Friday, June 6, 2014

The Healing Words - Part 1

After enduring many trials and obstacles as a young woman, I became quite knowledgeable in many facets of heartache.   I quickly found my outlet and surprising talent for writing during these dark times.  I wrote down whatever words came to me, whether I was just being a hormonal teenager needing validation or when a crush did not return my feelings.  Words became everything to me; they were my happiness, my pain, my let-downs, and my dreams.  I transferred emotions from my heart into these words.  It lessened the pain and increased my joy.  I cried a lot during these writing sessions while trying to figure out the purpose of my pain. 

I came across a saying that, “All art is rooted in heartache.”   If this is true, then my life must be a work of art. (I hope that it doesn’t get appreciated after death.)  I thought I had experienced a lot of pain in my life, but I was proved wrong, once again.   

At the age of 29 I was in a bad situation and seven months pregnant when I decided to become a birth mother.  (You know that decision, the one that you consciously made because it was right for you and your situation.)  However, during this particular struggle I could not find any words that could even come close to describe my pain or help me understand any of it.   My mind was so stressed out that I just couldn’t see a smooth horizon in any direction.  It was all I could do to finish this pregnancy, work a full-time job, raise a 2 year-old, and live with my parents because of my estranged husband.

Through the encouragement of my caseworker through the adoption agency, I wrote a letter to remind myself of why I had made the decision to place my son for adoption.   Writing to me as myself was hard, but I wrote it as I would write to someone I truly loved.  And since I was continuously feeling pain I wasn't consciously coming from an unconditional love.  I had to dig deep and really find a peace within my soul, the part where my core was unmovable and unshakable.  I prayed that once I found this place, I would be able to find my way back.  

My footsteps to that place were the words being written and the more I wrote, the more I understood.  Soon, I found my solace, my haven.  But what I really found was more strength and more faith in myself, the very things I didn’t think I had any more of.  After some minor tweaking and four pages later, my letter was complete.   I took this letter to the hospital with me so that when I was holding my newborn and looking into his eyes, I could read it and remember every single reason why I had chosen adoption for us. 

Most case workers also encourage a letter from the birth parent to the child, and for me this was no different.  However, this letter wasn’t written until after Karson was born.   Both of these letters were just the beginning to my grief and healing processes.   I can’t tell you how many times I’ve read them.  But I can tell you that if I didn’t find that peace through these words I could have lost the war to the pain.

Even after a year I still had not put my whole story in writing.  Perfection was expected, but procrastination won every day, until an awesome fellow-birth mom asked me to share my story on her adoption blog, My Angels from God.    It took about a week before I was complete with the first draft and it felt gratifying, like I had just finished a marathon.  The story was out of my soul and the weight of my loss seemed lighter.   The pain and grief had not vanished, but it was easier to step forward into a new chapter of my life. 

Stay tuned for part two next Friday!

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