Shower thoughts

Sometimes my inspiration and insight comes at the weirdest times or places. Most often, that is in the shower. Yesterday was one of those occasions. In my search for information about my biological father, Edward, I encountered a step sister. She is the daughter of the woman my father married. When I learned about her, I searched social media and cold messaged her (fortunately, she was very accepting). She was gracious enough to listen to my story and, in fact, confirmed her identity as the step daughter of my father. She was already an adult when her mother married my father. We exchanged several messages and are FB friends. She was also nice enough to share some old photos she found and some things she remembered about him.

She sent me some pictures and told me that he worked on a pit crew for a top fuel dragster many years ago and also that he was part owner of a race horse. So, yesterday, I had the idea to Google his name, NHRA pit crew and 1970’s. The second hit from Google was an article written just over two years ago. Of course the article didn’t mention my father or anything, it was an interesting read about the evolution of top fuel cars over the past 50 years. Thankfully, there was an email address at the end of the article of the man who wrote it. I wrote to him and explained who I was and my reason for writing, which was that I wanted to know if someone could identify the car or driver that my father was pictured in. I hit the jackpot because not only did he recognize the car and driver, but he also knew my father back in the day! We exchanged a few messages in which he included another man who knew my father and the actual driver of the car he crewed for. They all described Edward as an “affable” man with a good sense of humor who loved working on or with cars.

So, even though both of my biological parents are now gone, my story is not over yet. Far from it.

Question: How has growing up not feeling connected to yourself impacted your life?

I saw this question this morning on an Instagram account that I follow called Codependencycurious. I am a recovering alcoholic and codependent so I follow a lot of those types of accounts. So, even though this question really speaks to those of us who have experienced abuse – whether it was physical or emotional abuse and/or neglect, at the hands of our parents or partners, the question spoke to me in terms of being adopted.

My story, if you stay with me long enough, will reveal a convoluted path. Whenever anyone asked me how old I was when I found out or knew that I was adopted, I always said that I was 7 years old. I don’t know why I always said 7 because I don’t remember any particular conversation about it but I just go with it. My adoptive parents, Ron and Gilda, did not adopt any other children so I grew up as an only child. It was lonely, yes, but I also didn’t have to fight any siblings for anything. I did always wish I had an older brother or sister though.

One thing I do remember about my adoption is that it was basically a closed book. I feel like if I had asked my mom any questions, I was shut down. My dad was not around enough for me to really talk to him about it either. When he was home, he was not present mentally. Because I couldn’t really ever get any answers about my biological parents (Patty and Edward), I had no real sense of identity. I knew where I was born but that’s really the long and short of it. I grew up thinking I was German, Irish and Italian and later in life I found that was not the case. It was not until I did an Ancestry DNA kit that I found out my real ethnicities.

So, not knowing who I am, and I say this in the present tense because I am still in the process of self-discovery, is just something that I sort of accept as my reality. It’s taken me quite a lot of self examination to identify several traits that I think are a result of a combination of both being adopted and being in a number of emotionally controlling and abusive relationships.

I have a very poor self-image. I am insecure, in my relationships and abilities. I feel like I am always doing something wrong or questioning my decisions. I am a people pleaser and care taker – to the exclusion of my own needs. And speaking of needs, wants, likes and dislikes, I am afraid of expressing them because I fear rejection. The list is ever evolving.

I think that self-discovery and self-improvement are very powerful things you can for yourself and starting this blog is something that can help me, I think. And if it helps even one other person, well, that’s just a big fat bonus!

Why am I doing this?

Why am I writing a blog? Because I have a story to tell. And, at some point, I want to write a book about my story. Not for the money but because I want to share my story with others who have walked the same path as I have. It is unique, in that I am not only an adult adoptee but also a birthmother.

A little backstory on me. I am a 51 year old woman. I have three children, two grown sons and a nearly 17 year old daughter. I’m married to a great man and we have a great life together and recently added a corgi puppy to our family. I have a third son, a young man that I placed for adoption a little over 30 years ago. I will get to that in time. I am a special education teacher and have worked with people with disabilities for the majority of my career, which is 26 years. I love it and I love my students. A lot can be learned from them. Are there ups and downs? Of course but it’s all part of this thing we call life.

I’m no author, by any stretch of the imagination but I do have a story to tell so, stay tuned!