Loss: My Name Is Jazz

Blog number 12

when I was littel I was taken away my mum and dad and my 2 brothers. And then we all had a good by contact in a whizzy wakey werhouse tap off place.

when I was taken from mum and dad the Ss band my head on the side of the door and I was sceeming begging my dad to let me stay and I proble cry and cry.

i don’t remember and went in lots of diffent Forster homes and now I rally angry to words my mum for been such a shite mum but I love her but hate her at the same time and when I see happy family’s it rally herts.

i blame mum and the ss but at the end of the day mummy bear is my mum and no one els is and Claudia is like a mum and my mums friend Dave is like a dad. And my mums very good friend Andi is been like a dad to me and my brother.

my littel bro I’ve haven’t seen for a long time and big bro is living in Whitby and it bricks my Heart not been with them.

i fell rally giltey because I some time think it my folt they haven’t got ther littel and big sister because I was the girl and proble hardiest to look after but I love them both so much.

the end.

From Victim To Survivor

Meeting an already born child that you are now mummy to is an experience it is difficult to plan for. There is lots of positive forethought about the experiences you will have together. The bit that’s trickier to prearrange is managing the experiences you don’t have in common. What went before and led to the child’s loss. The fact that via a strange process that loss becomes your gain.

I remember thinking about it all during my preparation. I had decided to do a degree as a mature student before making the biggest commitment ever. My social work degree done as a young woman had taught me lots about work practices, organisational structures,  social care and the politics of exclusion. I wanted to take that knowledge further and examine it in a more selfish and creative way to help inform my own personal future.

One of the themes I examined was the creation of narratives through the media and arts. Going back through history to the different representations of people’s voices and the creation of a given and fixed cultural history in that process.

In this country our adoption narrative is one which fairly consistently presents the idea of a fallen woman given “charity” through the permanent separation of her child from her. This progresses into the more emotive stories of children being removed from “feral” or “evil” families under the threat of death and being given to “good” families who look like models in the DFS catalogues.

Of course in stories there are truths, however buried under the “no grey area” headline or sound-bite presentation.

My daughters mother was cruel in her ignorance of appropriate care. My daughter was at risk of harm and was seriously harmed by this parenting. Her family and next of kin should have been supported much sooner. Her parents were not evil. However, with a permanent lack of budgets and a punitive social care system unprepared to mentor or invest, removal would have been kinder if done sooner.

For a young adopted child working out the complexities of their position is really tough. The set adoption narratives present themselves in everyday ways. Most adoptive parents know how often this can happen through the media, children’s stories, television, films and other people’s attitudes and opinions.

“You’re so good taking her on like you have.”

“Aren’t you a lucky girl getting such a good mummy”

I felt I would be helping my daughter prepare for her future identity as an adoptee if I could teach her the ability to question perceived and given truths and history. This could be done in lots of areas and in an age appropriate way. Why is something good or bad, a boys toy or a girls toy, a rich life or a poor life, a weakness or a strength?

I tried not to do it in a strident way but just opened up the possibilities to question and allow in the powerful feeling of personal choice.

In the quite early days this meant the ability to have a little mini me was short lived as my long haired, dress wearing daughter soon refused to buy girls clothes and became as certain as any fashionista in her individual shaved head style.

I also, as a vegetarian, had to cater for a prolific sausage and bacon eater.

We went to as many different cultural events and settings as possible. Art galleries, theme parks, classical music, pop concerts, Macdonalds, posh restaurants. Out of these experiences she was able to consider a wide choice of likes and dislikes, beliefs and disbeliefs.

As in any family the history and culture of that unit is strong and I’m sure as any parent I have forced my opinions in some areas. This has often been about  what we consider to be good manners. She laughs to this day about me being a “posh twit” because I think spitting in the street is not cool or burping at the table is distasteful. More serious rules existed around behaviours or opinions which show racism or sexism. I feel proud and certain she carries with her good moral values in these areas that are of her own choosing.

Now that my daughter is eighteen and despite her struggling in many areas of her emotional development, I am sure she knows herself and has a strong self identity. She has, against the odds, successfully bridged the cultural gap between her two families and does not see one as “good” and the other “bad”. She has more of a sense of social politics than many people her age. She is confident in questioning and forming opinions.

Most importantly she can position herself in her own life story as a survivor of the unfairness and inequalities in life rather than a helpless victim born of bad blood.

Being an adoptive parent is a difficult balancing act at times. A natural wish to see your own family traits pass down but wanting to see your child’s heritage and genetic history remain intact and not be squashed or hidden.

We share lots of likes and dislikes and disagree on many things. She revels in her identity as a “Chav” and her view of me as a “posh twit” but we have one important shared personal and political view. We both love fairness and hate cruelty and we both love peace and hate war.

My name is Jazz…

 

 

My blog number 7

Facebook

When i was five and up I wasent aloud Facebook or twitter because its an 18 years old site.

But when I was going out in the real world I usto get rally annoyed because thay usto bee on face book or playing army games and it usto bee rally irating
I would bee putting on a brave face on like I said last week but I just fell rally Jelluls.

but then me and my mum would have a talk about it but some times
I will kick off Wich is horibal for my mum because she stars to fell quilted
for not letting me Wich is not nice for
Me or her.

when I see 13 to 18 yard old people holding hans kissing in the rain or in the snow like Spider-Man It marks me rally Jesus because I would do Ey thing to do that or have that.

now I’ve got Facebook but to walk down holding my love of my live hand and one day getting down on one leg in a hot tub saying will u marry me and been a mum/dad lol it will be the most perfect thing ever and i would fell prowd.

I some times Feel its because I’ve got specially needs In a sense like with my echamont desorda or am I rally ugley or would it bee ease to bee a boy and to shave all of my hair of but then I look at some pictures of me and I think Im looking rally fit pictkeley when I’m cruising with my cap backwards and with my eye brow shaved and the side of my head shaved to. I think that skally look is rally cool.

I think Facebook is reely good and reely bad for teenagers.

 

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My name is Jazz…

 

 

My Blog number 6

Anger

What duse it mack me fell like when I’m angry?

Before I get angry thay is a trigger
or should I say a few. What are thay? it can be fowling over or seeing drunk people or fighting or people raising the voice. Then I will be bottling it all up. me and my sport worker had a name for it it was “Michelle” and I will say one thing it not an amagnery friend it ment have u got your tuff shell on preteding it all going well when it’s not.

then I will get a head ack and have rally bad dreams then wear my berth mum hurt me I am bold in one part of my head and that hearts to.

then one of my sport workers will say a little thing like can u help me put the shopping away or help walk the dogs and it will send me off the rallies and I will lie and say it was just that one thing or a cupel of things.

And if thay no me well then thay will say that not it jazz is it and I will say yes it is that.  But if Claudia or Krissi or mum is on I will say.

But depp down I no what rally wrong but dot get me wrong that cupel of things thay said will ove made it worts then I will start to crave weed and acherholl and will start to look at thing I’m not alound to look at on the web then I start to smoke more.

Michelle will come out and then I will hite some one or try to bite some think or some one and then my head is getting wors and then I will hurt the dogs then thay have to bee put in a safe place.

then If it get rally bad we do the safe hould but it just like a big hug. Ey way when it all came down we do a spider gram with all the triggers on it and we talk about it we try to before it gets out of hand.

but some time it is hard to say because my sport worker Stu is a boy and I try to bee laddy with him and won’t so how I fell because I’ve been Tould that boys dot sow the fellings. as u all no I’m a girl but I rally won’t to bee a boy. I will give u exampel when I was a teen I got a toy willy from the joke shop and I went to the local shop with it down my boxers and I went to the toilet and came out with it hang out and every one was steering it was so funny lol.

its hard to be diifernt like I rally won’t to bee A boy and play call of duty and get drunk but like good people say no jazz that not good for u it mack your anger worse.

Early Years And Early Dreams

 

 

Very soon after meeting Jazz I fell for her scraggy head, beautiful smile and adventurous bravery.

Despite being completely full on and challenging to parent she could always make me laugh. Partly because of her wit and humour we have always moved on from difficult patches very quickly and tomorrow is always a new day.

Our first holiday together was in Southern Ireland where we hired a horse drawn caravan. It was a hilarious road trip from the start and she was full of joy and curious excitement. She thrived with the responsibility for our massive horse Papa whom she fearlessly led, drove, fed and cleaned.
The slow slow pace was perfect for us and the peaceful nights round a campfire were bliss.

On this magical holiday, nearly a year after we first met, Jazz sang nearly all the time and drew lots. One night after a blissful day parked up in fields beside a deserted beach, she drew her first face with a smile rather than no mouth or a flat line. It was a subtle little thing that an average family may not have to note or celebrate, but it made me so very very happy.

Faith Hope and Charity

 

 

 

With the Spring comes hope and faith. I always, without fail, get that giddy feeling that all is well and that fun is close ahead. To me it’s the real New Year.
It’s a time for new beginnings and a reflection on all that has been digested during the cold times of hibernation.
Who could be entirely glum or disheartened in the face of daffodils, the blue sky and new born lambs.

This past year has contained the hardest of times as well as the most hopeful of changes. A shift has occurred as my daughter has bravely transitioned into adulthood. I am, for the first time in 14 years, able to take meaningful time out and add charity to the well worn staples of faith and hope.

As I sit on my step in the warm breeze and think it all through, what stands out is those people, aside from my immediate family, who have made our struggles bearable. Those who have parented my daughter when I could not have gone it alone. A cast of “extras” whose very real and huge importance is often missing in our story and whose charity is humbling in its tenacity.

I risk embarrassing them in cyberspace public but this is our Spring awards ceremony (no speeches required) ;

Claudia AKA Mum/Fixer/Protector

Blown into our lives like an angel right from the start. The patience of a woodland deer and the strength of an ox. There every single step of the way. Mothering through madness and badness and everything that could be thrown at her, both literally and metaphorically. Unrecognised by the social services as the key factor in our survival and humble in her demands for recognition.
We would like to award her the prize for dogged loyalty and pure love in the face of extreme challenge.

David AKA Dad/Head-teacher/Brother

Despite not being the “fatherly” type he generously took on the voluntary role of a gentle parent. A fine example of a reliable male role model, teaching equality with the joys of music and artistic expression. Following us whenever we moved and committing to the bigger picture without question.
We would like to award him the prize of loyal sensitive soul brother.

Krissi AKA Big Sister/Therapist/Leveller

She first started supporting us as a fifteen year old volunteer. She meant I got to have a coffee with a friend, a haircut or a long bath. She meant my daughter felt understood and safe. Wise before her time she ‘got it’ without any training. Now a married woman, a scholar and a mum herself she has taught me a thing or two over the years. Another unsung hero who has saved the state a fortune in care costs.
We would like to present her with the real life superhero award.

Andi AKA Uncle/Bodyguard/Wise Owl

A long term and loving friend who has walked beside me for over twenty years. A rock in a hard place and the one who can always make us laugh, even when it’s gone a bit tragic. The maker of hearty meals and the holder of hands. A mentor and teacher in the school of ‘all will be ok’
We would like to award him the always there (with a cheeky grin) in a crisis trophy.

As we all branch out to support others who are on the adoption journey and tackle some of the questionable parts of the system, I am hoping and believing, that as a team, we can offer faith, hope and charity in great big lovely bucketfuls.

Apron Strings

 

 
The thing about attachment is that it hurts if its broken.

Being a mum to someone who had experienced an almost unrepairable break before I even met her wasn’t easy from the off.

Trust is the biggest issue and engendering that is a long and committed process.

In my chosen vocation as a mum I have found myself having to take on, as if by osmosis, hyper vigilance, sensitivity to sound, heightened awareness to the violence in culture, a love of routined familiarity and an irrational fear of drunk people. On a good day I have hidden this transference but used it to plan ahead, protect and empathise. On a bad one it has made me feel too much too deeply and I’m no help to anyone.

I have now spent going on fourteen years being tuned in to another person who very often wasn’t tuned into themselves let alone me. Walking by her side so closely and vigilantly has taken me down some incredible and at times scary roads. After an epic journey the paths have become familiar and very well trodden. Sometimes the sun has been shining through the trees onto those paths and other times they have been dark and scary with the possibility of getting lost or separated.

The most wonderful gift of all is knowing the paths so well that on a clear day we can walk straight to the spot where we sit down together and admire the view.

But then one strange and unexpected day, when the wind changed direction, we got to a crossroads and we found that we were pulling the invisible cord in different directions. Straining to the point that its going to snap.

Some arguing and tussling between us ensues and I state the case for taking things in my direction. But I’m heading home for a rest, and she wants to explore with all the curious energy of Darwin.

Like all mothers I knew I had to cut the cord. In that moment I also knew I would feel the intense fear that loving someone so much can easily arouse.

Getting the scissors from my well worn bag of tricks I hold my breath and……cut.

My heart was beating faster with each  tentative snip.

I had been the editor extraordinaire. Snip.

The translator. Snip.

A medium between her and the secure majority. Snip.

I’m the one that knows the password when she feels unsafe. Snip.

I’m the one that knows her eyes so well she doesn’t even need to speak. Snip.

It’s my heartbeat that regulates hers. Snip.

If I breathe she breathes. Snip.

(Where’s the damn ivory tower when you need it. Her hair is short now so she wouldn’t escape…)

As I watch her walk away… no hang on, she’s actually skipping  away… my heart is bursting with pride at her bravery and faith in the future. I can forgive myself for the times I perhaps didn’t map read properly on our journey. I can focus on listening to the song she’s singing as she begins to disappear out of immediate view.

If in a short while she doesn’t look back, or return for something I’ve forgotten to give her, I will take a deep and sorrowful breath and then…. I shall go home, take of my apron and dust down my dancing shoes!

 

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In the woods…

My name Is Jazz…

 

 

My blog number 4

When I was 17 and a bit I was carping

myself because I was soon tearning 18. I was very skid because I thort I was going to bee chuck out off my mums house.

my brother was coming up to bee twenty and he was moving out of his house next door. I was skid and rally jealous so I said to my mum can I move up their. she had a thinking face on.

I was skid. why? because I was thinking to my self I’m I just saying that because I’m trying to bee tuff or to mack me look better than him and to mack him fell jealous because of what he did to my (wich I will tell  a nether day) but I kept on thinking then I throat all of the good things about it like havering my two most wonderful dogs in the would.

I was have a day dream about been free and wild and then the hobibail bits like I’m not a kid eny more. will mum think I hate her for moving on? will I still  be her little girl?

So I siad to my self go go go do it.

wen it was a cupel of days before my 18th bd I went to Ibiza with all of my friends. when it was my bd i got a key to my new house from mum and I was carping my self but full of joy.

when we got back from hour holidays I could nit what to bee in my house so time was goin to slow for my likening.

when my brother was moving out i was going up their  slowly making it mine. Then one day I was  there with my new  support worker and my mums very close friend Claudia. we had tea and did some maths and I said I’m going to have a bath. mum came and they said  I think jazz wonts to stay over is that okay? The resen way thay said that is because we tryd a time before.

mum came and knock on the bath room door and she said are u coming home?

I said is it okay if I try to stay ageing so she said are u saw? so I came down stayers and rote rules down.

I woke up the next morning and neely wet my self. mum came up and I said hello. They had trayning so we got people from a agency to help me.

we went to see the brave film. I loved it so when I got back I wonted to stay at mine ageing so I did and thats why my mum calls me brave bear.

One  of the people from the agency is working with us guys now as my  support worker and still after 7 moths I still hate it when mums gos back to her house with the cats and her very good friend.

but my mums good friend works with me as my support worker and we also got one more she is like my sister and my best fiend to.

but as the time goes on it much easer to let mum go.

then one day me and Claudia went to the landlord to sing the the lease it was the prowdist mont I felt for a long time

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No Choice

Everything always felt political to me, the sensitive one. Rabbit pie. Pink frilly tulle for dancing in. Cowboys and Indians. The magic wand that didn’t really disappear things. Joan of Arc on a Sunday afternoon. Crossing my legs. Opening my legs. It felt like an invisible burden to be so stupidly concerned with everything. In my earlier years I felt it was the fairies of my escapist books, calling me to fight some yet unknown fight. I sought proof of other worlds in amongst mossy rocks and religiously followed Johnny Morris.

Chimerical tendencies and flights of fancy, seemingly easy for me to indulge  in as a child, allowed an internal magic mirror that showed all insensitive others to be the poor deluded. Magical thinking was ok as it was considered part of healthy development…. until a certain age. After that I just seemed kooky.

Time to grow up. I put a cloth over the mirror and danced the dance of forced insensitivity. Yes sir, no sir, three bags full sir. upstairs, downstairs in my lady’s chamber.

Nature was sure to get me in the end and the right chemical mix emanated from a dark strong man on a warm Summer’s day. Within months my alpha and I were nesting in a cobweb shrouded attic with little more than a mattress for sleep and a candle for light. The strength of the chemical reaction made this feel normal, a return to the old ways. By night I looked up at the sky through the broken slates and dreamed my way through a web of adventures.

The years rolled by, until I woke up with a start one day and found I had a ceiling without a sky view… and an unkempt lawn. Til death us do part. I feared a shamefully slow death of a precious love but I held tight.

The pacing eventually came. Room to room, upstairs downstairs, in my lady’s chamber, then back around again. Trying to make sense of it all. Clinically declawed by pills to make the howl of the wild subside? No. Not me. I decided to fight back with an inner call to the jaded idealist.

Running for the hills I never looked back, following my nose and the scent on the wind. I strode off the path meeting fellow fairies, faggots and freaks. Ecstatic with the freedom I skipped and jumped and howled at the moon for several sweet years. But as day follows night the strongest of all chemicals kicked in and shook me away. I yearned for a small hand in mine, a forming heart to nurture and a meaningful loss of control. I hermited and scratched my scraggy head.

Estranged from the domestic world I had forgotten the rules. Remember…… Remember…… I told myself as I stared at the flames. Ying meets Yang, Adam meets Eve, Boy meets Girl, Seed meets Egg. All clear so far but none of it fitted. Something was calling me through the haze. I scryed and scryed myself to sleep, night after night until it came crystal clear. All I had felt and all I had learned led me to know the baby was already born. Lost at sea, upturned, wild and dispossessed. A sense of urgency took over and I threw on my disguise of compliance. I had to seek approval from the keepers of the dispossessed and my resolve must be hearty. Yes sir no sir three bags full sir. Dust yourself down girl or they will know that your cloak of respectability has lain untouched for years. I was dutiful and dedicated for eighteen long months. Pan tapped on my windows and scratched on my roof. His aroma twisted down my chimney and caught in my hair……. But I was steadfast and hearty. Approval finally came.

The rebel inside whispered in my ear with a voice of disdain: “fit mother, shit mother, who decides.  It all comes down to money in the end. Responsibility shifted, child shunted, kerching the dice has fallen……” But I fought it off, arguing for the one who already waited.

The approvers bought brown cardboard folders containing shattered lives. Best feet forward. Little faces looking out. No smells, no sounds, no touch.

You must choose now.

The rebel voice inside once again shouted “did you prepare me for this with your corporate psychology washed down with cheap tea? More importantly, did they prepare them? What kind of hocus pocus do I see before me? Two for the master and one for the dame and none for the little one who lives down the lane”.

Just stop thinking damn you and choose.

My chosen one was shunted towards me one autumn day. Take her to the park they said. Get to know her. Five years old she was smiling but her eyes were dark with the cornered fear of no choice. As she sat on the swing she spat in my face. Good for you I thought, the spirit’s not broken. As we rolled about in the damp earthy leaves her belly laughed out and our wild sides momentarily connected.

Delivered back to the surrogates into an awkward silence. Her best trousers were muddied. But we all knew the deed was done. Restrictive little arms wound around my neck and an intake of breath took in my scent. “I’m scared” she whispered. “I am too” she heard back. Walking away I turned to see her face at the window. Her tongue came out and so did mine.

My name is Jazz…

 

 

After sitting quietly eating shortbread and watching One Born Every Minute, Jazz started writing her blog. As usual, on her mobile, earphones in playing favourite music. She sent me the end result by email even though I was right next to her. I suggested it was very personal and people she knows as well as others she doesn’t will read it. Was she sure she wanted to post? She smiled her beautiful smile and said ” it’s the truth mum and Tracey Emin would”

Jazz has been insistent on being heard since I started this blog so here it is:

My blog number 3

On they 26/2/2011  I  was 16 and i went to hositbl  wit panic attacks. I remember been in the abilanse.  On the way to hositbail I was trying to be  as. brave as I can but I now what mum was felling wich  was teering me apart and  how I was felling was the same.  so we got put in a smal room for 7 hours.  The pain was unberbul for all of us. when we finely  got sean with out been hobiail the woman dident speak verry good  Eginelish .  I will never forget my mums face it was red like some think out of Tom and jerry. I said to my mum is she mad.  we got a esesmont. thay couldn’t help me so we went to my friend house and she mad us a cup of tea then I went home sad.

The next day we went to Scarborough. i was going of the rails.I went to got my hair pretty  much all off and I look hobiail. When my mum saw me she look like she was trying  not to cry I new what I had done but I was ent very whell.

So we go back to Whitby and I said to mum I fucking out of here excuses my langwich.  I went and got spray pint and deoderunt wich I am not alound.  then the police came and thay took me to the stachan and I got put in a seput room. I keep on texting my mum saying come but thay would ent let her.  I spared spray pint in mu math. then mum came in and said to pc man you have to speke to jazz in a certon way. he said dot tell me how to do my  job then I showted I want to go in to town on my on. They couldet keep me  so thay said oley for a hour. Then I got rapet. I was vey scered. It was horibail. He pushy me a round. And was genreley been a basted. And he gave me weed.

mum rang me I put the phone down on her so she rang agin so I pick up I met back up with her and we went home. I went to have a bath I had mess in my pants mum ask me way so I told her. she cryd. When the Pc cam I told them and then thay cort him he dident get charged.I was in a mess.

I got beeter and stronger and when I was 18 I moved in my on house up the drive fr my mums house. we got a new friend who looks after me but of cores I was rally skerd I thort he was serial killer but he is totally the opposite. he is grate fun.

I rember the frest  time I staid at my new house it was with my new friend and Claudia.  it was a amazing felling. I felt more proud than I ever felt bee for. I rambler running happy to my mum bear still to this day. I wish I still lived with her but I just think I am very  proud.