It does not come naturally for me to show vulnerability. Most adoptees, I suspect, cherish their strength. Even as a child, I eschewed the more feminine traits that were supposed to be more attractive - humility, vulnerability, invisibility. I wanted to be seen as strong, independent, tough. Living in Jersey could have been part of that too. Jersey girl ... you know.
As a society we value strength immensely. We praise someone for being strong, overcoming obstacles, pushing through. For me, strength was the default. It was a defense, a barrier. It disguised my true feelings of loss, inferiority, hopelessness.
After the honeymoon phase of reunion with Kate, I'd pulled away. I didn't know why. Part of me wanted to go back to not knowing, just be able to be who I was before the pandora's box of reunion was opened. Maybe I could sense that the negative feelings that were just starting to bubble up would roll over into a boil in I kept her in my life.
I think that's the point where many reunions falter. The adoptee senses that their foundation is cracking and if they keep allowing it to be pushed and prodded it will fall. I tried to pull away, Kate didn't let me. She kept at me, asking what was wrong. I tried to just ignore her. She wouldn't go away. She asked if I would go with her to therapy, and I conceded. It was that moment of weakness, of giving in, that changed everything.
For me, allowing myself to be weak took so much more strength than simply being strong. I had to feel all the things that came up - loss, inferiority, hopelessness. And anger, so much anger. We got through it, and somehow made it out on the other side.
So, now when things come up in my life and I feel strong, that things are matter-of-fact, that I need to accept things as they are, it's usually a sign I need to take a step back and work on being weak.
Thoughts? Reflections? Opinions?