Again, a Child

 

The circle is nearly completed, the pain never gone but nearly understood, making me stronger…

 

“…Adoptees are usually shadowed by a pet of some kind, more than likely of unknown origins. They tend to identify with animals, perhaps because they share some state of grace that is outside the human condition… The live or stuffed animal grazes loyally in the interstices between them and the rest of the world… adoptees, of all ages, have live and inanimate animals to accompany them through life.”

~ Betty Jean Lifton – “Journey Of the Adopted Self”

(While most everything these days is about Ruby, this is one of the few times it is not.
I just liked the quote.)

 

I read this book years ago, over, and over, and over. Each time finding new places woven into the words to cry. It was only then that I knew my loss wasn’t my own to suffer with in silence. In some ways it was good, healing. I also found rawness in myself, vulnerability, a rage that I managed so very well to hide for thirty one years.

It has now been just a couple weeks past one year since I first spoke with my birth mother, after forty years of creating fantasies about her, (Well, I was born in ’67, so maybe I *am* David Bowie’s son…) and at least twenty five of actively searching when I was able. Paying thousands of dollars to find her in the end, because doing it myself ripped me apart.
I destroyed amazing relationships, I still have the scars from punched and shattered bar mirrors, I wrote like an uncontrollable fever, and felt the cold steel of my cocked .38 on the roof of my mouth, releasing the pressure on the trigger at the last fraction of a second.

Some of you may understand in your own way. We have all lived lives.

 

“You see the one who I am, not the one who I was. But the one who I *was* is also still a part of myself.” ~ Jean Amery

 

In myth, the hero does not return until he returns what the treasure he went in search for.
Some things I have read on the soul of the adoptee say that they feel just meeting their mother would somehow make them whole – and many end up becoming more splintered than before, trying to piece together what was, what might have been, and what is.

But I am far from most. Some who have followed my writings know this. Me? I can’t explain it. Maybe someday I will, but that will come in time. I weave my life out of the pieces I have.

All of this is bringing you up to the big news I received today. It’s like a refresher course.

A surprise email from my (1/2 blood) sister, my Mothers daughter:

Hi Casey,
I hope things are well with you and Ruby.  I finally got mom to come down for a visit; she’ll be in the bay area on the weekend of November 16-17 (Quincy will drive her down).  I was thinking it might be a good idea to get together, maybe for brunch/lunch on Sunday the 17th?  I talked to her this morning and she would really like to get together with you.”

So… yeah. I will meet my Mother and Sister for the very first time – except for the 15 minutes they allowed my mother to hold me after I was born.
My Mother is not in the best of health, and has been living in a tiny town for… a long time. I want to say twenty seven years but most likely more, I am not certain. A long time. She lives alone… but something really screwed up inside of me has a purely selfish desire to greet her with as many friends as I can wrangle as we stand in the line for brunch, to show her that she created a good heart in her firstborn. Just for a few minutes, because as I don’t really care if people see me crying like a baby, (her baby)… this is our time. I want her to see that she did good. Perhaps that is a really fucking backwards way of saying that I really need support. Perhaps it is genuine. You won’t even need to actually park, just take up most of the street and tell her you love her.
She created me. I just need her to know that she did something good in letting me live…

So, yeah. In eleven days I’m meeting my Birth mother, AND my sister for the first time.
Eleven days after forty-six years.

Holy shit.

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Betwixt & Between

The past is the past.

Let the dead bury the dead.

I should be over it.

No one wants to hear about this, no one else can understand except those very, very few.

I don’t have the right to feel this, to talk about this; it isn’t fair to others.

It will only open old wounds…

and of course, those lovely words from my adoptive mom when I was searching before: “I don’t know why you’re bothering with this, she’s probably dead anyway.”

The mind, the ego, has its own repertoire of rationalizations that keep us quiet, keep what we truly feel suppressed. Emotional debts to the past in the form of feelings we can’t allow ourselves to express, but the past isn’t over as long as these debts go unpaid. It coils around our soul, suffocating us, keeping us from who we truly can be, living our lives in quiet desperation and pretending that everything is alright…

But I am a construct of my past, the things I cannot forget, the things I cannot let go, the things that made me who I am – a boy forever searching for Self, denied by law the right to see a true record of my birth. Though I look human, my life is a hard-wired fantasy that has no beginning; I am one of the Unborn. I bleed and get sick just like you, but astonish the doctors when I don’t die.  By others I have been called an illusion, an apparition, a vision, a ghost. Wrapped up in myth, living a life of secrets and taboo from time before my first memory, I never became so I never can be, living a life of fiction where I am the author…

They say that you cannot change the past, but they are wrong. Terrifyingly wrong.

In my heart there is a hole, a hole shaped like her, and no one else can fit it. Fill it.

Why would I want them to?

Of course I have tried, not expecting anyone to be able to, but perhaps they could blunt the edges that have cut this mold, this man, that boy, that child I once was and still am – that child that can be seen through the razor edges in this man’s heart, looking out at you, looking into each strangers eyes, searching for the arms, for the voice, for the hearts beat that soothes and mothersoft skin that was comfort, that held the promise that everything would be alright, that even in this world of suffering I was safe, protected… that I was hers.

That I belonged… not only in this world, but also – belonged *to* someone.

I received a call on Friday – the search is moving forward, they are making progress. I play the message over and over again. As soon as they receive the non-identifying information from the adoption agency (which in CA commonly takes up to eight months for a couple of pieces of fucking paper), they “should be able to wrap things up fairly quickly.”

I need to change. I need to start living again, break out of what I let the past couple of years of bouncing from one hospital bed to the other do to me, and again be a part of my life; create, perform, breathe… exist.

I need to be someone that she would be proud to meet.