I’m glad I was able to get your attention for a few moments…
Over the years, I have written a bit regarding certain times in my life where I wished my birth mother aborted me. I’ve also written other times about wishing I would die or wishing I was dead.
This doesn’t mean I promote abortion.
This doesn’t mean I promote suicide.
This means, this is how I have felt at certain times of my life and I have had enough courage to share my feelings with the world. Sometimes it might be in this blog or in online communities, or in real life.
It’s hard to have value for “life” when every day of my life has felt like I’m in a living nightmare in my mind regarding my adoption journey. How do you live everyday of your life with a broken heart? It’s hard to value LIFE when the woman that should love you the most not only abandons you but rejects you when you find her. It’s hard to value life when you feel like your entire existence on earth was to fill a void in someones life, but they never really cared about me. I was purchased for a price to the next adoptive parents in line. It was never about me. It’s hard to value life when no one on earth has ever given a shit about my feelings about the trauma, grief, loss and all the issues adoption has brought my way.
IT’S A EVERYDAY STRUGGLE FOR SOME OF US!
“Oh you just had a bad adoption experience!”
My views are, If we’re completely honest, every adoption experience is rooted as a bad experience because what any adoptee has to go through to get adopted is grounded in trauma and loss. The fact we are severed from our roots, history, medical history, ethnicity, birth parents, siblings, etc. is enough reason for us to say it’s a bad experience.
If you can view adoption as “beautiful” you aren’t acknowledging the trauma that comes with it, and that is a problem.
I’ll save that for my next blog post.
Trauma is not beautiful, it’s hard and complicating, and painful.
Do all adoptees feel like their adoption constitutes as a “Bad Experience?” Absolutely not. I can’t speak for all adoptees, I can only speak for myself and knowing hundreds of adoptees all over the world, I know MANY of us feel this way.
If I dig a little deeper and share why at times I’ve felt like I wanted to die I can assure you I was at a very dark place regarding my adoption journey. More than likely if I shared something like this online or in my blog it’s because I didn’t have any “safe space” in my real life to share these feelings. It’s because not only did I feel like I wanted to die, but I have always carried the burden for feeling this way on top of feeling how I felt.
As if feeling like I wanted to die wasn’t enough…
The feelings of wanting to die are usually triggered by different seasons of my adoptee experience. It comes in waves, and when feelings associated with abandonment, rejection, trauma, complicated grief & loss come flooding in it can easily take me out. What does take me out mean? I can slide into a depression, and during this time things are dark and grim. There has never been any help for me, (for many of us adoptees) so it can feel like a dark cloud is hanging over my head and there is nowhere to turn.
On occasion I’ve shared how I was angry at my birth mother for choosing life. It’s the truth and if you can’t understand it or grasp it consider yourself one of the fortunate ones. You also might be someone who doesn’t have the willingness to TRY to want to learn why I have felt this way or to try to learn why other adoptees might feel this way? Either way, I had to go through the emotions I was feeling. A few years back I worked on some areas of healing as I continue to do. One of the areas I was mad as hell about was wishing my birth mother aborted me.
THE PAIN HAS BEEN THAT GREAT!
Writing about it was one of the biggest healing tools I have yet to discover. Sharing it with others is also another healing tool. It takes it from a deep hidden secret of feeling this way, to a release by sharing my feelings that are very real with others who can hopefully understand, validate and let me know I’m not alone. In no way sharing these feelings was I ever advocating for abortion and I don’t appreciate anyone saying otherwise.
Situations like this that happen it’s another layer of what adoptees have to go through. Not only do we feel the way we do which is hard enough in itself, but we’re shamed by society for feeling that way. Our words can be easily twisted by someone who has never thought twice about reaching out to us in a caring, humane and concerning way. To top it off, there is usually no help for us, or no safe spaces to share these feelings so a lot of time online is our only source to share. Thank God Adoptees Connect is popping up in many cities and other adoptee support groups as well. Things are changing for the good but it hasn’t always been this way.
There are those who don’t agree with with others say and they can’t just move along. They have to make sure they point out why they don’t feel that way and why it’s horrible we do. “My friend who’s adopted doesn’t feel that way at all!” or “My husband is adopted and he never has felt that way” – Or better yet, and the most damaging of all, a fellow adoptee saying, “I’m so sad and disappointed so many adoptees have no value for life, and talk about wishing they were aborted or dead. I have never felt that way and I have made the choice to make something of my life. I wish they would do the same”
Don’t you think if we could just turn the switch on to be one of the “Happy well-adjusted” adoptees, we would do it? Don’t you think we would rather feel happy all the time than deal with these emotions? I think most adoptees would rather not have these issues, but when we are dealing with so many complexities and layers of trauma it doesn’t happen that way for many of us.
TRAUMA TAKES TIME TO HEAL AND EVERYONE HEALS AT DIFFERENT STAGES
The fact of the matter is, when people share their feelings online or in real life, it’s really best to try to validate their feelings and listen to what they have to say. Just because you don’t feel this way and you never have doesn’t mean you need to point it out to someone and disregard how they are feeling because it doesn’t line up with how you feel.
When people process emotions about wishing they were aborted or having feelings of wanting to die, and you happen to be on the receiving end of hearing them share these words please consider yourself honored. If someone is actually sharing something like this they may have kept deep inside for what can be a very long time. Your response is critical!
Don’t silence them, and try to make them feel guilty for feeling this way. Shaming them and making them feel guilty because you have processed your adoption issues, and they haven’t isn’t going to help, only hurts them.
“It makes me so sad to see so many adoptees talk about wishing they were aborted and wishing they were dead!” – Well HELLO!
It seems to me this world we live in might want to take a wake up pill because if so many adoptees are saying these things IT’S FOR A REASON. Many reasons actually.
For me, I had to face the pain of the TRUTH of adoption, MY ADOPTION and come out of the FOG and acknowledge the realities of how my life played out. Some days the pain has been SO GREAT I would rather DIE than deal with another day of this pain. Does that mean I’m suicidal? NO, for me I wasn’t suicidal although I have been in the past when I was younger. It means that at that moment in my life, dying seems like a better plan than facing the pain of ADOPTION. That’s how great my pain was. I never had a suicide plan as an adult, but that doesn’t mean some adoptees don’t. For me, I have a ton of reason TO LIVE and there are so many areas in life I love, my kids mainly. But there is far more to it than me just saying I wanted to die.
Does that mean other adoptees aren’t suicidal when they say they want to die or they would rather die? I can’t comment on that but because adoptees attempt suicide 4x more than non adoptees. I think it’s time society as a whole stop ignoring these staggering facts.
BE CAUTIOUS HOW YOU RESPOND TO HURTING ADOPTEES!
We really can’t afford to not listen to Adoptees.
If you are an adoptee and have been fortunate enough to move beyond your depression, and you’re wanting to die, and your issues with being adopted and you have come to a place of peace regarding your adoption journey that’s wonderful. But let me share, those adoptees who aren’t at that place yet don’t need YOU, their fellow adoptee telling them how sad and sorry you are they feel that way and minimize their feelings by sharing how you don’t feel that way at all. This only adds shame to how they already feel.
We don’t need it, especially from our fellow adoptees.
Never look down on someone unless you’re helping them up. – Jesse Jackson
I have a question for anyone reading, adopted or not.
If you learn of an adoptee or anyone for that matter share feelings in real life or online, about wishing they were aborted or wishing they would die have you reached out to them on a personal level? Have you said to them, “I’m so sorry you are feeling this way. My heart hurts for you. Can you tell me more about why you are feeling this way? How can I help you?” Do you have the willingness to reach out to these people and try to understand where they are coming from? Do you have the willingness to LISTEN without the intent to reply? Do you have the willingness to try to put yourself in this persons shoes, even when you can’t relate to what they are saying because “That wasn’t my experience!”
My reason for writing this blog post is to share I have had times in my life where I have felt anger towards my birth mother because she didn’t abort me, and I have felt like I wanted to die many times but this does not define who I am. It’s all been a part of my healing process. If I didn’t have so many deep-rooted adoptee issues, I honestly would be doing great in life. Just so happens, the pain from adoption has been the very same pain that has been my reason for starting Adoptees Connect and Adoptee Merch.
Are you meeting people where they are?
Pain and all?
Aside from adoption and the trauma it’s caused me I consider myself a survivor and I’m surviving daily. Adoption tried to kill me, but I’m here and alive. I have so many things to be thankful for. Some days I wonder why it’s so hard for me to be thankful for my life, which is something I feel guilty about daily. The best way I can describe it is that I’ve never until recently (out of the fog) ever felt like I was alive to begin with. I felt like the walking dead. I have no birth story. I have no roots grounded in anything. I don’t feel connected to anything other than my kids. I’ve spent my entire life grieving what should have been and what was lost. The same tears I cried in grief are the same tears the world celebrates because adoption is viewed as “beautiful”.
This adds more pain on pain on pain…
What has changed everything for me and given me a reason to live is my kids. They are the reason I’m thankful for my life because I’m thankful for them. They are the reason I get up daily because they are my motivation. They are the reason I’m still alive. It’s not for myself. If they weren’t here I wouldn’t be alive. I would have been dead many years ago. I would have no purpose and that’s MY TRUTH.
Now that I am processing through my pain, and I’m out of the fog, I’m at a place where I’ve learned my passion in life. Healing is happening, but it wouldn’t be happening if I could never share my feelings.
IN ORDER TO HEAL IT WE HAVE TO FEEL IT!
Even those adoptees who are sharing online they want to die and wish they were aborted!
I have a purpose for my life to do what I’m doing in the adoptee community.
So my question is…
ARE YOU LISTENING?
Because if you are inserting your opinion without ever asking a person why they feel the way they feel you really are out-of-order.
Do I still wish my birth mother aborted me? Sometimes those thoughts come over my mind, but they come and go like a vapor. Usually its the times when my pain is so great, I see no light and no way out. When I stay busy in life, the less time I have to think about the realities of adoption and the damage it has done in my life. Every day I can move forward towards healing is a new day I have to discover who I am and what I enjoy doing in life. There is more to me and my life than being an adoptee. I love being a mom. I love nature, hiking, chasing waterfalls. I enjoy the simple things in life-like sunrises, sunsets, bonfires, hot tea and coffee. I’m a caregiver by career and absolutely love what I do for a living. I have a small host of close friends and a few family members I am in touch with. Adoptee issues still surface and will always surface, for me it’s learning how to ride the waves.
So please, the next time you are around someone who is sharing their heart, no matter how your experience was or is, no matter who you know that was adopted who had a wonderful experience, know it doesn’t give you the right to tell us how we should feel. Also, please understand that just because you are at a peaceful place of your adoption, not all of us are. Let’s learn to embrace one another exactly as we are, not as you think we should be.
We’re already in a world that glorifies our trauma, we don’t need it from our fellow adoptees. Please, be kind and in that have compassion for others who are nothing like you. Try to understand them and put yourself in their shoes. Listen more.
Don’t forget this article along with all my other articles are available in audio for your convenience, just look up Pamela A. Karanova Podcast on Google Podcasts, iTunes , Spotify. and Amazon Music. Interested in treating me with a coffee, to add fuel to my fire? Click here. Many thanks in advance to my supporters!
Empathy goes along way.
Thanks for reading.
17 thoughts on “Wishing I Was Aborted & Wanting to Die”
I get it; I feel like this now and then.
I’ve kind of alighn the thinking with the right to die movement; that one wants to live, but the pain is too intolerable, and that it would be merciful to have let me go… and I would have preferred.
Or, from a Christian perspective, what’s wrong with wanting to be at home, with God, in a ‘better place’ unconditionally loved, vs. dealing with the total neverending BS of this life?
It’s a balance… finding and claiming ones next step of faith and healing..
Jana, thank you for this! I agree wholeheartedly, and I’m always trying to remind myself, many people feel like this, not just me as an adoptee. My perspective just happens to be an adoptee perspective. Finding the balance is so important. ❤
Yes, I have felt those same feelings of abandonment and a desire to die or wishing I had not been born. The pain of relinquishment is deep. Trauma is the word that explains it best to me. For me it was like having someone very close to you die but never being given the words or help with comprehending what happened to me or a voice or space in which to mourn that great loss. I am 49 yrs old. I was adopted at 6 weeks old. I was not told that I was adopted unt I found out on my own at 20 yrs old.
Thank you my friend for giving us a place to have a voice, thank you for talking about the pain and loss and feelings and experiences of adoptees!!!!
Hi GidisKind1 – So welcome regarding me sharing this pain and loss so many of us feel. I hate anyone else has to feel it, but I’m in awe at how many of us do feel this way. Makes me know I’m not alone, and you aren’t alone!!! ❤
As an adoptive father who lost my 17 year old daughter Casey (adopted from Poland) 10 years ago I can relate to so much of what you said. After Casey’s adoption I was taken aback when some people insisted that my wife and I were somehow heroes for adopting Casey. Were they kidding? No, we were selfish but with good intentions. As Casey was growing up she never wanted to talk about her adoption. I heard that from other adopted teens as well and it made sense, since teens want to just fit in. Older adopted adults I’ve talked to, as they gained more maturity and perspective, were almost universal in their need to connect to their roots, even if it was painful, which it often was. But you’re right; there are many adopted people who are doing just fine. I’m not necessarily pro or anti abortion, but I can’t stand to see how pro lifers seem to trivialize adoption as a “choice” without understanding the consequences, I can only speculate that Casey may have felt something missing inside her but may not have had enough awareness to realize what it was. Now after her death, I’m the one lives 24/7 with soul crushing guilt that I didn’t save her. It’s a daily and nightly battle that can destroy you.
Hi J. Brooks, As always so sorry for your heartbreak and loss. I think adoptive parents are being failed miserably, just like everyone else in the adoption equation. There is no “rule book” when it comes to raising an adopted child.
For me, as I’ve gotten older and come out of the fog one of the hardest things (even at 43) is to put into words how being adopted has made me feel. I seem to do a better job at writing it than speaking it. Sometimes I’m not sure there are even words in the English language to be honest. When I was younger, there was no way to even process it, especially when those around us let it be known that we should be thankful, and we are a “gift”, etc. My birth mother giving me away was my adoptive moms pride and joy! For an adoptee to be put in that position, it’s honestly a total mental mind ________. < —- fill in the blank. It's so hard to "come out" and share how we really feel, and I can't speak for Casey, but I can speak from my own experience there was no way at that age I would have ever been able to find the right language for my pain. My pain came out in RAGE AND ANGER. I hated the world and everyone in it.
It's taken so many years to process, and sadly I still have yet to receive any assistance from therapists, or treatments places, etc. My best healing tool so far is sharing my feelings here, but it doesn't come without a cost. There are disadvantages to sharing your soul to the world but at the same time I'm not going to let my pain go in vein, so I share. The other thing is connecting with other adoptees who have experienced what I have.
Adoptees are being failed by the adoption industry. Adoptive parents are being failed by the adoption industry. Birth paretns are being failed by the adoption industry. Being in recovery, I have worked on resentments, and the ADOPTION INDUSTRY resentment is at the top of my list. I hate what it has done to hurt so many people. This is one of the main reasons I keep sharing, I keep speaking, and will always do so.
Hang in there, and thank you for sharing here. ❤
I am so sorry you lost your daughter. Years ago, I read a book: Andrew You Died Too Soon,” written by his mother. She tries to come to grips with the loss.
I so appreciate your statement: “I can’t stand to see how pro lifers seem to trivialize adoption as a ‘choice’ without understanding the consequences.” Do they even care that they are promoting a lifetime of pain?
Someone once said: The hardest thing to open is a closed mind. Those who promote adoption as a “choice” don’t want to see that it usually is not a true choice for many pregnant women. Adoption happens when there is no support for other options! Adoption promoters lack empathy for those who face a lifetime of loss.
I never wished I was aborted, but I do 100% believe abortion is more responsible and compassionate than adoption if those are the only available choices.
This is brilliant! Thank you for sharing it.
I feel the way you have. It comes and goes.
I am glad you wrote this out. I feel less alone having read your post. Thank you.
Any suggestions on how to get this emotion out? I know it doesn’t help me and just boggs me down overall but it’s so deeply part of me and I just want peace within myself.
Hi Rebecca, Thank you so much for your kind words and for reaching out! This is such a deep seeded root issues to live with and sadly many adoptees experience this. I would suggest writing it out and maybe finding someone you trust (who gets it) you can share it with? There is freedom in releasing the feelings and even more in sharing them with someone you trust. It breaks the secrecy and bondage OFF and its the beginning of the healing process. It’s SO IMPORTANT to share your feelings! I would be happy to be the person you share it with if you don’t have anyone else? My email is email@example.com Writing has turned out to be one of the best healing tools I’ve yet to discover. This is what I would recommend first. ❤
I was conceived using donor sperm. I met my father this year and he used the words generous, humanitarian, and noble to describe selling his sperm. But to me it hurts so much that he gave me to strangers knowing he’d never meet me or protect me or love me. I told my husband last week (the first time I’ve ever spoken this out loud) that I wish I’d never been born, that there is the cloud over me that I can’t get away. He’s worried that I’ve got depression. I don’t feel like it is depression as much as having been born into a really crappy situation to parents who think that love should be all I need. I want to heal from this but I don’t know how. I’m so sick of hurting so badly. Thank you for your post. I feel a little less alone.
This is my experience as well to a certain point. Its such a painful huge SaD feeling when you don’t get to meet your mom or have her even write back more than once telling me she is still keeping me a big secret… and when your adoptive family is offended you even hurt or need healing so they are not able to show any signs of support. When the church and small group study and women’s study are all triggering and your friends are adoptive parents… when you are so angry and full of rage and don’t know why… its a lot of intense feelings BY yourself with zero compassion or validation in general from anyone.
I feel the same way. So strongly every day I wish I were just not here.
You aren’t alone. ((((HUGS))))