These words have been a part of my life from the moment I was born, maybe even before. I imagine me inside of my mother's womb Waiting wanting longing wishing hoping to meet her and then being born, meet her, but not being healthy enough to go home with her.
I was in the NICU the first three months of my life just waiting for her to visit. During those visits she would sneak to breastfeed me against the nurses wishes. I know this is what I held onto life for. After three months in the nicu I went from the hospital to a foster home where I was still Waiting wanting longing wishing hoping to spend time with her and my older brother and older sister. My last foster home was when I was 3 years old. This is the foster home I was eventually adopted into. I remember Waiting wanting longing wishing hoping that I would go back to my mom but all I got was weekend visits. I lived for those weekend visits. I really looked forward to them until they turned into supervised Saturday visits. At the age of 10 I realized my birth mother was unreliable. I could not depend on her. After being disappointed so many Saturday’s she completely forgot or just did not show up my feelings about her began to shift. After her not doing what the social worker told her to do to get me back my feelings really began to shift. I finally stopped Waiting wanting longing wishing hoping for her and begin to hope for the type of connection I had with her with my adoptive parents. I really do not know if I ever got that with them but we sure as hell did a good job trying to fake it until we make it. Did we make it? I don't know. I'll never really know. The feeling of Waiting wanting longing wishing hoping has stayed with me all of my life. I really believe that all of my romantic partnerships have been weighed down heavily by these feelings of me Waiting wanting longing wishing hoping for something that they simply could not provide. I think the same has been true in friendships that I've had. Always Waiting wanting longing wishing hoping for the type of connection I think I would have had with my older sister had I been allowed to grow up with her. Always trying to have these best friends that are like a sister to me but it never would last long. Mostly due to moving around a lot. At least I always thought childhood friendships did not last because of moving around a lot. Now I wonder if many childhood friendships did not last because of the heaviness that I walk with people can feel and it causes them to want to flee or escape. I have been described as needy, clingy, suffocating. I know I struggle with being codependent and it all stems from Waiting wanting longing wishing hoping for something that I just never had and maybe never will have. I grieve that every day. At 43 years old I like to think that it's gotten better an easier and, in some ways, I guess it has just simply because awareness but now I'm Waiting wanting longing wishing hoping for strength healing and self-love.
My feelings of Waiting wanting longing wishing hoping are so big and heavy and such a large part of my existence it can’t be just own. This is generational. I know my birth mother had the same feeling of Waiting wanting longing wishing hoping because her mother was absent, always working, always in school, and the kids were home alone most of the time. I also know that my grandmother had these feelings of Waiting wanting longing wishing hoping also. My birth mother's mother was the oldest of seventeen children and didn't get to be a little girl very long. She had to help raise her siblings. I imagine this feeling of Waiting wanting longing wishing hoping could be traced all the way back to the very first African in my lineage brought over on the slave ship Waiting wanting longing wishing hoping to go back to Africa this shit is generational and I feel like I'm holding all of their pain as well as mine added on to it. Thanks to 23andMe I found a cousin that is related to me on my birth mother side. I asked her to tell me what my mother was like as a young woman when she was pregnant with me. She confirmed mental health issue and that when she came over to visit, she would not leave. It was hard to get her to go. I get this so much. I think back on all the times I have overstayed my welcome. It’s like I was Waiting wanting longing wishing hoping for sweetness and family so badly any sense of that would cause me to over stay my welcome and force awkward goodbyes. No one ever wants to be mean but they would need to give hints that it was time to go. The more I learn about my birth mother the more I see the ways I react to my pain and trauma before I got some healing.
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Merika Reagan, Author
Hello Everyone. I am a San Francisco native.