No Shoulding

"We didn’t start the fire
It was always burning
Since the world’s been turning
We didn’t start the fire
No we didn’t light it
But we tried to fight it"

– Billy Joel, We Didn’t Start the Fire

God danged it I hate when people should on me. That’s right, should on me. Like shit on me.

I hate when people tell me I should think this, should do that, and yeah, I should believe in adoption healing and I should do it this way.

Don’t they realize how triggering that is? To be should on?

  • I should place my daughter.
  • I should be a good girl.
  • I should say what people want to hear.
  • I should sign on this dotted line.
  • I should not ask questions.
  • I should not speak unless spoken to.
  • I should trust that those who studied psychology know me better than I know myself.
  • I should not say I am struggling with the healing concept.
  • I should not say something because some stranger on the internet may read it, take my word as gospel and the world will end.
  • I should not be angry or bitter or sad becuase losing my daughter was a GOOD thing.

What and what?

I am not an idiot. I understand that some believe in adoption healing and that they believe it can be done only one way. I understand people who are therapists, psych students, those that are recovered have made it through the rain or believe it’s possible. Right now, I don’t. Isn’t that part of therapy and recovery? Isn’t the first step to recognizing you have a problem is stating it? Don’t you at some point question what you are hearing and being told? Don’t you have to ruminate on it, think about it, try it out, debate its pros and cons?

Why would anyone (friend, therapist, stranger on the Net) tell me my feelings are wrong? 

Not that I don’t think its possible to lessen the pain but that I don’t think the pain will go away.   What’s wrong with accepting and not letting it hurt anymore? Maybe the others are right but that’s for them to know and me to find out. Don’t should on me. Thats where I am at now.

Someone implied that since I am so well spoken and well read (huh?) that it is my responsibility to preach the possibilities, the hope, and the promise of healing. Um, hello, if I do not currently believe that doesn’t that make me a hypocrite? Someone who doesn’t truly believe what she is saying but would say it because others say it’s true? (Again, Hello, Trigger! Adoption is wonderful!).  Furthermore, my responsibility is first to ME.

And good golly, yeah, maybe inner child work is the way to go and maybe I will eventually “do the work”. And maybe, before I do the work I will drink potions, stand naked in the woods, turn around three times, hop on one foot and scream “OOOGA” with the hope that adoption trauma wont hurt anymore. Maybe I will visit a psychic in NYC, a monk in Tibet, maybe I will walk backwards for an entire day, wear mismatched socks.. Maybe I will read more books. Attend more support meetings and then PRAISE JESUS I will believe.  Right now, my focus is on acceptance. For me, for now, that is healing.

I am not a therapist. I don’t proclaim to be one. I don’t play one on TV. I refer people to therapists.. I encourage people to get themselves help and not use blogs, support groups or other as a substitute for real professional help.

I have a therapist and he is wonderful. He believes adoption is wrong and he validates me weekly. He makes me think. He makes me feel understood. He makes me feel safe to express myself. He and I discuss my dreams, Jung, Freud, Hellinger and many other cool things. He helped me go from thinking to feeling.

If you come here and you read my personal views, opinions and experiences and view them as guidance – you SHOULDn’t. (Sorry about that shoulding but in that case its true) Perhaps I need a side bar disclaimer?

If you come here and my personal views and experience offends you and your personal experience, don’t come here.

If you want to come here to preach the glories of adoption and tell me how wonderful it is, please don’t. I can find plenty of places to find out all that is good with adoption.

If you feel defensive, don’t read. This blog isnt about you, its about me. It isnt for you. Its for me. Or better yet, read a bloggers disclaimer. Try learning blogging etiquette.

I gladly welcome validation, support, understanding and kindness for me, mothers of loss and adoptees. I don’t tolerate attacks, rudeness directed at myself or others. The delete function is my friend. We have all been hurt too much and too deeply. Crimes against our soul.

My blog is for me. It’s a creative outlet. I do it for me and I share it with others so that others (mainly mothers of loss) may find comfort in knowing that they are not alone.  Too many of us are locked in the closet, afraid to voice our opinions and feelings out of fear that they don’t matter, we will be should on and told to be a good little girl and go away (or give away…our children). I share one percent of my story here. Dont make assumptions based on what you read. You dont know my entire story as I dont know yours.

If you have something to say, a strong opinion, get yer own blog.

(And yes, while this little rant was triggered by my friend Joe and Johns comments, what fed the fire was the numerous emails I got privately.)

12 Thoughts.

  1. Suz, Dammit that you even had to write such a post. Shame on those people. Feelings aren’t wrong…can’t be wrong. After reading this, I’m left with a feeling of “Duh” as far as blogging etiquette goes, but clearly some people don’t have much sense or you wouldn’t have written this post. It’s people like the ones you are directing your comments at that prompted me to put this at the end of my profile. —> “Remember, this is the internet, you can’t possibly know me well enough to judge me.” Sorry I missed the rudeness, you know I’ve got your back and would have defended you if I had a clue that something mean was going on. Love you, love you, love you, Rebecca

  2. Becca – Thanks doll. Oh, the meanies werent here, they were in email. Too bad there isnt a “do not call” list for internet email. I wish I could say “lose the number” to some folks.

  3. When someone tells me I should do something, that is a huge red flag and I run the other way, or hit the “ignore” button.
    Great post. I agree 100%.
    (hoping this comment posts, the last one didn’t, urrgh).

  4. 10000000000% correct.
    Very well said Suz.
    No one should ever come into another’s home and shit on the carpet!!! (excuse my French!!!)
    This is your place – your safe place.
    Bugger off – to those that would try to be disrespectful to you in it.
    Love your work – and so very glad that you are here.
    Big hugs, C. xxx

  5. OK, who’s sending this crap? When they can fit in your shoes, feel your feelings, then let them talk. Until then tell them to go ‘F’ themselves, or let me at em … they’ll be sorry….
    As before Suz, IGNORE stupidity keep doing what your doing. You have helped more than you know and NOT just natural mom’s, adoptee’s, but one’s like me, an adoptive mom happy to be able to share my girl with her natural mom!
    Always here for ya!

  6. I’m so sorry you’ve been on the receiving end of such hurtful emails. You know, all our lives – and esp. as kids – we’re told to tell the truth. No matter what – just tell the truth. And then as adults, once we’re able to get to a place to do just that, so many people can’t handle it! And so what do they do? They turn it around and project their unresolved issues onto us.
    Again, just when I don’t think I can be any more surprised (or disgusted) by the self-serving intentions and the over-inflated sense of ego by some out there, they pop up again. Hopefully these said people can do their OWN healing to realize that this isn’t about making THEM feel or look better.
    Thinking of you.
    Go, truth!!!

  7. Hi Suz,
    Rolling over this post for a while…
    Shoulding is kind of like blaming, a meanspirited way of wishing things were different than they ARE. And that, to quote my father is “STUPID”. Not that I haven’t done a lot of wishing things were different.
    But to get any work done, we have to start where we are. And don’t anyone tell me I should be any different than I am!
    Just my two bits and lots of love to you, sweet heart.

  8. amen. you said it the way many of us feel it.
    people can go take their crap judgements and their should’s and shove them.

  9. I love the shouldders. They are so much wiser than me when it comes to my own feelings. Especially internet shouldders who don’t know me personally.
    I’ll pass the love with a few shoulds of my own: You should blog, like, whenever you feel like it. Or not whenever you don’t. You should write whatever you feel like writing at the moment about whatever you feel like writing about with honesty and integrity and complete and total YOU-ness.
    Oh wait…. you already do that. And boy am I ever glad you do.

  10. Oh, Suz, while I’ve been wallowing in my own misery I didn’t see this, and I should have.
    What you experience, the feelings you carry with you, are what make you YOU. Your honesty is priceless. And no one “should” tell you otherwise.

  11. Thank you for coining such an important term: Don’t SHOULD on me.
    You have spoken for all of us who’ve felt SHOULDED on. Why CAN’T people to allow you to not heal or heal or sorta heal? What’s it to ’em, anyway??? Your very personal struggle is yours alone and in no way impacts others journey.
    I thank you for this and the other posts because I’m rethinking an old friendship because this woman, whom I’ve know forever, ALWAYS shoulds me. She’s very corrective and I realize now how diminishing it is. She simply can’t just listen. She always has to give advice. Some people – and bloggers – are like that, but you’ve helped me see it more clearly.

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