Why are MOST adoptees so angry at their adopters?

I was online recently, on an adoptee support group I am now a part of, and I came across this post- someone asking “Why are MOST adoptees so angry at their adopters if they are traumatized and the trauma takes place due to the primal wound and being taken from one’s first mother?” Now, I found this quite interesting. Being a part of this group means that this individual is indeed an adoptee. That being said, I didn’t really understand their question, and needless to say I didn’t answer their post. However, I haven’t stopped thinking about the nature of this post because quite honestly, it bothered me somewhat. Maybe it wasn’t intended this way, but it came off as kind of rude and I found it to be off-putting. So, that being said, I’ve decided to give my take on this question. Here goes….

 

Well, first of all, I would not say that MOST adoptees are angry at their adopters. There is without a doubt a very good amount of adoptees out there who probably are angry because they may not have been adopted into a great family life. However, there is a great majority of amazing stories of adoptees who have fantastic lives and are extremely grateful for their adoptive families. I for one am one of those that are extremely grateful so I cannot relate to those angry towards their adopters, but I definitely get that that is a possibility.

 

I also believe it is entirely possible to be angry at ones adopters because of the sheer fact that sometimes you could feel that your adopters took you away from that “first mother.” Someone may not always feel that way, but it’s definitely a possibility at some points during one’s journey through figuring your feelings out regarding this part of your life. Anger is a normal part of grief, and grief is exactly what adoptees go through.

 

Now, it is true that we as adoptees are traumatized because indeed we are taken from our “first mother.” This has been known and referred to as the “primal wound.” Whether or not you choose to accept this term or not is totally up to you, and perhaps not everyone experiences it, but I personally have and accept it. (here is a picture of it in case anyone is interested in reading the book, I personally think it’s worth a read)

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But, I believe that you can be traumatized by this experience and then still be angry at your adopters if they are not great, or for other reasons. I don’t see why these two have to be or should be independent of one another. I think it is entirely possible to have both feelings, maybe not at the same time, but still.

 

In conclusion, I think both feelings are real and can occur together. Grief is something that adoptees definitely experience and both of these emotions and feelings are part of the grieving process. And that is exactly what this is- a process. To be honest, I believe trying to sort out all of these feelings and such, is a lifelong process. So really, who’s to say what makes sense and what doesn’t? Everyone’s journey and process is different. Let’s respect that.

 

xo, Lauren

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Don’t Be Offended That I Don’t Trust You

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To anyone I know now, or will meet in the future, we could be great friends. You may think we are the best of friends and feel that you could tell me anything. But, I want you to know that that does not necessarily mean I feel the same way. I promise you it’s not personal (most of the time) and you did not offend me in any way. Don’t feel insecure and think that I must really not want to be your friend and that you feel closer to me than I feel to you- that’s more than likely not true.

 

I promise you it’s probably not you. This is one of those times where “it’s not you, it’s me” actually applies. It really is me. My life circumstances have made me extremely cautious. I am very unlikely to trust anyone. There are very few people I actually trust.

 

Being adopted, almost immediately when my life began, I was predisposed to distrust. The one person you are supposed to be able to rely on is suddenly ripped away from you when you’ve built a relationship and bond with them for the past nine months. That is a defining moment in life. Okay, so what now? It’s almost as if as a baby I was like “okay well my number one person didn’t stick around, so I guess I cant trust anyone to truly love me, take care of me, or be there for me.” I didn’t realize I felt this way until more recently in my life (I’m almost 21 years old now), but looking back it was SO evident. I push people away or simply keep them at a distance. I truly, completely, trust virtually no one. I hope that one day that will change, but for now that’s who I am. I’m actively working on it so as not to completely isolate myself, but this is real. There’s nothing you can do to make me trust you more, it has to be something that I come to on my own.

 

Trust was broken very early on in my life and it may take a lifetime to rebuild it. So, don’t be offended if I don’t completely trust you. I want to, I just….can’t.

 

xo, Lauren

Don’t Tell Me I Should Just Be Grateful

This is something that has bothered me for a really long time now. I do not understand why people constantly think this. When I’ve seen people express feelings of sadness, grief, or anger, etc. regarding being adopted, I have subsequently seen others who clearly don’t understand the feelings and therefore almost criticize the hurting adoptee.

 

OKAY. WHY? No No, I’m serious, Why? If someone could give me an explanation for that that would be great….

 

Now, let me explain why it is that these comments bother me.

 

I don’t appreciate it when people assume that because I have negative feelings sometimes about being adopted, that that means I’m not grateful. Yeah I do have emotional issues surrounding those circumstances, but that doesn’t mean I am any less grateful for the amazing family I have now. I know that people can think that me having those feelings could be hurtful to my family, but I know for me in my family, they are totally okay with me expressing my emotions. They don’t make me feel that I should just pretend I’m okay when I’m not. But they also understand that because I’m upset, doesn’t mean I’m not grateful for them. Since when does sadness equal ingratitude? It just really bothers me. It makes me feel like that I and other adoptees alike, are not allowed to have real, raw feelings about our own lives. This is not something that I particularly like to talk about so the fact that I’m feeling oppressed for even remotely expressing or having those feelings is quite honestly insulting. I just truly, truly, don’t understand why people need to comment at all. Like, if you don’t understand, then why do you feel the need to criticize?

 

Adoptees have very real grief and that is perfectly normal and okay. I love my family more than I could ever express, but I still have I guess, negative feelings in the realm of being adopted. I think it is completely acceptable to have those feelings of sadness, anger, and everything else that comes along with it. I don’t know if other people can relate to this, but for me, this is something that has bothered me for a long time. I feel very passionately about this and I want people to know that feelings don’t mean you are not grateful for the new life you have been given. I’m sure there are some people out there who do not have a great adoptive situation and therefore are actually not grateful. I would never dismiss that. I am only speaking from my own experience.

 

Please just don’t tell me that I should be grateful. That is probably one of the most hurtful and honestly, ignorant things someone could say. I know that people just genuinely may not understand, but if you don’t, then please don’t say things that are really offensive. This kind of thing is a journey that includes very difficult emotions. Adoptees can feel like it’s difficult to share or have feelings in general, never mind if people are literally calling them ungrateful. So please don’t call me ungrateful for being a real person with real emotions. Thanks.

 

xo, Lauren