The weekend is over, the retreat has finished, and I’m flying home now. Always my least favorite part of any trip, to be honest. Home isn’t exactly….a place I enjoy.
Im struggling to find the words I need to talk about my weekend, how it went, how it felt…I’ve started a few posts and deleted them, finding they didn’t quite fit the feeling either.
Friday afternoon was special. I sat on my bench and did a lot of writing and reflecting.
I struggled a bit on Friday night, after our group gathering finished. We broke out into smaller groups, but still too big for my preference, in some of our hotel rooms. I was okay until everyone started drinking…and then I was a lot less okay.
Those late nights in smaller groups are usually the best part of these trips, but I felt a bit overpowered by the louder people and struggled to find my voice among my friends.
Saturday morning, I was a wreck. I was so nervous and anxious, and I just didn’t want to…deal with feelings. It ended up going decently well, and I didn’t break or cry at any point.
I don’t mind so much being in a larger group of people during the day, I actually kind of thrive there. My extreme sarcasm and humor shine through, and every time, I end up being one of the “leaders” of the group.
The best part of the retreat, as it nearly always does, came on Saturday night. My friend Michelle, one of the 2 group leaders (organizers? creators?) and I had a quiet night with just her, myself and my husband in my hotel room.
We had the vulnerable conversations, I shared pictures and videos of my son, and we just…got real.
I absolutely crave those kinds of relationships. The ones that are so real, that I feel so heard and seen in. We are absolutely kindred spirits, and relate to each other in rare and awesome way. I thrive in these deep and personal relationships and connections, and it’s people like her who absolutely have the greatest impact in my life.
We talked until nearly 1:30am, as is pretty typical for these kinds of nights. We talked about adoption, my life, my family, trauma I’ve been through, what I’m trying to work through, therapy…(did I mention she worked as an adoption counselor for birth moms for years?)
The only time I wished my husband wasn’t there was when shit was getting real real, and my recent…sexual assault bullshit was getting discussed. I wanted to be open with her about it, but I really struggled being completely honest with him in the room as well. (Which I knew was why she brought it up. She was “therapizing” me, and wanted me to be able to talk about it with him in the room. Damn vulnerability.)
These weekends are always difficult, but they are also very healing. Having real, close and true relationships with other people who just know, who just get it…it’s not something I have a lot of.
I’m grateful for my trip and I’m happy my husband got to experience parts of it with me.
I still have a lot of thinking and reflecting and processing to do, and I’m glad I have therapy on Monday this week instead of Tuesday, when it usually is.
It was hard saying goodbye this morning to everyone, but I know these relationships are not fleeting. I wish I was able to see certain people more often than once a year, and honestly, I wish I could see Michelle a lot more often.
It’s comforting knowing I’ll see them again next year, but it’s also incredibly hard knowing that such an important outlet for me only comes once a year.
For now, I’ll keep writing, and I’ll keep showing up. I feel alone, but it’s better knowing I’m leaving with at least one person understanding me a whole lot better. I’m glad she went out of her way, and wanted to have that 1 on 1 time with me.
If nothing else about the weekend happened, I’m glad that did.
I’ll carry those conversations with me for a long time.
I just wish I had that so much more often. People, depth, realness.