Wednesday, August 8, 2012

In spite of it all

Growing up I suffered in silence...without even realizing it until adulthood...thinking back on it now I was on a perpetual slow many quiet internal years and not being able to pinpoint exactly why I felt that way.  Not having a tribe, daring not to speak about being adopted.  I had a decent upbringing...a nuclear family (that looked like a quilt more than a rooted family tree, but a nuclear family nonetheless complete with sunshine, popsicles, camping and bandaids...idyllic really).  I didn't understand why I didn't feel "grateful" or why I didn't feel "lucky" about being adopted...I heard this over and over growing is the outside world's normal reaction when you say you are adopted...why that went against my nature of being young, carefree and adventurous ...almost like I was fighting myself head and my heart slowly, quietly waging a battle against each other...what I was really feeling deep down versus what I inherently "thought" I should be feeling.  Why I always felt a little bit different than others....a little left of center...why the longing...why the unresolved and unidentified feelings, above and beyond the normal teenage angst.  Why I felt like an outcast.  Who the hell did I think I was? (exactly....)

I've been called ungrateful for the simple fact of wanting to know where I came from...wanting to know the circumstances around which I was created, born and came into this world, wanting to know my history, wanting my own original birth certificate.  Can you imagine what that feels be called ungrateful for your own life and for just being born when inside you knew you had a heart full of gratitude...but this was a different kind of with strings and contingencies and oppressive archaic laws.  A heavy backpack for a newborn to carry, no?  I've been called disloyal and that I should just sit quietly and not "rock the boat" (even though to's MY boat).  This discourse from some who loudly spoke their opinions to me (unsolicited, I might add...).  Can you imagine?  Can you imagine being born with an innate sense of being in debt...feeling like you owe the world for your life...must play part...must not veer from society's script.  Being is completely different than being adopted...everyone is born being, but not everyone is born being adopted.  It's a burden and a gift.  Adoption is a lifelong give and take, win and lose, love and sadness, lost and found, rinse and repeat.

It's hard to grow...standing in sunlight yet feeling the dark
It's hard to grow...not feeling like you can be yourself...because you don' know who that is
It's hard to grow...untethered, neither here nor there
It's hard to grow...against the grain of your soul
It's hard to grow....feeling silenced
It's hard to grow...carrying archaic oppressive laws that hold my identity hostage
It's hard to grow...carrying the shame of a system, of a man, of a woman, of an era
It's hard to grow...being shushed by society to be quiet and by all means if you want to talk about adoption, do so only in hushed tones because it makes people "uncomfortable"

Why I felt I had so much to offer to the world, bursting at the seams, but held back...god forbid, I stand out, make my way loudly...gasp...that would be perceived as ungrateful
for fear of alienating my parents
for fear of being disloyal
for fear of being abandoned
for fear of being returned
for fear of I-don't-know-what...I was young and did not have the therapeutic tools to decipher ME from the mess

I no longer feel this way's been a long road of discovery, a road constantly under construction full of traffic, gridlock, pit stops, natural disasters and weather delays to get to where I am today.  To feel the feelings, acknowledge them, embrace them and ultimately to stop these negative contradictory feelings from bubbling up to the surface and taking control...not that they stop altogether but to now know they are there and to make peace with them.  To carry them as a badge of going through the fire.  I've earned that patch on my girl scout lapel...I became my own Macguvyer of adoption...a little duct tape, some bubblegum, an ocean full of tears, talking, thinking, many hard days and I slowly put my own puzzle together so I could finally just be "me".  Those feelings still creep in but not as much these's innate and cannot be undone, but they can be conquered and shaped...the trick is how you choose for it to shape you.  I don't want to be a victim.  I want to strive to carry mine in the shape of the heart, because it is the only shape that works for me.  I no longer want to carry the anger, the shame, the's not mine..I don't deserve it.  I now only want to carry love.  I only want to recognize and embrace the knowledge that a dandelion grows from the toughest of situations into the biggest wish one can create for one's own live sidestep the carry what is only mine to carry.  To be free.

To survive and thrive
in spite of it all...
and that is my biggest of all dandelion wishes
for myself...for you...for all of us.
xo Two


1 comment:

  1. This post speaks to me, and I feel as though I could have written it. At 46 all my adoption coping mechanisms failed, seemingly overnight when I spoke to my birthfather for the first time. I have been "searching" for as long as I can remember but under the veil of secrecy as not to be seen as ungrateful. Some days I feel really broken and other days the joy abounds. It is hard to manage all of it. I am looking forward to feeling more tethered more often...I really appreciate your blog. I find it interesting that so many adoptees tend to love poetry, quotes and words...perhaps we see that as something we can control in our worlds that are so out of control...