Things an Adopted Child Learns:

I can’t make you want me

I can’t make you love me

27 years of learning breaks open in my chest

A seed was planted twenty-seven years ago

I just ripped it from my breast

It’s covered in blood and gristle,

It’s rough to the touch and has a foul stench

I need to cut out the branches, they’re woven around my ribs and heart and that little light in the center of me, I like to call my soul

Maybe I’ll set it aflame,

Cauterize the wounds even as the tree burns

As it turns to ash in my throat, cleansing my speech with it’s smoke, making space in my heart and around my lungs.

I think I’ll put it in a jar. Place it on my altar. 

A reminder, to make sure I keep the fire burning.

Turbulence 

I sit at the bar reading The Ethical Slut

Trying to pretend I’m not broken

Acting like I haven’t spent the night

Spilling my guts to the inside of a paper bag

I woke up just after the sun, with my mind reeling

Learning to identify the way regret feels on the inside of my bones

I’ve got fucked up priorities

This is clear to me, in the way glasses are when they come in from the rain

New year, new me

I wish it was a thing I believed

There are so many things I don’t believe

So many truths I’ve learned were false

Here is a truth I know:

I’ve been too focused on love, not on life

It’s funny because I’m currently mystified, my next step escapes me

I’m just wandering, bleary eyed and wild hearted

This life is moving by me, through me and I’m having a time keeping up, and with it, and present

I’ve begun to weave so many different patterns and I am unsure how they will come together

I have a strong desire to just say, fuck it.

To take something large and hard and durable and smash the shit out of everything around me

I was so optimistic yesterday

We’ll see how I feel tomorrow.

Ice

​Sunday was Christmas.  I spent  it alone, which, I told myself, I wanted. And I did. It was what I needed. I baked and I ate and I cried. I allowed myself to go deep. 

There was a moment where I imagined my now self going back in time and holding my infant self.  Loving on myself so tenderly, so purely that the love just seeped into my skin. Creating a shield,  to protect me from the things in the world which were waiting for me. Wanting, desperately,  to care for myself, raise myself so that I might become a force  to be reckoned with. 

It only happed once. And only for an instant. But I feel like I’m breaking through. 

Murder


​I cried for the first year of my life. I’m just now beginning to realize what that means. Babies mourn the loss of their mothers. They feel that separation and mourn. 

My screams were so loud, the next door neighbor would come over to make sure I wasn’t being murdered. 

That’s what she told me. That’s the story I was told, time and again, by my neighbor and by my mother who adopted me, about my first year on this earth. 

Now, I think of the pain that baby must have felt, the confusion, I must have felt. 

I wonder, if I’ll ever cry like that again. 

Sometimes,  it makes me sad that I can’t remember a lot of details from my childhood. Then I think of that first year and still feel a longing, but realize it’s no wonder my body aches. No wonder I’ve had the same knots on my shoulders and through my back for as long as I can remember.  

I think of that baby, of me, and wonder what, if anything, it would take to make me feel that way again. And I pray to whatever goddess watches over me, that it never comes.  

Home Cooking

I never wondered what

my birth mother smelled like

never pondered the

sound of her voice

or scratch in her laugh

Or if I did, I don’t remember

There are lots of things

I don’t remember

Memories my mind

keeps me safe from

They leak into my dreams

at times

Leaving me haunted

for days

I bet she smelled like home

cooking

and sweet peaches

and sunlight

I bet her laugh is

loud, when she really

lets it out.

 

Dust

the thing that tugs at me from my  last relationship is not the fact that she and I didn’t work out, because, bless her. I mean, bless her. Hell in a handbasket that one, but the emphatic way in which she professed her love for me. Then just shut it off. Which if I’m honest, I shut mine off too. I tumbled head first into love, because that is actually, not a thing I do. I am meticulous and I analyze and this time I didn’t. I didn’t think, I just lept, and I’m not sorry for it, I’m not ashamed of it. What I am sorry for is that I let her speak in absolutes. I let her tell me that she would always love me. That she would love me forever. She didn’t even love me for a month. I’m smarter than that. I’m wiser than that but I let her. And here’s the thing, the whole time the smarter, wiser part of me was raging against it, part of me believed her. Part of me thought, maybe this gorgeous, lively, drunken mess will love me all the days of her life. And here’s the part I resent, pay attention: the part I resent is that I let that possibility creep in, and it didn’t work out. And now, it has fed my complex. I have an unlovability complex, you see, and she fed it. Piled it high with sticks and brush, poured gasoline on it, dropped a match and walked away as that motherfucker burned.

My mother gave me up for adoption when I was a baby. Gave me up. What the fuck kind of a phrase is that? Then, people are obsessed with adopting things, pets, railways, freeways, elephants, things. I’m lumped together with a fucking freeway and I wonder why I feel less than. Why I feel unimportant. Then I wonder why seeing people as carbon copies of those they share DNA with makes me want to grind my bones into dust.

I was given up for adoption when I was a baby. A woman who was supposed to love me forever gave me away like a pair of jeans and a girl who said she’d love me forever didn’t even stick around to watch me turn to ash.

And it’s not about her. I don’t love her. That’s not the point. The point is that I have an unlovability complex and I am ash. I am dust. And I need that fucking shit to change. The point is I share a category with a fucking freeway.

That’s the fucking point.

Time Heals

It is said that time heals all wounds.  A trite statement, to say the least, yet as time wears on, I find more and more truth hidden within its depths.  To say that time heals, is perhaps an oversimplification, let us say instead, time allows.  Time allows for things to move, for us to learn, grow, evaluate and evolve.

Today, I did a thing which I expected to rip me open, expected to tear the flesh from my breast and expose my beating, battered, heart.  I re-read an email I had received from a woman I used to love.  Or to be more precise, a woman onto whom I had projected ideals, and having done so, fell in love with who I perceived her to be.

We had a falling out.  To be more specific, I professed my bleeding, broken, baby queer love and was slapped down, like an upstart kid.  Rightfully so.  But fuck, did it hurt.  Like salt in a wound I throbbed.  My entire being throbbed with the pain of rejection, of confusion, of denial.

I raged against the idea that I could have possibly misunderstood the aspects of our relationship.  I raged against the thought that my perceptions, the lens through which I viewed my life and the people I let into it, could possibly have been clouded by the circumstances of my past, rather than the perceived reality of the present.

Thus, a period of discovery was entered.

I wrote and wrote, poem after poem, rant after rant, pages and pages and pages and pages of text. Of hurt, of pain, of longing, of lust.  I recounted, I recanted, I remembered, I misremembered, I raged. Months and months and months passed.  Years passed.

I do this thing, which my friend thinks is crazy; she thinks it is just begging to sink me into the deep, dark, depressions which are so often my truest lovers, my dearest friends:  I re-read my journals. Often. My pages and pages and pages of text.  I rip myself open again and again to see.  To see what can be seen.

And that is what I did.  I read and re-read and skipped some sections and went back and read those sections and became so infuriated with myself.  So sad about myself, because I had been – was still so lost and deluded and sad.

I had projected so much onto this person, this woman.  She was never who I thought she was.  Nor was I ever who she thought I was.  We were merely sets of ideas and experiences and thoughts and emotions coming together and drifting apart and coming together and drifting apart until the drifting was all that was left.

She told me this thing, which has stuck with me, to this day…so many days later, she said “I am not who you think I am.”  I didn’t understand what she meant.  It took me years of writing and reading and knowing myself to understand, a bit, of what she was saying.  I didn’t see her. I couldn’t see her.  I was looking through glasses which were so thick and hazy that I couldn’t even see myself.

Until I ripped myself open.  Until I let the wound bleed.  Let it fester and sore and puss and run and dry and crack and heal.  I looked into myself.  I sat in silence and knew myself.

Parts of me were hard to know.

Parts of me screamed in pain and anger and pain and anger and rage and pain and anger and rage and hurt and betrayal. But I began to see myself.  I read and re-read my writing and I ripped myself open and I discovered something.  Something beautiful and surprising.  I saw the distance.  Saw where I began, and how hazy and clouded and dripping with pain and trauma my perception was.  I saw how I had been conditioned, opened up, made ready to be broken.  And I was broken.

But I learned about myself, and learned how to begin to love myself and learned how to love others well and true.  Or begin to.

I retraced my steps.  Listened to music I loved when I was younger, watched television shows, read books, read essays.  Delved deep down into the psyche of my past self and wandered through the corridors of my mind.  Walked and walked and walked until I arrived at that moment.  When my beating, bruised heart was broken and went further.  I walked until I met myself.

And I did the thing.  I did what I thought would break me, what I had been so averted to for so long, I re-read the e-mail she sent me.  The e-mail that deluded me.  That I clung to with some distant, tenuous thread in the farthest reaches of my subconscious.

I was not averted.

My vision was clear.  The haze which had clouded my view for so long had lifted and I thought to be angry.  Thought to rage at myself for clinging so long to someone and something that was never meant to be mine.  Then I realized that had I not, I would not have the perspective that I have today.  Would not have been ripped open and so would not have written and written and read and re-read and arrived here.  I would be elsewhere.  Still battered, and bleeding and broken.

Shattered.

Because I did, I am mending, healing.  Learning and evolving and no, time may not, perhaps can not heal all wounds, but it certainly allows. That is a lesson worth ripping myself open for again and again and again. It is a lesson I will never tire of learning.