Some of you have probably seen this movie already, most will have heard of it and some adoptees, like me, will never see it. Why? Because it is the stuff of my worst nightmares, literally. I have suffered from nightmares my whole life, as long as I can remember and there have been common themes which have recurred time and time again in different guises, just like a movie retold, remade, reshown. The central theme is the same, the details are different. They have long been recognisable to me and sometimes I can stop them, switch them off and make them stop, but I never seem to be able to press the ‘delete’ button. What the adoptee in this movie goes through is true to the story of a real adoptee who lived this nightmare daily for his whole life. Does it have a happy ending? I dare say many people think so, since he solves the mystery of his birth-place, finds his family and ‘has it all’. His noble, selfless amother supports and assists him and plays the heroine. Who else could take this role but Nicole Kidman, a woman with insider information on adoption and being an amother. David Wenham plays the afather and as far as known has no connection to adoption, having been raised in a large Catholic family and educated by the Christian Brothers. He has played many roles in TV soaps and in movies. His most loveable character probably being Jacko the Frill-necked lizard in the animated movie of Blinky Bill the koala. ( https://youtu.be/4Q5QwD-ZfBg). In my search for information about David and the lizard, I came across this sentence on the National Geographic site. I share it because it has to be one of the strangest sentences I’ve ever read! “Females lay 8 to 23 tiny eggs in an underground nest, and hatchlings emerge fully independent and capable of hunting and utilizing their frill.” The independence of some creatures never fails to amaze me. Even lone goslings which appear to be so fragile and dependent, are capable of survival if they have enough food, water and protection from predators. Unlike us poor, fragile human beings, who remain dependent for so long and are traumatised by the loss of parents. coupled with that, is often a strong trait in adults to protect the vulnerable, provide for the weak and ‘unfortunates’. Witness the case of the abandoned baby rescued by a policewoman who happened to be a new mother. She is described as ‘heroic’. Perhaps she was quick-thinking and just did what any mother would do to care for a newborn in trouble. It warms our hearts and connects us to the deep well of compassion that exists within us and which few of us have many opportunities to draw on. She is to be applauded for her quick action and initiative, drawing on her mother instincts to do what comes naturally when we don’t overthink, overdo and over-react.
Anyway, more power to those of you who can watch “Lion” and enjoy it, learn from it or benefit from it in some way. I won’t be with you. I don’t have the bottle. I can’t knowingly chose to see something I have to live time and time again, without choice, but with pain and distress. I dare say some will tell me that it might help ‘my healing’, but how can I heal from something that never actually happened to me? I didn’t have that experience, but live it and relive it at night, unpredictably, unexpectedly, without warning, at intervals I don’t understand and at times that have no pattern. Commonly I find myself in a place I don’t know, don’t know the name of, without papers or identification, money or identity where I know no-one, can’t communicate and don’t even know my name. The slate has been wiped clean! In later dreams, I am an adult, with strong coping mechanisms and know that in time I will discover clues and will somehow ‘escape’ or make a life for myself. The last dream appeared to have optimism, hope and humour, no anxiety or fear and confidence in my own ability to survive. For those of you who have read the book by David Brodzinsky et al on the adopted life, you might place me in the last stage of the adopted life. That feels about right. I hope to have much more company there very soon! ❤