Loss after Loss

“I went to the doctor, I went to the mountains
I looked to the children, I drank from the fountains
Yeah we go to the doctor, we go to the mountains
We look to the children, we drink from the fountains
Yeah we go to the bible, we go through the workout
We read up on revival and we stand up for the lookout
Theres more than one answer to these questions
Pointing me in a crooked line
The less I seek my source for some definitive
(the less I seek my source)

The closer I am to fine”

– Closer to Fine, Indigo Girls

I told him I was worried that I was handling things so well.

He laughed.

“You are WORRIED that you are not worried?” he asked me.

“Well, yeah, exactly”, I said.

I explained further.

“People keep telling me how good I am doing with all the change and challenge in my life right now. They tell me how impressed they are with how together I seem.”

“And that’s a bad thing?” he asked.

“I don’t know. Is it?”

He laughed again.

We discussed it. We never came to a conclusion. Yet it still continues to weigh on me.
I realize part of it, if not all of it, is due to my adoption issues.

I remember how much I sang the “I am fine” song after losing her. For years. Oh yeah, fine. I am fine. I am good. Thank you for asking. Oh, no, really, just fine. Dandy. Simply groovey. Managing JUSSSSSSSSSST fine (now will you stop fucking asking me how I am doing?). I am finer than fine. 

Guess what?

I wasn’t fine. Not by any measure of the word. I know that now. Night terrors and suicidal ideation is not found in the dictionary under the definition of “fine”.

As a result, when there is impending loss, change, drama in my life, I seriously question myself when I, or others think, I am fine. Am I falling into old habits? Or has my years of self work and therapy really paid off? Am I truly fine?

As this gerbil of a thought ran around the habitrail of my head last night, another thought came to me.

No loss can match the loss of my daughter. Compared to losing her, everything else pales in comparison. Of course I would say I am fine. Compared to what I have lost for the past twenty something years, I really am truly fine.

Lose a job? Get another.
Lose a relative? Bury. Grieve. Move on.
Lose your favorite trinket? Replace it.
Lose all your money? Make more. Move in with a family member. Declare bankruptcy. Rebuild.
Lose your child to adoption? Ummmmmmmmmm. There is no replacement for that child. Find ways to manage massive heartache and loss. Get thick skin. Embrace the pain. Make it part of your life.

Desensitized? Thicker skinned? Able to leap tall trauma in a single bound? Perhaps.

I thought of my c-section scar. My daughter was my only vaginal birth. Both my boys were c-sections.  I am still numb in the area of the scar. No feeling at all. I actually once stuck myself with a sewing needle to test it. Did not feel anything. The nerves are shot. The scar, the area. Poof. Gone. No feeling. Too many wounds in the same spot deadens the nerves. Secondary wounds to a  primary wound site doesnt result in the same level of pain.

I thought of myself as a child. I had been out playing and got a stick through my leg (yes, in one side out the other). I bled all day and did not know it. When my parents took me to the emergency room, the doctor stuck all kinds of probes into this oozing, bleeding hole in my leg. I just watched. I don’t remember it hurting.

If you make another wound, in an existing, live, bleeding wound, do you feel anything? Can you really bleed anymore? Can it hurt anymore than it did the first time?

For me it is about order of magnitude. How large is this current challenge and potential loss compared to losing my first born child?

It’s pretty big for sure. But it’s not THAT big. And since I survived losing my daughter (albeit a bit tattered and bruised) I know I can survive just about anything.

So, I guess, by that logic, I am indeed fine. Why do I worry? Why do I care? Why don’t I just focus on getting through the change and latest loss and stop worrying about my reaction to it?

Certain individuals involved in this current change feel I should be distraught, waving that hanky and grasping for those walls.

I am not. It’s not my style to carry a snot rag and dab my nose and eyes. It just isn’t. Just because I am not carrying my pain on the outside and crying 24 x 7 doesn’t mean I don’t feel and I don’t hurt. Furthermore, just because I don’t handle things the way you would, doesn’t mean my way is wrong.

I might really be fine.  At least as fine as I can be.