Hiatus

Every-day-we-start-anew

Taking a hiatus.

Another way of saying withdrawing into a slump of hopelessness.

Followed, of course, by the journey back to a place where hope dwells.

I remember years ago, in my early 20’s, I had started seeing my bio-dad again. He was sick (MS), had been all my life, and I found it emotionally challenging to spend time with him.

Multiple Sclerosis (MS). MS. Like reducing it to letters lessens the blow, makes it easier to say, and makes it easier to accept. It doesn’t. Hard for a child to witness the deterioration of a parent. Harder still for a parent to witness in a child. And hardest for the person going through it, bearing painful and constant witness to their own deterioration, without the ability to halt, stop, or reverse. I used to sit as a young child through adulthood and imagine what it must be like for him. My heart and stomach twisting with the frustration of a body that refuses command, tears streaming down my face. It made me want to scream out at the unfairness of it. At the cruel torture of it. And sometimes it was too much for me to feel, and I would block it and him from my mind. That is my shame.

I promised to see him more often.

Then weeks passed and I hadn’t called, then months, then years.

I was painfully aware of this divide, and of the promise I’d broken.

Yet, it was the steadily marching passage of time and the guilt that I felt over it that stopped me picking up the phone.

Even at the two week stage.

By the time months had passed, I felt ashamed and embarrassed that I’d left it so long. The thought of explaining my absence was a greater obstacle than picking up the phone and calling.

Years went by. Years.

When I finally saw him again years – and years – later, he cried. Hard.

It both broke my heart and cleansed my guilt. He didn’t hate me, he didn’t blame me; he loved me. He missed me. And I missed him. So much.

Oh… a whole new level of guilt. I worked through it, and began to see him every weekend for the next year while I was in the same city. It was a wonderful year of forgiveness, of cleansing, of releasing some of my fears and discomfort, and – most importantly – of reconnection, even though he was only able to speak in very short bursts we reconnected as beloved father and daughter. I’m so grateful to have had that time with him before he passed onto the next realm.

The hiatus though…

This same pattern is how I’ve felt about this blog.

First one week passed, and I felt the pressure, the acknowledgement, that I had not posted, then two weeks with the constant awareness that I had not written a word, then a month, then two, then three.

Guilt. Defiance. Shame.

On a much lesser scale obviously, though I love my blog in a way that it feels like a part of me it is not the same as a father that I loved and adored with all of my heart and soul. Still the process has been the same. The looming emotions of not doing something that I want to do, and then feeling unable to come back the more time that passes.

The internal  emotion and process is the same.

I kept telling myself, I have nothing left to say. What would I talk about? The adoption is on hold until I find somewhere affordable to live. And I can’t find somewhere affordable to live in my town, so now that is hinged on me finding a job somewhere else, which is proving harder than I imagined. And the days march into weeks, into months, into…years.

(Please… not years.)

A realisation dawned.

I may only have a sprinkling of readers. Those who are not physically known to me, read my blog because they are a part of the adoption world and I appreciate their eyes and ears tracking with their own journey through the sometimes murky territory of adoption.

Thank you, sincerely, from the bottom of my heart for reading all of this time, for hanging in there with me, for connecting with me on Facebook or Twitter, and for sharing your thoughts with me personally or as comments. I love you. You help me grow and believe, and I appreciate you so much.

I may not have too much to say about adoption now from a personal perspective, until I find myself in a new town, with a house, and new job, but it doesn’t mean I have nothing to say period.

When I started this blog it was going to be my journey to motherhood, the things I needed to see/overcome/accept in myself to allow me to be the person that would be the mother my child needed, without my own personal baggage weighing me down.

My goal was to become a clean slate.

And that will involve a lot of cleansing – still!

So now, my blog will transform as I transform as I move through the time of my life. There will still be references to adoption – in fact, I have a post ready to publish about Post Adoption Assistance – and they will most likely be full of a yearning on my part to hold my future child.

While I am no longer “active” as an adoptive parent, the yearning to be a mom has not disappeared.

It may even be stronger than ever before… and growing by the day.

I am still living, and there are many things I’m doing personally to move forward.

There is still a lot of cleaning to do for the foundation on which I want to build my family.

I’d like to share those discoveries and my processes as I again morph into a new version of myself.

And so, dear readers – if you are still out there – I hope you will enjoy reading with me regardless of the subject matter. Adoption related or no. I hope that you will still connect with me and share your thoughts. I hope that you will still be a part of my journey and allow me to be a part of yours.

Thank you. I love you.

This hiatus is over for now. I can’t say for certain it will be the only one that occurs from this point forward, but I hope that the next time I find myself cringing at a week passing with nothing written, I will simply pick up my keyboard and start to write again.

Every day we start anew.

Warm smiles and Love,

AliJayne-signature

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The coil at the end of the rope

When-I-accept-that-there

Last weekend during a three hour yoga workshop I connected with the feeling that I’ve been holding too tightly to outcomes in my life.

And I – again – realised that when I feel as though my life is spinning out of my control, I hang on to whatever idea that feels like a lifeline as though it is indeed a lifeline.

Not only do I hold onto this idea, but I defend it, protect it, and nurture it so vehemently that I often don’t see it is nothing more than a rope, the end of which is sitting at my feet, coiled, not actually attached to any solution.

It’s just a rope, an idea, something that helped me to stop from going under briefly, but not because it was a lifeline, it helped me surface for a moment because I saw it as a lifeline and I kicked toward it.

While I have been going along to the outside world merrily so far this year with a smile on my face (mostly) and a lightness in my step (mostly), internally I have felt out of control with the life that appears to be sliding out of my reach.

  • Housing prices skyrocketing in my town. Forcing me to choose between the town that I love and the family that I want to create.
  • Adoption being on hold until I can work out housing, which means moving.
  • The need to find a job somewhere where housing is affordable.
  • Job search. Enough said. (Boo-hiss!)
  • The whole idea of moving. And the physical aspects of that: packing, hiring someone to move my stuff, driving or flying across the country or province, actually moving.
  • Plus, the undercurrent of anger that I feel about being forced out of the town I’ve given 10 long years to with the feeling of no reward for my contributions to the community.

    This last point feels big when I actually say it out loud. Big and painful.

All of these things have me feeling like my life is out of my control. And I find myself clinging to an idea, or clinging to a single thought, as though my life depends upon it.

Because I don’t know the answers.

I don’t know how this part of my story continues.

Because I’m scared.

Fear.

What is fear’s purpose in today’s society? I wonder this often.

Fear served early man when he was prey to larger predators, helped keep him alive.

Are we still prey to larger predators?

Do we have to be fearful of life?

During the 15 minute meditation at the end of the yoga workshop I could see clearly and feel clearly how tightly I was holding onto the fear of this change and the anger at feeling forced into change.

How tightly I was holding onto this belief that I was not in control of the circumstances in which I find myself.

As I sat with that feeling, I was able to let it go just a little, and then a little more, and what I found was a true lightness that told me “you are safe”.

We all want to feel safe, and loved, and cherished. We want to feel that we matter, that our being here matters, that our lives matter.

For those few moments I felt safe, I felt myself releasing the hold on the rope with no end that was not a lifeline at all – it was just a rope, an idea. It had served its purpose, which was to make me kick my legs to the surface of my despair and feel the sunshine of hope for a better tomorrow, for a solution to present itself.

For a few moments I felt relief from that internal struggle that I hide from most.

Relief is a powerful tool.

And as I released myself from holding the fear, I could see that the way forward is equal parts letting go and active forward motion – such as job search, location search, networking with people who can help, and exploration of all of the options.

Equal parts.

Balance.

When I hold tightly I get caught up in the “active forward motion” part, trying to force things into place and hold on to those things being my “only” way forward. Causing panic within my heart when any one of those active steps I’m taking does not pan out (like a job, or a housing option, or someone telling me the province I’m looking at is not as good an option as I thought).

When I accept that there are elements in all of life that are beyond my grasp and beyond my action, elements that are filling the gaps of my action with a little magic, then I can breathe hope into my hands to let go just a little.

Perhaps even enough to allow the action to take root and grow into a solution that will not only surprise but also delight me.

My problems haven’t changed, they are still all as outlined in bullet points above, but today I feel a little relief from the internal panic.

I don’t know the answers, or the direction of my future at this point in time and that is frightening, but today I am safe, I am loved, I am cherished, if only by me.

Take steps forward, and take time to let go.

Letting go for me is appreciating where I am, who I am, and what surrounds me now.

My self-care: writing, taking a walk, meditating, taking a bath, reading a book, stretching, watching a movie, sleeping, yoga, talking with a good friend, laughing.

self awarenesses

When I think about the need for self-care as a grown woman, and all that I continue to learn about myself and my own needs as life goes on its merry adventure around me, I also see how important these awarenesses will be for loving and supporting my future children.

The experiences I have had in my life, including this one right now of feeling forced out of the place that I’ve called home for the last 10 years, will parallel the feelings they will feel at being placed in another new home, with another new family. With me.

Their feeling of anger, loss, frustration, and even hope for a different future, I imagine will be overwhelming for them at times resulting in outward actions showing their overwhelm but, more importantly to acknowledge, these feelings may also be deeply hidden underneath the smiles, underneath the appearance of daily healthy function. As I am doing.

My experiences will make me a more open mom to the feelings of overwhelm that may be hidden behind false smiles, and help me connect with understanding the undercurrent, understanding the fear, and the need to hold onto something – anything – that gives them a lifeline, that gives a little hope.

And perhaps as I focus a little more on finding relief through self-care, I will in turn guide them to finding the relief in letting go, in finding a way to acknowledge the stress and struggles of the internal world that sometimes builds around fear, and to show them that it is okay to feel it, and to release it.

All of my experiences and self-awarenesses are teaching me to become a better mom.

Today I feel a little relief from the panic, and I remember why I am taking actions toward a new life in a more affordable location, because I am a childless mother and I am ready to create a family, and to welcome my children home.

I am already a wonderful mother, ready for the gift of motherhood.

As frightening as finding a job, and a suitable affordable location, and the whole move will be, those are just steps to greater understanding and to our family.

Location doesn’t matter. Length of time in a location doesn’t matter.

Love matters. Family matters.

Wherever I land will be a new adventure for me and for our family. Maybe my children are on the other side of the country waiting for me to make that move? Maybe the magical part of life is giving me the nudge to move because it’s bringing us together. Because we are ready.

Isn’t that a nice and relief-giving thought? Yes, it is indeed!

How about you? Do you find that your internal struggles sometimes cause you to hold onto an idea or a concept long after it has served its purpose? What are your relief giving strategies?

I’d love to hear from you.

Warm smiles and Love,

AliJayne-signature

 

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The Blanket Exercise

Once-again-I-felt-the

Saturday I participated in an Early Child Development Conference workshop entitled “The Blanket Exercise”.

This was an interactive workshop about the history of First Nations people in Canada, with particular emphasis on First Nations people in BC.

There were many First Nations participants, one First Nations facilitator, and several First Nations elders from the local band.

Most of the people present had been a part of Continue reading The Blanket Exercise

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My town or adoption

Entrance - front

These are my choices right now: to stay in my town, or to adopt and start a family.

Yes, burgeoning house and rental prices are forcing me to choose between adoption or the town that I have called home for over 10 years, a town that I love, a town in which I have established a great network of friends, become involved in many community groups, and learned to play drums with the local pipe band.

In the past 18 months, and especially in the past 12 months, house prices have soared well out of my affordable range. Not only purchase prices, but rental prices too. Continue reading My town or adoption

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Almost healed and free!

Greyson is almost healed and free from the bedroom! I’m so proud of my little furry healing machine!

At our last vet appointment the Dr. told me that the bone has fused nicely and that he believes that his bone is now as strong as any other in his body.

All that is left to do is to help him rebuild the muscle in that leg.

What a relief.

It took me a few days to trust his words, Greyson was still limping, still doing what my friend calls “the little dancer” where he sticks his leg out to the side whenever he’s standing still, and still stretching every chance he can. Continue reading Almost healed and free!

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What I learned as a caregiver…

What I learned while caring for the broken

During the first few weeks of care for Greyson, I learned so much about my little fur-baby and his personality.

Most interesting though, is what I learned about me and my personality. Continue reading What I learned as a caregiver…

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Out of the cage and back in the bedroom!

What a relief.

Greyson is out of his cage, which has now been folded back up and is being used as a “gate” outside of the bedroom door.

And I am back in the bedroom sleeping on my own mattress, no longer on the couch!

Hoo-ray! Continue reading Out of the cage and back in the bedroom!

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Greyson’s Broken Leg

On December 30, 2015 Greyson had to be hospitalised with a broken leg.

This happened because I was walking to the bedroom and he usually races ahead of me to jump on the bed and either play a game or get cuddles.

It happens every time I head to the bedroom.

We could play this game 40 times a day.

This time he was further away from the bedroom, in the kitchen I think, and he ran fast (about Mach20) through my legs as I was walking. Continue reading Greyson’s Broken Leg

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Prisoner in my own home – Kitty with a broken leg

I’m on edge. In my own home. Held captive by a four legged tyrant who himself is captive.

We are tied together in our misery.

He is frustrated with his tiny environment and his slow-to-heal leg. I am overwhelmed with the never ending duty of nurse, supervisor, and caregiver.

It’s too much.

The guilt that I feel in even saying this is too much.

I can’t spend more than 4 hours away from the house during the day, and evenings are no longer my own to give away.

Like Cinderella I have a curfew, but unlike Cinderella my curfew is attached to the sun going down not the strike of midnight. Continue reading Prisoner in my own home – Kitty with a broken leg

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My First Snowshoeing Adventure!

Snowshoeing is the Bomb!!

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I love firsts!

That heart-racing exhilaration of doing something – anything – for the first time in your life.

(Or for the first time with someone new….like the first time he (or she) brushes your fingertips with his own, or entwines his fingers with yours, or that first kiss, or the first whispered confession of love…oh so exhilarating!)

A few weeks ago, I snowshoed for the first time – and – IT. WAS. AWESOME!!

Best weekend of the year so far! Definitely the one to beat! Continue reading My First Snowshoeing Adventure!

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