Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Layers


This post is a little bit scary for me to share.
I'm not even entirely sure why I'm sharing it.  Perhaps to give some insight as to what my experience has been like in finding Lori.  It has been so much good, and also so much to process.  I had no idea that I would ever need to process anything about my own adoption, because I have always been content with it.  It just never bothered me.  So it continually surprises me that I must process things as they occur, and let my brain and heart meet up. 
I am so grateful to be adopted.  I am so grateful for my parents.  And especially for my Derik. 

I have a private blog that I use as my personal journal. It's a quiet place that I can go, where I cannot be judged by others. I have a regular book-journal, but I have found that 1) I cannot write as fast as my brain thinks, but I can almost keep up by typing,  2) If I'm out of town, or somewhere that I don't happen to be near my book-journal, I can still write. Feelings and experiences just happen. I find that if I record it immediately, it is just more real. More me. Even if it isn't polished to a complete shine.

I have decided to share one of my private entries.
It was an interesting experience for me.
I have not had this experience or desire ever since.

And Mom, I love you.


Peeling Layers

February 28, 2010

I just completed a book called Without a Map. Lori borrowed it from her mom and told me about it. It's by a woman named Merideth Hall, and she placed her son for adoption in 1965, when she was only 17 years old. Lori told me, "I've never had anybody put my experiences into literal words before. It is very liberating for me."

So I asked her if I could read it as well.

It's a heavy book.
Lots of F-bombs.
It's real, raw, and so sad.

Sad, because of how this woman was outcasted by those who should have loved her the most.
And doubly sad, because as I read I got to see where Lori had underlined, starred, and placed exclamation points.

It made me appreciate her all over again.

I finished the book in less than 24 hours. When I returned it to Lori and she asked me what I thought, all I could tell her was, "It's heavy."

Fast forward two days.
I have had the necessary time to process the book more fully into my brain.
I am suddenly very emotional all over again.

And appreciative of Lori and her decision to place me for adoption all over again.
And hurting for her. For all the stupid crap she had to deal with in order to find herself again.
I think in some ways, she's probably still trying to find herself completely, but I know it's getting easier for her.

As I cleaned the house, did laundry and cared for my two boys, I had moments where I would get emotional. Not complete meltdowns, but I shed some tears. The feelings were difficult for me to put into words.

Then suddenly, I realized that I needed Lori.
Needed her in the most desperate way.
We didn't have to talk; I just wanted to be near her.

I have probably minutely felt like this before a few times within the last year (has it already been a year???!), but never, ever to this intensity. Usually, I just wanted to be with her and visit with her.

Many times in my marriage, if I've been sick or had a really bad day I will tell Derik, "I just want my mom." But for the first time in my life, I didn't want my mom. I wanted Lori. And as my little Nathan crawled into my lap that night, it was as if the realization of it all slapped me in the face: I wanted Lori to hold me, just like I was holding my son. I was shocked by these feelings, and I felt very guilty; as if I had betrayed my mom.

So I sent a text to Lori. It read: 'Have you ever just wanted to crawl into your mom's lap and just be held? That's what I want right now. I want to crawl on your lap and just be held .'
She replied: 'Only about a million times. I am both shocked and pleased. Thank you for sharing that with me.'

I didn't reply; I felt like I'd done enough 'damage' for one day.

Derik came home from work that night and I told him all about my feelings. The book, my thoughts, my texts to Lori, my guilt for betraying my mom. Everything. I am amazed every time I visit with Derik. I can sit and cry, and blubber, and throw all my thoughts out (in a jumble-of-a-mess) for sometimes as long as 30 minutes, if not longer. He quietly listens to everything I have to say, compiles it, and folds it concisely in a cute little package that takes about 3 minutes to describe. I often look at him in awe...my life would be easier if he could just be the spokesperson for my brain. It would come out more concise, better organized, less teary, and definitely more tactful. He is my perfect sounding board. I am so grateful for his listening ear and wise counsel.

I told Derik that I couldn't believe that I was having these emotions about Lori and me again. He told me that he thought it was perfectly normal; we would both experience feelings and emotions as those new experiences came along. He told me that I'd probably have experiences like this for the rest of my life because this is a part of who I am. And having Lori be an active member of the Church helps us come together on even more common ground, which makes it all even easier.
So I asked Derik, "Am I just peeling layers then?" His answer was a very simple, 'Yes'.

And then he assured me that I hadn't betrayed my mother.

I love my Derik.
He gets me.
And he loves me in spite of myself.

Lori called me 2 days later, wondering if I was okay - she hadn't heard anything further, and wanted to check on me. I assured her I was fine. We talked about the book, and our thoughts on the things that Merideth went through, and how it related to our story or not.

Lori told me that she was 'done' with sweeping her secrets under the rug any longer.
She felt liberated.
She felt validated in her feelings.

And then she said the kindest thing to me: "I am so proud of you. I am proud of who you are. I am so grateful that you have had a happy life, that you love adoption. I am so grateful that you aren't angry with me. I want to shout from the rooftops, 'This is my Daughter that I placed for adoption! Isn't she beautiful?!!?' "

I told her that she'd come a loooooong way since last March.

She told me I'd come a long way too, and that I'd been a key element in her healing process.

We'd done it together.
Healed together.
And we'll keep healing in the years to come.

So, here's to the upcoming layers. I can look forward to them. Because it will be a part of who I am. My feelings can be validated, even if it's just by my sweet husband.

_________________________________________

Lori is coming to Burley for a couple of days to see where I grew up. I could not be more excited. It really means a lot to me. It will probably cause me to process yet again, but this time, I'm mentally ready for it.
I'll just peel back another layer.

You can call me Shrek.


Thanks for listening.

Hugs.

1 comment:

Deanna said...

Beautiful post. :) Thank you for sharing it. I had a 'layer peeling' experience with Abbey's mom a few days ago...but don't quite know how to write about it...it was liberating, humbling, and good to talk with her about.

♥ I love adoption, too. :)