The Difference in Today, Feeling the Feels

I’ve come to a recent discovery after doing some self-reflection that I am someone that takes longer than your average person to process feelings, especially ones that are considered heavy or disheartening. I’m naturally a BIG feeler and a deep thinker.

While discovering this, it has been said that this is a “hang-up” or a “bad thing.” As I ask myself, “am I defective for taking so long to process things?” or “is something wrong with me for taking so long to process things?” I’ve been trying to process why I am this way, and I had an epiphany this morning.

I take longer than the average person to process things, because I’m feeling the feelings and processing them. I’m not side stepping or avoiding truly feeling and processing feelings. I’m doing the work, I’m evaluating my part, and caring enough about myself to not rush the process. This is self-care. This is self-love. This is putting myself first, and in return I can show up for others in a more grounded way. I spent 27 years drinking alcohol to numb my reality, to escape.

While running, I didn’t have to put in the work to feel the feelings and process the pain. I jumped from one shit storm to another for 27 years. I didn’t show up but a shell of me did. Avoidance worked until I decided I wanted to get real with myself, and all the problems I had been running from for 27+ years showed up at my front doorstep. I could only run for so long… 27 years is ALONG TIME!

The difference in today…

Today, I’m no longer running home to drink so I don’t have to feel. A shell of me is no longer showing up, but all of me is, along with my imperfections. As I approach a 9-year milestone in my recovery and alcohol-free journey (8/13/12) I am taking note of the way things are for me now, verses the way things used to be. I’m no longer depending on alcohol to take the pain away; I’m depending on myself to put in the work to do that.

This takes a while.

I’m not a robot.

While others might say this is a negative thing, or something they can’t live with or tolerate, I can say I’m proud of myself and how far I’ve come. It’s taken a lot of self-work, blood sweat and tears to learn how to process real and raw feelings after spending 27 years escaping them. No one has shown me how to do this, I have no mother, father, siblings, aunts, or uncles pouring into me. I have figured it out on my own.

Let me add, responding after a trauma response is triggered, is a whole new beast. Acknowledging the problem is half the battle. Admitting and committing to help is another piece of the battle. I’m a work in progress as we all are but I’m not sitting in denial. I have work to do.

It’s all a part of the growth process, I think. As we grow and move forward in life, we discover new things about ourselves. Some of them will make us pick our face up off the floor, and some we ease right on into depending on the circumstances. We’re all a work in progress, and we’ve all adapted to life’s circumstances using survival skills, some healthy and some unhealthy. It’s up to each of us to put in the time, work, and effort to figure out new ways to work things out, especially when the old ways don’t necessarily serve us a great purpose.

Sharing because if I’m ever late to the party, likely I’m over here processing and feeling the feels just so I can show up at all. But when I show up, I will show up with all of me. Not fragments or broken up pieces of me like I did for 27 years. I won’t show up avoiding my reality, masking my feelings with alcohol. I call it self-loyalty and being true to me. It’s not for everyone to accept and not everyone will understand this. That’s okay. I’ve accepted I’m not for everyone.

My main focus is on being true to me. Then, I can show up genuinely for others in a more well rounded way. Wherever you are in your healing and processing journey, be easy on yourself. You are right where you need to be. 💛

Pamela A. Karanova

2021 – A New Year, A New Chapter

It’s time to turn the page

We’re winding up 2020, which could very well be the worst year of many of our lives. It’s been so weird, in so many ways, that most of the time, I don’t even have the right words to share how this year has made me feel. Today I will do my best to try.

It’s been a year of feeling for me. It’s been a year of independence, growth, and prioritizing commitments. It’s been a year of pruning relationships out that no longer serve a purpose. It’s been a year to focus on being true to myself. It’s been a year to set boundaries and to bring visions to life. It’s been a year of isolation and aloneness. This year has been so complicated and filled with a million layers. I’ve experienced highs and lows and just about every emotion in between, as I’m sure many of us have.

But if you’re reading this, you made it, and I made it. We’ve survived. But I never want to forget all the people who didn’t. So many people have lost so much, and my heart truly aches for them and their families.

One of the things I can share is that this year, personally, hasn’t been a year that was much different for me than most years when it comes to feeling alone and isolated. I’ve been feeling that way my entire life, from adoption. I’ve talked to many adoptees, and they feel the same way. We’re the kings and queens of adaption. We’ve handled it like a camp, just blending in, in the background. Other’s of us completely lost our sh*t. I’ve experienced a mixture of both.

While this new transition has rocked the world of many, it’s not new for many of my fellow adoptees and me. I’ve learned to adapt to this way of life from as far back as I can remember. My adoptee experience is described as being alone on an island, and it’s just the way it is because it’s the way it’s been for my entire life.

While 2021 is right around the corner, I have several new topics I plan to write about this year. I’ve been slacking on writing on my website, but only because I have so many other things going on with Adoptees Connect, Inc. It’s hard to find the time, but writing is one of the most therapeutic healing tools I have yet to find, so I am making a recommitment to myself to pick back up on writing as a healing tool for myself.  

Some topics I hope to write about:

  • Religious Trauma Syndrome
  • Open Adoptions being Closed by AP’S
  • Religion & Adoption
  • Relinquishee vs. Adoptee
  • Adoptee in Recovery/AA/NA/Celebrate Recovery
  • Dual Mother Wounds for Adoptees
  • Healing Tools for the Mother Wound
  • Adoptees & Mental Health
  • Deconversion & Religion
  • Articles to Birth Parents & Adoptive Parents
  • Mother Nature AKA Mother Earth & Healing Adoptee Pain
  • Adoptee Attachment vs. Adoptee Connection
  • Generational Relinquishment & Adoption Trauma
  • Being Brave – Sharing Your Adoptee Story

These are just a few things that come to my mind. I’ve never written about some of these topics, yet only shared my feelings with a small circle of close friends. It’s taken me years of self-reflection and processing to get to a space where I feel comfortable sharing some of my feelings associated with these topics.

Adoption isn’t the only thing in life we come out of the fog about.

When adoptees come to a place in their journeys where they embrace a journey of sharing their voices, it’s so important the adoption community come together to support them. Getting to this space can take a lifetime for many of us.

This year has been one of the most challenging years of many of our lives, and I hope we exit out of 2020 with a newfound hope that 2021 has to be better. I haven’t set myself up for the false hope that as soon as midnight hits on 12/31/20 like a magic wand, everything will be back to “normal.” I don’t think the normal as we once knew it will ever return.

However, hope is on the horizon that things will be better. At least that’s what I’m hanging onto, a sliver of hope I’ve found among the fear, heartache, and pain I’ve experienced this year.

What are you looking forward to this year?

For me, I’m hopeful that in the early spring, our Adoptees Connect – Lexington, KY group will be back at meeting in person again.  I’m confident that I will have many more outdoor adventures, and my soul will be filled with the great outdoors, which brings me great joy. I’m hopeful love will continue to knock on my door, and be an experience that I’ve never had before. More memories with my kids will be made, and I feel I will cherish my health more, and I will continuously be consciously aware of what I consume, and put in my body. I will focus on my health, and happiness and not just what everyone sees on the outside either. I will continue to set hella boundaries, and I will stop explaining these boundaries to others, as well as stop explaining myself and my reasoning when most of the time, people could care less. I will take my time in responding, being on time and accurate because I can allow myself grace to make mistakes. I will tap the breaks when new people come into my life, so I can learn them before I make a decision to just let them in my life.

Not everyone deserves to be in our lives.

I feel the sorrow we’ve experienced in 2020 will linger on for a lifetime, however a new day will bring new joys. A new year will bring new goals. New people will bring new memories. Turning the page will allow us to embrace new challenges, new fears and new hopes for 2021. As you see, I’ve accepted that it might not be all rainbows and unicorns, and things won’t likely ever get back to “normal” however, I’ve also accepted that I have many things to look forward too and that’s where I hang my hat. Hope 2021 will be better than 2020.

I hope the same for you!

If you’ve made it this far, I thank you for taking the time to read my article. I wish you and your family a peaceful transition as we roll into 2021. A special THANK YOU to each of you who support my work, writings, and missions. Without you, I wouldn’t be here because your support means everything!

When a “Birth” Mother Lies & Keeps Secrets…

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After 41.5 years I am still trying to fix the mistakes of my birth mother.

In her eyes “It was the best choice”.

In my eyes it’s been the biggest nightmare and loss of my life.

41 years ago I was a secret to everyone around. Her shame was too big. Her guilt probably enormous. I have tried to put myself in her shoes back in 1974. She made probably one of the hardest decisions of her life. I have accepted her decision. She did what the industry told her would be THE BEST FOR ME…

Hand me over to strangers.

But what they failed to tell her was the lifelong grief, loss, abandonment, rejection & trauma I would experience because of HER CHOICE.

I HAVE HOPE IN HEALING BECAUSE GOD IS MY HEALER!

Her choice was to keep who my biological father was hidden. Not just from me, but from HIM. She CHOSE FOR ME AND FOR HIM that we could never lay eyes on one another, never celebrate a Father’s Day or Holiday together. She CHOSE for us both that we would never have a relationship.

SHE DID THAT.

Because of her SECRET he knew nothing about me.

Naturally I want to know Him! I want to find him!

Because He knew nothing about me when I showed up at his door,

HE HAS DENIED I’M HIS DAUGHTER FOR THE 16 YEARS HE’S KNOWN ABOUT ME. 

WHY?

BECAUSE MY BIRTH MOTHER KEPT THE PREGNANCY A SECRET. I WAS GIVEN UP FOR ADOPTION WITHOUT HIS CONSENT.

“FATHER UNKNOWN”

WAS A LIE!

How do we teach our kids not to lie but adoption is filled with lies and deception?

Explain that to me?

I wonder how many women FALSELY put “FATHER UNKNOWN” on their child’s birth certificate knowing they were lying, being deceptive, keeping life changing information hidden for years to come?

My birth father has known about me since 1999. He’s had 16 years to get to the bottom of the truth. But because of MY BIRTH MOTHERS DECISION he is skeptical I show up on his door step and tell him I’m his daughter! Do you blame him? I don’t?

He has said over and over “what are we gonna do get a blood test 30-40 years later?!”

Actually DNA is so much more advanced now, I was able to get a DNA test without his DNA which linked me 2x to his family tree by his family surname.

BIRTH MOTHERS CAN LIE AND KEEP SECRETS ALL THEY WANT BUT DNA DOESN’T LIE!

THE TRUTH ALWAYS COMES TO LIGHT!

ALWAYS!

“For all that is secret will eventually be brought into the open, and everything that is concealed will be brought to light and made known to all.”- Luke 8:17

You can read my last attempt to deliver him the DNA confirmation here.

A follow up to that post is basically Father Felix stopped communication with me. 100% cold turkey.

Heartbroken All Over Again.

Regardless I never knew if he delivered the DNA Results. So I decided in one last attempts to FIX WHAT MY BIRTH MOTHER LIED ABOUT I needed to make sure my birth father knew the TRUTH that I am his daughter. I have decided to mail the DNA results on my own along with a letter and a photo.

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WHAT DO I HAVE TO LOOSE?

Absolutely NOTHING!

I went through a phase where I had given up. I lost all hope. I just couldn’t deal with any more rejection from my biological family but I prayed about it and something happened.

God gave me a fresh new wind to give it one last shot.

What am I expecting?

ABSOLUTELY NOTHING.

But this is something I need to do for myself. There has always been that uncertainty as far as my birth father is concerned. He didn’t know if I was REALLY his or not! Think about it, he would have to face the past and take accountability for his actions. He fathered a child out of wedlock, in the 70’s. He might feel shame or remorse, he might not care at all! Either way I am not mad at him, but I can’t imagine not wanting to get right with my only daughter before I die! He’s 77 for God’s sake.

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Do we look alike?

Regardless of what he does or doesn’t do after he receives the TRUTH I have done my part. I have spent 41 years in agony and those days are over for me. If he knows I’m his only biological daughter and HE STILL DENIES ME

I AM FINISHED!

I will leave the door open, but I am walking away.

So what happens when a birth mother lies and keeps secrets?

IT ONLY HURTS THE ADOPTEE AND IT HURTS US GREATLY! IT DOESN’T JUST GO AWAY. IT’S A LIFE LONG STRUGGLE. IF THE ADOPTION AGENCIES AND ADOPTION COUNSELORS ARE TELLING YOU OTHERWISE THEY ARE LYING TO YOU. I AM ADOPTED AND I KNOW WHAT IT FEELS LIKE. I WOULDN’T WISH IT ON MY WORST ENEMY!

I MAILED THIS PACKET TO MY BIRTH FATHER TODAY. AFTER 42 YEARS IF HE STILL DENIES ME IT’S HIS LOSS. BUT PLEASE SAY A PRAYER FOR ME AND A PRAYER FOR HIM.

WHAT HAS IT BEEN LIKE HAVING A FATHER OUT THERE THAT IS ALIVE BUT I CAN’T HAVE A RELATIONSHIP WITH HIM BECAUSE ADOPTION STOLE HIS RIGHTS AND STOLE A CHANCE AT US GETTING TO KNOW EACH OTHER? LIKE GRIEVING THE LOSS OF SOMEONE WHO IS ALIVE. HAVE YOU EVER DONE IT? ADOPTEES HAVE TO LIVE WITH THIS DAILY AND THE ADOPTIVE PARENTS CAN PRETEND ITS NOT THERE BECAUSE WE DON’T TALK ABOUT IT…

LET ME SHARE YOU ALL ARE THE LAST PEOPLE I WOULD SHARE THESE FEELINGS WITH. THAT WOULD BE A TOTALLY DIFFERENT BLOG POST.

FOR ALL THE BIRTH MOTHERS/FIRST MOTHERS OUT THERE WHO MIGHT BE READING- IF YOU ARE KEEPING ANY SECRETS OR LYING PLEASE RECONSIDER.

EVERYONE DESERVES THE TRUTH NO MATTER HOW HARD IT IS.

EVERYONE DESERVES TO KNOW WHERE THEY COME FROM.

WE CAN’T HEAL UNLESS WE HAVE OUR TRUTH!

ALL OF IT!

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