Friday, August 19, 2011

Pit of Despair

The comment left by Suz on my last post has reminded me of something.  Suz said about the emotions of losing her child to adoption:
I am TERRIFIED of their power. I am afraid if I really let them out, really cried, the weak hold I have on reality would be gone for ever.
Last year as I was trying to work through yet another layer of adoption loss, I was finding myself terrified of the deep grief I was beginning to acknowledge.  It was so deep, so...  all-consuming.  I was at a loss of how to even describe it.  One day I was reading a post over at Suz's blog "Writing My Wrongs",  where she described being at an adoption-related conference and finding herself being swept down into a pit of despair, and thankfully someone behind her noticed her distress and put their hand on her shoulder, helping pull her back to reality.  (I tried to go find that post, but kept finding myself lost in reading other old posts of hers and losing track of time so I gave up.  If somehow you don't know Suz's blog, you need to check it out!) 

I so clearly remember reading her words about the fear of that pit of despair, and it was as though I was reading an exact description of the fear I hadn't been able to put words to. That fear of falling into the depths of my grief became very overwhelming last fall, it was with me constantly.  (Brought on I'm sure by the beautiful October day that I finally got to meet Christopher in person.) 

I don't know what the point to this post is, I guess I just found myself lost in the remembering about the deep fear of losing myself to the grief.  It's still there ~ the fear of falling into that pit.  Somehow I was able to bury it again, to not be overwhelmed with it.  I wish I could find somebody who could help me safely face an express the grief.  I feel as Suz speaks of in her comment:
Its a safety mechanism for me. A protection of my mind and soul and life I live today. In saying that I realize that approach has an effect on this life, but negatively effecting my life and still living is better than not living at all. I hope that some day I can truly get through it all, somehow, someway, with a safe person that I can be confident will get me through the agony and pull me out to the other side. Until that day comes, it stays in side and seeps out every now and then.

So maybe I need to stop thinking of my inability to cry as something wrong, and think of it as something keeping me safe until I am able to face those deep emotions.  Now if only I could find a way to do that...



  1. I am glad you were able to find some commonality, some comfort in my posts. Hugs to you.

  2. and I think this is the post you were referencing. I am only able to retrieve it quickly because I know I refer to that experience as the Fessler Effect and I used that keyword to search.

    Falling Through Instead of Apart or Down

  3. "So maybe I need to stop thinking of my inability to cry as something wrong, and think of it as something keeping me safe until I am able to face those deep emotions. Now if only I could find a way to do that..."

    You will eventually find a way. It may just not be in the way you are expecting it to happen.

  4. I echo Linda. And I echo her based on my past five years in whatever you call my reunion. I have changed so dramatically in five years, accepted so much, become so much stronger. I do believe when we are meant, to strong enough, etc. we do. For example, I myself just started going back to a local adoption support group (something I generally DESPISE) and have also toyed with FINALLY go THERE (or at least partially) with my therapist. We are fluid. We move and change and adapt to the environment we are in. When I find I am in am more loving, accepting environ (and I create that consciously and subconsciously) I move forward. While I am at rest (not moving) I am still doing something too. Recharging for the next leap forward.

  5. Susie, Suz's words struck a chord with me too. Sometimes when I open that adoption pain window I am shocked at how much comes out. It scares me that after all these years there is still so much in there. This is an ever evolving process we are going through. We heal a bit, then we recharge, then we heal a bit, then we recharge, and so on. Talking, writing, listening to each other, this is how we make progress, how we heal. It hurts to heal, the process is painful, but the load gets lighter each time we let a chunk go. Hang in there.

  6. lolokey- you are so right. For me (adoptee) it has been very similar. I dont think I could have handled "opening that window" all the way up. I would open it a crack, then slam it shut, then open it a little more each time. It IS an evolutionary process.

    For "most" adoptees, our opinion/feelings change a lot, especially with different phases of our lives. Like f Mothers, we listened to others about how we should feel or how we should act for years. You hear what they say, but their words don't match the intense pain we feel. For most adoptees, we begin hearing their garbage from day one.

    It's not an easy process to rid oneself of the brain washing. (yes, I said it) Part of that process is allowing yourself to feel and work through that pain. Once I was able to accept my feelings, my pain and my losses, I was able to heal. As odd as it might sound, I am thankful I was finally able to embrace my pain. I think it said, " have acknowledged me, now let's go forward." :)

  7. So Linda, what make so supportive of this particular natural mother when you are so nasty and defamatory to others?

    I don't trust you (and a few of your buddies) as far as I can throw you...

  8. Susie the inability to cry does not mean there is something wrong with you. I think for me it is a self defense mechanism. Unfortunately I internalize things that my brain sees as traumatic so I am able to remain disconnected when needed. I believe I learned how to do this the day I first set foot in the Agency, I can remember thinking "I'm tougher than you think" and to this day I still say that to myself. I also know that when (and if) the day comes when Ashley decides to start contact I will probably turn into this mess filled with raw emotions.

    So the inability to cry is not wrong, I do the same thing and there's nothing wrong with me...I'm just a Birth Mother trying to protect herself :-)

    Lots of (((HUGS)))

  9. Susie, I have been unable to cry since I lost my son, because I didn't allow myself to cry then, or whenever after I thought or spoke of him. It's not right. I'm still working on that ability, to cry in any sad situation, and not made much progress. Maybe I'm doomed never to cry again, or maybe someday I'll have breakdown that ends the cycle. I envy those who have this release. I remain as stoic as I was when I relinquished my son. Even during eight years of therapy. I feel cursed in that regard, Maybe writing is my release.