Here at Poddler’s Creek a rather strange and feeble summer has slipped away and left a beautiful Autumn, calm, soft, serene and with much promise. Last night we had rain, after the threat of having suffered the longest dry spell for 35 years. Our tanks filled, the garden was refreshed and some of the Honeysuckles might just be saved, the oldest cat hid under the house to keep dry (she who rarely ventures outside) and the morning is gentle and filled with active birds. The Guinea Fowl are happily chirruping, scratching and finding treasures. The geese are content because water is their life and their daily practice run for their long haul flight to Canada (the one they never make but it’s imprinted in their genetic memory) was especially joyous. Nature continues to produce wonders and extraordinary sights – a Wedgetail eagle with a snake in it’s beak flying low overhead, a resident koala changing trees, a flight of rainbow Lorrikeets against the blue sky and the big Grand-daddy Kangaroo passing by on his way to an inspection of the vineyards (he’ll return shortly to report back to his family who are waiting in our wood lot) and the sound of gentle rain on the tin roof.
Life is good. Many themes are jostling for position and fighting for space. So much is happening in the world – the good, the bad and the ugly. My Government has just sent a mobile Hospital to Vanuatu staffed to treat up to 200 people per day. Will our PM try to guilt-trip the Vanuatuans later by ungraciously and ungenerously reminding them that we provided aid and assistance? When ‘later’ arrives he will be long gone as PM thankfully but the damage he and his team have done will take decades to repair. It’s like a Roller Coaster ride that keeps gathering momentum and won’t stop. Watching a program last night on the political history of some of the last decades that brought us to where we are today I was reminded that our past PM’s at least had some idea about how to deal with the people, how to run a country and whatever their politics, had some saving graces. Our current Government seems to be made up of arrogant, ignorant school-boys who have a grudge against the people and are going to make them pay – for what, we ask? The exception is the one woman Cabinet Minister who has at least managed to find a way to be a reasonably competent, skilled and graceful woman politician. Whatever her politics, she conducts herself thoughtfully, assertively, but not stridently, or in the Maggie Thatcher mode. She dresses with panache, works out, has a sense of humour and seems likeable and is able to show what appears to be genuine compassion when it is required. She has a penchant for pearls, big brooches, Louboutin, Armani and Chanel and says she takes just 30 minutes to shower, dress and do her make-up in the morning. She says – “Yes, I’m a shoe lover, I admit. Absolutely, absolutely. Give a girl the right shoes and she can take on the world.”
And that she does. She has worn Louis Vuitton red heels and Christian Louboutins, and has a favourite pair of Sergio Rossi boots.“Shoes are part of your self-expression, they can give you confidence. I think they’re so important.“I love a heel, I usually wear heels but I’m as happy in ballet flats, in casual wear and I particularly love boots.” Refreshing to see a woman with such confidence who loves her wardrobe and seems to work well with people in a style that seems to be getting lost for the misogynist, bullying colleagues she works with but doesn’t seem to be influencing, although they are respectful. I doubt they would dare to be anything else!
Much food for thought today in the social media. A piece on celeb mothers stopped me at the first and I didn’t get any further. Joni Mitchell wrote –
“He left me pregnant with no food, in an attic room with Winter coming on” – sounds like a song line doesn’t it? While it would be hard not to sympathise, the words are those of a victim and you would have to ask where her responsibility lay as an young adult woman. She sounds like a helpless victim with no choices, no part in her predicament or her future. Like many others she found solutions and did the best she could with the circumstances. She also got a few songs out of it – “Blue” for instance, one of her most popular and well-loved.
And then this – https://traumaanddissociation.wordpress.com/2013/12/29/trauma-bonding-stockholm-syndrome How often we see this in areas where victims of trauma bond, keep their trauma alive and find there are many ‘rewards’ in being the trauma victim individually or as a group. When vulnerable adoptees discover others, or mothers, beware! Just remember to try not to judge, criticise or make assumptions and if your goal is healing you might consider passing on by fairly quickly. We all need to tell our stories, to be heard, validated and acknowledged, but none of us need remain a victim unless we want to.
The book is out and has been well received. One adoptee believes it is not the book for her, because her experience was much worse than that of anyone else. I suggested she get together with 29 other adoptees and write something that will be more useful to her. Perhaps I was a little direct. I have listened to her complain about her abusive upbringing, living on Bologna, for quite a few years now. I’m not an impatient person and I don’t set goals for others, but I won’t tolerate the idea that one adoptee’s experience was worse than any other, because we just don’t know if we didn’t live it. Some years ago, when we set up the website for Australian adoptees, we had an email from an adoptee saying that she wouldn’t be joining because the group was for adoptees who had experienced ‘good’ adoptions! I replied as I remember, by saying that her attitude would have precluded her anyway. Trauma is not a competition, adoption is not good or bad, it changes constantly and has many facets. Sometimes we become stuck in victimhood, with our trauma, because it is all we know and it is the only ‘safe’ place for us to inhabit until we find the courage to move forward and make something new. This book is about making something new, for those who want to go there. It is not a ‘how to’ book or a self-help book, but accounts by adoptees of their lives and how they got to where they are today. If others are comforted, informed or inspired, well and good. It is about “thriving as much as surviving”. And as Amanda H.L. Transue – Woolston writes at the conclusion of the book “if you found universality in pieces that resonate with your experience or empathy for pieces that did not, you read this guide how you were supposed to. I ( and others like me) work for an adoption world in which I don’t have to wonder if people will approach a guide written for adoptees/by adoptees and ask, “Whose guide is this anyway?”