Life on a Roller Coaster Ride
I think that there are certain things that happen in most reunions and some things that I would guess happen in all reunions, The one I think happens in most is a thawing out as I like to call it, where the denial and repression starts to wear off, almost like the numbing from the dentist office, after awhile I think something happens, I don't know if its the 40th birthday, the death of a loved one, the birth of a loved one or what , but something starts to happen, where the reality of what has been lost to adoption starts to become real.
Then I think what must happen to just about everyone, but maybe not, is a grieving process, where all the feelings come up, little by little. For me, I had to be willing to go through all of the feelings, there were some very dark moments in which I wish I didn't have to wake up to any more pain. Looking back it was a lot like if someone had died and I had to go through the same process anyone else would, only I sometimes wonder if it is compounded and made worse by the years of suppression. When my mom died, I didn't have nearly the emotional pain, I loved her dearly, don't get me wrong but it wasn't the same Some of the hardest parts were the pullbacks from my son because it always felt like it brought up a whole new set of emotions, (and I completely understand that he needed that time for himself) and going around another painful corner when I felt like there couldn't possibly be anything new to have to look at and feel.
I first thought that finding him would be the answer and it was for that time and what I was looking to have answered, but then there was what to do with the news that he wasn't ready, then when he was ready, a different onslaught of grief came up, then the pullbacks to deal with, then getting close which had always been my dream and really getting it how much I had missed. Then coming to this feeling that I will never have my baby and having to accept it. I have recently described it as a rollercoaster ride in which every corner feels like it will finally be the one where the ride is pulling in to home stretch only to see another hill when rounding the corner, I started to finally feel like I had pulled into the exit lane, but......one never knows what lies behind the next turn.
I think one of my most profound moments was when I was walking next to him and I was the happiest woman on earth and at the same time feeling like I missed him, I told him I miss you even though you are here. I think it was that I was missing all the years he was gone and I was seeing it by walking next to him. I wish I could say that it has been easy or that there is a set way to do it, but its not like that. I remember reading in the early years every adoption book I could get my hands on and then joining an in person group, after years of that I joined the online groups and read as much as I could, there is something really powerful about having all your feelings validated and having people talk about all that you have felt and thought you must be the only one. I think it was the in person group that saved me in those early years, when I was so angry at times I could barely get words out without feeling like I was going to lose it. Then it went to utter sadness where I would go to my therapist and just sob, then I went through the regret and helplessness and frustration. I think it's a long process, that there is really no way around but through, I think we have to feel all the things we numbed ourselves to. The outrage and sadness that we have. After 7 years I finally thought I had found some peace for the first time this past year, I finally felt like I could write or call him anytime I wanted or needed to, it felt pretty normal. ( as normal as it can in the face of the fact that I lost him to adoption in the first place) I still held hope to become closer to him and share even more of my life with him and felt that it would happen in due time. But instead I still feel freaked out with his latest pullback. One moment all was well, then poof, he is gone again.
I have heard that we can get to a place where it doesn't consume us, but I don't feel like I am there. Maybe I just need to take a break.
We'll see, if you see me next week or next month ranting then you will know I'm back on the ride.