I return to this blog after a couple of months of soul-searching. My results from 23andMe came in, and I was left to face what I longed to leave behind. The man I never knew was thrown back into my life with my DNA results. Turns out my DNA relatives were many, and of those many relatives, a majority belonged to his family. Nice to see you again my demons.
Just like that, the obsession to find my birthfather was back. I searched every link I found on him, searched through Ancestry like a person gone mad, and then I made the choice to make contact. I had hit so many brick walls, and I was exhausted. What did I have to lose?
Monday, May 22nd, 2017, I heard my father’s voice for the first time in my life.
This is what I had hoped for 35 years, right? This is all I wanted, right? Yes, and at the same time No. My life revolved around searching, how do I not search? That’s all I have ever known. Don’t get me wrong, I am happy I found him and that we had a wonderful conversation. He didn’t try to argue the results, and it was all I could ask for honestly. As it sank in though, fear stepped in. How do I live this life? I am at a place I have never been before, and that sweet, little girl that I have protected all these years, she’s at peace now.
I have never known peace, what do I do with this? It didn’t take long for anxiety to step up to the plate. Worry set into place, as he told me that his wife and oldest daughter do not find this “new addition” to be a good thing. So do I try to somehow control the situation with my passive-aggressive ways, as I do with so many situations in my life? Or do I let go of control, and let it take its course? I know what I should do, it’s doing it that gets me (into trouble mostly).
I have been told that it is time for me to be happy. That so many times in my life, my attempts to control a situation have basically ruined any chances of a good relationship, no matter the type, remaining good. My attempts at controlling a situation only cause more damage. So I will take that advice, and apply it as best I can, as I never have been here before. I have lived by the “fake until you make it” concept, and I have made it. I have accomplished my main goal in life, so it is time for new goals. That advice couldn’t have been more on point, it is time for me to be happy.
I will strive to no longer live in the past, and I will no longer pay for the mistakes of my past, though there are many. As you see, I cannot find happiness in my past, I can only find it in my present, and apply that to my future. Life is about choices, and happiness is my choice. I may make mistakes along the way, but I will do my best to have a happy life.
I’ve fallen down on my “job” of blogging the past week and half. I felt I had nothing to contribute, and quite frankly I was so confused I didn’t know what to say. I have been trying my best to lead a more positive life, and release the negativity that’s been pulling me under. Lately the negativity has been winning the battle.
** This is an ongoing Blog and will be updated as things progress**
For anyone considering the 23andMe DNA test, here is a timeline and my experience with it.
My reason for testing – I’m an adoptee. My maternal grandparents adopted me at birth, and I have known my birthmother my entire life. Birthfather = undetermined. Contact has been made with him once before, but he denied it….so here I am.
Saturday, February 25th, 2017 – Ordered my test!!!
I am so stinking excited and scared out of my mind at the same time. What have I done? Will this cause more undue heartache? Will this give me the peace of mind that I feel I am constantly searching for?
Monday, February 27th, 2017 – The test has been shipped! What??? *Cue the butterflies*
The email came through while I was out running around town on lunch. My first thought, “well that escalated quickly”. As much as I have wanted this and for as long as I have wanted this, I am feeling hesitant now. But I am my father’s (grandfather) child, the money is spent it’s too late to turn back now.
Tuesday, February 28th, 2017 – Seriously??
I am actually finding a little humor in this! I live in the Carolinas, and here it is my package is mailed from North Carolina across country! I could have taken a road trip.
Saturday, March 4th, 2017 – It’s arrived!
Monday, March 6th, 2017 – Time to spit! Ewwwww
Tuesday, March 14th, 2017 – The waiting game is on…..the sample was received March 11th.
Anxiety does not schedule an appointment with you so it can strike at an appropriate time. It is less predictable than a tornado, and destroys the mind much the same as one. There is no logical side to anxiety; in fact it is utterly irrational, but the fear anxiety generates is real…to those who suffer with it.
Anxiety preys on every single, miniscule insecurity you have, and it will take that insecurity and create some of the most gargantuan, terrifying thoughts. Anxiety leaves you feeling as if you have been chewed up, spit out, and stomped on. Anxiety is a lifetime prison sentence, only to be to some small degree controlled by medicines, herbs, prayer, breathing exercises, and at times a combination of all.
People will tell you that you must face your fears to overcome them, that you worry too much, that you don’t trust them, that it was just your imagination. People don’t understand anxiety and panic attacks unless they suffer with them. I don’t say “deal with them” because you don’t deal with anxiety. Anxiety will make you suffer, and when the anxiety is strong enough to bring on a full blown panic attack, the mind is ready to deliver the most intense torture you can imagine. Anxiety’s target is not society. Anxiety targets its carrier. YOU are the target, and it means to destroy YOU! There is no escaping your own mind, so you are trapped there alone with two choices:
When I am becoming anxious, my first thought is “Oh no, not today, please, please not today.”. When that anxiety starts to escalate, my thoughts change to “Just breathe, hopefully it will pass…deep breaths and blow. What was that breathing exercise again? Crap I can’t remember it.” When anxiety is in full scale attack, I start praying through the tears, whether it is out loud, or just my thoughts “God please make it stop, please, please, please, I don’t want to go there. God please I can’t!” And when that same anxiety sets off panic attacks that create physical pain so excruciating and terrifying, my thoughts go to “I’m dying, is this a heart attack? I am going to die, God please help!”. Those are just the general thoughts, which combine with whatever fear or torture anxiety is creating at the time.
People who suffer with anxiety tend to overthink everything. They tend to second guess themselves. They are not trusting, because anxiety will not let them be. Anxiety drives the mind to create doubt in every aspect, so confidence is not high. People who suffer with anxiety want control. The thought of controlling everything around them will put anxiety at ease. There is little to no room for anxiety to slip in right? Wrong, because anxiety is degrading and will cause them to feel that what they are doing is not good enough. So we turn to perfection, and add to the load of controlling everything and the cycle continues…until we break. The load gets too heavy and we crumble.
I suffer from anxiety, depression, and PTSD. No I am not military, a common misconception with PTSD. I live in constant fear of everything, but I am functional. I work Monday through Friday, I am a mother with children that have their own anxieties, I am sociable, I have a relationship with John which anxiety tries its best to destroy, and I travel. I carry my medicine with me everywhere I go because I never know when an attack will take place. I have had a full blown panic attack in Walmart which included dry heaves, sweating, chest pains, and going to my car to hide until it passed. I have flashbacks which I can’t discuss because they trigger my anxiety. I rarely dream, but on the occasion that I do dream…my dreams are never sweet!
We all cope with our anxieties differently. What works for me, may not work for you. I have not found any certain way to cope because each attack is different from the last and must be dealt with accordingly, but if you have I am proud of you. It takes a strong person to keep up the fight. So I will do what I do best and that is to smile through the pain, breathe, pray hard, and most importantly (for me) laugh at it!!
Celebrating my 40th birthday with my love, John, was absolutely wonderful and hilarious. He and I have the best times together! He’s an amazing man.
Saturday, I had a chance to continue the celebration with two of my sisters, oldest daughter, and my oldest niece. Great food, sunshine, springtime weather, and shopping combined with lots of laughter made for a wonderful day.
What is about birthdays that makes you think about all the things you want to do? Is it the thought that you are “running out of time” so to speak? Or is it a process of maturing? Whatever it is, I am definitely experiencing it!
So to announce my new adventures…
Yesterday I placed my order for my 23 and Me dna kit!!! I am ecstatic about finding out “who” I am. Being adopted, I often deal with a feeling of lost identity regardless of the fact it was a family adoption. I don’t know the other half of me, so I am taking advantage of my options.
Golf! Yes, I said golf. John loves golfing, and I thought “wow, what better way to enjoy our time together than being outside enjoying nature, and having some laughs?”. We can laugh at ourselves better than anyone can, and we are not competitive against one another. We enjoy each other’s company, and he has so much patience with me that I am sure he will help me learn the game.
I, of course, realize that my birthday was no different than the day before. The only change was my age. I have to make the changes that I want to see happen. There’s no fairy godmother waving her magic wand changing my life for the better. That’s my job!
I still have things from my past to get over, but I am very proud to say that the depression I usually feel on, and around, my birthday was not present this year. I have truly managed to release some of the hostility I held against my unknown, biological father. He is no longer controlling my thoughts with his constant “presence” since I chose to release him.
There are many things left for me to conquer..smoking, hostility towards Disney World, insecurities a plenty which involves abandonment (another lovely side effect of being an adoptee), and the list goes on. However, I do keep in mind that with John by my side I can overcome any obstacles in my path. He has no idea how he strengthens me.
In a time of such upheaval with protests a plenty, and women marching around in pink knit hats representative of the female genitalia, I find myself longing to go back in time.
I understand that women of the past protested and fought for “our” rights, but I am sorry these people of today are not marching for me. But I wander off subject, because I am not going to get into politics. My opinions are just that…my opinions.
I have always loved the late 1940’s & 1950’s. The modest, feminine, ladylike fashion. The ability to stay at home with the children keeping house, while the husband goes out and earns a living for the household. There are many other things I love about that era as well. I know I have probably caused a few heads to shake just by writing the last two sentences, but again My opinion is my opinion. My dreams are my dreams.
I know times were not always easy, the husband was not always loving, and there were struggles then, just as there are now. But let me explain a little bit about me….
I dream of homesteading. Going off the grid, and living life away from all of the commotion (and I already live in a pretty rural area – so even rural areas are crowded to me). Growing my own food, and storing it for the winter months. I love cooking, and cleaning! But after working a pretty normal 40 hour week, I don’t want to spend my free time cooking or cleaning. Handling the kids schoolwork, and attending meetings….you guessed right! I already handle that along with my job.
I grew up on a small farm, in a rural area of the Carolina’s. We had horses, a summer and fall garden, preserved vegetables, cut our own firewood, raised pigs for barbequing and storing meat, fished from the nearby rivers for only what we wanted to eat (none of this catch and release mess) and we wasted very, very little. Life was simpler!
……to be continued! Another 40 hour week on the books. I need to learn to talk-blog (is that a thing?) on my hour ride home.
I can remember being 9 or 10 years old, and fantasizing about running away from home. Practicing my packing skills so I could carry what I “needed” with me, which consisted of stuffed animals I didn’t want to leave behind. I was obsessed with Huck Finn, and wanted to be just as adventurous as he was in the stories.
Turns out that urge has never left me. Even now I find myself wanting to run away on adventures. Life can easily get mundane with the constant repeat of the same activities. Wake up, school drop off, work, pick up the child, home, homework, dinner, baths, and to bed just to get up the next day to do it all over. Day after day, and the weekends are to rest up so we can pull another week of the same ol’ thing. It’s been many times that others have tried to make me feel guilty for wanting to break the monotony, and there have been times where I have felt guilty.
Maybe I ask for too much, but at the end of the day it’s me that has to live with the emptiness I feel. I don’t need expensive cruises, or resort islands. I don’t need to drive across country, or shop in Manhattan. I just want to see things, and experience things. I want to be out, and feel alive like only wandering can make me feel.
I revel in getting “lost”. Seeing a different view, breathing different air, interacting with different people, anything but the everyday norm that society crams us into. I understand routine = structure, and structure is wonderful to have in your job, raising children, and keeping a home. I will not argue that structure is a must, but for some of us too much structure smothers our very being.
I suffer from anxiety, and feeling stuck drums up every anxious thought possible it seems. My anxiety strikes out against me in every way possible. I question my choices, people’s feelings for me, will I die lonely and unhappy, will my children remember me as an unhappy person,….oh it can go on and on. If you have anxiety then you know very well how it can lead to depression, and the simple act of smiling becomes a chore. Why do I do this to myself? I know what I need, but I tend to put everyone and everything ahead of what I am needing until I feel like I am drowning in responsibility.
As 40 approaches, I find myself in need of some “spring cleaning” so to speak. That good deep cleaning that reaches all the dust mites and cobwebs hidden out of sight.
That’s what you are sir. You are the dust mites and cobwebs hidden out of sight in my soul. Every annual trigger I catch a glimpse of you and try to pretend you are not there. You made a choice before my birth to leave your traces behind and move on with your life. I have often questioned “does he think of me?”, “does he regret not sticking around to find out if I was his?”, “how can he go through life with the idea of me out there, and the possibility of him being my father?”, and many, many more questions.
I was a lucky baby. I was adopted by my grandparents who gave me the best they could, and I will forever be thankful for them. When I found out I was adopted at 5 years old from another little girl, they were open and honest with me. I learned about you when I was 7. When I was 20 I made an attempt to contact you, only to contact your father instead. He would have gladly accepted me (yes he wrote me back)! He forwarded that letter to you, and you denied me! Twenty years ago, Facebook didn’t exist. I searched for you the best AOL and I could, but who knew that I would find your daughters and your wife years later on Facebook. That’s right, I never stopped searching for you even after you denied me. I even made contact with your oldest daughter, as an old family friend. Her words were “I am the spitting image of my dad” when I asked her if you were her father. It took everything I had not to reply back, WELL THAT MAKES TWO OF US! because she and I could pass for twins, minus her heavier set build. Turns out she and I are only 5 years apart. She was born when my life was being shattered by a little girl on the playground who had heard her mother talking about me and my adoption (OH the SCANDAL! *every ounce of sarcasm you can imagine is there!).
I have carried thoughts of you with me for the past 35 years, 33 if you count when you were identified. You have been a heavy load to carry, but as I move into my 4th decade I am leaving YOU behind. I am tired of being angry with you, hurt by you, the wondering is exhausting, and quite frankly I have reached the point where I NOTHING YOU! I don’t hate you any longer, I don’t idolize you and make you into something more than you are not or maybe you are (heck I don’t know, I don’t know you!). I don’t want you in my life any longer, or the lives of my girls. You made your choice, and I could have sought you out but that was a chance I decided not to take. You’ve rejected me once! Your loss is my gain! I have me and my girls, I have a dad who still calls me baby, I had a mother that loved me and made sure I knew I wasn’t a mistake, and a birthmother who did her best to stay involved.
I wish you well sir, and from now on my birthdays are no longer reserved for thoughts of you!
Gloomy skies overhead, misty rain, longing to be back home in my bed…then I realize I am giving this positive-thinking thing a try, I don’t have to perfect it right away. So I am giving myself a break.
I started this blog with the purpose of training myself how to be positive and 40, which means I was not positive before, and I’m not 40 yet, correct? Correct! So why am I pressuring myself to perfect positive-thinking in only a few short days? I couldn’t learn algebra in just a few short days, or Spanish, or how to type.
I know that all you positive people out there have to have your bad days, and this is one of mine. I keep telling myself this is only temporary, and things will seem better in a day or two. I know myself well enough to know that there are days when I barely feel like speaking, and everything I see on TV or the internet is negative (especially with politics), and I also know that I am greatly affected by other people’s moods.
There have been many days like this lately. Poor John! I know I am not the easiest person to deal with at times, nor do I make the best choices, but one thing is for sure.
I am so unbelievably lucky to have him!
I was doing my daily scroll through Pinterest-land…you know the kind, where you get on for a quick peek at what’s new, and 2 hours later you’re still on? While I was scrolling through, I came across a Pin a friend of mine liked. It was 30-days of journal prompts on being grateful. I will share the link with you if any of you are interested. But I thought to myself, what a great way to build a positive outlook! Surely I can find something I am grateful for on a daily basis, and maybe 30 days of it will create a healthy habit.
I will come back to this post, and add something I am grateful for each day. Here is the link to 30 Days of Gratitude
So here I go (and since I am starting with John I will make sure my numbers coincide with each entry so scroll on to #20):
#1 – What smell am I grateful for today? – Coffee! Always coffee!! It is the first thing I look forward to in the mornings, and just the smell makes my morning grumpiness subside.
#2 – What technology am I grateful for? – My smartphone! I feel lost without it. I Google everything, I keep up with family and friends with it, and I stalk my daughter’s cell activity with it! Yes I am one of those moms!! She is not an adult and this is a dangerous world we live in today.
#3 – What color am I grateful for? – I don’t necessarily have a favorite color, but today it’s Yellow. I love the sun, and I am by no means a winter person (even though this “winter” has been pretty mild with the exception of some snowflakes blowing by). Have to love living in the South!
#4 – What food am I grateful for? – Potatoes! Letting my Irish heritage shine through there, huh? They are my go to comfort food, prepared any way you’d like.
#5 – What sound am I grateful for? – I am grateful for my normal everyday Hum. You know the hum of the air/heat running, the sound of normal everyday traffic going by, the hum of the copier as you work? After a weekend of the every channel talking about women marching, the quiet Hummmm is most pleasant!
#6 – What in nature am I grateful for? – The changing of the seasons. I love how the colors flow from one season to the next reminding us that change is inevitable.
#7 – What memory am I grateful for? – I am grateful for every memory I have of my mom. She passed almost 22 years ago, and it’s not a day that goes by that I don’t think of her.
#8 – What book am I grateful for? – I love books so picking one would be extremely hard, so I have to say that most of Nora Roberts’ books would be my favorite. I love her stories of Ireland.
#9 – What place am I grateful for? – Home! It’s somewhere that I feel like get to spend very little time with work, commuting to work, and having kids. I try to enjoy my down time at home as much as I can.
#10 – What taste am I grateful for today? – It may sound strange but I am grateful for the taste of eggs. I had eggs in my Chinese food last night and they were delicious and my egg intolerance didn’t react.
#11 – What holiday am I grateful for? – Easter has always been my favorite holiday. All the new bright colors coming to life, flowers blooming, and my Christian beliefs.
#12 – What texture am I grateful for? – Soft and plush textures today. It’s been my laziest of lazy days.
#13 – What abilities am I grateful for? – I am most grateful for my ability to use my mind. I am not getting into the political debates, but the lack of common sense and fact checking really blows me away. But I love all my abilities…crafting, drawing, cooking, and being able to consume unlimited amounts of coffee without that buzzed effect.
#14 – What sight am I grateful for? – I am grateful for my sight period! Having a father who is in his “platinum years” 😉 with deteriorating eyesight, I certainly appreciate mine. I am blessed to be 22 days away from 40 and go through my daily life without glasses or contacts!
#15 – What season am I grateful for? – I love Spring! Flowers blooming, bright new colors replacing the dormant colors of Winter, Easter, warmer weather, the fresh air…I love it!
#16 – What about my body am I grateful for? – I am just grateful that I haven’t lost any organs in at least 2 years. 😀
#17 – What knowledge am I grateful for? – Forknowing when I am at my breaking point, and that a cry is good for me. After that cry I can come back stronger, but the cry has to happen.
#18 – What piece of art am I grateful for? – I am thankful for musical arts. Music helps me in so many ways.
#19 – What touch am I grateful for today? – My youngest daughter’s hugs! I needed one in the worst way. A hug can heal so much.
#20 – Who am I grateful for? – I am grateful for John, and all the love he gives me. I do not know what I would do without him. He picks me up when I am down, makes me laugh when it’s hard to smile, and most of all he loves me in return for the love I have for him.
#21 – What song am I most grateful for? – What??? I can’t pick just one. I love music of all kinds, but if I have to pick one for today….Magic Carpet Ride by Steppenwolf! I swear I was meant to be a 60’s child.
#22 – What story am I grateful for? – I am grateful for my story. Sometimes sitting back and looking at my life, I am very proud of myself for not becoming anything other than what I have.
#23 – What tradition am I grateful for? – So many have come and gone throughout the years, but I am most grateful for the one that has remained as close to the same as possible. Our Christmas BBQ. Gathering with my family, sometimes friends, and just cooking and laughing together in the yard is the best. We’re all getting older, and a few are missing but I love it still the same.
#24 – What challenge am I grateful for? – I am grateful for this challenge, even though I have not been posting daily. It has worked to remind that there is something in every single day to be grateful for.
#25 – What moment am I grateful for this week? – I am certainly grateful my daughter is out of the hospital and on the mend, but other than that I was so unbelievably happy to see 5 o’clock on Friday!
A little side note – I am grateful for this challenge but for the life of me I cannot remember to do this everyday. 🙂
#26 – What form of expression am I grateful for? – Smiles! I love smiling and I greet everyone I meet with a smile. I was made aware of my “resting bitch face” years ago and I have made it point to smile more and appear more welcoming.
#27 – What small thing that I use daily am I grateful for? – My cellphone…always my cellphone. It entertains me, helps me, and plays hide and seek with me 😀
#28 – What small thing happened to me today that I am grateful for? – I love a Goodwill store! Absolutely love them! And today the goodwill shopping gods were smiling down on me. I found a Nine West fuchsia tank top with the tags still on it for $4!!! The original price was $59.00! Yay me!!!
#29 – What friend or family member am I grateful for today? – All of them!!! Seriously? They all make me happy and/or drive me crazy at the same time. I love them all!
#30 – What talent or skill am I grateful for today? – I am grateful for my organizational skills. Lord knows I need them at this job.