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.

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Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Dear Phantom Birthmother,

We need to talk.

I know you're not big on talking.  You've been the silent ghost hovering in the background all my life, your absence a constant presence.

Frankly, I would have preferred Banquo's Ghost, or King Hamlet.  They were explicable and helped move the plot along.  You have always been a cypher.  What did you want?

Nothing, I was told.  That's why you weren't there, after all.  I was told that I was an impediment to the life you wanted to live, a pothole in the road of your journey that you had sped on past and forgotten.  I was better off without you, I was told.

I really shouldn't spend much time thinking about you, I was told.  And I didn't.  Think about you, that is.  Not much.  As little as possible, and I'd stop myself whenever my subconscious tried to bring it up.

I always tried to follow the rules.  Would you have liked that in me?

But there's more to life than thought.  I didn't think about you, but I missed you with an ache that never went away.

I've heard the line about "real Mommies" and how my adoptive Mommy deserved that title.  Leaving aside all other questions, do you honestly think I couldn't tell the difference?  Sure I shut up crying and comforted myself by drinking myself to sleep, because that's what babies do.

Didn't mean I forgot I'd been snookered.

Thus you were born within days of my birth, a defined void where the other part of me should have been.

I forget that you're younger than me.  I feel so old.

And into that void fell all my love for you, all my anger, my confusion, my sorrow, my grief, my self-hatred, my questions....

So many questions.

No wonder you couldn't fade and blow away, not with all that energy powering you.

That's why we need to talk.  Or if you're not going to talk, at least listen.

I was "good" if you define that as me doing what I was told.  Maybe too good a lot of the time.  I have let you get on with your life without me for nearly 50 years.  I think I've reached the end of any reasonable statue of limitations on the crime of being born.

In doing so I have deprived myself of not just you, but of my -- our -- past and extended family.

And it is our history, our family.

I know you felt justified at the time.  I know the pressure the culture put on you.  However, I do not think it is fair that you decided to disown me before you got to know me.

Nor was it right to cut me out of the larger family.

I don't want money.

I want kin.  If you've never been without them, even if they didn't want anything to do with you, you have no idea what their absence means.

I hope to meet you on this journey.  The real you, not the ghost you.  But meet you or not I am still going.

Hope to see you soon.


  1. WOW, this is so powerful! I can so relate to this on so many levels. SO much heartache involved with being adopted... :(

  2. Do you have any clues? Of who she is? Or anything?

  3. Yeah, DNA is giving me some clues. I'll blog about that soon.