Wednesday, October 26, 2011

just checking in

It's been about 3 weeks since my last blog post here. So let me tell you what is happening.

I wrote that post here, there, and everywhere. Then I submitted it to a group blog called "Band Back Together" ( has a lot of mental health, recovery, and other survivor type stuff on it. They accept submissions but then they edit them and choose when to publish them. So I submitted, and then waited..and then I saw that it was being reviewed and edited... and now I have a date. It will be published on November 8th. The editor emailed me with the news and after some back and forth she said I was a "good writer" and that she didn't have to edit much. Really what she did is add some formatting for emphasis, like adding italics and things like that. She said she could have put it up for publication sooner but it was so good that she wanted to put it in a PRIME TIME. Oh.... :-)

She got me in the ego. Yup! Loved hearing that. So that was really nice.

The scales have been smiling for the last couple of weeks too. I dropped a couple of pounds, and a co-worker complimented me on my weight loss and my new jeans. Sweet!!

Feeling good about yourself is not a crime, just in case you ACOAs need a reminder. I am not a selfish person for feeling good about my accomplishments. I have worked for a long time, and I have worked hard to lose weight and to be a good writer. I did not do these things overnight. They have taken effort.

Now I am taking a couple of more steps.

First of all I have slowly been building a following on Twitter. I am not in a hurry to build myself but I am determined to do it. Twitter is helping me to find my voice. It is helping me to figure out what is important to me and figure out what my opinions are. Like many ACOAs I have not really felt like I had a voice most of my life. Twitter is really helping me to define myself. There is a site called Klout,, which identifies how much influence you have, and what topics you seem to know about. I find this very helpful too.

Second, I am joining NaNoWriMo which is just insane. NaNoWriMo is the idea of National Novel Writing Month... somehow I am supposed to write a 50,000 word novel during the month of November. Yeah, right. Wish me luck!

Friday, October 7, 2011

More on finding my former foster siblings

I posted this somewhere else but I thought I would share it here too..

It's Mental Health Awareness week. Did you know that?

My mother is an alcoholic. I can say that now. When I was growing up it wasn't allowed. She's been married and divorced 3 times and has been "single" now for many, many years although she almost always has a boyfriend around somewhere. She can't stand to be "alone".

When I was growing up she was married to my step-father (now ex-step-father) for a few years. During that time they tried to have kids but my mom kept having miscarriages. So they decided to do foster care. We got a 4 year old girl and a 6 year old boy. My parents still wanted a baby though so when I was 9 years old (3 years later) they got a 3-month old baby boy who they eventually adopted.

The foster kids stayed with us for 4 years. During that time my mother abused the girl. When the social workers finally caught on to the abuse the kids were pulled out of our home immediately. I pretty much never saw them again.

Flash forward 30 years. Last week I found their names on Facebook. They were connected to a friend of a friend.. the girl has changed her name thanks to adoption and marriage. The boy has also changed his name because of adoption. However after figuring out what I could I solved the puzzle.

So after 30 years we are getting the chance to catch up. My mother is in Florida and I haven't told her. I might soon, but so far I haven't. My adopted brother is 31 years old now, and still in touch with my mother and my step-father. He doesn't remember the foster kids at all I think since he was only an infant when it all happened. He's 9 years younger than me so he had a different experience with this all.

Still I think what is amazing is that I think the girl thought she was the only one to be abused, and while I knew that my mother hit her once I did not know much of the other stuff. The words that come into my head are "You are not alone." I think we both thought we were alone on this, and turns out we weren't.

Many ACOAs feel they are alone. I know as a kid I wanted nothing to do with group therapy because I didn't honestly believe that anyone else had a crazy mother like I do. I know better now, and sadly I have heard stories far worse than ours as the years have gone by. Still.. it's a good thing. Very traumatic, but a good thing.

I've done a lot of writing in the past week, and this is more of it. I think writing it down helps make it real, and helps me process what can best be described as "grief".

Thanks for reading my story.