i’m taking back my power

one of my biggest emotional challenges in life is to not let you control my happiness.  not let how you are feeling, determine how i will feel.  i have a really bad habit of absorbing other people’s energy, and making it my own.  so if a co-worker, or friend, or lover is angry, sad, defeated, hurt, etc., and i am in their presence, my mood can change in an instant.  i can go from giggly and happy, to very serious and dark in no time at all. i turn my power over to others when i let them control my happiness and my emotional behavior….based on their own happiness and emotional behavior.

the other way i donate my power to others is by being so concerned with how you feel about me.  i’m an alcoholic, and like many alcoholics, i am a major people pleaser.  i’ve improved, but i still have this pleasing need in me.  if i feel like you are mad at me or upset at me for some reason, the thought will consume me.  it will affect every molecule in my body.  and i become miserable until the situation is sorted out, or until i find out that i am actually not the cause of your disappointment or anger.  most of the time i haven’t actually done anything that i am aware of to piss anyone off, but because you might be acting “off” today, and not so friendly, happy, or the like, i will assume you are mad at me.  it’s really selfish and self-centered thinking. again..the alcoholic mind.  it is not all about me.  i do not affected your life.  why would i even think i had such power?  crazy ego-based thinking.  hey, at least i can recognize it nowadays.

why is it so hard for me to just control my own happiness and my own emotional behavior?  and not hand it over to you?  I’ll tell you why….at least in part…..it’s because of the underlying fear of rejection, abandonment, and dislike from others.  this goes way back into childhood and my experiences as a youngster.  without going into a long drawn out story, i will leave it at this….kids were cruel and tossed a lot of rejection my way.  some psychologists might also blame this fear of rejection on the fact that i was given up for adoption as a baby.  i question that.  but i don’t discount it entirely.  with that said, i simply don’t want you to reject me as a human being and toss me aside.  so i don’t want you to have any ill feelings towards me.  and if i feel you might, it consumes me…it’s a vicious cycle.  and it’s no fun.  and really, handing you the responsibility of my own happiness is just not cool.

but this behavior of mine is manageable.

it’s manageable now because i recognize this life long pattern when it begins to creep up on me.  i talk about it (or write about it).  and since i can feel it coming on, i have the ability to stop the insanity from progressing and ruining the beautiful day ahead of me.  of course, sometimes my self-centered and generally false beliefs still gets the best of me and i have trouble getting out of my own misery.  but more times than not, i am able to dig myself out before it’s too late.

basically, i am becoming more and more autonomous.  it’s that simple.  im letting you off the hook, my friends.

i am the only one in control of my happiness and my emotional behavior.  maybe i should tattoo that on my forehead.

im just like a rescue dog.

key fact #9 about donna.

9.  i am adopted.

i am just like all the other rescue animals in the world.  once an unwanted, mixed breed child with no home.  but i was whisked up into a loving family at the tender age of 19 days old.  i was “chosen,” as they say.  i am “special.”  eh…i never really bought those statements.  all children are created equal.  nothing extra special about me.  i was just a kid who needed a home.  and i got one.  a home that i am ever so grateful for and a family that i ultimately love to tears.

the breakdown of my immediate family:

who we are:

my adoptive mother, otherwise known as just plain MOM

my adoptive father, otherwise known as just plain DAD.  he passed away when i was three.

my adoptive sister, otherwise known as my older sister laura (she was also adopted).

my sister was adopted 6 years before i came into this world.

although my mother did not birth me, she gave me life.  she was there when i was sick.  she saw my tears when i was sad. or hurt.  she celebrated my birthday every year. she came to my ball games.  my brownie events.  she sold girl scout cookies to her co-workers for me so i could be prized as a top seller.  she cleaned me up when i scraped my elbows or knees.  she disciplined me, yet gave me freedom of self.  most of all, mom loved me into the woman i am.  and she still loves me.  she is my mother.   and she will always be my mother.  mom is a fighter and she took the reigns when dad died and  made sure my sister and i were well taken care of.  my mother is an amazing woman!  i wouldn’t change my situation even if i could.

being adopted, for me, was just who i was.  i never separated from that fact. it just was.

hello my name is donna and i am adopted.

i am grateful i was given up by my birth parents.  clearly if they felt the need to give me to another family, they did not have the skills to raise a child or the love to give a child.  so i’d rather be given to a family who wants me, then kept with a family who wished my conception never was.  perhaps that sounds harsh, but i certainly don’t mean it harshly. it’s the simple truth.

i know my birth parents today and much of my birth family.  i met them when i was 18 years old.  and i love them dearly.  and i am grateful i was given the chance at life, even if it wasn’t with them growing up.  consider the alternative, and i wouldn’t be here right now writing this blog.

so, im happy.

i’d like to briefly share three popular myths about us adopted kids.

Myth #1: Adopted kids grow up to have lots of problems.

us adoptees are generally very well-adjusted individuals.  studies actually show this.  being raised by a loving family, especially starting as an infant, is what makes a child blossom.  other issues that may arise in a person…..alcoholism, addiction of sorts, mental illness, educational problems, etc. are not to be blamed on adoption.  in my opinion most of these issues are hereditary.  not manifested from the fact that a person was adopted.  look at uggie.  he was adopted and he is a very well-adjusted, celebrity superstar!

Myth #2: You can’t really love an adopted child as much as you could love your “own” child.

this myth kind of pisses me off.  love is not limited to biology!  a child is a child is a child.  and a child is pure love.  yes there is something to be said for carrying a baby in your womb for 9 months, i am sure.  there is a bond that is irreplaceable, i imagine.  however, once you have a baby in your hands, and that baby is yours…biological or not, there is an instant love.  if there isn’t, then you probably shouldnt be a parent.  that’s my opinion.  someone who can’t love a baby because they are not made of the same dna as them, might have some issues of their own that need to be examined.  love of a child, biological or not, grows from the life experience together…from raising that child.  teaching that child.  nurturing and parenting that child.

Myth #3: Your adopted child will never really consider you her real parents.

bullCRAP.  real parents are there when a child is sick.  they hug you.  they stay up all hours of the night worrying about you.  they bake you birthday cakes.  they are there for all of your “firsts”.  real parents celebrate you daily.  they  monitor your vegetable intake.  they tell you no.  they discipline.  they praise you for accomplishments.  they give you allowance and they ground you from tv.  they love you unconditionally.  those are real parents!

LOL.  this picture is just plain funny so i had to share.

well, fact #9 has been revealed.  again i say, proudly:

hello my name is donna and i am adopted.