2021 Reflections

A facebook memory popped up today, and what with it being December 31st, it was a memory of a post that celebrated 2019. That was an eventful packed year, and it was lovely to reminisce on my achievements. This year feels as though I have slightly underachieved but perhaps I am being too harsh on myself.

I started 2021 taking a long hard look at myself and all things adoption. The year started well, when I found Ann Heffron’s Flourish group. How awesome was that, to participate in a group that was made up purely of adoptees? It started off well, but after 4 months, we parted ways, as I raced off into the sunset on my chariot, following a session where I apparently wasn’t liked for not going on a Thelma and Louise style journey in my head and ditching stuff that I no longer needed. I felt that I had already ditched stuff, that I had healed a lot from my adoption package, and that each question posed did not get the response that was expected. I wanted to continue to be a part of the group for the other adoptees, but honestly it was getting depressing. I can’t say I was sorry to leave, and it freed up Sunday afternoons to do other things. Along the way I had joined lots of facebook groups and read lots of blog posts on many aspects of adoption. I may dive back into that at some stage, I do still feel that I have a story to tell that I would like to get out there, but for now I remain grateful that I came across Paul Sunderland’s work, and I look forward to joining in a session in a few week’s time, that Zara Phillips has organised on “Development Trauma of Relinquishment” featuring the very lovely Paul himself.

2021 was the year that saw the decking finally finished….almost. We now have a glass balustrade round most of the sides, but we are still waiting for the handrail on the steps to go down into the garden to be fitted. It was also the year that I wrote more consistently, although daily has not happened, but there was a run of 100 days when I wrote a blog post each day. I continued to meet via zoom with my 2 buddies from the States who I met on the Hay House challenge. None of us are writing a book as I type but we are supporting each other in our chosen activities. One thing that we did agree on, i our last meeting of the year, was that New years dodn’t hold a lot of appeal to us. We all realsie the importance of NOW, that if we don’t like what we are doing, or where we are heading, then the time to change things is now, not at a magical midnight on one day of the year. Time is cyclical, seasonal. The clock rolls around, and for 1 night only the hand at midnight signifies the rolling round of a new year, but the day has exactly the same number of minutes and seconds in it as every other day and every other year. As it approaches now, in under 2 hours, I found myself alone, curled up on the sofa writing this, whilst my husband is curled up in bed suffering from a winter lurgy. It is probably the same lurgy that I have been suffering with the past week, meaning that I have failed miserably in meditating and contemplating with the chosen essential oil for this month. With the new moon coming in at 18.35 on Sunday 2nd Jan 2022 I endeavour to be more focussed. I need to be, by the time the next new moon arrives I shall have launched an online course entitled “Connecting Intimately with the Divine using Sacred and Precious Essential Oils”.

Have a Safe and Happy New Year when it arrives with you

Happy New Year 2022

Heading to Outlander Country

Today I headed out to the small harbour in the village of Dunure on the South Ayrshire coast to do a little photo shoot. For any of my followers who are Outlander fans, Dunure was the setting for part of a story line where a ship sets sail. It is usually a bustling little place but today it was very quiet, with just a handful of people sitting outside the cafe with a beverage and snack, trying to keep warm from the biting chill. The recent lockdown appears to have hit the village hard, although no-one was willing to talk to us about the toll that it had had on their business. In fact they seemed very fearful of us even being there with our smiling faces. Which was a pity because the little gift shop had some lovely things and we were going to spend our hard earned cash there, but they asked us to leave, so we didn’t get to buy a momento of our trip to Dunure. I have to make do with my photos instead.

Tomorrow will be another town, or village, or maybe even the head of the River Ayr, who knows.

Blessings and Joy, Joy

The Support Adoptive Families Really Need

The election campaign has taken over my writing for the time being, but I feel compelled to write this, after coming across an article, orginally published in The Independent on 27th September 2017. It had the headline “Adoptive parents say “extraordinary lack of support has driven their families to crisis point” written by their social affairs correspondent at the time, May Bulman. As I read the article, I thought that the heading would have read better if it had said “Adoptive parents totally mis-handle the children they have taken in” as the article showed no understanding, of how to deal with the trauma that relinquishment instils!

The article starts “We always felt that our love and commitment would prevail.” How many times have I read that? “We love them, that is all it will take” mentality. It goes on – more than a quarter of adoptive families are in crisis, parents with adopted children tell the Independent, they are overwhelmed. Around 5,500 children are adopted each year in the UK, they tell us at the very end of the article – so 1250 families, if we assume that some siblings are adopteed together, are in crisis because of how they do not understand how the child feels.

We read about Sarah and Dave, who adopted a baby boy when he was ten months old. We are told that Ollie* not his real name, was adopted when he was ten months old. We are not told how many times Ollie was relinquished in those ten months, but my guess would be twice, but more is a distinct possibility. He may have been relinquished by his mother who gave birth to him, very close to his birth, and then taken to a foster family whilst the adoption process was being finalised, before arriving at Sarah and Dave’s home. In the early days his development followed a normal course, but issues soon started to emerge. Again we are not told of the parenting style of Sarah and Dave, but I can’t help wondering if Ollie was ever put on the naughty step as a way of managing his behaviour, because I can tell you, as an adoptee, he would feel abandoned again, triggering his emotions that he probably couldn’t verbalise, so he would have a tantrum. Rather than investigate why he was showing signs of ADHD and autism, it was put down to his birth mother’s use of heroin during the pregnancy.

Sarah says he had terrible issues making friends. Darling Sarah, do you have any idea how it feels to be a child who has been abandoned and rejected by your mother? You take that experience into life – if your mother didn’t want you, no-one wants you to be their friend either. In our tiny tramuatised minds, we crave friendships and relationships and yet we push people away, because it is easier for us to reject you, than wait for you to reject us. We hold the cards that way.

At secondary school he sounded like he was in his own little war zone in his head, struggling to deal with the social elements. Sarah had eighteen months going between services, being bandied about. “It took an extraordinary amount of resilience to fight with all the services” she said. I have three questions to ask her, or any other person who is struggling to deal with their child’s behaviour.

  1. Have you read Nancy Verrier’s book Primal Wound.
  2. Have you watched Paul Sunderland’s youtube video on Addiction and Adoption.
  3. Have you spoken to an adoptee? One who has come out of the fog, as an expert on how your child may be feeling and why they are acting the way they are, at any given time.

Let’s take birthdays as an example. In general we adoptees don’t like our birthdays. It is nothing to do with the heroin our mother’s may or may not have taken whilst they were pregnant with us. We don’t like them for the very reason that we see them as the day that our mother abandoned us, whilst you, dear adoptive parent, see us as the answer to your infertility problem. So while we want to grieve the loss of our mother, you want to celebrate. Grief and celebration really don’t mix too well in our tiny minds.

I am so sorry Ollie, that Sarah and Dave had absolutely no idea how you would feel being sent away to boarding school. They promised to love you, and instead of trying to understand you, they did the most hurtful thing imaginable, they rejected you and sent you away and went to the newspapers to say we did everything right, but social services didn’t support them.

“In order to maintain his place in the family” you sent him away. Please don’t be surprised Sarah and Dave if he never comes back to take his place in your family again. You sent him away, why on earth would he want to come back to take his place? He doesn’t have a place in his eyes.

I couldn’t bear to read much further as Sarah went on to say how she made 20-30 phone calls, and goes on to say “parents already going through such trauma”. Not one mention about the trauma that Ollie went through prior to arrival at their home.

I have reached out to Adoption UK and offered to speak at thie conference, they haven’t replied to my reply. I have also reached out to the journalist and The Independent, offering to write an article about how society can help adoptees. They too have failed to respond. Until the adoption fraternity start to engage with adoptees, I fear that more and more “Ollies” are going to be let down. Please engage with us, we want to help you stop causing children more issues than they already have, because adoptive parents and the adoption world beleive that all you need is love. It is what we need, but we also need you to understand us. Reach out to us, if you are serious about the mental health of 1250 children a year.

What is Your North Star?

In the Flourish group today we were asked what our North Star is. What are we focussed on and travelling towards.

My North Star has to be my book that will be published. It would appear that I have gone a little off piste, as the deadline for the book proposal is tomorrow and I have steered off course to campaign for the upcoming elections on 6th May, but my faith is strong and I know that God has me doing what he wants me to do. All of my life I have preferred to be on my own. I work on my own and am happy doing so. What I am doing at the moment is showing me that I can work alongside others. Today I have worked with a couple of other people to organise the bundling and distribution of 70,000 campaign leaflets. A major feat for me, believe me.

Blessings and Joy, Joy

Challenges Ahead

With the election just 3 weeks away, my writing is going to take a back seat for now. Today I spent the day with another candidate for the South region of Scotland, hoping to win votes for the Freedom Alliance party, a brand new political party put together without any politicians in it. It is people power. We the people have had enough. It is going to be a challenge, but whatever the outcome I will be able to say that I tried my best to do what is right.

Blessings and Joy, Joy

How Am I Using My Time

Following on from yesterday saying that I was utilising my time wisely and took ownership for it, today I am going to do a 180 degree u-turn and say that I am over commited. I have a book proposal to get in, in a week’s time, and I am also standing as a candidate for the Scottish Parliament with all the campaigning that that involves. The election takes place on 6th May, so a busy time at the moment.

I took some time today to write one of my chapters which will go in with the book proposal, so it left little time to write a lengthy blog post, so I will leave you with this:

Blessings and Joy, Joy

How Do You Own Your Time, Money and Energy?

Where am I not in ownership of my own time, money and energy? This was the question I was asked in the Flourish group this week. I have done a pretty good job in being in ownership of all three I thought, but I will reflect further now and expand on the jottings that I got down in the five minutes allowed in the session.

I knew that five minutes was not going to be long enough to delve into the question fully, that it would take more time that that to do it justice, so I scribbled a few sentnences about knowing what makes Joy happy, and therefore I can spend time money and energy being happy on my own, but that can come at the detriment of my relationship with others.

I struggle to remain present with others when they want to do something that I don’t want to do. Take shopping as an example. I find no pleasure in shopping and so I deny myself time with my daughter who loves to shop. For me, my judgemental mind says that she doesn’t need more clothes, she has plenty and so to buy more is un-necssary. When we do go shopping, it breaks my heart to see her go for the reduced sale rail, as I then think that she doesn’t see any worth in herself, that she is only worth reduced items, when I know she has great value. Bargain yes, pay over the odds No! I too struggled with putting value on myself as to what I was worth, to buy clothes to clothe myself. It took me years to be able to easily buy myself something at full price, and when I do buy them I am not comfortable showing them off. I secrete them into the house and hide them, I cannot show them off and take ownership that I deserve them.

A few weeks back I shared with you how I had bought a painting and kept it hidden for a week as I wasn’t sure how my husband would react and feel about me spending money on it.

I am very selfish with my time. I know what makes me happy and I know that I am not happy if I am unhappy. By that I mean I don’t find it easy to go along with doing stuff that I don’t like. I have become better at spending time with my husband recently. It’s not an effort but I have to really check in and remind myself to spend time with him as it is important for our relationship.

We are not big talkers. I am, he isn’t. I talk, he mainly listens, occassionally we discuss by which I mean discuss big issues, not what we are going to have for the next meal or whether or not we want a cup of tea. I’m talking feeling big issues. Today we discussed how two siblings may have very different views and explanations about the same event.

The three natural siblings of my adoptive parents have never really spoken to me about how it felt to have random babies come into their home. How did it feel to their 10- 8 1/2 and 7 year old selves. How many babies did come through their home? I was the last, and stayed and was adopted, but I actually have no idea how many there were who were fostred before me. 1? 10? 20? Did my siblings feel that we were taking what was rightly theirs, in their eyes? Their parents time, money and energy?

One thing that my husband and I did discuss was that my feelings aren’t unique to adoptees, non-adoptees can also feel that they don’t deserve to have money spent on them, they cannot accept gracefully when someone wants to but them something, without feeling obligated to buy something in return. I know that on the call today that this reflection on my ownership was going to take longetr than five minutes. I have promised to spend some time with my husband this evening, watching a film with a G&T in hand. So I am going to honour that promise and call it a day here with my writing, and pay full attention to the film he has chosen and switch my laptop off.

What sort of relationship do you have with time, money and energy?

Blessings and Joy, Joy

Can You Help Me?

I am looking for two or three people who can help me with the ideas that I am mulling over and give feedback, with regard to the content of my book. If you could be one of them, the please comment at the bottom of this post, giving me your ideas on how I can improve my work.

Over the past few days I have been working through the Hay House steps, in an effort to become a published author. Today I was working on the benefits that my book will offer my readers. Here are my initial thoughts:

Explanation 1

By sharing the story of my life as an adoptee, by explaining the steps and processes that I have developed to help me with my understanding of myself, and my behaviours, I hope to help my readers understand how adoptees view the world. My reader may be an adoptee themselves, they may be parents or family members who have adopted, they may work with people within the adoption triad, or maybe even have employees who are adopted. My story will help them to understand how their behaviour may be contributing to the adoptee’s behaviour.

Many adoptees are labelled as borderline personality disorder, but I prefer to think that their behaviour is an adaptation behaviour. My book will explain this, to enable those around adoptees, to help support them.

Explanation 2

As an adoptee, I am writing a book that will be my personal story and journey, describing my life and how I came to find joy and myself by applying 7 simple steps to discover who the real Joy is.

By describing the daily rituals that I do, I hope to guide anyone who feels rejected, to feel more positive about themselves and to realise that to have another person love you, you first need to love yourself, for who you are.

These rituals are as important as showering, shaving, cleaning teeth and eating, for our personal wellbeing. Simple things in life will often trigger an adoptee, and these imple steps will help the reader to understand why they have been triggered and how to heal from it.

So which of thsoe 2 explanations would attract you to pick up my book and read it? Or maybe neither of them would and you are looking for something else to help you? Please comment and let me know.

Blessings and Joy, Joy