Disconnect

In my Open Adoption Roundtable #41 post, I wrote:

I realized that for the last several months, I’ve felt so disconnected from people. I started to make friends with the ACA II crowd in the spring, but I’ve barely seen anyone this fall. I’ve barely seen Jackson’s best friend’s mom, whom I consider a good friend. I could expand on this, but I really think that’s another post. It’s enough to say that, with only two exceptions outside my immediate family, I just haven’t felt a part of the same reality as the people around me.

I want to expand on that, to explain what I mean.

In science fiction, there is the concept of different dimensions. Probably most major TV shows, books, comics, and the like have discussed the concept of different dimensions that exist alongside ours. In one dimension, I’m a mom currently typing on a computer, while in another, I’m currently the author of a wildly popular series about teens with psychic abilities, and in yet another, I’ve been dead for 12 years. I think it was a comic book by Alex Ross in which the characters are in an empty restaurant, but are somehow able to see another dimension in which the restaurant is packed. The people in our dimension are in full color, fleshed out. The people in the other dimension are oblivious to them, ghost-like.

That off-ness, the people who are here but not in sync, that’s what I’ve been feeling for awhile now. I feel like I’m in a different reality. Not all the time, but often. I feel the need to explain this, because it in turn explains why I’m going to be writing a decent amount of personal stuff in the coming month or two.

It’s important to note that, for the most part, other people do not make me feel this way. I’ve often felt like an outsider. It’s part of why I always carry a camera. It gives me something to do and focus on instead of trying to meaningfully interact with others when we first meet. A camera can also be a good conversation starter. But I digress…

Why do I feel out of sync?

  • I’m different. My kids are adopted. My kids are Black and I am White. In Mommy groups, I cannot relate to pregnancy stories. Within the adoption community, I cannot relate to infertility stories, because adoption was my first choice. Because my children are a different race than I, I have to think of topics that many White parents don’t. 
  • I’ve been holding back a lot. 2012 was a rough year. Sometimes, I felt like I was living a double life. I didn’t want most people to know how rough things really were. I put on a brave face a lot. This is where the sharing comes in. I need to get some of this out in the open.
  • I’m frazzled. I wasn’t prepared for the disparities in what a 6-year old needs and what an infant/toddler needs, and how to handle them. I wasn’t prepared for Max to start working full time in the city. I don’t handle change well, and there were many major changes that happened one right after the other, which has left me frazzled. I’m getting better. I’m learning. But it’s not the same, and I’m still not up to par, as far as I’m concerned.
  • I’m a generally insecure person. In a way, I’m narcissistic. If someone doesn’t talk to me for awhile, or doesn’t invite me to playdate, then I think it’s something I’ve done that has caused the person to behave that way. Never mind that the person may just be having her own problems, or that the person’s kid may have requested special time with someone else’s kid. Somehow, I have done something Grievously Wrong and I will Never Be In That Person’s Good Graces Again.
  • I’m an introverted extrovert, or an extroverted introvert. On the Meyers-Briggs personality test, I am exactly in the middle between I (introverted) and E (extroverted). The counselor said she had never seen anything like that. It’s very rare. What it means for me is that I love to go out and do things, but I don’t tend to initiate contact. If someone invites me to do something, I’ll usually be game. But it takes a lot out of me to be the one to call and set something up. Add to this the insecurity thing, and it’s a wonder I ever leave my house.
  • All my friends are on the Family Network Board. OK, not all of them, but a lot of people are on our school’s version of the PTA. I’m not. I am welcome to attend meetings, but the reason I’m not on the Family Network Board is that I don’t have the time to be. Maybe I just should have titled this bullet, “Everyone’s really busy doing her own thing.”

So, right, disconnected. I’m trying to come out of that and join this reality again. I’m hoping writing will help. Let’s see if it does.

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4 thoughts on “Disconnect

  1. I feel the same way almost all the time. It’s why I do so many projects. It’s much easier to focus on something that can’t be too busy to hang out with you. 🙂 And you can always talk to me about being the white mom with black kids. Remember, my mom is white and she raised my 2 black brother in front of me. I’ve got a lot of first hand insight to the difficulties of being such a drastically ethnically mixed household.

    • You’re one of the few people with whom I *don’t* feel the disconnect. (At least, since you gave birth. That whole being pregnant thing is as foreign to me as quantum physics, so I was a little smile and nod sometimes. But, you let me plan your shower, so that helped.)

  2. Pingback: Zero | The Chittister Family

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