So the last weeks I have been collecting a lot of articles about the submission of Finding Farideh for the Oscars by Iran.
It is very flattering to read that the reporters gather their information from my website.
As all the other information are in the Farsi language and we can not read that, I know.
Though in a way it is also funny for me to read that reporters write that at my 40th birthday I decided to go to Iran… as if I was drinking some tea and thought hey let’s go to my motherland. Ofcourse this needs much more nuances and I do realise they don’t have time to read my entire blog and I understand that they talk about the project the movie Finding Farideh. Though to me the search is still real life, and adoption is a way of life, I call it like that now as it will never leave you and will always be part of you.
My entire life I have been interested in going back to Iran.
Around my 30th I faced a black horizon. Who am I? What am I doing in life and why am I doing it? What does adoption mean to me? What happened to me in my early years in Iran? What happened to me while growing up in the Netherlands? Who am I really. I couldn’t find any reason anymore to be happy about. My body was aching and I couldn’t find a reason to live while normally I am a positive person by heart.
I suffered panic attacks for the first time. In certain situations. Sometimes my body & mind gave up on me. I couldn’t rely on my body anymore. I can freeze and shake a lot when in panic. What is happening to me, what is my body telling me?!
I needed to come clear with my past, my adoption and my youth. I needed to change, I needed to take a good look at myself and work from the inside which I had not done before. I wanted to actually feel what it was like to be abandoned and adopted, I talked about it though I couldn’t feel it. Or I could but wanted to re-live it as an adult. I was there, so it had to be somewhere in my body that memory…
So I went to see a homeopathic at first, then a psychologist, had a very interesting regression therapy, then I decided to start a Child coach education, followed by a NLP practitioner and master course, I started my pre-search with the Dutch government agency FIOM, had EMDR therapy sessions, Challenge Days, healing sessions, bikram yoga, meditation, singing I did all kind of things to come out of my own pain and hurt, and to acknowledge and accept all emotions which comes along with that. It took me 6 years, as life happens to you, and then I decided I had to go searching before I would turn 37 years old so 21st of March 2013 (Persian New Year) I finally started searching when I was 36 years of age. I was at that time most ready to go back to Iran. I am in balance. Not knowing at that point that eventually it would be 3,5 years later that I actually would go back to Iran for myself and for recording Finding Farideh.
I can still have panic attacks, I still need to sit next to or near a wall preferably in order to feel safe, each new place I go to I feel super excited though now there is space and acceptance of myself and it allows me to speak up when I feel unsafe and change the situation into one I feel OK with. That alone took me a long time to get there though I am totally OK with my weirdness too hahaha. If you can laugh about it, it makes everything much more easier. So I will just do that. And accept who I am.
Just like recording Finding Farideh, I told myself if I feel tension coming up, I will change the situation I am in. And I did while recording. In the movie I start having lunch/dinner with the families. Though after filming I went in a room next to the families, only with one crew member with me, my mental coach and angel during recording Sadaf, my friend, soul sister and our assistant Director. If I would sit there and had to eat with so many people all staring at me and trying to get eye contact from me, I would freeze and panic. That is too intense. So setting my boundaries which are working for me. In the past I would sit down, forcing myself to be in that situation and then panic and freeze. And my body would not allow me to move or to act normally then, it is the highest state of alarm for your mind & body.
I handle things differently now and my well being (and sanity) is my first priority now.
So acknowledging yourself is the biggest gift you can give yourself.
I am at ease with myself and accept myself now completely.
It is all about respect from within.
Love. And feeling loved.