Some days I can float through life, and carry it like a light weight backpack.
Other days, I can’t even crawl with the weight from this burden.
It’s hard for non-adoptees to perceive.
They will never understand.
The weight of being a burden just from being born is a hard pill to swallow. It’s hard to fathom that just being born into this world has caused so many people so much pain.
Some days I’m fine.
I’m a professional at stuffing my feelings, putting my mask on so everyone around me doesn’t see the real pain. After all, they should stay comfortable because I want to do everything in my power to not be a burden.
I wouldn’t want to burden anyone with my problems.
Some days I’m not fine.
It’s unbearable at times.
My heart gets heavy.
It’s hard to breathe.
I wish I could flip the switch and turn my brain off.
If anyone knew what was going on in my brain they would not want to be bothered with me. They would leave me and I wouldn’t blame them.
I have God in my life, yet some days I still feel empty. I know he understands this pain, the lifelong grief and loss many adoptees experience. All I can do when it comes so heavy is cry and sleep and cry and sleep. I just woke up from sleeping for 12+ hours and all I want to do is go back to sleep. I don’t want to think.
Don’t forget hiding it from everyone possible. This is exhausting in itself therefor the less people I’m around the better.
I went to Iowa over the weekend. I had an amazing experience meeting some biological family for the first time. My heart is so grateful for them opening their homes and lives up to me. Seems like it should be a dream come true, and it is.
The emotions that have gone along with this, and knowing my birth father has STILL rejected me has brought on loads of grief for me. I really wasn’t expecting it to be this heavy. I see why so many adoptees never search for their people. It’s painful and not many can even go there.
I was sitting at the dining room table of my aunt and uncles house looking at old photo albums. Photo albums I should be in, but I’m not. I began looking around while everyone is eating the amazing home cooked meal my aunt made. I was thinking about my birth fathers house being within a visible distance of where my uncle lived. He didn’t even know I was there, and trust me- he wouldn’t want to know I was there. How is it his family can embrace me, yet he can’t? It was a surreal experience and I was elated to finally be welcomed by part of my biological family on my birth fathers side. This is something I always dreamed of, but it’s still been extremely painful for many reasons.
While I was leaving my aunt and uncles house, I decided to ask my uncle if he knew of more children my birth father had that I didn’t know about?
He said, “There’s a half negro daughter out there somewhere”.
My mouth dropped, I said “Wow, do you know anything about her or where she is?”
He said, “No, I don’t know anything”
In shock I said, “Well thank you for sharing that with me. Hopefully I can find her”.
That was it.
The mixture of emotions I began to feel was overwhelming. I got silent. My cousins who was wonderful seemed like she was just as shocked as I was.
My mind began racing.
It’s never stopped.
MENTAL TORMENT AGAIN…
I created a flyer and shared it all over social media in hopes to find my sister. All the emotions I’ve been feeling about searching again has literally caused me to emotionally break down on top of all the other dynamics of this trip. I was not expecting THIS.
I want to disappear. I want to run away. I don’t want to cause anyone else more pain. I want to take my pain and leave. My kids deserve more. Anyone close to me deserves more. I’m tired of hiding it. I’m tired of feeling like a burden. I’m just tired.
I’m tired of therapists that can’t help me. I’ve seen them my entire life and they haven’t done any good. Most of them don’t even understand the complexities of adoption, and most times make it worse. I give up on that.
I will keep writing. It’s the only healing tool I can depend on, aside from my fellow adoptees who can relate.
Many adoptees spend our entire lives searching. It’s exhausting, mentally, emotionally and physically. I never thought I would have to experience this again. For me, searching is extreme mental anguish. I don’t even know how to describe it. It triggers me back to my child hood and earlier life searching for my birth mother. Now I’m searching for a sister. Before the sister it was my birth father, and another brother and another sister.
It’s the unknown and that’s not a good place for me.
Trying to find out the truth or someone elses secrets and lies is something I’ve done my entire life. If it wasn’t my birth mother, now it’s my birth father.
When I was leaving Iowa, I decided to call my birth father’s house, who is a raging alcoholic by the way. His wife answered, and she confirmed there was another daughter. She also let me know anytime I call there, my birth father is upset for MONTHS! Great to know.
I asked her if she knew she was half African-American and she said, “Jimmie is an extreme racist, I don’t think that’s possible!”. I told her I was given information she is half black and I told her I needed any information she had so I could search for her and find her. I told her I was going to go public with this search if I needed to find her, but I was hoping I didn’t need to go that route. We hung up the phone and she called me back within the hour.
She said she asked my birth father if the mother of the other daughter was black or white, and he became enraged and threw the remote control at her, got up and pushed her across the table. He started screaming at her saying, “I would never sleep with a black woman, her mother is white!”. He did confirm she was in Council Bluffs, Iowa.
His wife and I believe that because of his actions and the way he became enraged the mother was black. Period.
So now the search begins.
I want to know my sister. I want to know everything about her. I will never stop looking for her. I want her to know she’s not alone in this world.
Leaving Iowa things hadn’t hit me yet. I was more consumed with thinking of this new possible sister. Then over the last 48 hours everything else has hit me.
I saw where my grandparents lived and my aunts, uncles and cousins all grew up there. We pulled up and got out of the car, and she told me all about the area. It was in the country, and she told me stories about my grandma and all her flowers and her gardens. She showed me the water well that was used because they had no running water. They made molasses, and she told me my grandmother walked for hours in the fields every day. She was hardly ever inside and loved being outdoors. I saw old photos and it was almost as if I felt my spirit was tied to this place as if I had been there before. These were my people. This was my tribe, yet I was separated from them for my entire lifetime, until now. I wished I could have stayed longer. And walked around in the footsteps my grandparents once walked. I wished I could have sat on an old tree stump and just gazed around for hours or even days just to get a feel of what it was like to be there. Instead I was happy with the short few minute stop because that’s more than some adoptees will ever get.
My cousin was amazing, so were her parents. She said she had a gift for me. She handed me her quilt our grandmother made her and said, “I want you to have this because I have all the memories with grandma and you don’t have any”. I hugged her as tight as I could. No amount of words can even explain how grateful I am for that blanket, and for her acknowledging the loss of a lifetime of memories I have experienced. I was elated.
I asked my cousin what our grandparents house was like, she said “Heaven”.
The sadness I feel because I missed that is something no one else aside from my fellow adoptees will understand.
I’m pretty sure the adoption agencies never mention all the grief, loss and trauma adoptees can and do experience when they are making a living off our pain. It’s a hard pill to swallow but I have accepted this pain will be here until I leave this earth.
I’ve already been a burden being born. The least I can do is spare others from the burden of seeing my pain. I will be happy when it’s all over, but for now I will process it by writing, sharing my feelings and keeping to myself. Everyone wants to hear happy stories, but with adoption comes a lot of pain.
That’s all I know to do.
Deep inside my heart there is a shattered space from adoption, a space that no one can fix and no one can heal. I’m learning to adapt to this thing called adoption but it’s caused me the most pain of my lifetime.
That’s my truth.
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