Secrets and Lies Part I

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Day one on Planet Earth. Happy Birth Day. A day to be legally falsified, shrouded in lies and secrets. The record I produce for my entire life will bear this tale. My own genetic history kept a mystery. Something I was not entitled to thanks to the mistakes, insecurities and decisions of everyone but me. It took me thirty six guilt laden years before I permitted myself to feel deserving enough and to put my needs before those who were supposed to put mine first.

 

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Renewal

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At the culmination of each year, everyone starts to think about what their New Year’s Resolutions will be. Ringing in a New Year is often seen as a sign of renewal or rebirth for a good majority of the world. I get the added bonus, or catharsis depending on your vantage point, of my birthday falling on December 21st, a few days shy of the New Year Renewal Ritual.

My birthday has always brought with it a lot of bittersweet emotions. I have always attributed this to the fact that I am adopted, and many other adoptees attest to the fact that they too struggle with their birthday each year. It is a reminder of the life I could have had, a reminder of the fact that I was surrendered or given up because I was a burden to those I was born to, a reminder of the loss of birthrights that every other class of humans that walk this earth are entitled to, a reminder that the parents I grew up with are not the parents that gave birth to me and are not my genetic link to my ancestors or geneology. And I believe my adoptive parents have always subconsciously felt this reminder at my birthday because throughout the years, they have successfully ruined many birthdays for me; from yelling at me because I was sick, to grounding or yelling at me because I was a half hour late coming home from my 21st birthday celebration, to flat out forgetting to call me one year. Yet these are the same people who call me by 3 pm to remind me to call the other parent on their birthday if I hadn’t called yet because they thought I had forgotten.

Heading in to the New Year is always a compounded vortex of sensitivities for me. Facing the open wounds of my recent birthday woes and trying to set new goals for the upcoming year ahead all within a short period of time.

My husband recently made the comment that in years past he always goes in to each year with a positive outlook, hoping and thinking that the new year will be better than the last, planning for it to be with all the goals to set in motion to make it so. This seems like the way that most people step in to the New Year. And it is always joked about that most people fall off their own bandwagon shortly thereafter. My husband said he might do things different this year and go in to this coming year with the expectation that things will be the same, or even get worse and it will just be a surprise bonus if things turn out good for once. His words lingered in my mind.

I think he is on to something. At least for the way things work in our world, this might be the best way for us to approach our life. It may seem pessimistic and negative to the rest of the free world. This may be why we have become hermits and loners in our old age. We don’t associate well with everyone else and others can’t seem to handle our way of dealing with life.

As with my last quote that I posted, hope devalues acceptance. The more I seem to have hope that things will get better, the more expectations I have of how things are supposed to be, or that some day things will get better. And with each passing day when things don’t get better, during those moments when things take the opposite turn and get worse when I thought I was already pretty low on the totem pole (yes, I realize there are always people out there who have it worse than me), I fall deeper in to depression and feel hopeless, wanting to resist my life and run away from everything-starting over from scratch where no one knows me. This blog is sort of a testament to that, because no one who knows me has access to or knows about this blog. It is my little secret from those who know me in real life.

My “hope” (love the irony there) is that if I face the New Year setting out to accept my life and accept where I am in it and who I have become and am becoming/shifting to become, then I might find some renewal and clarity, this helping me to move forward, rather than staying stuck in this holding pattern of utter depression where I have no real game plan for how to truly get my life in order so that I can move in the direction of up.

via Daily Prompt: Renewal

Rearrange

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For the school year of 2015-2016, I rearranged my life to try and help out my daughter’s girl scout troop, particularly the one poor soul of a mom who agreed to take on being cookie mom for 3 troops as long as she had help. My daughter’s troop was the biggest troop, so I agreed to do the cookie booth portion of it, which is still a huge responsibility with the way they run cookies now. It is nothing like when I was a girl scout where everything, the door to door and cookie booth took place within a two week span. The whole charade now spans a 3 month stretch. It’s utterly ridiculous.

It also took me almost the entire school year to plan and execute this lovely brainchild of mine that did not have the outcome I desired. That was a high school band reunion. It started out as an idea I had when my 10th high school reunion rolled around and I had no desire to see my classmates but longed to see my band mates which were all of different classes. And then my 20th reunion came upon me, and I said, gosh darn it, here I am 10 years later wishing the same thing. I am going to make something happen this time. So it started out as a Facebook group of me and my friends and some of their friends. And then I made the mistake of contacting the alumni director at the school to ask if we could use the band room because someone (who didn’t even end up coming of course) had the bright idea that we should all play our instruments together and have a jam session. The alumni director then threw me in to full fledged alumni class reunion style mode and the next thing I know I have over 200 people in my Facebook group from all graduating classes dating back to the 70s (the school only opened in the 60s). Needless to say, that project became quite consuming. In the end, most of my own so called friends backed out on me and I did all that work mostly for people I didn’t know. In the meantime, I had started to act more slipshod with my work and at home, which I don’t like to give anything I do less than 100%.

During this 12 month period of the great depression, my Narcissistic Dad wreaked havoc in my life via my daughter’s First Communion. Due to the fact that he originally wanted to be the one to host the after dinner party so that he could take credit for it to my mother’s cousins who would be in from out of town and so that he had a say in the restaurant chosen, my husband and I saw right through his charade and decided that even though it would be a stretch for us to afford it, we were going to be the ones to take control of our own daughters party because we didn’t like the restaurant he was suggesting and didn’t want him dictating her events the way he has dictated mine. All because I rearranged what he had in mind and took it away from him, he played such spiteful, underhanded, unbelievable games that hurt my daughter behind the scenes and also hurt my sister in law merely because we chose to have desert back at her house and he still holds a latent grudge against her from my bridal shower from 14 years ago which resurfaced a year and a half ago. He turned my uncle, who is my daughter’s Godfather against me to the point that he didn’t even send her a card (I blasted him in an email over that one….he now sends her a birthday and Christmas card after I told him pretty much what a.horrible person he was for listening to my dad and taking it out on his Goddaughter by not coming to her Communion and not even so much as sending her a card. My dad purposely got the same gift that my sister in law got for my daughter which I specifically told my dad twice prior to the communion not to get because she wanted to specifically get her that as her godmother. And my dad got it anyway and the look on my poor sister in law’s face broke my heart when her gift ended up being a duplicate and she took hers out of the pile after my daughter opened my dad’s gift first. He did it on purpose because he’s jealous of my sister in law and doesn’t like her because of an issue from my bridal shower, which was a ridiculous issue to begin with and a made up pretentious issue of his where my sister in law did nothing wrong in the first place either. It was all my dad blowing things out of proportion. But he rearranges everything if things don’t go the way he wants them to in order to make everyone else’s life miserable and to play such horrible and deceitful mind games with everyone. He sabotages what are supposed to be happy events. He brings up ghosts of the past that have been laid to rest and spins lies to make you wonder if you’re going crazy. He tried to tell me I told him something my husband’s family said a long time ago and I stood there and verified with both my sister in law and husband present at the same time that no one in his family ever said such a thing and that was the first they’d ever heard of that, so I know I couldn’t have told my dad what he says I told him. Because if there is one thing I am superbly guilty of, it is honesty to a fault. Not that I don’t tell some white lies here and there, you know the kind I’m talking about. But when it comes to the big things about principles and such, I am the most upfront and honest person you would probably ever meet.

My life also got rearranged a bit with the news back in May or June that the birthfather that I was always told wanted nothing to do with me or my birthmother once he heard that she was pregnant was actually not even told about me until after I was given up for adoption. I had been vaguely in touch with him since about a year after my I met my birthmother. She gave me his name and told me she would rather I not contact him but I had the right to know his name and do what I wanted. She would always take my temperature on the situation and ask whether I had been in touch with him at all. I had made contact with him on Facebook and we texted a few times. We were both pretty distant and kept it to pretty factual questions. I was not about to open myself up to being hurt by someone who I thought never wanted me in the first place. At the same time he accepted my friend request on Facebook, my stepsister on his side also friend requested me. He is never on fb but she is. One day last September, she liked a post of mine and it sent my birthmother into a seething tizzy. She claimed it was because my birth stepsister was a wiccan and she doesn’t want any part of that in her life, but also said she doesn’t want any of my birthfathers side to know anything about her. It was our first real fight in 2 years. It really affected me deeply. Once the news came about 9 months later that my birthfather was never even told about me until after I was already given up for adoption and was never given the chance. He believes he would have married her in order to keep me. And honestly, his track record as compared to hers favors his story. My stepsister has also known about me since she was 10. I figured the first she was told about me was the day she friend requested me. So I was a present thought in his brain over the years. I finally met him in August. But all of this has rearranged my entire view on the chain of events and on my birthmother honesty and integrity. My birthfather is an incredibly warm and caring and loving person face to face, but he is horrible about keeping in touch via phone and text. And he lives 2 hours away. So it’s hard to maintain a relationship with him. Even my stepsister that he raised as his own daughter who lives 10 miles from him has a hard time keeping in touch with him. I am happy to have gained the knowledge and confidence that out of the 4 parents I have that one may have truly wanted me for the right reasons, even though he’s the one who I thought didn’t want anything to do with me, which had alot to do with some of my self esteem issues over the years. But now I feel a simultaneous loss at the same time. Because the one who has been there and in the right capacity is my birthmom since our reunion. But now I am having a hard time trusting her because of all of this and it’s hard to get over this betrayal of my birth story. And the one who actually makes me feel honestly loved when I’m with him, I can’t have much contact with just because of who he is and how he runs his life. I plan on seeing him again in November. Who can say that their birth story was actually rearranged in their mind at 38 years old? Usually just adoptees. Even when I thought I had it straight, that rug was pulled out from underneath me.

And so, with everyone rearranging my world for me, I have decided to be like the tiger in the picture. I am taking over the chess board of my life and I am taking control of the players in my life. I will no longer be anyone’s pawn. People need think wisely before making their next move, because I think very strategically, but I can also pounce ¬†when least expected. My thoughts are now two steps ahead of every move that my opponents might make and how I might be able to respond. Life is a game. And I’m tired of people playing ME like a fiddle rather than me coming out as chess champion. Watch out world. You’ve met your match.

 

 

via Daily Prompt: Rearrange

The Artificial life of Adoption

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My entire life has been artificial. I feel like the only real thing in an artificial life that I have been forced to live. The mere premise of adoption seeks to create a seemingly real situation for those whose adoption was based on the birthmother surrendering the child out of shame for having the child out of wedlock at a young age, being persuaded by the religious factions, not having enough money to raise the child, and being adopted by a married couple who struggled to get pregnant and had the money to adopt a child. The idea was to supply a childless couple with a child to help them get over their grief and give them a replacement, and to give the birthmother a way to move on with her life as if the “ugly situation” never occurred. Many adoptive couples even chose not to tell the adoptee that they were even adopted, or told them much later in life. Adoptees call these adoptive parents mom and dad because they are raising them. Even though giving birth to a child certainly doesn’t make a person a parent, raising a child really doesn’t earn them that title either.

My birth certificate is artificial. Yup, that’s right. The only document that is allowed to be legally falsified without any penalties. My legal birth certificate states that I am born to my adoptive parents. My real one is sealed up in New Jersey. Thanks to a new law finally passed in NJ after much deliberation, in 2017 I am finally able to obtain my original birth certificate in the same manner everyone else is. Even though I have already made contact with my birth parents, having that piece of paper will mean alot to me. Knowing that I am finally able to have something other than the artificial farce that I currently have in my.possession will mean alot to me. Even though the original one can only serve as a historical document, that is still important to me. To have proof on paper that the real me exists. When I originally began the process of searching for my birthparents, NJ, the state where I was born, told me they didn’t even have record of me. I had to go to the Florida adoption agency where my adoption was finalized in order to find somewhere that knew of my existence. It may not sound like much, but to see those words in an email, that the State of New Jersey has no record of you….that stings….especially when you have lived a life shrouded in secrets and mystery and lies and cover-ups your entire time on this earth.

I had to act in an artificial manner growing up so as to keep my parents anger at bay. I couldn’t ask too many questions about my birthparents because it was made very clear to me how betrayed they would feel if I ever searched for them. I tried so desperately to fit in to the persona my parents wanted me to be because they made it very clear that who I really was, wasn’t acceptable to them. Any difference in me that they didn’t understand or approve of was berated and attributed to my genetic heritage. Because I ate differently with a knife and fork, I was chided for that being the “English” in me and that was said in a very condescending manner. (Funny side note-though that was what was listed in my adoption papers, that I was German and English; once I found my birthparents I found out I was really German, Swiss, Irish and Welsh….no English in me…so the abusive comments were even based on wrong information and incorrect). I knew from a young age I wasn’t being true to myself and was struggling to find my identity.

Affection felt artificial. My mom forced it upon me. It was for HER benefit not mine. I always felt, from a young age, as though I was there to fulfill her need for love rather than the other way around. She was abused horribly by my witchy grandmother, and for that I do pity her. But I was not her little pawn to do her bidding for love. I should have never been seen as the way to make up for what her mother failed to give her. My parents failed at a lot of things, yet I don’t use my daughter as a means to heal those wounds. She charged me as a young child with a huge responsibility when it was me who had suffered the trauma of being ripped from my birthmother that was pre-verbal, that I could never express even if I tried to, and I would never have been allowed to. I had to keep my feelings to myself so as not to hurt theirs. It was always about them. They saw themselves as the hero who rescued poor little me from a potential life of despair and gave me a wonderful life where they supported me monetarily and showed up at my events. And therefore they were wonderful parents in their own eyes and boasted about it all the time. No one on the outside knew about all the times my dad would come home from work screaming his head off about God knows what and talked about wanting to run the car off the road into a telephone poll and commit suicide. Yup, I remember hearing that one as young as 6 or 7. And I didn’t even remember how much that upset me until I was triggered by that when my step kids were living with me and their good for nothing mother would tell them all the time about how she tried to or wanted to commit suicide and would do it for pity and attention from them whenever they weren’t paying her enough of it or if they had hurt her feelings.over something just to rope them back in. It hurt me to the core to watch another parent do that to kids and then to know that they were on her side and despised me at the time because of all the lies she was telling them about me.

The artificial personalities of my parents in general are something that will be explored in depth throughout this blog. My Dad is such a malignant narcissist it is beyond imagination the kind of stunts he has pulled. He is as fake to the core as they come. He can be one of the most charming people. He literally has everyone fooled except for those who know me personally and have gotten a small glimpse and 2 of my cousins on my mom’s side and the handful of people he has cut out of his life who have dared to go up against him. My husband’s family thought he was great, until my bridal shower happened, and still not even quite then,moreso when my baby shower occurred because that was when my mom sent my sister in law a nasty email and she finally saw it first hand. That was 6 years in to my relationship with my husband. My bridal shower was 3 but that was still only them hearing about it via my husband where it was something that affected them that my parents had done. They are so cunning. But last year when they started to involve my daughter in to their schemes, that’s when I finally started to realize I was not the crazy one. I finally caught my dad flat out in bold faced lies that I was able to confirm. And I was not about to let him start affecting my daughter the way he has affected me. That’s when I laid down the boundaries. That was also a big portion of my depression. Changing the dynamic of my relationship with them. I finally stood up to them in a way I never had before. I told them all about themselves and how much I saw through their games and antics. I told them I was no longer going to play along just to keep the peace the way I had been all along. I wouldn’t be artificial anymore because they have never known the real me. I have always tried so hard to vie for their approval and hid my true self in order to achieve that and still never have, so I am just going to be me, because I am proud of who I am, regardless of what they think of me. This has been a very hard change for me to make.

 

 

 

via Daily Prompt: Artificial

Outer Layers

 

 

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My outer layers have always held great importance to me. I am adopted. I am NOTHING like my adoptive parents. I went through a major identity crisis growing up. To this day, as I am writing this at 38 years old, my adoptive parents still attempt to control me and try to dress me just like them. They cannot accept my differences and won’t accept me for who I am. At Christmas, they have gone out of their way to try and get my step children and my husband clothing that is their style. But for me, about 85-90% of what they pick out, maybe even more, are items I would never pick out for myself. Many of them I give away, and some I wear to work but would never anywhere else.

For a while when I was younger, I tried to dress like they wanted me to, just to seek their approval. But by the time I got to high school a little and definitely by college, I finally said the hell with it and listened to my inner fashionista (which is incredibly unique) and began dressing however I wanted to. They made me buy my own clothing at that point. But if we were ever in a store and I happened to say that I liked something that met Daddys stamp of approval, boy would he rush to get his credit card out and pay for that in a heart beat. But anything else that was in the style that I liked and they didn’t, I had to pay for. And it was never anything inappropriate. Just more casual, funky, colorful or Gothic (yes, I am conflicted-more on that in a minute), and fun. They are preppy and frumpy.

I have always bounced back and forth and been a mixture at the same time of both highly colorful and black and Gothic. No, I am not bipolar. I do have alot of conflict in my life which causes some major mood swings. As a classical musician, we always have to wear all black for concerts and performances, so I am often outfitting my closet with lots of black for that reason in and of itself. But I have always been drawn to the Gothic and Victorian styles. I also favor the highly colorful, psychedelic look. There is a very specific look to shirts that anyone who is close to me can see a shirt on someone else and point to it and pin it as a “Noelley shirt” aka: one they know I would buy and wear. I like jewelry alot. My wrists tell my life story. I have the flat Italian 9mm Charm bracelets with the modular interlocking charms. Each one is very specific and tells something about me. I have 4 bracelets in all. I also have a Miche purse which is a purse that has magnetic interchangeable outer shells, so you keep everything in the same purse and snap on a different outer shell to match your outfit each day. But did I stop at that customization? Why, of course not. I saw on eBay (my favorite place to shop) that people made custom shells. So I found someone who would take material I sent them and drawings of concepts I had and make shells for me. Some I bought specific material for, and some were made out of my old “Noelley shirts” that no longer fit me but that I couldn’t part with. Upcycling rocks!

I am not a shallow person at all and I assign meaning to everything that I do. And while I don’t put stock in material things, the way I dressed always held a lot of meaning to me. It always told my story and helped me feel that I had an identity separate from my adoptive parents that just wanted me to be their clones. This all made even more sense when I finally met my birthparents. At 36 I finally met my birthmom. My adoptive parents don’t know that I am in contact with them because they would be hurt and see this as a betrayal and that is not my mission. I needed it for my self. Meeting her and subsequently my birthdad this year (though I had seen his Facebook profile and pictures of him 3 years ago) affirmed exactly why I dress how I do, why I am so conflicted and torn between the light and darkness (psychedelic and Gothic) and why I was so drawn instinctively to these styles. I am a perfect mixture of the two I am pictured with above. That is my rebirthed family portrait. My birthmom is the light. She wears so many colorful shirts and outfits just like the ones I wear. She bought me birthday gifts on the first time I met her, and she bought me a beautiful, colorful butterfly necklace and bracelet, exactly my style. My birthdad is a musician, just like me. But he’s a rock musician, which I love rock as well. He is the darkness in me. He’s the spiderwebs, animal prints, black leather and flames. My need to customize everything comes from him. It even says so on his Facebook that he likes to customize everything, just like me and my bracelets and purse shells. My outer expression was just what I knew inside my soul was the pieces of my past and those who composed me.

<a href=”https://dailypost.wordpress.com/discover-challenges/outer-layers/”>Outer Layers</a>

 

 

The Ancient Practice of Adoption

The ancient practice of adoption

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Many religious sects promote it. It is viewed as a way to “make right” the so-called unlawful union between an unwed woman and man that resulted in the birth of a child. Adoption can help them “atone” their sins while giving a childless couple the chance to be parents, they are giving the most perfect gift. All is right in the world now….

Way wrong answer. And who didn’t get a say in all of this? The child. The child who was sacrificed for the sake of its birth parents mislabeled sins. The child who was sacrificed so that another couple who had to have something that they were not able to have on their own could live their perception of a perfect little life. The child who suffers a pre-verbal trauma that they cannot make sense of. The child who loses the right and connection to their own personal genetic history and those who are similar to them. The child who feels an innate sense of rejection. The child who often suffers an identity crisis when they don’t fit in with the adoptive parents.

Many adoptees have to bite their tongues growing up and are not allowed to ask many questions or inquire much about their own history, their own origins, their own people. Doing so jeopardizes the relationship with the adoptive parents since they often feel threatened and jealous of a bond that they can’t grasp. After all, why would their child want to meet someone who gave them up and whom they never met. They are the ones who are raising the child. They are the ones who paid lots of money to obtain that child in adoption and lawyer fees and they are the ones spending their money to raise that child and their hard work and effort, blood, sweat and tears to take care of that child. What a betrayal it would be for their child to want to seek out the birthparents. And many don’t hold back in telling the adoptees all of this from a very young age. Imagine the guilt placed on these young children to have to stifle their curiosity in order to spare their adoptive parents feelings. Isn’t it the child who is supposed to be protected and taken care of, not the other way around?

But the beautiful institution of adoption is recounted numerous times throughout the Bible all the way back to Moses in the basket. And we are all considered “Adopted” sons and daughters of God. Such and ancient practice can’t be all that bad can it? Or maybe the world has finally evolved enough that people are advocating for themselves and realizing the amount of mistreatment that is taking place. People are finally standing up for themselves. Just because it is accepted by the masses doesn’t make it right. Was slavery an acceptable practice just because it was a common practice?

Is it possible to eradicate adoption altogether? Probably not. It probably wouldn’t even be wise. But the ancient practices and methodology that is in play today MUST be re-examined for the benefit of the children who are caught in the crossfire and are not able to speak for themselves at the time they are placed in to the situation. Even the language used on stage websites still refer to adoptees and children born out of wedlock as illegitimate children. How demeaning of a term and how easily something so degrading can wear on a child’s and adults self esteem. It invalidates a person’s entire existence. As if we have no right to exist. As if we are less than. This ancient terminology MUST be changed and the adoption procedures are in desperate need of serious reform in more favor of the welfare of the adoptee/child. These ancient practices MUST be modernized and the world must be more educated to the damage that has been done to so many adoptees. We have finally been finding our voices. Please don’t dismiss any of us as just being bitter when someone tells their story that doesn’t fit the ancient feel good unicorns and rainbows version of adoption the world has always wanted to believe in. Stop and listen. Stop and consider others points of view. Stop and research. Please don’t write off our oppressed culture. We are the only group of individuals after all who are still denied the ancient birth rite of an original birth certificate. We are only allowed to have a legally falsified document stating that we were born to our adoptive parents. Some states are finally passing laws to change this. Please support your state or country if and when they try to pass this law to allow adoptees their original birth certificates. Any little bit that anyone can do to make a difference is helpful so that this oppression becomes ancient history…

 

 

 

 

 

via Daily Prompt: Ancient