Greening My Engine

So, six  months later, how's the whole "aftermath" thing coming?  Well there's me, and there's me-and-them.  Let's talk about me first.

I got pretty stressed out around the end of the year.   Come January, I wasn't stressed at all. I felt drained, a little fragile, very mellow, and extremely lethargic. I had started reading Dr. Seligman's book Flourish: A Visionary New Understanding of Happiness and Well-Being; at one point he talks about helping clients work through their depression. "I wanted to make them happier, but all I did was make them emptier." That fit me like a glove.  But when you've spent a lifetime full of pain, sorrow, and anger, empty is a big improvement, and a necessary first step to anything better.

There's all these little fractures in my psyche that used to be full of poison. Now it's gone, and I can feel all the little abrasions the acid of pain wore into my psyche. They need time to heal, and I don't need to let more poison settle in.

I'm working on the exercises in Flourish. I've started a blessings journal, and I've found someone to send a gratitude letter to. I also bought a pretty journal at B&N & turned it into a phone log, with everyone's # on the first page and a log of who I talked to when and for how long in the rest. I need to add birthdays on the other side of the first page as well....

Keeping up with all these extra people is a bit of a nuisance, but better than the alternative.

I'm more patient these days and slow to lose my temper. I'm also slow to do anything else, easily fatigued, and not interested in -- anything really. What I do, I do extremely well, and I've caught up on a lot of things I let slide. I just don't care to start anything I don't have to. I've also lost all the health and exercise benefits I had worked on that gave me the strength to trigger this breakthrough. That annoys me more than anything else.

TBH I'm not much worried right now (duh) but my family is getting concerned. They're not used to seeing me so listless. And I do want to "secure the gains", finish healing, and make sure I don't backslide into cynicism -> depression out of habit.

Huh.  I'm converting over to a new fuel source, aren't I? Going from pain and anger to something cleaner and healthier.

I wonder what it will be.

But before I get there, I'll have to work on the me-and-them.  This is going slowly and awkwardly.  Partly it's because of the circumstances, and the accumulated traumas for all parties that go with the situation.  But it's not helped by the fact that I have all the social intelligence of a brick.  It took smarts, courage, persistence, and kindness to get me this far, but I need diplomacy now.  I don't have that virtue.

But I do have smarts, courage, persistence, and kindness.  I'll see what I can do with those.

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Amidst the fog and wonder

As always, I enjoy the musing updates you provide. Your posts remind me so much of my own mental wanderings when I was learning the "facts" of my adoption-story -- back when I was discovering my life story was less fact and more a mere collection of the choice pickings gathered by one's imagination and at times, angry hurtful wishful thinking.

Within this most recent post of yours, I read this gem:

I'm converting over to a new fuel source, aren't I? Going from pain and anger to something cleaner and healthier.

I wonder what it will be.

Grief and Loss are huge and almost interchangeable major issues for the adoptee. I have learned, for some, the grieving process can be too difficult, making the adoptee too hopeless and helpless to continue the healing process. Sadly, many of these cases lead to an adoptee's death (suicide). For others, Recovery, in the form of denial or acceptance, becomes the only goal for the survival of the struggling and still-confused adoptee.

It reads to me you're reaching a form of acceptance in what will still be a long road to recovery.

Acceptance.
It's a strange word for the angry adoptee, and I find the word itself leaves an odd feeling of nervous relief and sickness inside me. (Does the word have any affect on you?)

Acceptance. It's a strange

Acceptance.
It's a strange word for the angry adoptee, and I find the word itself leaves an odd feeling of nervous relief and sickness inside me. (Does the word have any affect on you?)

I spent 90 minutes verbally wrestling with my counselor last week.  It ended with me saying, "I realize that you are saying that there is a choice in how I react to my past other than indifference or anger.  I just don't see what that choice could be."

IDK  If this is a grieving process, shouldn't there be negotiation first?  How do you negotiate with something like that?  I realize that I am the one whose energy is pouring into that anger, but I have no idea where the spigot is.  Or how to turn it off.  Or even if I really want to.

An adoptee, especially an abused adoptee, is fundamentally defined by loss.  Can there be anything scarier than deliberately letting go?

Relinquishment

For myself, finding forgiveness and acceptance took years, a long list of trial and error prescription meds, a variety of therapists who simply didn't Get It, a nervous breakdown that literally rendered me speechless (thanks to a self-induced brain injury), and many other slips on the slopes of serendipity.

For myself, ultimately, I realized, "forgiveness" had to begin with me, and not anyone else.

After my self-induced head injury, I had a LOT of things to accept and forgive. And with great mourning, I did.

I forgave myself for being angry.
I forgave myself for smoking and drinking at the age of 9
I forgave myself for being a slutty drug-user, when I was 18, and the flashbacks of sex abuse came back, hitting me like a bloodied sledgehammer.
I forgave myself for doing a lot of things, out of frustrated desperation.

I also, after a lot of time, forgave my parents -- all four of them -- for not knowing better when it came to agreeing to an adoption-plan.

I truly believe not one of them, at the time, knew what they were doing to me, a child in need of care, love, and stability.

With that, I finally forgave myself for accepting the obvious: For my own survival, I need to remove all toxic relationships in my life.

(I'm still in the process of Cleansing and Removal).

Through all of this exhausting work in taking personal inventory and purging, I have come to accept my adoption-story as being one of many life events that has a much greater purpose and meaning than any one could have seen at the beginning, over 45 years ago.

I can't say I don't live without triggers or pain. And I can't say I don't ever feel the need to self-soothe and self-medicate.
But I can say, relinquishing the anger.... and accepting certain facts behind my adoption-story has enabled me to continue, and not give-up on myself and my chance at a better life and future.

Pound Pup Legacy