There was some action recently on Facebook that surprised me. I’ve never been bullied or openly attacked, so at least now I know what that feels like.
It’s so easy to shut a person down. Take a second grader and tell him he can’t write when he shows you a story, or take a first grader and tell her she’s cute but she’s clearly not an artist when she hands you a drawing of her house and chances are good you just erased the possibility of that person growing up into a writer or an illustrator.
One comment can be a can of water on a fragile flame.
Adopted people, if they interpreted relinquishment as trauma, if their body/mind believes the mother gave them up because they weren’t good enough to keep, may well be fragile flames their entire lives. This is one reason it’s so easy for them to be triggered: show up late, don’t acknowledge them when you walk into a room, say something that makes them feel invisible, and it’s like the whole world collapses for them and you are left standing there, gobsmacked. What is all this about? Why are you losing your mind because I was ten minutes late? I understand this is also true for most of the world, but it's an intensified experience for those who were relinquished by their mother. Again, there are many ways for a mother to relinquish a child, and this is a reason so many people relate to adoptees.
Adopted people have a lot to teach the world. We show you that, at heart, we are all children who need love and acceptance to thrive and who are fearful of being abandoned. While we as adopted people are incredibly strong for having survived a trauma and the subsequent life we must lead where we and those around us are generally clueless as to why we are the way we are (Why aren’t you more grateful that you were adopted? We are you still talking about what happened when you were a baby?) we are also incredibly vulnerable for our nervous systems are just waiting for the traumatic event to happen again.
(And no, not every adopted person is like this. But enough are. Most, from what I can tell.)
I was reminded today how much kindness matters. My friend Janet Nordine said she thinks kindness can change the world, and I believe that. What if we are like balloons, and unkindess is a pin and kindness is a soft breeze?
Any time I pop someone else, I am popping myself. I understand we live in a world now where the President of our country feels it is a reasonable thing to call people names and live as a walking pin, but that is not my world.
That is a story I am not buying.
My guts like generosity and peace and love. Duh.
See you tomorrow.