Confliction Brings Content

The weekend of April 21st & 22nd I had the honor of going to my first ever adoptee conference. It was an experience of a lifetime for me and I enjoyed so much of it. My favorite part was meeting my fellow adoptees near and far.

Other parts were simply overwhelming. Emotions I had stuffed for years came flooding back. It was tough on many aspects.

I left the conference with a ton of emotions way up at the surface. I didn’t quite know how to process it all. My plan was to come home and spend some time writing about it in the days to come.

That plan was halted by some news…

Within a few short hours of being back in Kentucky from the conference I found out my adoptive mother had passed away some time over the weekend.

More confliction.

It could hardly believe it.

I took all things I was feeling regarding the conference and put them on the shelf. (a safe space I will return to deal with later.) The emotions and feelings associated with my adoptive mother’s passing had taken over me.

My cell phone rang and on the other line it was my adoptive father whom never calls me for anything unless its sad news or a health issue. I had been working a double shift that Monday April 24th. I was at the tail end of the last shift when I got the call.

Adoptive Father- “Hi Pam- How are you?”

Me- “I’m good Daddy, at work. How are you?”

Adoptive Father- “I have some sad news for you. Your mother has died at some point over the weekend”.

Me- “Wow I don’t really know what to say. What am I supposed to do? Am I supposed to do something?”

Adoptive Father- “No, I don’t think anyone wants you to do anything.”

Me- “I just wish she was different and things were different but at least she’s at peace now and hopefully she will finally be happy. I know for certain she was never happy here on earth.

Daddy- “Well your sister is taking it pretty hard. (Haven’t had contact with her in many years)

Me- “Well she still had a relationship with Her, I didn’t so that would make sense I suppose. I had to let go for my own sanity but thank you for sharing the news. I appreciate it”.

My mind was racing a mile a minute. What would they want from me? What would my responsibilities be in this thing? Would I have to travel back to Iowa? Would I be expected to DO SOMETHING? I was a mess thinking of all these things. I just wanted to run and hide.

Interesting that I was not able to process losing my “Mother” because I have done that every single day for the last 42 years. How was this any different?

You see, back in 2012 when I decided to get sober a lot of things changed for me. I learned that to fully live in recovery I had to get honest about all areas of my life. During that process and over the last 5 years I realized that I was forced to be in this family with dysfunction but as I got sober I learned I could make my own choices in all areas. In that time, I had discontinued my relationship with my adoptive mom because of the toxicity she brings to my life. I had accepted the fact that I will never have a mother because she has never been one. I was always the one taking care of her, not her taking care of me. I tried to set boundaries and she wouldn’t abide by any of them.

For my own mental health, sanity and recovery I had to close the door and keep it closed. I had learned in 42 years if I even cracked the door a tiny bit her toxicity impacted me in negative ways and I didn’t want anything to do with that anymore.

It’s awesome when we figure out that YES, we have that choice!

NO MATTER WHO IT IS!

My entire life I have been petrified about what is she going to do next? What area of my life is she going to come back and haunt me. She’s tried hard to use my kids as a manipulation tool and it infuriated me. Aren’t the horrible memories of her trying to commit suicide by laying in the street enough? Or the memories of her tying us to chairs as kids? The manic-depressive episodes- they weren’t enough?

Fear was always on my mind when it came to HER. Fighting off bad memories from my childhood has been a daily struggle. Thank GOD, I have God in my life or I wouldn’t be here! I have forgiven her but I have also closed the door and moved on with my life.

So now what?

I struggled with feeling inhumane for not FEELING LIKE I LOST A MOTHER WHEN SHE DIED. I felt guilty for not feeling any sorrow like someone should feel when their mother dies.

STOLEN!

One more thing adoption has stolen from me. Not only 2 entire families but my mother too! If I had a good mother would things be different for me?

I will never know.

I came to the realization I DIDN’T LOSE A MOTHER WHEN SHE DIED. She was never a mother to me. She took more than anyone could ever imagine.

If I was to weigh the pain of losing my first mother and being rejected by her later in life to the pain of my adoptive mother passing there is no comparison at all. What I am trying to say is that the pain I have felt every single day of my life is the worst pain I have ever felt and that’s because I lost my birth mother at the beginning of life. It’s because I’ve lost 2 entire families because of adoption.

I have accepted THIS.

But it still hurts.

If you aren’t adopted, we are triggered by essentially EVERYTHING IN LIFE!

My adoptive mother dying has no comparison to me. I hope that doesn’t sound too harsh but I am being transparent here. What I did feel was a sadness and sorrow for her that she never found happiness or wholeness here on earth. I felt sorry for her she was in addiction, had gone her entire life never being diagnosed with mental illness therefor she tore through people’s lives like a destructive tornado and she never relented. If it wasn’t a family member (who almost all cut her off) it was someone where she worked, where she lived and her own children. I felt sorry for her that the adoption industry set her up for a fairy tale and I was never the daughter she wanted or needed.

Our adoption story is a flat our disaster!

I was her caretaker.

She was never mine.

Until I turned 31 and packed up a 22 foot U-Haul and moved myself and my kids across the country. I have never felt freedom before like I have sense I moved.

YOU HAVE NO IDEA HOW HARD IT WAS!! I HAD NO HELP & NO SUPPORT aside from my best friend. I had 3 small kids and was a single mother making this decision.

IT WAS THE HARDEST YET BEST DECISION OF MY LIFE.

I had to do this not only for myself, my mental health and sanity but for my children! When I saw her doing some of the same things with my kids I knew it was time to go. GOD KNEW!

Life has never been more peaceful for me because I moved far away.  Now it was time to recovery from the first 31 years of life!  I tried to have a long-distance relationship with her but that didn’t work either. She would come visit and it was like the devil himself was showing up at my door step. I had to put an end to it. There comes a time when we must put ourselves FIRST.

I was unsettled on how this was going to play out. For some reason, I thought they were going to need something from me or I was going to have to go back to Iowa to clean her apartment out. I was petrified! Given the circumstances I had dreaded this more than anything in the world and the scene played over and over in my mind all these years.  I had visions of this day coming. FEAR! Fear of facing something I ran from tormented me all these years. 

I just wanted the nightmare to end and for it all to go away.

It was like a dark cloud hanging over my head.

I certainly didn’t expect it to happen within 24 hours of connecting with my fellow adoptees in real life. I hadn’t even been able to process the conference yet!

After my conversation with my adoptive father (him and adoptive mother divorced when I was 1) He asked me to call my adoptive sister. I hadn’t spoken to her in years and years. I believe my adoptive mom used triangulation tactics our entire lives and played us both against each other. We never stood a chance at being sisters because of her.

Now I was supposed to call her?

All I wanted to do was the right thing considering the circumstances.

I called. We spoke about 5 minutes. She was tearful and crying. I was the opposite = Emotionless. She hadn’t let go yet, and I had many years earlier. I didn’t make my decision lightly. I prayed and contemplated and received some guidance from people I’m close to. I felt sorry for my adoptive sister but I know she will be okay.

It comes down to this. If you don’t bring happiness and positivity into my life you must go. I am not making any apologies these days for cutting toxic people, places or things out of my life. Neither should you.

Do I feel any regret for making this decision? No I don’t. I prayerfully made this decision and many tears were involved for along time.  I had to do what I had to do to survive. I had to put my recovery and mental health first for once. I didn’t regret moving across the country and I don’t regret cutting her off with this unhealthy tie legally attaching me to this toxicity.  It was a strange feeling at the end of her life being someone who had to sign her cremation paperwork.

As if the beginning was an adoption transaction.

The end was a cremation transaction.

I didn’t sign any adoption paperwork.

But I had to sign her cremation paperwork.

Confliction.

There is supposed to be a memorial at a later date. I decided it would not be in my best interest to go back to Iowa to help with her apartment. I experienced massive anxiety and fear even contemplating it. I didn’t have peace about it at all and peace comes from God. This spoke to me. I helped with some of the cremation costs and will be sending more money asap to go towards expenses my sister has had to face regarding this manner. Neither of us asked to be in this situation. It’s certainly not all her fault. I will not attend a memorial at this point unless my children want to attend. Being an adoptee loosing 2 entire families with no funerals, no nothing I’ve learned to say good-bye without funerals!

 I know my kids are sad and I can respect and understand that because they are in a different position than I am. They didn’t experience what I did and I never want them too- THANK GOD!  I respect the need for them to process the grief and loss they might be experiencing. After all, legally she was their grandmother.

Out of every darkness in life God will turn around and use it for His good. I am content knowing that even when my adoptive mom brought so much darkness to my life she’s in a happier place now. I know she believed in God and I know her mental illness was left untreated. I know she’s in heaven healed, happy and whole. Finally, she’s in a place where she could receive all God has for her and it wasn’t here on earth. Heaven isn’t 2nd place you know! Her infertility and not being able to have her own children haunted her and I was adopted to fix the problem. What a heavy burden to carry. I’ve forgiven her. She was sick. I am sad she lived such a miserable life.

John 10:10 says “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.”

Today I choose to live life & live it more abundantly. I am excited to move forward to receive all God has in store for me. I’m looking forward to taking back all the enemy has stolen from me as the days move forward in life. I have a bucket list now and I’m moving forward with those people in my life who love me for me and are real, true, genuine and sincere.

Content.

I still haven’t even processed the conference yet. I don’t know if I will ever be able to do that but hopefully I will be able to write about it soon. It was tough on many levels. My favorite part was meeting all my fellow adoptees who GET IT!

I love you all.

Say a prayer for me and I’ll say a prayer for you too!

I have my Facebook back up for now!

Follow me @

Adoptee in Recovery

Twitter- @therealpwishes

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Pamela Karanova
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ADOPTEE IN RECOVERY VICTORY!- 3 YEAR SOBRIETY!

Well, if you are reading this you can help me CELEBRATE ringing in my 3 year sobriety milestone!

AUGUST 12, 2012

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Never in a million years would I have ever thought I would be sober living in recovery, let alone reach a 3 year milestone! Pretty AMAZING FEELING! God gets the glory!

I know, it’s not 5 or 10 years, but I remember way back when I didn’t think I could live without alcohol. I was a full time runner, running from the pain from my past.

Let me give you a little history. I started drinking when I was around 12 years old. I found an escape by drinking alcohol. My at home life was far from normal, and alcohol seemed to take my pain away. I was suffering from abandonment & rejection issues from being adopted, but I could never share my pain with anyone. Let’s face it, in adoption if you don’t have happy warm fuzzy feelings your feelings really aren’t welcomed. I was always told to be “Thankful” my birth mother didn’t abort me, or that I was adopted so I could have a “Better Life”. Deep down, I was lost, isolated, and alone and my heart was broken. I waited for my birth mother to come find me, but she never showed up.

I was admitted to drug and alcohol rehab by the time I was 15. It didn’t do any good, because I didn’t want to be there. I was forced. As I grew up drinking was a way of life for me. I partied, a lot. I loved going out and hanging with friends. I experimented with different drugs. My drug of choice was MDMA (ecstasy). I had no shame in drinking and driving. I went to jail and got a DUI that cost me $355 a drink that night. I’m not proud of any of these things, just sharing where I have been!

I was running from the truth & I had no tools to heal. I kept avoiding my reality, and I never faced the TRUTH about my adoption experience. This was based partly because I didn’t have all the pieces, and partly because I used alcohol to numb my pain. The other part was an internal struggle I felt because I felt a totally different way than everyone else felt about being adopted. I wasn’t thankful. I was brokenhearted. My feelings weren’t welcome. I was in a lot of pain not knowing who I was or where I came from. To top it off lies and deception kept me from finding my truth for many years. This stalled my healing. I couldn’t TRULY heal because my mind was distorted.

August 12, 2012 everything changed. I went through a life changing event. My eyes were wide open and I made the decision to throw in the towel on my drinking habit and I started a recovery program. I knew it was time. I started AA at first. It’s a great program but I found out about Celebrate Recovery and it was clear that was where God wanted me. October 2012 I walked through those doors a broken woman! I had nowhere to turn, and I only knew very few people who lived their lives in recovery. One was a faraway friend, and another was my friends son & I was twice his age. It’s amazing that God used both of them to show me the ropes in the beginning of a new way of life for me.

I can’t lie. I was scared. I was nervous. I felt alone. I was broken.

God swooped up and changed everything! It wasn’t long before I had a new found family and everyone loved me despite my flaws. This “SAFE PLACE” was the first place in my life I was able to freely share “How it feels to be adopted” and not have anyone judge me or tell me how to feel. I was able to share my hurt, my pain, my broken heart, my tears, my struggles, and all the things in between that come with being on a healing journey to wholesome. I was able to identify my root issues of abandonment & rejection from my adoption experience, and move forward with acceptance, and healing. This was the first time in 40 years my root issue was identified and I saw counselors my entire life! ABANDONMENT & REJECTION FROM BEING ADOPTED ARE MY ROOT ISSUES. No more denying.

WOW! 3 years later, I’m in leadership at Celebrate Recovery and I co-lead a small group for women with chemical dependency issues. Who would have ever thought God would use me in that way?

The most amazing part of me is the fact that my kids are my #1 fans. They have seen the changes, and because of my changes their lives are changed. Celebrate Recovery has given me the tools to become a happier healthier mother, and one day grandmother. These are the reasons I’m living today! I always say God saved me in just enough time to save my kids. He gets the glory!

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2 Weeks Ago                     4 Years Ago.
I can tell you I’m not where I need to be, but I’m sure not where I used to be. God is using my biggest misery as his biggest ministry. I’ve prayed for grace, and I’m able to share my adoption experience from a place of peacefulness. I still have issues, lord do I ever. But I have hope in the future, and I know God heals. He healed my broken heart, and he’s put some spiritual mothers in my life who I adore. They know who they are. 

The past few weeks have been extremely difficult due to my birthday coming up. Not even going there, I know my fellow adoptees get it. With my sobriety birthday the day before, I felt the need to write a VICTORIOUS BLOG POST to let all my fellow adoptees know that THERE IS HOPE IN JESUS. HEALING IS POSSIBLE. If you are struggling with using substances of any kind, I promise you it’s only delaying your healing. The great thing is there’s a Celebrate Recovery in almost all cities in the USA, and it’s even in other countries.

Leave me a message if you are an adoptee and you are struggling with chemical dependency issues. I would love to get to know you and hear your story.

HELP ME CELEBRATE 3 YEARS!  Leave me a comment! XOXO

Pamela Karanova, Adult Adoptee

http://www.facebook.com/howdoesitfeeltobeadopted

@freesimplyme

I Made It!

Today is 2 years sobriety for me. I can hardly believe it’s already been 2 years.
Let me just say this has been the hardest 2 years of my life but because of my higher power, Jesus Christ I’m still standing! Because of Celebrate Recovery, I’m still standing!  The devil’s mad, but I’m STILL STANDING!
I’ve spend the last 2 years in a recovery ministry called Celebrate Recovery, and now in leadership in that same ministry. I can honestly say that working through the 12 steps and 8 principles has been the hardest yet most rewarding thing I have ever done in my soon to be 40 years of life. Celebrate Recovery is designed to take us all the way back to the beginning of life, and to find the root cause of our addictive behaviors. For me, abandonment & rejection from being given up for adoption was my root issue. Never being able to grieve my loss or share my feelings added to my deep rooted pain. This is why I turned to alcohol at a very early age so I could numb the pain I was feeling. There was no one to turn to and no one understood the depths of my losses. What made matters worse is that everyone expected for me to be grateful. This caused me to live with a huge amount of pain, and this pain came out in different ways such as low self-esteem, sexual promiscuity, anger, rage, lying, stealing, fighting, and drug and alcohol abuse. I hated myself and everyone in my life.

As I got older these symptoms only got worse. Somehow God spared me my life, and helped me find Celebrate Recovery. A close friend named Sandy introduced me to this ministry. I will always be thankful! I was scared and nervous in the beginning, but after I started to attend weekly I learned that everyone loved me for me, and didn’t condemn me or treat me different. They loved me like family. After working through a Step Study, and working through the 12 steps and 8 principles, I was able to identify my root issues, and this was a very healing experience to me.

In adoption, so many things are kept from the adoptee. Most will say it’s to protect the adoptee, but this is also another way of lying and keeping secrets. There is no possible way for adoptees to heal unless they know the TRUTH about what they are healing from. Protecting them is only hurting them.  No matter what anyone says, we deserve to know our truth. ALL OF IT! I began my healing the moment I began to learn my truth. I began processing my history, my truth when I let go of alcohol to numb my pain. I was feeling the emotions carried and buried for close to 40 years because everyone told me to be thankful. They said that I couldn’t feel anything about my first family. I couldn’t love my birth mother. I couldn’t miss my family, even when I didn’t know who they were. ALL OF THIS HURT ME, and it HURT ME DEEPLY. Birthdays come and go, and I wanted to just sit alone and sob for my birth mother, but everyone expected me to just forget all about her. This hurt me. The last 2 years of attending Celebrate Recovery and living a sober life I have truly started the grieving process for losing my first family. Yes, they are MY first family and I lost on everything with them. Memories never to seen. No family tree, no pictures together, no mother/daughter bonding. I can go on and on about what all adoptees loose, but if you’ve ready any of my blog, you will know for yourself.
So today I celebrate 2 years of life where I have truly been able to feel the sadness, and anger, resentments, and pain that I ran from truly feeling my whole life because I was denied being able feel anything. [ just be thankful! ] – If I hear that one more time I will put a sock in someones mouth! I honestly don’t wish this pain on anyone but I have come to the conclusion that I’m happy I’m finally able to feel this pain, because some never make it to this point. I don’t think its forever, even when many adoptees say it never goes away. I believe there will always be pain, because there are always too many reminders of what was lost. Holidays, Mother’s Day, “Birth” Days, and The list of triggers I have, and so on. But I hope and pray it gets easier and I’m thankful I finally have MY TRUTH and I’M ABLE TO HEAL BECAUSE OF IT. God gets the glory!
Happy 2 Year Sobriety To Me. 
If you’re an adoptee, and you are depending on substances to get you through the pain, remember you aren’t alone. There is help available. Celebrate Recovery is the world’s largest Christ Centered Recovery Ministry! www.celebraterecovery.com and find a meeting in your area!
Thanks for reading!

Pen & Paper

I just wanted to let you all know I am taking a little more time doing some writing and not through a keypad, a key board, a phone. I’m writing with a plane ole pen and paper. 🙂

I’ve decided that I’m going to join NAMN- National Association of Memoir Writers, and begin the process to write a memoir on my life. What it’s been like being adopted in the closed adoption era, growing up in a single parent home, wondering and searching for my biological family and then being rejected by the ones that should love me the most. I want to share how God has rescued me from my destructive past, and how the one that that I always counted on, relied on,and couldn’t do with out is no longer a part of my life. That one thing is “ALCOHOL”.After knowing that BOTH of my biological parents are/were alcoholics, I have decided I’m going to break the generational curse. God has restored me, and I must tell it to the world. How did I get to this point? It’s not going to be an easy journey, but sense when was life easy?

Instead of being signed onto my Twitter and Facebook on my cell phone, I’m signing out, and I’m going to have my pen and paper handy so I can write my little heart out. I will still be in the Social Media world, and you will still see me from time to time, but if you ever wondered where I’m at, I’m working the 12 steps, and the 12 principles. I’m going to AA meetings, and Celebrate Recovery. I’m also in a Celebrate Recovery Step Study that is amazing. I’m meeting every Friday with a temporary sponsor to help me with working the steps, and she is AWESOME! I will also be writing. God is doing some amazing things in my life.

National Association of Memoir Writers has a ton of resources available on their site, and if you become a member, it’s all free. Teleseminars, Workshops, EBooks, Writing Tips/Tricks, Instructional Videos, and a HUGE network of memoir writers to communicate with. I’m learning how a memoir is suppose to be formatted, and what you should and shouldn’t include. How to weave the stories, and how to captivate your readers to continue reading.

Honestly it might take me a few years, but I’m starting now, one day at a time. This has been one of the things I have had on my mind of doing for about 6-8 months now. Because alcohol is no longer a part of my life, I’m able to cherish every single morning (and moment) that God brings me,and I can wake up with a clear mind, AND WRITE!