Ask an Adoptee…

So here I am again, it’s been a while. Life has been crazy, but while taking my little hiatus I thought of something that I would really like to do- ask an adoptee. It’s going to be probably one post a week where I answer a question from someone else that is posed to an adoptee. This question could literally be anything. If you or anyone you know has any questions, you can email them to me at adopteethoughts@gmail.com

Now, without further ado, let’s get into the first Ask an Adoptee post!

 

Question: What can I do to help my AD 17 get rid of her anger and see that she can have a great future if she wants it?

 

Okay, first off I just wanna acknowledge how happy I am that you’re willing to even ask such questions. When adoptive parents desire to learn more and really strive to figure out more and more about their adopted child it just fills my heart.

 

Now, as an adopted child myself, and only about four years older than your daughter, I can say that I totally understand the anger she’s feeling. I don’t know the exact circumstances of her situation prior to coming into your home, but I think that regardless a lot of adoptees feel angry. I’m not sure if you understand the anger or not so I’ll just try to explain anyways.

 

For me, I’ve always felt angry in one way or another. At times I’ve felt angry at my birth mother for giving me up in the first place been though I know that was the best decision she could have made for me. I’ve felt angry feeling like there’s no one out there that understands me and the things that I go through. And quite honestly anger isn’t even always explained.

 

As far as getting over the anger, I’m not entirely sure that that ever really happens. Dealing with all of the emotions that come with being adopted is a lifelong process. She may not always have such intense anger, but if she does seem to get over it for now, it could resurface again. I think the best thing that you can do for her is to keep an open line of communication, but not in any sort of pushy way. You could always encourage her to reach out to some sort of support group or something. I know that one of the biggest things in my life has been able to talk to someone that knows exactly what I’m feeling and can 100% relate to me. It’s nice to talk to people in general, but having someone that truly understands is so comforting.

 

Aside from talking to people who have also been adopted, seeing a therapist has been huge in my life. Just in general being 17 isn’t always that great and therapy could help regardless of the anger. But having someone whose job is literally to listen to me for an hour is a great feeling. Just in general I think seeing someone could be beneficial for literally everyone. In addition to that, just knowing I could talk to my mom about anything, even my bio family was extremely important for me. It took me a while to feel comfortable doing it, but once I did it totally changed my life. Also a practical for her if she doesn’t already is journaling. I cannot advocate enough for that.

 

If she is living in a healthy, supportive home, she will get over it and I’m sure she knows deep down that she can have a great future. Unfortunately, sometimes these feelings can make you feel stuck and almost alienated from the world. That then in turn can make you feel like you’re going nowhere fast. I think it depends a lot on her circumstances, if she’s generally motivated, what exactly she’s angry about at the moment, etc.

To be completely honest, I’m not sure how long it takes for anger to dissipate; if ever. So with that, I’m not really sure if there is anything you personally could do to “help her get over” the anger because that is really something that has to come from her on her own. But what you can do is encourage her to vocalize how she’s feeling and giving her different outlets for these emotions. I think that channeling these feelings into different things will bring out the source of what she’s feeling as well as help it subside, as she is able to deal with each issue. The most important thing is for her to know not to brush things under the rug. I have done that countless times and it truly only makes things worse and makes you feel alone.

Sorry if this wasn’t specific enough, but if you are ever interested in talking more in depth I would totally be willing to do that.

 

xoxo, Lauren

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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)

primal-wound-cover

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

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

trust-2

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

Why am I doing this?

You might be asking yourself, what is this blog about and why is it being written? Well, I’m here to tell you exactly that. I am an adoptee. That is, I am an adopted child. Honestly, that can be one of the hardest things to say out loud, but I’m saying it nonetheless. Because this can be such a hard and emotional thing to think and talk about, I have looked for support out there. The sad thing is that when I googled “adoptee support groups” there really weren’t any. In fact, all of the support outlets that popped up were for adoptive parents. Of course I agree that adoptive parents need support groups, but that doesn’t mean that the adopted children don’t. It was extremely disappointing that there is such a lack of support out there for children that have been adopted. I mean, this is a huge thing and having an outlet is so so so important. So, I decided that I wasn’t going to be passive about it anymore. Instead, I made the decision to start this blog, share my thoughts, and hopefully make a difference to someone somewhere. This is a dream of mine and I can’t wait to see where this takes me.

xo, Lauren