Saturday, December 13, 2008

Self Imposed Silence Comes At A Price

Don't ask me why I do this. I'm kidding myself when I act like I don't know the reason for my brain stuffage. I know exactly the reason why I have been so silent this week. It's because on Sunday I was in a room with about 30 people. There was a discussion going on about documenting one's own life so that the future generations can have record of life on this planet….at least the ones that will exist until the earth blows up, burns down, floods over or whatever catastrophes of Biblical proportions are to come. I understand that everyone has their struggles and things that they are not proud of or painful memories they would rather not rehash. I was absolutely dying by this point because I KNOW without a doubt with all the things that I have been through that………

1.) Painful memories don't get easier by refusing to think about them. No matter how far you push them away or stuff them down with food or drown them out with alcohol (pick your vice) it just simply does not go away. In fact the harder you push, the more it festers. That is why my 20's sucked so badly. All the anger and hurt and frustration that I had been stuffing down unconsciously with food for all those years growing up came tumbling out in a very messy way and I'll be damned if I could stop it. Once I read the adoption books and started exploring that avenue I told myself that I hadn't known that that's what all my sadness was attributed to. I know I even said it in my maiden blog post. But if I want to be totally honest with myself I truly have to admit that I did know and that I was not letting myself go there. That would mean that the face I had put on was false and that I really wasn't OK with being adopted. In fact I was very pissed off. But I couldn't be pissed off. I couldn't risk being more ungrateful than I already was told that I was.

2.) I really just wanted to tell these people to stop being so selfish. Their progeny was going to want to know them. If their children and grandchildren etc. choose to judge them unkindly because of things they did or went through then that is not on their heads. What will be is the fact that they are not providing a history for them to know and to learn from. I know next to nothing about my birth family. I know loads of stuff about the family that I was put into and told that their history would be mine. I'm sorry but it doesn't work that easily. I would be ecstatic beyond belief to know my natural family. Everything in me CRAVES it. I don't care about any of their skeletons or foibles or whatever. I just want to know something about me and where I come from. I have a partial history aka my memories of my years on this planet. For my own sanity, I really do try to not let what I don't know ruin what I do know. Sometimes I really can't help it. When I get into conversations or situations where I see people who take that for granted it just gets to me and I react very viscerally. I shouldn't. I pretty much have to forgive the world for its ignorance because it is such an unbelievably primal feeling to be able to look at their families and see themselves mirrored. Most people just do not have the framework to be able to comprehend what it would be like to not have that. Adoptees do. I was told quite a bit that I look like my family so some people never believed that I was adopted. That never worked for me because I know just how different I am from my family. Looking back now I realize that it only served to rub salt in the wound because it implied that I shouldn't have felt uncomfortable because not only was I "saved", I also got the privilege of "looking like" my family. A close to perfect replica. Isn't close enough good enough?

This sounds like a lot of thoughts to be having. Believe me. It's easy for thoughts to race like this when discussions are touching you in such a raw and visceral way. But this is the kicker. I never spoke up. My thoughts were racing because I knew what I felt and I spent a goodly portion of the discussion listening with half an ear while the other half was trying to devise a way to say this in as neutral a way as possible. I needed to speak up and did I? NO! I was too worried, once again, about sounding whiny and offending people! So I was shaken and knocked down off my high horse about being "silenced no more". Who was I kidding? I got knocked down good because I have held all this in all week. Hence the mind clutter and now it's all coming out like Niagara Falls with more on the way. I guess like everything else it’s a journey. I should be more realistic. I'm not going to speak my mind 100% of the time right off the bat. At least I'm trying.

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