suspended animation


I just spent three days avoiding lesson planning.  THREE DAYS.  Tonight I will attempt an all-nighter to save face when I go into school tomorrow.

I spent three days in preparation for the work I had no motivation to do.  Maybe if I took a shower first.  Maybe if I sweep the floor.  Maybe I need to eat.  Maybe I need some coffee.  I’ll just check my email.  I’ll just read some old posts.  I’ll just…

My ex. used to laugh at me because it took me forever to go to sleep.  Q.  When are you going to lay still and relax?  A.  When everything’s perfect.  It’s not perfect.

This is why the laptop has been running so long and hot there’s no RAM left and the programs aren’t working and it’s over-heating.  Surfing is the closest thing to seratonin I get, in the absence of friends, laughter, sex, exercise, engagements.

Through serendipity I ran across some new-to-me music from old favorite artists like Ricki Lee Jones:

and then I found that Vic Chesnutt had died in 2009.  Sara had taken me to see him before at Chop Suey in Seattle the year before I left.  When was that, 2007?

His wit was razor sharp, and one could easily see that it didn’t matter if he was in a living room, or backed with an orchestra, or in a sound studio, his humanity always came out beautifully and perfectly raw.  If you don’t know him, this set at NPR’s All Songs Considered tiny desk concert series is one of the best videos of him, and later in the set are two of my favorite songs.  And here is NPR’s Memorial feature on him.  Vic Chesnutt was an adoptee, btw…He died taking an overdose.

And then I realized that my life has basically been in suspended animation since that time.  I haven’t listened to music since then.  What is that, three/four years?  Music died.  And then I realized that I have become Miss Haversham in Great Expectations.  And it doesn’t matter what continent I am on or what I do or have done, I’ve basically quit living, and been in mourning in a wedding dress, covered in dust.

I’m not depressed.  I know what that’s like.  It’s being rendered totally unable to function as a human being.  I’m also not suicidal.  I know what that’s like.  It’s when the psychic pain is so physical you’ll do anything to stop it. I’m none of those right now.

No.  I’m just a feral cat trapped in a room.  Unloved, untrusting, and living only on survival instinct.  I’m trying really hard to be human, but I really don’t recall what that feels like, and everyone around me is almost as damaged and of no help.

The nicest vacation I ever had was a week in a hospital by myself.  I longed to be isolated because I was shell-shocked by my world and family.  But now that I know I need humans who hurt you, there is nowhere I can go.  I both love and hate my room.  I’m sure I have a very very bad case of PTSD.  And I need grief counseling.  And a cat whisperer.

So look here, relinquishing mom, you don’t have any idea where your baby is going to end up, in whose arms that belong to deficit twisted minds they are going to end up with, or what having your language taken away does to you, or what never being accepted despite assimilation does to you, or what being exotic is, or what avoiding abandonment by just not forming relationships is.  The only place that baby should be is with you, got it?  Don’t throw your children away while they are conscious, with eyes that see and ears that hear and hearts that break.  Because it’s total bullshit that this is for our own good.  Because it is not good and it is not better when you’ve no faith in love and no trust in people on the most essential and deepest level.

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2 thoughts on “suspended animation

  1. “or what having your language taken away does to you”

    I so wish more adoptive parents understood this. No, you can’t take classes to make it up. No, you can’t “always just go back” to make it up.

    Nice sentiments… nice ideas… but they don’t work the same.

    Sometimes I honestly still wish I hadn’t dug as deep as I have.

  2. I wanted so deperately to comment on this post, but I don’t honestly know what to say. It is widely read because it is real, unfiltered, and not easy to process. Imagine not being an adoptee, trying to understand the feelings that you have. I understand them. I wonder how others can.

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