In response to Trace’s post –
“If I am to heal myself, I need to know and see how I coped as this little girl who lived in fear and confusion” – thank you Trace for getting to the heart of it!
You may or may not have noticed, that I’ve been reposting some of the very best and helpful blog posts by others, some about the adopted life, but others about the interests I have in my life which are little to do with adoption or perhaps they have a lot to do with adoption. Archeology, for instance, a great love, has probably got much in common with adoption searching, the attempts we make to uncover our history, our beginnings, where we came from and our ancestral roots and connections. Architecture is about buildings things from nothing, as we adoptee often have to do in our lives and about making something out of what we have available, as they do in many creative communities around the world where poverty and lack of housing have forced people to live in buildings many of us would consider uninhabitable and only fit for demolition. I am very wary of tracing everything in life and making it about adoption, sometimes we admire, like or embrace because it is as far from adoption as it could be and gives us a feeling of ‘normality’ whatever that is, difference and hope, encouragement and optimism.
These last few weeks I have been unwell again with pneumonia. I narrowly escaped going to hospital and rejoice that I did not, so soon after my last admittance, the battery of tests and procedures. I felt battered, exhausted by it all and definitely not ready to face that again so soon. After sinking into a trough for a few days, I found my fighting spirit again and am developing a game plan. I do not intend to keep doing this yo-yoing in and out of hospital, worrying my family and causing myself inconvenience. What I do need to do is address the whys and wherefores, the impact of the past on the present, as I have done many times before. It is time to go again, to peel back another layer of the onion and to get at the nub of why my health has been affected as it has. Every scrap of ‘evidence’ points to trauma in early life and to more recent damage brought about by medical interventions, maybe anaesthetics, and the use of those dreadful post-op stockings which seem to have done my legs and feet so much damage. I have peripheral nerve damage, nothing could be clearer, the why may never be admitted to by a medical profession not keen to be taken to task, sued or in other ways be held responsible for the damage they and the drug companies do to patients or people as we call them in the real world! Angry? A bit, but not as angry as my family are, those who have had to watch my suffering and my struggles.
This is not a post of self-pity, a call for pity or sympathy. It is a call for those of you who suffer in whatever way, to find from the depths of you pain and difficulty, a game plan, a bag of tricks, a bundle of coping mechanisms, things that help get you through or assist towards being the healthiest you can be and the best able to cope with whatever you are dealing with, today, tomorrow and in the future. We make choices – we can wallow indefinitely. I’m a great fan of a good wallow, as long as it doesn’t go on too long and be unproductive. We can re-traumatise ourselves and others by going over and over and over our stories, as we in the adoption world see so very often. We can do any number of things which keep us on the same spot – name your poison! we all have a favourite! And it is poison, because it keeps us unwell, unhealthy, in victim mode and without hope or optimism. Find whatever it is that gets you taking the first baby steps towards coping better, not being a victim and becoming a surviver and in time, a thriver. From the most unpromising places we can achieve, live good lives and be productive contributors. Look at Stephen Hawking (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stephen_Hawking) one of the most exciting brains of our time and at any number of people around us, in our lives, our neighbourhoods and communities. Personally, I look to Pierre, a man in my community, who had a head injury as a young man and who has lived in a wheel-chair ever since. He drives, walks his dog, lives fairly independently when it was thought he never would. He brings joy and love to all around him by his attitude, his smile and his full, rich life lived with the best quality possible. Adam Hills, the man born with one foot, who has inspired, changed attitudes to abilities and made jokes possible that were not before without diminishing, laughing at or being un-PC. The brother of a friend of mine in a similar situation, chose to take his own life as a young adult. Different story, different choices.
Getting through has been very hard for me this time. As my lovely Daughter pointed out, the older you are, the longer your history! The more layers of the onion there are to peel away.I have made attempts in each decade and it seems this will be my new challenge. Finally getting to understand the connections between early trauma and abuse and ill health; my early trauma and abuse and my ill health – not research, not evidence, not speculation just the hard cold facts, the harsh realities and the feelings, the aloneness and the struggles. Connecting the dots between where I was then and where I am now and where I’m going next! The next part of the journey – who will ride shot-gun, who will be along for the ride, who will my companions be? My family has opted in; their loyalty and support demonstrated clearly and my gratitude for that is immeasurable. There will be other companions too – faithful cats, my geese, Louise. L. Hay as ever, a new top-notch Naturopath, HolyClothing who have done my wardrobe all the way from across the pond and of course the every marvellous Bon Jovi!
If you’re braving yourself for the next stage of your journey, you can’t go past these for anthems! Bon Voyage!
I have written here on this blog about my becoming Lara, integrating parts of my persona that were buried or stunted or created as an adoptee growing up with strangers.
I had posted on Facebook (as Trace) how I experienced huge chunks of CRAZY, had patterns of unhealthy behavior and even how big blocks of memory seemed hazy or gone. This does not make me any different (or better off or worse off) than others. If I am to heal myself, I need to know and see how I coped as this little girl who lived in fear and confusion.
My thoughts now? My crazy hazy chunks of time were in fact self-preservation – it was the only way I could handle what I had to face to avoid fracturing or destroying my delicate developing mind. (And this did happen to others living in a dysfunctional setting in…
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