Some Thoughts on Identity

Tim Lawrence writes – “I was also able to forgive the young man who had done this to me. I will never condone what he did, but I did come to accept that it happened. In that acceptance, I learned to be courageously vulnerable on my own terms, free of the chains that abuse had suffocated me with for so long. 

Today I’m much more confident with myself and in my relationships, I have a much healthier understanding of intimacy, and I no longer blame myself for what happened. To this day I sometimes feel the pangs of unworthiness, even though it’s much more rare. When this happens, I immediately bring myself into the moment, and notice how my body feels. Usually it’s a deeply buried tension in my stomach and a feeling of paralysis, as if the world is going to fall apart.” – Tim Lawrence

But I quickly pull myself into a place of clarity and observe my emotions objectively. By doing so I see that the terrors of the past do not have to dictate my choices today. I’m able to remind myself that the wounds of my past are not my identity, and I will not allow them to be ever again. When the fear of intimacy rears its head, I whisper, it’s not your fault. Because it isn’t

the wounds of my past are not my identity. The wounds of the past are not the identity of any of us, whatever the wounds, however they were acquired and whoever we are. It took me many years to understand that identity is a fluid thing, it changes, alters and is not something we are stuck with for life. It seems the identity essay is a popular vehicle for assessing students and others and good models are sought after  - It is a vital area of exploration for us all.  Questions of identity become very complex for those adoptees in our community who have been taken from their motherland, their culture, their language and their biological families. They are difficult for those of us adopted within our country of birth who may have been born into a different culture and one of which we are proud and wish to be included. We may have been adopted in our country of birth by those with very different values and principles, practices and beliefs. Most know of the difficulties of the children of ‘rebels’, revolutionaries and those fighting political oppression who are taken by representatives of Government forces for adoption and raised in an opposing set of beliefs and goals. The confusion and identity difficulties for these adoptees are painful, hard to resolve and confusing. The Chilean Children of Silence – ttp:// are one example of the nightmare inflicted on babies and their biological families.

Some thoughts here on adoption and identity –

It took fifty years for me to meet my mother and to discover something of my family history. Longer to discover my biological father’s history,which is shocking, harsh, confronting and very difficult to come to terms with. Knowing what I know completely altered my sense of my place in the world. I felt grounded, with a firm foundation and a history. My connection to my biological relatives helped me understand myself, some of my attachments, interests, contradictions and connections. I lived for many years not far from my ancestors village, I passed by that village hundreds of times and felt a strong connection with the County. At that time I knew nothing of my history.  My dearest friend went to live only 6 miles from the village and was able to take many photos for me of  the graves of my ancestors and the buildings they had called home, after I had returned to my birthplace. I am forever grateful for this knowledge and information and wish all adoptees could have the same. My own Daughter has come to appreciate the connections, the heritage and the significance for her in her life.  It is our right. It is the right of our children and grandchildren to know where they have come from, who they are, what helps form part of  their identity.

Last words go to Maya who was born in China and adopted by a single American woman –  ” You have to figure it out for yourself,” she says. “You can’t always have others telling you ’this is what you are.’ It’s really your own identity to form, who you are and who you want to be, and how you want to be defined.”  –






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