Facing my own demons

adoption, adoption loss, life,

How long is this journey?

When I started this blog, I began a journey. A journey of self discovery. I did it with a purpose. I knew what I was doing and I knew it needed to be done. I had closed off my anger, and pain many years ago….Locked away in a closet and threw away the key were all the bad feelings that I couldn’t deal with any more.

I had allowed myself to live with the pain and anger for two years, when it all happened. When I lost my children, I lost my family, I lost myself. Those first two years were the hardest years of my life.. I was sure they were the hardest years of anyone’s life. I begged God on a daily basis to let me die and end the torment. If I was alone at all, for any time, I was curled into the fetal position, sobbing and pleading with God to stop the pain. For two years this went on…behind closed doors… I couldn’t let anyone see it but it was always there. Over and over, I kept remembering something my step mother had said many times during my life;

 “God will never put more on you than you can handle.”

But it was of no comfort, because I was not handling this pain at all. I knew I couldn’t keep it up… I felt …. Forgotten. God had forgotten me… The pain just got worse and worse and God had forgot to turn it off and soon I would implode because it was indeed more than “I” could handle! At some point I decided that I must have been so evil that I was sentenced to hell. I was sure that my life was the “hell” that everyone warned about. So this was how it was. You didn’t die to go to hell… You lived.

And I laid in secret, in my fetal position and begged God to forgive my evilness and release me from this hell. Everyday, every night, for two years, I begged, I cried, I screamed for escape from my own hell.

Then one day, I just accepted it. I “knew” that there was no release for me. I could find no way out. This was all I had, my hell.. It was all I would ever have again. I stopped begging for relief from the pain. I accepted that I was evil and I had to pay for it… Forever.

A strange thing happened when I accepted the pain. Somehow, when I stopped fighting for relief, I was able to shut out the pain. I shut out the pain that was always there in my chest. I didn’t dwell on it, because I accepted as part of my normal life…Some how, this made it possible to forget the pain… The anger… I simply shoved it into that “closet” and closed the door. And I lived again. I can’t say that it was like freedom from the pain, because it was if the pain had never existed. I had completely eradicated it… Or so I thought…

What I didn’t know, all those years, was that when I locked away the “hurt” I had to lock away the memories…and a part of myself. The only way I could forget the bad parts, was to forget the good parts as well. I couldn’t lock away the pain of loosing my children, if I didn’t lock away the memories of being a mother.

Becoming a mother shaped who I was…loosing my children was tearing away part of myself… Forgetting the pain of that was loosing myself. I had to start over. I had to rebuild who I was… I became a different person. In truth, I never liked this new person I had become… But I had to do it to survive.

When I began to remember… I found that closet door and found a tiny crack and tried to peak into it. What I discovered was that I had not locked away all my pain in that closet after all. I had locked myself into the closet and everything else was out side….The person I was… Life… And yes all the pain that goes with it is just outside that closet door. And so my journey began.

The first time I had a “revelation” I thought wow, look at me, I’m out in the real world again! I felt elated that I had beaten down the denial so easily. I had found myself again and I was so proud. Then I bumped into a wall. Bam! What was that?! A wall? How could there be a wall out here? Sure enough though, I bared the bruises from that wall.

Finally, I realize the truth. I have begun the journey, but only just.. I haven’t stepped out of that closet yet… I haven’t even found the door knob yet… I managed to build a window and let some light in.. But it is still to easy to shut the curtains on the light, when I feel the pain…The pain is so bad. It is just as bad as I remember. It’s too much some times and I can’t take it, I can’t relive this…But I have to. I know that. And so I peak past the curtains, even open them a bit again… Until the pain is too much and I close them again.

How long is this journey? How long will it take to tear down the curtains… When will I find the lock? Can I turn that door knob? With each new discovery, I hope I gain strength, strength enough to make it out all the way.

I can’t go back… I know that… But I have to learn to go forward. I can’t go forward until I am completely able to face my past…How long is this Journey?

October 18, 2006 Posted by | future, life, Uncategorized | 5 Comments

Someone called me strong…….

Someone called me strong. Imagine that! When I read those words I thought of throwing up….What she said was she couldn’t imagine how I or other mother’s of loss had survived loosing our children, that we must be very strong.

I can’t speak for any other mother on this. I only know myself. I have spent the last year examining my life and the choices that I made and the ones that were made for me. I have came to a lot of different conclusions about myself back in those days 18 years ago and the years that followed… But never, never have I been strong! In fact, had I some how managed to be strong back then, maybe I would have never become “a mother of loss”.

Had I not let fear freeze me into inaction, maybe I could have fought for myself, my rights as a human being and for the rights of my children to stay with the mother who loved them more than life itself. Yes, I did love them more than anything. But not even that love could stand up to my fear.

My story is slightly different than other “first” mothers, and yet a lot a like for others. There are not many women who have been through what I went through that are as out in the open about it as me, but there are plenty of women who have suffered the same hell. It’s just that most of them are still suffering in silence, because of the fear of what people will think….

 I married at 18 not for love, but because this guy gave me a place to stay when no one else would. I married him, because I was afraid to face life on my own. That wasn’t the first time I let fear rule my life, but it was the first major life changing time. It wouldn’t be the last time. Fear had found a wedge into my life and it wasn’t going to give up it’s hold on me easily.

 He turned into Satan shortly after our marriage. But I had my first child before our first year anniversary and stayed with him because he was good financial support. Well, I managed to get through several years in that marriage by walking on egg shells around my abusive husband. But the truth was, for all the unhappiness my marriage brought me, my daughter brought more happiness to my life. She was my world! When she was three years old, I had my second child, another girl. Again, I felt like I was privileged enough to see a part of heaven in my children.

Still, I was being subjected to more and more abuse at the hand of my husband. But still I didn’t leave. I was so afraid of being alone… I was afraid I wouldn’t be able to support my kids on my own. When my oldest daughter turned 4 years old, I got a job. My husband and I worked opposite shifts so that we didn’t have to hire baby sitters. This was all my husband’s idea. Everything came crashing down when one day my sweet angel, still not even 5 years old, came to me one day and told me that her daddy was doing “things” to her that she didn’t like. Being as young as she was, she didn’t have words for the “things” that he had done to her, but she did make me understand. Of course, I took my two babies and ran. There was no more time for fear of being alone.

When I reported my husband to the police, they told me to go to child protective services to get help for my daughter. They told me that CPS would help me get therapy for her. They didn’t help! Instead they took my beautiful babies from me with some made up charges! (Maybe in the beginning they were afraid that I would give into my husband and go back to him. I had left him once and went to a woman’s shelter, but I went back to him… That was before he abused my daughter.)

But it turned out that the foster homes that they put my daughters into wanted to adopt them. So CPS pressured me into signing away my rights as their mother. OK, so there’s a lot to that story, but the basic of it is, they convinced me that they could prove me unfit because I didn’t have any money to support my kids and that if I didn’t sign the papers my kids would be bounced around in foster homes and children’s homes until they were 18. It wasn’t hard for them to convince me that I wasn’t good enough to be their only parent. I was already totally convinced  in the idea that I was worth less. I gave up without a fight. Yes, I wanted my daughters to have a stable loving home. But I should have fought for them. I didn’t. Strong, no! I was scared out of my mind about everything!

I almost died several times over, during the next few years. When I found out I was pregnant with my third child, the fear grew inside me to a point of self destruction. I couldn’t eat, I couldn’t sleep. I couldn’t think. I thought about running. I thought if I could just run to my Dad’s home in another state, they wouldn’t be able to take this baby from me… But my fear had taken over. “What if” became my mantra. What if my dad wouldn’t let me stay with him. What if they came for my baby even over the state lines. What if I couldn’t take care of this baby…What if this pain inside me killed me???

Again, I let Fear rule me. It was my master! I gave up my son. I gave up the last of myself out of fear! How did I live through it?! That too was fear. OH, yes, many times I thought of the promise I made to my girls that I would be there for them, when they chose to seek me out… But many other times, when the pain got so bad that I couldn’t remember that promise, I tried… I really tried to kill myself. I tried to stop the pain, but again, fear took over! As bad as the pain was, I was more afraid of dying. I was afraid that if I took my own life, I’d burn forever in Hell. How could anyone be forgive for killing themselves, because they’d be dead then and couldn’t ask for forgiveness.

Even at the times when I had nothing, Nothing to live for; I still had my Fear! My only companion, my master, my Fear.

Strong?! No! I was always weak with fear! Even now. After 18 years, I still allow fear to rule at times. I’ve joined many, many search sites with the info on my kids. In hopes that someday one or all of them will find me.. Hoping against hope that they will be searching for me and just happen to hit the same sites as I have… But I have not gotten into really full blown search. Last week, I finally registered with http://www.isrr.net/ . This was a major step for me. Because every turn I have made has led me back to this one “group”. They seem to be the be all of search organizations.

There is only one problem. After I put in my information, I received an email from them stating that someone would be in touch with me soon to tell me what to do next. But the letter went on to say that they receive many request every day for searches and I was now on a “list”. I can bump myself up on that list, by calling them…I haven’t called yet.

Why? Yep, you guessed it. Fear! What if these people can’t find my kids? What if something happened to one of my children…. What if my children don’t want me to find them? What if I do find them and they reject me? I have been standing up and speaking out against the fear. I have been fighting a raging battle with it and I thought I was winning…. But suddenly I feel as if Fear has slapped me back down to “my place” yet once again.

Oh how I wish I had been “strong”. I wish I could be “strong” now. The name of this blog, Facing my own demons, seems ironic to me right now. It seems that Fear is my demon and I am trying to face it, but each time I look it in the face, I run away screaming in terror.

October 11, 2006 Posted by | if only | 3 Comments