L is for Loyalty.
This year will mark 20 years since the day I met my biological mother. This month in fact. A fact I have not thought about until right this second as I sit down to write this.
20 years. We wrote letters prior to meeting. My adoptive parents arranged our meeting. They have stayed steady and supportive, but wise and logical throughout the entire situation. I’ve heard my adoptive mom complain one time that she had to “share” me on a Christmas Day. Sometimes I forget they are also loyal… to me. That was their job.
Situation you say?
Yes. Situation. I learned this year that 70% of reunions don’t work out. The researcher in me asks the definition of “don’t work out” but we will stick in general terms for this.
At 17 something deep inside me, from the depths of my bones…something instinctual, drew me toward my Bio Mom. Something fierce and wild. Something yearning and longing. I threw myself into her hoping to reattach the umbilical cord between us. Bone of MY bone. Flesh of MY flesh. Love me. Accept me. Need me. Cherish me. Make me feel safe. I threw myself in completely… to the point of immeshing our personalities together. If I was like her than she would have to love me.
But as years passed and the excitement had been worn away by time and living and my raw open heart lay bare, reality set in.
The reality of individual trauma on our two points of the triad. The reality of stories covered up and replaced by lies in the body and in the brain. The reality of nature versus nurture. The reality that a relationship cannot be built on facial structure or character traits alone. The reality of unrealistic and unmet expectations.
Growing up I believed the gnawing at my soul would be relieved by the presence of her love.
And it might have been.
But the question on my part became is this love or is this loyalty?
And after 11 years of my heart being beaten, bruised, disappointed, neglected and rejected all over again… I walked away. I let my heart shut down. I let it slowly and mercifully lower the rickty squeeking garage door on a relationship that couldn’t function with broken parts.
And still to this day, 9 years later, I watch the years tick by. With every birthday my oldest son celebrates, it also marks the day I knew I could not continue placing myself in the line of fire. Grief pops up in the most random of places Dressed in the form of loyalty… wearing a dark cloke and holding out its hand at me hurling guilt and yearning in my face. It splatters like sticky mud threatening to seep into my being and take control. I’ve seen this over and over and over again in the foster care system. Where fractured children remain loyal no matter.
Other people shudder and wonder how they could be so blind and keep returning to the scene of the crime with a smiling face and an eager heart over and over and over and over again.
But I know.
I know the demon that haunts.
His name is loyalty and he makes me question even my most sound boundaries.
His name is loyalty and he is engrained in my bones by DNA and spiritual bonds.
His name is loyalty and he makes me live in the In-Between, not being able to fully submerge myself into connection.
His name is loyalty and he has taught me I am other.