The Girl In The Closet (Poetry)

The Girl In The Closet

Enjoying school and playing sports
Dripping with sweat on shirts and shorts.
A dollar bill would be burning a hole in my pocket
She was only a number, but she was also the girl in the closet.

Most knew her name but not her number
She made them laugh even before Tumblr
The teacher never smiled, and we never knew why
Was someone mean to her? Did they make her cry?
The evilness she shot through her eyes made them want to vomit
She was only a number the girl in the closet.

The clown she was in those days
That happiness quickly became dark, ugly hate.
That closet was to teach me lessons.
And lessons it did…I learned how to drink, take pills, cut on my arms and put on gauze dressings
Because I was only a number and the girl in the closet.

Please!!!!I cried for someone to get me out of there
But they were being told different stories and I started pulling out my hair.
How could you not see that which was in front of you?
You questioned my parents and they questioned you.
What’s happened to my child and why is her heart so hurt
But I was just a number and the little girl in the closet.

They all knew and could see my spirit breaking day after day.
The hate would develop with words she would hear between September and May.
She was being changed from the inside out
She always had a practice where her aggression could be let out.

Her pills were quite the comfort and the razors were too
Because she had certainly learned some less and she hates herself and wants to turn blue.
She can’t breathe without thinking that finally someone must listen to what I say
The mental torture that continues day after day.
Now it’s my turn to tell you how we will play.
You didn’t even remember my number only that “I was the girl in the closet.”

#thispuzzledlife

What Is The Primal Wound?

What is the Primal Wound?

“…Being separated from their birth mothers and handed over to strangers in the adoption process is the only trauma where the victims are expected by the whole of society to be grateful…”

Nancy Verrier, The Primal Wound

Even as a young child my parents can tell you that I was a very inquisitive.  I was also the child that questioned EVERYTHING.  There was no accepting because someone said to.  I had to know the “whys.”  This has often led to difficult roads and battle wounds as a result.  As an adult with a very difficult diagnosis to comprehend much less to ask someone else to understand, I still question everything.  Maybe it’s normal to question these things.  Keep in mind that I function most of the time as a “teenager with an attitude” and you know how much ego, time and energy that requires. Sometimes it’s just like having annoying bags of hell that can suck the life out of everything it touches including my body attached to me like appendages.  But sometimes the internal conversations are better than any comedy routine I’ve ever witnessed including the questions.

I question every person’s motives, practitioners, governments, my adoption, abusive behaviors and, yes, I still question my diagnosis A LOT!  Being on disability, currently, allows me time to search for answers about my puzzled life.  As you’ve read throughout my blog, my connection to adoption and why it’s so painful for me has led me to some obsessive days and nights searching online for something to explain the pain in my soul that I’ve never been able to accurately paint a picture of with words.

On an Attachment and Parenting blog, one adoptive parent is quoted as saying….

 “Scientific research now reveals that as early as the second trimester, the human fetus is capable of auditory processing and in fact, is capable of processing rejection in utero. In addition to the rejection and abandonment felt by the newborn adoptee or any age adoptee for that matter, it must be recognized that the far greater trauma often times occurs in the way in which the mind and body system of the newborn is incapable of processing the loss of the biological figure. Far beyond any cognitive awareness, this experience is stored deep within the cells of the body, routinely leading to states of anxiety and depression for the adopted child later in life.”

adopted-trauma

I now have a simple explanation for the type of feelings that can destroy me to deal with.  The rejection and separation process can still be felt deeper than any other sensation I’ve personally felt.  These words gave me an instant reaction and all internal members on guard and children/teens to safety.   I realize that the intensity felt by other adoptees is on a continuum of variance.  The intensity I feel today is the same intensity I felt as a infant, child and teen.  And as an adult, it can still be very crippling as the loss is for both me and my birth mom is extremely powerful.

In Nancy Verrier’s book The Primal Wound:  Understanding the Adopted Child, 1993, she describes the Primal Wound Theory by saying, ” that develops when a mother and child are separated by adoption shortly after childbirth. It describes the mother and child as having a vital connected relationship which is physical, psychological and physiological, and examines the effects of disrupting such bonds.”  I still haven’t been able to read that book because of how much the topic really disturbs me.  The Nature vs. Nurture debate is another avenue in continuous research.  I see myself both sides of the debate which as people we are a constantly evolving through that very mixture.

primal wound.jpg

 As an adopted child, I needed and wanted to find parts of my identity.  I was always the kid that looked nothing like my parents but I did have some behavioral traits.  I was raised around some comedy goodness with both my daddy and Nannie.  Their individual humor is enough to sit and tell stories for several hours.  My environmental and social interactions helped to shape beliefs both about myself and other people.  There’s a much longer discussion for that debate.  Genetically, my skin color, facial characteristics, bone structure, eye color, etc. is the Nature side of the debate. The debate often centers around the effect genetics have on human personalities as opposed to the influences that environment and development might have.  So you can see that this will probably on for infiniti + infiniti.

As a developing child, not being able to look in the stands at my ballgames or in a crowd at the mall and not see anyone that I looked like was torture.  I love my adoptive parents no less.  Unless you’re an adopted child with this strong need to just know “why” you can’t understand the obsession.  At major life events birthdays, weddings, graduations, birth of a child, etc. while I tried to enjoy everything in the moment, I couldn’t help but to feel the loss for people who I originally belonged to.  This has also been a big source of guilt and shame from just wanting to know.

My parents were always very supportive in my efforts to find my answers and truth about this situation.  My birth mom, father, full brother, aunts, uncles, paternal grandmother, half brothers, half sisters, step-mom and some cousins eventually met but not on the same turf.  As an adopted child, I had to accept prior to going to meet them all that I would be rejected again.  This time the rejection would be felt as an adult.  I needed that one-on-one time with my mom to ask her the “whys” that continue to haunt me after my answers were received.  But, first, the willingness to feel that incredible lifelong wound gaped open even further if the universe saw fit and it did.  Not the Lifetime ending I was looking for.

What I have done to deal with this wound in the past was to shove anything I could into that big, dark hole in my soul.  I poured alcohol, pills, razors, purging, restricting, perfectionism in certain areas, people pleasing, etc. into this insatiable appetite for something only she could fill.  I guess we can just call this particular therapy topic a work in progress.  And maybe, in time, with COACH by my side, I’ll attain some resolve and peace.  The whole purpose for moving to Texas was to get some healing.  And that’s exactly what I’m doing.

#thispuzzledlife

My Life With Ed

My Life With ED

“We turn skeletons into goddesses and look to them as if they might teach us how not to need.”
― Marya Hornbacher, Wasted: A Memoir of Anorexia and Bulimia

The topic of eating disorders is one that can cripple me to my knees.  The thought of having to discuss the topic with someone is like knocking the wind out of me.  If just the thought of this bothers me this bad then I would caution anyone with an active eating disorder or early recovery from one about very triggering information about my disordered past and present.  This post will probably be done over a couple of days due to how much it will stir internally.

If you’ve been reading my blog from the beginning, you know that the age of 13 was a very difficult year and was emotionally abusive by a teacher.  This was the year that several behaviors started for me such as:  cutting, eating disorder, drug addiction and very early alcohol abuse.  At the time, I didn’t understand that the behavior was called an eating disorder.  I just knew that I was about to start playing high school sports the following fall and I had to be faster and stronger.

The time I remember the first “dieting” type behavior was soon after the eighth grade ended.  I went on a crash diet and within about two weeks lost 20 lbs.  I had, in that short time, taught myself to dislike certain foods.  I had been using the drug Mini-Thins which was marketed as a bronchodilator at many truck stops that had both ephedrine and caffeine in its makeup.  This was well before ephedrine was taken off the market because of so many sports related deaths.  I clearly remember there being 100 tabs for $7.99.  Any allowance money went straight to those little pills.  Now you’re wondering exactly what purpose they served for me, eh?  This drug while containing a precursor for methamphetamine, completely knocked out my appetite while decreasing all water weight and supplying me the energy to play two sports without eating.

apple with tape measure

I was completely wrapped up in a big ole ball of addiction already and had no idea.  I’ve always said that addiction was the best friend that cut my throat.  It served its alleged purpose while wrapping me up in a killing machine of codependency of both behaviors and substances.  All it took for my eating disorder to continue was one compliment or another pound lost.  I soon found myself becoming a quicker ballplayer with greater stamina and explosive power.  Unfortunately, this never worked well with the aggressiveness that also developed this year.

When I went to high school, and thank goodness they weren’t drug testing athletes at that time, I was a full blown addict already out of control within only about 3 months.  My eating disorder had now progressed to weighing 12-15 times a day.  I slept in teachers rooms during lunch so I wouldn’t have to be around food.  I was now both anorexic and bulimic.  My bulimia purging was through laxative use.  I was getting drunk to the point of passing out and/or vomiting anytime I went to a “party.”  The mind bending part was that I was really climbing in my athletic play. I was a starting freshman on both the softball and basketball teams. I thought and felt like I was on top of the world.  I seemingly ‘had my cake and got to eat it too.’

The next couple of years I continued to lose weight but my playing slowly started on a downward spiral.  By my senior year, I was a sickly 83 lbs on a 5’7″ frame.  I had resorted to stealing diet pills and would frequently have mini seizures or some type of severe jerking movements and saw spots in the mornings.  I was constantly weighing myself.  I was constantly tired and cold. I would eat one small salad a week and would cry if I had to eat in public.  The questions had started long before about “why aren’t you eating?” “Are you losing weight?”  Most of the time I would just tell people that I wasn’t hungry. I had already eaten or my stomach hurt.  I would explain the weight loss off as just training harder and having a higher metabolism as a teenager.  My dreams of playing college basketball and/or softball were disappearing and I didn’t even care.  I was also now taking 25 pills a day just to maintain my habit.

fork with tape measure

People began to tell me how sickly I looked.  My eyes were dark and sunken. My face was sunken and my ribs and backbone were unhealthily showing.  My digestive system was completely messed up. Mentally I didn’t know whether to ‘scratch my watch or wind my butt.’  And my body had begun to feed on itself.  As a result, I was unable to be in top notch shape as an athlete because I always had pulled muscles in my back.  I had just watched myself as a beloved player of the game of basketball go from being able to play hard and fast the entire game to having to come out of the game shortly after tip off because of lack of energy or injuries.

When I moved from my teen years into my years of domestic abuse, I was required to weigh for my husband and to stay in a certain weight range.  I had finally started to recover minimally, I thought, pull out of my life of an eating disorder.  However, it seemed that I was being forced back into those behaviors again.  I was soon being told what I could and could not eat.  How and what I ate were criticized constantly.  I was made to take pictures of myself in bathing suits or naked and put them on the refrigerator as a reminder what I looked like when I got hungry.  And when I went to work and food establishments were nearby, I was dared to eat when it wasn’t the food I was allotted.  Sometimes I would look up from where I worked and my husband would be out in the parking lot watching me from his vehicle.  I became terrified to eat again and I was starving.  Most of the time, I would wait for him to go to bed and I would sneak food hoping to God he didn’t hear me.  Still, he would inevitably start pinching at my body and making comments about how I looked and dressed.  He would tell me, “You want to see something disgusting?  Just look in the mirror.”

Skip ahead to today and I still have a lot of hang ups around food, eating and body image.  This is probably one of the topics that haunt me the most.  I still cannot eat in public without wearing sunshades, headphones and trying to hide behind menus.  We have fears of being recognized and being talk about concerning whatever we might order or how we eat.  I’m scared to death about trying new foods.  I’m scared to make food selections.  I’m very uncomfortable with eating around people especially those that I know.  I prefer to eat privately.  These days it’s not about getting the high from the endorphins.  Now it’s strictly about fear of judgment.   Yes, I still have an eating disorder.  No, I’m not an anorexic weight.  Let me get stressed out and the first thing I do is start restricting.  There I said it.  I have a really long way to go on this recovery.   And with DID, as you may or may not can imagine, things can be extremely stressful for extended periods of time.

As my dear Sarah would tell me if I asked her advice on this one, she would say, “Dana, start at step #1.  This is a marathon not a sprint.”  Again, I can smile.

#Thispuzzledlife