Being Generous with Character Flaws

Everybody says they never want to say anything bad about a family member. They say that, but I’m not sure it’s always true. I’m working on a novel written by an author who has based all of his characters on real family members. It’s reading flatter and every bit as boring as the the Kansas turnpike. He knows this, but still doesn’t want to attribute bad qualities to people he loves.

Yesterday evening we discussed solutions to the problem. I suggested he redraw his characters to make them less recognizable, and that’s what he probably end up doing. But in the discussion, he came up with an interesting suggestion. He had thought about asking the family members what less than flattering attribute they would like to display, dishonesty, greed, tendency to infidelity, etc.  I’m pretty sure this wouldn’t help the author out much in the end, he would still end up pissing everyone he wrote about off, but it would be fascinating to see what flaws folks might pick out for themselves.

Being allowed to pick out your own flaws, as your story is written, is a very generous concept. Controlling how we are perceived isn’t something we are ever allowed in real life. The most basic things about us come with preconceived notions about our flaws. Woman, adoptee, birth parent, adoptive parent, all have their own set of flaws, according to your perspective. It’s natural that we try to use our good points to neutralize the perception that we don’t like. I wonder if this makes us come off flat, set up to be given another set of attributes that are no more accurate than the others.

If you were asked to come up with a fictional character flaw, what would you choose?

I’m think I might like vanity. LOL.

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Today is a Good Day

Today should be a good day. I’ve got plenty of work to do, good work, no one will probably die, and my Love is coming to see me tonight. It’s sunny too, that means a lot.

There are lots of things I should be doing today, mowing the lawn, organizing my cabinets, getting rid of all the junky stuff around the house, but I’m not going to get to that, and that’s OK. I’ll get to it when I’m ready. One thing I’ve learned in the last year is things happen when they happen. If I can find a place where there is a sort of flow with any kind of ambition, I’m in good shape. You don’t have to do all the hard things at once.

As an adoptee there is always the feeling you need to fix everything, right now.  All be damned if the fixes come with problems of their own, just do it. It’s a dangerous and wounding way to go, but very hard to let go of.  Adoptees tend to miss their own experiences taking care of everybody else.

Today I’m going to go with my own experiences. I’m going to play with words, create something, and most importantly let myself really feel the love that is in my life. Letting myself go to that love has been difficult, it’s not really a trust issue, it’s a being overwhelmed by own feelings issue. The sheer depth of feelings that I have is frightening, I have to will myself to let go. But it’s good, even if I have to do it one day at a time.

Still here, Still Adopted.

There is nothing like an adoptive family crisis to make you feel all the more adopted. My a-dad had a bit of a health scare recently. He was diagnosed with cancer, luckily, it looks like it’s treatable. This is good, really good, but waiting to hear that was an awful experience. It’s a feeling of just waiting to panic, or not.

We didn’t have to panic. Big sigh of relief there. But not panicking and getting my a-dad through cancer treatments is going to be challenging enough. Long time readers of this blog have got to know my a-dad a bit, so you can imagine the challenges ahead. For those who don’t know, let’s just say a-dad is very outspoken (that’s a nice way of saying he’s a bitchy old man).

Then there is the whole adoptee thing. My a-famiily once had a family dinner, complete with relatives from out of town, on my birthday, and “forgot” to invite me. But who is the first one they call when they need a ride to the hospital for surgery, or wreck their car, or can’t figure out the cell phone? You guessed it, the adoptee. I know they do it because they see me as being the one who can handle it (or possibly because I’m alone right now and might not have anything better to do. Ha.), but it’s still hard. Sometimes it feels like you get all the responsibility and none of the good stuff.

There is nothing to do but deal. And deal I will. I always do. Adoptees are like that.

It’s an Adoptee Thing

I haven’t been adopted much lately. I’m blowing off more Adoptee Rights Demonstration meetings than I attending, I haven’t blogged, honestly I haven’t given adoption much thought. It will always be there.

Adoption is always there, it runs like a current below everything thing else. Below the big losses that everyone experiences, below the day-to-day bullshit, even below the happy. Adoption is just there and I know it’s not going anywhere. I’ve dealt with it long enough I can ignore it, for a while.

There are, however, some things I cannot let go. I can’t sit back and see the work adoptees, and their supporters, have done collectively be co-opted, corrupted, or used to leverage an unrelated goal. So many have worked so hard, so tirelessly, so long, and that work is really beginning to pay off.

The right to identity is a civil right, an adoptee’s civil right. It really is all about us. Don’t forget it. Don’t make me get all adopted again.

Rolling With It

What has become of Addie?

I have no idea.

She is still becoming.

I’m not the same person I was a year ago. Everything is different, the minutes, hours, days and months are nothing like they were. I have become accustomed to being adrift, but decided to trust.

Worst case scenarios playing out can make you feel bulletproof. It’s an illusion, it can always hurt more. I figured that out when I decided to trust again. Setting that fear aside has been difficult, but I had to, loss comes regardless of intent. To fear loss is to fear life.

Yep, that means I have a boyfriend.

Well, not really a boyfriend, we have decided to put off dating for a few years until we are eligible for the senior citizen’s discount at leading establishments. We’re not getting to know each other, we met nearly thirty years ago. He scared me to death back then.

He scares me to death now, but for entirely different reasons. Now I can handle his looks, his voice, his sweetness, his humor, but his love frightens me. I never planned on falling in love again. I wasn’t sure I would find it, I wasn’t sure I wanted it, I wasn’t sure I deserved it.

I always thought I was extremely lucky to have found one true love in my life. A second love didn’t seem likely.

My life has been a series of highly unlikely events. I’m going to roll with it.

Now for something else unlikely, an Englishman with soul…

 

 

 

I’m a Viking, but work is kind of slow these days…..

As I deal with all this damn loss, convinced that the universe is not out to kill me, but something much worse, like a life sentence in solitary confinement, I think of all the years that will come. How long my sentence will be without David, I can’t know, but there it is stretching out in front of me. I’m going to have to do something.

As many of you know, on all aptitude tests, I score very highly as an axe wielding Viking warrior. I do plan to continue my efforts to assemble a horde, but it is, as always, problematic. The coasts of Europe are much better defended these days, and lets face it, most of the countries are broke. Recruiting and exposition costs could far exceed return on pillage. I’ll leave that as a long term goal.

Cat lady is also a possibility. I’d have very low start-up costs. I’ve got the creepy old house on the edge of town, four cats to start with, and let’s face it, I’m a widow. If my town has an opening, my resume will make me a shoe-in. I’ll keep my eye on the local paper for openings, but it’s one of those positions that people keep for life and God only knows how many people already have dibs. I’m not interested in relocating, so this may never happen for me.

I’m thinking I’ll probably just do my best to carry on as I have. Writing, school again in the Fall, finish what I started, then worry about the cushy jobs. There are things out there I need to finish, work that I still feel needs to be done, none of that has changed. It just feels different, satisfying, but not like before. When I achieve something, I won’t get the hug and the words, “I’m proud of you.” from the person that it means the most from. Not physically anyway. That will be bittersweet at best.

Right now, getting through this blog post is difficult. My ability to concentrate has taken a dive from it’s normal low. I’ve been told to expect this along with confusion, forgetfulness, and a general feeling of “wrongness”, and that’s on a good day. As far as I can tell, I’m typical . So forgive me my ramblings.

 

 

Things That Can Be Fixed Or Not

Last night I did the first useful thing since I lost my love. It wasn’t much, I shared some knowledge that I acquired along the way. It fixed something, it made something work.

There are so few times in life we can easily help make things work, most of the time all we can do is help others deal with things that are going to stay broken. I’ll take any little thing made right as a near miracle right now.

David was my family. It was from him that I acquired the knowledge to fix that little thing. He learned it from his father. Through love and true mutual choice of association of the soul, I became one of those that would possess and share that knowledge.  I shared that knowledge out of the same kind of love and association.

We find our own families, they can’t be arranged for us. Just because something is supposed to work, doesn’t mean that it always will. Just believing that it should won’t make it happen, if you’re lucky it will, if not, not so much. Read Joy’s post, she always been more eloquent about stuff like this than I could ever be.  I love Joy Joy.

I feel so humbled by all the kindness that has been shown to me since I lost David. I don’t have words. I’m working on a thank you that will do justice. I’m not sure I can do it.