Thursday, October 29, 2009

Ying And Yang

The more we think we know, the more we have yet to learn.

You know, sometimes these phrases irritate me for no other reason than they are right and make complete sense.

Yep, the more I thought I knew, the more I had yet to learn. Which, in return, means, even now, knowing more, I have no choice but to prepare for even more that I still have to learn about myself, my adoption journey, and my life in general.

And to think, there was a time in my life when I thought my education ended after college.

In honesty, I’ve been ready to pick back up on my blogging for awhile now but decided there was no reason to rush. It is my blog after all, so I knew it would be here when I got back to it.

And coming back now, is coming back with an understanding . . . a.k.a . . . learning . . . of something I have struggled with, without fully ever recognizing, for a large part of my life.

And, ironically, since I talked about an old friend I met in my last post, it was another old friend that, without even knowing it, helped to push me that final step into realizing that since the time I first gave up my son all those years ago, I have, in so many ways, lived two different lives.

One life that involved adoption.

And another that avoided it as much as possible.

For many, MANY years, during the height of my denial, I never allowed my life with adoption to ever come to light. I kept that part of me firmly tucked away. Refusing to see, feel, or admit how much it affected me, my family, my fears and insecurities.

There was no shifting from one to the other during that time. I kept busy with my family, my work, my friends. Never admitting to myself, or anyone else, that there was more to me and who I was than what I was showing on the outside.

I was class mom, soccer mom, PTA president, published author, caring and loving wife (my blog, my story – if husband disagrees, he can get his own blog), drinking buddy, shopping friend and hostess of candle, cookware, jewelry and even lingerie parties.

I was also insecure, depressed and grasping desperately for some meaning of who and what I was.

And then the denial started to slip away and my other reality threatened to return.

I fought it though for as long as I could, but ultimately, everything crashed around me and I had no choice but to accept, recognize and live my other life.

That is when support groups, therapy sessions, adoption forums, and this blog came into existence for me. It was then that I began to research and learn everything I could about adoption. It was then I allowed the pain and grief to finally come through and freed myself from their chilling grip.

It’s also when I began to shift between my two lives instead of bringing them together as one.

You can see the pattern in my blog, if you look. The months of being active, writing, sharing my experiences, my thoughts, my anger and my grief, followed by months of silence. Of my slipping away. Ultimately, letting go of that life to live my other one.

Makes me sound crazy, I know. But I have already come to terms with the fact that sanity isn’t exactly my specialty anyhow, so I can handle it.

And I can also handle the fact that it’s okay, and actually healthy, to merge my two lives. To enjoy, dread, love and hate them as one.

I can be the good wife (yep, had to bring that one up again) right along with being the author of this blog. I can host parties and answer questions in the adoption forums. And I can enjoy, laugh and be happy for everything I have while never forgetting or denying again the pain adoption has brought me.

One person. One life. Created by many different experiences.

And though I won’t mention her name, I hope, at some point, that old friend of mine will read this, recognize herself, and know how very thankful I am to her, even though she never knew how much she helped.

But it was amazing help. It was a sense of freedom, for lack of a better word, to have someone who I could share both of my lives with and face nothing but a continuing - and refound – friendship with. With her, there was laughter and reminiscing over old pictures and signed yearbooks. Catching up on family, careers, likes and dislikes. And even hosting a party in which I now find myself quickly building a great collection of jewelry.

And yet there has also been a sharing of the grief adoption has caused myself, my son, and the rest of my family. Of the way it has shaped and affected our lives. And it hasn’t come with just a simple nod of the head from the other side, a gesture of listening without caring. Instead, it has been exactly what you would expect between two old friends . . . conversation with questions and answers. An attempt at understanding from both sides, not just one or the other.

And most important of all, a continuing connection, instead of my long-feared chasing someone away, through phone calls and texts, getting together for a glass . . . or two . . . or three . . . of wine. Meeting for a few hours for a “girls’ night out.” A friendship, in every way.

And in that friendship and the support and love of so many I have met through this journey, including many of you who may be reading this now, I know I have the strength to accept all parts of me into one full life. I might cry, might laugh. I might have up days and down days. But I will have it all together without having to separate myself, my wants, desires, likes and loves depending on which life I happen to be living at the moment.


  1. Cassi - I am so glad you are back. I've missed you and your writings.

    But I understand what you are saying here about living the two lives. As an adoptee, I tend to do the same at times.

    Sometimes I live in the reality of my adoption and sometimes I just live without having to face any of it.

    And they say what a great life this is, being blessed by adoption.

    If only they knew the truth.

  2. I too have had the experience of trying so hard to merge these "two lives" together. Thanks so much for this beautiful post.
    It is a lonely merging because so few can relate and understand, so we have to do it in virtual silence so much of the time. I'm glad you are writing and that I can read this!