Thursday, October 25, 2012

Adoption Pains

There are some topics that are harder to write about than others.  One topic that I usually struggle with is adoption.
While on the surface, I can talk about how wonderful the gift of adoption can be and that yes it is hard on the birth parents (and family) and potentially the adoptee, I find it much more difficult to delve into the actual feelings that go along with this decision that affects you for your entire life. 

I am a birth mother.  I was a young teen when I had gotten pregnant, and told next to no one when I found out.  I was young and na├»ve, with the mentality that if I ignore it, it will work itself out.  It’ll just ‘go away’.  The thing is, I knew better.  Deep down I knew at some point I would have to face this, but I preferred later rather than sooner.  As people at school started to notice, never once did I feel isolated.  However, I found myself realizing that while people were ‘okay’ with this around me, I would still have to face up to my family alone.  I’m not ready to go into all the things that happened when they found out, as I don’t particularly like to re-visit that aspect.  What I do remember is that adoption was the only option on the table for me.  Many will say that everyone has options.  But the reality of it is that yes, there are options, but there are consequences of EVERY option, none of which seemed appealing.  In my case, I didn’t feel like there were options except one.  On the surface, I remained quite disconnected, and unemotional about the whole adoption process.  I would cry, but no one really knew why I was crying.  At the time I didn’t want to admit to anyone that I wanted my baby.  It seemed so taboo.  And I found myself beating myself up over it, saying everything that I thought everyone wanted to hear.  Not saying what may have been the most important thing at the time.  I want to keep my baby.

After my family found out about my pregnancy, and the adoption preparations began, I chose the family that would raise my child from profiles that the agency thought I might be okay with.  The family was chosen.
When my child was born, I remember being in the hospital, and I remember giving birth….but what stands out to me, and what will always be that thought that kills me inside, was walking out of the hospital, and leaving my child behind.  I cried that day because it hurt. 

Being young and resilient, it didn’t take me long to find myself back in school and taking on the regular ‘problems’ of a teenager again.  That’s not to say that I didn’t think about my child, or feel sad at times.  It’s just that there was a lot more to keep my mind occupied.  Finishing high school and getting into a good university was my ultimate goal at that time.

Fast forward to my early to mid-20’s.  I found myself in and out of bouts of depression (self-diagnosed of course).  I would be so pulled back into feelings I didn’t allow myself to feel when I had given my child up for adoption that I was angry a lot and rebellious just to feel some sense of control over myself.  Having those feelings and not really knowing how to cope began my long journey into becoming more positively in-tune with myself and the world around me.  That’s not to say I still didn’t have moments of anger and sadness, but I developed the coping mechanisms of “this experience makes me who I am”, “what can I learn from this, or what am I SUPPOSED to learn from this”, “I have to come out of this experience stronger”, “Don’t let this take you down”.  At first, it wasn’t my voice that I heard.  It was the voice of a friend that always seemed to put me back into the right frame of mind.  Now I find that it’s my own voice giving myself the advice.

Now beyond 30, I find that I’m affected more by this.  My child is now a grown person, with thoughts and feelings that I know nothing about.  My feelings are now a different sadness.  I try not to regret my decision for adoption, but the “what ifs” still find their way in.  I tell myself all the positives, that my child must have had a great life; two parents that could give them everything; a normal childhood; and not dealing with the stigma of a teenage mom (does that still exist).  With all the wonderful things I tell myself, my sadness now comes from the thought of “what is my child thinking and feeling?”  Do they know they’re adopted?  And if they do, do they know I loved them then, and do now?  And does that even matter to them? 

We all live with the consequences of our actions, and while this was and always will be a sad experience, I feel that I’ve come out of it stronger, and have found a way to feel at least a little inner peace about it. 

My reason for writing about this experience is I was hoping to get a response from adoptees or Birth/Adoptive Parents on how they feel about their own experience, and any coping mechanisms they have used, or continue to use if applicable to what they feel.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

A Little Constant Positivity!!

For a little constant positivity, follow me on twitter.
@ListenAndGuide
Take care!

Your Life Is Important!

I have been wondering why many of our youth are turning to suicide as an escape from the emotional turmoil and torture that is bullying.  I sometimes wish that they could understand the meaning behind the words so many often provide, “It Gets Better”.  The truth is, as you get older, you become emotionally stronger and more comfortable in who you are.  You are more aware of who you are, and what you want in life.  You slowly start to realize that all the bullies and negative people who tried to bring you down, their words no longer mean anything, because at the end of the day, words are only as strong as you allow them to be.  You have the people who love you around you, whether it be your family or your friends.  People can only mentally affect you if you let them.  That switch in the mind turns on with maturity, self-acceptance, and greater self-esteem, and I hope that more of our youth can realize that life is not just Primary School or High School.  One day it will just be a few years out of many, that hopefully made you a better and stronger person.  EVERYONE has the potential to become someone great, that can change a few or many lives.  Don’t end your life because someone else thinks you should.  Know that you are stronger and will be someone with ideas, that can implement change.  Don’t let negative people be a blip on your radar!  Think Postive, Stay Strong!  #positivity 

Dont Sweat the Small Stuff

My drive to work in the morning is usually busiest as I’m leaving the neighbourhood to get on to the highway.  It’s not a far drive, but it’s congested depending on the time you leave. 
This morning, I left a small gap between myself and a pick-up hitched to a small trailer.  Out of nowhere (actually out of a plaza), another car came and pushed itself into the small gap I had left really for the safety of my car and the pick-up.  I sat fuming, having been bullied by the car coming out of the plaza.  But as I drove off, I thought to myself, this guy who pushed himself into my space is driving away thinking either nothing of this incident, OR, is happy that he pushed himself in front of someone.  As I drove the fuming slowly melted, and I thought to myself, if he thought nothing of this incident (he may not even think this was an ‘incident’), then I’m the only one sitting here angry.  If he was happy to have pushed himself into my ‘safety gap’, then at least I’ve been able to give someone a bit of happiness for the morning since I don’t know what the rest of his day might be like.
At the end of the day, it was a space taken up that didn’t make me any more or less early or late for work.  Let’s not get wound up over small details.  We’re only hurting ourselves.  J  So don’t sweat the small stuff, and let’s take care of us and others.  #staypositive

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Here To Listen

I wanted to start a positive space for anyone needing a non-judgemental ear to listen, or a means to share their story.  In life, we are all encountering and experiencing similar hardships.  It's sometimes nice to know that others share the hardships.  This is a space to learn how others use positivity to get through these experiences.  Know that people are here to listen, and understand.