I couldn’t remember that going on a hike was an option today. My world was so narrow. My thoughts so limited. I checked how long it would take to drive to the bike path (1 hour 40 minutes) and pivoted to playing soccer, only to find the turf field nearby getting repairs. It took me nearly the entire walk home debating whether to still drive to the bike path to remember that I could go on a nearby hike.
How do I return to myself on these days?
I’ve spent so long trying to follow the “say what you need!” and “make things known” advice that I forgot how much it can hurt to make things known and have that completely disregarded.
I’ve been furious and speechless for days — two things I rarely am. Today, I prodded myself as I drove and caught myself doing what a good therapist would (I really need to go back to therapy): What’s underneath this? What does this speechlessness represent?
Being adopted/being a surrogate kid is a strange experience. Despite the initial and big abandonment already happening, micro ones go off like a bomb throughout my life. In those moments, the initial separation occurs somewhat all over again. It becomes really hard to resist the things that underline and bold horrible storylines about my worth.
I have to remind myself in these moments that the abandonment already happened—I already survived it. I already built a life around it. As I’ve grown closer with my that side of my family though (can I say “family”?), imagined moments of separation that I’ve dreamed up in my head suddenly become real. I’m not used to experiencing it first hand, in the flesh, live. It’s not a dream or fear. It’s actually happening. It requires a new kind of coping. A new kind of reframing. A new kind of processing. I don’t have these muscles. I don’t know if I want them?
I do want to recognize when my trauma collides with another. It’s a super power as much as a curse to be able to recognize something beneath our surface level interactions at play. I can feel it now when someone presses that abandonment button and I’m slowly getting better at knowing a button being pressed doesn’t mean it’s real. It just means someone turned the lights off and I’m a bit disoriented finding out how to turn them back on, if that analogy makes sense. Plus, we all have our buttons and part of doing life is knowing each other’s.
Some days though it’s just easier to give into the well worn paths and rehearsed storylines that feel so familiar than to expand beyond them. I could hardly muster the creativity to do much of anything the last few days. I crossed the street to avoid strangers. I ignored calls from friends. Everything was monumental. Today, after finally returning to myself, I suddenly could see all the many doors and options all around me. Ah there you are. What shall we do today? Who can I reach out to? The world transformed before me.
4 responses to “already survived”
Well said. “Everything was monumental.” For me, when I recognize that being human is absolutely the most overwhelming, fragmented, freefalling, without a place to stand experience, I cry. Not for what could be or have been, but for what is. ❤️
Whew. For what is! So poignant. It’s incredibly overwhelming and I’m just so relieved to not be alone in it all.