soul. One does not become enlightened by imagining figures of light, but by making the darkness conscious." C. G. Jung
So right now I am learning to walk on hot coals.Walking on fire is nothing new. It was practiced thousands of
years ago with records dating as far back as 1200BC. Walking on hot coals was akin to a form of worship in many countries.
People choose to walk on coals as an expression of faith, as rites of passage and for healing.
Having faith sometimes looks like taking a step through the fire and knowing you are not alone. Someone else out there is trying to catch their breath and full of fear of the unknown, fear of rejection, and fear of being too much. Take a step, grab a hand, tell your story, go through it. When we keep it in the dark, we give it more power. When you see God using your story, every messy bit of it, you will find healing. The scariest place to be in life, is when you feel like you are all alone. I am not alone.
This is what my adoption anxiety looks like. It feels scary to be vulnerable. It's extreme highs and heart wrenching lows. Sometimes I feel completely out of control mind, body, and soul and other times I feel more grounded, real, and raw then I have ever felt before. Somedays I'm annoyed with myself. Why can't you just get over it? Move on. Stop overthinking, and swallowing yourself whole with pity and self despair. It's returning to a child like self, taking that little girl by the hand, and saying we will get through this. We are not alone.
For those of us going through this we need to give ourselves a little grace.
To everyone else, give all the grace....give it all. We're all just walking each other home....or through the fire. Let's not walk alone.