Is it me?
Or do other adoptees experience similar emotional issues? Is there someone out there that can relate to me?
I spent my entire life dreaming and fascinating about my first family. I had no information about them and no one in my life was willing to share anything and I never knew if they knew anything at all. I never have found out the truth. From the moment I found out I was adopted and another woman “Loved me so much she gave me away” my view of “Love” and “Life” was distorted. How does someone LOVE SOMETHING and GIVE IT AWAY? I don’t think I’ve ever truly grasped what it feels s like to be loved by someone. The most recent incident with my oldest daughter has caused a whole new set of emotions that stem from my adoption experience. Maybe I can explain the best way I know how.
No matter what happened with my adoption, It has left me feeling totally alone, and unworthy of accepting love from others. Even being a Christian woman, I sometimes struggle even believing that God loves me. I have some people in my life who I am close to, and I love them and I love my kids, but when people tell me they love me I just can’t grasp it and believe it. The word LOVE in response to me is just another word. I feel like I merely exist on this earth. What’s the purpose? After all, as far back as I can remember the ACTIONS of my birthmother that were supposed to be so loving have left me feeling like I don’t even deserve to be on this earth. Her actions of having me and giving me over to strangers are not love in my mind. Everyone always says “She loved you so much, what a selfless act”. I think that’s complete bull crap. Not one single person telling me that has had a 5 minute conversation with my birth mother. Not even a one minute conversation. So for me to believe it all these years have just added to my pain and agony and to the lies in the adoption industry. I believe people say those things to make us adoptees feel better but for me it’s made it worse. Those WORDS and her ACTIONS contradict one another and at almost 40 years old I am finally able to express my feelings about it and uncover the TRUTH. This has had a major impact on every single area of my life, even how I raise my own kids.
The TRUTH I have uncovered has been put together by my observations and experiences over the last 20+ years of my life. I found out my birth mother had an affair with a married man, and he was a friend of the family who was 10 years older than her. When she found out she was pregnant, she hid it from everyone and was completely ashamed of her actions. I was told she was an alcoholic and drank the entire pregnancy. In 1974 abortion was legal. I believe she would have aborted me, but her experience with abortion was horrific. Her mother tried to abort her first born child every way imaginable on her own, and she failed giving birth to a very deformed older sister. This older sister (who would be my biological aunt) was in a nursing home her entire life where she later died in her late 50’s. This is why I believe my birth mother didn’t choose abortion, although I wish she would have. My pain would not even exist. So for those who always want to say “Aren’t you thankful you weren’t aborted”, I guess you know my very sincere answer now. Thanks for your thoughtful question. Let me ask; are you thankful you weren’t adopted?
My point in bringing up the TRUTH is because it’s impossible to HEAL unless you acknowledge the TRUTH about what you are struggling with. Being in denial is not going to help anyone. It seems that this adoptee journey has many layers like an onion. They just keep being pealed and uncovered one by one. But from my experience being an adoptee the onion doesn’t’ have a center or an end. It just goes on forever and ever. I truly don’t feel the pain is ever going to go away. My experience is that when your birth mother can discard you, anyone can. The one place I thought I was “Safe” was with my own children. I have always felt we had a very close relationship but things took a turn in that area this past weekend. I believe that our kids will always test the waters, and push parents to the limits on occasion. I have expected this from raising my kids on my own and now I have 3 teenagers, one who lives alone across the street in her own apartment and my twins that still live at home. They will be 16 soon. I have taken so much pride in being able to be sober for close to 2 years, commit myself to my recovery journey so I can be a better mom and one day a fabulous grandma. I have been hit smack dead in the face this past weekend. Maybe I am just fascinating again; we adoptees seem to get five stars in that area.
I was put in a situation where it was tough love, but I had to tell my oldest daughter “NO” on something. She got upset with me, and deleted me and blocked me from her Facebook. There are more details to the story than that, but I don’t want to go into all the details because it would take forever. As a parent and a person who had a very rough teenage life, I expect these things. When this happened it triggered a whole new set of emotions. It made me realize that not only did my birth mother discard of me, but at any given moment my children will do the same. The feelings of sadness I have felt this week due to the cancelation of meeting my biological grandma (see previous post) and the emotions from the disagreement with my daughter have really sent me into sadness. I went to church Sunday and got up and left. It was too hard to pretend everything was just wonderful. I had to leave. Some might say “Teenagers stay mad at their parents”. I agree. They do but my kids and I have always had such a close relationship and I have always hung onto hope that it would continue that way, and one day I would have grandkids and that would be the beginning of my family tree and things would be wonderful. Another fantasy. I feel like my whole life is one big fantasy. It started the moment I found out I was adopted.
During the disagreement with my daughter she brought it to my attention she has “NO ONE” as in family to rely on in times of need. As sad as this makes me, I feel her pain because I don’t have anyone either aside from a few far away cousins, that I hold dear to my heart. My adoption has caused a major division between my kids and me & most all of my immediate family. I had to move my kids across the country to protect them from my very emotionally twisted and mentally sick adoptive mother. This was for their benefit, but it also left them with no grandmother and this impacts them. Adoption not only impacts me, but it impacts my children and it will impact their children and their children. This decision and institution made up by people has negatively impacted my life in every way possible. I struggle with that. I have a hard time with that. This is why I drank alcohol and searched in some very dark places for love for 25 years of my life. I didn’t want to face the truth, and I had no help in discovering the truth because my adoptive parents were so brainwashed and convinced that if they didn’t talk about it, and if they just tell me I should be grateful everything would be just fine. This is totally opposite of how I have healed and what many adoptees feel help bring them healing. Adoption in the 1960’s and 1970’s was very different than adoption today, but then why are the laws still the same and many adoptive parents still blinded by the fact that the original trauma can’t go ignored and unrecognized? WHY? Because they don’t want to face the truth, that’s why. The hard core truth upsets their feelings of “Were doing a good deed by adopting an unwanted orphan.” All because the bible tells them so. Let me share something with you. Adoption is a manmade industry, and entire entity made up to make profit off vulnerable mothers and their babies, and it’s blown up to be a major industry all over the world. I can honestly say the experience I have had from my adoption has no good involved. Every single day I wake up trying to find my place in this world. Every single day I look in the mirror and I’m reminded that the 2 people who should love me the most don’t. Yes, I’m thankful I found my birth parents and got to see them very few times. But they rejected me. What’s happy about that? What’s good about that? I will never forget this. The pain doesn’t get easier. I had to accept this because it’s the TRUTH!
How do you think it makes adoptees feel when adoption is praised all around the world? Something that caused us so much pain and inconsolable grief is constantly thrown up in our faces and brought to our attention adding salt to the open wounds. This is not okay. Those people in society that want to speak how amazing and wonderful adoption is have never walked one footstep in an adoptees shoes. We are finally starting to break out of “The Fog” and when we grow up we learn the TRUTH about adoption. As a child I was brainwashed and told I couldn’t feel bad about losing my first family and my birth mother. She loved me so much she gave me away, TO STRANGERS! To people she never laid eyes on, or met in her life. How is that love? The “Better” life I was supposed to have wasn’t better at all. It was just different.
I will be writing soon about how I feel when society and people in general speak for birth mothers, and birth parents. More of the lies that are a part of the adoption industry. Finally at almost 40 I have come to a place of more TRUTH in my life. I will share in my next post.
So now as I have been trying to work things out with my daughter, it will always be in the back of my mind that she too will one day reject me, and leave me. It’s so crazy but I always had a feeling that was coming. Some don’t realize that when you have experienced the extent of abandonment and rejection adoptees have it changes everything! Every single biological family member I have I have pictures saved in a special file on my computer, titled “Bio Fam”. Why you may ask? Because I KNOW they will disappear one day! It’s just a matter of time. I better hurry up and save their picture before they do. It’s not that the pictures are everything but they sure are when all the memories you SHOULD have had don’t exist. I learned this when I met my birth mother for the first time, and it was the last. I fantasized my entire life about this woman, and POOF… She’s gone just like that. With no explanation, no nothing. This experience has impacted every area of my life. Adoption has impacted every area of my life. When I realized that I was also saving my children’s pictures off the computer I learned that my wounds go even deeper than I realized. I am also fearful my own children will leave me. This is very sad to me. I realize it but I can’t do anything about it. That fear is still there and this recent upsetting with my oldest daughter triggered emotions that I hadn’t ever faced before. My fantasizing how perfect life was because I had 3 amazing kids in my life could come to a crashing halt at any given moment. They too could get mad at me for something and abandon me and reject me. This has left me feeling like no matter what I do, the reality is the outcome could be as devastating as it has been with my biological parents. It opened the wounds I have tried to hide of the tragedies and trauma of not only being separated from my birth mother at the beginning of life, but her rejecting me when I did find her. What do I do with that? Continue to deny the realities of what has happened? Continue to pretend my kids won’t do the same thing one day? I’m pretty sure non adopted people can’t even relate to this language. It probably sounds pretty ridiculous to them. And that’s okay. My goal in writing my feelings is to #1) Let other adoptees know they aren’t alone. #2) For any adoptive parents who can face the fact that their adoptive children can and most WILL have emotional issues due to their adoption can come here as a place to try to understand better.
If any adoptive parents are reading this, and I’m sure many will I wouldn’t expect you all to understand how we feel but you can TRY to understand by reading what we have to say. But please be open to the realities of how adult adoptees feel and what has hurt them and what has helped them handle the pain and realities of adoption. For me, and I will say this until the day I die, THE TRUTH has helped me more than anything. Telling my birth mother “Loved me so much she gave me away” didn’t help me. Telling me I was the “Chosen” one didn’t help me. Telling me I was a “Gift from God” made me feel like someone’s property and God was in charge of all this pain. Telling me I should be thankful didn’t help me. Saying “Aren’t you thankful you weren’t aborted” definitely hasn’t helped me; all of these things have made it worse. Denying the trauma that was experienced at the beginning of life has hurt me. Pretending my first family didn’t exist hurt me. Not supporting my search and reunions hurt me. Having insecurities about my first family hurt me. Lying to me hurt me. Seeing me search and not offering the information you KNEW hurt me! I could go on and on and on.
The bottom line is that adoption lies no matter how big or how small has got to stop. Lying to the adoptee for any reason is not healthy nor is it the right thing to do. It’s very wrong and lying or as the adoption industry likes to convince people “Protecting the child” is terminology used centuries ago when adoption first became legalized. Take it from an adult adoptee that is in recovery from my adoption related issues. LYING WILL DESTROY THE ADOPTEE and it will destroy the relationships the adoptee has with the adoptive families. We already have a major issues regarding having no choice in being separated from our first families and facing the truth about the woman that should love us the most in life not wanting to parent us, for whatever reason. Cant’ you see that the REASON doesn’t even matter…. The root issue is abandonment, from her handing us over to strangers. That is where the dysfunction comes from. Being denied to grieve the root issue and having to pretend our whole lives that our biggest PAIN is in our imagination, we shouldn’t love our first mother nor should we ever think about her when this “Wonderful, amazing, family” has “Adopted” us and they have all the love in the world to give. Let me share, loving ME is also loving my HISTORY. When you try to erase my HISTORY you are erasing a part of ME. What makes you think I believe you love me when you have no problem erasing part of me? My HISTORY and I are a total package. And until adoptive parents can willingly embrace this, adoptees all over the world will continue to be hurt and devastated due to their adoption experience.
Thanks for reading!
4 thoughts on “Actions Speak Louder Than Words…”
**hugs**I am “grateful” my biological mother gave me up for adoption instead of getting an abortion in the same way a woman is “grateful” her husband only struck her once instead of beating her to death. Seriously, what's the difference?
**Hugs Back to You**Well for me, I have also been in an abusive relationship, more than I care to think about. It’s not the same as marriage, but it’s the same principle. I had the choice to stay or leave. I stayed. My self-esteem was shot the moment I found out I was adopted. So I stayed in many situations that I should have left. I made the choice to stay, and I could have easily been killed many times over. Once I had enough, I got up enough courage to leave, BY CHOICE. This is because I didn’t want to deal with the pain anymore. It became too much to handle. Over time I have healed from that abuse. I rarely ever think about it anymore and it’s easier to not think about it because I made the choice to leave. For adoption, that choice was made for me and there is no way to leave. Being adopted lasts forever. I never become UN adopted. I feel like it’s a big difference. I had no part of this choice that people made regarding my life, but I have to pay the lifelong trauma and consequences associated with other’s decisions for my life. Based on the level of pain I feel daily, and the loss and grief I experience daily my pain is so great that I can EASILY say that I would have rather been aborted, IF I WAS GIVEN THAT CHOICE. Of course, I wasn’t. But hopefully people can get somewhat of an idea of how great the pain is. I would rather not be here at all than go through this daily and hourly pain. It’s never ending, even when things are wonderful in my life that constant sadness is still there. It’s very complex and there is nothing simple about it. But I have no choice in the fact that I was adopted like I did when I left the abusive relationship. I have a choice in what I do with it. I have chosen to write about my pain, my loss and my journey. This is healing to me. This is just based on my experience. I know many adoptees don’t feel this level of pain, BUT many can relate wholeheartedly with me. They get it. Believe me, if I could turn my feelings OFF and feel happy about my experience I would surely choose happiness over the pain. It isn’t that simple for us. So I’m not sure if that answers your question, but I hope it does… At least a little bit.
Let me say, It isn't that simple for “ME”. Not us… Have to rephrase that part. I can only speak for myself and my feelings. 🙂
Thank you. That is a good point to consider.