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Wednesday, November 20, 2019

PTSD | Time Machine

By Trace L Hentz (blog editor)

There is no time machine to transport you back to the moment you were abandoned. You can’t erase how you felt or how it feels now. Or how it controls your life. Or how it breaks your heart into a million pieces. You don’t know how to stop feeling this way. You pray you’ll find your family, some one like you, who gets you, who looks like you. You want to put the pieces of your life back together, but you don’t know how.

These were thoughts I had – as I was processing.

Yes, there are adoptees who also feel this but never get to say it. I see it on their face. I hear their words and their silence.

No matter how much love and care we are given, the truth is – we are (and will always be) someone else’s children. We’re just not able to say it out loud, usually.

No doctor diagnosed me with birth trauma or splitting sickness. Therapists would recommend drugs which would only deaden my senses, missing the whole point. I didn’t want to feel more dead; I was already dead, or at least part of me was. I wanted to feel alive! Instead I just shut down. Power off.
My sickness was a dead zone, a black hole. It was not visible on my skin, nor did it raise its ugly head in one outburst or one tantrum.

I heard a story about another adoptee, a doctor with an Ivy League education, who was unable to meet his birthmother before she died. His wife told me he was never able to get the information he needed to find his birthfather, or know his identity.

Regardless of this man’s expensive education and medical training, the pain wounded him so badly he just couldn’t function, feel love or have a successful relationship. The pain was so deep, he couldn’t see it.

His wife told their therapist about his adoption, how he reacted, and how he seemed cold, heartless. Even marriage counseling didn’t save their marriage. Their therapist thought his adoption trauma was too much for him to handle; trying to work on it might kill what was left of him.

I’m not sure where I got my strength.

(excerpt from One Small Sacrifice, which is out of print)

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