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>

 

 

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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

Sabotaged by the need for truth 10/20/16

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“And the truth shall set you free”…

Back to Biblical times, this quote is found in a Bible passage and is an adage spoken time and again. I have been honesty’s number one fan for quite some time. My life was born in lies and shrouded in secrecy since my conception. My need to fight against that is so ingrained as a survival skill that it has begun to sabotage me.

I had an epiphany the other day. Certain facts I had already known about myself. I am a truth seeker and truth speaker. I despise greediness. I cringe at hypocrisy. But something came together for me and I could see it in my mind’s eye, like the pieces of a puzzle coming together or a math equation being solved mid-air like in “A Beautiful Mind”. My dire need to speak the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, so help me God, is getting me in major trouble. It is causing me the proverbial diarrhea of the mouth out of fear of being a hypocrite. It has become an offspring of an OCD branch of my multitude of issues gained from my genetics and childhood of being adopted and then subsequently raised by parents with Narcissistic Personality Disorder. (Or, at least one of them definitely has it, the other one is his flying monkey and mimics his behavior at times because she is his puppet, along with her own string of psychological issues).

The recent situation that brought this to light for me was a recent position that I applied for. It is a music instructor position in a highly religious school. This job would really help us out financially, something we are in desperate need of. I want so badly to help out our family and feel more useful without having to sacrifice the time with my daughter or my general sanity in departing from my desired career path (one I’ve been very happy with the last few years but that I’m not making as much money in as I can due to the time constraints of being the mother of a 9 year old). This new position would have been a good compromise, though not exactly what I enjoy the most, something I could handle while making more money within a time frame that doesn’t sacrifice family time.

In the initial interview they asked me about my background in faith since they are a devout Christian school, so I gave them the resume type facts without going in to my actual personal feelings about religion, because I differ very much from their perception. I made it through that interview fine. After emailing again and proposing a sample letter, they asked for my “thoughts” on whether I felt comfortable with their Statement of Faith. And that’s where it went to hell in a hand basket. They asked me about my opinion. For my truth. I don’t like being a hypocrite. I still even faked it quite a bit and didn’t really go in to my full beliefs, but I went in to a full dissertation via email about how I felt that their one statement of how they believe that salvation if based solely on the grace of God and faith alone was missing the component of good works and leading a life of good example. I stated that due to my own personal life experiences (because I’ve met far too many people that claim themselves to be Christians that are bad people in my eyes-but I didn’t say that part) and the fact that I am Catholic and not just “Christian” that my ideas might differ slightly but that I am comfortable enough with their statement to teach the children exactly what they prescribe. I haven’t heard from them since. My desperate need to speak my full truth and not be a hypocrite may have cost me this job and this opportunity to help my family get out of financial crisis.

Conversely, I have tried to be more dogged in my paperwork and invoicing when students don’t pay me the day of their lesson rather than letting it slide a week or two and just letting them catch up, which has probably turned in to me not keeping track and getting slighted several payments by several students in years past. I have always felt uncomfortable treating my business like a business, but as this meme says, in order to get ahead and to help my family get in better shape financially, this is what I’m supposed to be doing right? Following up and going after what is rightfully mine like any other company would? So how come I am being punished as soon as I get up the nerve to do this? This year, more than any other year past, more students have been forgetting their payments each week, writing the checks out wrong, etc…I am having to wait on payments constantly this year. Even when I tried to reschedule students because they had to miss a day of lessons due to school scheduling, one student who was able to switch days magically had an orthodontic issue immediately after emailing me that she could have a lesson and then had to cancel, thus resulting in me not being able to net that money due to some fluke accident as soon as I try to advocate for myself to get ahead. Every book and guru says the world doesn’t conspire against you and you make your own destiny by constantly having a defeatist attitude. But I don’t know what more I can do. These situations constantly occur in my life no matter how hard I try. I have been trying to find a happy medium between the two “types” described in this meme and can’t seem to make either one work.

If anyone has the answer, please let me know…because luck has never been on my side, and trying to make my own luck doesn’t seem to be working either. I am working on not sabotaging myself anymore though, at least I know what I’m doing wrong on that front. Just breaking that habit is going to be hard.

The Past is never past 10/19/16

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“Is it that people live in the past, or that the past lives in people?”

 

This is a quote I heard today on XM radio from one of the DJs. I didn’t catch who penned it. I am sure he was simply restating it as he was delivering quotes at every interlude. I am currently trying everything I can to quiet my toxic past. I am tired of ruining my life and operating the controls of the cockpit inside my brain. Unfortunately, I am having to go through a darker period right now in order to get a full grasp of exactly how much of my life the past has a hold of. I am going through the transparency of awareness. It is as if I can see the inner workings of my brain from a third person point of view. It is difficult right now for the few people I have left that are close to me to be going through this with me. While I have expressed anger before, it has never been in such an obsessive manner. It has never been in such an over-analytical way and it has never caused such deep depression. It seems like I am a burden to some and they just want me to get over it already and they don’t agree with my point of view. I feel very alone right now. Even those that do support me, to some degree all have some sort of doubt in one area or another. And I know everyone would think, then it must be me. But it is shown in the research that victims of narcissists are made out to feel like this. No one else other than those who have lived it first hand can know. The survivors are always invalidated by others and made to feel insane and the narcissists are so cunning at their craft that they can convince and manipulate everyone in to thinking that it is their victim who is the crazy one. And here I am, STILL feeling like the crazy one. Even to those who admit what insidious creatures they can be still think I am over reacting or reading things wrong. There is a fine line between madness and genius. I walk that line. I am so exhausted from people pushing me to the dark side of that line and seeing me in the shadows of that line. Everyone who knows me well knows that I take everything people say to heart and that I change all the time based on things people say to me and the faults they find in me. I am constantly over analyzing myself and often agree with everyone else’s assessment of my shortcomings and I try to make adjustments. So why is it that in this one area of my life where I need people’s support and validation more than anywhere else, people have to constantly try to negate me and challenge me? I support EVERYONE. When my friends and family vent to me about others, I back them up. Yet right now when I need to feel like I have people who believe in me and believe me, I feel so alone and I feel like everyone thinks its their job to play constant devils advocate with me. Boy would those same people get irate if I were to constantly play that role in their life. If I were to nitpick and take the other persons side every time they had a scuffle or were angry with someone. I finally started using my voice, found it again after feeling stifled for so many years I lost count, and now that I am finally feeling comfortable in doing so, I am still being told I’m wrong by the whole world and that I missed the mark…If everyone’s intention is to cage me back up, it’s not going to happen. I will just be a little more careful from now on and I will make sure I have all my bases covered before confiding in anyone. I will make sure I have my proof first before letting the hypothesis out of my head. So I guess in a way I will be crawling back inside my cage, but don’t mistake my silence for permanent passiveness. I am just going to be more powerful when I break free each time because I will have all my ducks in a row each and every time. I know why a caged Bird sings, as Maya Angelou says….

Cloak of Invisibility 10/17/16

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More than two months ago I stopped posting and commenting on my regular Facebook page. It started out for one purpose, and ended up remaining as such because I realized just how insignificant and invisible I was to all of the people I was considering acquaintances and friends. It took three weeks before even one person even contacted me to see if I was ok and why I wasn’t on Facebook. That person lives in Australia and is someone I haven’t even met in person. It took almost two months for a second person to mention to me that they noticed I hadn’t been on Facebook much lately. And so I came to the conclusion, why should I be wasting so much time on social media when people don’t even take notice when I’m not around. Either they don’t notice or they are glad I’m gone.

Today I uninstalled the Facebook app from my phone to take a break from my secondary Facebook page. I am starting to read in to everything a certain person posts and feel as though some things are aimed at me. I need peace in my head. I need a break from the world. I do want to be found, I want to know people recognize my existence, miss me when I’m not there. But I am triggered daily by everyone’s inability to deal with me and my apparent negativity and Debbie Downerism. Hardly anyone seems to get me or know who I am anyway, so what is the point anyhow. I need to refocus and regain perspective on my life and recover from all of my tragedies. I need to learn to move forward. If people want to find me, they know how and where…