Looking back, looking forward.

02 Nov

The start of #NAAM brings up so many mixed emotions, including where I see myself now with such a mix of amazingly brilliant adoptees now speaking up; their digging deep and being far more open and real than my personality allows me to be. I’m thankful for every one of them, you should be too. Find them, follow them, learn from them. Amplify their voices, share their posts, listen to their lived experiences and the wisdom they’ve gained.

Now that I’ve covered the looking forward part of the title, I thought for any who do read this blog, I’d give you a glimpse of one of the primary reasons I started this blog, and why you will still find mistakes in my posts. I still struggle with both the spoken and written word, when I’m really struggling with a post I turn to Robyn to give it a once over and show me how to fix it. The post below is from 10 years ago trying to explain to anyone who read it, why it wasn’t anywhere close to perfect. I re-read it today and the last paragraph really struck me in regards to adoption, for six plus weeks I was *somewhere*, neither mom or dad knew where, I didn’t take the transition well.

R” is for Reflections…

I challenged myself to find a word or words based on the next letter of the alphabet each day.  I haven’t quite figured out what to do at the end of the month but I figured it would be tough to come up with a post based on simply a letter of the alphabet, so far it hasn’t been but then I have yet to come to X and Z.

Two of the reasons for this particular challenge is that I love to learn and I need to continue practicing to regain my former ability to express myself, which I lost when I had my stroke.  My need to include this is because if you don’t understand what I am trying to say – ask – don’t assume.  I still miss stuff ALL THE TIME.

My stroke left me with expressive aphasia and anomic or nominal aphasia plus a few other issues including memory and cognitive issues.  To start with I could not form a sound.  Then I could only form the first syllable of the word even though the word was in my head, I simply could not remember how to move my mouth to form the sounds, something we automatically do without thinking about it.  In writing the word in my head was not the word my hand wrote/typed – the connection was gone and somehow connected to another word.

To write a simple paragraph it would require typing it and then retyping it and then taking a break from it to see the glaringly obvious mistakes.  Then a repeat of the process until it was as perfect as I could make it.  Even then there were most likely half a dozen mistakes left in.  Compounding the writing was my spelling was also compromised, and the simplest of words I would misspell and have no clue to how to spell them.  I could not see these mistakes because I had a black hole where that knowledge used to be.  I still have to edit and re-edit and edit again ad nauseam and still my spoken and written words are  not the same as it was before.

Having expressive aphasia means still today, years later, I have trouble getting the message in my head out in words that make sense to others.

I think that the above description of how my stroke has affected me as an adult, could also speak to how I may have felt and been affected when I was adopted and moved to my new home.  What was before was gone and a black hole was left in its place.  I had to adjust and assimilate (rewire) to my new reality and find new ways to survive and grow.  There was no road map and no do-overs, my only choice was facing my new life.  And just like today where I have problems saying what is in my head – I did not have the ability or words to express what I felt growing up.


Posted by on November 2, 2020 in Adoption


Tags: , , , , ,

4 responses to “Looking back, looking forward.

  1. BOOKS: Sexual Assault, Loss

    November 2, 2020 at 5:55 pm

    Thank you for sharing this. You are an excellent writer and I believe you express your thoughts very well. I am gobsmacked to learn about what you have gone through, the frustrations you must have felt, and your admirable journey to a good recovery. This blog is a gift to adopted persons, as they express their thoughts on how adoption affected them.

    Liked by 1 person

    • TAO

      November 2, 2020 at 6:03 pm

      Thank you – some days I do better than other days, when I get tired is when it gets worse. It’s also the reason sometimes I take the long way to get to what I’m trying to say.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. Lara/Trace

    November 3, 2020 at 8:51 pm

    If I could hug you, I would. You are so brave, so resilient. I so appreciate you!
    You have found words, and feelings, and express them so well. I think about your posts long after. That is why THIS (NAAM) matters. Adoptees need to use their voice. Start and don’t stop.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Lori Lavender Luz

    November 4, 2020 at 10:17 pm

    You have filled us in about this before, and each time I’m newly impressed with your ability to communicate so well. You have helped me understand so much about adoption in a very unique, Sandy way. Always so good.

    Your last paragraph IS interesting. a 6 week black hole in your earliest history, and the black hole of trying to rewire the language centers of your brain after a stroke. What can you do but look forward, move forward?

    Thank you for your voice.

    Liked by 2 people


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