Misc. Feelings – I Am Only Human

One of the hardest things I’ve faced in producing this show is my own feelings.  Feelings of fear, of judgment, of inadequacy, of being misunderstood……of being misunderstood, of being VERY misunderstood.Side a

This show is not about anger, hate, divide, bullying, who is right, who is wrong.  It is NOT an anti adoption show.  It IS an educational show, it IS a supportive show, it IS a show to help mothers who WANT TO raise their own flesh and blood babies be able too by putting some money in the hands of the organization Saving Our Sisters that helps mothers with the temporary life challenges they are facing while being pregnant.

Something I have noticed time and time again in discussion with friends, people I associate with through the arts world, people I talk to in random locations is that it feels like society thinks the proverbial birthmother is some type of whore, prostitute, drug addict, person who lives on the streets, in short, in someway less than the rest of us.  It is exceptionally painful to hear sometimes, they  think I am the exception , not the rule.

In connecting with other mothers who after giving birth to their own child and previously having considered adoption and now NOT wanting to go through with it I have learned alot, I have felt not so alone.  I have found others who are pretty much ordinary average american women like me being denied perhaps their most primal biological instinctual urge, to mother thier own flesh and blood child they recently gave birth too. Women who for whatever personal reason were struggling, scared and did nothing wrong but sign a contract, a legal and binding document that says their baby can be given to other people to raise, people who pay high fees to an agencies and/or attorneys to obtain that contract.

Mothers who are grieving a monumental loss are faced with trying to fight for their child back which is pretty hard to do in some states in this country, Florida is one of them. Its even harder to do in a society which judges, condemns and makes assumptions about mothers for considering adoption in the first place. A society that thinks we must all be pieces of shit and treats us as such.  A society that demands we now prove ourselves as capable of mothering ( why don’t other pregnant woman have to prove they are worthy of mothering?) as if somehow signing that paper makes all our primal instincts and the basic fact that we are here, alive on this planet and have made it this far,  null and void.  I can attest, signing a paper does not in fact make any of the biological processes associated with pregnancy, labor, delievry, child birth and motherhood stop.

It doesn’t. Not one bit.  I think about things sometimes, fairly deeply.  Things like it would still be pretty easy to judge, ridicule, berate, and make me appear less worthy.   Right now I’m not employed at an outside job earning a regular paycheck, I’m working on my goal of starting a business, and organizing the benefit show I Am Only Human to support Saving our Sisters.  I can do this because one of my sons is covering household expenses until I get through this show. Its a FAMILY choice. It is a tremendous blessing, I wouldn’t have gotten through any of this without my 2 oldest sons.  Yes, I was a teenage mother and now they are in their 20’s and we all live together. So you know what…. I guess I did ok.  I’m prone to beat myself up but I’ve learned that when I start to…….I look at my resume and realize that in spite of dealing with an unspeakable level of grief I’ve accomplished an awful lot in the past few years.  That I feel good about.

I think “would I be here in this position if I had never considered adoption?”  Probably not. Grief takes a long time, processing things, learning things, takes a long time, learning how to adapt and overcome a body that is desperately seeking to complete the task of motherhood its programmed to do is hard and takes time, I don’t feel like the feeling will ever go away.  Learning to cope with it and accept it as part of my daily life has been pretty rough, as has wondering if my son feels the same way and can’t express it to anyone.

I’m not ashamed of where I am. I am grateful to every person who has helped me a long the way. Those who have let me cry, those who have opened their homes to me to stay with them when I really just couldn’t be alone, those who have given me the strength and support to make it through, sometimes only to the next day like it was in the first 2 years.  Do you know…..I cried every time I saw or heard a baby for almost 2 years? Even at my job?  Finally that has subsided, but still my heart stirs.  I’m grateful to all my artist friends and acquaintances who have encouraged me to stay the course and do the benefit show I Am Only Human which took place on May 14th.

I hope that the time and effort helps raise  funds for Saving Our Sisters and educates the public that mothers of adopted children and people who are adopted have feelings and are in fact human beings too.  Human beings who deserve every opportunity to stay together as a family and if they can’t, not be denied their entire identity.

 

 

 

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A 10 Minute Me Break Available Now

Ladies……really listen……you are so awesome and amazing, even when you can’t do everything you are absolutely amazing.   Please make sure you take ME breaks once in awhile, they are really amazing, and you are amazing but none of us is actually Superwoman!  I am on a ME break now……….I’ve been telling little day to day stories about it……….please watch the video inserted in here…..it will take 10 minutes, you are so worth it…..now on with the little story of today’s little travels…….

While out of town I have been nearly facebook free, relaxing and working remotely. I’ve found a few hours a day to make sure I got some of what I call “office hours” in,  making time to write, researching art shows I am considered submitting too, checking messages, returning phone calls, weighing options about putting a gallery space in Yellow Green Farmers Market, and found out that 2 really great friends are moving to Florida, promoting and marketing via several websites, and its  working out to be pretty darn productive.

On this little trip I decided against bringing a camera and opting instead to embrace technology, “get with the times” and utilize instagram for photo taking.  Turns out I’m really enjoying it.   Today we drove over to the Rondout, as  Kingston’s waterfront is known,  walked around, wandered around an amazing antique shop, and went onto to window shop and rubber necked ……..

rub·ber·neck

(rŭb′ər-nĕk′) Slang

intr.v. rub·ber·necked, rub·ber·neck·ing, rub·ber·necks

To look about or survey with unsophisticated wonderment or curiosity.
n.

 

in Rhinebeck. Its fun just looking at things, mountains, train bridges running high over the river, the architecture, style of living, church steeples, clouds and mist, its refreshing to enjoy the simple things.

Today I happened to do a quick facebook log in to check for messages and took one quick peek in the Life Is Art Group  I’m a member of and stumbled upon this fantastic poem written and performed by

Sean Wallace / Roy “Futureman” Wooten

I hope you take 10 minutes to yourself to enjoy this video! I’m pretty darn sure you won’t regret it! 

 

Its in Our Heads and In Our Hearts

They say it is in our heads and it is, but it is also in our hearts.  I’ve struggled so very much to let go over the last 4 years and its hard to put into words how it feel like I physically can’t, but this link helps explain it, at least it does to me.  A part of all my children always remains with in me.

I’ve never cared one bit, about material things,  I like dancing, reading, writing, creating art, spending time with people I care about, this is my entertainment, a great side effect is its mostly free, can take place right at home, out and about, alone or with others.

Electronics, gadgets, televisions, the latest phone, app, video games, or any other outside entertainment devices don’t interest me much. Sure I enjoy a video, movie,  internet or outside entertainment now and then but I could, and often do, go without them quite easily. I do enjoy electronics as tools to assist my own creativity.

I tried to get away from it all  in 2013, that trip turned out to be much more intense, full of challenges, and obstacles, trying to help myself and also others, this one at last, in gratitude and love, is just for me.

Getting in touch with me again, my own visions for my future, to stop being so hard on myself for feeling like I really, really messed up, for feeling like I can’t be there for everybody in the way they want or expect me to be,  especially my children, I want the very best for them always, and to forgive myself for not being all I’d like to be right now, I’m still pretty darn ok with me.  Its been a long hard few years, I know I am getting there, actually making really good progress and I am excited to have options.  Yellow Green Farmers Market or an individual gallery?  Where will the next stage of my artist career end up? The time to decide is coming soon,  I’m looking forward to it and feeling blessed for the time to decide at exactly the right time. 

 A break from trying to figure how to make everyone but me happy,  to tune back into my dreams for myself, for my family and eventually, hopefully to help mothers in need.   Just because I’m not there right now doesn’t mean I don’t wish I was sometimes, it will all come together eventually.  We don’t start college with our dream job secured for graduation day, its really not that different with other things we hope to accomplish in life. 

Away from the noise, the daily grind, televisions, sirens, peoples opinions, differences, perspectives, wants, needs, demands, social occasions, commitments, deadlines, obligations, the general hustle and bustle of the city. I am doing what I  needed to do for myself,  even though I’ve done this a couple a other times in my life, take a chance on getting to see my kids, and them to see me, and get on with living my life  with the best possible attitude, until the next opportunity arises, which sounds like its coming this summer.  

Wow, I needed this little break. I feel like a new person.

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Miscellaneous Morning

This morning my mind finds itself traveling in and out of wondering, dreams, thoughts, ideas, past, present, future, what it all means, hoping for the best possible outcomes for everyone. As an artist this is a part of the creative process that drives and sustains me.

Feeling exceptionally grateful to my friend who invited me to take a little trip for a couple weeks, and a side trip to see my teenage children if the “stars aligned” (sadly they didn’t).  I know the stars shall align soon, and even though I am pretty sure we are all a little scared, we will be reunited.

Facing fears, pondering consequences, merging life experiences, all of the memories of experiences that make me who I am.  Where did the peaceful path take a turn down a rugged road, full of winding roads, uphill climbs, of confusions and frustrations?

Do I keep writing as mswenderful a name that for some people identifies me easily, or do I create a a new fictitious name? Is that hiding from myself, protecting my children, or denying them the truth of how their mother felt then, feels now, and hopes and dreams of the future?

I do dream of a future, a future with a home that my children and my grandchildren will always be able to visit.  A home where I can easily pay the bills, or better yet, buy  with cash so, for once in my life,  I don’t have to worry about being one unforeseen set back away from a huge disaster that would only be a hiccup to lot of people.

My children have been the inspiration for almost everything I’ve ever done.  Being able to go out and do things with them, treat them to going out to dinner, being able to visit my children who live in Virginia without having to take random chances because someone I know happens to be going by there and offered to help us see each other, is something I dream of and dare I even…look forward too?  They said they weren’t ready yet,  and there I was 3 hours away.  It hurt, but I get it also. They are hurt also. It worries and concerns me as a mother in ways I won’t get into here, but I get it.  We will try again in the summer.

It took me a couple days of being here in the Hudson Valley, to just relax and process. I could have let it depress me, instead I look forward to planning the trip for the summer, thankful for another friend who has already offered to take the trip with me. I will utilize this time to do what I need to do for me.

Being able to buy them plane tickets to come see me after we finally break the ice and (hopefully) they are more comfortable with me again. Being able to easily help my children if and when they run into bumps in the road, just as we all do, instead of moving for summer to take a job and try to help as I’ve done before, would be pretty darn awesome.  Yes its true, I have an adventurous spirit and want to see much of the world, I also  dream of a permanent family home which I am able to venture out of and return to also. I’d love to be able to share adventures with my children. So…..I following my heart I resurrect my dream to be financially independent through my own creativity.

It  began 2010 after so many years of struggling to find and keep work in a fickle judgmental society,  having crappy dead end jobs, being unable to afford a car,  I decided to pursue my own independent living through art.  I was quite used to living, happily even, on practically nothing at all, so I figured lets try this and started building what I hoped to be a growing little art career while still seeking and taking outside jobs, steps to build my own independence.

One of the most important things to me was to keep prices very affordable because I feel that everyone should have access to things they find beautiful and would love in their home, I didn’t want people to have to say ” I wish I could afford that”.  No I don’t make hundreds of dollars per sale, but how cool would it be to sell a 100 prints a day even if I only made one dollar on each one?  Why not try, anything is possible, especially with the “magic” of the internet and a company that prints and ships meaning zero overhead for me.

It never occurred to me to get in galleries, but somehow that happened on the way. Frankly sometimes it gives me anxiety.   Its weird sometimes the things you never even imagined or dreamed of that happen in your life. I just figured heck, if I could make $1000 a month, wouldn’t that be a humongous difference for everyone in my life, even if I always had an outside job it would help give me freedom to change jobs, buy a car, to take short breaks, visit my children regularly and go on adventures most people call vacations and maybe, just maybe stop needing to ask for help every once in awhile when opportunities to better myself arise, if only I could afford them. (Thank you to my friends and family members who helped out and brought me to this place in the journey.)

So I suspect I’ve been rambling and meandering a bit with conversation here today, a day to refresh and revisit my many websites and resurrect my dream of self sustaining my life through my own creativity.

While I am going through the steps to stream line everything feel free to take a look at The Art of Being, Everything is Wenderful T-Shirt Shop (please excuse the green background I’m trying to figure out how to change it), or my Online Print Gallery where I stay true to the dream of keeping affordable art available for every one while on my path to independent employment!

Today is Really Huge for Me

Today I get in the truck and drive up north with my friend for a couple of weeks.  There are a couple of people I haven’t seen in way to long that I hope to stop and see on the way.   These very important people are my teenaged children.  Money, distance and, I suspect a whole lot of painful frustration and confusion, has taken its toll on all of us over the years.  They are not sure if they want me to stop. I understand that completely and respect it, it’s still hard as a mother who wishes she could have been there, and at times could have done better and at time could have done worse,  to hear.

In addition, I am pushing through a haze of anxiety to go so far away, for so long, at all, something I was once able to do extremely easily.   Its amazing how some experiences feel like they rock us at our very core, turn us inside out, nearly unrecognizable to self.

I am beyond grateful to my friend  for being an all round amazing person who seems to always have a smile on her face and something positive to say and for offering to make the side trip if it turns out that my kids say ok.   If not, we’ll try again in the summer time, one way or the other I will have pushed through a wall and become a little more my old self.

Repost – Dear Hoping to Adopt

Copied and Shared from  http://musingsofabirthmom.com/2015/11/07/dear-hoping-to-adopt/

Dear Hoping to Adopt

I’m sure, by now, I’m loathed by most who have found themselves in my corner of the world wide Web via an innocent Google search about how to adopt a baby. That’s okay. I get it. My writing is blunt and I don’t mince words. I’d like to take some time, however, to speak directly to the aforementioned.

Dear Hoping to Adopt,

For you, achieving motherhood is not an easy row to hoe. For you, perhaps, attaining motherhood, in the traditional sense, is quite literally impossible. I can only imagine the heartbreak of learning that all of your dreams, that were most likely fostered from the time you were able to snuggle with your first baby doll, are now slipping from your grasp and there is absolutely nothing you can do to stop it.

The countless negative pregnancy tests, maybe the loss of your children before they even had a chance to be a part of this world, the fertility treatments, the worry, the hope, the anxiety, the tears – I understand. I get it. I’m not heartless. I empathize, maybe sometimes too much, with the millions of hardships that we, as human beings, must face.

I think about the hurt you must face every time a friend or relative announces they are expecting or the pain you must feel watching others care for their little ones. I do understand that it must be lonely feeling like the odd man out while others have, what feels like, an exclusive club that only women who are mothers can join. We are women. Most of us, not all, are wired with a natural instinct and yearning to be a mother. I truly understand and empathize.

When you read through my writing you may not think it’s possible for me to empathize with you. But I do. It’s not that hard because I know what it feels like.

I know how deeply it hurts to dream of a child that will never be yours. I know how gut-wrenching it is to grieve a lost child. I have felt lonely as well – lonely when no one else could understand how much pain I was in – lonely when they were praising me for how selfless I was – lonely when I was told that I had given someone a beautiful gift and that I did the right thing. And for the rest of my life I will feel as though I don’t belong with all the other mommies. I surrendered my motherhood to my child and that’s something most don’t truly understand and most are certainly way off base about what that ultimately means.

I empathize because my loss is huge. There was no one there to help me or support me. No one to tell me that I could do it. I was told that adoption was the right choice which, to me, meant I was not the right choice. I was not good for my baby is the message I received and I will forever belong to that lonely club.

Loss is subjective. Some may say the loss of a pregnancy is the same as the loss of a child through adoption. I will always disagree. The path I walk in life, as a first mother, has many layers. I’m sure those who have suffered a miscarriage know what it’s like to blame themselves. The fact is, though, that really there was nothing you willfully did to cause the loss of your unborn baby. As a first mom, however, a good portion of society, as I’m reminded of more and more often, continues to act as if surrendering my child, the loss of my child, was a willful act. Yes, I signed relinquishment papers but there was nothing willful about it. My circumstances forced that hand just as your physical circumstances have forced yours in your journey through infertility.

See, we aren’t all that much different, you and I. We’ve both suffered. We’ve both lost. We’ve both grieved and we’ve both gone through trauma and emotional anguish.

If you ever find yourself asking, “Why is she so angry and bitter?” please think back to everything you’ve gone though in your journey to achieve motherhood. Then ask yourself how you’d feel if the whole of society celebrated it and asked you to be grateful for it, asked you to accept others purposely facilitating it. This is what that feels like to me.

Yes, I have empathy for you, but my empathy stops where your willful ignorance begins. My empathy stops when there are hundreds and thousands of children truly in need of a family but you insist on getting a brand new baby. My empathy stops when I see you begging others for donations to take another mother’s child when the donations that you have rolling in would enable that mother to keep her baby. My empathy ends there. I simply cannot do it anymore. To me, it’s the equivalent of you asking for donations to assure the loss of pregnancy in another woman because, for some odd reason, that’s the only way to ensure your own motherhood.

Facilitating the loss of another’s motherhood so that you may attain your own is where my empathy ends.

It is only a few thousand dollars, usually, to give a home to a child genuinely in need of a family, to become a mother. You seem great at fundraising and that money could be used to help another mother be saved from this life of pain.

I empathize with your loss. Will you empathize with mine? Or will you refuse to because my loss stands in the way of your selfish desires? Look at yourself in the mirror. What does that make you?

Below are my personal thoughts and feelings in regards to relating to the above article.

I feel very much the same, if I had written this I would not agree that I am angry and bitter.  I am disgusted with the inhumane and unethical treatment of human beings, of mothers and newborn babies and the marketing and propaganda that fuels the beliefs of society allowing a highly profitable adoption industry to dig deep into hopeful adoptive parents pockets.  I am a mother of loss who believed she had a choice. I believed I had atleast 2 days after my son was born to make a choice. I was denied that time, I was blindsided just 7 hours after giving birth, I was bullied into signing a paper, told not to joke when I said I felt out of it, I don’t even remember much if anything after that, its all a surreal blur.  At the time I wasn’t even alert and awake enough to realize I was being bullied.  It took about 4 weeks as the hormones cleared and along with that my brain cleared of the hormonal fog and I began asking myself How did I let this Happen?  Please stop the madness and abuse and allow mothers time to choose AFTER they give birth. 

Fuel for opening minds…

Just this morning I was thinking about catalysts and egos.  Where do they fit in with the adoption issues which I feel compelled to educate about, although scared to  do so sometimes.   Am I the ego or am I standing up to the combined ego of societies beliefs, adoption propoganda and archaic laws?  It’s a continuous struggle with in, all I can do is follow my heart and my heart says….. assist, educate, speak my truth, let go of fear. Where do your beliefs about adoption come from?

Are you adopted or a father or mother who is separated from her child by adoption?  Do you know only what you hear in advertisements? Give a better life to the baby, its a loving choice, get crisis pregnancy help, which by the way,  no pregnancy is a crisis unless you treat it as one,  please stop doing that to women, regardless of thier age whether it be 16 or 39, its hard enough being pregnant in a supportive environment, creating a crisis environment is unfair and emotionally abusive so cut it out.

If you want to learn more about adoption from people who have experienced its long term effects directly please visit the pages below.  Be prepared you might hear some personal accounts, thoughts and feelings not generally associated with the traditional marketing materials. Is adoption a loving choice or a form living genocide?

Saving our Sisters

Is Adoption Trauma

Attorneys Against Unlawful Adoptions

Mothers of  Loss (to adoption)

International Association of Survivors of Adoption Loss

Search Angel Priscilla Sharp  (helps reunite people separated by adoption)

Concerned United Birthparents

Musings of a Birthmom

Mommas House (helps young women succeed as mothers)

How Does it Feel to be Adopted

Adopted.com