Tuesday, May 8, 2012

The Metamorphisis of a Blank Blog Page

This post started out in my head being about my new car, then I changed my mind because I didn't want to write an advertorial for Mazda.  Then it morphed into a post about my mother in law who is responsible for my new car, but I couldn't get that to come out right.  I wanted to thank her for giving us the means to buy a new car and to say how much I missed her since she passed away.  I guess I've done that now and it didn't take a whole blog post to do it in.  I then thought I'd write about a place I used to visit on Mt Glorious where I would sit and think, way back when I was trying to work out who I was.  But, then I didn't really know what to say about that.  Who I thought I was or wanted to be thirteen years ago is really not that relevant to the right now. 

So here I am with a blank blog page, some random thoughts and still no idea.   I've been reading a lot of really moving blog posts lately about people going through some really tough times.  There's Tiff and Ivy at My Three Ring Circus and Kim and Oscar at All Consuming.  There is also the amazing Eden at Edenland who has recently been to the famine in Niger, Africa and is now going through a whole lot of realisations that will most likely change life as she currently knows it. 

As fate would have it, I was just directed to another blog post via Twitter written by Cate Bolt.  Generally I don't think Cate and I are particularly alike, she is far more philanthropic than I am.   However, today I felt like Cate was speaking for me.  I felt my words spilling onto her blog page.  I wanted to scoop those words up and throw them on this blank page. 

I too am adopted.  I too am not a fan of adoption.  I too struggle with who I am.  When I look back at my life I feel like I've always been trying to "find" myself.  Give myself a true identity.  There are specific times where I can pinpoint going through a "phase" of wanting to work out who I was.  I've recently been going through such a phase and I have come to the realisation that it is time to start being who I am right now, instead of pontificating over who I might be or might have been. 

I am who I am.  Just me.  Imperfect and perfect all rolled into one.  I get things right and I also make mistakes.  Sometimes I make monumental mistakes.  But throughout it all I am still me.   Over the years I change, I evolve, I grow, but I don't think this happens because I consciously sit and plan it.  Change happens because of circumstances ... life.  It is what it is.  I am who I am.

I wrote a post a few weeks ago about belonging and put down my feeling of not belonging to being adopted.   So many people commented and emailed me saying they felt the same way and they weren't adopted.  It was enlightening for me to see that we all struggle with belonging, even if we always have belonged somewhere and with someone.

After I read Cate's post I also wanted to write that the reason I can't "find myself" is because I'm adopted.   Because being adopted meant I never was myself.  I don't know who I am.  But the funny thing was, as I started to write these words I realised this is not what I think anymore.  The words no longer rang true.  When I read Cate's blog I was nodding and saying "yes, yes, yes" in my head.  However, over the last little while I've come to the conclusion that this is not necessarily the case and as I wrote the words down it really hit home just how much.  

I've spent most of my life blaming the fact that I'm adopted on why I feel disconnected from people.   Why I've never belonged anywhere.  If I take a long honest look back over my life I have always belonged somewhere.  Not necessarily with my adoptive family, in fact mostly not with them.  Not with my birth mother, how could I belong to her when I was never really hers?   However I have still belonged.  I've always belonged somewhere.  There has always been a person or persons who have been there for me.  Someone who has my back.  A friend or a family to take me in as one of theirs.  Never, ever have I been totally alone. 

Yet, if you asked me about the time I left my husband I would tell you how totally alone I was.  No one cared.  I was an island.  It was just me.  The reality is, it wasn't like this at all.  I had a fabulous circle of friends who held my hand throughout that first awful year.  No matter what, they were there for me.  There was never a time I was totally alone.  Yet in my mind I was alone because I didn't have a family. 

I have a family now.  I have my two boys and a wonderful husband.  I have two beautiful step daughters.  I even have a dog.  I have extended family.  I belong somewhere, yet up until recently, I have still felt the need to "find" myself.  I've always blamed this need on being adopted.

I do believe there is a certain disconnect from being adopted that others can never understand.  I personally don't understand the love children have for their parents as I've never had this type of love.  Of course I feel it in reverse for my boys so I have a better understanding than I used to.  I sometimes feel cheated that I don't have the bond that many of my friends have with their parents, but I know many people who were brought up by their biological parents who don't have a close relationship with them either. 

What I have learned in recent times is the disconnect I feel doesn't give me an excuse to feel sorry for myself and it doesn't mean I've been cheated of love and belonging.  It just means I'm different.  We are all different. There is no longer a standard "normal".  

Getting older doesn't just mean grey hair and incontinence pads ... it means getting comfortable in our own skin.  It means blaming our circumstances and other people less and taking full responsibility for our own happiness.  A life well lived doesn't depend on where we originally came from, it depends on where we've been and who we've shared it with. 

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14 comments:

  1. Beautiful post Annie. So eloquently put. I am not adopted but was abandoned physically by my father and emotionally by my mother.... and my outlaws fought hard to get me out of my 17 year marriage to their son from day one.... as I was the wrong religion in their eyes... or should I say, not their wacko religion. Their mischief making over the past 17 years has been exhausting to deal with. The only family I have is my two boys. We all struggle with belonging. I too feel cheated when I see my friends with great relationships with their parents and extended family. But you are so right in saying 'getting older means taking full responsibility for your own happiness'. Maybe those who have been abandoned in parental love get there first? I too have an emptiness but I know it's my responsibility to own it and fill it with good things. Thank you for this beautiful post. A-M xx

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    1. I'm glad I was able to help in some way. You are so right - we all have the ability to fill our lives with good things. xxx

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  2. Dude, you know I'm adopted as well. I swear to god there is some sort of magnetic attraction between those who are. Search on my blog for "relinquished", it's a fairly recent post, as in written in the last 2 months.

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    1. I do know this and I swear the same. There are so many of us who have just found each other on Twitter. I read that post and totally got it. xxx

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  3. Everyone is exactly where they are meant to be at every given point in time. No matter how much it feels otherwise. Sometimes I wonder if I do what I do because I'm still searching for the acceptance I lacked as a child and then I realise that it doesn't matter why I do it, as long as it continues to benefit others. In reality I probably needed to suffer what I did to be who I am. I have no regrets.

    We're all only human, after all. I'm glad my words were able to help you... in a round about way.

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    1. I love the first line of your comment. It is so true. I also believe we have to go through what we do in order to end up where we are meant to be. I have no regrets either. Thanks Cate x

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  4. Beautiful words Annie.. xx wish I could put more into words for u... Em...

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    1. Em, no more words are needed. xxx

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  5. You just said it all. For all of us. Adopted or not. I won't go into my own feelings about belonging here...If I did, it would be a blog in itself. I just want to say thank you for putting into such beautiful words how many (I bet ALL) of us feel at many points in our lives. Adopted or not.

    Thank you Annie. Hugs, Big Al xx

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    1. Then one day Ms Al you need to write that post. Love you. xxx

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  6. Amazing post Annie. So much to say that I think it will morph into a blog post of my own. I don't know what it's like to be adopted, but I know what it's like to have a father decide that he doesn't want to see you anymore when you are two years old, and that's a really tough thing to carry through life. I've struggled to belong anywhere over the years. Being a Mother is helping me, slowly but surely. Lots of love to you my dear friend. xx

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    1. I just read your post Shelley and I'm glad I was able to help. I knew there was something like that going on with you. One thing you should always know - you belong Shelley - you are such a beautiful soul and you totally belong on my tribe xxx

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  7. A beautiful, heartfelt post Annie. It's such a huge concept "belonging" isn't it? I hope I can find the "right" way to bring my boys up so they always feel as if they belong. Thanks for getting me thinking.
    xo

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    1. Amy I'm sure your boys will always feel that. It was one of my goals too with my boys. I think I've done ok. xx

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Thank you for sharing your thoughts with me x

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