Sunday, June 12, 2011

Too Much Life Going On....

I was perusing the web looking for images of women juggling all the aspects of life. Most of the pictures were of women juggling home, children, mate and work or even items in a recipe. That's not really where most of us are, right now. The world is changing into a strange and scary place.

Most women are NOT singly focused on home and hearth or even jobs. We have our philosophies and our causes. These days, it's more like we are juggling chainsaws on a tightrope.

In every area of life, including the area of natural disasters, we are all cringing while waiting to see what comes next. The political scene, alone, is enough to make a grown woman cry. Like my friend said, there is more ugly stuff going on in the world other than adoption and some of it is worse.

That is not to denigrate the pain of those still working through the impact that having a child taken for adoption or being adopted has on one's life. It's just that if I had to pick a trauma, there are others that are a lot more crippling. I listed some of them in a previous blog. It seems we have a culture of victimology. "Get over it," is a bit harsh, but "recover and live" is workable.

I went through rape crisis counseling. One of the counselors said that, for her, it was about going through stages. First came the victim, then the struggler, then the fighter and, finally, the survivor. Funny, but she never referred to "victim" as a bad word. Also notable is the fact that many Mothers refer to ourselves, as a group, as survivors.

It was also important, in our recovery from being victims of rape to being survivors, to place the blame where it belonged. One woman wanted to blame her mother who was so insistent that she be "popular" that she encouraged her to date the guy who raped her. Many of us blamed ourselves for poor judgement of character or for choosing the wrong ride home, etc. ad infinitum. The fact is that we were afraid to narrow our focus on the person who was the real villain..the rapist. It was another way to avoid facing our fears and memories.

20th century psychiatry made blaming one's parents, chiefly the mother, for one's pain a popular concept. Many took that and ran with it. It gave them an excuse not to take responsibility for their own actions. It is always easier to blame than to examine who might be the real malefactor in adoption. It is especially difficult to blame a faceless Industry, a long-forgotten social worker and deceased parents. It is harder, still, for adoptees, to see the role of the adopter in the mix.

But once victimized doesn't mean forever a victim. There comes a point when it's not important how the jackass got into the ditch but how we can work together to get it out of there. As adults, we are responsible for our own survival, our own actions and words and how we respond to those in our arena of adoption activism. In every case where I have sought healing, I have found the tools were with me all along...inside me. So, if we looked inward for healing, perhaps we could look outward enough to work with each other and pull that damn donkey out of the ravine.

This issue is not 24/7 for me. As the title says, there is too much life going in. In the areas of financial stability, women's reproductive rights, the direction of our government, climate change and world-wide unrest, we are very busy keeping those chainsaws in the air. Our energies are being spread across a wider spectrum of causes and crisis. For OCD perfectionists like me, it is overwhelming. That is why the sniping, name-calling, carping, whining and otherwise making everything all about you in the adoption arena is trying my patience.

I am taking some mental health or two a week. I'm retired, so that is no problem. Those are days when I don't worry about anything, turn off the news, step outside and know that the Universe is rolling along without the benefit of my august worry. While much of what goes on might somewhat affect me, not much of it is all about me...not even what happens within my own family.

Life today is frustrating. We are all survivors and we have earned a bit of serenity. There is no reason why we should allow our lives to be chaotic on a constant basis. Put down the chainsaws. Get off the tightrope. Now, breathe!

Doesn't that feel better?


Sandy Young said...

I am so glad to hear you are going to do this Robin. This is such a healthy thing to do for yourself. And, it is allowed, even encouraged. It can only make you more effective when you are ready, too. We all need to recharge our batteries, and we cannot be very effective when we are running on emptly...
Love you, My Friend. Take care of YOU first.

Von said...

You bet, couldn't agree more and have done the same.There are roses to sniff, places to go, people to see.
"It is harder, still, for adoptees, to see the role of the adopter in the mix." maybe for some but certainly not for this adoptee and others of us who blog. Hope your R&R days go beautifully.