Last night, I woke in the middle of the night, and I felt such fear and dread. I sought the root of the feeling, and could not find it. I remembered that I have always felt this, and that the feeling has no name. I also remembered that it will pass. It will return, and it will go away again. I think we all have these feelings. It’s the human condition.
When I think back on my childhood, I cannot find any happy memories. None. The whole thing is colored a dark grey, by my adoption. Losing my mother, and never being allowed to even speak of it, colored my life.
No family. No one. Nothing. Every day, all day.
I could not wait to escape from my adoptive parents house. I met my husband when I was 16. Someone who could save me, and make me whole.
“But, your adoptive parents loved you. They did not abuse you! They raised you!”.
I know. I was there. They tried, but I was so hurt. I could not feel their love. Their love was spoiled for me, because it came at the expense of my real family. I should not have been put in such an impossible position. I could not accept the love of the ones who I felt were responsible for my loss.
Did they really love me? I suppose so. I was a good enough child. But, I was not, and could never be their child. They had to maintain the illusion that I was. They did not tell anyone that I was adopted. It was a hidden family secret, one that I dared not speak of.
How I hated the phrase, “when we got you”. Got me? I wanted “when you were born”. I wanted my mother to tell the story, of my birth, not the story of these strangers who somehow, “got me”.
Even as a young child, I felt this way.
It was a lost cause, from the start. I was broken, unable to be fixed. On my own, from the start. I had to turn my heart to stone.
I remember, being at my Auntie Irene’s house, during the long hot summers when I was 6 & 7. There were 4 older kids there, my adoptive cousins. They did not like me much. The feeling was mutual, but I was at a disadvantage. I was all alone, and they had each other, as well as their real parents, and I was an unwelcome guest in their home. My adoptive parents sent me there so they could both work full time during the summer.
I used to lie awake in my borrowed bed, listening to my adoptive uncle’s snores and will my heart to be hard, like a stone so I would not feel the pain of being left alone, again. I locked my self in the bathroom, and said every curse word I knew.
I went home on weekends, and never told my adoptive mother any of it. I never told her the sex games my cousins would play either. I finally told her when I was an adult, and she said, “why didn’t you tell me”. Sigh.
Would I have sadness if I hadn’t been adopted? I’m sure. My real mother had issues. I still loved and needed her.