Is Being Adopted Shaping my Career?

My psychologist is kicking my butt. She basically accused me of thinking too much and not letting myself feel (totally true. totally nailed it in session #4 people!), but I don’t really know HOW to feel. I do know how to think, how to over-think, and how to think some more. I also know how to catastrophize like nobody’s business.

At any rate, in an attempt to avoid feeling all the feelings about that early trauma of separation from my safe place (mom) and being raised by genetic strangers, I decided to think about my job. And it made me wonder…I am working with 16-20 year old “at-risk youth” in a community college setting. I am teaching them skills to succeed at school. And my biological mother was 16 when she got pregnant, and my biological dad was 20 when I was born. My biological mom did not finish high school, but did complete her GED, and my dad completed HS but had a 3.9 GPA and NOBODY suggested he go to college. And, my maternal half siblings did not finish high school (and my half bro got his GED…I think). I guess my question is….am I trying to work with my biological family?

Am I throwing myself into a situation, a passion, in some sort of karmic attempt at rescuing my parents? Do I see these vulnerable young ones and want to spark a fire for education in their life, to empower them toward greatness, so they don’t end up in a situation where they have to give their firstborn away as atonement for their “sins”? Am I somehow trying to connect with my family in this choice of career?

Or (or maybe an) am I trying to distance myself from my family? Do I like sitting on the other side of the desk, seeing that I have “made it,” that I am “not like them,” as if my life is somehow a proof that my biological parents made the right decision in letting me be raised by strangers. Because, see, I am not like them anymore. I am educated. I am in the middle-class. I am…fill in the blank.

Or, do I do it to prove something to my adoptive family? To protect myself from further abandonment by both excelling in education and also working in a compassion field to show my humility?

Could all of those reasons be true? Or not true? And does it matter? Does the motivations, or the impetus, or the reason that I end up in a job really matter? Or is what matters that I feel like I fit here, that I belong, that I was actually made for this type of work? Does me trying to work out my own identity or story take away from the “goodness” of doing this type work?

And how can I just let myself feel, instead of always just thinking about things?

Insomnia Reframe

apparently my chubby chin is very comforting...

apparently my chubby chin is very comforting…

Was it the 5 cups of coffee I drank at noon while out to lunch with a friend? The 3 beers or spicy pasta while out to dinner with my mom friends? The ab pain from all the workouts I’ve been doing lately? The lifetime of anxiety that flares up at the WORST POSSIBLE TIMES (like days I know I’ll be home with Potamus for 15-16 hours solo). A husband who can’t stop coughing at night so I’m unable to even drift to sleep. Maybe it’s a combination of all of those, but man, the other night…yeah…I fell asleep at 5am. Whoa. That meant I got a whopping 1.5 hours total, half of which was spent spooning a sweaty toddler.

But somehow I was able to grasp this thought, I can be a good mom, even though I didn’t get any sleep.

Revolutionary.

Sure, I’ve managed to limp along while being tired, but there is this storyline that I have been saying in my head since…before time (certainly before I had kids) that a good night’s sleep = me being happy/adjusted/able to do xyz. Sleep is very important to me. While I’ve managed to dial back me “I need 10 hours asleep a night” storyline, I still had this going on and was believing it. A good night sleep with Potamus meant a good mama the next day. And a bad night sleep meant CERTAIN grumpypants mama.

So there I was, with 16 hours stretching ahead of me, solo, with a toddler who hates naps. I didn’t have the energy to go out and do fun things, so we stayed home, doing quiet activities, and even rested together a little bit in the afternoon. I managed to hold myself together, even finding the energy to have a conversation with a good friend, do some gardening, and read. I’m not sure where the insomnia-anxiety came from, but I didn’t let it get the best of me. And, it felt really good.

Now, wouldn’t it be fabulous if I was able to remember this all the time? Now THAT would be revolutionary! Or, a good night’s sleep would be pretty revolutionary, too. Ammiright?