Adopted in the UK

The life of a UK adoptee

{4 of 30} Guilt, Fear & Paranoia

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I got kinda side-tracked in my last post about the stuff I was actually aiming to address. While I wanted to cover the aspect of not being able to get help, it was really intended to be far more of a personal post about my own coping – or, more specifically, my own lack of coping – with dealing with living life as a post-reunion adoptee. So this post, my post that should’ve been today’s only post but isn’t ’cause I’m something of a failure at even managing to write something daily for a week, let alone a month, is going to be my attempt to cover some of my more personal experiences of living post-reunion.

Some of the guilt part is probably the easiest bit to understand – especially given that so many adoptees are berated for even contemplating accessing THEIR OWN birth records, let alone entering reunion (e.g. the comment Pip refers to in this Y!A question). I get it both ways though; I feel guilty because I don’t go ‘n’ see amom anywhere near often enough, but that’s because I feel guilty when I do go ‘n’ see her too. It’s not because I’ve needed to hide the fact I’m in reunion or anything like that from her, but because of how weird it feels now that I am in reunion. Now that I know who I’m from, and so am slowly starting to learn who I am because I’m being able to unravel the nature/nurture parts, I’m feeling like crap because – like the bad adoptee I am – I’m not grateful enough. Don’t get me wrong, I’m extremely grateful that I got the afam. that I did get, but that’s because they’re a lovely bunch of caring, wonderful people – not because I’m adopted.

I also feel guilty because I know my amom loves me like a mom should love her kid, and I know that when I go down to see her, it hurts her to see that I’m hurting – and I am hurting, so very very badly, which is part of why I’m striving to fight so hard to be able to get some adoptee-specific psych-therapy into my life. Yet the biggest proportion of the hurt has hit since getting into reunion, because no matter how prepared anyone is for reunion, it’s just about the biggest mindfuck on the planet short of being abandoned in the first place. I feel guilty because if I hadn’t hit reunion, I might be outwardly less hurt, and so she wouldn’t see it so much, and so wouldn’t hurt for me so much, when she’s already got enough crap in her own life without what’s going on in my life adding to it.

So I avoid going to see her so she doesn’t have to see me this hurt, which hurts her because I don’t go, which adds on to my not being able to go because then I feel worse because I haven’t gone. I know the answer to it is to go see her more, but then she gets hurt because she sees how much I hurt no matter how much I try to hide it. Welcome to vicious circle number one.

On a similar theme of vicious circle guilt is how I feel for not going to see the bfam’s. With them, it’s less that I’m worried they’ll see how much I hurt, as I’m not sure they can necessarily read me quite as well as amom can – after all, despite all the genetic similarities, we’ve only known each other barely over three years, and those three years haven’t exactly been filled with weekly, nor even monthly visits. It’s part and parcel of the same kind of thing though, only with this side it’s more that I’m scared (hence the fear part of the title) I’m gonna put my foot in it and say something one of ’em won’t particularly like all that much, and bam, there goes my reunion. So I don’t go because I’m not convinced I’m always gonna be able to keep my big trap shut if we get on to the subject – yet all we’re doing is skating around the subject, walking on eggshells because we don’t know how the other’s gonna react. Of course, doing the walking on eggshells, I have absolutely no clue if they also feel lie they’re walking on eggshells because we don’t really broach the subject all that deeply. I’d really really like to because there’s so very much I want to be able to say, but is there really any point in saying any of it anyway? After all, they all already know I’m not exactly over-joyed at being abandoned to adoption, but at the same time, I’m also not sure that they have a clue how much I love them *just because* they actually are MY family. Heck, even the stroppy little sis. who’s decided she doesn’t even want to acknowledge my existence is loved, because she is MY little sis, and that’s what you do – you love your family. Ok, you may not always like your family, and your family may contain utter arseholes, but they’re still YOUR family, and so get loved just because of that fact.

This family stuff’s also part of the paranoia part – especially the bit where I perpetually feel left out, yet have too much fear of saying anything about it just in case I nark them too much and again, bang will go the reunion. I do though. Not on the maternal side. I fit in with that bunch of reprobates without a problem at all. We’re all as fecked up as one another, and all have such similar personalities that it really was just like going home when I met them. The paternal side though, that’s all kinds of weirdness abound. More so when everyone seems to interact so happily together, and I’m left sitting on the side-lines, wondering how I fit in, where I fit, if I even CAN fit in anywhere. They all seem so close, and are always all over each others’ Facebooks and seeming to be going to this party, or that wedding, or even just saying “happy birthday” to each other on FB. All except me. The one who wasn’t there with them growing up, so they think they don’t know me, so they leave me out because they’re just not used to including me, so then I just end up feeling even more left out than usual because I don’t KNOW how to interject myself into their lives without being something they ain’t gonna wanna know. I just sit on the sidelines watching as they talk to each other, and feel like I’m intruding every time I do finally get the balls up to say anything to any of them, and so wind up slinking away again with my tail decidedly and firmly between my legs. And it does hurt, enough that I’ve gotta stop typing now ’cause I’m having trouble seeing through the tears that’re once again falling, because all I wanna do is see them and know them and have them know me, and know how to interact with them, but I don’t. I grew up an only child, in a house of three, and I have no idea how to be around them, because I have no idea who they really are, because I don’t know how to get in to get to know them, because I feel so wrong among them.

Vicious circles for the lose.

Yay for siblings. The one who don’t wanna know me aside, I can – at least sorta – talk to them without too much fear.

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Written by 7rin

Mon, 5 November, 2012 at 12:17 am

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