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I have just found out I was adopted

Posted by Patricia_Marie
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on Thursday, 23 July 2015
Dear Patricia Marie,
I am 44 years old, married with two children, and have just found out that I was adopted as a baby.

This has shaken me to the core. I received a letter two weeks ago purporting to be from my birth mother, desperately pleading to arrange a meeting between us. I immediately drove round to my parents' house to confront them, and was told that Yes I had been adopted. I cannot believe they would hide such a devastating piece of information from me.

I met with the woman, as I wanted to establish how she could possibly have given her child up, and how she had located me after such a long time. The meeting was very awkward and I found myself feeling nothing for her at all, other than extreme anger when she explained that she had become pregnant as a 15 year old. Her parents had insisted she have an abortion, but apparently she had not agreed and so had run away from home, only returning when her pregnancy was too far advanced to be halted. When I was born though, despite her protestations I was put up for adoption at my grandparents' wish, with the express instruction that my whereabouts should never be disclosed to my mother.

I feel such mixed emotions, but mostly anger. Anger towards my adoptive parents, my actual mother, my actual grandparents, even anger towards my husband as he is so dismissive of the enormous impact this knowledge has had on me. I feel I no longer know who I am. How ever will I recover from this?

Patrica Marie says...

You have recently received the most shocking news, and are clearly struggling with such a revelation. Finding out in adult life you were adopted can throw up a range of turbulent emotions. It is perfectly understandable you are angry with everyone, and wanting answers from those who you feel have betrayed you. I notice that when you referred to your meeting with your birth mother, you significantly called her ' The Woman' for clarity.

Rushing into confrontations without allowing yourself time to come to terms with this disclosure may result in you saying things you don't mean, and could cause you even more upset. It's common to want to know more about one's origins, and even if you have a close and loving relationship with your adoptive parents, it's perfectly natural to want to know about your birth parents in order to forge some sense of identity.

It seems as well as being angry, you are feeling hurt, rejected, confused, and lost. Expressing how you feel to your adoptive parents may help to resolve such painful emotions. Remember, you can still love them as well as be angry with them for not telling you. They may have been trying to protect you by withholding the truth. Perhaps they were bound by your grandmother's instruction to remain silent. Be gentle with their feelings, as, after all, they have been there for you from the very beginning, and I feel sure because you're hurting they must be too.

I doubt your husband is being deliberately dismissive, rather it is possibly a case of him not knowing what to say or how to support you, which is why I urge you to seek professional help, and I promise you then won't feel so alone.

Do call Adoption UK for professional help, support and guidance from their specialist team. They can put you in touch with local support groups where you could meet with others who have been adopted. Hearing their experiences, I believe, will benefit you greatly to feel understood and will help to reinstate your sense of belonging.

Adoption Uk: (0844 848 7900)

Internet Free

Posted by Mum About Town
Mum About Town
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on Monday, 20 July 2015
I've always wanted to holiday somewhere remote with no Internet access. But never bitten the bullet nor been actually brave enough to subject my nearest and dearest to such a 'hardship'. However sometimes fate is written in the sky and so today we have arrived in a remote part of the Lake District to find that a recent storm has destroyed the rental cottage's connection to the world wide web.

So basically I'm jumping up and down with glee. It's my dream come true... in a curious sort of 'need to do this before I die' way. One whole week with no emailing, googling and tweeting. He might as well leave his iPad in its case and forget Bloomberg, Sky News and the cricket score. Mini can't email her friends and Small can't drum up those infinite word searches (his latest obsession). Plus we're on holiday with Lord and Lady Y too. Lord Y is talking about writing emails offline and walking his laptop down to the local pub to press SEND.

We don't even know what the weather will be like tomorrow. (Better not to know if it's back-to-back rain anyway). Emails from the tail end of Friday's workday are falling on deaf in-boxes. There is no functioning TV and even the phone reception is non existent so there's no way of knowing if anyone might be trying to get hold of any of us.

But all three generations are embracing this social experiment. Besides, we have tea, chocolate, a Roberts radio and a football. Nothing else is needed when holidaying in England. Not least Internet access.

My relationship is falling apart

Posted by Patricia_Marie
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on Friday, 17 July 2015
Dear Patricia Marie
I've been with my other half for 6 years and we've been friends for what seems like forever. He's always been a very confident person and I know he can be a bit of a flirt. We've always joked about it before and I've always trusted him, but now I feel he's taken it a bit too far and is taking advantage of my laid back attitude. Whenever we go out he ignores me and speaks to other women instead and some of our mutual friends have mentioned to me how inappropriate he is. Also, he left his iPad connected to Facebook when he went out the other night and when I went to use it there were countless messages from women I'd never even heard of on the screen. I didn't even know he used Facebook that much. I don't want to speak to him about it and make things awkward as we're due to get married in a month. Also I think I'm worried about what he'll say. However, I feel he deserves to be confronted as it's not fair and I'm doubting whether he's the right man for me to commit to. I can't believe this is happening and I feel completely overwhelmed. It's like I don't know him anymore. Please help me. I want to get to the bottom of this, even if all I discover is that I'm overreacting. Thank you.

Patricia Marie says...

Finding messages from women on your partner's Facebook does not necessarily reflect how he feels about you. It's more likely this type of social networking has become a habit to him. However, to initiate a stable married life, it's a habit that needs to stop. After all, I doubt he would approve if you were chatting online to different men. You need to confront him and set some boundaries, which your relationship clearly doesn't have, and take responsibility for the way your partner has been treating you. It seems you have allowed him to behave unreasonably until it suited you to question otherwise. As harsh as this may seem, the reality is unless you start to respect yourself, nothing in the relationship will ever change, and you are wise to question matters now, before getting married. You both need to have a serious talk about the future you are planning together, as communication is key to a relationship's health, and speaking openly about concerns should help reduce your anxiety.

Although expecting your future husband to make you happy all the time is unreasonable, being with the right person should bring a sense of security as well as fun and laughter. You will know you're marrying the right person if he treats you with care and respect, and you don't feel the need to monitor his phone calls or computer. Nevertheless, it doesn't mean that the two of you won't have problems to deal with. A successful marriage is not just about sharing the good times, but dealing with the difficulties life brings, and bonding from such experiences.

Sometimes real problems surface nearer the wedding date, because you're moving closer to a lifetime commitment. By ignoring them, or putting them off, you may be trying to convince yourself they'll go away by themselves. Please don't allow yourself to feel pressurised, and let the cost of any financial losses influence your decision in any way.

Remember, doubts don't mean doom, but must be addressed. You are right to be feeling overwhelmed and anxious, but anxiety and doubts are not the same thing. If you are really unsure about getting married, believe in your instincts, be strong and take action.

The London Shooting Club partners with Home House

Posted by Young Ladies About Town
Young Ladies About Town
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on Friday, 17 July 2015
Trying to get that balance of Town / Country living is hard in London, especially if like me you want to get back into shooting but don't want to dedicate your whole weekend to it. Joining the London Shooting Club is a brilliant solution– based at West London Shooting School, located at the end of the central line at Northolt with a quick cab ride, or if you're driving, 20-40 minutes from West London. The school is based on a country house, the setting is low key in traditional way with a large wooden table for guns, cartridge bags and weekend papers when you walk in. Framed prints of country scenes and battered furniture make it a relaxed vibe, and lots of men – and I'm pleased to say an awful lot of women – walking around in tweed and jeans with cups of tea and coffee . There's a few dogs sniffing about – 2 of which I'd brought along, my Jack Russell puppy and his lab pal – both on their first introduction to shooting.

The London Shooting Club was hosting an event for Home House, the private member's club and I had joined them for a refresher day. Some guests had never picked up a gun before, whilst others wanted to recharge their skills. I'd shot a lot in my early twenties but latterly on various clay shoots in the country; for me it's wonderful way to keep my love of country sports but without the killing aspect. The tutors at West London are superb, - you're matched with a gun suitable for your skills, simple but vital. A gun that's too powerful will kick back on your shoulder and can cause serious damage over time. I was matched with a 20 bore – often called a 'ladies gun' it's small and light but does a neat job and is easily to handle . Those who regularly shoot can be snobby about using a 12 bore or particular make, but as some of the boys found out, my 20 bore outshot many of them. The skill lies with the shooter, not the gun!

The tutors at the school are patient in explaining all things to you, and work at your level – making some feel confident in handling the gun, in others correcting bad habits, and with all helping train that coordination so that everyone hit a decent amount of shots. A great trainer makes all the difference, Paul was our expert instructor and the care and appreciation for his sport made a huge impression on us all that day and I could definitely see a marked improvement on my shots as we moved along the different target ranges. The mix of 'rabbit' 'pheasant' and 'woodcock' clays that fly out of traps and behind trees tests all skills and reaction times and is also perfect if you want to use as warm up to game shooting.

By the end of the day the two teams were set head-to-head and the competitive nature ran rampant as the guests engaged in a flurry competition to finish. I'm pleased to say that if you look closely at the picture you'll see me on the right hitting the 'flare' orange clay, with much furore to some of the boys who hadn't even loaded !

If you've never tried clay shooting it's a great way to be sociable and know that you are in safe expert hands too. The London Shooting Club does a variety of shooting days and packages tailored for all skills and prices points; from a ladies day with Purdey to a grouse courses for the more advanced. They link with various estates for the full country experience and are happy to help with large groups. Will I be going back? I love the idea of a 'simulated shoot' they hold where you combine the full on formality of a traditional shoot but with clays. That's an ideal combination for me and the more I've learnt, the more I want to shoot. And my dogs? They haven't stopped talking about it yet !


Posted by Nanny Knows Best
Nanny Knows Best
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on Monday, 13 July 2015
I have always thought the Jesuit religious motto "give me a child until he is seven and I will give you the man" far too simplistic. For one thing, this ethos doesn't take into account hormones and puberty. For another, every man should get the opportunity to enjoy some silliness and harmless childish fun now and then.

Life presents so many variables to shape us along with the lifetime journey of learning. Mark Twain was a late bloomer penning Tom Sawyer at the age of 41. Mozart wrote his first symphony at eight.

As a woman of a certain age I intend to one day win Gold in an Olympic event...even if it's not the REAL Olympics. Maybe something like Nicest Nanny, or Happiest Ice-cream eater.

Accomplishment is sweet no matter if it is achieved early or late. The key is attitude.

So I was intrigued to read about a boys school who have introduced a program called, "Boys to Gentlemen" and they have also engaged an image consultant to workshop etiquette, image, grooming and confidence, for the students.

Blackfriars Priory School in South Australia are teaching their boys that good manners and grooming will go a long way in all aspects of their lives.

"Research shows that a person forms an opinion about you within seven to 17 seconds based on your appearance, your body language, your demeanour, your mannerisms and how you are dressed, says image consultant, Paul Giles.

"We all know you need the mind, heart and soul but sometimes you won't get an opportunity if you don't create the right first impression".

I'd like to think his intention is not just to match a good tie to a smart suit, but to address life skills, possibly, further introduce critical thinking skills, collaborating, and social awareness.

A genuine smile, a little charm and self confidence help others feel at ease with an assumption the young man before them is true. It's a behaviour politicians are schooled in, along with salesmen and TV presenters.

No matter what, where, when, how and why, a little extra guidance in the pleases and thank yous is never a waste of time and always good practice.

Meanwhile, I'll be busy practising my ice-cream eating happiest smile.
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