Sunday, September 2, 2012
When You Get That Feeling
Standing at the American Airlines ticket counter at the airport, I passed my documents to the employee at the bag check-in. She typed a few words into the computer and then, wrinkling her brow and pursing her lips said, "Hmmm...interesting, I don't have any record of your reservation here..."
I got "that feeling".
Sitting in my elementary school class the teacher began to divide the class up into groups, and send us on our way to study a new unit. After all the children were assigned their groups, I was left there and the teacher said, "Just a moment Deanna, we're not sure where we're going to place you yet..." I sat there for quite a while as they figured out where to place me.
I got "that feeling."
Meeting with my doctor in my mid-twenties for a consultation after x-rays, he said, "Deanna, you have a rare type of growth in your throat that is benign, however it must be removed. It's a type of cyst that most people will never have but for some reason you do..."
I got "that feeling."
Each time something in my life happens that makes me feel different, singled out, and unique from the rest of the population, it becomes a trigger. Instantly I experience that feeling... a flash of rejection, linking whatever the latest happening in my life is, all the way back to 1966.
I realize the universe is not conspiring against me. If I sit and rationally think about this, I know that American Airlines, my childhood elementary school, and an ENT specialist are not in cahoots, against me. I'm a person of faith, and I also don't believe God is devising evil schemes to single me out and make life different for me in a difficult way. In fact, I firmly believe God is for me.
But whenever I get...
Singled out in a negative manner
I instantly go all the way back to my childhood and have this flash of a thought that I'm somehow doomed to be different, singled-out, left out, over-looked, uninvited and forgotten because I'm adopted.
I know that's not true.
I know it's not even realistic, whatsoever.
But the next time I get left out, or my-name-isn't-on-the-list-but-should-be-because-I-paid-and-have-a-receipt-darn-it, I still have these flashes of, "Here we go again..."
I may be the only one having these type of thoughts that I've just mentioned but my gut tells me I'm not.
If you face these kind of thoughts when things like this happen to you, I thought it might be helpful if I share what I do that helps me.
Take a Deep Breath
Everything feels better when I just stop for a moment when I'm triggered, to just take a deep breath. Pause. Pull myself back to center and focus on truth.
After a few deep breaths, I talk to myself. Sometimes I do it out loud, if I'm alone, for extra emphasis. I remind myself of truth. I am for me. God is for me. The people in my life are for me. (If they're not for me, I don't make a habit of hanging around with them, so I can safely say, those in my life ARE for me.) I remind myself of the truth that the world is not in a conspiracy against me, and lots of people love me and are in my corner.
Open My Eyes to Others
People cannot relate to our adoption experience, unless they are actually adopted. But as I open my eyes to truth I see that lots of people can relate to being frustrated at the airline ticket counter. In fact there are long lines of people at the airport that are frustrated with all kinds of stuff that is screwed up. When I examine the other irritations or sorrows that sometimes triggers me, I realize everyone in life faces inconveniences and tragedies, non-adoption related. I just sometimes feel like I'm the only one, because in error, I have connected the two. My post-adoption issues are reality, but have nothing to do with these other occurrences.
Opening my eyes to what others go through when they are left out or singled out in a negative way helps me to reach out and be a voice of comfort and a hand to hold. Though others may not be adopted, being the one who is left out or singled out is an experience and a feeling we will all share at some time. Helping others always makes me feel better and gets me moving in a healthy direction.
I've learned, adoption triggers won't go away. I'll have them all my life because I'll always be adopted. But I don't have to let them lead me around. I can take a deep breath, speak truth to myself, and open my eyes to a world in need.