This picture sends goosebumps up the back of my neck, in the most horrible way, because I know what that hand represents and what those strings control.
Grief, the emotional puppet master!
The haunting idea that Grief has that control over our body, our emotions, our minds, and our lives is chilling.
I have spent more years with those strings tied to my limbs than I have been free. I know Grief in his darkest, ugliest moments. Grief seeped his way into every crevice of my life, eighteen years ago. He woke me up at night with terrifying night terrors. He dropped me to my knees in the middle of a parking lot. His maniacal laugh echoed the hallways of my home as I screamed out for mercy. Those puppet strings find their way to the root of every unbearable emotion inside of you. At any given moment, Grief can pull on one of those strings with such force you feel like your limbs will fall off!
Have you heard the term disenfranchised grief?
Disenfranchised grief is defined as grief that a person experiences when they incur a loss that is not or cannot be openly acknowledged, socially sanctioned or publicly mourned.
Did you know EVERY birth mother experiences the maddening cycle of grief?
The puppet strings tie themselves so tightly around our wrist, our ankles, our minds, and what makes the situation worse, no one sees them but us! Society does not recognize the grieving process for birth mothers in the way it does for any other loss.
Birth parents, post placement, have little to no knowledge of the grieving process. They place their babies for adoption, and the puppet master begins his ugly game of manipulation. The power behind disenfranchised grief is the shame that brews inside of it. When society fails to acknowledge placement as a loss, birth parents cover up their emotions with shame.
Recognizing means to perceive as existing or true; realize. If we, as a society, fail to recognize the grieving process for birth parents, does it fail to exist? Does it make the emotions of grief untrue? Absolutely NOT! It creates space where birth parents question the reality and power of the puppet master. Birth parents hide their feelings in shame and Grief breeds in shame.
The first ten years that Grief controlled my emotional strings were hell! The emotional roller coaster it created in my life affected every relationship I had. I didn’t recognize or label these emotional outbursts as Grief until I knew who was tugging on all of those strings. Year twelve, I accepted the puppet master, I educated myself, I leaned into the emotions, but I no longer gave more rope for Grief to hold onto.
When we as human beings feel heard and acknowledged the MOST POWERFUL transition takes place—connections fuel courage and self-acceptance begins to vibrate within us!
When you experience a transition such as this, after years of loneliness, you can’t help but shine your light in those unrecognized dark places for others who are hiding there. Once I accepted the fact that Grief was going to pay his nasty visit time and time again, I slowly created the courage to reach up and just cut those damn strings that he was controlling!
One by one, I cut each one, and Grief’s evil ways became but a speed bump on my road to recovery and self-acceptance. I can’t say that he never comes around and that I have somehow conquered the grieving process, but I can promise you this — if you look him square in the face and say “I’m not afraid of you anymore, you have no power here!” You will find those strings begin to loosen. You will find the courage to cut yourself away from the manipulation. You will become the puppet master of your emotions. You have that POWER!
Recognize those around you who are grieving; I don’t care what the situation is, Grief doesn’t discriminate and the more light we shine on the hand that controls all of those strings, the more POWER we take back.