Sunday, November 07, 2010

Better to know?

Many people have asked me over the past year and a half if I regret searching and finding my first family, especially because of the cold reception and the painful repeated rejections I have suffered.


I cannot regret seeing myself in the faces of others for the first time. Learning about my family's history, where I came from, and getting additional medical history. Seeing that I have gestures just like my first mom's. Hearing her voice for the first time. Meeting my brother and his family. Feeling that the child inside me finally had found her long-lost place of refuge and recognition from the people she was connected to.


I have sunk to some of the darkest depths emotionally that I've ever experienced. I opened myself up to pain and emotional distress in ways I'd never thought possible. I didn't think any living people could hurt me as badly as my first family did, and I've been through some really ugly breakups in my life. The rejections were visceral and bloody, and took me to places inside myself I hope never to see again.

I don't think that anyone should have to go through what I did. I think that people in reunions, even though said reunions might have taken a while to come about, cannot understand how horribly scarring it is to be treated as a personal belonging. There is a pain in being told that your mother wished she'd aborted you that I wish existed only in a Lifetime movie.

And yet I have hope. I am stubborn. I don't give up easily. I want so very much to believe that the goodness in me comes from somewhere in my first mom's family. I don't want always to be the afterthought, the exile, the rejected one.

I kept going, and have formed a new connection with someone else in my first family, who--beyond my wildest dreams--treats me with love and respect. I don't want to jinx anything, but I am impressed and filled with pride to be related to this person. I see the goodness of myself in him. I am cautious and not one to abandon my fear easily, but the past few weeks have shown me that there are people who do not choose to be blind or judgmental.

I am a loyal friend and family member, and I feel in my heart that I have met my match.

I read several blogs of adoptees who are issue free and happy, without reservation, about their life and situations. Sometimes I am envious. I ask myself if I would rather have their certainty and security than my darkness and turmoil. It's tempting sometimes, but I have decided I wouldn't. Part of my pain comes from my intelligence and willingness to probe deeply into myself; in my life, I would have to be pretty superficial to claim that all was well. I wouldn't trade my mental illness and emotional intensity for a life lived in Stepford pastels. Unless I had enough Valium, that is. And even then, probably not. I would always take the red pill of knowledge. I can't imagine being blind. I am not my first mother.


Samantha Franklin said...


Marilynn said...

Its interesting that our parents can be a total disappointment - totally out to lunch emotionally, and that other members of our families can be warm and fun and wonderful. The kind of people you want to know forever, the kind of people you want your kids to meet. Thank God for that or most families would fall apart with every new generation.

Real Daughter said...

Yup. I'll take the red pill. There are a handful of us who have been mistreated in a way that "most" human beings could never handle. But we DO handle it and keep fighting the fight. I hope that no other adoptee will ever have to go through what you have gone through. In the end, we know the truth and no matter how ugly it is, it is OURS. Love you girl!!!