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Sunday, 12 September 2010

Blown Wide Open

"The defects and faults of the mind are like wounds in the body. After all imaginable care has been taken to heal them up, still there will be a scar left behind."
- Francois de la Rochefoucauld

I wrote a post last year, What Happened In Italy, in which I described a process of pain experienced so deeply that I lost a great deal of my confidence and my sense of security in pretty much everything. I felt like I changed overnight. This post describes how finding out we would never have a child affected me then.

I've grown past this and even though I have been blessed with so much goodness and joy, the memory of the pain hasn't entirely gone away. If it makes sense, it isn't not being able to have biological children that I mourn now because I have truly moved past that sorrow, rather it's the memory of the feelings, the hopelessness, the huge betrayal I felt, the memory of the overwhelming anger that hurts me. That I felt the way I did. That I said the words I did. That the anger filled me with a cold, cold fury I didn't know I was capable of. I have scars inside that I now barely think of but they pulse with distant pain sometimes when something sparks a memory of that period in my life.

I'm reading a beautiful book about a woman who finds out she can't have children and so adopts from India. I read it and I relate because it takes me back to when my own pain was strong in me. My heart beats out my understanding. I almost hold my breath thinking "How can anyone know this? How can they know what it felt like?" I understand what it's like to grieve in this way, to be set off at the most unexpected thing, (in the book the woman is tying her shoes before a run for example), so that the pain rushes up and takes over before it can be stopped. I've been there.

For me, it was a mild stomach ache. I sat at the table and said completely calmly "it hurts" and the next thing I knew I was screaming and pounding the table and sobbing "it hurts, it hurts, it hurts, it hurts..." in a frenzy of incomprehension. Why God? Why, why, why are you letting me hurt like this?

Yeah, for me, it was a million things...

I understand what it feels like to be powerless and incapable and stand helplessly on the sidelines watching my plans and hopes shatter. But God is so faithful and so I also have seen those hopes built up again over time, old dreams replaced with new, the pieces picked up off the ground and put back together more unexpectedly perfect than before. I've had my laughter and peace handed back to me.

I don't wish for anything different than what I have. I have come a long way in healing. Every so often though, I think about that bleak, sad time we struggled though and how it knocked me off balance. I'm content and I'm thankful but sometimes I don't think I'm fully recovered.

Maybe I'll never be the same again. Maybe I'm not meant to be.


Lori said...

Oh my describe so beautifully what you went through and how you felt. I read your post from last year and tears flowed freely down my face. I wish I could hug you right now. I am thankful to read your words...I know a couple of people that have not been able to conceive and this helps me so much.

You are a courageous woman to share so openly and honestly what you have went through. I doubt you will ever be the same again...just as I know after going through various things in my life, I am left changed. I may have been knocked off balance as you were, and the memories of those painful times may never go away, but I will not let them steal away my joy now.

I am so sorry that you know this kind of pain. I am so sorry.

It sounds like you have come a long ways. Thank you for sharing something so personal. I am honored to have read both of your posts. ((((Colleen)))) XX

Felisol said...

Dear Colleen,
Both the Italy post and this one are testimonies about great pain and walks in sinister valleys.
I don't have anything to add or comment to that.
I don't think you need to forget. If we forgot our lessons from De Profundis, the experience would have been in vain.
I once got this word, a promise from Isaiah, about finding treasures hidden in dark places.

To find them, you've got to be there.

I'm thinking of William, and of the gift of life he has gotten, because of you.

I'm thinking of my dear sister-in-law, who didn't give up hope about having a biological child until she was 55. In between she adopted two children and became a foster mother for three more.
Her youngest foster child is now 23 and coming here for dinner today.

These children, created by our ever loving heavenly Father, would have had a rather dark future, were it not for my in-laws, who have love and strength to move mountains.

Your hurting will maybe never stop, but it will find its proper place as time goes by, and you realize how much God need you, in this cold, selfish and child hostile world.

I'm looking forward to following you and your chosen family.
May you always rest assured that God is walking there, as a shadow by your right hand. So close to you, always.

Judi said...

Enjoyed this posting so much...made me think of when my mother passed...I too hurts, it hurts that she never saw me married, never saw my very many things in this life that make us go why???? I'm sure I'll find out in the next "world"...keep writing Colleen you are so very talented! Most of all thank you for sharing your pain!

kate said...

BEAUTIFULLY WRITTEN, COLLEEN! we do all have our crosses to bear, but one thing I learned when we lost our little Shona, is that we do not carry those crosses alone even if sometimes it feels that we do.
We are lifted in these times and we are carried in the Fathers Hands, though it is not something we may realize until some time has passed. I think God gives special graces, special angels, special help and healing to those who suffer for whatever reason, and sometimes in the end we see that He has answered our prayers in ways we never expected. Remember, God is close to the broken-hearted, as his Word tells us, and seems to me, he is still and will always work miracles in our lives, even when we don't know how to ask.........kate

Ine said...

Oh my goodness, Colleen. This post hit me so hard I am crying. For myself and for you. Mostly, I don't even want to think about that time, because it DOES hurt to think about, but at the same time I don't ever want to forget. I never knew I could be so broken. So unable to function in daily life. Dreading what kind of life I would have to live. Would I even be able to live it? How everything would be wrong and nothing would be right. Knowing how much I had to be thankful for, but losing the ability to appreciate anything in my life. I am definitely not the same, and I don't want to be. Because it has tought me so much. I have scars that sometimes hurt, but they also remind me to be humble and to see past peoples exterior. To have empathy and dare to get involved. To share and be honest about things that are hard to talk about.

When people say that Tuva is lucky to get a second chance in life with us, I think it's kind of funny. Because she is not the only one. She changed my life the day she popped up as an idea in my head, and slowly started her way down towards my heart.

Michael Khatcherian said...

It's amazing the way you express your feelings Colleen. I learn day after day that God never changes, it is we who do. God bless

Colleen: said...

These genuinely heartfelt comments really, really mean so much to me. I can't really express how much actually. Every time I write post like this (there have only been the two) I have so much doubt as to whether I should share it and I want to "unpublish" it, take it back and keep it to myself, because as you said Ine, it is humbling to remember the pain. It feels embarrassing for me to write it down here although at the same time, I want thank you all so much for your words of understanding. They are healing.

Lori, thank you for crying with me. I appreciate your strength and determination to love the life you have.

Felisol, thank you so much for the wisdom in your words. It is a comforting thought to know that there is a purpose in all we experience and feel. "I once got this word, a promise from Isaiah, about finding treasures hidden in dark places." That sentence was very precious to me as it was honestly an echo (an affirmation perhaps?) of a vision someone had during prayer over me this past May.

Oh Judi, I am so sorry about your mother. What a great loss. I believe she has been with you, watched your children grow up...but I'm sure it doesn't make up for the lack of her physical presence here. Hugs.

Mom, thank you. All my most treasured advice comes from you.

Ine, I understand so well. I really, really appreciate your comment because you say so well how it was for me too. I felt the same, I dreaded life too and went from being extremely social and happy to well, wanting extreme isolation, wanting to hurt, thinking that there was no hurt sufficient for me. I didn't think I would be able to face living either. I never thought about the scars as humbling before but I am going to remember that. You are good, I appreciate knowing you understand.

Thank you Michael. Yes, we are such transient beings. Constantly changing ourselves and living in a world that is doing the same. But as you said, we worship a God who never changes. Who simply is. Hopefully in all of our changes we are striving to move toward Him. I can't comprehend it but it's the only thing that makes sense to me. :) God bless.

Anonymous said...

You are a wonderful and very courageous woman, Colleen. You didn`t break, you found your laugher and your peace back. Be proud of this!!!
And you are a wonderful mom of little William.
Love, Marlies

Life with Kaishon said...

I love that you share, so honest and openly, with anyone that needs to know. I think you are a brave woman. And a very kind woman to pass on your story in hopes it can help someone else.

I hurt to know you hurt so badly.

I love the mother you have become. You are amazing and a blessing. I know God has wonderful things in store for you. Wonderful beyond all comprehension.

Jackie said...

Beauty for ashes, Colleen....That's the thought that came to my mind as I read your words here.

That's what He does for His beloved children. He takes situations of heartbreak and disappointment and turns them into beauty for His Glory. I'm certain that your testimony of such pain and heartbreak and restoration will lift the hearts of many.

I've been meditating alot lately upon Psalm 3:3. Particularly the last part....You, O Lord, are...the lifter UP of my head. Your story is a story of Him lifting UP your saddened heart and head and giving you strength and healing and joy (William) for your journey! He is always faithful to lift us UP and bring us Out into a greater place of blessings! And over time, healing of the wounds and the trama that has assaulted our emotions will come. The ashes of those wounds subtly blow afar and give way to beauty!!

Thank you for sharing your heart!


Blessings and Hugs! : ))

Colleen: said...

Thank you Marlies. That means a lot and your support and the interest you have shown throughout our whole adoption process also just mean the world to me! I'm so glad to know someone as caring as you are!

Becky, your empathy and hope really touch me, thank you so much.

Jackie, bless you for your encouraging heart. That image of "ashes to beauty" is so apt. Thank you for taking the time to read what I wrote and to reach out to me like that...Hugs and blessings back my friend.

Crown of Beauty said...

I clicked the link to What Happened in Italy. That must have been a very special time. God in His mercy stoops down to touch your broken heart, and speaks healing to you. That is the only explanation I can get... and you were so honest to share it all with us.

Such a beautiful experience.

Thank you for sharing your heart with your blog readers.

Thank you too for showing a genuine interest in what is going on in my world.

I truly appreciate it.


Angela said...

"I understand what it feels like to be powerless and incapable and stand helplessly on the sidelines watching my plans and hopes shatter. But God is so faithful and so I also have seen those hopes built up again over time, old dreams replaced with new, the pieces picked up off the ground and put back together more unexpectedly perfect than before. I've had my laughter and peace handed back to me."

WOW...did this ever touch my heart and the journey I've been on....Laughter and peace that I have NEVER experienced in such a more powerful and deeper way...