Recently I joined a wonderful organization called The Women of Midlife Boulevard where some amazing women share parts of their very full lives.
I edited this so much I very accidentally took out my thanks to Elizabeth Flora Rosa for her very interesting intro in her post (past participants on the bottom of the post!)
The next blogger on this blog tour will be Kim Tackett. For much more about Kim scroll down! Now to me…
I am a truth seeker for much in my life was kept secret from me. Though my parents, my only parents——my adoptive ones told me that I was adopted along with my name and that they loved me from the time I was adopted in infancy.
We moved to a 40 family court in a huge garden apartment complex in the Northeastern-most part of Queens when I was four. It was the baby boom and I quickly made friends.
Soon their parents began calling mine: “Does Pia lie a lot?”
“No,” they would say and then ask “why,” though they knew the answer.
“She says she’s adopted but she can’t be as she fits in so well with your family.”
My parents told me this when I was in my 30’s and had met my birthmother through a series of extraordinary coincidences——if you believe in coincidences and I do.
Though my parents sheltered me from being labeled I knew. Strangely the same parents who called loved me. Strangely for somebody with my “unique problems” I had many friends. Until I didn’t.
I had “problems” that no doctor could diagnosis. My first fight with a therapist was when I was nine. He wanted me to play with dolls in a dollhouse and I refused. I loved playing with dolls but he told me each doll represented a family member and it was OK to hate them. I had to hate them as being adopted meant being uprooted from my family of origin.
I’m sure he didn’t use those words but remember being angry that he assumed I would hate my parents and my sister when I loved them all so so much.
Even then I couldn’t understand how being adopted made me anxious and gave me panic attacks. I won’t go into the litany of problems.
And then we moved and I became paralyzed, couldn’t make friends, did horribly in school though in the city I had been eligible to skip Eighth Grade, and acted out.
All this and it’s not really childhood I’m interested in but how that child grew up and forged a life, a very good life despite other people being sunk by lesser problems.
Love, baby, love. My family love(d) me and I met many people who cared deeply about me. My first college set me free.
I met the first boy I was to fall deeply in love with at least ten times before I recognized him. (Face blindness, but in my defense a lot of boys in 1968 had long curly dark hair.)
I’m writing a memoir that talks about all this and more. Almost seven years ago I found out the problems have a name——nonverbal learning disorder (NLD) and are neurologically based.
This blog will be ten in August. It began as writing practice and was much lighter. Not being edited was new to me as I was a reporter, and before that had been a researcher (among other careers.) I went a bit crazy with non-editing power. The weird thing was that many people read this blog.
Almost three and a half years ago an editor at Psychology Today asked me if I wanted to begin a blog there. I can write about anything I want but as people read it to understand that they’re not alone with NLD, I stick to that.
I went through a crisis of confidence this past year, and began rethinking and rewriting everything. After many heart to heart talks with my soul I realized that I can’t keep on doing this. I began the memoir at the dawn of the century.
So much happened——to my city, New York, where I lived forever, country, the world and me. Yet I must be faithful to how I remember everything happening.
I’m not sure that anybody else is writing a book about dual mysteries in their life——being adopted and learning at 56 the name to mysterious problems, nonverbal learning disorder (NLD.) There are no therapists who specialize in adult NLD.
I write for the love of writing. I write because I have an interesting story. Though I want to finish it already and go onto more fun stuff which is basically anything. I bore myself and that’s a not a good thing for a memoirst. I can be dispassionate about myself, and that maybe is the best thing for a person writing a memoir.
I’m neither married nor do I have children. I’m scared that when I’m gone I will be forgotten.
I want nobody to feel they have to remember me but I want to be remembered. I do. I just really do.
My writing process is simple. I sit in the office looking at the oaks and the pines leading to the ocean, or out on the second floor patio.
I spent years worrying about structure. One day it hit me. Write the damn chapters. Just. Write.
I stare at the page—I write in my personal blog as I love WordPress. It is my other home. When I moved to coastal South Carolina from NY it was my only home for awhile.
After staring at the page, exchanging emails, checking the weather, reading too many Facebook statuses words often flow. Sometimes it takes 45 minutes to write one chapter and two weeks to edit it. Other times it works the opposite way.
Then I walk to the beach.
Kim and her husband of 35 years, Steve Barbaria have two adult daughters Kate, 26, an architecture student in Chicago and Alex, 20, a student at Oregon State headed for her Junior Year in Amsterdam. Kim and Steve own a design studio. I’ve never read a “marketing” web site where somebody (Kim) says something so thought provoking:
The truth is, I didn’t love them, and by the lack of response to my subsequent proposal, they probably didn’t love me back. In hindsight, I wish I had the presence of mind to turn the question around to them, to ask why should I want to work with their company? What will they bring to the project? How will they support our relationship as partners?
This past March Kim began a weekly blog with a partner called Fifty/Fifty Vision——about the mojo we call midlife. I found myself immersed in Kim’s serious and not-so serious thoughts. We differ on Joan Rivers but only because I apparently enjoy watching disasters in the making.
Her blog Tour of No Regrets began when she was 50 and traveled to India. Now 56 she captures every day moments and makes stories out of them. I love her tagline: a life with detours, diversions and delight. Please read Kim’s blog. Like her it’s fascinating. There’s an intensity yet light touch to Kim’s work that attracts me.
Read The Bounce. Though light it’s intense, thought provoking and about something I never heard of before. Kim combines many elements from a simple walk. She’s a writer who is truly finding her voice——and her mojo!
Please read their posts for some very insightful writing.