By Daniel Harrison


I do not want to go there but I must. Inside of me is a frozen core of feelings, of dark emotions that overwhelm me as soon as I try to get any forward motion in my life. They swirl, and move and drag me down. Yes, I am afraid, yes I am fall to pieces, yes every time I shift my foot out of that bed and attempt to move in a positive direction I am swamped.

I have lived my life from afar, it is as if I have sleep walked through my life, careful to hide my heart, my soul from it, a life of detachment, as if I am not in my body. Yes, my life has been an out of body experience. As I write this I can feel that I cannot see clearly, for the first time in my life I really do not know what direction to go in, it is as if I am staring at a blank wall of pure white that goes on forever, I just don’t know what to do anymore, I feel for my wife, would it not be easier for her to have married a more together husband as opposed to a husband who is afraid of getting out bed and who does not have a clue as to who he is or what he wants to do anymore? It is as if all my circuits have blown, it is as if my mind is not working at all. Everything is shut down, I have shut out the world and that frightens me. I find it easy to be on my own. That is no problem. I find it easy to withdraw. Every time I open the door and the ice starts moving I scurry back again into my room, I berate myself and say surely you are stronger than this.

In reality this fear has always been with me, my fear of the world, of the unknown, of being with strangers, of trying to erect defenses, of trying to work how to deal with myself. I am frustrated by how slow this is. There is no magic cure; there is no talking therapy in which I can just tell myself to get over this. There is no magic wand. There is no secret map to guide me; there is no book that can give me the directions home.

What I am faced with is a huge dark, frozen mess of emotions. Emotions that from birth I blocked out in order to cope with my mother leaving, a dysfunctional adopted family in which any trace of sensitivity was beaten and yelled out of me and a dysfunctional society in which all my pain was denied and the consequences of expressing it were fully displayed. More rejection and abandonment, my brother ended up being a ward of the state or in my case physical and verbal abuse. On top of that every time I have raised my pain society through media or individuals have discounted it. I don’t know how to deal with this, there are no therapists who can help me to deal with this, and indeed I have ended up counselling and teaching the therapists. I feel cold, switched off, icy inside. I also happen to feel that I am walking around with a huge knife in the centre of my chest that I have tried to ignore through achievement. That no longer works. In fact nothing works. I am broken in the worst possible way, at a spiritual level, I am spiritually broken. You can fix a broken leg with a plaster cast but how can you fix a broken spirit, a broken heart? I know that the poison has to come out, that I have to express my wounds, show the darkness, stop hiding it, taken the leap and say to hell with the deniers in our society this is how I feel. But what happens when I am emptied, will I cease being me? Is this it, is there any way forward? I am scared to death, every time I try to do something I am pulled back to this, it is as if I cannot do anything until the iceberg that covers me has melted.

Inside I feel sad, sad, sad and sadder than sad, sad to the bone, sad to the dna, to my skin, my feet, my hands, my face, and I feel ashamed, I turn away, I do not want people to look in my eyes, I do not want them to see how broken I feel, how ashamed I feel of myself, that I have come to this state of affairs, that I am not coping, that I do not feel proud of myself, that I feel broken, so broken, so heartbroken that I do not care for myself, that I do not want to live. I feel ashamed and guilty saying that because I have a wife who loves me. My brokenness is a secret, I have always been broken from the day she left but for a long time I was silenced, I played the game, I just hid it. I feel weak in my arms, in my face, vulnerable having said this, and I have never wanted to feel vulnerable and powerless because I know what it feels like to be that, to be totally alone and up against it in this world. My words are muted because I feel afraid of being judged, because I feel afraid of showing how I feel, I feel vulnerable and alone.

I cannot live feeling like this anymore, frozen to my bed, frozen to my room, frozen to this horizon, frozen to feeling no hope, no opportunities or light coming to my room. I want to open the door but I am afraid, so afraid of being hurt. I feel very angry and disappointed with my life, with what has happened, I blame myself but then if there was a God I blame him/her also. There have been so many hurts and massive disappointments in my life starting with the biggest of them my entire mother and my entire ancestry being taken from me and then I was just expected to walk, to cope, to deal with this on my own with no acknowledgement. Well I have done my best, I am muted and my hands are shaking as I write this but one can only deal with so many losses in a life and how can I deal with these losses when the major loss at the beginning of my life was denied by everybody. I did the only thing that I could, I froze the loss and with the freezing over I lost myself, I lost my heart and I became afraid, so terribly afraid of ever being hurt again. And when I was hurt again it crippled me. Yes life is full of hurts, some cruel people say get over it but how can you get over hurts when you have been told to deny all your emotions all your hurts in the name of a lie, closed adoption.

I feel angry at how much this wound has cost me. Forty five years later I am still dealing with it, I feel angry about the cards that I have been dealt. I don’t know how to deal with them, how to deal with being so emotionally crippled inside. I feel resentful about these losses, angry and resentful. Yes I will say it again, angry and resentful that I have had to deal with loss, massive loss, crippling loss from the day I was born, loss that permeated my entire being, my bones, my DNA, my energy, my soul, that covered me in a permanent winter of snow and ice, that paralysed me with fear. How can one get over this when I had to build my life on an enormous loss that I had to deny so that I could survive in a society that denied its existence and therefore the very fact that myself existed.

A society that was hell bent on annihilating me by falsifying my birth certificate and not ever allowing me to express my grief. A society that lied to me about the very fact that I was adopted by denying that I was when I knew different and then in a terrifying argument with my adopted mother my truth is confirmed, my brother and I are not one of them. Was he told first, I do not know. My whole life has been built on an emotional lie given weight by a state that said to society lie to him he will not know the difference between the families and if he does blame him for acting as if the loss of his birth family was traumatic. I was taught to lie about my emotional health from the day I was born. I was taught to deny what I was feeling because there was no help or acknowledgement coming from anyone else. Is it any wonder that I built a life that was based upon denying how I really felt, is it any wonder that my-self became frozen. Is it any wonder that I am now totally lost, not knowing who the hell I am or in what direction to move? Is it any wonder that I do not know how to deal with a lifetime’s work of grief, of hurt, of emotions, is it any wonder that struggle to let go of any hurt, that I struggle to accept my past? Is it any wonder that I am stuck, unable to get over it in a society that has no resources to help me because it lied to me and everyone else by saying that closed adoption was non-problematic?

That it would have no impact on my emotional health? Is it no wonder that I feel sick, that I feel that I am living an upside down life with the real me denied by the full force of a lie driven by the government. Is it any wonder that I feel anti-social, bitter and resentful?
Yes resentful, It is hard for me to admit this but I often feel angry, bitter and resentful about all the struggles that I have had to deal with from year dot while others seem to get all the breaks. I feel angry that I have to constantly deal with my past, I cannot just let this go because it is real, I am crippled by this grief I can’t just walk, it is like asking a legless person to walk and then kicking him and her and telling them to get over it when they say they can’t. I look at all the breaks people seem to get, that they are able to just get on with their lives and I can’t help but wonder why I have been given this path and I can’t help but feel resentful as they move on through their lives while I am stuck dealing with this iceberg with no map to guide me.

My faith in life, in love, in myself was shattered from the moment I was born. I was born into an unsafe world, left in a hospital for weeks on end with no joy to welcome me. Is it any wonder that I struggle to feel joyous? My entry into this world was not a joyous occasion it was a funeral, a loss of unimaginable proportions had taken place that was promptly denied by a society that said at his age he will never feel it. I felt it alright. I was then told to feel grateful for this unimaginable hurt, like a sadomasochist, yes I love it, do it again, love is pain, pain is love. No her leaving did not hurt me one bit. No I loved your burning down my ancestral tree because it meant nothing to me, I had no connection to it at all, and in fact I have a suggestion, let’s do it to everyone because it feels so right, so good.

I have spent my life running from myself, from the heart of my emotions, from this wound, I have been a good boy, doing what society told me to, deny, deny, deny and with it deny that myself even exists, deny that I am adopted, hide the shame, fit in. As a result my confidence has been crippled and I have no faith in the world, I am in a blanket of despair, I do not feel that anything good will happen, I do not trust that anything good will be given to me, I do not trust that anything will work out for the best. And why would I when my first moment in the world involved my being ripped from my mother’s womb and placed on a steel gurney on which I was wheeled into a brave new world. A world in which I belong neither to my biological family nor to my adopted family, a world of shattered fragments in which there can be no going back, how am I to build on such a foundation. How am I to build with confidence on such a foundation, one in which I have lost all trust and faith in the world in which I live, a world that in turn denies that a massive wound occurred at the very centre, beginning, origin of my foundation.

I do not have faith in this world at all, a world that has in turn denied me faith in myself by denying the wound that covered over who I am, a world that encouraged me to leave myself in the garbage can, to deny my emotions and therefore the truth of who I am. For how can I be true to myself if I am expected to deny and lie about how I feel? How can I live an authentic life if every time I am honest about how I feel some fuckwit with a hidden agenda of hurt tells me to get over my-self? The choice of such words is revealing, yes this societies closed adoption practices is built upon the expectation that I will get over myself by leaving myself and therefore my emotions in the garbage can. What they did not tell me is that the price of doing so is the price of losing my soul because my emotions are the doorway to my soul, my emotions are the doorway to who I really am and only by feeling all of them can I be true to myself, to my soul.



I am ready to do battle. Anyone who dares tell me to get over myself will feel the full extent of my wrath because I now know what is at stake, my soul, being true to myself, to who I am, to my identity. To deny my grief is to deny my humanity, my soulness, and is the crime of closed adoption, it denied my soulness, my humanity by denying me to the right to full express and grief the loss of my family. I have tried to find confidence, faith in others, I have tried to win my way out by being perfect but that meant destroying who I was, not living in my body, always being a slave to others. Living in between worlds in a powerless situation has been devastating for me, devastatingly frightening. Up to now this grief has been too much to deal with, as a baby I could not understand it, nor as a child and as a young adult, because the truth was too hard to bear, the fact that my mother leaving me had nothing to do with myself worth, instead it had everything to do a fucked state policy and the adults in my life.

I have lived out of my body, it is not surprising, and how could I inhabit it when my pain was denied. I can only return by acknowledging my pain. This is not about wallowing in my pain as some moron once said, this is instead about dealing with reality, and you cannot deal with reality by reading a happy clappy self help book and wishing it away. Life is full of joy, life is full of pain, and you cannot live life by denying either of these emotions, if one of these emotional threads is missing, then the other is missing and one wind’s up living an emotionally dead, heartless, frozen life.

If this journey to date has taught me anything, it is the gift of real compassion, I have a lot of love to offer because having suffered, as we all do, I do not wish for others to suffer but I also respect the fact that we all have to find our own way home and I am still trying to figure that one out. We all suffer, yes it does feel sometimes that the life of others is easier but how do I know? Life is not easy for any being. I am angry about my path; about how it has annihilated my self-confidence and faith in life and has frozen me but what can I do about that? One day, one step at a time, is it any wonder that I hate cold weather, it reminds me of when she left. But now I am in a sunnier climate trying to find my way home.



Posted 29.11.2013 Within These Walls Facebook group