complex identities

storyIn the world-wide web of adoption, there are amongst adult adoptees, still a few areas which remain taboo. One of these is to do with biological mothers and the difficulty adoptees have in criticising them or taking them to task for obvious wrongs committed. Yes, we all know they have suffered, been abused, been denied their rights and had a hard time living with the guilt, the loss, the trauma. Most of us would believe we have compassion and empathy for that suffering. It is very hard when what they have suffered causes behaviour which directly impacts on us. I’m thinking here of the adoptees denied, those amongst us who have their very existence denied by a woman they know to be their mother, a woman who cannot face up to the past in which she could not or would not tell the truth. Another scenario in which a woman maybe who has had sex as a teen and becomes pregnant but is terrified to admit the truth so pleads rape, blighting the life of the adoptee’s father and her own besides. It is a tragedy when the truth cannot be told, when courage deserts those who then withhold the truth from someone for whom it is so vitally important. That is but one example.
My own mother told a plausible story about my conception, about my father, but it is one which I will forever doubt. She had 50 years to hone it for sharing and I will never know how accurate her rendition of my first chapter is. Does it matter now after 70+ years? Of course, it will never cease to matter. The truth will always be important to me and I like to be told it however unpalatable. So do most people. I am reminded of the woman, an unknown mother, who once commented on a fellow adoptee’s blog, telling her that she was loved and wanted by her mother suggesting that all adoptees are loved and wanted. She was highly offended and upset at being informed that not all mothers did love and want their babies and that it was deeply upsetting to adoptees to be told so and then to discover that was a lie. That is a mothers’ myth now able to be refuted by the evidence of adult adoptees – thank you internet! A double rejection is the thing we all fear – often referred to by adoptees as ‘the double whammy’, we all know what we’re talking about. Some of us don’t get as far as the double whammy and it makes you wonder when do we win? Adoption to most adoptees I know never feels like a win, never can feel like a win and usually feels like a loose/loose. That is why we get on with our lives and sometimes have to make very difficult choices and decisions about who we allow into our lives, sometimes even just on the ‘unreal’ world of Facebook! In the ‘real’ world of face to face contact, life gets much harder when we have to deal with a biological family who never included us as part of the family and have difficulty including us now or just don’t think of doing so from habit or sometimes from deliberate and painful choice. We are often asked to remain ‘secrets’, to stay hidden, to keep quiet, to not rock the boat and to make sure we don’t upset anyone. It is not surprising that it sometimes seems we have lived our whole lives at the bidding of others, living out a story written for us, following a script we had nothing to do with creating.
I read a comment this week from an adopter who maintained that an adoptee could not tell an accurate story about their beginnings and that the adopters’ version was somehow more ‘real’, the true story! What a rich and fertile field that is for exploration!
Here at Poddler’s Creek we are in a full-blown and delightful Autumn with days of 23C and nights of 13C in a consistency which could be boring but is not. The landscape before me is changing daily and the vines are beginning to colour beautifully. It will soon be a palette of golds, oranges and yellows to rival any tapestry. I’d like to report that I am in the thriving best of health but I am not. It was so near and within my grasp. I am within a day of discharge by the District Nurses. My surgeon has discharged me saying my wound from surgery has healed splendidly. Last night I had another abscess come up and I’m hoping I’m not about to start all over again with this painful and lengthy healing. Such is life!
You might like to check out this post –

The empty circle: honoring and validating our complex identities.

3 thoughts on “complex identities

  1. I am one of those who was denied meeting the mother source and for that I am still living a story shrouded in mystery. It sucks.

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