I think the thing I hate most about adoption and the years of unacknowledged trauma is that, as an adult, unpacking it all means that I can’t always untangle all the feelings.

I’ve been dealing with this my whole life, but I’ve been fully aware of the tangled mess in my head for, say, the past 5 years or so. This helps. Years of therapy help. But what it “helps” is that now I know the tangled mess is there. Does that make sense?

This weekend, I’m dealing with sadness. Something I had hoped to be true isn’t. Someone I thought would fill a specific hole in my life — and I do mean a very specific hole, as in “person I can go do X thing with” — is not that person. I still don’t have a person to go do X thing. So I did X thing on my own this weekend. And I’m sad.

Some things are better with other people. I’d love to be a person who loves to travel on her own, who loves to go and do all things on my own. I don’t. There’s a large number of things I enjoy doing alone, but there are also things that I just don’t do very often because I don’t like doing them alone. I still try it occasionally, just to see if I’ve gotten over that hurdle. I haven’t.

But that sadness is a minor thing, or it should be. Except all of the sadness I’ve ever denied myself feeling comes up when I am sad. I am sad to miss out on the next time X comes up, because I won’t go alone again. I am sad that this person isn’t filling that hole — even though it doesn’t hurt that relationship, other than a temporary sadness. But I am sad about last week’s stupid social media event “siblings day.” I am sad that I have two half siblings that I don’t know, and one adopted sibling I rarely talk to.

I am sad that I missed out on years of knowing my (first) mother and her family. I am sad that I don’t know how to build a better relationship with my cousins. Sad that no matter how welcoming and open and awesome they have been, I still feel this barrier of decades between us. I am sad that I called my (adoptive) mother today and had nothing to talk about, as that’s a strained relationship.

I am sad that I feel like I’m in a pit surrounded by a tower that keeps everyone and everything out when I am sad. I want to be alone, I hate being alone, and I don’t know how to not be alone.

I also know that I’ve been here before, that the pit recedes, the walls sink down, and the sun comes out. Knowing that helps, but it still sucks to be here. Adoption makes a simple sadness very complicated.


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