Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Unresolved Grief From Relinquishment; part of my story

I grew up with a broken heart. No one understood this and so I was alone in my heartache. I would try and explain how sad and lonely I felt, yet no one could pin point why. My grandma thought I just needed medication. Maybe it was a chemical imbalance. I knew there was a reason. I just couldn't remember. I was relinquished as an infant and adopted into a loving family at 8 days old. I had a wonderful upbringing. I was and am very blessed to have loving people in my life. Still I was deeply sad. I would laugh and play like any other kid. The sadness didn't really kick in consistently until I hit 7th grade. Man this was the toughest year of my life. I was lost and confused and full of fear. Perhaps it was moving from my elementary school to my middle school. After getting over the initial separation anxiety from my mom, i settled right in and learned to enjoy my elementary school. I have only the sweetest memories of that time. The teachers and staff were so nurturing. Then I reached 6th grade and it all ended. The safety and comfort turned into chaos and confusion. I was sick about going to junior high school which was actually 7th - 12th grades all in one building. I was so insecure about it all and felt panic and anxiety in my heart each day that year. It never failed that I ended up in the counselors office for the majority of the day crying and talking about how I didn't know why I was feeling this way. The best they could do was listen. Provide an open door policy and encourage me. They were patient and supportive and made those days bearable. Over time I became more comfortable with my new school environment and gradually the fear subsided. By the beginning of 8th grade I was eager to get back to school to see all my friends. I was a good student and a great gymnast, so this helped in finding a place of safety in the madness of high school. The comment I heard most was 'she has so much potential' I was just unable to live it.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Book Tour: 'The Primal Wound' by Nancy Verrier

Reading 'The Primal Wound' has changed my life. The first half of the book was the most profound for me because it explained my life. It explained my personal pain that has consumed me for all of my life. This book has put words to my internal struggle and given me freedom from it, by giving the validation and acknowledgement that my struggle was real, definable and shared by so many other adoptees. I know now that I am normal. That I have been through an abnormal experience, and that I am not crazy.

Here are the questions I chose to answer based on my determination for people to understand that 'The Primal Wound' is real and that by acknowledging it adoptees can be set free from extreme pain and debilitating emotions.

What signs did you see in your child or yourself, that support the concept of a primal wound derived from separation of mother and child in the process of adoption?

The hardest part was that my 'signs' were hard to identify unless one is aware of the Primal Wound'. From the outside I looked like a normal kid. I had no abusive past and I was adopted as an infant into a loving and wonderful family. I should have been fine, but I wasn't. I internalized most of my pain and the signs were unclear for awhile. Just as Nancy Verrier talks about. I always knew something was wrong in me, but no one else did. Not even the therapists I saw. From everything I told them I was just fine and just struggling with low self esteem.

The Primal Wound was my true issue. I have lived with a very deep encompassing pain in my soul that has felt like a handicap my whole life. As a tiny infant my parents noticed that I bounced my head against my pillow in order to fall asleep. They thought it to be odd, but never inquired about it. I eventually outgrew it as I got older.

The Wound surfaced the year I entered 7th grade. I cried every day that year. My grandma thought I was clinically depressed and wanted me to get on medication. All my parents could do was keep motivating me and encouraging me which they did. It was really a difficult time for my whole family. I carried a pain inside that was simply unexplainable. I was told by teachers and coaches that I had so much potential, But for some reason I could never reach it. I had stomach aches all the time. I never wanted to leave my home for too long. There were places that I would not want to stay and would call my parents to come get me especially from sleep over parties. From what I know now, I feel like my desperation to be loved, and my search for what I 'lost' consumed my life. I lived in a state of fear and it was exhausting. I rejected my mother's love and would tell her 'you don't love me'. I have had a life of drama, living in a cycle of rejection, abandonment, the desperation to be loved and the impossibility of receiving it because I was afraid to lose it.

The author asserts that adoptive families are different than biological families in part due to the primal wound. Given this, is it possible to go beyond healing the primal wound and embrace or celebrate the unique dynamic that occurs in families created through adoption? In other words, can we embrace and celebrate the differences in families created through adoption?

I believe that once the 'Primal Wound' is acknowledged and accepted so that the adoptee can get the understanding of her emotional life, the adoptive family can succeed. I know this because since reading 'The Primal Wound' I have found that my struggles had little to do with my 'adoptive' family dynamic and everything to do with my mysterious, internal, emotional world. The wound prevented me from living in the moment. I was living in the moment marked by the separation of my birth mother. That loss became me and defined me. All the love and attention from my family could not replace or 'fix' that loss because i had not dealt with it. Once I received the answers and understanding, I was set totally free. Now I am happy and excited about my life. I wrote a letter to my family to let them know that none of my craziness was meant to hurt them. That I was looking for my "self" and never wanted to cause them any pain. I needed to let them know this because I know that my actions and words over the years have hurt them. I finally feel close to them. I have been set free to receive their love and give them mine.

I can not express how grateful I am to Nancy Verrier for writing 'The Primal Wound'. I have finally found the answers to where I came from and now I am free to be me.

Prior to finding the book and becoming apart of this tour, I wrote a poem titled 'A Torn Embraced'. I have included it in this post because it is my expression of how I felt living with 'The Primal Wound' .

A Torn Embrace

We come from a place not so safe

Our roots wounded by a torn embrace

Insecure is our place

Searching for acceptance is

now our race…

Desperate to find you we

search for your face

Believing when found it could

all be replaced

Our roots wounded by a torn embrace

I need to be fixed

I feel out of place

Our roots wounded by a torn embrace

Where will I find you

How long will it take

Our roots wounded by a torn embrace

I need to feel whole, secure,

and safe

Nothing makes sense

I feel torn and in space

Our roots wounded by a torn embrace

Fear has captured the peace

of my birth

Holding hostage my right to

peace on earth

I want it back

What you took

When you walked away and

Left Me on a hook

I’m getting down

I’m finding my way

I will not be forever

Destroyed by that day

I’m going back to let me

Replay the moment my heart

felt stolen away

I close my eyes and go deep

Inside to look at the empty

Pain getting harder to hide

Could it be...I’m OK?

Even after you left me that


In fact, it is my heart

It is my choice

I don’t think I’ll allow you to

be my voice

I’m speaking out Here’s what I

have to say

You didn’t leave with my heart

that day

I am priceless

Complete by design

Given to the world with you

in mind

My destiny is forever mine.

© Paula Darkins 2009

To Continue on this tour, please visit the main list at The Open Adoption Examiner.

There are a lot of great questions on this book tour. Please continue on the tour!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

We Come from a place not so safe, by P

I can become derailed in an instant. My world that seems so solid can become a state of total numbness, emptiness and disconnectedness. I can feel only the abyss of pain deep inside and it consumes me. It is big and it is heavy and it feels like I am dying under the weight of it. I try to fight my way out but become exhausted and buried deeper still. I give in and stop and for awhile walk around like this, feeling totally helpless to find the way out. What I have tried hasn't worked. And then, I will read something, or hear something and I will feel it penetrate the negative weight around me, and for a moment I can remember how it feels to be safe, secure and loved and I don't want it to end. The feeling starts to fade and I try to keep it, hold onto it and make it mine. I want to stay here forever. I want to believe it is my right to belong here. And I can, for awhile. I get comfortable here. Thinking it is my place; my home. I've fooled myself somehow finding a way to convince myself this is mine. Warmth grows in my heart. A smile grows on my lips and I am alive again. It's love. I forget that I don't own this place. I am only a visitor. I don't know how long it will last or when it will be stolen away. For now I live like it's mine determined to hold on to this place I can't seem find, on my own. I need to become like you. To know where I belong. It has to be here somewhere. Who will accept me and keep me strong. If you, give me the strength, I don't know for how long. I don't know who I am or where to be so I look around for you to remind me. It's still always temporary, and I am getting tired of the up and down's steady getting tossed around. I feel at your mercy. Im only OK when you like me. Because who will bring me to that place if it isn't in your face. If I disappoint you I get cut off, and I am beginning to not know how to fit in. I need to know where you are. I think when I find you I will now be complete and get from you the entire suit. The pieces I can't find inside I will get them from you and begin to rise. Now I know I must find you and I begin to look at everyone I see. Perhaps YOU will notice me. Then I will be found and the story will be that YOU in searching, found and restored me. Time passes and nothing happens and I am certain I will never know how to become safe and whole. I look harder and become more aware that I will need to pay money to finish this stare. I know it is a big commitment making the first move. I begin to panic and get stung by fear. What if you're not available to give me your ear? I do it anyway. What have I got to lose? It must be done before I become a permanent member of the blues. I get the call you are willing to talk and meet me to see what I have become. You happen to have been waiting for me all these years hoping I would find you to quell your tears. Tears you've cried for me since I've been gone not realizing the pain would always belong. We meet and I am never more unsure and certain at the same time. This meeting was meant to be for us to climb out of the emptiness created after we separated. You cried when you saw me. We talked. and you tried to fill in the blanks of how there came this big divide. I listened and waited and thought it would be a magical moment of you and me; together again, bonded and strong reunited to sing our old song. It wasn't the same. How could this be? I thought you were the answer to me. I didn't really know you, but I was glad to see, there was some resemblance looking back at me. I wanted so much more but what I got would do. I had made some progress in finding you. I left not sure of what I feel. My completeness not seeming anymore real. I didn't know how to fit you into my life. I definitely didn't need another mom in my life. I came for you. I thought it would be the replaceable part that went missing from me. I realized there was nothing you could say to give me back what I felt stolen away. So I stick to what I know works, keeping others happy to get the praise I'm worth. It doesn't take long before I'm exhausted and you seem to have found the pleasure in manipulating me to get your way. It's so easy. I'm so needy. You see the power you have over me and begin to withhold the praise you see I need, watching, waiting to see if I bleed. I get weaker than I've ever been. Addicted to praise I work to please, every move draining me, I fall to my knees. Begging. Pleading. Desperate for you to see me, praise me, love me. Is this all I am? All that's left? A life of deprivation I'm forced to accept. The more I need you the worse it gets. You strengthen as I weaken. You grow as I die. You no longer care as you watch me cry. I am lost more than I've ever been. What I once held onto holds onto me. I am trapped in a space; falling, falling away from first place. The pain has compounded; your rejection upon my lack of affection. Death to my soul; deeper than the deepest hole. I am now completely out of control. How do I fight the desperation I feel. I struggle. Im trying to become more real than this pain inside getting harder to hide. The destruction has grown and has a life force of its own. I am fighting you. I am fighting me. I can't find a place to let me just be. Chaos in my soul. I have no idea where to go. I am afraid. I am alone. I feel my heart will never find its home. I need someone to love me; feed my exhausted soul. I can't go on like this. I'm not made for this abyss. I collapse. I am sobbing. I cry out in pain “I'm sorry, I'm sorry” over and over again. 'I'm sorry, I'm sorry why did you have to go? I feel so unloved and unloveable.' Was I too bad to kiss? Why wasn't I worth the risk? “Please come back, come back, I need you in my life. You need to come back and make it right.” Oh God! Oh God! What am I going to do? I am alone and nobody can help me through. Nobody can help me through. NOBODY can help me through. I don't know if I can make it like this anymore. It has to be me that gets up off this floor. I am now lying there, still. Waiting to receive the invincible pill. I roll to my side and curl up like a ball. Holding myself tight, I wait for the call. I am waiting for something inside me to change. Please help me, I need you... I need you...please help me find my way. I open my eyes and jump up off the floor. I'm not giving up. I'm trying some more. I set out to see what has become of me. I can do this. I can do this. I have to believe. Things will be different just wait and you'll see, a certain strength has come over me. I am determined to figure this struggle out. I know one thing is perfectly clear; this is about me and my enormous fear. The fear that has controlled me since my birth. Thinking I will never be loved for my true worth. I hear...and I've been told... I am worth more than gold - simply because I'm made from a one and only mold! Can it be;who I am, has nothing to do with how YOU feel about me? I'm getting excited and jittery. This thought alone is setting me free and releasing a power from deep down within. This might be the first time I feel, I will win this race, and not forever be a victim to the constant chase. I have a sense that I'm on top, giving myself permission; it's time to stop- hurting myself by not being clear; there is a reason I was sent here. No one can take my life away. It's mine to choose what to do, what to believe and what to say. I close my eyes. I go back inside to figure out my soul's divide. Could it be I'm OK? You didn't leave with my heart that day? I still have all my pieces in tact? I have my heart. I have my worth. They belong to me from before my birth.

I am Priceless

Complete by Design

Given to the world,

with you in Mind.

My destiny is


Copyright © Paula Darkins 2009

Monday, November 2, 2009

Finding the Love, by J

I am a person who has had a hard time "Finding the Love" for myself. I am very good at giving it away, giving so much away that I often feel very empty. Don't get me wrong I love my children, my family, my spouse and my friends, but I have some sort of block when it come to receiving it. I know now that I am a work in progress. That my issues of being unable to find the love come from major abandonment issues and trust issues that were formed when I was a baby.. I am asking GOD to help me peel back the battle scares for I know to go back and restart is the only to to breakdown the blockage. If my life was a chapter book. I would start with Chapter 1 .. Love ME first.... to love me is to love GOD..

We Are CHOSEN, by P

"Before I formed you in the womb I knew you,
before you were born I set you apart;
I appointed you as a prophet to the nations."
This applies to everyone. However It is especially important for those of us who have been adopted in forming our identity. We have a distinct point of origin and can be confident in our beginnings. We were with God. He knew us first. He created us. And he has a purpose for our lives. When we are hit with feelings of rejection, and abandonment and questions about who we are, we can clear this up by going back to the beginning. Not everything is perfect along the way. We have or will experience painful situations because that is life. The only way I have found, through the madness, is to remember that God created me with a destiny and nothing can stop me if I remember that I am more than my experiences. I am not defined by my experiences. I am defined by my God. He says I am priceless. He says I am wonderfully made. He says I am full of everything I need to live a great life. I choose to believe this because I know it is true in my heart. I have felt really, really worthless. I have felt extremely rejected and invisible. I have felt used and abused. I have felt discarded and alone. I felt sad and desperate for love. I went looking for the answers mostly in other people. I wanted them to make me feel good. To give me their time and attention so I could feel love, but what I found is the burden on them is too great. It wears them out and crushes the love that existed. I was caught in a cycle of frustration with my relationships because of this and always ended up empty, lonely, hurt, rejected, and abandoned. FINALLY, I found that this love is INSIDE me. When I was able to clear away the sadness and pain because I was so sick and tired of feeling it, I found me. A me that I could love. Just as I was demanding more God put a friend in my life to remind me of my true beginnings; to speak the truth to my soul and awaken the person within that has always been me. She exists in you and she is wonderful....get to know know her and love her unconditionally. She is waiting for YOU.