Posts Tagged ‘Nov2012’
Yesterday I failed again to manage to churn out a single entry to reach the daily quota of one whole blog post – not because I have nothing to write/say, but because I have too much to write/say. Indeed, one of the biggest problems I experience during almost all of my discussions about my desire to annihilate adoption like adoption annihilates us is not lack of subject matter, but too great and disparate subject matterS, all intertwined under the seemingly simple notion that is adoption.
Thus, this – my second catch-up post in less than a week – will be my effort at untangling some of myriad issues involved. Hopefully, this may also help me get to grips better with writings in the future. On the other hand, because there IS so much overlap within the subject, such delineation may simply confuse the issue more, resulting in my writings becoming even more stifled than they already are, simply because it is so difficult not to stray across subject boundaries.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
It’s several hours later, and I’ve given up on trying to write this from scratch. Instead I’m pointing you at the Changing Paradigms .docx file that I created for the presentation I gave at the Birmingham Child Stealing by the State Conference back in June.
Unfortunately, this lack of being able to write coherently is one of the many side-effects I’m suffering from CAUSED BY the closed-adoption system within which I grew up. It is, I strongly suspect, one of the relics of the untreated P.T.S.D. that I (and many other adoptees) am experiencing. It’s also the biggest reason that – contrary to all my hopes and dreams – I have yet again failed to make it through university. After all, being able to write coherently is a major part of successfully attaining a Sociology degree, thus despite the massive wealth of knowledge on the subject that I KNOW I possess, being unable to translate that knowledge into coherent form in essays and the like, I would be wasting yet another year’s Student Loan by going.
So, it’s now officially National Adoption Week in the UK.
@twitter is already plastered with posts “celebrating” #adoption, and calling for more to be subjected to the legalised post-natal identity abortion that is adoption. I don’t do television (often), but I have absolutely no doubt that it’s also plastered with articles on how wunnerful adoption is, and how much adoption saves lives. Radio and the newspapers probably are too, but again, they’re not something I do.
I have a question though that no-one seems to want to answer: Why adoption? Why is adoption seen as “the solution” to the problems faced by kids with parents who can’t, or don’t want to parent?
Adoption is a legal procedure that legally annihilates someone’s identity, and replaces it with a fake identity, an assumed identity, a pretend identity. Yet this falseness is supposed to the answer to the issues of kids who’ve already lost enough – why?
Taking just one example from Twitter, @KnowsleyCouncil has posted saying that “573 children in the NW are waiting for their ‘forever family’” – yet no-one seems to be asking one of the most important questions – why do these children think that being adopted equates to being in a family forever? Why is no-one suggesting that these children are taken in and raised in love and with care WITHOUT having to forgo THEIR OWN identity? Why are so many advocating for these children to lose yet more from their lives, simply to be afforded the love and care that all children should be able to depend on?
During my presentation at the Birmingham Child Stealing by the State conference in June, I pointed out that adoption is nothing more than punishing the child for the sins (real or imagined) of the parents. After all, it is not the parents who have their identity legally and IRREVOCABLY torn from them, but the kids who have already been taken from those parents. Why?
Why is adoption seen as the solution? It’s not something I’ve had any answers to yet.
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.
Less than a week in, and already I’m a fail – it’s the 4th already, yet I’m only on the third post.
One of the main issues I’ve covered in this blog in the past (in general, not just this month) is my battle to get some form of adoptee-appropriate therapy (see the post-adoption support tag for some examples). Indeed, one of the biggest criticisms I’ve got against adoption as it stands for UK adoptees today is that, aside from the irrevocability of it all, while there’s this insane drive to create more of us, it seems as if nothing is being done to help those of us that have already been created. It’s not even compulsory for any of the authorities to provide adoptee-specific counselling once an adoptee hits 18, yet it is not until far into adulthood that many adoptees even realise that some (many, often) of the issues they’re dealing with are related to the impact that adoption has upon the psyche.
Quoting Nancy Verrier’s essay:
The coping mechanisms the adoptee believed would keep him safe while growing up are not very helpful in adult relationships. They are just that: coping skills, not true personality. Each adoptee is a unique individual, yet those coping skills are quite predictable. Gradually replacing coping skills with the true self should be a goal.
However, all the self-help books in the world can not help the adult who wants to be able to claw back some semblance of humanity over coping skills if that adult can not see which of their behaviours are true personality, and which are simply coping mechanisms borne of the devastating loss of ones own genealogical everything. This is why adult adoptees are at least as in need of trained, adoptee-specific psychological assistance as those adoptees who have not yet reached that magical cut-off point of 18 years of age, yet we get nothing.
We get nothing, and are expected to be grateful for our loss.
This fails to make sense, especially considering that had we stayed with our genealogical progenitors and been abused by them (’cause all adoptees’d be abused if they stayed with their b’rents, doncha know :p), then we would have no problem accessing appropriate psychological interventions as adults – as my own brother has demonstrated by his repeated ease of obtaining counselling. Yet adoptees can not undertake just any old counselling. The adoptee requires adoptee-specialists who don’t come out with idiotic and DANGEROUS questions such as “but aren’t you grateful?” like I got asked by the Chase Wellbeing counsellor that was the last person I got access to (back in ~May 2010). Yet this specialist help is not available – or, at least, not available without paying extortionate charges. Yet still the government continues to create more of us – with tomorrow being the first day of National Adoption Week 2012 (which I refuse point-blank to link to, since they refuse to print anything this “Adoption Champion” has written (it’s true, I am, I have the pack ‘n’ get e-mailed each year)).
This is cruel and abusive treatment, surely?
I got asked this last night.
Well, I say *I* got asked it; what I really mean is that those very few of us who were in there fighting against the tide of …
“We are in the final stages of adopting … can’t wait till he has our name and he is forever mine“
… and …
“I tell people that he may not have been conceived BY my husband and I but he was conceived FOR us…no doubt!“
… got asked it when we started doing things like spelling out the actual truths of the issues.
In particular, one of the comments incensed those of us in there who actually understand the very real horrors of what it means to be adopted:
“I have a 19mn old girl. She came into my world at 2wks. I have been fighting for her since. There is a threat of her leaving to a family member she has meet 1 time just last month. Please pray for her to stay with her known family. And i can have the joy to adopt“
So we called her on it. We pointed out that to fight to keep a kid OUT of, and separated from, her OWN genealogical kin is nothing short of child abuse.
Indeed, far from showing how wunnerful adoption is, this woman’s post actually highlights the utter depravity that adopters indulge in to get “kids to call our own“. It demonstrates, along with the comment of …
“one minute thinking your dream if having a family will happen and the next realizing that a family member may get the chance to raise the beautiful children“
… that adoption STILL is not about doing what’s best for the kids, but doing what’s best for the wannabe-adopters.
So then we got asked the question of the title, and told that we should be leaving it for positive stories. As is my wont, I replied at length, asking questions such as…
“1. Please tell me how https://www.facebook.com/notes/justice-for-grayson/rachels-statement-to-sheriffs-dept-for-kidnapping-report/127354994081660 can EVER be seen as in any way positive? And look at the date, this isn’t ancient history, but LAST MONTH!
2. Please explain how an INDUSTRY making $$$millions, as highlighted in http://www.divinecaroline.com/34/39676-national-council-adoption-mothers-money can be seen positively?“
I also pointed out that if they actually TRULY loved the kids they’re raising (or hoping to be able to buy to raise), then they would want to read and understand the truths of what we’re telling them, so that – unlike my own adopters (who are (were, adad died over a decade ago) utterly wonderful people whom I love very much) – they can have a clue how to deal with the issues that those growing up adopted face and have to deal with on a daily basis FOR THE REST OF THEIR LIVES.
After all, surely if you love the kid you’re raising – whether that be ’cause you created your own, or adopted, or fostered, or have step-kids, or are kinship carers – then you want as much information as humanly possible available to you in order to do the best job you can?
So yes, any thread where people are wittering on about how wunnerful adoption is IS the place for negative comments, because really, they’re not “negative” comments, but “honest” comments, sharing the truths of the issues that NEED to be dealt with so that the kid being raised can be helped as much as possible to grow up as healthy as possible.
“I understand how you feel.”
“I understand what it’s like”
“I know what you’re going through.”
I realise that when people say this to others, or about others, that they’re generally trying to be helpful, and to convey acceptance and comprehension of the issues at hand. However, unless you’ve lived through the same things that the person being discussed has lived through, then no matter how close you may be to another person who HAS lived through the same occurrence (in this instance, adoption, but it could be anything, from being raped, to growing up cis-male), then actually no, you don’t know. You may empathise, and you may recognise some of the myriad issues on an intellectual basis, but you can never know how it feels to live it.
I was hoping that this, my very first NaAdAweMo post ever, would be considerably longer than it’s turned out to be. It hasn’t needed to be any longer though, as the concept’s pretty simple; you don’t know unless you’ve lived it.
This NaBloPoMo was brought to you by the letters J and C, and the number 3.