Thursday, February 8, 2007

Adoptee Secrets = "Unwanted"

This post is in response to Gwen's recent chat about "secrets". Secrets are simply the triggers to the term "Unwanted"

There is nothing more powerful than the want for acceptance in the life of an adoptee. The fallout from rejection and loss varies, but the reality is clear - it all stems from rejection (whether spoken or unspoken). Self-esteem becomes bipolar in nature as one goes from acceptance of temporary praise to condemnation of one's entire life. Every adoptee I've ever known suffers from PO or performance orientation and then they go into this funk when they start to compare their lives to others. If you claim you don't, then you're simply lying to yourself.

After rejection, one desires friendship via performance (humor, sports, academia) and then performs unordinary acts of behavior to prove to one's self that rejection is imminent once someone shows interest. It took me 15 years to get over the performance oriented method of doing things and to look at life as it is and not how it is wished. When I came to the realization that life is playing the hand you're dealt and not wishing it were different or better, things looked up. You just have to find a table where a pair of 2's might win or you're a damn good bluffer. I learned that if people liked me for what I did, stay the hell away! I found a whole new type of friend who simply liked me for who I was and not what I could do for them.

In my early 20's, I learned the power of forgiveness and let everyone off the hook including myself. I began to look at life from a fresh point of view and gave up pointing the finger at anyone. My relationship with my amom never came back, though I made a special trip from Massachusetts to Missouri for a 15 minute conversation with her to aske her forgiveness for all the things I did as a child to cause her grief. Though she did not forgive me, I walked away clean. This may sound cruel, but one cannot demand forgiveness and I had learned years before that she was never one to forgive. But I had to forgive to get the weight off my back and after being away from home for nearly a decade, I had learned that I wasn't the "bad" abnormal person my amom had portrayed me as for my entire upbringing. I no longer considered myself "unwanted".

1 comment:

34quinn said...

wow..You have done well to be able to have some closure...

I am not ever going to even think that I would ever appologize to my Amom for anything bad I did or may have done as a child.

I you...was told many a time that I could be "taken back" etc.

I am in my 40's now, trying to break the connection completely and suffering the ingrained guilt in the attempts...Yet so much of the time I am left feeling like the 8 year old still working toward acceptance and approval.

I am glad I found your blog , I will keep reading.