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Monday, October 14, 2013

Free-Falling Into the Baby Rage Zone: Another Adoptee Epiphany

Shouldn't I be done with this by now? I've been processing this adoption stuff for how many years? Shouldn't I be completely and utterly over all of it? 

These were my thoughts as I sat crying in my car in a school parking lot Saturday afternoon. My daughter was inside the school participating in a cheer exhibition, but her group wasn't scheduled to perform for several hours. I was in the car reading, once again cracked wide open by words on a page (or in this case a Kindle screen).

I had been working my way slowly through Christine Murphy's memoir Taking Down the Wall for some time. (My slow pace is no reflection on the book. This is simply the way I read. I typically have multiple books going at once and tend to dip in and out of them over time.) I'd bought the book after interacting with Christine a few times online. I knew her as a fellow adoptee whose thoughts and feelings about adoption often echoed my own. I knew that her memoir described her own gradual (and painful) process of awakening as she came to understand the trauma of her separation from her original mother as an infant. As a fully awakened adoptee myself (or so I thought), I came to the book expecting to identify but not to be shaken. Hadn't I gone through all of that years ago? I expected to skate through the book with the smug satisfaction of someone looking back on her former self, pleased with how far she's come. Been there, done that.

So imagine my surprise when I got to the epiphany part of the book and found myself 100% triggered. I couldn't understand what was happening. I was reading words that seemed familiar to me, words I might have written myself. The author didn't seem to be saying anything I didn't already know. Why was I experiencing almost unbearable pain, like metal being scraped against a raw wound, throughout my body? Every cell seemed to be pulsing with it.