Sometimes I wonder, really, what should I be saying? I’ve explored my feelings here and my process and some of my dreams. Even though I’ve been able to be more free here than in a lot of my ‘real life’, I still find myself covering and hiding. I excuse myself in the name of protecting the innocent. That’s a diversion, because I don’t need to expose anyone else in order to tell the truth.
I have praised Joy for her tenacity while I was still reinforcing my defenses.
I just did not want to be exposed because I did not want to face the trauma. I didn’t want my little ones to know what had happened to my eldest, or to me. They were raised on the disneyfied versions of fairytales. I remember the Disneyland Snow White ride when I was seven. It was terrifying and I had to close my eyes midway through and wait till it was over. I didn’t want, didn’t want, didn’t want to face what Joy had to tell me when we met.
So as much as I clung to her, feeling like I was clinging to life itself in some ways, I held her off. I was waiting for things to get better. I was waiting for her to forgive me, to absolve me. For everything to be ok, the way it was supposed to be.
I’ve mentioned that I lay on the bed and shook through our first phone conversation. I have no idea how long we talked. I don’t know if it was before or after dinner or if there was dinner that night. I don’t know what Ezzy and Buster thought was going on that evening.
The thing is, the shaking wasn’t just that first conversation. I shook everytime we talked on the phone for years. All through the time I lived in Kansas. It continued when I moved back to CA. It was just me and spouse and Ezzy then. But I remember them looking at me as though they were just checking on me, watching, wondering what was going on. It was easily at least 11 years of shaking whenever we talked on the phone.
Then there was a period where I started to get mad, trying to get some kind of conscious control, to make things change. I started hanging up sometimes. I started trying to do something different because what I’d been doing wasn’t working out too well.
I was so tired of feeling like I was being dragged down into a whirlpool of guilt and blame. As long as I was not willing to face it, it just kept dragging on me. I was fighting to maintain my sense of worth, to be worthy of my raised children– fighting based on the reasoning of adoption, that Joy had been adopted because I wasn’t good enough for her. It was my fault.
Joy was relentless. She is a warrior. She kept rising up despite all the crap she went through. She kept asking me to participate with her, to go deeper, to be real.
We had some great moments between the battles. I remember her telling me something like she didn’t understand why I made her laugh. I was always going off on a side tangent to find something funny. I do like that about myself. She often called me to discuss serious issues and I tend to disrespect ‘serious’.
Lately I feel like I’m getting up again and getting maybe a little bit higher this time, a little bit straighter, a little more honest, a little more willing to tell the truth, to stand in the hurricane because it’s just wind. And I’m more than that.