“Your mental attitude is someting you can control outright and you must use self-discipline until you create a Positive Mental Attitude — your mental attitude attracts to you everything that makes you what you are.” – Napoleon Hill
YTS noted in a comment that she was sorry to tell me that adoption pain does not get better. YTS notes this from her sixteen years in reunion.
I responded to YTS that there was no need to be sorry as I agree with her. My personal view and personal experience (23 years since I lost my daughter, four years in a pseudo-reunion) is that it does not get better at all. It gets different. Even if I had a reunion that was positive, I would expect to have continued struggles.
While there are those that promote the idea of adoption healing, I am unable to grasp (and I have tried) that concept. I dont personally know how ones heals from a soul wound. I dont know how you get over the loss of a child – to death or adoption. For me, again, personally, I am not going to heal. I am going to accept. I dont want to get into this pile of excrement again. It is my view. My choice. If you think you can heal and get over it, more power to you.
For me it is acceptance and learning to live with it as best I can. It is active daily management of chronic pain. A simple analogy is to compare my trauma to that of an amputee victim. (Apologies to any victims if I am totally off base here.)
I am going to guess that an amputee victim doesn’t get over, heal, or become happy about the loss of their limb. Rather, I would suggest they learn to live with that loss. They learn to compensate for it, either by prostethics or by learning new ways to do things. Maybe they ask for help, maybe they choose a different career. Perhaps they even move their home to better accommodate their needs. Regardless of the choices they make in dealing with their loss, it does not change their loss it self. They are still without a limb. They may still get angry at times, depressed about their changed life but even that anger or depression is not going to change what it is. They are still without a limb. What they can change (and what I feel I can change) is how they feel about that loss and how they allow it to impact their relationships and daily life. In summary, they can choose their attitude.
And I choose mine. Where I do believe I can make true progress and “heal” so to speak, is in how I choose to let that reality (of not healing) to affect me and those around me.
I can choose to be negative and bitter and nasty. I can choose to lack compassion and empathy for others. I can choose to stay stuck in this pain and have it depress me and negatively effect every aspect of my life. Unlike some mothers and children in reunion, many for years, I choose not to continue to blame my daughter, my parents, my daughters father and myself for what happened. I simply dont want to live like that — for me.
Yes, I may have one child that wants nothing to do with me (now?) but I have two that do. I have a fiance, and friends, and well, ME, to live with every day. I don’t want to live with a negative bitter perpetually angry and emotionally crippled version of me and I am pretty confident those that love me don’t want to either (and that includes my daughter).
Brian Tracy, a self-help author, states “You cannot control what happens to you, but you can control your attitude toward what happens to you, and in that, you will be mastering change rather than allowing it to master you.” I agree.
My point, perhaps unclear and somewhat hidden in my last post, is that today I choose how adoption effects me. I had no voice and no power in the adoption trauma equation in 1986. I have power and voice now.
I intend to exercise that power.