Just Write About it!

The unconscious working of the brain makes interpretation of what a painful experience is all about difficult. We all have an inner world of thoughts and sensations, habits, fantasies, and dreams, and much of what happens to us is beyond conscious awareness. This makes many of us strangers to ourselves, unaware of how we truly feel at any one moment of our lives. Indeed, much of our behavior is automatic; we tend to resort to repetitive habits and attitudes that don’t really express who we are, or what we want to become. https://hbr.org/2014/11/to-get-over-something-write-about-it
For many adoptees that painful experience, the loss of our mother, occurred when we were babies, small children and more rarely when we had language and if we did it was probably not that of the people who had adopted us. Our inner world may have been as confusing as the world around us and most of us are still trying to make sense of what happened to us back then and what is happening to us now. Some of us do not know who we are and may never know, because legislators or vetoeing mothers have decided we don’t need to know, are not entitled to know and that the protection of others is more important than our identity. Many accept that, others accept but work towards reform, others do not accept it and work towards reform. Those of us who are lucky enough to live in a country that legislated for openness many decades ago, are still aware that some of our fellow adoptees are vetoed and may be blocked for the rest of their lives from knowing their birth details and who they are. In my State it is over 150. For some of them the Apology for forced adoption was hollow, had no meaning and was an insult. It served only to increase their suffering, their anguish and their anger.
thIT62NKEEYesterday was a beautiful early Summer day here and a trip out to a favourite old small country town which has many antique shops, cafes and specialty shops was quite a treat. The countryside looks dramatic in it’s Summer dry brown with the sky an intense blue so the journey was delightful with many familiar landmarks but many surprises around each corner. A Caesar salad was enjoyed and followed by a good look round a crystal shop and the purchase of some fresh-water pearls for the beloved Daughter – a gift just because! Next a look at the park which is in the centre of town and has a river running through it, plenty of water birds and many flowering plants in bright hues. As soon as we stepped out of the car we were hit by the misery of a young boy about 15m away. He was accompanied by a man who appeared to be his adoptive father and a teenage girl, maybe a biological child and the communication between them was loaded with aggression, anger and perplexion. For keen observers of human behaviour, professional long-term observers, it was all there, laid out so clearly and impossible to ignore. We made assumptions based on long experience of traumatised children, children in trouble, children in foster care and adoptees. We concluded that this unhappy young black boy was an adoptee in a white family and we tried hard not to make judgements or read more into this situation than was so obviously there. He was distressed, we were distressed and had to leave. We had observed a small scene of family life which left us with such sadness, anger and frustration and an overwhelming feeling of inability to do anything and deep sorrow for this unhappy boy who was having to live out a life probably not of his choosing, far away from his motherland, his language, culture and biological relatives. Much was crystal clear but there were many questions prompted by his expression, his look of displacement, anger, perplexity and the old familiar mask of trauma. Our happy day crumbled, but that was nothing in comparison to the life of the boy who seemed so isolated, alone, displaced and courageous for trying to make sense of it, for surviving so far in whatever way he could. We were once again reminded of why it is important to keep doing whatever you can to bring the truth of adoption to light, to assist those who ask for help and to do whatever is possible to promote adoptees’ voices and the right of adoptees to tell their stories without judgement and without being instructed on how to do that and what to say. We go into a new year with fresh incentive and determination. Wishing you all a productive year, full of new learning, challenges, satisfaction and peace. ❤ Von

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