adopted

All posts tagged adopted

Silence…..Isn’t as Quiet as You Think

Published July 21, 2015 by Liz Ault

You may have heard the latest “buzz words.” Silent illnesses. “What’s the matter with him?” “She is parked in handicapped and even has a placard, but she’s walking in fine.”

I have dealt with many silent illnesses for most of my life. Abuse came first. But the short sleeved uniform blouse was just long enough to cover the fingernail stabs in my upper arms. High enough that no one would see, but hell, even if they had, back in those days, the nuns never would have called authorities.

That was accompanied by verbal attacks. “You are so stupid.” “You will never amount to anything.” “I can tell you aren’t my blood – never would have happened.”

At this point, knowing that I was adopted gave me hope and filled me with despair. I didn’t fit in anywhere.

As an adoptee, I was much taller than my mom by the third grade. That stopped the half-moon fingernail piercing on my upper arms.

When I was in the first grade, my uncle, who was a priest, was the assistant pastor at my grade school. The nun who had my first grade class seemed to think it would impress my uncle if she found me doing something I shouldn’t do. Little crap, like chewing my pencil in half. Or, being called on in class to answer a question – and you had to stand up to reply – that was the day we were allowed to bring Christmas albums to school and I sat back down on the album. This nun took me on the walk of shame several times that year – leaving the other kids (59 of them) alone, so she could mortify me. I still remember 55 years later standing in front of my uncle’s office door as the nun knocked each time. I never remember what happened after he opened the door.

Grade school was finally over – only other thing of mention was my youngest brother was born between sixth and seventh grade year. I had one year of non-Catholic education and attended public junior high.

We moved the summer before I started 8th grade, so a new school. I was hopeful. But I think I was also cursed. I had zero confidence in myself at this point.

Got through high school. Shit still happened, but nothing to really add here. I went to several different local colleges. I was engaged by 19, so was trying to find something that I could to add income while he went to law school.

That relationship didn’t make it to the altar. And my next life-defining thing happened. I was 22 and raped. Raped on a college campus in rural Nebraska while visiting my brother. It may sound stupid to some, but I was so grateful when the term PTSD came into our vocabulary. I’m 60 and still have remnants of the July of 1977. Silence? Yup. Went back to my motel room and squatted in the shower for four hours. Hot water lasted about 10 minutes.

Fast forward. Did marry for about 7 years – never could commit myself longer than that. Too many ghosts. In that time I had two beautiful children. He was a reservist. His unit was not called up for the first Persian Gulf War, but he volunteered. I felt abandoned yet again. We divorced about a year later.

When I was 18, I ended up with a bleeding ulcer. I lost 4 units of blood, and received 3. The next year was hospitalized again with ulcerative colitis. I still deal with that. If you ever see a person doing a fast walk leaning backwards, give them the right-of-way – they are heading to the Target/Walmart/any bathroom and afraid to death that they will shit their pants.

I move forward to the 2000’s. Think my undoing started in about 2003-4. The great thing was that all IT people at my company were regularly given raises from 1998-2001. My salary grew substantially. Y2K was my friend.

Was in my mid-forties at this point. I was the only female in my group and also the youngest by at least 10 years. My supervisos wanted me to give up some of my regular work (PBX, auto-attendant and programming) to these soon to be retired asses. My spirit was stolen. When all was said and done, by 2004 I was a highly paid billing clerk.

My body ached. My joints hurt. And I was confused. My PTST kicked in even more hard core than ever. I just didn’t understand why my body was betraying me. In Friday, the 13th of July, 2007, I walked out the door of my work. Didn’t tell anyone I was leaving, I just left. It was about 2:00 (normal leaving time for me was 3).

It took many doctors and many appointments to be diagnosed with severe anxiety (silent), fibromyalgia (major silent), depression, etc. I was fortunate then I had a physician who was willing to work my case as a disability and it went through the first time.

I was on a leave of absence from July of 2007 to the end of May 2008. I was granted retirement. My LTD was fought for a year and didn’t succeed, but SSD did.

This brings me to more recent times. Since February/March I have gone to Urgent Care with total dizziness, vertigo and vomiting. Each time they saw water in my ear and prescribed antibiotics. GUESS WHAT??? Silence.

I’ve been diagnosed (dx) with Meniere’s disease. Brings silence to a new level. When I’m in an episode, I often can’t hear anything. The others symptoms vary with the episode, I don’t always have all of them, but even just a few bring my life to a standstill.

My other silence factor? I smoked for 40 years and in the last 10 years was just under 4 packs a week. I stopped smoking 19-Nov-2013, but still suffer from hard core COPD. And that is why I have a disabled placard for my car. SO QUIT F*CKING STARING AT ME when I walk into the gym or the grocery. OK??

SILENCE IS GOLDEN, except when it isn’t.

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TBT? For Real?

Published September 11, 2014 by Liz Ault

#TBT I have no picture. Okay I lie. I have pictures. I find none of them give me a pull to post. Done the kids as babies.  Done myself as a baby. Done the siblings as babies. I’m eight days from a smoking update (don’t worry, still smoke free, for now and ever more) – so no need to do those numbers now.

I struggled with watching a very slow demolition of a house that good or bad, belonged to the family since the mid 50’s. I personally lived in it the longest. It had good memories, it had horrible memories – but still my memories. Same for my kids – probably more bad than good.

Feeling a bit deflated today, and that is very okay. Days like that happen. No human can be up 100%, not possible.

So, all that said (and believe me it’s a reader’s digest version) I have to allow myself the permission to pat my own damned back. Odds were against me from the get go. LOL “Get Go” means over 59 years ago.

Okay one share – when I was about 17, my dad and I had a rare intimate conversation. I was sitting on the corner of a counter and he was facing me. He said, and I quote, “Lizzie, you are my child that started out with the least and made the most of yourself.” I was, obviously, still in high school. Yet in 42 years I’ve never forgotten that moment. But I’ve always appreciate his insight – that he wasn’t blind to my struggles – and he wasn’t blind to the treatment of my adoptive mom (his bride).

Maybe it’s the anniversary of the day that hasn’t affected me the same way since the shooting of JFK. Those days that you will always remember where you were.

Anyone who is still reading, please, please, please, reach out to us baby boomers who lack the confidence to high five our own damned selves!! High five for us!!

Over and out!

Who do I think I am?

Published June 2, 2014 by Liz Ault

Still day one. Still trying to get my arms around the basics. Seems part of that is to discover or figure out why I’m doing this in the first place. My world is small, very small. There are only a handful of people in this small world of mine. But, with that said, there is a huge world out there. There are things in my background and experience that could help others. There are ways that I can make a difference.

I’m retired now. My last and longest job was in IT supporting the telecommunications infrastructure both at the home office and remote locations. When I left that job I was broken. The recovery was a slow one. It’s not complete, but I no longer feel broken. Not exactly fixed either, but most importantly not broken.

I kept diaries and journals most of my life. They actually helped me to cope with a very dysfunctional childhood. As an adult, they helped me get my thoughts together and “think” through what to do or how to act. The problem with diaries and journals are who they can or can’t help. They are only for me. Once I’m dead, I guess my kids will know more of my life adventures both good and bad, happy and sad. It’s time for me to reach out of my comfort zone. That has to be one of the perks of growing old. Worrying about the judgement of others lessens with age.

Some of what I hope to do is to cover some subjects close and dear to me. As I’ve muddled around the site the last few days, I’ve noticed a subject that has influenced me more than anything is adoption. When I used it as a key word I got pages and pages of posts about cats and dogs. Animal adoption events. Animal adoption experiences. Maybe I just didn’t enter enough information, but I saw nothing about human adoption. So, I’m guessing this is where I’ll probably start. There have to be people out there who want to share the adoption experience. And mine was not a Hallmark experience.

Another subject, or matter, or pet peeve is how little information is available about male breast cancer. I hope to be a voice on this also.

A year from now, I want to look back and feel like I’ve made a bit of a difference, even if only to myself.

Who Cares?

Published June 2, 2014 by Liz Ault

Procrastination brought me here today. Blog page created last October – today is the first entry.

Tomorrow will be the completion of my 59th year of life. 365 days until the big six-o. Why now? Who knows! I spend far too much time thinking about what I’m going to do. I have some really great ideas – I have ZERO follow through.

That was until November 19, 2013 when I smoked my last cigarette. That was until late January when I joined a gym and hired a trainer. That was until I realized this weekend that I already had a word press page….

Then to overcome the “who cares what I have to say”, you know, that thing that keeps you frozen in place. What do I have to say? Let’s see.

  • Guess I could talk about a life as an adoptee. For those who don’t know what that is, it is a part of the adoption triad (triangle). It’s the top – pointy tip – of the triangle. An adoptee is the person who was adopted. The bottom two corners are for the birth parent(s) and  adoptive parent(s). It encompasses all of my life and has been part of the biggest stall in my growth through the years as well as the catalyst for the largest growth.
  • The journey of going from a two-pack a day, 40-year addiction to a NON-smoker. What a journey it has been. I left updates on my Facebook page along the way and ended up with over 60 people who followed this life change. I chose to go cold turkey. No patches, e-cigs or vaping for me.
  • Women. Great subject. Why don’t we support each other more? Why are we so critical of ourselves and each other? Why haven’t baby boomers been taught how to age?
  • Bullying and its long term effects. How it makes you feel doesn’t stop because you: a) changed schools; b) graduated; c) moved to a new neighborhood; d) became an adult.
  • Anxiety, panic attacks and other “mental” health issues

Guess I came up with a few conversations starters, and have completed my first post/blog. Wow. I actually did it.