Over Dramatic

My whole life I have been called “over-dramatic.” (As healed adult I can see there was some truth there. I am a Sagittarius, enneagram four, extrovert, comedian who has a slight bend towards attention seeking behavior.)
I have also been called a prophet. A truth teller. A no bullshitter. A “call it like it is” person. I’ve been called real and raw.
As I grow, heal, and connect with other adoptees and those who have experienced childhood trauma, I realize that “over-dramatic” was a gaslighting term used to silence our ability to see truth that those around us were/are not ready to face within themselves. This is why prophets and truth-tellers find themselves called “black sheep” or “over-dramatic.”This is why Jesus was rejected by his very own. Today I know a lot of us want to scream, “I TOLD YOU SO!” I’ve been receiving DM after DM with stories of grief as the family truth-tellers are being blacklisted, ostracized, discounted, excluded, gaslit, or all together ignored by their own families. SO many adoptees adopted by white evangelicals are facing rejection, abandonment, and disconnection. SO many have now lost not one set of parents, but two.
The internet has done something wonderful. It has allowed us to connect, to be awakened, and it has exposed what prior generations where trying to hide when they called us “over-dramatic.” The internet turned the light on in the dark recesses of America. It has given those of us who were called “over-dramatic” credibility.
It also has left the generations prior, who worked so hard to silence, exposed.
I don’t have perfect answers for all of you who’ve come into my DMS in grief because you are re-living the trauma of abandonment. We shouldn’t have to walk through this again. It’s unjust. Adoptees are living the reality that adoption is not restorative. But I have this small piece that holds those gaslighting you accountable in grace:Instead of screaming, “I TOLD YOU SO!”, let us turn the tables and ask, “Am I being over-dramatic, or is what I am saying stirring up discomfort within you?” While it may not restore relationships, it’s a healthier response that allows our adult self to protect our child self.

The Damn Audacity

Someone told me I was prettier with makeup.
Someone told me that I had big ears.
Someone told me that I looked terrible in yellow.
Someone told my my skin was too aged and my nose too crooked.
Someone wouldn’t date me because my hair was short.
Someone manipulated me into 110 dateable pounds.
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Yet. Here I am.
Wearing some of those things and not wearing others.
And I haven’t disappeared off the face of the Earth.
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Worth is not a spectrum.
Value is not a commodity.
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The real intergenerational trauma is that for millennia these things have been commoditized and the American Dream is just another tactic of evil to fuse patriarchal capitalism into our core beliefs sold in the package of a toxic faith cultures. They are so ingrained in us we see them as reality and truth as they fester decay in our souls.
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But here I am.
On the other side.
Defying so much of what was taught to me through generations of good people who were just as duped as me.
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My worth is in that I am who I am.
My worth is that nothing else except my very existence reflects God.
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Not what I give or take. 
Not even my gifts or talents. 
Not my gender or my sex.
Not my dos and do nots. 
Not the Ten Commandments.
Not fast fashion or what I eat.
Not the form of my body or it’s level of smoothness.
Not whether or not I had sex before marriage or actually got married. 
Not whether or not I meet the list of expectations from parents or society or my faith.
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Worth and value are a fixed point in time when God created man and said it is good. God saw the beginning and the end of humanity even the human judged the least valuable by other humans is still declared good.
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I refuse to conform…
I refuse to sit in a system…
I refuse to sit in a faith culture…
I refuse to sit with any industry…
I refuse to sit with an American Dream…
I refuse to sit with any evil that places the worth and value of a human on a spectrum that makes us disconnected with being who we are.

It’s the audacity for me.
The audacity that someone or something else thinks they can place value, worth, control and power over on you because they too fear so they protect themselves with the same lie

The damn audacity

She was Me

The more me I become the more me I lose.

What got me through is now my muse.

Struggling today means looking back at yesterday.

What did she do then? What did she do when?

She is me and I was her.

Back when my trauma was a closed door.

Pulling threads has unraveled the flying carpet that got me here.

Now I’m standing on my own two feet.

Holding the strings of coping skills of yesteryears.

I keep trying to weave them back to what they used to be.

But the pattern that got her here doesn’t work for me.

I’m standing on the grass of forever more.

Holding the strands from before.

They whisper into the wind, “Don’t make me like I was before.”

Don’t build a carpet to escape or evade.

Build a foundation where the next you will be laid.

Build a dress to wear now that you are old.

Weave a blanket to cover when you get cold.

Knit a cap to keep the knowledge in.

Weave a basket to put your babies in.

But don’t use the old you to make the new you fly.

The adoption was done. The event was set.

The trauma you lived is now just regret.

She saved you with the flying carpet she weaved.

In each fiber, each color, each a moment grieved.

She is me and I am her.

The more me I become the more me I choose.

Choose how to heal, to grieve, and how to weave…

A tapestry of she and me and who we will be.

To hang as an emblem that who we were isn’t who we have to be.

Hope

Dear children-

I hope one day you will understand that I wasn’t supported in the ways I needed.
I hope you can see that I tried my best in situations and relationships and a society that sets women up to fail because the expectations are too high and the supports are too minimal.
I hope you can see that I was tired not angry.
That I got up each day for you.
That any good I did was what I wished I could give you all the time.
I hope you are better than me. That I gave you what you needed.
That I taught you how and where to get the rest.
That you know how to advocate in ways I was never allowed.
I hope I have let you be who you were created to be.
I hope you can see yourselves clearly.
I know I can only hope and that so much is out of my control.
But for you… each day I hope.

The Blanket

On my placement day, my “Coming Home Day,” my biological family sent with me several baby outfits, several blankets, and a doll.

As a baby my Adoptive Mother dressed me in the outfits for a few special occasions or church. The doll is in my nightstand.

My Mom used the blankets. They were present in my crib from day one at home until the day they quite literally disintegrated in my hands after a wash at 35.

Their smell a comfort to me as an infant. Their touch a comfort to me as a child. Their presence a comfort to me as a young adult.

Truly they meant I was loved before I was placed. The only connection to biology I had.

I slept with them wrapped around my head and chest long after it was socially acceptable.

When I gave birth to my son, my Birth Mom gifted me handmade blankets for him. When my first daughter was born, she got one.

And when she was done cherishing it, it was absconded by my own adopted daughter who promptly named it after her sister.

Each of my children have cherished one of the blankets made by my Birth Mother. It is more then cotton and polyester woven into these blankets. It is a thread of what was, what is, what could have been, and what cannot be said.

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Photo description: my mother in a satin red blouse holding me as a baby. Her back is turned and my face peeks over her shoulder. My crib is in the background with my blanket draped over the edge.

When our daughter was placed with us her parents sent a blanket. In my selfishness and just damn stupidness, I threw it away because it smelled of cigarette smoke. I didn’t even try to clean it. I realized moments too late what I’d done. That massive mistake haunts me to this day. Especially because I knew better. I knew what my blankets meant to me.

So, when this blanket got left behind somewhere in Tennessee or North Carolina, it wasn’t just losing a typical comfort blanket.

It was a reminder of what we’ve lost already, what loss I had caused, what I’ve lost in secondary rejection, and what more loss that is yet to come in our stories.

My soul crumbled when we stepped into the house after unloading the car and the camper and realizing it wasn’t there. I’ve thought about it everyday since. I’ve called everywhere only to be met with people on the other end who don’t understand the gravity. I’ve been consumed with what could have happened to it.

I’ve been placing my own loss onto my daughter frantic that this will be one of those stories she tells as an adult about how we failed her. Frantic about adding more loss to her story.

But now I think, maybe it’s time.
Time to stop focusing on just the loss.
Time to focus on what we did and do have.
To remember that we were and are loved.
And we were wanted.

Enough to hand make and buy blankets for.

And that’s something.

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