Recently, I have developed an obsession for the television series, Outlander. Based on a series of books I read almost 20 years ago, it tells the story of Claire Randall and her experiences of traveling back to the 1700’s in the Highlands of Scotland. I will not precis the books here – that will take too much time, however, what recently caught my attention was the way in which Jamie, Claire’s 18th century husband, speaks about his experience of being broken through an incredibly traumatic event (which the series shows vividly and is traumatic to watch!).
Whilst I found it difficult and barely watched the trauma in its entirety – opting to use the skip forward function as much as possible – I have appreciated the fact the show has not glossed over this event and Jamie has not simply recovered in an unrealistic manner. The last episode reveals a vulnerability and honesty that took my breath away and resulted in shivers up my spine. Jamie opens up about the impact of being broken – how what was done to him exposed him to the core and blew his “fortress” apart. My breath literally caught as he spoke.
I have written about being broken before. However, what I am coming to understand thanks to the ongoing nature of adoption, is that the breaking isn’t a one time event. It occurs repeatedly – in ways and at times you least expect it and however much you have told yourself you are doing better and have become stronger, the blows that rain down reveal how very broken you really are and how further broken you are yet to become. So many times I have said “I am done!” only for another blow to take me down even lower. Even the broken pieces of our souls can be destroyed further.
18 years into a life sentence. I had hoped my jail would be ended after 18 but low and behold, my jailer is now the very person who was taken from me. Like her adopters, I am now having to play her game – play her rules. I understand entirely she never asked for any of this to happen – I appreciate that. But neither did I. Neither did my other children who have also suffered. I am so tired of always having to balance everyone else’s experiences. I am sick of having my voice stifled, time and time again. This blog is my one and only place I can go where I can share what is left of my broken heart and soul. Being a mother of loss is a lonely journey and I find myself at my loneliest. So many people around me but no one I can talk to. No one who wants to hear because they feel they have heard it all before – because this is a wound that never stops bleeding.
And so I become yet another statistic of failed reunions – before it even began. How can someone be angry with a mother they have never even given a chance? I believe the reason so many reunions fail is because our children have grown up with people who are so different to us – who only know how to take and never have empathy – that when it comes to finding us broken, they are angry with us for being broken. Afterall, this is meant to be all about them. We don’t matter, we are just trash as we have been told over and over and over again. As her adoptress said to me at the end of a visit one day, I was meant to be raped, just so she could have a child. With people like this “caring” for our children, mothers of loss have no chance. The lies have become so entrenched – they were started so long ago.
I no longer hold hope. Hope is a word used to torment those who long for peace. For so many years, people told me to hold on until she knew the truth but the truth means nothing to her because it conflicts with what she has been told. I am nothing to her – as so many adopters have pointed out – we just give birth, we are merely vessels who can be discarded. Our pain is nothing to our children. Nothing. They have their adopters and their lies – what do they need us for? Me, I prefer the truth – however cold it might be, but at least I can know it is real.
The one thing I can hold onto is that I have always been authentic. Vulnerable. True. My conscience is clear – I have never had to steal a child and then play pretend for 18 years, filling that child’s head with rubbish.
But, my fortress has been exploded. There is nothing left of the rubble to even attempt a rebuild – or a shed. It has all turned to dust. Like my heart. And my soul.