Smiling Through the Pain..

My oldest daughter let me know the other day she “KNEW I HATED THE HOLIDAYS”, and if I hate the holidays they will hate the holidays. It made me feel pretty bad. I guess I let my truth surface for awhile, where I’ve had to hide it my whole life.

I try REALLY hard to muzzle through but as soon as Fall approaches I start to dread the time of year where everyone talks about spending time with their “FAMILIES” when adoption has left me robbed of most of mine. It’s a REALLY tough time, and I know my kids don’t understand it. It’s left me in another situation where I feel bad, and it honestly takes everything in me just to get through another day. I never want them to feel my pain, but I know they feel it when I fail to pretend like I’m happy all the time.

The problem I’m having is that I don’t want those close to me like my kids, and my significant other to feel like they aren’t enough to make me happy. They are definitely enough to make me happy, but it’s more of an outside layer of happy.  They are the reason I get up every day.  The inside layer is still the broken hearted little girl searching for her mommy. In reality she’s never coming back. I hate this feeling. I want it to go away. I know she’s not coming back. She’s dead for God’s sake so why do I still keep feeling this way?

“LET IT GO!”… Well let me just say, if it was that easy for me don’t you think I would love to just LET IT GO! Society takes away my right to grieve growing up, and as an adult I had to do the work and GET SOBER ( speaking for myself) and decided I was going to FEEL THE PAIN of losing my first family and everything that goes along with it, we’re told by the world to just “GET OVER IT”. Do you not understand this only causes pain to our already unrecognized TRAUMA?  Loss is LOSS, and everyone deserves to grieve their loss. I write. I share my story. Don’t think for a minute all I do is sit around and cry all day long about being adopted and how much it sucks! I have a life, I have a career, I have my kids, my man, my church family & friends. On the outside I’m happy but I want to be happy on the inside too. That is why I’m in recovery. That’s why I write. That’s why I’m on a healing journey. I’ve been on this journey for 3 years, and it’s not getting ANY EASIER! Only harder, but no one said it would be easy. The more I step forward, the more layers are pealed. The more messed up I think I am. Why would anyone really want to be bothered with me? I just can’t believe anyone would really want to “keep me” knowing all the deep rooted emotional issues I have with this adoption experience. This way of thinking is challenging because it’s hard to build relationships when I feel like EVERYONE is going to THROW ME AWAY!

I think the inside layer of trauma that occurred at the beginning of life, and the added pain of being told she “loved me SO much” & believing she would come find me has all left me flat on my face since I’ve been living in recovery. The real truth is surfacing. Lies are being exposed and my TRUTH is being revealed.

My birth mother didn’t love me and she was NEVER coming back!

It’s the holidays, and many people have trouble during the holidays… Not just adoptees. I recognize this. But I speak from an adoptee in recovery’s standpoint so that’s why I write about what I do. I know other adoptees can feel my pain.

So today, and every day I will continue to smile through the pain for those around, and take comfort in the fact that God knows my broken heart. He knew it when I was a little girl, and he knows it now. Smiling through the pain is hard. Sometimes I sit in my car and cry, I cry when I drive because I’m alone. I know the people driving next to me think I’m crazy, I don’t care. I cry at work, I cry when no one is looking. God knows my cries. I’m asking him for healing. I know he can do it.

I just had to get this off my chest. Today, I’m still the broken hearted little girl wishing her mommy would come back and there isn’t usually a 5 minute period I don’t think about HER!…  But I will continue to smile through the pain for others.  It’s so exhausting, but my kids are worth it and they deserve a happy mom. I long for the day where I’m happy inside. Thank GOD I have HOPE!

Can any of my fellow adoptees relate? How do you make it though the holidays?. XO

-Pamela Jones

2 Years 4 Months SOBER!

@freesimplyme

http://www.facebook.com/howdoesitfeeltobeadopted

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16 thoughts on “Smiling Through the Pain..

  1. Oh how can I relate….seriously, this could have been my post! I’m sad that our situations are so similar because that lets me know how much pain you too live through every. single. day.

    One distinct difference between your story and mine is that my birth mother is still here but for all intents and purposes….really isn’t (at least as far as the little needy girl within me is concerned).

    These “family” centered holidays are very hard for me as well but I too try to keep my game face on for the sake of those around me that I love so very much (husband, daughter, son). I know God is there supporting me through the challenges and healing the wounds in His time….I just need to work on my patience.

    I recently purchased a simple bracelet for myself that has a message on it that gives me hope. I wear it everyday. It says “You were given this Life because you are Strong Enough to Live it”. It provides me with a reminder of how strong I am to have gotten this far and reminds me to actually LIVE my life rather than just go through the motions of living (which is my emotional default setting).

    Big hugs to you from this kindred spirit ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Starr- So sorry you are experiencing the same pain I am.. I don’t wish it on anyone. No one gets it. Everyone thinks I’m just focusing on the “negative” and wallowing in my sorrows. Well, sorry to say when you GRIEVE that’s part of the process. If I was allowed to grieve growing up I wouldn’t be full blown grieving NOW as a 40 year old woman. I know that’s for certain. Grieving is HARD. So far writing has been my biggest healing tool yet, aside from praying and getting comfort from God, because he understands.

      I love the idea of your bracelet! That sounds perfect! Where did you get it? I may look into getting one. I need a reminder like that… Every day is a struggle..Sometimes I wish those close to me could feel this confusion, sadness, and pain for just 5 minutes so they would understand… And the other part of me wants to spare them. Being adopted isn’t for sissies! It’s not for the WEAK. We are some of the strongest people I know.

      I’m working on living my life, the underlying sadness is difficult to navigate through as I’m sure you can relate. I have hope it will get easier, and I pray daily. This is why I write. I know other adoptees have the same struggle. I know they can relate.
      So glad you’re here!! ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I think it’s important to remember that you (and most of us adoptionland bloggers) are moving through the pain instead of suppressing it, which is more than most people do in their lives. Though this has been incredibly difficult for me, over time (20 years!) the pain has softened to a dull ache.

    “The deeper that sorrow carves into your being, the more joy you can contain.” ~ Kalil Gibran

    Liked by 3 people

    1. This is such a great thing to remember, and actually I had to remind myself and a few of those close to me yesterday of this. (After reading this). I explained I’m going through the grieving process, because I was denied my right to grieve my whole life. The big thing is, I’m making the CHOICE to do it where I could spend the next 20 years running, drinking, and never feeling this pain. This pain ain’t no joke! I will say I’m thankful for the process, and that I’m going “through” it. It’s just so hard especially when I feel like I’m doing it alone. No one around me will understand even if they wanted to try. It would be nice if someone wanted to try… I do speak about it in my Celebrate Recovery small group, and those ladies know more than anyone. I love them just for listening. Most of the time that’s all I need… Someone to listen., and validate my feelings. That’s it.

      I get great comfort knowing that you can relate Mary, and that after 20 years your pain has softened to a dull ache. I can’t wait until that day, and I do have HOPE I will reach that place. With God anything is possible! 🙂 ❤

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Holidays are still tough for me too – theres no getting around that. I get a lot of healing from my fellowship in Alanon and my higher power. You are right – with God all things are possible.

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Deanna!

      Thank you for all you do for the adoptee community. I read your blog ALL THE TIME, and I’ve shared it with many adoptive parents, and adoptees. It’s my favorite. I love that you come from a Christian Pastoral view. Everyone in my life thinks I’m just focused on the bad, and I’m making the choice to do that. It’s nice to know other’s “GET IT”. This writing place has been one of the biggest healing tools for me, because I’m FREE to share my feelings here. Some of them I still hold back, because I’m afraid people would think I’m absolutely nuts if I share. But for the most part, I can share freely here.

      I’m thankful for your support, as well as other adotpees. In my real world, no one seems very interested in hearing about this stuff. It’s uncomfortable for them. I can see by the look on their faces. I get it, because no one really wants to talk about such loss. I’m just expected to live it, smile and be happy… It’s hard.

      Thank you for being here!!! ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  3. This is a great point to remember Mary! Thank you so much for pointing it out. You sharing your pain has softened to a dull ache after 20 years has given me comfort that if I keep sharing, keep writing and keep working on healing and moving forward that there is HOPE for me too!

    This is the hardest thing I’ve ever done… Face the TRUTH and feel the :PAIN from being adopted. It hurts so bad that all those years I had to FIGHT for the TRUTH and I wanted so badly for it to be something wonderful. But the truth has been total rejection from both birth parents, so I believe it may take me a lifetime to work towards healing. I’m just thankful to be one of the adoptees who has answers. Some go their entire lives never knowing! If that was me, I believe with my whole heart I would be one of the suicide statistics of adoptees! I know that sounds harsh, but it drove me CRAZY to not know where I came from and who I was! Absolutely CRAZY! So at the end of the day, I have answers so I try to remind myself of that…

    XOXOXO Thank you for sharing Mary~! ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I’m so glad that you wrote this. I also struggle every single year at the holidays, for all the reasons you described. I always wanted to know my truth, too, and although I have reunited with my birth family and was not totally rejected, it has not been the happy story you see on those feel-good reunion segments on TV. I felt sad at the holidays long before I knew my birth family, and now in a way I feel even sadder because I know exactly what I missed out on and what I can never have. I feel similar to you about my current family–my husband and children; they are my reason for being. They absolutely make me happy every single day. But having them in my life does not eliminate this sorrow I continue to feel over losing my other family. For me, an added sorrow is that I cannot give my own children the extended family experience I so wish they could have during the holiday season. I do the best I can for their sake, but I always feel that I fall short. This year, I’m trying to take more control over the holidays rather than letting them control me. I’m trying to do less of what our culture seems to dictate and more of what feels best to do for myself and my family. Letting go of some expectations I’ve held myself to is helping somewhat. But I realize I still have a long way to go before I will be at peace during this time of the year. I wish I could offer something more helpful to you. I hope at least that by my commenting here, you understand that you are definitely not alone in feeling this way, and that your feelings are absolutely valid.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I’m so glad that you wrote this. I also struggle every single year at the holidays, for all the reasons you described. I always wanted to know my truth, too, and although I have reunited with my birth family and was not totally rejected, it has not been the happy story you see on those feel-good reunion segments on TV. I felt sad at the holidays long before I knew my birth family, and now in a way I feel even sadder because I know exactly what I missed out on and what I can never have. I feel similar to you about my current family–my husband and children; they are my reason for being. They absolutely make me happy every single day. But having them in my life does not eliminate this sorrow I continue to feel over losing my other family. For me, an added sorrow is that I cannot give my own children the extended family experience I so wish they could have during the holiday season. I do the best I can for their sake, but I always feel that I fall short. This year, I’m trying to take more control over the holidays rather than letting them control me. I’m trying to do less of what our culture seems to dictate and more of what feels best to do for myself and my family. Letting go of some expectations I’ve held myself to is helping somewhat. But I realize I still have a long way to go before I will be at peace during this time of the year. I wish I could offer something more helpful to you. I hope at least that by my commenting here, you understand that you are definitely not alone in feeling this way, and that your feelings are absolutely valid.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Sometimes I don’t know what’s worse – dreading the holidays or that others, even our loved ones, don’t really understand why. My experience is that my loved ones try to understand, and they get my words to the best of their ability, but they aren’t able to touch my heart in this matter. Is it like that for you? What you wrote was so familiar to me, and so normal in the context of our adoptee world. Your post blessed me, because even though it might not seem so right now in the middle of the holidays, your story is about a kind of courage that the non-adoptee can never really understand.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Hello Sarah! So glad you are here and you can relate.

      Yes it’s like that for me. For me it’s a little different because there really seems to be no one in my life who even tries to understand. This talk is a downer so I find that when I bring it up everyone either gets real quiet or the change the subject. Some don’t mean to but they say really insensitive things like, “Aren’t you thankful you weren’t aborted?” Yes, it’s hard to distinguish which is worse.. Being totally misunderstood and feeling alienated AND dreading the holidays on top of it. It makes me feel like I’m simply here for others, to make them happy. That’s how it’s been since the day I was adopted and nothing seems to have changed. The people close to me don’t even know, my smile is simply for them to make them happy and more comfortable. There are times when I’m happy, and they make me happy but the deep sadness is always there. . To much lost never to return. Everything is gone. I wish I didn’t care so much. :-/

      I do believe as we grieve and share we heal.. and with that I have hope even when some day’s it’s more difficult to find than others.

      Blessings to you! ❤

      Like

  7. Another thing,

    All I really need is someone to listen. That’s it. I can’t be fixed. I can’t become UN adopted. So if anyone that’s reading this wants to know what they can do… Just listen to adoptees. Our feelings deserve to be heard and validated. Please don’t try tp fix us. It would be nice if someone in my life said, “Hey can I read your blog or share with me how your feeling today” in a non judgemental kind of way.

    The thing is, people usually don’t want to know how we feel… its left me with more feelings of being alone, like I’m on an island. It’s sad.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I spent years just blocking out being adopted. I don’t block/grieve anymore because I faced it and did my search and reunion, and luckily things went great. I understand, however, that this can be a hard time for others…and anyone really who is grieving loss in any way. Listening and not judging goes a long way in helping us to heal and move forward. Take care.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Paige,

      I did the same thing,,, So you found peace in finding everyone? I agree that listening and not judging goes a long way in helping us heal and move forward. I have a small group of friends who will open their ears, and try their best to understand. I love them for that. I know I can’t be fixed by anyone, so listening is something I really feel others can do to support me.

      For me, everything came crashing down like a ton of bricks. I started a recovery ministry, stopped drinking (running from the pain) and I was faced with a mountain high pile of issues related to my adoption. I’m still uncovering “things”. The first 2.5 years I worked on forgiveness of my birth mother and my adoptive mother, I accepted the fact I will never have a mother, and I accepted the fact that I’m adopted. It took me 2.5 years to work through those few things. They were HUGE for me. Now God has revealed I have been living with an underlying deep rooted FEAR everyone is going to leave me, (abandonment issues!) and I also have an increased need to control my own life, (it’s gotten out of hand sometimes) because so many others controlled so much of my life for 31 years, I’ve taken my control back. These new revelations have an impact on every area of my life. So it seems I still have work to do, and I have found and met all my biological family. That brought me a sense of peace knowing where I come from, that haunted me my entire life. I’m so thankful I found everyone even when the relationships weren’t what I expected and I was rejected. That pain is something I’m also working on.

      Thankful today for the process, and I’m thankful I found my voice so I can share it with the world.

      Thank you for supporting me, and thank you for being here!!! ❤

      Like

  9. Bit tipsy on sleeping pill, but without a doub’t I look to your writings and of your experiences for a lot of consolation, writing really helps get things out and inspire suddent moments of intuition and inspiration Would love you to the ‘Adoption // The Heart Breaker” on my site, I’m climbing towards my next stumble and figuring a few things which have really settled me, especially when it comes to identity and stuff. If you get the chance, please do. It might set up an inspiration for you! Thank you again for writing, it all makes such a bug difference. Best wishes ❤ There's a few on there with head muddles, and identity, and confusion, and feeling guilt. All the time. And feeling selfish for thinga that I want now but couldt then, and can't now and oooh, it all turns me into tizzy. But yes, blease have a check over, I would like really to know your thoughts in xxx

    Like

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