Empty Cereal Box

Views From Inside an Adoptee

April 11, 2006

Rage Against the Machine

No one really listens to anyone else, and if you try it for awhile you’ll see why.
–Mignon McLaughlin

I don't understand it when people tell me what I'm experiencing or when they discredit my experiences. I remember living in a condominium where bedroom windows overlooked a common walkway. A woman who lived in the unit across from ours used to spank her children quite a bit, and when the weather was hot enough and windows would be open, I could hear the woman whaling away on one of the kids saying, "That doesn't hurt. Stop crying. That doesn't hurt!" I call that invalidation of that child's experience. Invalidation of experience (thoughts, feelings, longings, etc.) is precisely what adoptees live throughout their entire lives.

When someone tells me that I can choose not to be miserable, that I can choose to heal, I hear that woman across the walkway invalidating her child's feelings. I also hear the preacher's voice who tells me what and how to think. "You didn't see that. You didn't feel that," etc. "Follow God's plan and all will be well." I've always wondered how they know what "God's plan" is, and why they are indignant when I refuse to follow it.

One commenter has left a post here that accuses me of being a bigot because I compared an instruction to change out of my "misery" to Christians who insist that gay people can change (isn't that another way of saying that I can get over it?) Does that make me a bigot? How so? I'm writing out my feelings here and this same commenter told me to practice what I preach. So, I'd like to know just what it is that I'm preaching.

Say what you will, but I think all of us have been so thoroughly indoctrinated that until we write out our own, personal thoughts and feelings we will always remain in denial and remain on the side of those who keep us subserviant, the ones who have set up this whole miserable "civilization" and all its wretched institutions that keep us enslaved. Maybe my words are too strong here, but I'm not attacking anyone. I'm raging against a system that's crippled all of us. I apologize if I offended anyone or if I came off as being defensive. I make mistakes. My purpose is to struggle to find my own truth.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

# kippa herring Says:
April 11th, 2006 at 2:19 pm e

Well, I think that the sort of people who think that gays can/should change their sexual orientation are the *real* bigots, not you.
But there you go.
Some people are funny that way.

I think you’ve already made this point (or something like it), but if The Aforesaid Individual Who Shall Remain Nameless really had had to struggle emotionally to reach the wonderful Olympian place where she claims she is now, I have a hard time believing she’d have been so damn condescending.
She just doesn’t ‘ring’ right.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

# Rhonda Says:
April 11th, 2006 at 3:08 pm e

It’s no more a choice than eye color. People who say differently haven’t yet walked through their own pain.

I’m sure I’m not alone in trying to make it a choice, though. I’m also sure I’m not alone in sharing that “choosing” not to let my adoption effect me, resulted in a life that felt artificial and pretend because the “choice” ignored a very central part of what makes me authentically me.

Blogger Marie Jarrell said...

# HeatherRainbow Says:
April 11th, 2006 at 6:27 pm e

I read a book called, “Circle of Stones”, and it is awesome. It says, “What if women…” “…validated each other’s pain, and just listened, while the woman cries, is depressed, and the other bears witness to this pain”.

By saying the pain isn’t there, they repress it, and don’t have to own up to the fact that they are playing a role that harms people. That they, that society, that the machine, is responsible for our misery and loss.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

# kim.kim Says:
April 11th, 2006 at 11:55 pm e

I totally agree, it’s insane for someone to tell you to have a different feeling, just insane.


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