Choosing Your Audience

I have been open about my story with my loved ones, as well as with people I’ve never met, like my audiences, or people who’ve found me online. I’ve given the world my story through my book Parallel Universes and I continue to do it here in this blog, regularly. Not bad for a guy with trust issues, right? The truth is I still have a hard time trusting others, and I still have a lot of issues around trust. But I’ve also found it liberating to be able to tell my story—especially since it helps people who can relate to parts of it—and not to have to hide all the darkness that threatened to swallow me whole before.

Sharing my experience is part of my service – it’s a part of me giving back when I share my stories with strangers and when I talk about things that are painful. I don’t have a wild desire to confess everything; I keep my private life private and choose what gets published and what is known about me. I don’t write about my wife or my children, as they have their own stories to tell and I have mine.

I know that for people who have been relinquished trust is a very powerful and complicated emotion. It doesn’t come to us naturally. After all, our lives started with a betrayal—we were removed from the very person who was supposed to protect us. It’s no wonder that everyone seems dangerous and strange, even our adoptive families often struggle with how a relinquished and adopted baby adjusts to its new environment. There’s still a lot of misconception about adoption and what it does to people and how the lasting effects of adoption trauma stay with many of us throughout our lives.

So my hope is that by sharing my knowledge and experience, and you reading about it here, you will be able to see your own experience somewhat normalized or at least you won’t feel so alone and isolated with your pain. That was the worst of all feelings, being surrounded by people and feeling like no one understood. And on top of that, thinking that there’s something defective with me and that everyone but me can see it? It was truly maddening. But thanks to my recovery and healing, I’ve overcome many of those feelings of mistrust and came back to be able to be of service to those of us in the community who often don’t have a voice.

Photo by Alexandre Pellaes on Unsplash

I hear back from readers frequently, and it’s always rewarding when someone tells me I’ve helped them either through one of my talks or simply by reading what I write here. It’s enormously gratifying because knowing that I am read and knowing that there are others who relate to my story makes me anything but alone. I am surrounded by people and connected to strangers miles away, people who look at the screen perusing these words. It’s a gift to be able to reach out and it’s a gift that gives back tremendously as I assess my audience or talk to someone who is familiar with my material.

I’ve written almost 200 blogs here, and I’m proud of that work. My chosen audience is other relinquishees and people who struggle with addiction, as well as their families and friends (and colleagues).  Sometimes people end up here looking for some spiritual advice (I don’t give it, but I talk about spirituality relationality and addiction). Sometimes it’s a mix of all, sometimes it’s a clinician trying to find resources for their clients. I am grateful to have found my readers and I thank you for sticking with me through this process and I look forward to connecting with you more!

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#mentalhealth #sober #soberlife #sobriety #health #addictionrecovery #addiction #alcoholism #substanceusedisorders #recovery #adoptee #adoption #trauma #traumainformed

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