A Light in the Darkness

It’s been an interesting start to 2022. Seeing a new Chapter of my life start without my beloved Dad, but life has to go on. Starting a new job , loving it and it’s for a Charity that helped Dad in the end stage of his life which makes me love it even more.

Schools went back then within days my girl gets bloody Covid19. Thank goodness had a jab as really poorly with it as it is. I do think anyone who is a Covid19 sceptic should see her right now as it’s really unpleasant

I’m hopeful I’ve made a breakthrough in how to communicate with my Mother ,and my brothers, without putting myself in harm’s way. I arranged a family zoom meeting yesterday which worked well..With both brothers there I felt less vulnerable for verbal attack and actually enjoyed the catch up. Maybe that’s the solution going forward. After an upsetting visit around my Birthday (Christmas) I struggled with how 2022 was going to look . Fingers crossed this could work as a Covid19 safe, Emotional safe , Anxiety free space for my adoptive family.

Since Dad died I’ve felt his approval for my distancing from my Mother’s behavior. “Hate the behavior not the person” right. His undeniable loyalty to her was amazing but I’m sure the face she showed him was rarely the face she shows the world . That makes me feel sad for him even now. And sad for her. It’s got to be exhausting showing yourself as someone you believe to be a better person that you feel inside. Yet he still adored her despite the likely control.

I recognize her fragility, her insecurity and her own sense of disappointment. I wish for her she could look inside and be true to herself. I’ve never stopped feeling the need to have her approval…her pride in me.. even just to feel genuine love for me as her child. Even if this is deep within her , it’s never been felt or shown . That will always hurt but I have to swallow it as it hurts only me, I realize that now. I’m working on that not mattering to me, it’s a work in progress..at great expense! I laugh with my Therapist that even my Counseling is about her!! I must be quite the cash cow as so many webs to unpick all in one person. He’s proud of how far I’ve come…from a daily weeper.. to a knowledge worker on all things Narcissist!! But he’s still a long way to go with this psyche. I’m yet to believe I’m worthy or good enough or even a valuable person in the world. Hopefully it will come. For now I’m just trying to figure out how to love myself as much as I love my family and friends .

If I could look down on my life from above, maybe where my Dad stands? I see life as offering such promise… opportunity to grow into another character for my book, whilst still being my best self. My family and treasured friends have held my hand throughout what now is my past life.

New hair…I’m reinventing myself…been braided for 20 years…now rocking my inner Chaka Khan with big bouncy curls. New Job.. albeit part time , after working from home over 20 years I am actually going out to work! Feels like I belong in a new world of my choosing. I’m loving it and still enjoy the work I do at home. I’m no longer just Mum, Wife, home maker, cleaner, cook, Uber!!? .. I have a valuable place in a role that gives back. A Charity that sees to it that end of life for people like Dad can pass away in pain free peace with the glow of love around them . I’m honoured I can do something worthwhile and love it at the same time. Feels meaningful. That’s what’s called a “Win Win” 😜

Anyway, while I continue to grieve my Dad, I know he is proud of me. Proud of who I am and how I conduct myself in life. I miss him so much but am happy he’s at peace and free of struggle, pain and despair. I’m certainly proud of him and for his memory I won’t turn my back on my Mother. That would have been the easy thing to do in reality. The more courageous thing is to set strong boundaries and manage our communication to protect myself and my family from upset.

She knows, as do all the people in my life, that finding my biological siblings has given me a place to really belong. Until I had them in my life I knew nothing of how a biological family would look. It’s easy, simple, honest. It’s comfortable, genuine and raw. I’m a big sister and a little sister …I feel loved, oddly admired and accepted like never before. They are all my world and I will never ever make apology for that. They are my family too.

So I continue to straddle the tightrope between my two worlds. That’s just how adopted life has to work.

On one side the family I adored who raised me to be who I was meant to be , yet as I see how different I am from them (not just physically, emotionally, spiritually and intellectually (they’re intellectual not me …I like to think I’m street wise and creative.. works for me anyway!) I realize I need to see myself as worthy, as a good person with a value in the world. I’m trying hard with help for that as still doubt it to be honest. Maybe 2022 will be my turning point?

On the other side of my taut strung tight rope is my biology. My BM who I love like a big sister, she will never be a Mother to me but is equally important. Also the huge tribe of siblings I now have in my life. Only in my world just 4 years yet as if for my whole life. Having known about me all their lives they reached out to find and embrace me. I feel the warmth of their love even in the 2 year gap of meeting due to COVID-19. After 2 years, meeting again was as if we are in each other’s lives daily. An hour long Happy Birthday call on my Birthday , then a Happy New Year video message. These meant so much to me, I cried. They don’t see it as a huge gift. For me it’s the world.

And so 2022 holds new promise. A year to reinvent myself , find a way through the past darkness that descends when least expected. I will navigate the two worlds whilst ensuring they never collide. I will continue to wear two hats, “Biological” and “Adopted”. It’s got to be safer on my mental health to keep these worlds separate, like parallel lines on a train track. Neither harming the other , both spared from the anxiety of trying to find a place in the other. Like a square peg in a round hole…never gonna fit.

Anyway, I wanted to share with you a poem I came across which sums up how my grief for Dad still hangs in my heart , like a black cloud that lifts then descends. I am sharing it here as I know in my head I could hear him saying these very worlds…

A light in the darkness
That’s what I wish to be
When you feel lost and all alone
Let me be the one light you can see

A light to illuminate a path
When you are feeling lost
To never, ever give up hope
No matter what the cost

A light to guide you from the dark
To a better place where you can see
The future is not completely lost
From your burdens you can be free

A light of peace and of hope
Of kindness, understanding and love
That you are important, yes you matter
Hold your head up, look up above

A light that gives you promise
That in your heart hope’s flame burns inside
Treasure all things that are good
Let my light become your guide

A light that in time you will take and share
With someone, who was just like you
Then you will be their beacon of hope
Just like my light has been for you

Stephen G schuller

Thanks for reading Sheepsters! 🤗

Much love Black Sheep xxx


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