I'm a gifted adult survivor of child abuse by my adopted parents, who left me with chronic depression, PTSD, and a touch of autism for good measure. Here I examine the fragments of my past. It's enlightening but not pleasant. You've been warned.

If you want to see my lighter sides, here's a list of my other blogs:

We Have Always Lived in a Homeschool my blog about homeschooling my three gifted children

Lioness' Fandom

My Pinterest Boards where I express myself without words

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

There Are No Good Adoptions

By now you know that I was adopted by child abusers.  It's a sad story, and a way more common story than you probably think, but it's not every adoptee's story.  Some adoptees have good and loving adoptive parents who take care of them.

But good adoptive parents do not make for good adoptions.  Adoption is always a searingly horrific act that tears a child away from the person the child was born believing would care for him.  Even when the child has already endured horrific acts and the adoption takes place to save the child's life it's one more tragedy in a long line of tragedies.

A baby comes out of the womb knowing who the mother is; knowing her voice, her scent, knowing that safety is to be found with her and only with her.   When she isn't there, no where in this world is safe and no one in this world is to be trusted.   That alienation never goes away.  Some of us get really good at hiding it but it's always there, leaving us papering over staggeringly high levels of depression and anxiety according to therapists who work with adoptees.

Loving adoptive parents can't change that fact.  They can, if they are wise and brave, help an adopted child address that despair, but they can't make it go away.

By the same token there are not "healthy babies waiting for adoption".  There never were any "healthy babies waiting for adoption".  It's a lie told by adoption agencies to get more customers.  But any child who needs adoption, whether newborn or teenager, is already emotionally handicapped simply because they've gone through a tragic experience which leaves them needing an adoption in the first place.

An adoption may or may not be a rescue, but every adoption is a tragedy.

Sick Leave

The up side to my recent frequent bouts of illness is that while I'm sick the internal taskmaster between my ears lifts up on the depression.  I may be sore, nauseous, dizzy, and fatigued, but I'm not down.  There's usually about a day and a half after the illness lifts when I'm tired but clear-headed.  Then my strength returns and also my despair.  I'm once again back in the tear-salt mines, working out a seam of misery to see if I can reach it's bitter end.


Maybe I can talk my inner boss into letting me have time off for good behavior.

Monday, December 23, 2013

Looks Like Anger, Feels Like Grief

I've felt strange lately.  I'm highly over-sensitized for one thing.  Ever since my illness this fall I've heard my pulse pounding constantly in my ear.  It never stops.   Every thing scratches at my skin even when they are clean.

I can't sleep at night.  I'll toss and turn for hours, then drag through the day too tired to do anything.  Exercise doesn't help.  Neither does sex.

Exhaustion makes me forgetful, resentful, short-tempered and snappish.  It looks like I'm constantly angry, but I'm not angry at all.  I just REALLY NEED SLEEP. LIKE NOW!

But there is an emotion I feel.  It started as a trickle, something so deeply buried I hardly new it was there.  But for months it's been getting closer to the surface, rising higher and higher inexorably until now it's all I see, stretching out away from me far into the distance.

It's grief.

Grief over being abandoned and abused by my adopters.

A grief that's always been there but that I've never allowed myself to feel before.  A grief so large it dwarfs and flattens every other emotion in my life, smashing them into unrecognizable shapes.

I can't reach my other feelings right now.  I know what's supposed to be there, what I've felt before.  I know from memory what I feel in my heart.  But my actual moment-to-moment feelings are completely swamped.

My husband told me, "I know this is something you've needed to work through since before we met.  I know you're changing.  But what's manifesting right now looks like anger and resentment at the whole world."  And all I can do is hug him and thank the Goddess he is willing to hang on for the ride.

Because right now it feels like there's an ocean of grief that I have to drain through my tear ducts.  The enormity of the task fills me with despair.

Merry Christmas.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Long Hard Road

I've never attempted to write about anything this painful in my life.  The level of emotional turmoil and devastation it's causing me is up there with the death of my first child, except now I have three living children to look after and can't spend the day hiding under the table with a stack of escapist fiction (my drug of choice).  And being highly distracted isn't helping any.

Yesterday I sent an email to the Tulane library asking for some general reference material not even related to an adoption search and broke down crying.  Today I tried to write but it hurt so much all I could do was save a few links for later -- not the first day I've had like that recently.

So -- I'm not going to be able to post every day.  I may not be able to even work on a post every day.  Journaling is a powerful therapeutic device, but I'm going to have to take it in small doses.

Also I have to remember to take baby steps.  It's not fair to you, my readers, to take you on a journey and not explain every step along the way and how I reached each one.

Since it looks like this high level of chronic emotional pain and distraction isn't going anywhere for a while, I'm going to have to make room for it in my life in such a way that it doesn't inconvenience myself or others.  I'm not quite sure how to do this.  I suspect it will involve more meditation, although it's difficult to meditate when you're easily distracted.  And more exercise would probably be good, if only for working out the stress.

That's the game plan at any rate.  We'll see what happens.

Monday, December 2, 2013

My Relinquishment: A Forensic Reconstruction Part 1

My therapist is trying to get me to write about my conception, gestation, and birth.  It's a very painful topic, and I'm playing for time by writing about the other actors first.  Hell, listen to me:  "other actors".  I wasn't much of an actor at all.  All the consequential action was done to me.

Still, it seems to me that I need to write a reconstruction of my relinquishment first, if only to get the timeline straight.  Here's an experimental framework, put together with dribs and drabs of personal and historical information:

I was born in late July, 1966 in New Orleans.  I was told my biological parents were college students of French and French-English ethnic origin.  While this information is oral and unconfirmed, therefore suspect, it's all I have to go with.  New Orleans + French means the simplest explanation is that I'm Cajun and my biological parents met at college in New Orleans.

But things aren't always simple in Adoption-Land.  It's common practice there to send a prospective mark birthmother to an area where she has no backup she can call on for help or guidance other than the adoption agency which is trying to pressure her into giving up her baby.  It's possible my biological parents were non-Cajun Franco-Americans.  I go look up the distribution of French immigrants on Wikipedia:

So we're looking at #1 New England, #2 South Louisiana, and #3 The Great Lakes.  But what are the odds that the adoption agency would just happen to send my biological mother from one area rich in Franco-Americans to another area that just happened to also be rich in Franco-Americans?  Not very high.  I think we can safely go with Cajun.

 But which college?  It looks like there's around 40 in Louisiana and around 10 in New Orleans, so for the sake of this experiment I'm just going to say "a college in New Orleans".

We have an 18 year-old girl, probably from one of the other South Louisiana towns, who's a freshman in college in New Orleans in 1965.  What was she like?  I don't know. I've actually got more information on my biological father (tall, red hair, played the guitar) than I do on her.  But I can look for clues in my genes.

I have an IQ of 165.  Since children usually have IQs within 10-15 points of their parents, that would put her IQ between 150 - 180.  She's a genius (IQ 150) in South Louisiana in 1965, a time which did not offer much opportunity for girl geniuses, and a conservative Southern culture that offered even less than the rest of the country.

She's an 18 year-old genius in her first year of college.  Is she excited to be there?  Hell yes I'd say.  High IQ can be isolating.  The smarter you are, the harder it can be to find someone to talk to.  In the days before the internet unless you lived in a major metropolitan area or a high-IQ cluster like a college town or research center you could feel incredibly lonely.  New Orleans is a major metropolitan area and a multi-college town.

And it's the Big Easy, the most inland seaport on the Gulf of Mexico, the center of "Whatever you want, we got, even if you can't put a name to it," for not only the South but the Lower Mississippi Valley since the late 1700s.  That's a lot of options available, even if you have no intention of taking advantage of them.

But I must resist the urge to overly personalize this reconstruction.  Growing up I found my high IQ to be incredibly isolating because there was no one else in my adopted family or neighborhood who was even in the same ballpark as me, so that it seemed as if my intelligence amounted to a lifetime sentence in solitary confinement.  It seemed as if I spoke a different language from everyone around me that no one could understand.

But that would not have been the case for my biological mother.  She would have had her equally brainy biological family and their potentially equally brainy circle of contemporaries.  She probably had someone at home to talk to on some level.  While she would have been excited and eager to attend college with age-mates who could have been true peers, she probably did not experience the utter desperation to get to college and finally meet someone I could talk to that I felt.

Another genetic clue to examine is my shape.  While I don't know I'm going to assume she is a petite endomorph like me.  But a petite endomorph in 1965 is not the same as a petite endomorph in the latter half of the 20th Century or the beginning of the 21st.  Twiggy would not introduce the skinny, androgynous look that would define women's fashions up to the present day until 1966.  In 1965 a petite endomorph was still complimented as a "pocket Venus".  I don't know what she personally thought of her body (How many 18 year-old girls are satisfied with their appearance?) but to Society in 1965 and to heterosexual teenage boys in any time she would have looked beautiful.

But what was going on in New Orleans in 1965 when she got to college?  I'm googling that now, and I'll post my findings later.

Sunday, December 1, 2013

"Aren't You Grateful You Were Put Up For Adoption Instead of Aborted?"

(A question asked of adoptees.)

Isn't that like asking, "Aren't you grateful your husband only hit you once instead of beating you to death?"

And yes, it is the equivalent from the POV of the one upon whom the act is perpetrated.

In both cases the perpetrator may say, "I didn't mean to do any harm.  I didn't know any better."  Or, "You don't understand.  Things were out of my control.  I had no choice.  I couldn't stop myself."

But if we don't put up with that from a wifebeater or a child abuser, why should we put up with it from anyone else?

My Thanks

Resurfacing from a depressive spell at Thanksgiving drives it home how much I owe my husband and children.  Due to the peculiar nature of PTSD you only feel the horrors you're been repressing when your life is pleasant, and any pleasure I have I owe entirely to their love and support.  It's only because of them that I'm able to directly face my traumas, instead of having them as a constant background noise of no discernible origin. 

 Because of that fact dealing with the particular Hell that is my adoption-induced mental illnesses counts as a luxury.  Not the sort of luxury I would choose (my tastes lean more toward kitchenwares and DVD boxsets) but a luxury nonetheless.  While the work of dealing with my problems is all kinds of unpleasant, I know that only through actually doing that work lies the hope of ever knowing the peace that should have been my birthright.  I would never find the strength to tackle that work if it weren't for them.

Thanks, y'all.  I love you so much.