Letting Go Of Secrets –
For the last time this year, I felt the wheels of my plane touch down on the sticky tarmac of Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam International Airport. I heard the click-clack of seat-belts releasing. Like the rest of the automatons on the plane, I stood up and waited for the doors to open. I anticipated the heavy surge of hot air pouring into the cabin and the polite squash as the people around me deplaned. I was back home again.
I will wear short skirts and bikini tops as I feel perspiration run down my back. The familiar roads and cafés with their friendly waiters serving me pepper-free food will once again become my routine. It will all be the same again, except that it won’t. You see this year I have been keeping secrets. Things I have done and said and written have been hiding behind my green fifty-year-old eyes. Like most secrets, this one has been unwilling to be quiet. Slipping out here and there when I’ve felt the safety of family or friendship, but now it is time to come clean. I am writing a book. It is not the first time that I have said this, but it is the first time that I am ready to talk about it.
Last year, I was nursing my broken heart. I had moved away from suburban Sydney, and I felt like a failure as a mother. I am an adoptive parent but of course, I don’t think of myself as an adoptive parent. I am just a parent. After meeting my children and going through the carnage of an adoption process and the chaos that followed, I didn’t understand why, at the brink of their adulthood, my children still didn’t trust me. I felt misunderstood by friends and family. I’d been for therapy, I meditated, I read self-help books. None of it worked. Finally, I asked myself what I wanted. The answer was clear. I wanted to be heard. What I didn’t know was where to start. The reply from a friend came with an instruction – ‘Just start writing.’ I did.
The more I wrote, the more I felt myself come back to life. The more I came back from the edge, the more I realised that the desire to help others in a similar situation became strong while the need to be heard became weak. I wrote my pain and suffering. I wrote my children’s agony and misery. And then I just wrote. By the time I was finished, I remembered who I was. I had more understanding of my motivations, hopes and dreams than ever before. I had wanted the world for my sons, but I could only offer new opportunities. They took some and rejected others. They discarded my help and often looked down on my kindness, but I did my best as any mother would. I began to understand that we are not able to hit a restart button in our children’s lives.
Twenty-one months and two days later, I am almost ready to submit my manuscript to an editor. I am stronger than I have ever been before. I am more vulnerable too. To write your life out, hand it over and sit and wait for a response is daunting, but now is no longer the time to hold on to all of the secrets. Now it is time to let go and let some of the healing begin.