Sunday, February 16, 2014

how do i "cope" with the pain?

my forward walking video was posted by a girl who received this response "It's unfortunate that she does not share her reality of how she has coped or is coping over the years. You can see the tears in her eyes, the pain in her heart, and hear it in her voice. There is so much below the surface...and that's what really needs to be voiced. That's my opinion on what I see in this video." and asked "I was wondering if you have done a video or any blog posts about your coping or if you think this description is accurate? Thanks!"
here is my response: 
 y''s interesting, i was seein a guy who had the same impression recently, the "sad" was what stood out to him. it surprised me, i had to watch it again myself to look for what he'd seen. it is in there, to be sure, and it's in me. there was a time when a couple years passed where i hadn't felt it in an acutely painful way and in my presentations or writings i would say "i'm not sad anymore, it doesn't hurt anymore" and then the night before my son turned 14, i felt the hole in me as fresh and raw as if it had been yesterday. and to be honest, the timing of this question is interesting me, not only because it's the 2nd comment of this nature i've encountered in just a few weeks, but as recently as Friday night, some loss landed on me out of nowhere and weighed heavy. i was sittin around a fire with about 20 people and the 3 directly across from me were mamas cuddlin sons in their laps from toddlers to about 8 years old. as guitars were played and songs were sung and under a full moon sky, i couldn't keep it in. i wept as inconspicuously as i could for like a half hour. 
i think there are a few things that make me ok. one is that i've learned to surrender to the pain, to give it the space it needs and to honor it, even to see the beauty in it and be grateful for it, but the other part is that i hold tightly to the peace that came when i decided to place him for adoption, when i found and met his parents, when i met him and got to know him, when i signed the relinquishment forms and said goodbye, when i went home with empty arms, when the agency discontinued correspondence, when reunification brought the discovery that trauma and tragedy had been a part of his formative years, and at every point between. for the sake of my own well being i have trained my mind to count every blessing and acknowledge every tender mercy, to build my faith and confidence on every confirmation, the which have come to me too many times to recount and in so many varied ways. i pay attention to the pain, but it's in paying attention to the sweetness and the blessings that the loss becomes meaningful and even beautiful. there's purpose in my pain. i accept it as a part of the package, an essential part even. the taste of the bitter has made the contrast of sweetness all the sweeter. every time i've been stretched to a new extent for anguish, my ability to feel joy also extends. Neil Maxwell said "the cavity which suffering carves into our souls will one day also be the receptacle of joy". i believe this because it has happened to me. because my sacrifice was good and right, it has been, to my continual surprise, compensated for. the video is sad but it IS happy. i am sad but I AM happy! happier than i'd had the capacity to be until my range of emotion was expanded by grief. i would be a fool to reject the rose for the thorns attached.
i think another key to my coming to and maintaining my peace, my healing, and my processing is that i have made my suffering even more valuable by using it to serve and help others, there is SO MUCH sweetness in that! exhilaration even. i just see my path as blessed in spite of and even because of the burdens built in. 
placing a child for adoption is miraculous and beautiful but it is also trauma. i haven't found the way around the pain, i hope i never give the impression that there is a way around it. in the filming i did address some of what that "coping" and healing has been for me and i wish there'd been time enough to include it, the commenter was right, it is much needed. i hope this addresses it in a satisfactory way. time and patience are a big part as well i'm afraid. the sucky parts come inevitably, my aim is just to try to endure them well and with perspective, anticipating the parts that make it worth it.