adoptee, adoption, anger, rejection, reunion

Still Angry, After All These Years

I read about adoptees who aren’t angry.  They don’t blame their parents for the decisions they made, they are at peace.  I wish I were one of them.

Instead I boil inside.  I lie awake, next to my husband, tossing and turning.  The loss bubbles up and consumes me.  I cannot rest!

The images flash through my head, my father’s family at a wedding, laughing and dancing.  My mother kissing her grandson, my father cleaning the pool for his teenage children to swim in.  I’m not in any of these pictures, and I never will be.

In my mind, I’m part of their family.  In their mind it’s not the case.  They gave me away, and they meant it.  They can’t understand why I can’t just accept it, and be happy with what I have.

I don’t know why I can’t either.  What is the secret of those happy adoptees?  When i ask, no one can tell me.  They just choose to be happy.  Does that mean I choose to be hurt?

Four years post reunion.  Still an outcast.


13 thoughts on “Still Angry, After All These Years”

  1. The idea of abandonment motivated by love is a difficult one to wrap my mind around. It’s crazy to me that adoptees are expected to be able to understand this notion from childhood. As if it makes sense in some way. It doesn’t make all that much sense. I have made sense of it only because I have been faced with having to figure out how to make sense of it.

    I think that the secret to being a happy adoptee is feeling the hurt full force and working through it. Having your adoptive parents stick you in therapy when you are really young so you have a third party to help you deal with your adoption issues throughout adolescence and once you reach adulthood you have found some sort of emotional stability is one good way of getting this done. I have worked through my hurt for the past 13 years and now I work with it. The secret to being a “happy adoptee”, I have found, is to stop internalizing the rejection and rather to understand that I feel rejected but know that I was rejected because of issues my birth parents had, not because there was actually anything innately wrong with me. It’s kind of a “it’s not me, it’s you” mentality.

    The best tool is when you know that your life circumstances are better as an adopted kid than they would have been if you were not put up for adoption. But, that’s not the case for everyone. Some people may have had better lives if they were not put up for adoption, some other people romanticize the lives they would have had were they not put up for adoption.

    Another good tool is finding a way to turn wounds in to wisdom. I worked for a decade on turning my struggle with self worth in to an ability to help others build their own self worth. I bet you have at least one very wise wound. Helping other people through the same ( or similar) darkness that you have found your way through is the most rewarding thing in the world. I find if I sit and keep all my adoption issues and all the work I have done on my adoption issues to myself I start feeling like I might drown in it all. Helping others, finding a like minded tribe, becoming a resource for people struggling with the things I have spent so long working to understand brings me happiness. It makes me feel like any struggles I had, now have an ultimate value. My struggles have a reason for existing. They exist not only to make me stronger but to make me strong enough to help others become strong.

    I guess bottom line is. To be a happy adoptee, you choose to be happy. And then you go to therapy for a really long time to work on your issues and everyday you wake up you choose to be happy and you choose to continue to work on your issues.

    And remember, a lot of adoptees who claim to be happy are actually just really good at repressing emotions and will probably fly off the handle sometime in adulthood. Or they cry in their room alone at night but never tell anyone about it. Your ability to write publicly about your feelings puts you ahead of the game in a lot of ways!

    1. Thanks, you are very sweet.

      I’m getting better at not internalizing, but the life-long pattern is hard to break.

      I have gone to a few therapists, but so far they have no clue how to help me.

      I am not in favor of our American style infant adoption. I believe most young women truly want to keep their newborns, my mother included. There needs to be better systems in place to help young women. Giving away your baby is not the answer. The baby may get more material things, but will be missing very vital biological connections.

      1. We need adoptees who
        Have mAde it to healing. And to heal you gotta make a badass move. Balls to the walls. No turning back. Speak your truth that is all you’ve got. And speak you pain. Pump it. Bleed. People need to see what this does to us. Those in denial need people like us. This shits gotta change. Xo. I am with you. Your not alone. I won’t stop until it changes. No one should feel like this. No one!

  2. Not that it’s a compatition. But 22 years an outcast. And I took my power back and spoke out about it all. Ive just begun to speak. Peoples veiw are asque. Why? Because we the adoptees need to grow some and speak. Our side of the story has been conveniently left out. It is time for us to speak and it must be loud and proud. I stand with you my adoptee sibling. We are one, they just told us we weren’t. And the world of denial is going down. The more we unit. The more of us will come out about how we really feel. Being honest is the first step to healing my friend. Bravo for your Courage.

  3. Again, I’m sorry for your problems. I’m not perfect, and certainly can be hypocritical.

    What is it that you want me to do for you? I really don’t understand.

    I can be a little dense too sometimes, prideful, all the sins. I’m not a therapist, or particularly good at making others feel better.

    1. Again you or anyone is responsible for my problems. I’m not responsible for your problems. There’s no need for either of us to be sorry for each other’s problems.

      What we can do is be respectful of each other and not dismiss how each of us feels. Granted there have been times I have not been respectful. I’m far from perfect. I have no idea what it’s like to be adopted or have lost a child to adoption. But a lot of what each person in your community feels makes sense to me.

      I’m not asking you or anyone in your community to make me feel better. I don’t think you are asking the same of me. Unfortunately nothing can take away our pain. We just have to learn to cope with it as I’m sure you have.

  4. i agree with the idea of working through pain. but if i’m in a family that is saying that they want me, but they don’t want to help work through some things as they come up. well, i’m not sure they really want me then because i come with some problems. i don’t agree with the idea that nothing can take away the pain, that is called giving up.

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