Is It This Or That ?

My thanks to Debyem for this post. We frequently inspire each other to write. It is nice to see the topic of “borderline personality disorder” being discussed in the adoptee/adoption community. She also mentions a book that could be next on my reading list. Bless you Debyem J x

Missing Mom

An adoptee blogging friend wrote – Borderline Personality Disorder or Adoptee?

This attracted my reading attention right away because for quite a few weeks, months?, I’ve been reading a book titled Healing the Split – Integrating Spirit Into Our Understanding Of The Mentally Ill by John E Nelson, MD. Because there is evidently a severe case mental illness (likely paranoid schizophrenia) in one of my childhood siblings, this book has really spoken to a heart that will always have concern about her well-being, even if my relationship with her has become hostile from her side of the equation. But the book goes into much more than merely mental illness but deeply into how spirituality evolves in a human being. As a matter of fact, I had my own spiritual emergency in my early 20s and but for my own realization around that, I might have ended up very much like my…

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What is Your Adoptee Anthem?

The Flourish Family have done it again. After our last session a week ago someone posted in our group Kesha singing This Is Me from the film The Greatest Showman, and called it the Adoptee Anthem.

Someone then asked us to post the songs that most resonates with us and our journey through adoption. It didn’t take me long to list Phil Collins Separate Lives

I have since spent the past week listening to much of Phil’s music, that was the background to my life back in the 1980’s. His personal life, the splitting up from his wife, led him to write many lyrics, that when I heard them, mirrored my feelings that I had in my relationship with my birth mother, Pat. Pat had turned up in my life when I was training as a nurse, and what should have been a period of discovering more about myself, turned out to be a stressful and emotional time. She couldn’t bring herself to explain what had happened back in 1960, to bring about my conception, and so I didn’t see much point in continuing the relationship. I couldn’t find a footing to have a relationship with someone who I felt was of my parent’s generation. I had nothing in common, we had no shared experience to begin a conversation. What we had shared, my 9 months of gestation, she became upset over and I was accused of upsetting her! She couldn’t or wouldn’t even tell me what time I was born. The words in the song “You have no right to ask me how I feel” took on great significance, that when singing along, I would shout them out with passion in the middle of the song.

I Don’t Care Anymore summed up how I was feeling about my relationship with Pat and how I couldn’t take her behaviour anymore. It starts with Phil on the drums, and it has a tribal feel to it, that gets my heart chakra energised.

This past week, revisiting the time of my life in the 80’s has been enlightening. I have listened to lyrics that had meaning for me at the time, that I now have a slightly different view of it, as I have healed over the years.

So thank you to Sara, for raising the question about the music. I will continue to listen to Phil, but I will also remind myself:

I am brave, I am bruised, I am who I’m meant to be, This is Me!

This is Me, First Night on Kilimanjaro

Thanks for reading. What is your adoptee anthem?

There is a Finding Joy Community over on facebook, for any adoptee who is searching for ways of looking to help with dealing with the feelings and emotions of being relinquished. I look forward to welcoming you there.

Blessings and Joy, Joy

Borderline Personality Disorder or Adoptee?

I came across a video on youtube where Dr Ramani was talking about borderline personality disorder (bpd) and how to recognise it from the 9 traits of it. Watching it I thought wow! This sounds so much like the traits of an adopted person.

There are the 9 traits according to Dr Ramani. You can listen to the full interview here.

She describes it as a disorder of instability and impulsivity. In relationships, moods and behaviour, and sense of self. OK how many adoptees reading this have already put their hands up as recognising themselves in that description?

A TREMENDOUS fear of ABANDONMENT! It cuts through the disorder. No shit Sherlock! Have you ever asked any of your clients that you are treating if they have actually been abandoned in their life, especially around day 1? Did they teach you anything at psych school about the primal wound? Have you read the Primal Wound? I totally recommend it for anyone seeing clients with what you are labelling as bpd. Have you ever asked the person that goes ape shit over someone being late for a dinner date what it’s like waiting for your mother to take you in her arms, but it never happens. Have you ever thought how a simple thing like someone turning up late could trigger that feeling. Although they cannot recall that memory, their body certainly remembers the feeling and so when they get triggered, then bam, they are reliving those feelings and emotions that they experienced at hour zero. OK rant over, I will now try and write without emotion and triggers and just write emotionless over the traits that Dr Ramani calls bpd, which I prefer to call “adoptee functioning”.

  1. Fear of Abandonment: real or perceived. A sense of self fulfilling prophesy when someone leaves you.
  2. Unstable and Intense inter-personal relationships. Relationships have a roller coaster feel to them.
  3. Identity Disturbance: Doesn’t know who they are. Changes appearance, hair colouring, tattoos dress style. Multiple personality identity.
  4. Impulsivity: Acting without thinking of consequences. Bingeing, addiction, act out in the moment. Using substances to soothe, not addressing the issue. “Don’t want to feel this way”.
  5. Suicidal Behaviour: thoughts or attempts. Response to inner pain they cannot manage. Uses threats to keep relationships.
  6. Affective Instability: fluctuating moods. Tidal wave of emotion, express it openly, cannot inhibit it. Over react to everything in their environment.
  7. Chronically Feels Empty: Struggles to feel whole. A hollow shell or drum. Psychological skeleton is missing.
  8. Inappropriate or Intense Shows of Anger: Frustrated by small things, quick to throw things, and be intense. feels everything, really really thin skin. Everyone walks on eggshells. Regretful after anger, continues the abandonment cycle, suicidal thoughts, an emotional loop.
  9. Transient Stress Induced Paranoid Idealation: Under stress, may experience paranoid experiences. “Everyone’s out to get me” Symptoms of dis-associtation “Act like a child”

To get a diagnosis of BPD, you require 5 out of the 9 traits according to Dr Ramani. Well I don’t know about any other adoptees who are reading this, but I would say this is pretty typical behavior of someone who has experienced being relinquished at birth, and it is the way that adoptees function, rather than it being dysfunctional. If professionals understood the psychological trauma that Paul Sunderland speaks about in his Addiction and Adoption lectures, adoptees might get the right type of support that they need. Support them to help them come to terms with their relinquishment.

I am going to re-label Borderline Personality Disorder as Adoptee Adaptive Personality, caused by relinquishment and will explain my reasons in a later post.

If you recognise these behaviour traits in yourself or someone close to you, then please come and join the Finding Joy Community on Facebook. We hope to offer help in recognising these situations and how you can help yourself to come to terms with the issues that adoption can cause.

Blessings and Joy, Joy

Mistake: 5 Word Friday

The lovely Esther Chilton over at Esther Chilton Blog sets a challenge every Thursday, to tell a story in 5 words. I share my offerings with you in 5 Word Friday. This week’s word was “Mistake”. Here are my offerings:

Not easy. Make no mistake.
Mistakes become life long learning.
Menstrual dates mistake begets baby.
Experiencing personal growth by mistakes.
Cooking mistake reveals new recipes.

Morrisons mistake chocolate for currants.

You can read the background to the Morrisons story on Expectations and Realisations

Have a great weekend.

Expectation v Realisation

I was listening to a youtube video yesterday, which I will write a long blog post on. It is on “borderline personality disorder” or bpd for short. I was reminded yesterday of how far I have come in managing those tiny moments in life when you realise that what you thought you had, isn’t what you actually have.

Background story to this is that my husband asked me if I would like a hot cross bun for breakfast. For those who may not be familiar with this British delicacy, it is a bun with mixed spice and currants in, that we traditionally eat at Easter time. The cross signifying the cross that Jesus was crucified on. They are delicious toasted and eaten warm, when the butter melts on them. So, looking forward to the moment when those familiar tastes of fruitiness and spiciness hits the taste buds, I wasn’t expecting what actually came.

This picture below is what the buns look like. They look like hot cross buns, right?

On reading the sticker on the package, it reads Hot Cross Buns right?

Have a closer look at what is written. Can you see it yet?

What we expected to be hot cross buns filled with currants and mixed spice, were in fact mocha flavour with chocolate chips. Not what we expected at all. My husband’s face was a picture as I tried to explain that that is what my whole life is like, expecting something when in reality it turns out to be something else. They were still buns, and they were quite nice, but not what we were expecting and so the eating of them was tinged with disappointment. Now times that a thousand-fold to the expectation that the baby had to be placed in it’s mothers’ arms at the moment of birth, that never came. You are now beginning to realise how life’s tiny un-realised expectations take on huge proportions in the adoptees life, than can lead them to be labelled as borderline personality disorder. Can we get the clinical psychologists, such as Dr Ramani to take note? I would like to think that we could, with some re-education into what actually leads to someone behaving like she described in the video.

More on that in forthcoming posts, where I compare bpd with adoptee behaviour and why they do what they do, based on their life experiences.

For now thanks for reading. I’ll leave you with the last picture, of my own Hot Cross Bun dough, all ready for proving. They say that the best creations come out of the darkest moments don’t they. Well as I was kneading the dough I was listening to Phil Collins “Take me Home”. The phrase “Take, take me home, I don’t remember, take take me home” had me in tears. Husband is expecting them to be ready for when he comes in from golf. He’s going to be disappointed. But I hope my darkness makes them taste good.

Blessings and Joy, Joy

You Are What You Eat on Therapy Thursday

We are coming to the end of February and we have had a couple of nice spring days. Have you noticed how your food preferences change as soon as the sun is shining and there is some warmth in the air? Mine does. We were going to have soup for lunch, but after our usual walk to post the aromatherapy oils that we sell on ebay, I fancied something different. Something that we had quite a lot last year, over the Spring and Summer. Goat’s cheese on tiny toasted ciabatta bread with fresh homemade salsa to accompany it. It tastes fresh and reminds me that summer is just around the corner.

With things the way they are in the world, we are not sure if we are going to get to Portugal again this year. I love going to Portugal and visiting the Saturday markets where all sorts of fresh fruit and vegetables, hams and figs are sold. Just walking around the streets with the sunshine boosting our immune systems, inter-mingling with locals and tourists, it is a highlight of my holiday. Buying the fresh produce and cooking them with all the nutrients, vitamins and minerals which is good for my health, which shows in the glowing skin, strong hair and nails, and high energy levels I rarely feel the need for my green food supplement that I take daily when in the UK. This year I may have to be satisfied with a staycation in Scotland again and reminisce over my photos.

Healthy eating is part of my routine for good physical and mental health. A good balance of fresh food with plenty of fresh fruit and vegetable is good for a natural intake of vitamins and minerals, the building blocks for all those chemicals in the body which maintain our health. They keep out blood sugars level, avoiding those highs and lows which come with eating fast food, sugary snacks and drinks, and alcohol. It is well documented that addiction and adoption are closely linked. In the Flourish Family we often discuss cake and chocolate as something that we use as to self soothe. Not the best health habit to have.

Think healthy, eat healthy, be healthy.

Blessings and Joy, Joy

Shared Experiences in the Flourish Family

The Flourish family have been together for just 2 months now and are beginning to really open up to each other, and I am feeling it. I am feeling the collective pain of us all, as I come to realise that we have had so many experiences that are similar but different.

On Tuesday I shared Sara’s blog “Said by Sara” and today she published another post where she talks about “not feeling well” as a child. Feelings that she only started to understand in her mid 20’s, as being the result of having been relinquished as it’s root cause.

I was reminded of my second day at school and vomiting on the step leading up into my classroom. Nobody saw me, but the pavement pizza was discovered by a teacher who was concerned that a child was at school who was ill. I confessed to it being me, but assured the teacher that I really was ok, and didn’t need to be sent home. I don’t recall the sense of abandonment at the school gates, I think I have totally blocked that off, but I am sure that my 5 year old vagus nerve made my stomach do a flip and present my breakfast to the step.

I turned 60 six weeks ago and have only just discovered that my start in life has coloured my whole life experience. The fog is clearing and it is a painful journey, but one that I hope will be worth it. I am already feeling much happier, being enlightened about the issues, and I always have the support of my Flourish Family, who innately understand what we are all going through. My husband, bless him, and my daughter do their best, but only Flourish family members really get it. When we are allowed to travel again, it is going to be one hell of a family reunion.

If you are an adoptee, and would like to join the Finding Joy Community on facebook then please do. This community is one for healing and support and is for adoptees only.

Blessings and Joy, Joy

3 Men and a Baby, or Two

I came across this article on facebook yesterday and read it and cannot believe the naivety behind the behaviour of all involved.

I would like to start out by saying I do not understand the circumstances in the US with birth certificates and adoptions. When a child is adopted, it’s legal status changes from it’s birth family being legally responsible, to the family that has adopted the child. That doesn’t take from the fact, that the birth parents “gave birth” along with supplying genetic material, cultural history and roots, for said child to root itself in society. Adopted families often fail to aknowledge this, and it is the most common reason for angst amongst my adoptee friends. Let’s call it what it is, an adoption certificate, it is not a certificate of birth. However for the sake of this post and going with what goes on in the US, I will go along with it.

So in this article, 3 men are applauding themselves for doing such a grand job of convincing a judge to name all three of them on a “birth certificate”. Not one of these men supplied the sperm for the subsequent child that was born. One of them did happen to have a friend who had spare embryos from IVF treatment that, and I quote, “they weren’t going to use” as if they were a three for two offer and they had excess veg that they gave to a neighbour rather than waste. So “with the help of a surrogate, their first child was born”. So not only is none of the three the gentic material, they then used a surrogate to incubate the baby, who was then relinquished, from the only world it knew, with it’s mother’s voice, it’s mother’s heartbeat and it’s mothers’ footsteps, to be relinquished to these three men.

At the surrogacy hearing, one of the parents, “Jenkins” said “It was like having ice water thrown on them” when the judge said that they couldn’t have what they wanted. Well Jenkins, I can tell from experience that what you have done to Piper, your child, is throw ice water over them, whilst shining a mega torch in their new born eyes, whilst banging a drum right next to their delicate hearing system, all at the same time, to your precious child. That is exactly how I describe what happened to me at birth, and even though I cannot recall it, my soul remembers it just as I described.

What a pity the judge didn’t turn round and tell you to grow up and that you can’t always get what you want. What a pity she didn’t insist that you read the Primal Wound or watch Paul Sunderland’s video on Adoption and Addiction.

The article goes on to say “If you’ve ever seen a court room drama where the innocent person gets off in the end – it was like that”. Sorry boys, but the only innocent in this, is the child, and you all acted like it was your right to get your three names on a piece of paper which totally disregards your child’s genetics, roots, culture, all the things that give us identity into who we are.

The men go on “We didn’t want media attention at the time”. Now they have a book due to be published in March, so they’re capitalising on their ground breaking decision now. The men are planning on being on the same page and have a consistent parenting style when their “Oldest has a tantrum like a reactor breaking down in Chernobyl. How much time for a time out” they ask?

I ask, no, I implore, that you do some reading to understand what you may have done to trigger your child to have a tantrum. Time out is really not the answer guys. Giving your child a time out is like the abandoning experience all over again for them. Your child expected to be placed in it’s mothers’ arms, but that expectation was not met, so when your child expects a soda and you give them milk you have not met their expectation – expect a major tantrum as the only way they have of dealing with it as a toddler. Doing time out is only going to reinforce that life is not good, it is not ok, and abandonment is never far away. Instead what your child needs is understanding, compassion, a hug when you think they deserve it the least.

You asked if the parent needs help or is (their behaviour) adding fuel to the fire? Please do your reading and research now. I am sure you love your children and they will love you in return, but love is not all it takes. Please read the books that are out there, from an adoptees perspective to try and see the world from your children’s point of view. Only then can you consider yourself Wise Men and consider the consequences that your actions may have on the health and wellbeing of your children.

Thank you for reading. This post is my own opinion in reaction to the article that was published on LGBTQ Nation on 17th Feb 2021. Do you have a different opinion on it? I would love to hear your thoughts.

Blessings and Joy, Joy

Let’s Hear It for Sara

For my regular followers, you will know that last Sunday we discussed about taking risks in the Flourish group, which I will from hereonin refer to as my family, my Flourish Family.

Well Sara admitted to having a blog that she has written the past 2 years, but she had not hit the “public” button. After the meeting, she wrote a post, that Anne shared, and you can read it by clicking on this link Said by Sara How proud the Flourish Family are to support her in her blog.

Please head over and give Sara some love and support. You can also find Sara on Instagram @saramarie419

Blessings and Joy, Joy