Empty Cereal Box

Views From Inside an Adoptee

April 05, 2006

Can't Find My Way Home

It's soooooooooooooo good to connect and share with others whose lives are crippled slightly or terribly by this barbaric system of slavery that seems virtually impenetrable, like it's surrounded by titanium walls. We all need to get our feelings out into the open. But sooner or later, we gotta take it down. I haven't been over to Bastard Nation for awhile, but I think I'm going to re-aquaint myself with some of the latest issues on the site.

The big issue in my life is the depression (specifically from being adopted) and lack of self-confidence that keep me from functioning like others around me. It comes from the life-long grief of loss, and it's not pathological, despite the fact that therapists either poo poo it or don't see it as a systemic problem. They see it only as an individual problem of a few people who, like their other clients, can't cope. So they prescribe drugs. All drugs do is mask the real problem. True, a huge number of serial killers were adoptees, as we all know, but the rest of us are just trying to bungle through as best we can.

As for lighter stuff, another blogger on the Soul of Adoption Webring found this T-shirt online that reveals my shameless habit.

I just heard this song last week by Enya off the Amarantine album. It made me cry and cry. Call me crazy, but for some reason I imagine my bio-mom sings it to me from beyond death. Here are the lyrics:

If I Could Be Where You Are
Roma Ryan

Where are you this moment?
only in my dreams.
You're missing, but you're always
a heartbeat from me.
I'm lost now without you,
I don't know where you are.
I keep watching, I keep hoping,
but time keeps us apart

Is there a way I can find you,
is there a sign I should know,
is there a road I could follow
to bring you back home?

Winter lies before me
now you're so far away.
In the darkness of my dreaming
the light of you will stay

If I could be close beside you
If I could be where you are
If I could reach out and touch you
and bring you back home
Is there a way I can find you
Is there a sign I should know
Is there a road I could follow
to bring you back home to me

There are so many adoptees out there writing on the web that say it so well. I mean, it's as plain as daylight. Adoption is just plain wrong, I don't care how much sugar-coating anyone slaps on it to appease the very things they deny. The sooner adoptees and "disadvantaged" single bio-moms learn that we were the ca-ching in someone else's pocket, commodities that money bought off, the better for us. We're valued only as other people's solice to cover up shortcomings and hell-crap that Western Civilization has spawned. It all manifests in individual "advantaged" parents who have infertility issues. Read what Son of a Surrogate has to say about this. To this day I don't understand why I hated my aparents so much. They never beat me or kept me in a cage. In fact, they bought me luxuries, gave me a good education, took me camping, and gave me a million other perks that make me sound like a freaking ingrate. I can't seem to get to the bottom of this awful dynamic.

Anyway, like I wrote earlier, I'm unemployable. I'll write why in another post. But one adoptee in the Ring wrote that as "unemployable adoptees" we can still write, work for ourselves and for people who are good for us. I've always felt inferior and incapable of being a "good employee." I've been fired and I've been told things like I don't have what it takes, or I'd never go beyond where I was. The worst part about it is that at the time I believed they were right. I wonder if that had to do with my struggle to be the "good adopted child" so "they" wouldn't send me back. Rejection is at the heart of it all and it rules (and ruins) all sorts of things in an adoptee's life. Where are the studies on all this? Where can I point and say, See, that's a big part of what it means to be an adoptee?

I've read books since I was five years old and began writing my own thoughts in poetry and short stories after my 12th grade high school English teacher encouraged me to do it. I've kept diaries and journals since I was in middle school. I began blogging about three years ago (didn't occur to me to devote an entire blog to the subject of adoption.) The printed word has been my most loyal friend. So I keep writing, even if no one reads what I write. How else can any of us get word outside this cone of silence we've been in? Writing all this out in front of everyone is a peculiar kind of relief.

I'm reading about five books right now and finishing none. I read magazines and manuals and everything else in front of me. I spend way too much time reading on the Internet. I think reading and writing are like pets. They don't judge you. It's like unconditional love, since it's so interactive and personal. They are anchors in every storm for me. Once I was mistakenly thrown into jail without any reading or writing materials. I thought I was going to lose it from the claustrophobia. I mean, I could hardly breathe in there. I even write some very long letters to my (dead) bio-mom in my journal. I think the ink got smeared from my tears, and I'm not sure if the letters helped any, but whenever I feel lost and alone, I can escape into my journal and write another letter to her. At least I have that that no one can take away (except for jail).

So, anyway, I was a daughter given up, my identity sold and locked away in a vault somwhere only privileged officials can fondle. I believe that this loss affects our own biological children to some extent, but of course there are no "studies" on that. Fuck the studies. I know what I know.

I was blessed with two daughters of my own, and seeing and touching two people bonded to me by blood is the highlight of my pathetic life. I got to keep N the younger to hold and nurse and bond with right after my c-section. The hospital was actually humane for once. She is strong, independent, extremely smart, impatient, and almost magical in her capabilities.

But before that, a different hospital took K from me. She was born eight years earlier from an emergency c-section. We didn't get to bond in those early days. I nearly went mad reliving the separation trauma that brought back such overwhelming symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder. All because of some hospital's lame, barbaric wielding of institutional control. And for no sound medical reason. My beloved K is like me in many ways. She gets lost and clumsy with life, yet tough when she needs to be. N will ever understand what it means to be given up (which is as it should be), but K probably only has it tucked deep in her subconscious, since I did get her back a month later and did raise her. I can't really talk about my feelings to them like I can write them out here, though. Because they weren't adopted.

K sometimes tells me in her own way how lost she feels, but she doesn't connect it with our birth separation. Here's just oneexample of her sense of unreality in the world. Last week in grad school (in Washington State) her class got into a discussion that set off this male grad student who harassed her with frightful body language right in front of everyone. He accused her of poisoning his drink in Jamaica. He accused her of snubbing him on some imagined walk they took to the library. She's never been to Jamaica and she said she doesn't remember walking with him to the library. After another student called 911 and the cops came into the classroom, cuffed him, and dragged him off, her professors and friends told her she'd better leave town. She hadn't done anything except to defend her classroom argument (she's studying to be a medical anthropologist). She got into her car and left town, afraid for her life. She got a speeding ticket she was so terrified.

We were talking on the phone and she told me to google the guy's name and see for myself what he is. I did. He's written books on black magic (more wielding of power and control). I read some of his bent fiction stories he posted on the Web. They're all about "harlots" and "evil witches." Obviously has an obsession and problem with women.

The guy's unglued. I told her not to go back to the university until she can be certain he's either fled town or locked away under observation. The university slapped his wrist (he'd been on their freaking honor roll, for fuck's sake) and told him that if he comes back on campus he'll be arrested. The department committee had a meeting to decide what to do about the situation. Don't know the outcome of that yet. But what can they do? What if he finds her off campus and stalks her? Sounds like a film script. But I understand the awful feeling of other people being in control of my life and calling all the shots. This is just unmitigated and state sanctioned bullying. Hmmm. Smells like adoption to me.

Oh yes. And to decolonize my own mind and be more sensitive to the language I use from here on in after this post, I post this guideline I found this on Origins Canada:
  • Dehumanizing terms such as "unwed" mothers, "biological" parents, "birthmothers" should be used for search engine purposes only.
  • Because of the harm caused by separating family members, we ask that journalists, the media and all people use honest, accurate terms such as "mother," "single mother," "parent," "grandparent," "son" or "daughter" which do not disrespect or deny true relatedness. If a distinction must be made, please use "natural" in front of the word "mother" or "parent" or "child".
  • "Natural mother" was the term commonly in use until the adoption industry began utilizing and promoting the emotionally manipulative and dehumanizing "birth" and "biological" terminology. The term "natural mother" is reality-based.
  • Words like "birthparents" are not only dishonest, but they are coercive, giving the impression that a pregnant mother-to-be and father-to-be are destined to surrender their son or daughter. The "birth" words give the impression that people can become "ex" family. You can have an ex-boyfriend, but you can never have an ex-child or become an ex-mother.
[I just added the Webring box in the footer below and typed in the word "adoptees." There are a lot of places to explore plus a lot of related stuff. I'll see what it brings being on this new Ring.]


Blogger HeatherRainbow said...

lol on the tshirt. Her is a website devoted to the Adoption History Project:

Adoption is evil, and they knew it.

Blogger Kippa Herring said...

I'm kind of leery of saying this, but when I need to specify for clarity's sake, I prefer to call myself my son's "biological" mother. I don't think it's cold. Or dehumanizing.
I think biology is true and inviolable.
It says it like it is.
And I'm proud of it.

But that's just me.

Blogger Lady said...


If push comes to shove ;) and depending on the circumstances I have/will concede by introducing myself as, bio mom/mother.(although I prefer natural and generally use it)

Birth mom/mother is a never!

Blogger Marie Jarrell said...

Kippa and Lady--
Well geez. I guess we all have personal preferences. If I think about it, I'd rather call myself a bastard(ette) than an adoptee. "Adoptee" sounds so...so cold and clinical. I posted the quote to at least get a standard going for my own posting. I think language can be extremely volatile, and so I want to at least try to aim toward truth. I respect and appreciate your input.

Blogger Kippa Herring said...

Natural's nice. And it has tradition behind it. Sort of historical. I've always thought "natural child of" had a nice ring to it. It would be my next choice.

I really don't care for "birthmother" at all, but I don't get my knickers in a twist if people who don't know better use it (though I 'll voice my objections - plus reasons for - if the opportunity seems right), depending, of course, on the rest of their attitude.

Someone brought to my attention the other day that gestational surrogates can give birth even though they may have no genetic relationship whatsover to the child they deliver. Blech! So much for the term "birthmother".

Blogger InMyHeart said...

I discovered your blog today, and read all of it. I, in no way, look at giving my son up for adoption as rejecting him. However, not knowing what it is like to be adopted, I do not know how it feels. I was convinced by priests, doctors, social workers, teachers, parents, elders, and peers, that surrendering my son was in HIS best interest. NO ONE, not even the 3 or 4 friends that were adopted, told me that my giving him up, would be anything short of serving HIS best interests. By giving him up, I gave him a two parent estabished married home. I was unworthy, and they were made his parents, as was God's plan. I fell for it. Pain for either one of us simply was not mentioned as even possible. They would be better parents, period. And I was told to just go away, he is their son now.....18 years later, the pain is no different. Sadly, he feels the same as his aparents and his extended family.........

Blogger Marie Jarrell said...

Inmyheart--I'm so sorry to read about your experience. There are a million stories of separation and the brainwashing that goes with it. I see the whole system as barbaric and as having to have the floodlights shined on it so that everyone can see how rotten it is. The secrecy and ownership of a child has GOT to end. Natural moms and their children are commodities, and that is pure evil.If I could hug you right now I would.

Blogger Kippa Herring said...

Check Bastardette for B.N updates .

Re "ex". My son's wife calls herself my daughter-ex (as in "outside of) -law ;-)


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