My healing experience after reunion…

Published article from Adoption EMagazine.

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3 thoughts on “My healing experience after reunion…

  1. My Healing Experience After Reunion

    Needing some time and space away from my home and family, I escape to an amazing facility,Kripalu Center for Yoga & Health in theBerkshire Mountains of Massachusetts. A picturesque location. Quiet and tranquil, truly a place for reflection and healing.

    Although my “secret” is out and the stress of “not knowing” is gone, a newer, more powerful issue has emerged. A level of anger and resentment has risen within me that I don’t know how to handle. I feel cheated and betrayed. My needs and instincts as a woman were completely dismissed merely because I was 17. I must finally come to terms with all I have been through. Meet my demons head on.

    It’s Labor Day, 2000. Today is the day Jackie was diagnosed, back in 1989. Today is better than yesterday. The anxiety and anticipation the day before a dreaded anniversary date is always worse for me. The two and one half hour ride to Kripalu is difficult. It rains so hard I can barely see the road and have to pull over. Confusing directions get me lost. I arrive just after3 o’clock. I’m nervous and don’t know where to go. Just ask!

    My room is small with a single bed, a bureau and a nice size, private bathroom. There’s a large window that opens up to the majestic mountains. I like this room.

    First healing arts session – Craniosacral Therapy – This treatment relaxes every fiber of my being. I can feel my body’s energy moving within me. I’m told I need to drink more water.

    Meals are vegetarian. I’ll have difficulty with that. Looks like soup, salad, bread and apple juice for me. …Restless night sleep…

    Rising early, I join the “Sharing Circle” and tell a little about my story of being a birthmother and how Jackie’s death prolonged my 21 year planned search. As always, it’s painful.

    Next is a meditation workshop. I learn the 7 Chakras of the body and cry through #5 – thyroid, ears, mouth & neck. I have never felt so open and vulnerable, feeling pain that must be very deep. I’m wailing “oooooomg”, over and over, while sitting cross-legged and moving my head in semi-circles, tears streaming down my face, into my mouth, down my neck, onto my shirt. There is such untapped grief coming out of me. I sob, so do others. Everyone has unresolved grief over a variety of issues – career, relationships, illness.

    The teacher approaches and whispers, “Breathe, don’t forget to breathe … that’s good, that’s very good,” she says, while smiling and nodding her head. “Get it all out … release the pain.” At the end of the session, I’m exhausted. Thankfully, I feel less uptight than when I entered this room. A whirlpool should help me to stay relaxed. I change into my bathing suit, don my robe and head downstairs to the spa. I’m the only one there and welcome the quiet. Soon, one girl appears, then another and another – all naked. I feel conspicuously clothed. Tomorrow will be a new challenge – nudity.

    The following morning, after sleeping like a baby, I again join the “Sharing Circle”. Today we delve into our stories more deeply. We’re more comfortable with each other after having spent last evening together. I like these people. I think they like me. We move on to our next class, which is “Dancekinetics” – what a blast. Tribal dancing with no shoes and no rules. Just set yourself free. It’s wild! It makes the thought of “whirlpooling it” naked, plausible.

    Next – Conscious Core Transformation – I’m told to lie on the cushioned table and given a pillow for my head. The sun is streaming through the windows, as she speaks softly to me while running her hands along my arms, legs and mid-section.

    “Your touch is calming,” I tell her. She places a folded tissue on each eye before she lays the weighted eye mask upon my face. Still speaking softly she asks, “Are you comfortable?” She then wants to know what I see.

    I tell her I don’t understand. “Your eyes are closed. What do you see?” she asks again.

    “Darkness,” is my reply. “Okay,” she accepts. “Just tell me what comes into your mind.” My mind is void of thought. It must be my nerves. I must relax and remember why I’m here. “I’m ashamed and angry that I gave my baby away without a fight. I’m hurt because no one believed I could raise her without a husband. I’m also frightened that now I have found her, I’ll lose her again.”

    “Good,” she remarks, then asks the following questions. “What do you believe about yourself?” “What is the benefit of these things you believe to be true about yourself?” “Do you judge yourself?” “How does that make you feel?” “How do those feelings make you act and react?” “What things block you from happiness?”

    For the remainder of the session, I need no further prompting. I go on and on about all that is troubling me. The tissues beneath the eye mask are in no way enough to keep my face and ears dry from my flood of tears. She repeats everything I say. I can hear her writing frantically, capturing my words on paper. As I speak, the darkness fades as brightness builds behind my closed eyelids. The pain in my neck and shoulders is all but gone. I stop talking. Finally, there is nothing more to say. I sit up, face this woman, a stranger, and she proceeds to tell me about myself. I no longer seem to be a stranger to her. She knows who and what I am and gives me a list of daily affirmations. The first being, I accept myself. Next, I will smile like the day I reunited with Joanne; I will verbalize what I feel; I will stand up for myself and what I believe in; I know how to be angry and where to put that anger; I am fine just the way I am; I will allow myself temper tantrums; I will let go of saying okay when it isn’t okay. And, finally, I trust myself. Wow! Can I do this? It’s a lot to expect of myself. But, I must try and take my litany of affirmations and return to my room. I like coming and going as I please. I enjoy being here alone and appreciate the solitude. I need a nap.

    Last day at Kripalu. Facilitation – This time, sitting and gazing out at the Berkshires with the window wide open, I begin to speak about what I discovered during yesterday’s session. The facilitator sits before me and has some excellent questions and comments, and soon I’m expressing my fears about betrayal and loss. At one point, she moves behind me and places her hands on my shoulders, all the while continuing to validate my feelings. She rubs my neck and shoulders, tells me to relax, breathe and concentrate, while looking out at the mountains and sky. She goes through the 7 Chakras to help my relaxation. Once again, I don’t need to think, my thoughts and words just flow. When we get to the fifth Chakra, I begin to tremble and cry. My throat nearly closes. She has me chant “oooooong”. It works and I catch my breath.

    “This is due to your 30 year secret,” she says. “It has been held in your heart and chest for so many years that you have trouble getting it passed your throat. Let it out. Let go of the secrets, the lies and the pain. Just let it go,” she encourages me.

    I cry as I did when I lost Joanne, and when Jackie died. Deep, painful, soul wrenching cries. She holds me from behind as my entire body goes limp from the pain of it all. Her validation is most important. She understands what I feel, what I need, and tells me the steps I need to take to attain my emotional goals.

    Driving home, James Taylor is singing about Sweet Baby James and the Berkshires. I smile, listen and sing along. When James finishes his tune, I turn the radio off. I’ve become accustomed to the quiet. I’ve learned to be alone and I really do enjoy my own company. I embrace my experience and what I have learned at Kripalu…to stand my ground on the things I am angry about but, most importantly, to let them go. All that’s important is that I recognize and accept my emotions. I, alone, am responsible for my happiness.

  2. Christine Murphy on June 6, 2012 at 11:47 pm said:

    Written and shared in such a way my chest tightened and relaxed right along with you. I did an unlimited month long yoga program in January. I went 23 times in 30 days. I did not realize when I started the class, but the last class would be Feb 13th, the 3 year anniversary of my adoptive mother’s sudden death. It was also the day after I would meet a paternal sibling whom I recently connected with. There seemed to be a convergence of my worlds, natural family, adoptive family and myself.

    • Chris, I’m happy my words were able to touch you in such a way. It was quite an experience…one that I will never forget. Its so good to hear your worlds are coming together. You deserve that ❤

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