It’s Been a While

Yes, it’s been a while since I’ve been able to write anything here regularly, although I’ve re-blogged the wise, informative or fascinating words of others, which I hope you’ve enjoyed. There have been many distractions, my poor health being one. Spring arrived. We had goslings hatch on the first day of Spring and they arrived in the world full of enthusiasm and ready to rock’n’roll. It is always a joyful occasion for me when I see these first little balls of fluff, so confident and ready to take on the world. They are as always being protected by a vociferous flock, which surrounds them with attention, care and love. Geese are very intelligent and I believe have the capacity to care. I have seen them grieve, exist in sadness or exalt, be joyful and celebratory. They learn very quickly and you generally only have to show them something once. How many creatures can you say that about?
It seems to have been a long Winter, punctuated by some significant moments – my 70th Birthday which seemed a milestone and it is somehow much easier to be in the next decade than poised on the cusp. I like a good round number! I was heavily engaged in making a scrapbook of my Daughter’s life and incorporating in it a family history which includes the humorous bits. I’ve already done the serious research and put together my own books. This is more about our history together and what I’m calling the back story. It’s also about our future together and a response to the beautiful book she put together for my 70th which so clearly demonstrates her love and commitment, such a beautiful statement and one I will always treasure. I hoped to do her justice as the beautiful, caring human being she has grown to be. I am of course enormously proud of her and she used to be able to say that was ‘just because’ I am her mother! I had the great pleasure of being invited to a presentation she gave a while back as part of a volunteer program she has been involved in and was witness to her being acknowledged, praised and appreciated, not just for her work but for the person she is. It gave me great satisfaction to be able to lay the ‘just because’ to rest at last.
We went on a holiday together at the end of the year, in each other’s company for two whole weeks and I looked forward to it immensely. Our roles have changed so much over the years and we have now reached a time when I have had to learn to be the one who is not in charge, although I still have to pay attention! I  had to pick up the reins and make some of the arrangements and the responsibility weighted heavily on me, my poor old brain befuddled with drugs and pain. I managed to pull it off and was assisted by kind and helpful staff, who did their job to perfection, making it easier, when it could have been so much more difficult. Yes, it’s their job, but seeing someone do their job well is a pleasure and being the recipient even better. The holiday was  a huge success – I’d go again tomorrow if there was the opportunity!
Part of all this holidaying business was my need to apply for a new passport, as mine had expired years ago and I wasn’t expecting to ever need one again. I had been renewing my passport regularly right through my adult life and never had a problem with information or it being issued. This time, despite all the papers, documents and proof, I was nervous, a little voice of doubt in the back of my mind, a concern I couldn’t prove who I said I was and worse can’t prove who I say I am now after some name changes. My Post Master who took the application knew immediately I was an adoptee, the true professional that he is. He took me to sit down and phoned Canberra, the seat of Government and all things official. He smoothed the way and was assured all would be well and told which papers to submit. In the end it was remarkably easy and a process which warmed my heart because of the way people dealt with it and me. It was nevertheless very relieved when the new passport arrived by post a couple of weeks later. My Nationality has always been enormously important to me and I held on to it despite alternative  offers!  When my Daughter was born O/S, I registered her within her first week, to ensure her rights and entitlement to dual Nationality. The significance of all this for my sense of identity seems clear and I can only imagine how it must be for my fellow adoptees who have had their Nationality taken from them, sometimes without having another bestowed on them, because adopters were neglectful, in ignorance,  careless or didn’t care.

Currently I’m engaged in working through Jeff Brown’s Course   –   and finding it very rewarding, once I got through my deep resistance to doing the work and raising the ghosts yet again. I’ve now gone back to pre-birth times when my mother thought my father would marry her when she discovered she was pregnant. She was informed, not by him, that he was married with a family and I suspect her heart shattered into a thousand pieces. She went though the shaming, the humiliation and the acceptance of her lot, while he was given home leave for a couple of weeks, during which time his wife became pregnant again; my youngest half-sister was born 5 months after me. He was posted as far away as possible, to what would have been the front, had Japan invaded Australia, on a tiny island ‘up there’ somewhere. During ‘reunion’, when I met some of my half-sisters, I found I knew more about this time of his life than they did. He apparently was informed that I had been born but he had nothing to do with me and we don’t even know whether his wife knew or whether I was a total secret he was able to keep. It was war-time. Life was lived on the edge. Who knew what tomorrow would bring?  There is no blame or judgement for the individuals who were my parents. I do blame those who deliberately punished our mothers by allowing them to bond with us and believed it would act as a deterrent to any future pregnancies outside marriage, ‘the unfortunates’ they were named, by the good Methodist woman who set up the Mother and Baby home. Not only did they punish our mothers in the most cruel way, but they permitted and encouraged harsh and damaging treatment of innocent newborns. They knew exactly what they were doing and it is we adoptees of the era who live with the consequences of their beliefs and actions. How tragic that we don’t seem to have moved on from this sort of treatment of babies and still don’t appear to have their best interests at heart.

In conjunction with Jeff Brown’s course, I’m using Ellen Lacter’s  “A Coloring Book of Healing Images” for adult survivors of  child abuse. Color-To-Heal-Banner-Final-21-885x553The text is helpful, succinct and well worked out.  The pictures to colour are in many instances grotesque, cartoon-like and unappealing to me.  There are some I like which resonate with me, but far too few to make up for the ugly, rather strange characters with highly enlarged pupils and distorted features which I just don’t take to. I wouldn’t let it stop me buying the book because the other content is very worthwhile. Probably a very individual thing. I’m living life on the edge right now….close to my emotions, in touch with my feelings and exploring everything that comes to light. I’m trying not to let anything pass me by, or let any opportunity be missed. 6-weeks1It is time for me right now, time for the tiny baby adoptee I once was who wasn’t thriving and isn’t thriving now. There’s much to do, places to go, people to see, if not in person, in memory and it will be arduous, painful and hopefully rewarding. There seems to be no alternative. No Doctor seems to know what is really wrong with me and I’m not getting better. It is in my hands it seems. I am lucky to have good support, all the tools for the job and the will to push through. I’ll keep you informed of progress. Take care of yourselves Dear Readers, I will return shortly……


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