A week after My Decision To Be Brave I walked into Preparation Group. 4 days, spread out over 2 weeks and I was both excited and feeling nervous. There was no doubt that a lot of my anxieties were based on a foundation that still rocks, that says I am being judged and will not be good enough.
Failure to Thrive and Fear of Rejection are at the very core of my being. Intertwinned, locked together for strength and reliability, they lie dormant at times.
Then the strike comes.
A battle from deep within rages with swords waging as they rear their ugly heads. A battle of the war of wills I face it head on when potential new relationships are formed, I still have a tendancy to look at people and categorise them as either friend or foe, depending on whether they smile at me or not. I also face these fears head on when I talk about my past and fear or over anticipate their reactions and hvae the fear of rejection again when I am at an interview for a job. Remembering the interview panel naked technique never works very well for me. I see them as naked with machine guns. Really. Not a pretty sight!
Over timewith lots of investment from others and with age and growth, I have grown in my own confidence in myself and a growing belief and assurance in who I am. My Identity. I have learned skills and gathered trusted tools that I use automatically to help the fall out lessen and for me to sometimes slay a few of my demons and lessen the noise of skeletons rattling or monsters with green turned out toes emerging from cupboards.
Of course, not all my trusted tools I use are the best but they are ones that I have used and relied on, at times, for a lifetime.
Laughter and humour and being the life and soul of the party can be a mask from behind which I hide and pretend that I am OK. Agression and being defensive, bolshy and brash are a wall or a garage door that closes and surrounds me, locking me in secure, preserving my heart in a fridge so that I feel no pain. No one can hurt me from within here. Shut down and lock down. On the outside I am prickly and push others away. A hedgehog is too cute. Prickly dinosaur, maybe.
The labels of Premature Birth, Rejected, Abandoned, Adopted, Single, Divorced, Childless, Hoping to adopt are what I wear like medals of war. The reality is I am more than a survivor.
In place of the question marks of survival, the question mark of aabandonment, has been the huge eraser that over time has gently and firmly removed and lessened their grip and their hold on my life.
In place of failure to thrive is Life, thrive, survive.
In place of abandonment and rejection is love and welcome, acceptance, family, belonging.
Identity works hand in hand alongside the labels of premature birth, adopted, single, divorced.
They are part of who I am.
Rather than try and bury them, I embrace them.
I remember who I am. Me. I am fearfully and wonderfully made. I am my own person, whole and complete, with many skills and life experiences all attached like strings to my bow, arrayed beautifully like useful tools in my toolbox of life. Deep treasure within. I am outgoing, friendly, skilled, qualified, experienced and will use all these skills to my best advantage. And I want to adopt. And I have been invited here.
Preparation Group, here I come.
I walk through the door and confront my inner fears of being single versus all the others being in a couple and hold my head high, remembering the many triumphs that have formed and shaped me into the woman I am today.
I was the only single adopter in the group but some of the other couples were really friendly. The group work sessions and times for coffee and lunch together were good for networking. I remember thinking at the time that this was my equivalent opportunity to make friends with other prospective adopters like my friends who have attended antenatal classes. This is it.
It didnt quite work out though, the building of friendships, sadly. Some dropped out after the first 2 days of the preparation group and the second wave of the preparation group for the following 2 days was with a completely different set of people. Again, all couples, who seemed quiet and not terribly chatty throughout the whole 2 days.
I wasn't worried. I was growing in the confidence that I was going theough this adoption process on my own and finding my own 2 feet and standing firmly in the affirmation of myself.
I can do this and I am doing this.
I did really enjoiy the 4 days of preparation group.
I learned some keys and some answers to some of my questions. Hoorah!