Why is Adoptee anger legitimate?

Have you ever met an adoptee who somehow struggles to agree that adoption is a thoroughly positive win – win scenario? Have you ever met an adoptee who expresses negative emotions and even an anger you simply cannot understand? If this concept appears perplexing to you then look no further.

While there are many factors to adoption that could be seen as redeeming factors and some even are redeeming factors such as financial prosperity that should not be overlooked there are varying losses suffered by the adoptee that likely are not readily seen by some who do no know the adoption experience the same way as we do.

There are a key number of things that could be lost and will take some work to regain (if possible). The main ones are our biological families, our sense of belonging (and parts of identity relating to this), our nations*, our national culture both historic and contemporary with all the idiosyncrasies that go with it* amongst others.

*international adoptees only

Adoption itself is complex mentally on all parts of the traid** but it can be quite a mental process for the adoptees themselves. Different adoptees come to process their feelings surrounding their adoption at different times and the time spent processing each aspect mentally can differ greatly. It’s therefore possible for the adoptee to be in a stage where they are angry at the situation itself. It’s possible to feel a myriad of feelings and some can overlap.

** the triad is A) biological family B) adoptee C) adoptive family

In many cases the anger is an emotion that will pass after the adoptee has processed their feelings and done what is they need to do to personally find closure and move on. However some can be in this stage for extended periods and some may never leave it entirely. This is OK and a valid way to feel..

If you are not an adoptee and are a bystander then its highly inconsiderate to call an adoptee and angry adoptee, even if on the surface that’s how the situation appears to be. This person will likely have a mental struggle or even a few of them in their head and they may be processing it as best they can but are noticeably experiencing emotional discomfort. This can be true even when steps are being taken to “rectify the situation as best as possible” by the adoptee.

Many of us feel as though on some level held back by the “adoption is all flowers and rainbows” narrative offered by society at large. While most of us would admit to there being positives included in the experience most feel that should not take away our legitimate right to feel upset (or even angry) and even voice our feelings in order to let them out. This narrative can overbear us and some can grow immensely tired of “soothing other people” when we ourselves quite rightly have concerns to tend to of our own.

In adoptees depression as not uncommon and the adoptee suicide rate is higher than that of non adopted persons. There can be vast gaps in one’s sense of self and belonging which can evoke strong feelings including depression. Extended periods of depression can ultimately turn into suicidal ideation. Please think about telling us “how to feel” before you do so as these issues are very real for a lot of us and you could potentially cause more damage, even if you are unaware you are.

Samantha Eaton

La Reina Razonable

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Alternate Indoor Activities – Drawing

20160703_170857Something I admit to having done fairly rarely recently but admit there are a lot of benefits to. Drawing is an artistic hobby that is fairly popular with many lovers of arts and craft related hobbies. There are many reasons why people like to draw and many positives to drawing also.

To communicate with the outside world in an art form Lot of people use drawings and paintings to communicate their thoughts and abstract ideas through these art forms.

To express your feelings and let them out We all experience a lot of feelings from euphoria to depression and many varying emotions in between. Many choose to draw to express both feelings of happiness and feelings of sadness as a way of bringing those events to life. With feelings of sadness this can bring about a release of these feelings.

Meditation and searching for peace and serenity for many drawing is a way of connecting with an inner sense of peace “after a long days work and tending to the kids”. It’s a way of entering a relaxed state where many or all life worries are put on hold for a short period while drawing.

A means to have fun while being practical If your like me and you only watch television in the winter or bad weather days you’ll still want to have things to replace it with. Drawing is another means to enjoy yourself while getting those practical juices flowing. You might even be able to draw with the TV or Radio on in the background if that helps you reach that place of relaxation ready to get into the mood to draw. This is a hobby that can be enjoyed by both children and adults alike and is one of the few avenues where an adult can tap into their sense of imagination!

Improved self-esteem From the most advanced works to the most basic works, there is a self-esteem element involved in the drawing hobby. A child will naturally feel better about themselves having created a drawing of a flower and a greater sense of self esteem can be gained no matter the skill level or theme of drawing. Colouring books exist and are excellent for those with no desire to start from scratch or have motor function problems. These books have multiple pictures to colour and many include the ability to remove the completed picture from the book for display around the house.

Greater clarity of mind As well as relaxing the mind it can be a good way to think of ways to resolve issues in life should this be what you wish to use it for. Drawing will often de-stress you allowing for the ability to think clearly about a life problem. Drawing may help some people feel as though they are getting their issues out of thier head and into the world (via the paper) and this can be a release of the stronger emotions allowing for greater scope of how to deal with the issues one might be facing.

Well its time to get out the drawing books

Samantha Eaton

La Reina Razonable

Maximise your enjoyment of Art

20160703_160349I absolutely can’t get enough of art. It’s a real cultural gem that is capable of expanding your cultural horizons.

There are a number of ways you can aim to enhance your enjoyment of Art whether you’re a self-confessed Art lover or someone who is doing their first museum or art festival visit.

Read the guide or listen to the audio guide if possible. Most well established museums and galleries have these and they can be worth it to help you understand the context and background story to a piece. If you don’t fancy paying the extra then there are usually explanations that go with many of the major works and sets of works.

Listen to the human guides from time to time These bring a differing perspective as they often include their perspectives about the pieces and this can expand the overall perspectives surrounding the works. If you don’t have the desire to stick with the guide guy/gal then be sure to keep an eye on where they are so you know when they get to the work you have a burning desire to know more about.

Form your own sense of what a piece means to you While the perspective of a human guide might help to open your horizons a key facet to enjoying art is to “connect with it” on your own terms. Simply put this means to try to forget about other things and just “be with the piece” mentally and see “how you personally relate to it” and what it “conjures up for you”.

Exploration of abstract art may be beneficial to some. While these works have been heavily criticised by some they could serve as a way of practising “just being” with the art and getting a feeling for what this piece means and represents to you.

Find a style that resonates with you Once you have seen a fair few museums, galleries and fairs there will no doubt be areas of the art world you truly love and those you don’t. There are many artist’s, styles, techniques, periods, regions and some will truly be your thing while others won’t pique your interest in the slightest. I for example have little interest for art depicting war as I’m anti-war for example but am besotted with paintings and depictions of mediterranean european architecture.

Find art in everyday life Sure, Organised art galleries and festivals are great but don’t limit yourself to these or you’ll be missing out! There is art to be found in  vintage motorcycles to multicolored cars parked in equally unusual places. There is even art form to be found in such things as adult colouring books. The possibilities are endless with a bit of imagination and the right eye.

Do some research beforehand, if possible. I’m sure many see this as boring and I can understand why, However it helps if you know what’s there so you have a basic idea of what you are likely to see. I believe this could make your experience more enjoyable than turning up knowing nothing and hoping to figure it all out on the day. Having a small amount of knowledge pre visit will help with knowing which special or once off exhibits are in the gallery.

If doing an all day visit stop for coffee and a bite to eat Most of the bigger and established galleries have cafeterias where you can stop for a croissant and a coffee. This will help you not only slow down but also stop and talk about the pieces you liked and related to if with a companion. Art is something to be enjoyed and not rushed.

Gain an appreciation for techniques used in production Many art forms from Pabeo to Murano Glass have varying methods used to produce that type of art form. Some galleries have videos and boards detailing the production methods and even the smaller ones may have someone familiar with the production techniques that you can speak to in person. I was lucky to once find the artist who created a piece I was fond of and she told me about the techniques for that work and pieces like it. Background information like that is nice to know.

Samantha Eaton

La Reina Razonable