When you open the flesh, you let something in. – Alex Binnie
My seventeen year old niece got her upper ear cartilage pierced. My sister, her mother, video taped the event. Some might find that a bit much but in my sisters family getting a piercing, especially a non standard one, is kind of a big deal.
My niece is a lot like me in that she values individual self expression and tends to run with an alternative crowd. Slightly goth, somewhat EMO, very into music. Shes neat. I like her. Correction, I love her. Adore her.
I have always been drawn to her as there is a similar conflict in side her. I can feel it. I can see her easily misunderstood values and even easier hurt feelings. She is funky, different and very outspoken. She is a very sensitive girl – protector of animals, feelings of the underdogs and rejected types and always looking out for the environment. She has volunteered for Make A Wish Foundation and has donated her hair to Locks of Love.
When I first saw the video on facebook I got excited. I was happy for her that mom had finally relented and allowed her to get the piercing. As I watched the video, I saw the technician ask her if she was okay, was she going to pass out, did she need her moms hand. She said no. I could only see the side of her and the quality wasn’t very good but I anxiously awaited the big event like it was Christmas morning.
She winced when the first hole for the barbell was made. I saw her jump a bit but she was a trooper. The technician asked her if she was okay. She said yes, then she said no, then she said she wanted her mom closer. My sister moved in and took her hand.
The technician gave her a minute to collect herself before making the final piercing for the barbell. This hole appeared to hurt more. Perhaps she was more sensitive to how it was going to feel and she psyched herself up. She jumped a bit, winced, but was successful.
My initial glee began to mirror her own anxiety and then I burst into tears.
Not really tears. More like a sobs. Uncontrollable sobs. Irrational, mind blowing, eye puffing sobs.
Was I upset for my niece? What the hell was I crying about? My niece got her ear pierced for goodness sake. She did not get her ear cut OFF. She did not become suddenly deaf.
Of course, it wasn’t my niece I was crying for.
As I watched the video, I could not help but think of yeah, you got it, my daughter. My daughter who also has her nose pierced and I believe her upper ear with a ring.
Did she go alone for those events?
Did she go with friends?
She once told me she had to write an essay to her adoptive dad to get permission for the nose piercing. I am going to guess they did not go with her.
I would have. I would have loved to. I am saddened I did not get to.
My heart just ached.
It probably does not help that my niece carries the same birth name as my daughters amended name.
Silly, I guess.
My adoption trauma even includes grieving for piercings got, piercings viewed, mothers there and mothers not.