Nothing fixes a thing so intensely in the memory as the wish to forget it. ~Michel de Montaigne
Why now I wonder? What does it mean that these memories come back to me now? Is it a good thing? A bad thing? Or neither? Am I supposed to do something with these recently revived phantoms in my brain? Who performed CPR on my memories? Who took out the shock paddles, yelled â€œCLEARâ€ and allowed the heart of these memories to pump once again?
Itâ€™s not so much the memory of them but the reliving of the feeling, the dÃ©jÃ vu experience. I can physically feel what I felt back then. Is that good? Is that a flashback?
I remembered only recently that my plan â€“ before the adoption agency came into my life â€“ was to run away. I have no idea where I was going to go. I was leaving. I had prepared myself to run away to some unknown place. Me and my pregnant body were going to take the child inside me and just get on a bus and leave. I had already visited Planned Parenthood and ruled out abortion. Nope. My child was meant to be born. I wanted her.
But where did I think I was going to go? I donâ€™t think I got that far in the process. Teenagers, like I was then, tend to live in the here and now. They donâ€™t plan for the future. Itâ€™s about instant gratification or in my case, instant survival.
I was terrified to my core of my parents â€“ my father primarily. I knew I would be thrown out, abandoned, discarded, [insert your own word here] and I just could not risk it. I felt my unborn child and I were better off on our own on a bus to nowhere than in my parents home. I felt alone. Isolated with no one to turn to. No one that would truly help me. Everywhere I turned there was judgment, fear, anger, fire and brimstone.
Itâ€™s odd to remember this now. It feels good in a way. It confirms yet again what I have always known and said. I wanted my child. Fear of family values, the church, judgment, etc pushed me to the running away approach. But where was I going to go? And what would I do if something happened to my family while I was gone? What if my parents died and I was in hiding somewhere? How would I find out? Who would tell me?
That thought was the first brick in the paving of my path to adoption hell.
I shared my pregnancy and my running away thoughts with my older sister. She was out of the family home, a nursing student, with her own apartment. She could be trusted (ha!). I wanted her to know that I was leaving and I wanted to set up a system so that she could contact me.
She was horrified. She did not believe I was pregnant. Refused to believe it. I assured her I was. I had taken a home test as well as been to Planned Parenthood for a confirmation. I was pregnant and I was leaving on a jet plane or a Greyhound bus as soon as I could. Could she please just keep my secret? Would she contact me if something happened at home and I needed to come back?
She failed at the secret keeping but succeeded at the contacting. Only the person she contacted was my mother.
And so it beganâ€¦