Beastly Party Crashers

"Saudade is a Portuguese word for a feeling of longing for something that one is fond of, which is gone, but might return in a distant future. It often carries a fatalist tone and a repressed knowledge that the object of longing might really never return." – Wikipedia

As my mother swept the basement floor, I found myself looking around at the family members in the room.

My house guest from Germany joked with my mother that I invite them over for a party and then I make them clean my basement.

Mother and guest continue talking as my brother and the children play with the N scale model train we had set up on the counter top.

I look around the room and find myself counting heads. Someone is missing. It is raining outside, we are downstairs, did one of the children escape to play in the wet leaves?

The feeling is powerful.

Bordering on fear, I count again.  Where is my youngest son? My nephew? Are they okay? My breathing becomes more rapid and my eyes dart around the 11 x 24 sq foot room.  My mother glances over at me and sees the look of concern on my face.

“What is the matter?” she asks.

“I feel like someone is missing. Are all the kids here? Is one missing?” I respond.

As the words roll off my tongue, a wave of anxiety hits me. It is back.

My usual flashbacks and anxiety related to the absence of my daughter at family functions.

“Oh, that’s right. Someone is missing. Someone is always missing” I say to my mother quietly as I walk towards the stairs.

She continues sweeping, head down, and says “Yes, I know what you are feeling and why. And you are right. Some one is always missing”.

My life has been very full the past few weeks. Several family parties, an exploding water heater, my job, a freelance opportunity, a class I am taking and new friends I am making. I have definitely taken on more than I can handle right now and I am having to push back on a few things. I don’t like doing that but I must. I would rather say no to a request than accept it and then not deliver. I don’t like to disappoint people – no matter how valid the reason for doing so.

Having such a full life can often be a wonderful salve for my adoption wounds. I become consumed with planning, organizing, learning, doing, being, laughing and for the moment in time, just the moment, the loss of my daughter is less painful.

But it always comes back.

It’s always there. I try so hard to move on. I try so hard to outrun that adoption trauma beast but it finds me. It finds me while I am reading. It finds me when I am chatting in AIM with a new friend. It finds me when I am arranging for a grocery delivery for a single mom who is financially struggling. It pops up when I least expect. Like those deathly creatures that rise from the asphalt in the movie “Ghost” it owns me – for the moment in time. It takes me to a dark painful place that I would prefer not to be in.

It can slay me. It can paralyze me and send me into tears. Rising from bed in the morning can be difficult. Focusing on a task even more so.

The beast.

It was not invited to my family party yet it was there. It crashed the party and reminded me, yet again, that my daughter is missing.

I wish the beast were missing instead.

2 Thoughts.

  1. I know this beast, it consumes somedays, but then I have a moment of clarity, when it all seems to makes sense. That moment isn’t real, but it makes it bearable. I know in that moment I am right and that what I was told was wrong. That I as a persooon was worthy, that I could have raised my child. None of the pain was worth what I have faced, none of it was “worth it”

  2. I know trauma, and I know that the running buys time and eases hurt. I’m reminded of Ged in Ursula Le Guin’s Wizard of Earthsea. In my own PTSD, the trauma grew stronger as it chased me. Its power was only broken when I turned to chase it instead; to hunt it down and reintegrate it.
    When and how to do that is different for every individual, and it’s not a hunt to be undertaken alone if at all possible. I hope you will find that turning point, Suz.

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