Today Janet Nordine, MS, LMFT is back to address grief. This time she is teaching us about experiencing grief as an adult adoptee. Have you lost a loved one recently? Revisiting grief as an adult adoptee is a totally different ballgame. We also discuss what can happen to us if we stuff down our feelings instead of processing them.
Topics We Discussed
- Janet discovered that she has a biological sister and within 38 days they became dear friends and true sisters… and then she passed away. It was absolutely shocking for Janet.
- Janet talks about her experience of grieving through hearing the news, to accepting the shock of it and what the last year without her has been like.
- Choosing to celebrate her sister in different ways; for example noticing a sunset and thinking, “my sister would have really loved to see this with me”.
- Adoptees start grieving as soon as we’re born (If we were relinquished at that time), so we are intimately aware and affected by grief.
- If we lose a loved one, Janet believes we go “deeper” into grief because we’ve been so steeped in grief our whole lives.
- Lines between our different losses and grief can get very blurred. This feeling can be familiar.
- Stages of grief - absolutely not linear, can feel confusing
- Adoptees can sometimes feel they aren’t entitled to share how we feel, but we need to speak up and share what’s happening for us
- “Even in grief, we need to ask for what we need”
- What do adoptees need when experiencing grief?
- healthy coping skills - not alcohol/drugs
- look to things that bring comfort - crying on the couch, being out in nature, listen to music
- honouring ourselves and our grief is healing, don’t tell yourself to hurry up and get over it
- What are signs that we need further intervention or support?
- when you become unable to do normal tasks (like getting out of bed or leaving the house)
- overwhelming fear that we’ll lose everyone
- “as adoptees we are wired to feel loss” - if it gets to the point of debilitating, we need to seek help
- “What we resist persists”
- Janet’s blog post about her sister: Sisters and Trees
Connect With Us
- Janet Nordine, MS, LMFT: experiencecourage.com | Twitter | Instagram | Experience Courage on Facebook | Janet on Facebook
- Haley Radke: Twitter | Instagram | Facebook
- Adoptees On: Twitter | Instagram | Facebook