Today is the last Sunday of the month and the first whole month of flourish is coming to an end. This months topic has been belonging, so what have I learnt?
Probably for the first time in my life I have felt a real sense of belonging in a group. From a diverse range of backgrounds, cultures, ethnicities and experiences, we come together, through the power of zoom, and under the guidance of Anne Heffron and Pam Cordano, to share our feelings around a common bond, that of being adopted. The content of our meetings is private and confidential, “What happens in flourish stays in flourish” as the saying goes, so I will only ever share my writings and my reflections of what comes up for me as a result of my weekly meeting. I am very grateful to belong to the group as it has made me ask questions of myself that I would never have asked. I have deepened my search within myself as part of the healing process and my Soul’s journey, and it has made me re-evaluate where I was spending my time and energy.
I have trimmed my facebook groups and connections over the past month, as so much energy was wasted shouting in an echo chamber. I can only change myself, so I have stopped sharing posts on certain topics and disconnected with people who share them. This is huge as adoptees hate goodbyes, and will normally do huge amounts of hanging on, long after the relationship is over, in an effort to not have to feel the sense of abandonment. So to be pro-active and take those steps is big. To abandon groups and people is something I am coming to realise needs to be done to preserve my energy.
I am now making connections and belonging to groups that I now chose to belong to, they are adoption support groups and writing groups. I am connecting to those that I feel I belong to. People who understand where I am coming from and are in the process of healing their own primal wound and supporting each other to flourish.
This post is part of the Flourish category. To read more check under categories for them all. Follow me to get my posts as soon as they are published.
This post outlines how I put an old Cherokee legend about the fight between 2 wolves that live within us, into practice in my life this week.
You may have heard the legend about the 2 wolves that live within us. I will paraphrase it here for those who do not know it. We all have, according to the Cherokee legend, 2 wolves living inside of us, love and fear or good and evil or positive and negative. However you want to look at it, they are opposites. Both wolves live but only one thrives. Which one is up to you. It all depends on which one you feed.
For the past few months, in the middle of global political turmoil in the midst of a “pandemic”, I briefly toyed with the idea of standing as a politician in a new party that has recently been formed here in the UK. I also have a passion to write my story and help others heal from the primal wound caused by relinquishment and adoption. So I had two options to pursue, both of which would take all of my time and passion. So I had to chose which wolf to feed.
2020 brought me lots of opportunities and time to explore deep within myself, and to start to write on a regular basis, and I have a brief plan of how to develop the ideas that have sprung from my writing, to help people find their inner joy.
A brief dip of my toe into politics has left me understanding that it is not really a wolf I want to feed. I would be feeding myself to the wolves.
So now I am feeding the wolf of writing, and it is a wolf. It consumes my waking thoughts and a lot of my sleeping ones too, by keeping me awake. It comes on walks with me around my local vicinity and springs ideas into my mind as we walk. This wolf is growing within me. The passion to bring my story to the wider world is ripe right now.
Do you have 2 things in your life right now that are taking up your time and you don’t know which to focus on. Try applying the old Cherokee legend to them both and see which one you want to feed.
The lovely Esther Chilton over at Esther Newton Blog sets a challenge every Thursday, to tell a story in 5 words. I share my offerings with you in 5 Word Friday. This weeks word was “Pills”. For an ex-nurse and McTimoney Practitioner it was a delight this week. Here are my offerings:
When you’re creating something special in life, the final result can take a long time. It can be extremely frustrating and it can make you feel anxious and restless. No one has ever created something truly special without a lot of hard work, time, effort, positivity, and energy. It’s very easy to panic when the […]
Currently working on a plan of my own at the moment, so when i came across this post, it was too good not to share as I am in that panic mode as I write, hoping that my vision comes to fruition. Thanks Geo for writing this, I needed to be reminded.
This post explains the Therapy Thursday category. I hope this will become a regular slot to help you Find Joy in your lives, naturally.
Over the years I have used many different natural methods to help heal my primal wound, caused by my relinquishment at birth. Some were easy, like using aromatherapy essential oils in a bath or burner, others not so pleasant, such as those therapies that made me dig deep inside myself to heal a festering wound. Then there were the ones inbetween, that were pleasant enough to receive but the healing cisis that they evoked was necessary, but not always pleasant.
Each Thursday I will bring you one aspect from my healing journey and share them with you.
This is not a comprehensive list but they will include:
Aromatherapy along with those oils I found helpful
If you have a healing story to tell, on adoption, please get in touch and see your journey, here on this blog.
This post tries to put into words the experiences of grief felt by one adoptee. It is however a feeling that runs within the adoptee community.
The mud is real, the swamp is real, the feeling of walking through it all is real – I am in survival mode. Only this year is different, the whole world has become a swamp. We are all caught up in a slower moving world, where solutions don’t seem to be forthcoming. We are just getting deeper and deeper into the swamp of muddy stickiness. The only antidote to this, I have found, is to go deeper and deeper within myself to find my answers.
Deep, deep, deep into the volcano, to reach the heart that is too hot for the human part of me to go. I can only send my mind and Soul, deep within itself, to find the part of me that is in there, and ask it to come forth of it’s own freewill. The furnace that is within, is where the “smithing” takes place. The part of Joy that is going through the fire at the moment, to be heated, bent, beaten and moulded into a piece of joyful expression, that has been forged through fire.
Now is the season, the time of the year towards the end of January and the beginning of February, that I get catapulted from a time of birth celebrations, into the furnace of grief – to go back through the smithing process again, for refinement.
31 years! 31 years of grieving for a father and son, in the space of 14 days. I have now been grieving longer that I have been living. Or have I? Maybe my whole life has been a life of grieving. Maybe the moment that my mother walked away and was dead to me, I began to grieve. I should have. But does society recognise the need for the child to go throught the grief process, who is ultimately relinquished and adopted?
Society recognises the saviours, not the bereaved. The saviours celebrate your coming into their household, whilst maintaining silence over your bereavement. The child has an air and energy of bereavement surrounding it, but the saviours celebrate, completely oblivious to the need for grieving. The baby, taken into the family, is surrounded by celebration. But who celebrates at a funeral? A life can be celebrated, someone’s achievements can be celebrated, memories are recalled and remembered and celebrated, but the new born has little to celebrate, they are grieving and society does nothing to help them through the process accept to foster them through it. Nappies are changed, bottles are made up and fed to you, clean clothes are provided, a bed to sleep in. All the physical needs are met, but what about the psychological trauma that has been inflicted? The primal wound needs tending to, but who even acknowledges the wound is even there?
Did I have a family who rocked me and soothed me and said “There there, you’re ok now, you’re safe, we’ve got you, grieve away” or did I get a family who said “You’re ours now, forget where you came from. Forget your roots, your culture and your heritage. You’re our child now and we want to celebrate our accomplishments, not recognise and honour your bereavement.” This latter I believe fosters the festering of the primal wound, for as long as the injured party takes to realise it is there and start their own self-healing process.
Thank you for reading. It would be an honour to read your thoughts on this post.
Blessings and Joy, Joy
I am developing a Community on facebook for adoptees to help them on their healing journey. I started it on Feb 12th 2021, what would have been my son’s 31st Birthday. Please come and join us Finding Joy Community
I was telling my husband the other day, that I felt like I was a volcano. I even wrote a post about it “What’s it like being an adoptee?” He agreed with me. I asked him what it was like being married to me?
True belonging only happens when we present our authentic, imperfect selves to the world, our sense of belonging can never be greater than our level of self-acceptance. Brene Brown
This was a quote we were asked to refect upon and write about yesterday, in the latest meeting of the Flourish Group with Anne Heffron and Pam Cordano. I wrote very little accept to say, “yes 100% and I have been working on it for the past 30 years, but especially in the past 10-20”. I hope that instead of coming from a place of anger and aggression, I now come from a place of diplomacy and assertiveness. I can state my stance on things, knowing that I am being true to my-self, because I have worked through a lot of who I was, based on someone else’s expectations of me, and who they wanted me to be. I like to think that I am true to my authentic self.
My real is not your real of me, my husband’s real, my daughter’s real, or my friends real. They have their own version of real. I don’t compare myself to their real, as they have their own sacred contracts that they made when they came earthside. I have my sacred contract which, now I recognise it, makes perfect sense, and makes my life perfectly real. A perspective that only this real experience can give me. I have accepted that thsi is part of the real deal and relish it, and grow in it spiritually, and as I do so, thsoe around me get to see the real joy, the Joy that was hidden underneath the layers of hurt and pain, like a diamond hidden in the ground away from the light. Formed under pressure, it required intense pressure to form it and hardwork to reveal it, to expose it, for it to dazzle in the sunlight.
How do I explain to the non-adopted person what it feels like to be adopted?
If you had asked me this question 10 or 20 years ago, I would have described it like being a volcano. Can you imagine what that is like? Can you imagine a constant unease in the very pit of your body, rumbling away that you are never still, even when asleep? At your very core you are aware that “stuff” is bubbling deep inside you that is an effort to keep under control. Then, just like a volcano, you erupt, casting poisonous words and thoughts into the air causing harm to all those who stand in your path. They are the very same people who have taken shelter on your slopes. Your family, friends those who you have tried to maintain a relationship with you. Sometimes it’s at work, but that’s not recommended. Bosses really don’t like it when you go around exploding all over the place. To be fair nobody likes it when you do it, it’s just that bosses can discipline you. Boyfriends can jilt you. Family disown you. But that’s ok because you’re adopted, no-one sticks around forever do they? After all who wants to set up camp next to a live volcano?
After the initial explosion comes the slow ooze of lava of hatred and self-loathing of yourself, and others. You are now alone, no-one to trigger another explosion, and you try to tell yourself that that is the way you always wanted it. The adopted person likes to control the situation around them in an effort to control the volcanic eruption that can come on at a moments notice, with no conscious idea why.
Over the past 10- 20 years I have done so much work on myself, trying to reach the source of the rumblings and therefore having some control over them. They are far less frequent and I can spot them coming and can distance myself and work on it. I have come such a long way in that time, and now wish to share my findings it how I have found joy in my life. If you would like to know what I have discovered, then please follow my blog and read each post as it gets published.
Feel free to come and join the Finding Joy Community on facebook where we can support each other on our healing journey.
There is a brilliant new series that started on BBC2 last night. It is called The Investigation. It covers the true story of a missing journalist, Kim Wall, in Denmark, back in 2017. The series covers the investigation to find her and bring a criminal to justice. I don’t want to spoil the story for anyone, so won’t give too many details away, but I have been mesmerised by it, and thankfully was able to watch the whole series on iplayer. What follows is my attempt to explain to you, my reader, the similarities between the programme, The Investigation and what trying to find out about your roots and heritage is like, after adoption.
1) The Nameless Person: This series focusses on the investigation, not on the accused, we don’t even get to know their name. Many an adopted person has their name changed at the point of adoption. It is like the child who was, no longer exists, is unimportant enough to be remembered by their name. How do you know where to look if you don’t even know who you are looking for. I found the fact that we don’t know the accused’s name pleasantly reassuring, taking the limelight and fame off the criminal, and putting it firmly where it belongs, in my humble opinion, back on the investigation and the grieving family.
2) Knowing where to look: Where do they begin? That is the question on every adoptees lips, once they decide to start to go looking for their roots. Many are given no information, and worse have been given information that are lies, in an effort to stop them finding the truth. Where do the police need to start looking for clues to help them solve the case? What information do they have to go on that leads them to a site, only to be disappointed and frustrated by the lack of evidence that they find there. So much scratching of heads for what they have missed, and off they go in another place looking for answers. A tiny clue to the puzzle, and off they go in another direction, looking for evidence and information to make a case, or in the adoptee’s case, find their parents.
3) Lies and stories: Throughout this series, the alleged accused, keeps changing his story to fit the evidence that has been uncovered. Oh how familiar am I with a birth mother who told stories depending on who you were and what she thought you need to know? The birth mother and family are often ashamed of their past and will put twists on their story to make them feel better ie maintain their face. When trying to get to the truth, the adoptee is confronted with webs of stories, amongst which are grains of truth, but working out which part, is the investigation.
4) Why? The Motive: Again more searching through the evidence to see if they can discover why the crime took place. And being given up for adoption is a crime, at least it feels that way according to the adoptee. It feels wrong, it feels not right. It feels like it shouldn’t have happened to them, but it did, and now we need to know why, and undertake our own investigation. Understanding the why the need for adoption, helps the adoptee to understand why someone else, often the birth family, made the decisions they did at the time of their birth.
5) Not Knowing: The parents of the victim are desperate to get answers as to what has happened to their daughter, just as the adoptee is desperate to know what happened to their parents. The not knowing is the painful, difficult part. Once they have the truth, painful or otherwise, they then can process their pain and work with it. It can make them stronger if they choose it to, or it can break them. Read my previous post Pearl or Addict
6) Being Let Down by a Parent: The police and other services spend many many hours over 6 months or so, investigating the disappearance of Kim Wall. That’s leads to some of them, I suspect many of them, not being there for their families at momentous times in family life. For the lead Inspector, this is a common repeating pattern of behaviour for his daughter. Rejection, rejection, rejection until she can finally take it no more and decides to take control of the situation and manage it her way. Sound familiar to any adoptee reading this?
7) Language The series is filmed in Danish with subtitles. For me that is not an issue, but there are so many trans-country adoptions. These children grow up in a culture with a completely different language to their roots. When looking for the truth they have the added layer of language, maybe needing to find an interpreter to help them.
This series is worth the paying the tv licence for, and I don’t say that lightly. Over the past 10-11 months I have called them out for being biased and following the msm narrative and downright lying and fearmongering us over a virus, that I was on the verge of tearing up my tv licence and refusing to pay for another one. This and a few other programmes has restored my faith on them a lot.
Right at the very end of the series, in episode six, light comes to the fore, and shines brightly in the darkness. Being adopted has a lot of darkness and it takes a lot of work, often at times when it feels absolutely impossible and the ground that needs covering is massive, that giving up seems the best option. This series will show that perseverance pays off. Since March 2020, the health scenario that is going on worldwide, has given me the chance and the opportunity to research more about the situation surrounding my birth and subsequent adoption. Out of the darkness of the past 11 months, I have found the light and become stronger in the process. I am still working on writing my story, which has involved lots of digging deep into myself, to find the answers. By writing my story I hope that I will inspire others to do the same, and do their own investigations.