A Plea to Pregnant Moms Considering Adoption, From A Single Mom & Adoptee

img_0551I have no idea your circumstances, or what has led you to this place in your life, or this article but I have some information to share with you before you make your final decision that could possibly impact you and your unborn baby for the rest of your life. I know it might be a scary time, and you have no idea what your next steps are. You are not alone. Times are changing and there are much more resources for you to make an informed decision. That’s what this article is written for.

I would love to take a moment to share a little about my personal journey, which has given me the perspective that has inspired me to write this article. First, I want to say THANK YOU for even taking the time to read this article and open your heart to new possibilities regarding what you have been told about adoption. I commend you.

A little of my story, I was surrendered for adoption by my biological mother, with my biological father never knowing of my existence. I was conceived out of an affair as my biological father was married at the time of my conception. I was adopted in a closed adoption and I was never supposed to learn of my beginnings.

I ended up being adopted by a couple who could not have kids of their own, however the marriage crumbled after a year and they divorced not long after. I was sexually abused in this home, and my adoptive mom was mentally ill, and she was unable to parent me. Somehow, I remained in this house, under very toxic, abusive, and harmful conditions. Although it was all I knew, I was raised on public housing, food stamps and welfare.

This was not the “better life” that was promised to my birth mother.

As I grew up, I learned of my adoption status, and my confusion and feelings of isolation and loneliness set in. Instead of being a kid like everyone else, I was set on finding my birth mother and I was obsessed with finding her. My teen years approached and my anger and rage set in. I started using substances at 12 years old and was in drug & alcohol treatment by 15. I was also pregnant at 15. I lost the baby due to an abusive relationship, and I was devastated. I was in and out of jail constantly, and most days I wished I would be taken out of this world. My pain was so great and all I needed and was missing was her. I tried to commit suicide at 17 but failed and no one ever noticed. I wanted the pain to go away, and I had no tools, resources or help in aiding in this process.

I was in and out of abusive relationships because I was lacking self-love, and in my mind, love was pain. If a mother loves her child so much, she passes them over to strangers then love must be pain because nothing feels good about being abandoned by your biological mother. It does not matter how the adoption industry paints the picture or dresses it up, it is abandonment and adoptees can be riddled with the aftermath of this for our entire lives. The agencies, or adoption attorneys are not going to tell you this. They are not going to tell you the lifelong trauma you and your baby will experience due to the separation from one another.

I have suffered from abandonment, trauma, rejection, C-PTSD, grief, loss of connectedness, feelings of aloneness, loss, anger, rage, and emotional, physical, and psychological damage due to being relinquished for adoption, compacted by adoption trauma. I was addicted to substances for 27 years due to these issues; I could not feel the pain because it was too much to bear. For most of my life on earth, I wanted to die because I knew that was the only way the pain would go away. It was like a hole in my heart, with a dark cloud following me around for 43 years of my life.

6f99137b-e869-4d35-a150-bae3774cd43aI am 45 now, and it has taken me 45 years to come to a place of peace regarding my adoption. You will never know the depts of the self-work I have had to do in the lifetime I have lived to get to this place. It has been a lot of blood, sweat and tears to undo the lifelong damage and trauma relinquishment and adoption has done. It has been 45 years of fighting to get here and I truly feel like I have never lived my life until now because it was so consumed with relinquishment and adoption related trauma. It has taken me all these years to recover, and I know I will have implications regarding being adopted for the rest of my life. The wounds are too deep to disappear, and I have accepted certain areas of painful experiences and feelings are here to stay. They come and go like waves, grief and loss is going to be something I process for the rest of my life.

You might have heard that an open adoption is better because many of these issues will not be present. I would like to encourage you to read Is Open Adoption The Answer? This article is a collaboration of 22 adult adoptees sharing their insights on how they feel regarding open adoption being better or worse than closed adoption. This is a great resource and tool to help you gain a better understanding of the lifelong trauma caused by relinquishment.

You might think you are in no shape to take care of a baby, possibly for financial reasons or you just are not ready yet. You might feel like a two-parent household would be the selfless choice for your baby, because two parents are always better than one, right? I’m not sure where exactly you are in your life and your situation, but what I do know is that giving your baby up for adoption is a decision that will impact you for the rest of your life and I truly feel you are likely not prepared for the aftermath of a decision like this will have on you and your unborn baby.

You might think giving your baby life is the best thing you have to offer your baby. I am here to share with you that yes, giving your baby life is important but you are the next very most important thing that your baby will ever need. You do not have to have a fancy house, or a nice car for your baby. You do not have to have two parents to feel qualified to parent your baby. You do not have to have a lot of money. Your baby just needs you!

Let me share another piece of my story with you. I became pregnant again at 20 years old. I had my daughter out of wedlock and raised her as a single parent all on my own. Although I had a little support from my adoptive mom at the time, the dynamics of that relationship always have been toxic. Not long after when I was 24 years old, I got pregnant with twins. I was still an unwed pregnant woman, and I already had a 4-year-old as a single parent.

My twins were born 29-week preemies at 2.5oz and 3.1oz and they were in the NICU for 6 weeks before they came home. I brought them home and had a 4-year-old to take care of. I can share with you those times were some of the hardest of my life. I did not have any sisters, cousins, aunts, uncles, or grandparents to help me. I was truly alone but I did it and you can do it too.

It would take me all day to tell you about all the struggles I had raising these 3 kids alone, as a single parent. However, every struggle made us stronger as a family and my kids are truly the reason, I am alive today. They gave me a reason to live when I did not want to live for myself.

I did not have a car most of their lives as younger children, but I learned how to take the bus. I did not have much money, but I was able to get public housing assistance, food stamps and WIC. I could not work because I could not have the twins in daycare. I received state assistance temporarily, but they only gave me $328 a month that had to last the whole month to take care of these kids. I never got child support, although my kid’s fathers have always been ordered to pay.

Thankfully, my kids will never know what it feels like to have their mom abandon them and hand them over to strangers. I know that the loss of my mother, that I am all they ever needed, and they will never know the alternative. I had no clue how to be a mother, because mine we terrible examples but I did the best I could with the resources and tools I had. I would not change a thing about the last 27 years, but I wish adoption did not take so much of my life, so I could have been fully present with my kids. I always felt like a train wreck and I feel they deserved more.

When a pregnant woman learns of her pregnancy, they are usually led to believe they have 3 options. Parent, Abortion or Adoption. However, I do not rally for any of those aside from parenting. Is parenting easy? No way, but our children are so worth it and nothing in life is easy.

If I present Adoption and Abortion as options or choices that would mean I support them, and I support keeping mothers and babies together at all costs. We need more people encouraging mothers to KEEP THEIR BABIES, by offering them support than offering or encouraging Abortion or Adoption as options. I do not fit into the debate of the PRO-CHOICE vs PRO-LIFE. Why? Because my beliefs do not line up to fit in those boxes. I am a family preservationist all the way, so keeping mothers and babies together is my #1 choice and what I wholeheartedly support.

Most people might be judgmental towards my feelings about this, which is perfectly okay, but I feel abortion is much more compassionate than having a baby in the world unwanted and abandoning that baby. Why do I say this? Because I have experienced both. 45 years of deep-rooted relinquishment trauma is a long time to serve filled with unspeakable pain, all for giving my adoptive parents the beautiful baby they wanted. I had to do the time. I have had to pay the price! Please keep in mind I have also been in touch with hundreds of adoptees who feel the same way. Talk to adoptees! We carry the keys to the truth.

If I had to choose, abortion would be my #2 option over adoption any day! I am not interested in arguing with you, or hearing the PRO LIFE propaganda. These are my personal views, and this is my personal space to share them. I know countless adoptees who feel the same way. I can say this because I have lived being adopted and I know firsthand the pain it is caused and I don’t wish it on my worst enemy.  I live with it every day. It stole my quality of life for 43 years out of 45 and I am just now coming to a place of peace and fulfillment in my own personal life. If you don’t agree, that’s fine. We can defiantly agree to disagree.  Likely, if you haven’t been abandoned by your mother and passed over to strangers, you can’t grasp the magnitude. If you’re an adoptee that doesn’t agree, that’s fine too. Please understand that your pain isn’t everyone else’s pain. If you haven’t experienced the pain so deep that dying seemed like your only way out, consider yourself fortunate.

Let me also share, if anyone reading this is promoting adoption over abortion these two really have NOTHING to do with one another! On behalf of the adoptee community, we would like you to stop using us as your poster children for your PRO-LIFE motives. On a personal note, you should be ASHAMED OF YOURSELF for promoting the separation of mothers and babies over 100% keeping them together. Adoption should NEVER be an option, unless abuse or neglect are involved, and even then TRUTH & TRANSPARENCY is the ONLY way to go.

I do not support adoption or consider it an option because I have had to live being adopted and I can tell you the pain is a pain that is lifelong, even with the most amazing and loving adoptive parents. I will never support adoption and I never present it as a choice of any kind when I speak to any pregnant women. It is NOT A CHOICE in my world. If that topic is brought up, I do everything in my power to educate the person if they are willing to receive the message.

Please understand…

 LOVE ISN’T ENOUGH OR A HOUSE FULL OF STUFF.

Please do not let anyone convince you that it is. Please read Considering Adoption? What Adoptees Want You to Know… and understand it is not just me that feels this way. This article is a plea from over 30 adult adoptees to their first mothers before they make the choice to surrender them for adoption.

There is not any amount of love or material things that will ever replace YOU. It will not take the pain away, no matter how hard our adoptive parents TRY. Maybe the father is not involved, and you are scared? Maybe you do not feel qualified to parent? Please understand that circumstances change, and a lot of the time financial situations are temporary. There are resources out there to help women in these situations.

Adoption is forever.

Please also be encouraged, I remember not having money for food, and a sick baby with no car to the doctors. I remember our electric getting cut off several times. I did what I had to do to survive.

27 YEARS LATER, WE MADE IT!

My twins just turned 22 years old, and my oldest daughter just turned 26. My oldest daughter graduated from the University of Kentucky in 2018 and my twins are both doing great.  Raising them into amazing and incredible human beings has been the biggest gift of my life. The struggles have been real, and it has never been easy, but the rewards have totally exceeded far beyond all our hard times. I always say, “We may not have it all together, but together we have it all.”

Please do not let anyone separate you from the most amazing part of your life, and that is your baby. You might be considering an open adoption but I am here to tell you that working in the adoption community over 10 years open adoptions seem to close more than they stay open leaving the birth parents in absolute heartbreak. I have learned of countless stories where the adoptive parents come up with many reasons to close the adoptions, and there is NOTHING legally binding to keep the adoptions open. Imaging being in the shoes of this happening. It seems they all want to sell a dream in the beginning, to get your baby but things change at the drop of the dime and that door slams shut and there is NOTHING you can do about it. It is too late. Do you really want to risk this? It is so not worth it when it comes to your baby.

The mother wound is one of the deepest wounds anyone on earth will ever experience. Many adoptees have this wound not once, but twice due to lack of connection and bonding with our adoptive mothers. It can take a lifetime to unravel and healing is not always possible.  Please do not inflict this wound onto your unborn baby along with the trauma that comes with relinquishment. Please research pre-natal and peri-natal bonding and what happens when this bond is interrupted. Did they tell you that it can cause lifelong damage in your baby? Did they tell you that your baby will cry for you until his/her spirit breaks? Did they tell you adoptees are 4x more likely to attempt suicide than non-adopted individuals and that our prisons, jails, and mental health facilities are overpopulated with adoptees?

If dire circumstances are present, drugs, homelessness, etc. then the next option should be keeping the child with a family member. At all costs, this child’s identity should not be erased, ever! No name changing, or altering birth certificates, no hiding ethnicity, medical history or removing children from their cultures. Adoption of the world today is legalized human trafficking and it needs to be abolished! If you do not believe me read the book “The Child Catchers” and see for yourself. And please understand I know that some adoptions must happen, but I still stand strong that adoption of the world today needs abolished as we know it and we need to focus on guardianship. It needs rebuilt where there are no secrets and lies, and identities are kept intact. Until this happens, I will never support adoption because morally I can not support secrecy and lies, and I know too many adoptees who struggle with everything in them. This was me and my story for 43 years, remember?

Let me also share there is no guarantee your baby is going to go to a home that is loving and can provide more than you can. They want to sell you a dream, but I can assure you adoptive parents divorce, and adopted kids are raised in poverty and on welfare, food stamps, & housing assistance like I was. I was also adopted into a home with a pedophile who has hurt countless innocent children, which is part of the reason I am estranged from this family I was sexually abused in. Do you think my birth mother planned this? No, she was sold the dream I would have two loving parents, and a “better life.” Let us also not forget the number of adoptees being murdered and killed in their adoptive homes is not declining. Please do the research on this.

THERE IS NO GUARANTEE YOUR BABY WILL HAVE A BETTER LIFE.

Only a different one.

If you have made it this far, I commend you. I am honored you would have the willingness to read this article and take in all I have shared here. If you take away anything here, please remember that YOU are all your baby needs. Just you. If you would like assistance from an organization that is set up to guide you and help you through the process of KEEPING YOUR BABY, I wholeheartedly recommend Saving Our Sisters. This organization is founded by a personal friend of mine, Renee Gilin who I admire and love greatly. She has poured her heart and soul into creating this organization out of her own grief, loss, and trauma in losing her son to adoption. Please check her website out and reach out to her if you are still unsure about what you are going to do.

Suggested Resources

Please seek out adult adoptees FIRST before you do anything. We’re the experts in the adoption constellation and we’ve lived being adopted.

Please research adoptee blogs by visiting my Adoptee Blog Roll and also read adoptee centric memoirs and books at Adoptee Reading.

A platform that was created for you is called Ask an Adoptee. This platform has hundreds of adult adoptees on stand by to answer your questions regarding the adoption experience. They want to shed light on the side of things that the adoption agencies and adoption attorneys will not tell you. Please take advantage of this platform and use it as much as you can.

Visit How Does It Feel To Be Adopted? And read and learn from the hundreds of adoptees who have been brave enough to pour their heart and soul out in sharing their experiences on how it feels to be adopted.

Reach out to The Broken Birth Mom on Facebook and connect with her regarding her story of relinquishment.

Tune into Adoptees On and listed to this podcast filled with adoptee stories where you can get a true glimpse of the realities your baby might face if surrendered for adoption.

Connect with Adoption & Birth Mother Support by Musings of the Lame by visiting their website.

Another great resource is First Mother Forum by a friend, Lorraine Dusky who is a birth mother.

Read adoptee stories at Dear Adoption, who is founded by a great friend of mine, Reshma McClintock.

I hope you realize that no matter what story you are sold by the adoption industry, you are truly the best thing for your baby. Every human being has issues, and we are all a work in progress but never let anyone convince you that you aren’t capable of taking care of your baby and that the selfless thing to do is to hand it over to strangers to raise. The majority of adoptees I have been in contact with over the years do NOT feel their mother’s decision was selfless, yet they feel completely abandoned and traumatized by these actions. The adoption industry uses significant coercive tactics to convince you that you are not worthy.

YOU ARE WORTHY AND YOU CAN DO IT.

If you need someone talk too, please email me at: pamelakaranova@gmail.com 

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Happy Mommy Dearest Day

Times Two 

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Mommy Dearest #1 is the mommy that gave birth to me. She relinquished all rights to parent me. She left me at the hospital then decided to flee.

Mommy Dearest #2 is the mommy that adopted me. It took me a lifetime to discover, she was mentally ill and didn’t have capabilities to parent me.

I spent my entire life searching for Mommy Dearest #1 because she had to be a better mommy than Mommy Dearest #2.

“But she gave you away, she didn’t want to parent you!” they say.

“But she loved you so much” they say.

Conflicting stores, leaning towards my birth mother wanting to see me because I believed that “She loved me so much.” How could a mother not love their child? She must be searching for me too, to rescue me from Mommy Dearest #2.

Mommy Dearest #2 had some good qualities if I’m honest. She loved gardening, plants, lavender, and the colors blue and white. She liked watching soap operas, cutting coupons, talking, and figure skating. She was a nurse, and her greatest gift was my birth mothers ultimate sacrifice.

ME.

Mommy Dearest #2 wanted to be a mother more than anything in this world, but here’s the drawback. Her husband, my adoptive father left us when I was 1, because he knew she couldn’t parent us. He moved over an hour away, remarried and raised a new family of his own. Leaving us with Mommy Dearest #2.

Mommy Dearest #2 was manic depressive, always sad and cried daily, and said over and over, “I’m not a good mother, I just want to die.” I was her caretaker my entire child hood and most of my life. Recalled memories of terror that have overpowered any good she brought into my life. Her laying in the street, trying to commit suicide. Flashbacks. Flashbacks. I will never forget it. Her locking herself in her room with her box of pills, saying she was going to commit suicide. Being a little girl banging on the door, crying hysterically for hours sometimes begging her not to die. Over and over, memories never leave my mind. Flashbacks. Flashbacks. I didn’t know about mental illness as a child, I just know because of her being undiagnosed, and untreated I paid the price and will have memories of this trauma for life. Read more about my experience with her here. 

I was the ultimate sacrifice.

Was this the “BETTER LIFE?”

WHY?

Why did Mommy Dearest #1 decide to flee?

I had to find her, because she had to be better than Mommy Dearest #2. Sadly, I learned my fantasy of her wasn’t true. Even when I wrote her a poem that went something like this…

“My prayers were answered, my dreams finally came true, all of this occurred the day that I found you”

The truth is, she wasn’t searching for me, and she didn’t want to be found. She met me once, but she never wanted me to come back around. She slammed the door shut, she locked it and she threw away the key. As long as she was alive on this earth, I never threw away the hope that one day she would want to see me.  20 years passed, I waited and waited. Then I got the dreaded call, “Your birth mother has died.” With her dying, my hope of ever seeing her again died too. I was told it broke her heart that my adoptive parents divorced because if I was going to be raised on welfare, food stamps and in an abusive environment, she would have kept me! This made her ANGRY!

2010 Mommy Dearest #1 is dead.

She would rather die all alone, than have me in her life. I would have been there in a heartbeat if she would have picked up that phone.But the world says I’m supposed to be thankful.

I’m thankful that I found her, I’m thankful that I met her one time but that doesn’t change the fact this has traumatized me for life. I’m not thankful I was adopted. I do have a million things in my life I’m thankful for, but adoption isn’t one of them.

Mommy Dearest #2 died 7 years later.

But not before I escaped by moving across the country in 2005 so my kids and I could have a better life. One of the hardest things I’ve ever done is making the choice to sever ties. I changed my name, embraced my recovery journey, and started my life over.

2 Corinthians 5:17

BRAND NEW!

I didn’t sign any adoption paperwork!

As soon as Mommy Dearest #2 died my soul was set free, I finally felt like I could breathe. The weight lifted. I didn’t feel any sadness from her dying, than the same sadness I’ve felt every day of my life NOT. HAVING. A. MOTHER. I still have dreams about her, and memories of my childhood flashback frequently. I continue to remind myself that I don’t live there anymore, today I’ve made the choice to open a new door.

A new life, with new possibilities.

Moving forward, I made a vow to myself, I would always be true to me! 

Honesty is KEY!

I’ve moved forward with my life, and the 2 women that should have loved and cared for me the most, have hurt me the most. The damage that has been done is something I’ll be working on for the rest of my life, but today I’ve accepted it and acknowledged its here to stay. It’s part of who I am, it’s part of my story but it’s not all of who I am or all of my story.

I’ve been working 10+ years on my recovery and healing journey. Not all adoptees have something positive to hang onto, but we can take the pain and find something to pour it into! Passion and purpose seem to make it all worth it. Many of us have been dealt a hand of trauma all the way around the paradox. Mother’s Day for many of us is not only a day of remembrance of the woman who carried us for 9 months, handing us over to strangers, TRAUMA! abandoned but it’s also a reminder that the woman we were handed too couldn’t parent us. Trauma times TWO!

If this isn’t you, that’s wonderful, because we all deserve a wonderful mother. The fact is, some of us don’t get it even when we’ve been given 2 chances by being adopted.

How do you strike it out 2x in the mother area?

Some of you will say “It’s all a part of God’s plan.”

 Newsflash: God doesn’t plan trauma so stop blaming him!

What has this experience taught me? It taught me that no matter what anyone says, mothers aren’t interchangeable. It’s taught me that adoption of the world today isn’t from God, and man has totally messed this thing up and they have the audacity to say God is in control! It’s taught me this is MAN’S PLAN, NOT GOD’S. God never plans on separating mother’s and babies.  It’s taught me I’m strong and a survivor to be alive, making it through this nightmare. It taught me that even when I’ve been adopted on paper, I’ve really raised myself. The examples I had as mothers, not only one but TWO were something I never wanted to be.

So, what did I do?

I have done everything in my power to break generational curses and heal from the hurts. I want to be a better mom to my kids, than what I ever had. I want to be a happy healthy grandma to my future grandkids, which is something my kids never had. I want to take all this pain and trauma and find purpose in it. –  Adoptees Connect! I want to take back everything that was stolen from me. I’m finding happiness within myself, because I’ve never found it anywhere else. After I’ve found it in myself, I’ve been able to find it with others. I want to help other adoptees who feel isolated and alone, because if I can survive this THING, they can too. If your adopted and reading this, you are NOT ALONE!

This writing is me acknowledging my pain, and my experience with both of my “mothers”. I’m no longer sitting in this space, but when my feelings come, I need to share them. My website has always been a safe space for me to share. I don’t want to take any more of your time, by sharing this sad story of mine.  I acknowledge it, process it, and move forward with my life. I’ve been stuck for far too long.

So, this year, I’m sure my kids will want to celebrate ME, and that’s how it’s supposed to be. I’ll celebrate the fact that I’ve been a mom to some amazing kids, who I cherish more than life. That’s a TRUE gift and a focus for me on Mother’s Day. In the back of my mind, these memories and my story will always be. I have no mother to celebrate. But if you do, I’m happy for you. If I’m a little distant, or it takes me awhile to respond it’s because I’ve pulled away from electronics, and the television where everyone is gloating about their mothers. I just can’t deal.  Self-care is something I put first.

Hugs to all my fellow adoptees who lost your first mother, who have a hard time with Mother’s Day. MEGA HUGS to all my fellow adoptees who not only lost your first mother, but your second mother wasn’t what you deserved. I’m crying with you all. If you made it this far, you are a survivor. It hurts, let yourself feel the pain. Write about it, draw, color, paint, run, jog, hike, cry, scream.

Feel free to leave your thoughts here if it will help you in some way. Please take care of yourself in the coming days!  Do whatever you need to do, to take care of you.

I decided to post this before Mother’s Day because I don’t want to interfere with those celebrating this day, in anyway. I’m not looking for sympathy or to be “fixed.” Just sharing my story, healing through writing one click at a time. Thank you for being a part of my journey! 💛

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Reclaiming. Recovering. Recreating. Retreating. Repeating. 

The Narcissistic Adoptive Mother

It’s amazing to finally be able to put a name to the way this lady is. I’ve always had an extremely difficult time explaining her characteristics over the years and when I do almost everyone I know can’t fully grasp what I’m explaining unless they experience it themselves. It makes it rather challenging to explain WHY I can’t have a relationship with her today but none the less I’ve let go of my need to explain it, unless someone specifically asks.

After doing some research on “Daughters of Narcissistic Mothers” I was overwhelmed in a sort of a good way with the similarities that my adoptive “mother” has with Narcissistic Personality Disorder. I say overwhelmed, because finally I’m able to understand better. I needed these answers to be able to put some pieces together as to why she is the way she is. This has helped me gain a better understanding of why my childhood and life was the way it was when she was in it.

Here are some questions that were asked to me and almost every one fits my adoptive mother to the perfect description.

Check all those that apply to your relationship with your mother:

(X)= This is something I continuously experienced with my adoptive mother over my lifetime.

  1. When you discuss your life issues with your mother, does she divert the discussion to talk about herself? (X)- ALL THE TIME!
  2. When you discuss your feelings with your mother, does she try to top the feeling with her own? (X) – 100% OF THE TIME!
  3. Does your mother act jealous of you? (X) YES, IT’S ALL ABOUT HER!
  4. Does your mother lack empathy for your feelings? (X) – ALL ABOUT HER!
  5. Does your mother only support those things you do that reflect on her as a “good mother?” (X) YES! SHE BELIEVES SHE GETS CREDIT FOR EVERYTHING I HAVE DONE. GOD GET’S MY GLORY. NOT HER. SHE DROVE ME INSANE MY WHOLE LIFE.
  6. Have you consistently felt a lack of emotional closeness with your mother? (X) – YES YES YES! WE HAVE NO RELATIONSHIP AND SHE MAKES MY SKIN CRAWL.
  7. Have you consistently questioned whether or not your mother likes you or loves you? – (X) YES! SHE USED ME FOR ENTITLEMENT REASONS, AND FOR ME TO TAKE CARE OF HER AND BE HER SLAVE.
  8. Does your mother only do things for you when others can see? (X)- YES, THEN BRAGS ABOUT IT!
  9. When something happens in your life (accident, illness, divorce,) does your mother react with how it will affect her rather than how you feel? (X) – YES, IT’S ALL ABOUT HER! ALWAYS HAS BEEN.
  10. Is or was your mother overly conscious of what others think (neighbors, friends, family, co-workers)?
  11. Does your mother deny her own feelings? (X) YES BUT SHE HAS NO PROBLEMS BEING OVERLY EMOTIONAL AND CRYING ALL DAY LONG.
  12. Does your mother blame things on you or others rather than own responsibility for her feelings or actions? (X)- YES, SHE’S NEVER IN THE WRONG, EVER.
  13. Is or was your mother hurt easily and then carried a grudge for a long time without resolving the problem? (X)- YES AND I HAD TO PAY FOR THIS FOR 31 YEARS OF MY LIFE UNTIL I ESCAPED.
  14. Do you feel you were a slave to your mother? (X) I KNOW I WAS A SLAVE TO HER! THAT’S THE ONLY REASON SHE ADOPTED ME.
  15. Do you feel you were responsible for your mother’s ailments or sickness (headaches, stress, illness)? (X) YES, SHE WAS AND STILL IS SICK EVERY DAY OF MY LIFE AND IT WAS ALWAYS PROJECTED ON ME AS A CHILD AND GROWING UP. I WAS RESPONSIBLE TO MAKE HER FEEL BETTER.
  16. Did you have to take care of your mother’s physical needs as a child? (X) ALWAYS! ALWAYS! ALWAYS!  ADD EMOTIONAL AND MENTAL TO THIS LIST!
  17. Do you feel unaccepted by your mother? (X)
  18. Do you feel your mother was critical of you? (X)
  19. Do you feel helpless in the presence of your mother? (X) I FEEL HORRIBLE AROUND HER!
  20. Are you shamed often by your mother? (X) NEVER FEEL GOOD ENOUGH.
  21. Do you feel your mother knows the real you? (X) NO, SHE CAN’T POSSIBLY.
  22. Does your mother act like the world should revolve around her? (X) YES, ALWAYS HAS! CENTER OF ATTENTION IN EVERY SINGLE SITUATION!
  23. Do you find it difficult to be a separate person from your mother? (X) GROWING UP, YES. NOW, NO..I MOVED ACROSS THE COUNTRY!
  24. Does your mother appear phony to you? (X) YES!
  25. Does your mother want to control your choices? (X) YES!
  26. Does your mother swing from egotistical to a depressed mood? (X) MORE DEPRESSED ALL THE TIME. DRAINING TO ME. AGAIN ALL ABOUT HER.
  27. Did you feel you had to take care of your mother’s emotional needs as a child? (X) YES! ALWAYS ALWAYS ALWAYS!
  28. Do you feel manipulated in the presence of your mother? (X) YES!
  29. Do you feel valued by mother for what you do rather than who you are? (X) YES! IT’S ALL ABOUT WHAT SHE CAN “GET” OUT OF YOU.
  30. Is your mother controlling, acting like a victim or martyr? (X) VICTIM MENTALITY ALL THE WAY ALL THE TIME.
  31. Does your mother make you act different from how you really feel? (X) SHE DID GROWING UP, NOW I’M MY OWN PERSON AND I CAN SHARE MY FEELINGS SINCE I ESCAPED HER WRATH.
  32. Does your mother compete with you? (X) OF COURSE! IT’S ALWAYS ABOUT HER!
  33. Does your mother always have to have things her way? (X) YES!
  34. A grandiose sense of self-importance (may be shown as an exaggeration of abilities and talents, expectation that he or she will be seen as superior to all others). (X) YES! ALL SHE TALKS ABOUT IS HER SELF!
  35. Is obsessed with him- or herself. (X) YES!
  36. Goals are almost always selfish and self-motivated. (X) YES! IT’S ALWAYS ABOUT HER!
  37. Has troubles with healthy, normal relationships. (X) YES, SHE HAS MY WHOLE LIFE!
  38. Becomes furious if criticized. (X) YES YES YES! SHE TURNS INTO A 2 YEAR OLD LITERALLY!
  39. Has fantasies of unbound success, power, intelligence, love, and beauty.
  40. Believes that he or she is unique and special, and therefore should only hang out with other special, high-status people.
  41. Requires extreme admiration for everything. (X) YES, AND FOCUSES SOLY ON HER SELF.
  42. Feels entitled – has unreasonable expectations of special treatment. (X) YES, AND REFERS TO WHAT SHE’S DONE FOR YOU AS TO WHY SHE SHOULD GET IT.
  43. Takes advantage of others to further his or her own needs. (X) ALWAYS! SHE DOES NOTHING UNLESS SHES GETTING SOMETHING IN RETURN.
  44. Has zero empathy – cannot (or will not) recognize the feelings of others. (X) ITS ALL ABOUT HER!
  45. May be envious of others or believe that others are envious of him or her. (X) ENVIOUS OF OTHERS. CANNNOT CELEBRATE OTHERS EVENTS UNLESS SHE PUTS SPOTLIGHT ON HERSLEF TO STEAL THE SHOW. THIS IS CONVERSATIONS ALSO.
  46. Behaves arrogantly, haughtily. (X) YES! SHE TURNS INTO A 2 YEAR OLD LITERALLY. STARTS POUTING, STOMPING HER FEET, STORMING OFF SLAMMING DOORS, CROSSING HER ARMS WHEN SHE IS TOLD SHE’S IN THE WRONG OR SHE HEARS SOMETHING SHE DOESN’T LIKE.

Note: All of these questions related to narcissistic traits. The more questions you checked, the more likely your mother has narcissistic traits and this has caused some difficulty for you as a growing daughter and adult.

Narcissistic Parent Glossary and Terms:

Narcissistic Attachment: is the belief that the child of a narcissist exists only for the benefit of the parent, such as a particular status.

Parentification: is the expectation that a child must care for his/her parent, siblings, and household as a surrogate parent. This causes the child to lose out on any type of normal childhood.

Infantilization: using brainwashing tactics to ensure a child stays young and dependent upon the Narcissistic Parent.

Triangulation: a tactic used by narcissistic parents to change the balance of power in a family system. For example, rather than allowing two siblings to work together, the Narcissistic Parent insists that he or she be the go-between. This controls the way the information flows, the way it is interpreted, and adds nuances to the conversation. It’s also a way to feed Narcissistic Supply.

Narcissistic Supply: is a term used to designate the manner in which narcissists require, feed on attention. The best sorts of attention are approval, adoration, and admiration, but other sources of attention – like fear – are acceptable to a Narcissist. Children, small children, of narcissists are used as an ongoing source of this attention.

Gaslighting: a way in which Narcissistic Parents (and other abusers) use lies – intentional or not – to make their child question his or her own reality. A child may end up feeling as though he or she is crazy. An example would be, insisting that the sky is actually green, until the child believes it. Gaslighting is one of the most insidious forms of emotional and psychological abuse.

Narcissistic Rage: Narcissists despise any challenge or insult, and when that happens, a Narcissist can fly into a rage – spewing insults and becoming physical and aggressive with their children.

Site Source: www.willieverbegoodenough.com & www.bandbacktogether.com

Let me just say that no matter how my adoptive mom was, I still experienced the trauma of being separated from my birth mother at the beginning of life. So many people say, “Oh, she had a bad adoption experience…That explains it all” Well…….That “Bad Experience’ more like a nightmare began the day I was born. The moment I was swept away from my birth mother and I laid in a nursery for 4 days all alone. That moment I experienced the biggest trauma of my life. That moment my history was erased, my weight and height didn’t matter. My biological roots were a mere part of my past that no one wanted to recognize. I was never supposed to find out where I came from. The moment I was separated from my birth mother I was considered a blank slate. My little body was just in existence, waiting to be formed and molded into what “THEY” wanted me to be. It didn’t matter that I just lost my mommy, the woman who carried me for 9 months in her belly.

The home where I stayed with my adoptive mom felt like I was living in a world that’s almost indescribable. It’s very difficult for me to explain to people all the hell I went through in her home. After her and my adoptive dad divorced when I was a year old, my adoptive sister and I were the center of her world. She wanted to be a mother SO BAD, yet failed to deliver in providing us with a loving home. Everything from day one was about HER. Now that I’m 40 years old and I look back over my childhood I feel as if I was almost kept captive in her home. Formed and molded into what she wanted me to be. She caused every problem there ever was in that home. I never had 5 minutes to JUST BE A KID. Every time I would run off to play, she would shout my name. She had more tasks and cleaning for me to do- EVERY SINGLE DAY! This was the same when I would try to go outside to play, or turn the T.V. on to a kid station. She was so overly emotional, and cried every single day of my life. She was addicted to prescription pain pills, stayed in bed all the time, depressed. Her moods changed in an instant, and she was often suicidal and made sure my adoptive sister and I knew she was attempting to kill herself so we would cry and BEG her not to. I remember being hysterical on multiple occasions thinking she was going to die, including the time she laid in the middle of the street while we watched in horror from our 3rd floor apartment window. I will never forget these things. She made sure we knew all of her adult problems, she talked about everyone, she started trouble between everyone in her family and she absolutely THRIVES ON BEING THE CENTER OF ATTENTION IN EVERY SITUATION!

One of the biggest reasons I lost respect for this lady is because she ALWAYS spoke negatively about my adoptive dad. In my 40 years of life, he has never said one word about her negatively to me, neither has his wife. I was always faced with situations where she was speaking bad about him. He was a great adoptive father, and he provided for us, paid child support, and did all he was supposed to do. I supposed she was trying to gain brownie points for all the negative talk about him but all it did was make me feel even more alone, and worse than ever. She took her personal feelings and made them my business when I shouldn’t have ever known about their issues. I see a lot of mothers do this about fathers, not even in adoption and little do they know it makes the child feel negatively about themselves. That’s their father, you had a child with him no matter how it came about. Kids are NOT responsible for ADULT consequences. She always made her issues our issues. This was a heavy load to carry as a child and I remember this happening as far back in my childhood as I can remember.

My adoptive mom played my adoptive sister and I against each other. We never stood a chance at being sisters, because she always had one of us who was the “Good Kid” and the other was “The Bad Kid”. This created a constant battle field in our home. My adoptive sister (she came from a different family) has always hated my guts because her and my adoptive mom used to fist fight all the time, and I was the odd ball out who was always trying to rescue and comfort my adoptive mom. She would cry hysterical and I didn’t know what else to do besides sit there, next to her and take care of her. I would rub her back, and say “It’s okay mommy, everything’s going to be okay”. Just typing those words makes me SICK TO MY STOMACH. This wasn’t once in a blue moon, this was every single day of my childhood. This created a deep rooted resentment in my adoptive sister because she felt like the “Bad Kid” and I was the “Good Kid”. This is described in the narcissistic information above, and it describes my childhood to a tee. It was hell living in that home.

My adoptive mom was a horrible housekeeper. She couldn’t cook a hot meal and serve it all at once. Everything was always a mess, and her adoptive kids more like little house slaves were in charge of catering to her every need. I remember over and over she would call us from far away to go fetch things for her, and this happened even if she was closer than we were. Yeah, I know. Lots of kids “fetch” things for their parents, but she was overly excessive with it! Every five minutes we were fetching things.

Her life was consumed with us and what we could do for her. If we tried to do what kids do, she put an end to it. We would get up extra early on a Saturday morning to try to watch cartoons, as soon as she would wake up she would make us turn the TV off and she had a list of chores for us to do the size of a poster board. I’m not kidding! This started at a very early age. If we tried to go outside to play she had more chores for us to do, so on occasion we would sneak. I remember the feeling so vividly because we wouldn’t be outside 5 minutes and she would come screaming for us to get in the house, but that few minutes of FREEDOM was the best feeling in the world, even when I knew it was only going to be a few minutes before it was over. Back inside living in hell, serving and catering to this lady who I’m supposed to call “Mom”. When things didn’t go her way, she would tie us to chairs with dish towels. I remember this very clear and I never understood what I did that was so bad to deserve this. I will never forget being tied to those chairs as a little girl. She would make us give her massages, all over her body. She said her body hurt all the time, so our job was to help her pain go away, (even when she was loaded on prescription pain pills). Every single day we had to rub her back, her feet & her legs. She even had us pop pimples & black heads on her back, and this traumatized me for life! She used to lie on the bathroom floor and make us give her enemas. What normal human being makes their kids do these things? This woman is truly disgusting and I will never forget the things she made us do. These things are NOT NORMAL.

Things got rocky when things didn’t go her way. As we got older the fights escalated and got out of hand. Why was there so much fighting going on in this home? I mean physical fighting between my adoptive mom and my adoptive sister AND between my adoptive sister and I. As I’ve gotten older it’s been made apparent to me that this woman never should have been allowed to adopt children.

I sat my adoptive dad down one day a few years ago. I had a heart to heart with him. I asked him “WHY DID YOU MARRY HER?!! WHY WAS SHE ALLOWED TO ADOPT CHILDREN? WHY DID YOU LEAVE US WITH HER WHEN YOU DIVORCED?” I needed these answers!!!

He sat at my dining room table, and held my hand and said how sorry he was. He said she fought him tooth and nail in court to get custody, and all the judge would give him was visitation & holidays. He said that I came REAL close to not being adopted. My older sister was adopted a year earlier, and my adoptive mom had an extremely difficult time taking care of her, and struggled each day to parent her as a new born baby and the weeks, and months to follow. She could barely take care of her. Then they got the call for me. My adoptive dad said my adoptive mom had to go to a psychiatrist before they agreed they wanted to adopt me. For whatever reason they decided she would be able to parent me, on top of a 1 year old so the adoption was granted from a private attorney and granted. I went home with them 4 days after I was born and they divorced when I was 1 year old. I know for certain I could have never bonded with this lady. As much of a basket case as she was as far back as I can remember, I know she was even worse when I was a newborn baby. I’m glad I have some answers, but I wish my adoptive dad would have fought harder to get custody of us!!!

As we grew into our early teen years, things got worse. Fighting got worse, everything got worse. My adoptive sister escaped and went to live with my adoptive dad. I got stuck in my adoptive moms home because I felt sorry for her, and I knew if she was left alone she very well may commit suicide as she had tried this so many other times. She made sure to manipulate us, and she always made it known that her feelings are something we are responsible for. I learned later in life, that’s ridiculous. All the way from being a young girl, I never had a healthy relationship around me and I never had a mother/daughter relationship or a bond. I could never share my feelings with her, because it was ALWAYS about her, her feelings, her drama, & her issues. I was just in existence to cater to her needs, her wants and her desire to be labeled “MOTHER”. That seems the only purpose I served in her life. When I was in my early teens I remember her talking about never wanting to go to a nursing home. She would explain over and over all the “bad things” she saw in nursing homes, and would constantly bring up the fact that she never wanted to live in a nursing home. She mentioned me being her POA, and would throw hints my way over and over that her intentions were for me to be her POA and for her to live with me as she grew into an elderly woman, and then she wouldn’t have to go to a nursing home. As I got older, I realized her speaking about this would increase, as well as all her health issues, sickness, and emotional hang ups. She was sick every single day of my life. I never remember her saying, “I feel great today!”. NEVER! There was always a reason for her to take pills, and stay in bed, depressed. Pills were everywhere lying all over the place. I hated it!

Nothing changed as I got older, and I had kids. She just began to project her misery onto my children, and started to find ways to manipulate my own kids against me. They saw her unhealthy and sleeping all the time. She made them give her massages. They saw her messy lifestyle, with bottles of pills laying all around. It was up to me to save them from what I had to experience growing up.

I’m glad her dreams were fulfilled, at least for 31 years, until I got up enough courage to pack up a 22 foot U-Haul and move my kids and I across the country. I’m 40 now.   This was the hardest decision of my life, because at that moment I knew I had to do this for my kids, not just for myself. My adoptive mom Mommy Dearest was a professional at creating co-dependent relationships, and she thrived on me needing her for different things. She knew I needed her help babysitting, but when I started seeing her treat my kids the same way she did us growing up, I knew I had to come up with an escape plan. I know this may sound dramatic to some, but I truly felt like I had to ESCAPE her WRATH once and for ALL!

I began planning the move across the country. She began to play mind games with my kids, talking bad about me behind my back. I remember the day I loaded the 22 foot U-Haul with no support from anyone in the whole wide world, accept my best friend. I could have never done it without her!! I planned to drive across the country, drop our stuff off in storage, and fly back to pick up my kids. I wanted to talk to them every day so they wouldn’t think I left them or abandoned them. This fucking bitch turned her ringer off and wouldn’t let me talk to my kids AT ALL the entire 3 days I was gone. Finally she answered my call from someone else’s phone, and I let her have it! That was the last straw for me, with her and her sick minded manipulation games. I will never forget it, because I wanted to make sure my kids knew exactly what I was doing, and where I was. I wanted to tell them I loved them every day, but she stopped it from happening.

I have forgiven this lady, but in the process of me forgiving her, I have had to accept the fact that she stole my one chance at having a decent mother. She stole my childhood, and any happiness I would have had as a child. Now, she thinks she has some “Grandparent” rights to my kids. She wants to come visit them, and continue on with a sick and unhealthy relationship with them. Every time she visits, she turns my flipping house upside down. It’s like the devil shows up and my door, and comes whipping through my home like a tornado. It’s insane how ONE PERSON can cause so many problems. After her last visit, she’s not welcome around me, or in my home. She’s a VERY BIG trigger to me, actually the biggest in my life. I’m living in recovery going on 2.5 years from alcohol abuse, and drug abuse for numbing my LIFES ISSUES, ADOPTION BEING THE ROOT! I can’t chance my recovery and have someone in my life whos a huge trigger like she is. My Christian counselor has told me its okay to not have her in my life. I don’t owe her ANYTHING! Now, I have to try to do my best to explain all this to my kids, who ARE impacted by my adoption experience. They are VERY MUCH IMPACTED!

My adoptive moms family has recently disclosed to me that they feel like “SHE WAS BORN WITH EVIL IN HER BODY!.” After discovering I believe she’s suffering from extreme narcissism, and bipolar disorder, depression and an addiction to prescription pain pills It’s has brought me some understanding on how ONE PERSON can do so much damage. If I was to sit and try to have a calm talk with her about all the damage she’s done to me in my life, she would turn into a 2 year old literally! She has never admitted when she was wrong, or made any changes to get help for her behavior. She’s sick, and mentally ill and I have to keep her away from me. The thought of her coming back into my life sends complete and total FEAR into my body. It takes me back to my childhood, and being that scared little girl who needed a mommy, but I was too busy caring for her and her needs, I was robbed of a mother all together but left constantly taking care of her needs. She never adopted for me, she adopted for her selfish desires, and today I have no mother.

Every day I’m reminded of this. When I found my birth mother, I sat and had one talk with her. I wanted for this day my entire life. Her question to me was, “So tell me about your life?”. I remember not having much good to say. I told her my adoptive parents divorced when I was 1. My adoptive mom and I never got along, I was in and out of group homes, and juvenile lock up. I guess she wanted me to share some “WONDERFUL STORY”. But because I didn’t have one, this is something she took deeply to heart. I know because I was told she was REALLY upset that she was promised I would have 2 parents and my adoptive parents divorced when I was 1. If that was the case, she would have raised me herself! She was VERY upset about this, and after this meeting she shut me out and never spoke to me again. I can’t help but try to put myself in her shoes, and feel the shame, guilt and sorrow she must have felt when she learned the life that she had planned to be so much “BETTER” than the one she could give me wasn’t better at all. I was told this crushed her. She passed away, and rejected a relationship with me after meeting that one time. I can’t help but hold my adoptive “mom” somewhat responsible because once again, she stole so much from me. Even the one chance I had at beginning a relationship with my birth mother was STOLEN because my adoptive “mom” FAILED at being a MOTHER!

Where has this left me? MOTHER-LESS! My kids are GRANDMOTHER-LESS. I was forced to make a decision where I felt I had to move across the country from this unhealthy sick human being, and then it leaves us all with constant reminders of what adoption has taken. I have no relationship with my adoptive sister today. My narcissistic adoptive “mom” made sure she ruined any and all chances of us ever being close by playing us against each other all the way back to the beginning of my life. That;s another loss, and my kids have had to experience this loss also. Bottom line, I can’t have UNHEALTHY relationships in my life!!! There is no hope that my birth mother will be in my life, or my kids. Adoption made sure of that.

My adoptive mother fits all these things perfectly.

 Maternal Narcissism

Every single day, every holiday, every minute I’m reminded of what adoption has taken from me. I’m on a healing journey, and more and more is revealed daily. I’m thankful God is revealing it, but I hope some adoptive parents, and biological parents, and adoptees can read this and learn that adoption isn’t all rainbows for some of us! I’m thankful for my blog. I’m thankful for this place where I can share my feelings, even when some of my entries are entirely too long! This is the ONLY place I have to share it. And not one single person in my life, adoptive or biological family reads this place. I don’t think they could handle the truth, and if they did read it I would be left once again defending myself as to WHY I FEEL THE WAY I DO. I’m thankful God has given me my adoptee VOICE. I’m thankful for all of my church family God has put in my life who may not “Get it” but they listen to me, and support me no matter what. I’m thankful for my relationships with my kids, and a very special man I have in my life. They all tell me, that when they look at me they can see my mind never stops racing. If only they could experience the thoughts in my mind for a 5 minute period, they would understand me so much better. I don’t believe there’s any way they could handle it, because almost all the thoughts in my head are FEAR related to my adoption experience. Fear of people leaving me, fear of EVERYTHING! I guess I need to keep reminding myself when I’ve lost EVERYTHING there isn’t much else I can lose, even when it feels like it. You see, even in the middle of living this nightmare of a life I didn’t have any control over, I ESCAPED & I’M THANKFUL FOR THAT! But let me say, I will never be able to be THANKFUL for being ADOPTED. Adoption has stolen too much from me. I hate being adopted with every bit of my being.

 I would have rather had my REAL MOTHER and lived in a CARD BOARD BOX than been assigned to my ADOPTIVE MOM and lived in HELL ON EARTH in her home. IJS!

 Now I have a choice what I’m going to do with all of this pain. God has let me know that our pain is someone else’s gain. So here I am, sharing my journey in hopes to reach other adoptees so they know they aren’t alone. I have so much more to say, but TODAY I have to head out to work.

If you made it this far, THANKS FOR READING!

Let me know you were here and if you can relate to any of what I’ve experienced or my feelings. Did you have a narcissistic adoptive parent? Was it the adoptive father or adoptive mother? Or both? How did this make you feel?

Pamela Jones AKA @freesimplyme

http://www.facebook.com/howdoesitfeeltobeadopted