Another Paragraph …or Two

Most of the shadows of this life are caused by our standing in our own sunshine.

Ralph Waldo Emerson

Above you will find the Hay House Radio Interview I did for Finding Heart Horse

I thought I would post another sneak peek for those that haven’t read it. Remember, the proceeds go to Covenant House, Vancouver, B.C.

There is always hope.

This is from the prolog About A Horse. You can find the first part in my previous post Finding Heart Horse…one year later.

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When my parents took me to visit my aunt and uncle who lived on a farm, I quickly and quietly made my way into the world of the barn where the horse’s lived. I would nestle into the golden straw, inhaling the fragrant honey dust, as hours magically disappeared. Listening to an orchestra of barnyard sounds while enveloped in the dusty air brought me a perfect peace.

It was into that perfect peace that my Heart Horse first made his appearance.

Just as if he were a real horse, my Heart Horse danced and pranced and snorted with joy. Sometimes when he was afraid, I could feel him inside my own heart, racing around frantically, as if to warn me of pending danger. Other times he stood quietly in the grass, munching on crispy red apples and appearing deep in thought, as if to just let me know he was near. And sometimes he galloped wildly free of restraint, tickling me with his unrestrained joy. But those happy and free rides were rare. Mostly he stood guard.

Old Uncle Willy understood my love of horses. He understood my connection to them and my ache to be closer to such a strangely forbidden desire. Uncle Willy always seemed to know where to look for me whenever we went to the farm. And he always seemed to know to look for me, when others hadn’t thought to.

One morning when I was huddled under a mountain of straw in the corner of Ginger’s stall; Uncle Willy came looking for me. He found me hiding there, buried under a pile of golden grass and crying, as Ginger stood over me with her warm breath tickling my neck as if to say, everything will be okay.

I was hiding in there because my cousin had told me, yet again, that I wasn’t real family. It seemed that each time she said that, it hurt a little bit more. Sometimes she even said it front of my mother, but instead of telling her to stop telling such awful lies, my mother would just agree. That really stung. And it made me sad.

I wasn’t sure what they meant by not being “real” family, I was just as real as they were, but I was sad that they even thought such a thing. After all, I had the pictures. My parents holding me when I was a newborn, teaching me piano when I was a toddler, posing me in front of furniture or houses or relatives to take my picture when I was a child. What could they possibly mean that I wasn’t real family? I didn’t understand at all, but I knew that there was something about me that was different. I just had no idea what it was.

Uncle Willy seemed to understand why I was crying, but he didn’t ask me about it. Instead, he told me a story about the Rocky Mountains and the wild horses that lived there. With his soft and comforting words, my uncle told me all about how magnificent it was to see a thundering herd suddenly appear in a lush green valley in the mountains. What Uncle Willy told me that day in the barn gave me the strength and desire to survive the cruel and hurtful comments of my cousin.

“Claire, you wouldn’t believe how amazing these horses are!” he told me. “They sound just like a train going by at a hundred miles an hour when they come galloping out of the mountains. Their manes blow behind them in flashes of black, silver and gold, like flying flags!” I listened to Uncle Willy’s fantastic story, enthralled.

“Tell me more, Uncle Willy! Tell me more!” I pleaded.

“Oh, it’s amazing, Claire, just amazing. You can even hear the different types of snorts and whinnies—they sound just like they’re talking! Then all of a sudden in a gust of wind and dust they’ll be gone. But . . .” and he looked left and right, like he was about to tell me a secret, then lowered his voice to a near whisper, “When they’re gone, you’re left with a feeling of magic. You know what it’s like to be free and wild but still be a part of a family. A really big family!” The images Uncle Willy conjured completely enchanted me, and I’d practically forgotten my cousins’ spiteful words.

“I tell ya girl,” he added, “Someday you have to go there. It’ll change you forever.” I watched as he got a faraway look in his eyes and sighed as if he were there that very moment. I snuggled into the straw and closed my eyes, wishing I were there, too.

“Someday,” he promised me, “when you’re older, you can go there. You’ll see for yourself how beautiful those horses are. And here’s the best part!” He smiled, and then said, “If you can catch a wild horse, it’s yours! It will belong to you and only you for the rest of its life. That’s the rule.” Uncle Willy tousled my hair and pulled me upright with a grin. “Come on, now. Let’s go inside and get some ice cream!”

I couldn’t believe my ears. If what Uncle Willy said was true, and it had to be or he wouldn’t have said it, I could actually have my own horse some day! I brushed all the straw off of my clothes and went back to the house with Uncle Willy for two big bowls of chocolate ice cream. But I couldn’t pay attention to anything else he said. All I could think about were those wild horses.

As excited as I was about pursuing wild horses, in the weeks and months that followed I knew better than to talk to anyone about my dreams. I had learned how quickly people will snuff out your dreams if you say them out loud. So I buried those words inside my Heart Horse, assuring him he would have company some day. He whinnied softly inside my heart, swaying back and forth as if to say, we will wait, we will wait, we will wait.



CARPE DIEM

We each have a finite number of heartbeats, a finite amount of time.  But we have enough heartbeats and enough time to do what is important in our lives.

Susan L Taylor

“THAT DAY” is over…Valentines Day of course.  For those of us alone, depressed, adopted, abandoned, abused, lost… it’s a day we hide from. Who wants reminding that they are any of the above let alone not loved?  Not me, that’s for sure.

CARPE DIEM-SEIZE THE DAY

This saying contradicts what i just said above doesn’t it.  What if we really are and just didn’t know it, couldn’t feel it, couldn’t believe it…what if?

I know it’s a big what if for most of us who have experience with the underbelly of life..but why not try..just for today..to believe it? Myself included.

Byron Katie says that the truth is, that our mattering is innate….no one or nothing can make us matter and no one can take it away.

Is it true?

This is one of her questions of inquiry which I use often.  If this is true, how much time have we lost in feeling like we don’t matter, like we aren’t loved.  Each moment that goes by that we feel like we don’t matter is a moment lost forever.

Ask yourselves..why would we be not loved, why wouldn’t we matter?  I know it’s not easy, far from it.  Our wounds go deep, the pain unbearable, yet underneath all of that lies our perfect buddha self.  Nothing external can bring us the feelings of “mattering or being loved”. Our willingness to dig deep enough to uncover the beauty within, along with the discovery of our strength and courage will allow our vulnerability to shine.

 Just do it.

Seize the day, the hour, the moment.

Activate your warrior energy, the fire within your heart.  Don’t wait until tomorrow because tomorrow might never show up.  Put aside the excuses and do the work.  You do matter,  You are loved.  Someone told me that today and I said I would sit with the words until I believed them. Thank you.  I will…until…

In fact, perhaps I’ll keep THE WALL around and fill it with moments of love and  mattering.  Moments of belonging and wonderment, that after six decades, I too, am worthy of what many take for granted…LOVE & MATTERING

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Lost Daughters Reviews of Finding Heart Horse & The Wall of Secrets

Years ago, when I began my last search in 2003, I didn’t have a computer, books, support, not even a person to talk to about what I was about to do.  In no time at all, a family was found living on the other side of Canada.

A birth mother with three siblings.  I can’t explain the shock, the wonder, the fear that appeared in an instant just saying those words.

After initial reunion…

After getting a computer and embracing the cyber world, I found that adoptees were out there and in fact connecting with each other to support, to assist, to understand.  I was struggling with so many things …alone and not understanding.  I came across a website called LOST DAUGHTERS.  It was me.  I was a lost daughter.

Lost Daughters had a profound effect on me.  I felt for the first time in my life, a sense of belonging.  A place that understood.  A place where other lost daughters came together in compassion and solidarity.  I was home.

I feel honoured that they have been a part of my journey and now have reviewed both FINDING HEART HORSE & THE WALL OF SECRETS

NAMASTE

http://www.thelostdaughters.com/2015/02/two-memoirs-by-claire-hitchon-finding.html

I WANT MY MOTHER !!

Today, I launched, put into the world, set free, gave birth to…

THE WALL OF SECRETS MEMOIR OF THE ALMOST DAUGHTER

Releasing a book to the world is known in book talk as “birthing”.  The pain is different but just as real.  I have had to edit and re-edit as one always does and each time it’s brought tears to my eyes.  Not mast cell ones but genuine pain filled ones. I am The Almost Daughter.  I’ve never had a Mother.

The definition of Mother is many things depending on where you look:

a woman who gives birth or has the responsibility of physical and emotional care for specific children

Through the blur, I wondered if I was alone or if other parents felt the same way I did-that everything involving our children was painful in some way. The emotions, whether they were joy, sorrow, love or pride, were so deep and sharp that in the end they left you raw, exposed and yes, in pain.  The human heart was not designed to beat outside the human body and yet, each child represented just that – a parents heart bared, beating forever outside its chest.”

 Debra Ginsberg

My emotions are raw today, part mast cell, part pain and sorrow because I, in my sixth decade have never had a mother, never been mothered.  How can that possibly be?  I’ve laid to rest 3 parents and yet have never had a mother…how the hell can that be?

I, myself am a mother.  Not a perfect one by any means. Never having been mothered I had no healthy base to work from.  There was never any question  when I held my baby for the first time, I knew I was in love. I also felt my birth mother’s pain. I knew I would do everything in my power to protect, to love and cherish, to advise, to teach, to do and be everything I would have wanted for myself from a mother. Far from perfect with many mistakes and still there is an amazing young woman in this world that I am proud to call my daughter that radiates pure joy and love.  As flawed as I was as a mother.. she had one that loved her more than life..she knew that, felt that.  I did not.  Therein lies the difference for those of us abandoned, abused, adopted. We had no mother.

I’ve been known to go deep into the greens of the rainforest alone with my little dog.  I go to sit.  I go to meditate.  I go to cry.  Mostly I go to scream, sobbing into the dark hallows of nature…I WANT MY MOTHER….

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I’ve done this for decades.  I searched for decades, weeping on birthdays and occasions that should bring joy.  I grew myself.  Not in the best way but the only way I knew.  I learned to mother myself, sadly not very well but enough to allow growth and survival.  I was the only one there, to soothe, to comfort, to hold tight.  I now know I can survive anything because I have.  With each trauma another layer of protection was added.  You can imagine then, launching a book with my truth in between the covers lays my heart out on the table as Debra says in her quote. Raw, beating on the outside, so vulnerable, so open.

I watch my beautiful daughter with her newborn son and my eyes well up.  I’m reminded of my time with her, how I tried to everything right.  I’d stare at her for hours in wondrous amazement that this little being was so perfect and had been entrusted into my care.  I see her loving him with her eyes, her touch, her heart that is now on the outside wide open, as mine has been.  He watches her every movement, he smiles at the sound of her voice.  He nuzzles into the safety of her scent, her skin, her genetics, her being, and he knows with all of his heart, he is where he should be and that he is so loved.  Even in utero, he knew.

 I WANT MY MOTHER….PLEASE, PLEASE, LET ME HAVE MY MOTHER

We aren’t taught how to be our own best friend, how to look after our hearts, our minds and bodies.  We aren’t taught how to comfort and soothe our broken hearts.  We learn along the way usually at a great price.

We know the pages and pages of studies that document the importance of babes being placed in their mother’s arms or on their chests for that immediate connection, the knowing, the feeling of love and belonging…the foundation for building a solid base for a healthy being to flourish.

 We, the abandoned ones, the adopted ones, the abused and neglected ones feel that disconnect, the unworthiness, the not being loved and protected, the grounding, the roots.  WE KNOW….WE LIVE IT DAILY.

I’m now going out onto my deck, wiping the tears and sucking up as much oxygen as I can so I can scream at the top of my voice…again….

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About a Horse

ABOUT A HORSE

excerpt from

FINDING HEART HORSE

 

I always wanted a horse. I’ve wanted a wild horse, a Palomino horse, an Appaloosa horse, a racehorse, a pony horse and even a miniature horse. I would have settled for a rocking horse, a stuffed horse or even just a picture of a horse when I was a child, but even those small pleasures were prohibited. And so it was that when I was eight years old, I gave myself my own horse, my imaginary Heart Horse.

I’ve had this strong attraction to horses for as long as I can remember. Like a magnet, they have always pulled me in and held me close. They appear in my dreams and on blank pages in my sketchbook. They calm me when I’m disturbed and excite me when I’m bored. My nose longs to inhale their warmth and my fingers crave the feel of their soft wet nuzzle. My eyes are drawn into their own dark, all-knowing eyes and I immediately feel an inexplicable connection.

This must be what it feels like to be loved

  I think, whenever a horse looks into my eyes.

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Who Do You Trust?

“I’m not upset that you lied to me,

I’m upset that from now on I can’t believe you.”

–Friedrich Nietzsche

Do you honestly love yourself?

Maya Angelou believes that unless you love yourself, you really can’t be trusted.  She quotes an African Saying which is:

“Be careful when a naked person offers you a shirt.”

Because of relinquishment, trust is difficult for adoptees.  I know everyone experiences trust issues over their lifetime and most are able to repair the damage.  With adoptees, that first betrayal never leaves.  On top of that you have no genetic markers, no history.  In my childhood I wasn’t able to trust my adoptive parents, and running away experiencing life on the streets as I describe in Finding Heart Horse certainly didn’t foster trust.

When trust is destroyed at such an early age in adoption, it takes effort and practice to regain. Whether it’s in reunion, or with relationships in general, everyone has an obligation to “show up” while the relationships are forming, sometimes for years depending on what both sides want.  Because of the imprints of distrust on the early neurological system, positive, trusting experiences have to be integrated into the limbic system as well as understood by the neocortex.  Deeply ingrained, biological, neurological.  So important to recognize this.  Continue until…….

Sounds complex,  not really, just takes time and practice and people willing to stay for the journey.

Trust doesn’t mean never having to say you’re sorry.  Trust means that you can count on the other person to have your best interests at heart.  They don’t have to agree with you, just care about you.  Interestingly, the word trust originated in Scandinavia; akin to Old Norse..traust.  I’m Scandinavian.

In reunion since 2003 when I first heard my biological families’ voices, I’ve experienced the roller coaster that most of us happily jump on, not knowing the psychic chaos it will bring.  I opened my heart for the experience, hesitantly mind you. I trusted.  Something about finding your mother cracks that locked up heart pretty fast.

Unfortunately, every time I started to relax, and trust that I was accepted as part of an already established family, something would happen to fracture the relationships.   Ten years later their lives remain constant, as they were before my appearance and mine has completely changed.  One by one they left.  At the worst times possible, when I was most vulnerable, right after the death of a friend I was “unfriended” for speaking up.  A sister needed to “look after herself”.   Sometime later I was told I wasn’t “ready for a sister relationship” and unfriended by another sister and lastly the trust I had built with my brother was smothered by anger at a time I desperately needed a brothers support.  A statement made in an adoption group that was referring to bio family, not meaning the immediate family, shattered what I thought was family.  How could that be?  I trusted.  History won.  I lost my family.  Would I ever trust again?  How many times can one be rejected and still keep an open heart?

I often think of the “what ifs”.   Had I known what to expect, had I known how physically ill I was then (many of the symptoms such as exhaustion, constant crying, were due to mast cell degranulation), had I been medically treated, had I not pushed myself over the edge energy wise, had we worked as a family to heal,   had I not had my heart broken….had I not found my mother only to lose her…what if…….

Part of trust is respect.  One must respect and love themselves first, then you can love and respect others.  Most of us need to go right back to the basics and learn to love ourselves first.

IMG_3621So how do you build trust? In yourself and in relationships?

You have to know yourself first.  Trust yourself to do the right thing.  Believe in yourself.  Understand that you can survive on your own.   Face your Demons.  Be vulnerable but selective with who you share with.  Acknowledge your accomplishments.  Adoptees need to remember life isn’t black and white!

Resolution is possible.  We need to push through the fear of being hurt again.

Be Honest

Listen to the other side’s feelings without judgement

Let go of the past.  Stay in the now.

Focus on what you want today not next year.

Trust takes time.  Go slowly but go..

Continue on..over and over and over again…until…

You Trust

Tethered….Are You?

Oxygen tubing...50ft...TetheredWhen I was thinking about writing this blog, I of course was focused on the fact that I am now

TETHERED

…permanently to tubing supplying my air. 

The definition of tethered is:

1. a rope, chain by which an animal is fastened to a fixed object

2. to fasten or confine, restricted by bonds

3. at the end of one’s tether=resources, patience or strength

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The subject of my words was to be my battle with Systemic Mast Cell Disease in order to educate. I feel all of those examples above. Out of the the last few months only a couple of weeks have been spent at home.  I was tethered in a hospital to more than one tube.  My goal was to describe my experiences of hospitalization and the reality of now requiring constant oxygen because mast cells have taken over a pieces of my lungs.  One more organ in combat with mast cells for survival.

IMG_4012IMG_4014This is life now.

Tethered in many ways.

A metaphor for life in general.

Tethered.

To beliefs, to thoughts, to emotions, people, situations.

It all relates to being attached.  This is my new normal.  Just as with each layer of trauma peeled away in my writing of the two memoirs…a new normal emerges.  It really is up to me how to live in this new place.

 It can go either of two ways: curl up on the couch giving in to the idea…or: adapt to life and living, only in a different way.

 To fight and grow and accept what is.  To learn to live around the coils of tubing or thoughts and beliefs and change what I can, when I can.

 I also relate this to living with the effects of trauma.  Adoption, abuse, rapes….  It all ties us to the pain of suffering and if we chose to remain tethered to the past or our thoughts about it and belief systems.

 When we settle into the present moment,

we can see beauties and wonders right before our eyes-a newborn baby,

the sun rising in the sky.

-Thich Nhat Hanh

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When you find your thoughts heading towards the couch, challenge them, ask if it’s really true or can we perhaps do one thing today, even if it’s getting off the couch and moving to the chair.

 

Is it true you are really tethered, or is it your thoughts that are confining you.  I’ve had a lot of practice with challenging my thoughts in the last few years. Adoption reunion, recognizing your deeply ingrained belief systems, pulling them up to examine them like roots on a tree, one by one.  It’s not easy work but then, being attached to something that causes you pain is the alternative.

Toni Bernhard in her book How To Be Sick quotes her favourite Zen Haiku Master, the eighteenth-century poet, Kobayashi Issa.  He suffered terribly with many losses and yet managed to write many haikus, some of which will always bring a smile.  She states, “Zen helps”.

The world of dew is the world of dew

And yet, and yet…..

The last line tells us what we constantly must remind ourselves of…nothing is certain.  Dew quickly changes before our very eyes and so does life.

For those of us that live in a physical or emotional state of being tethered…

Adoptees, Trauma survivors, Mom’s of Loss, anyone suffering…know in the world of Zen there is always…

And yet, and yet, and yet….

Yes, Zen helps.

“dew” can be illness, adoption, trauma…..and yet, and yet….

 

Resurfacing….

Love seeing the blank writing space before me!

 My fingers shake and my eyes are prednisone blurry.  Slowly, I’m resurfacing.  As most of you know, I’ve been hospitalized most of the last several months dealing with Mastocytosis reactions/complications which I will write about next.  Today, I’m just dipping my toes in to the cool word stream.

I want to relaunch, review, revive

 Finding Heart Horse

I also want to let you know that the second memoir,

 The Wall of Secrets

waits patiently in the wings to be born as my strength allows..

It’s good to be back

I’m home

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Being an Almost Daughter…Here’s to all the Motherless Daughters & Sons

I was so sure I would be able to stay away from the computer today.  So sure, so determined.  Here I am, unable to “not write”.  I’m usually pretty good at not letting “special occasions” get to me now.  It’s taken a lot of work and reprogramming of those deep-seated beliefs.

Mother’s Day, of course is a tough one when you haven’t had a mother.

Yet, here I sit.  The Almost Daughter..one of the thousands of Motherless Daughters.

Hope Edelman wrote a book called Motherless Daughters: The Legacy of loss.  She was writing about the death of her mother but the loss applies to those of us who have lost our mothers from birth as well.  We also are motherless daughters in a different sense,  especially if you didn’t have mothering in your adoptive home.

“There is an emptiness inside of me–a void that will never be filled.  

No one in your life will ever love you as your mother does.  There is no love as pure,  unconditional and strong as a mother’s love.

 And I will never be loved that way again.”

Hope Edelman

How does one begin to understand or explain the depth of what it means to have never experienced a mother’s love.  For the last few days my news feed has been inundated with pictures of flowers and dinners and moms and children.  I look at them and smile, happy, that for them, the day holds memories of nurturing and love.

 Inside..deep inside..there is a place that screams of loss, of pain, of not knowing what that feels like.  Of recognition that I will never know.

My adoptive mother never wanted, nor should she have had children.  There was no nurturing there, no love, only the harsh reality of not being wanted which was reinforced daily.

I have great compassion for her now.  She’s been dead for years and I have forgiven.  Of course, none of its forgotten and the wounds still spill out their pain every now and again..like today.

I met my birth mother in 2003 after searching over most of my life.  I was 50 and terrified to meet this woman who gave me away.  It doesn’t matter why you are given up.  The primal wound still exists.  The in utero knowing of “not being wanted” the energetic connection that was severed early, even before I entered the world.

She never saw me.  She never named me.  I never existed.

She lived in my heart and I lived nowhere.

I moved my life across the country to get to know “my family, my mother”.  Life changed forever when I got that first call that there was a family.  A family that had existed all of my life but without me.

Thirty years before that, I had found a cousin.  Everyone knew I was looking except my siblings who never knew I existed.  I often wonder if we had the fortune of meeting then, would things be different?

Our kids could have grown up together.  We could have grown up together.  It would have been 30 yrs less of secrets and lies.  Would we have been able to heal at a younger age?  Would my mother have loved me then?  Would she have been able to mother me then?  So many would haves, should haves, could haves.

Don’t get me wrong, I do believe things happen for a reason and I suppose the time wasn’t right…but then when is it right?

There is never a right time to expose  a secret for the one who holds it close.

I will never get over the loss.  I try to embrace the tiny bits that emerged to connect us.  She loved horses and of course Finding Heart Horse describes my passion for horses and my search for my Heart Horse.  We both had a standard uniform of white shirt and blue jeans.  The first time I saw her picture I was speechless.  It was like staring in a mirror.  Never before had I seen myself reflected back so vividly, so genetically.  My daughter was my first biological connection.  I can look at our pictures now and see the resemblance but for the longest time I didn’t know what “I” looked liked so couldn’t see me, in her.

The Almost Daughter: not wanted in my adopted family, they wanted a boy

The Almost Daughter: my real mother died 9 months after I moved across the country to get to know her.  On this day, mothers day, 8 yrs ago.  I never got to be mothered.  I never had the chance to be her daughter, nor she my mother.

As I’m writing I understand why I’ve fought so hard NOT to write on this day.  It’s difficult to express authentic emotions in our society.  We tend to push them down and not release them.  We speak in social talk which I’m so not good at anymore, nor do I want to be.  In the adoptee world the social talk is translated into meaningful connections with honest words.  Much has been talked about with the work up to this day.  I thought I could just let the day be a day..

I found my mother and lost her all in the same breath, on this day.  I hold great compassion for her as well.  How terrible to have lived with that “secret” for all of those years.  How painful, what a terrible loss to hide from everyone.

I had to “grow myself”, raise myself in an environment I was never meant to be in.  Even running away at 15 didn’t solve the problem.  I grew up on the streets looking for where I belonged, where my family was, where I fit in.

The Wall of Secrets has finally been submitted and the self publishing process begins again.  Perhaps you will understand me better knowing my journey or perhaps you aren’t really interested, it doesn’t really matter either way.  This journey,  my journey, my healing, is the gift I am able to give to my daughter on this mothers day and that’s all that really matters.

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To all of us..To the Motherless Daughters and Sons of adoption and death I am holding you all in my heart today as we grieve our loss together.

 

Once ReMoved=Trauma=PTSD

This video keeps appearing.

 I watch it each time with new eyes and new thoughts.  You know how things keep coming up.. several posts, several blogs, several fb messages are all relaying similar messages, so I’m compelled to write about it.

This time the video was posted on Covenant House FB page.  A portion of Finding Heart Horse and The Wall of Secrets proceeds go to support their efforts in assisting kids to find their way in the world in a healthy way.

One of the Facebook posts last night was about PTSD.  The words were so clear that I can’t help but repeat it here.

The mind replays what the Heart can’t Delete

Battles-

wars of mind, of memory, of body

The brain and body don’t forget trauma

The Heart Refuses To

There are over 400,000 children in foster care.  This film brings to awareness what some kids experience and to help adults understand life throughout the children’s eyes.  At the end she says it all;

“I am loveable.  I am worthy of care.”

How applicable in the adoptees world.  I can’t even begin to discuss the “re-homing” issue that is so prominently displayed on Facebook.  Pages, organizations, Craig’s List.  Places where, if you don’t like the child you “got”,  if they are too difficult to manage,  if they don’t suit your “fancy” you are free to re-home them….no strings attached.  Just like the little girl in the video..every day, adoptees appear on Craig’s List as giveaways.

When I was finally taken home as an infant it was on the condition that they “foster” me for two years perchance a boy became available.  If that boy had become available…I would have been given back, just like the sweet child above.  Just like the kids being re-homed on Craig’s List today.

IMG_2473She, with her perfect curls and homemade dress was not aware that her time, resting on the hopeful obtaining of a boy.  In the meantime, she was already being trained to perform on command…just in case.

When you consider the added burden of trauma that most foster, adopted, re-homed children experience, how amazing that many are the most compassionate, caring souls that roam the earth.  It is those who have dug their way out of the dark places and found the light that have the most understanding.  Those, who have lived with little are the first to give to others as they know what it’s like to have nothing.  Those who have had no one love them, no one in their corner are always the first to reach out to others. They know what it feels like to be alone in this world.

You would hope that people dealing with adoptees  (as well as other children of the system) would understand the effects of trauma and PTSD and have more compassion.  Not always.  In the real world, not the work world, it is practically never.  Everyone is so caught up in their own ego driven world they fail to really See,  Hear, Be Present For,  Have Compassion For …those who have struggled to find their way to the surface.

I speak as an adoptee who has navigated many trauma’s, abuse and rapes.  I speak as an adoptee who had held out hope of finding family after decades of search.  I speak as an adoptee who navigated a reunion where there was a Mother and siblings.  The Family I longed for all of my life.

 Looking back, I wonder if I had better understanding, if they had better understanding of my history of trauma, my PTSD, my impending diagnosis of Mastocytosis…would it have been different?  The constant tears, the fatigue, the grief and sadness was partly just that.  I know now that a huge part was mast cell degranulation affecting mast cells in the brain.  If understanding had been on the table on all sides what a difference it would have made.  It could have been a family healing…could have been.   As Bert Hellinger says in his books on family constellations…energetically there is something missing in their world as well, something isn’t right, a piece is missing when a child is given away.  Healing must be done as a whole family.

There is healing.  As the sweet child in the film says at the end;

“I am loveable. I am worthy.”

We can, with practice, spiritual or otherwise,  experience beautiful moments of the heart, a return to dignity, to the wise and gracious spirit that is found within always.  As we learn to navigate our difficulties with compassion and grace,  Joy will also return.

Life is trouble.. according to Zorba, and yet, your difficulties and sorrows do not define you.

They do not limit who you are.  Sometimes, when life is really overwhelming and the struggles great, you can mistake them for your life.  They are not the end of your story, they are just a small part of it,  a part of your path to great love and understanding,   Part of the intricate dance of love and humanity.

My hope is everyone will watch the video and give pause to thought.  For all of us,  but especially those of us who have been that little girl….let the spirit of self-compassion grow in you.  Sense how you can carry the soul of wisdom and compassion within your own heart.  Know that you will get through your difficulties with dignity and your capacity to love.

You are more than your story,  more than your trauma and pain,  more than your PTSD,  more, more, more

Remember who you really are and know you are loved