While doing research today for my day job I found myself trapped in the google information black hole known as Ngram. After doing my legit work for like, oh, a minute or two, I found myself shoving other words into Ngram.
In case you are not familiar with Ngram, it is phrase-usage graphing tool developed by Google. Google digitized over 5 million books from the 1800’s to 2000’s. You can search their database of books for various phrases used in those books over a time period. In doing so, you find some fascinating (okay, maybe nerdy) relationships between word usage, emotional response and other events in the 20th century. (Yes, this kind of stuff excites me, perhaps overly so).
For a better explanation of this goodie, watch the TedTalk . For immediate viewing pleasure check out this little ditty. Draw your own conclusions. Better yet, go play yourself.Type in your own words or phrases to see how usage frequency has been changing. I warn you it can be addictive.
Adoption trauma, the associated disenfranchised grief, penetrated many aspects of my life. My first marriage is an example. I married for the wrong reasons, in the wrong state of mind, with a tremendous amount of unresolved feelings towards my daughters father.
When I became aware of the depth, I attempted to work them through with my first husband but the issues grafted themselves onto other issues in our marriage and it was too much for us to get passed.
This song, by Grace Potter and the Nocturnals, rang in my head for years during my marriage. The line “I got arms to hold me every night but I am still sleeping with a ghost” is most powerful for me.
I slept with the ghost of my daughters father for over 20 years. My first husband did too. Only he was not aware until the end of our marriage, far too late for us to arrange for the emotional equivalent of Ed and Lorraine Warren. This ghost wouldl not be banished until our marriage ended and I continued my own therapy (and met a man that could accept — and love — all of me, not just the parts that made him comfortable).
If you don’t know Grace Potter, I def recommend you look up her other tunes.