Praise Appreciation and Thanks – A PAT on the back as an adoptee I need it. We all need it.

Sep 12, 2022

Hi, there I am Fiona I’m an adoptee. I was adopted at 8 months old after being in two different foster placements and 2 hospital stays. I have my great-niece from the family I was adopted out of on a Special Guardianship Order. Unusual I know but it’s working well.

Praise and appreciationI am adopted and I don’t always like to say that I am adopted. I often have moments where I say to myself I wish I had never been adopted. I remind myself though that I had a great upbringing. I wouldn’t have all the lovely memories that I have of family holidays. Laughing at each other’s “talents” during power cuts. Wonderful occasions like our Nanas Golden Jubilee, special birthdays. I found a photo of myself, my brother and my friend at my brother’s 18th birthday party. Proper 80’s hair and clothes.

One of the things that I struggle with is praise. I yearn to be told I have done well, been a blessing. I long to be told I am good enough. For most of my life, I have felt that I am just a waste of space, that no matter how hard I try there is always this invisible barrier that I just can’t seem to break through. I people, please now and again and then I feel rubbish because that’s just not what I want to do. I am thankful that after recognising and calling out adoption trauma, I have had therapy, and started to change my mindset. Watch this space.

Often I have been told I am negative, critical and difficult to work with. I probably am all of the above at times. I have found that it does seem to be easier to be told all the negative stuff and receive it. But on the rare occasion that I have been told that I am great at something or really helped out somewhere, I almost find that impossible to receive. Over the many years that I have been a Christian knowing that I am loved and accepted as I am has always been something that I know but it still does not sit easily with me.

The emotional effects of the trauma that being adopted can bring fluctuate hugely. There are huge Viking boats at the fair that swing high in one direction and then swing just as high in the other direction. That can be a really good analogy of the emotional swings that I can go through moment by moment, day by day, month by month. Get a pot and throw hormones into that pot. Need I go on?

For me, I really don’t like the attention of being in the spotlight. My husband on the other hand always loved to be in the spotlight, in the thick of things. Unfortunately, he doesn’t really feel the same anymore. Life can do strange things to us. I don’t like being singled out in a room full of people. Even though I know I have something to say I just can not muster up the ability or confidence to just step out and speak up. I have always quite happily played second best. I would find myself agreeing with more important people’s ideas, even knowing they will not stand the test of time, but unable to voice my thoughts for fear of ridicule or rejection.

I do have seasons where I can feel comfortable and that I am in a friendly environment but sadly I also go through seasons where I feel like everyone is the enemy it is so frustrating. I have to fight my way out of myself every day.

Praise – How do we give praise to ourselves and to others? We do it by opening up our mouths and telling someone what a good job they did with something. We have to become used to telling ourselves that we have done a good job at something. It is far too easy to self criticise and not give ourselves the credit we deserve.

Appreciation – How do we show our appreciation to ourselves and to others? We can do that by buying a small token of our appreciation or sending a little card especially when someone has gone over and above our expectations. We can show ourselves appreciation by booking ourselves somewhere for a nice meal, getting our nails done, a pedicure or an item of clothing we have wanted for a while.

Thanks – Just simply don’t forget to say thank you to people who are doing their jobs. Yes ok, they are getting paid for it but a little pat on the shoulder or a short email to just say thank you goes such a long way. Especially for me. You are invited

So today you are invited to PAT at least two people that could do with a PAT today. Text, call email or post something. I just love getting something in the post that I didn’t expect.

I may not feel comfortable being praised , appreciated or thanked for anything that I have done but I really need it, that way I’m not left feeling unwanted or not of any actual use. These are feelings for me that are related to rejection from adoption.

Even though I am a Christian and know that I am loved by God no matter what, still I err on the side of fear on a down day. I forget that I am actually human and don’t need to be perfect.

Thank you for reading my blogging journey so far.

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