"I HAVE my family!!!"
"Yes, yes, I know..." I quietly thought, mind reeling, feeling very much defeated in this imaginary, unnecessary impromptu battle that had long been brewing before I even knew it, before I was reluctantly dragged into the arena. There was nothing left for me to respond with...no room to explain, no room for understanding or compassion, no room to show you I cared, that you had it all wrong, that silence is sometimes necessary, like oxygen. I had tried to explain before to no avail. Those four words (said over & over to me as if saying it so many times made the obtuse and irrelevant point you were attempting to make stronger..it was just a dagger), it cut me to my very core...my knees slipped out from under me. There was no going back and there was no going forward. This one-sided conversation was over...we were done. There was no way to repair the damage of those dagger-shaped words.
This came from someone I thought had my back, who understood my side, had empathy, who was supposedly my "relative". Right then and there, the agruments for nature vs. nurture came rushing forward and slapped me in the face. I would never say those words to someone who was clearly struggling with the very issues within those four little words. I would never say those words because I know how to walk in other people's shoes because, you see, I've been doing it most of my life. If you had stopped for a moment in your fit of anger, you would have seen through your hurt, but you couldn't be bothered to sit quietly and think, couldn't for a second think about what it's like to be adopted...to be given away, to have your identity changed, to know nothing of your Chapter one, to never be able to hear the sweet story and ask over and over again "Tell me about the day I was born", to never have many baby pictures, to not know who watched over you or even touched your skin in the incubator, to not know where you spent the first several months of your life in foster care, to be told that information is private and not for you, even though it was your story...to begin to live a ghost life of shadows.
Those four words were said to me in anger, when I know all too well, it should have come from a place of hurt and concern. But no, that would be admitting that I wasn't the only one dealing with all of this, that I wasn't the only one trying desperately to work through my stuff and not hand you my baggage to carry as well as your own. That would make you vulnerable, just like me. So, if it makes you feel better, then by all means think I am a horrible person who's callous and uncaring. I think we both know underneath it all that is so far from the truth of me. I now understand I have to be this evil creature for you to demonize, otherwise, I would just be a mere mortal and you would have to deal with your own stuff and not be able to wrap it up in a bow for me to carry for you. I know better and you're false opinion of me is just a drop in the well of the many unfortunate lessons to be learned along the journey. When I say I know better, it's not that I am better or wiser than you, but that I'm able to see through facades, your facade of being a bully and trying to control what is not yours to control...or even mine to control for that matter.
So you see, it's not just on me...it's on all of us, it's on the screwed up closed adoption system of secrets and lies, it's on nature, it's on nurture...we are all to blame for why this is so effn difficult and wrought with such heavy emotional strain. All we can do is be gentle towards one another, none of us know what the hell we are doing or how to navigate. Communication is the only way through and that is the one thing you couldn't afford to give me. Communication only works when everyone listens...all sides have to listen. There's no map, no compass and I don't know any better than you. So when you said those words, it became clear to me what I needed to do. I could no longer apologize for being screwed up me. I could no longer fight to be heard or understood, you made it clear it was pointless. I could never explain how abandoning me with your harsh words would be triggering and disastrous to my heart.
All I could do at that moment was to stand up, pull my boots up by the straps, start walking towards the sun and begin to finally find myself....with or without you.
These Boots were made for walking.