I’m feeling conflicted as I write. So much in the adoptee world this week about adoptive parents killing their adopted children, keeping them in basements to abuse, selling them on the market for sex, and then, “rehoming them” when they get tired of the responsibility or have outlived their use.
After writing the review for The Declassified Adoptee’s book “Essays of an Adoption Activist” I felt the increasing need to be fighting for change in how the adoption system works. The conflict comes, for me, in my own physical ability to do just that, energy wise, because of being ill with Systemic Mast Cell Disease, then I realized that I am, in my own way, fighting as hard as I can by writing Finding Heart Horse and The Wall of Secrets and putting my words, my life, my trauma out in the world for all to see. It is because of adoption and abuse that I entered in to such a world of trauma.
My heart breaks reading about the last few little babes who were killed and how helpless they were to do anything, say anything. We have to be their voices. We can’t be silent any longer. Each one of us must find our own unique way to advocate for change, foster education, end violence and abuse in the system.
I will be speaking with kids at Covenant House, street kids, adopted kids..kids like i was at age 15. This will be my activism, practicing compassion, listening to stories and sharing hope.
This photo by Robin Toma was taken in Vancouver, Downtown Eastside. A place where I once roamed for a brief time after hitchhiking out west as a young teen.
For those of us who have taken the journey of search and reunion know that what is lost can be found, but never fully recovered.
Most of us at one time hoped that we would experience a recovery of sorts, find a family, be part of, at last belong, be loved. What we were seeking may return in many forms but never the shape of what might have been.
I’m sure the integration process is ever quite complete, never quite finished, never whole. We may feel more grounded because we now know our story, or part of, but our lifetime will be spent grabbing onto brief flashes of insight that fly by with the wings on the wind.
Each flash brings with it tears, grief, loss, sadness. While reading this past weeks news in adoption land I was overcome with a wash of sadness and compassion for all of us, for little Hyun-su and those who are still encased in the system
The Buddha taught that a person needs to develop two qualities: wisdom and compassion. These two qualities work together like wings allowing us to fly or two eyes, allowing us to see deeply.
Those of us who grew up without love, without a mother, or those stifled by abuse, rapes or violence find it extremely difficult to love ourselves. Adoptees suffer from the primal wound and of course, if your own mother didn’t want you or love you…. How could you possible love yourself.
In this picture I was just a bit younger than the latest victim of adoption violence..Hyun-su. His death twisted my guts in a knot and I felt ill, chills ran down my spine. Even now when I look at my picture above I get the chills. It could have been me. I have that blank stare, the detachment, the clenched fist. Adoptees feel a visceral response to an others pain.
Why then is it so difficult to have compassion for ourselves, for our inner child that suffered just like Hyun-su.
It never ends…
It’s important we all work on our own self compassion first. For many of us that means going back to that frozen place. That place of abandonment where the other self waits, in tears, yearning for his/her mother to soothe and love.
It’s a must if we want to heal and be able to offer our compassion to others. It all goes back to our deep-seated belief systems and our belief that we are separate from each other, from the universe. We aren’t ..we are part of…If you hurt, I hurt. Collectively we all hurt. If we start being kind to ourselves, speaking with compassion and tenderness to ourselves and others, the world will indeed change.
A subtle form of Activism yet so powerful
Self-Compassion means to be fully aware and to fully BE with yourself in a deeply aware and non-judging way. As I was writing these last 8 years I have had to relive that little girls pain of the primal wound, the teens pain of rape, the adults pain of not belonging, of not knowing love. I had to sit with myself with care and concern, solitude, sensitivity, tenderness, acceptance, kindness.
I was terrified. It was so difficult to do. I shed many tears just holding myself in that place that was so full of pain. To see myself from a place of non-judgment and feel the pain without covering it up or trying to fix it has been the most difficult journey of all.
It never ends.
At the core of every wound is a belief that we are not worthy of love. It’s a belief. Ask yourself if it’s true. Look at that little girl above. Is she not worthy of being loved. Absolutely. It’s a belief, a belief only I can change or you can change. Self compassion=change. We have the ability to change beliefs once we recognize they just aren’t true.
We all have our triggers. As described in A New Earth, our pain body carries our triggers. Any circumstance that triggers emotional pain is an opportunity to practice self compassion and sit with ourselves in tenderness on a deep level. If we sit long enough, dig deep enough we find the core shame that is buried in the rubble of beliefs. It’s an opportunity to heal…use it.
Accepting the circumstances surrounding our triggers is needed to move forward. All the should have’s, would have’s, why me’s, are a waste of energy.
Ultimately, we are responsible for everything that we’re feeling, thinking, saying, or doing..not the other person.
No, it never ends, but we can make this world a better place by telling our stories with compassion and grace. One by one.. we are doing just that. There is a shift happening, not only with our adoption system but with the world and it starts with you, with your own self compassion.
It never ends…but it gets better..Find your Wings