I guess I’m not adopted enough.

What follows is grumpy writing about forum drama that I’d rather just put behind me. I’m leaving it here because I think it’s an important historical document in my experience as an adoptee interacting with other adoptees on the internet, but I’m splitting the post to remove the text from casual viewing because it doesn’t really go with the rest of my writing. (Apologies to those reading over RSS, my edit probably made this look like a new post but it’s not.)

I’m giving up on internet forums. They’re just like high school cliques. You have the cool people and the people who aspire to be like them. You have to do and say all the right things to fit in or you might as well not even bother to show up. I’m 37 years old. I’m too old for high school.

Apparently, I can’t even be adopted right. I feel pain, but not enough pain. If I don’t feel someone else’s pain, if I can’t relate to someone else’s pain and I dare to say so, not when they are hurting and asking for support but when they are clearly implying that any adoptee should be able to relate to that pain, then I’m pretty much fucked in terms of being one of the cool kids.

As you might have guessed, this is about forum drama. If you already knew that forum drama is stupid because forums are stupid and people who worry about forums are stupid, then you might want to skip the rest of this post while I get this last little bit of stupidity out of my system. Actually, this is forum drama that has already bled over into blogs, increasing the lameness by at least an order of magnitude.

First, here’s the deal with this blog. This blog is, more than any thing else, a record of my thoughts as I go through this process of dealing with grief, loss, anger, and whatever other bullshit that comes from the circumstances of my adoption as well as my reaction to the discourse surrounding adoption that I have encountered in trying to help myself. In other words, basically like any other blog, I write about what’s on my mind.

So, on AAAFC forum an adoptee posted that she would rather be raped 100 times than be adopted. Now, it is important to understand the context of this post. It was not in the context of, “Hey, I want to talk about how adoption makes me feel.” If it had been, I would have respected it and left it alone. No, it was in the context of someone else posting something like, “Hey this kids’ book that says it’s okay to be adopted bugs me because I don’t think it’s okay to be adopted.” This was one of those touchy-feely books that tells kids that if there’s something weird about them, it’s not their fault that they’re getting beat up on the playground every day because of it. Or, alternately, that they should probably stop beating up kids on the playground every day for stuff like that. It wasn’t specifically about adoption. It just had one page that said, “It’s okay to be adopted.” Just like it had a page that said, “It’s okay to have big ears.”

But apparently it shouldn’t have said that. It’s not okay to be adopted, and being adopted is worse that being raped 100 times. That’s where I opened my big mouth and said I didn’t feel that way. And I don’t. At the time, I thought I was just responding to hyperbole, but the responses made it clear that that was not the case. I just left it alone because I realized I was coming from a very different place and I didn’t want to make a big deal out of it.

This made me think about how I did feel about being adopted. Was it really that bad? I mean, I think it was overall a negative experience and I have written extensively on that, but would I compare it to being raped 100 times? Admittedly, I haven’t been raped even once. Maybe it’s not that bad. I always thought it was pretty bad, though. And 100 times would be an extremely traumatic, soul crushing experience, at least to my understanding. I don’t feel that way about my adoption. So I made a blog post in which I wrote that adoption did not ruin my life or crush my soul. Like I said, this blog is about my thoughts and feelings and that’s what I thought and felt.

[I have removed three paragraphs here that were in response to a post on Joy’s blog. She has informed me that the meaning that I took from her post was not the meaning that she had intended, and though I cannot conceive of any other reasonable interpretation, I sincerely trust and respect Joy so I will take her word for it.]

I want to be a cool adoptee too but I can’t help the way I feel and I’m certainly not going to lie about it. I just don’t fit in, again, and I’m not being sarcastic here it really does make me sad. I wish I had a rejecting natural mother who thinks me less her child, loves me less, than her subsequent children. I wish I could identify in my mother a set of traits that she could have recognized and encouraged in me, that my adoptive parents were clueless about. Maybe then I would feel the pain of my adoption more deeply, knowing what I had missed out on.

It’s hard to feel rejected, or unloved, or cheated, or deprived, by some buried ashes and a headstone in Texas. Some buried ashes and a headstone in Texas gave me up for adoption over 37 years ago. Some buried ashes and a headstone in Texas gave me up to save her marriage, which ended a few years later anyhow. Some buried ashes and a headstone in Texas had children since then and raised them as a single mother. Some buried ashes and a headstone in Texas took the name of my father with her to the grave. It’s really not the same, is it? But it’s all I have to work with. It’s all I have.

For a while, it was hard to read adoptees writing about reunion issues because I found it so painful. But now I am starting to find it tedious and not terribly relevant to my life. So again, I am unable to connect to the deep feelings of real adoptees for whom adoption is so painful. I guess you can’t feel pain where there aren’t any nerve endings. I really tried, I really wanted to connect and share and be part of that community. But I don’t feel the same things they do.

I’m so sorry, so very sorry that I don’t feel the things you do, that I can’t connect to having my soul crushed. I really tried, I really thought I was like you. I feel pain about my adoption, but it’s not your pain, it’s not as deep or as important as your pain. Adoption didn’t ruin my life, but adoption still is my life, and it is really hard sometimes. I wish I could understand why it can’t be enough that I feel that much.

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