Priority Mail/The Past is Still Inside

The letter to my birth Mother is finally written, sending it today. I’m including some photos, maybe something I wrote a while back… and I’m terrified, but regardless of the commitment I made to myself, so long ago, to never give ANYONE a second chance to leave me… I need to get this done. Put it either behind or in front of my life so I can get on with the rest of it…

This is what I’m thinking of including, which made an entire room of birth-mothers crumble in a group I was in to try to find answers while in San Diego, but… not sure if it is too much right now.

The Way It Was
When I was a child
it was just
the way it was
I lost myself in the secrets
that were lost in metaught that I should learn to accept
that where I came from didn’t matter – but
(who am I ?)
I was chosen
I was loved and
(this boy who never began)
I just was.

I remember the birthdays –
presents, friends, all a child could want
and everything was so wonderful, so perfect
the doors inside of me locked up so tight
the walls built so meticulously
(mommy, tell me about when I was born)
I had taught myself so well.
I was chosen, and
(sorry son, I wasn’t there)
I was “special”.

School days,
always in on the outside
I could become almost anyone
pretend to fit in anywhere
and with nowhere to look
to find who or why I was
I became the incomplete chameleon
I pretended that I was them.

As the time went on
it grew darker each year
as the loss I had locked away so long ago
began to seethe
and the questions I had taught myself
never to ask
(who am I?)
remained unanswered.

As the pain grew,
I found my own ways
to numb it, to suppress it,
my best friends were the drugs and the escape they offered,
but always, a sense of loss would seep out
from unknown origins.

I’ve spent my life wandering
from city to city, coast to coast
looking for something, though never knowing what.
Always leaving the people that I loved behind
With promises of staying in touch.
(before they could leave me)

I could control
I needed to control

this time.

But the promises I had made
always turned out to be as empty as I was
and in the end
I disconnected so easily
detach and go on
(it was the first lesson learned)
and I always
went away.

Thirty three now
and just a few years ago
the doors that I had locked so securely
so perfectly as an infant
burst open.

Through night after night spent crying alone
and the days at work trying not to
I was finally able to welcome the pain I had denied for so long
to become a part of me.
I let myself remember
that there was something I had lost.

Now I knew where the anger that had been eating at me came from
and the emptiness that I feel
when friends talked about from which part of their family
they got their eyes, their hair, their temper
and all I can do is listen silently,
anger seething…

I began my search just a few years ago
for that piece of me that might come with answers
might fill the void inside of my heart
might help everything about me make a little more sense
but as soon as the search began
I found that, for some reason, someone decided
I am not allowed to know the things about me
that everyone else takes for granted
and I have no birthright
no right at all to my history, to my ancestors
to my heart
to know why I am
or how I became this way.

With each step I am turned away from trying
to give this pain answers
to give this pain a reason
to try and make at least some of this everlasting ache go away,
or perhaps even fill something inside
that has been empty for so long.

Around every corner
there is more red tape
or another dead end
as I try to find that piece of my soul
that has been denied me

I grow weary
And I want so much to be able to give up
shut those doors again
and go on with this façade
slowly destroying myself
as I drown in my own lies and denial.
(it was so much easier
When I didn’t have to care)
But I’ve torn down the walls inside of me
now that I know what I need
and no matter how many people may stand in my way
try to dissuade me
(“She’s probably already dead” my adopted mom once said)
I will find my mother.

Yesterday, I read about a woman
who, after years of searching, was finally able to find her father,
just a couple of days ago.

She found him seven weeks after he was buried.

Seven weeks.

Through all of this frustration
through all of this pain
through this profound feeling
of irrevocable loss
I try to keep on going
to find a reason,
a foundation to this life
and maybe, if I’m so blessed,
I’ll get my mother as well.

Though each small victory in this search
is met with a thousand more defeats and dead ends,
the search goes on, and the years pass by
allowing less and less time
for any chance there may be to make things right.

If I ever do find the woman
who gave me these green eyes
this crooked smile
a heart full of sadness
and my life…
I don’t want the flowers I bring to her the first time we meet
offered in thanks for what she has given me
for the life I have been blessed with
for the sacrifice she made

to gently be laid upon her grave.

When I was a child
it was just
The way it was.

It can’t be that way anymore.

-Casey Porter 4/6/01

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