Choosing Attitude

“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.

8 Thoughts.

  1. You are absolutely right. I think some folks waste an incredible amount of time in the adopto-blogo-sphere trying to get others to accept their exact view of how adoption looks and how everyone should react to it. It’s especially annoying when it’s people who don’t share the experience trying to tell others how THEIR experience should feel.

    So you go, girl – you are on the money here and in how you’re living your life!!! (((((((hugs)))))))

  2. I know I’m not the only one who’s glad to hear you using your voice. Everything you say here makes sense to me.

  3. I concur with Margie/Thorn/Summer’s comments & I echo your heart-felt remarks concerning ‘choosing your attitude’, one of the things I most love, admire and respect about you Suz is your refusal to be the ‘victim’, to fall into a ‘woe is me, my life sucks, waaa waaa waaa’ type mentality…
    I just love your tenacity, will power, strength, your vim and vigor, your zest for life…

    AML, Rich

  4. You are so right. I am in a fairly good reunion (so far) but there is really no healing, just dealing with what is and living the best you can. There is no getting over or forgetting. As you are I am working hard to find the joy and peace in what I have and trying not to let the pain of what I don’t have and can never get back take up too much space in my life.

    Thanks for writing, you give a much needed voice to what I feel.

  5. I agree with what you have to say… I’m still having a difficult time choosing my attitude, and with choosing the “right” attitude, the one that is the healthiest for me.

    I would like to stop whining about my pain. Your post makes me feel conviction… not that you are imposing what you think on me, but I have that resounding feeling of, “Yeah, she’s right this is what I must do…” yet I fall short all of the time.

    Thanks… it gave/gives me much to ponder. Hugs to you Suz.

  6. Allison – Its taken me a LONG time to get to this point and there are days I still waiver. Dont be to hard on yourself. I like that you added the the attitude that is best for you. That was key for me. My life. My choice. For me, it is critical to feel empowered after feeling so very NOT empowered in 1986. I need to steer this car. I can either crash it into the guardrail and lay their slowly bleeding while others drive by or I can keep going and see what other things appear on the road.

    Hugs to you.

  7. Just caught this response as I haven’t posted or read here lately.

    I too have LED my life. Led it to the fullest. Loved my life.

    I choose now to try to save one person from this pain. Of course there are always those who want totry to silence me. I won’t be silenced certainly not by those who have adopted. That’s what they want to again silence moms so the adoption status quo will keep on producing the goods for others happiness.

    Having raised 4 other children. I have worked with children all my life. I have 11 grand kids as a result of the “five” grown adults I know so PLEASE don’t assume that I haven’t led a full life because I have!

    I DID choose to go on what was the alternative, dying. NO, i had to live to find my son and I DID. I chose many things in my life that have brought me happiness. And
    the one thing that I did not choose is the thing that still hurts my being.

    It is more than an amputation and always will be it is death to myself as a mother. The only thing is MY son did not die! I literally died as I wasn’t there when he needed me to let him know all the truth he needed to know. Which he never could get answered by the person who adopted him. She DIDN’T KNOW and frankly didn’t give a dam.I can say that as I have watched and observed her first hand. Not too many can say that either.

    Those who adopt well I guess you would have nothing but positive things to say in regard to adoption. A whole different story from me as a mother. I don’t pretend to
    know everyone’s happy adoption story. But my guess is that those who adopt are out
    there just as we mom’s are tooting the adoption horn as wonderful as we all are supposed to know adoption cured their situation of being childless. While it took another woman’s child. So don’t tell me those who adopt aren’t out blogging their hearts out encouraging, and searching for just the right woman a vulnerable one!

    I DO know that even after 16 years of reunion, and it is a good reunion as we are
    happily reunited. At least my SON knows the truth and not what the woman that adopted him chose to tell him upon our reunion. She as was trying her best to play
    the loyalty card, besides telling me son that I didn’t want him. This person loved him?
    And raised him as her “own” as her “own” and she wanted it to stay that way. Little did she ever think I would find in the sealed adoption records. Let’s say her world
    happy adoption world was rocked to the core.

    Anybody that has been in a ongoing reunion knows the pain full is never fully gone EVEN in reunion. Its a loss that lives with me something I think about often. Probably even more now since reuniting.

    I have a very full life thank you and it isn’t because I was involved with adoption. Adoption is pain, to mothers, to babies, to children and those who think otherwise,
    really need to think about that but when the agenda is to get a baby there is NO thinking at least from those who are in the process, of adopting or trying to adopt.
    Its all about them and their happiness nothing about anything else.

    I have walked the walk and talked the talk but those who have other agendas, just want me to be quiet. NO, I won’t and just as you are out there in their blogging, I
    shall be blogging out there too!

    ps my blog will resume after I take my vacation of 7 weeks to have a some fun with my sons and their families. After all I am making choices too and its time to have fun!


    looking forward to coming back rejuvenated and refreshed and blogging my heart out!

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