Thursday, February 24, 2011

The Furies

I have had a terrible time letting go of the anger that has built up this past week. The non-dialogue related to the primal wound and my personal experience has finally led me to fury. Today there was yet another exchange in which someone told me that I cannot possibly feel what I feel because he or she doesn't feel the same way, and a psychologist backed that person up, telling me I was rude for saying that this person's opinion cannot measure my experience.

Nasty Person: Ms Margalina[sic]: you were seperated [sic] from your biological mother, and you have these problems. That doesn't mean the seperation [sic] caused those problems. I only mentioned myself because I have quite a few of the issues some Primal Wound believing adoptees say they do, and I was not adopted.

Me: Thanks for sharing your opinion, but it is no more than that. Your opinion.

Nasty Ph.D.: Ms. M., I'm not sure why I posted your reply to [Nasty Person], except that I have been posting what you've had to say.
[Nasty Person] did give her reasons for her comment, and it appears to me that it is actually an opinion, derived logically from observation of other people's lives as well as her own-- if "no more", it's also "no less". Real opinions are a different matter from the unexamined prejudices that commonly pass for opinion. 

Me: So [Nasty Person] knows more about me than I do myself? Point taken.

Which led me to think about my old friends, the Furies.

While the power of the Furies is considerable, it is consuming and difficult. The three, Tisiphone ("blood avenger"), Alecto ("unceasing anger"), and Magaera ("the jealous one") can do good work, for sure. I am especially fond of Tisiphone, who avenges crime against family. As an adoptee, I have had my share of crime against family.

The rational side of me, on the other hand, recognizes that the anger I feel is what my enemies want me to feel. If I am furious, they have won. They have no interest in learning about what I feel, or why. Their self-proclaimed job is to reeducate me and point out what they see as my "foolishness."

I have asked myself why this studied deafness to the story of my pain is so anger inducing. Why are they invested in telling me, over and over, that I am wrong about what I feel? Why can't I recognize they are abusive and just walk away?

The answer? It taps straight into the life I have led, for nearly forty-two years, as a second-class citizen  an adoptee. Of being told that everything that happened was all for my own good. That any pain I felt was invented, unless it follows the trajectory that "child development" has staked out for me. That my story is not as important or worthy as those of people who follow the "rules."

When people don't hear me, when they don't at least make an attempt to listen, I become furious. I used to blame myself, but now I blame them. It is time to let go and not to engage, even when I want to help fellow adoptees. There will always be people who cannot accept that people have their own experiences that are not quantifiable. As my father always likes to say, the social sciences are soft. They like to think they're peers of the hard sciences, but humans aren't chemical compounds. You can never control for all the variables where humans are involved, unless you keep them in cages. And even then, you have the rogue variables of genes, even if you remove environment and human contact. Good fucking luck with that, Dr. Moreau. Yes, I mean you.

I told someone recently that I felt vivisection of adoptees was the only means to prove to empiricists that some adoptees feel what we do. Dr. Moreau expressed disbelief: "Why did Ms. Marginalia say that?" This was, in my opinion, disingenuous. It's all about the data, and the data can only be gathered by what is seen. Dissection of a living organism provides data. Personal accounts don't hold water because they are exactly that: personal and tainted. And this person is a psychologist.

But I digress. I was talking to my friend Joy today about this, and I decided that these non-adopted people are befuddled by the depth of our feelings of loss because it's a complete non-issue for them. Anyone who has grown up with their natural family immediately starts out with a sense of groundedness that adoptees don't have. Abusive natural family or not. You look like people around you and can see yourself in others. It's so subtle that it's unremarked. And because it's subtle, it cannot even be seen to exist. Except for those of us who don't have it, have missed it, and want it. If you don't care or don't want it, fine. Hooray, you! But that's not the case for many of us. And to be told, over and over and over, despite telling our stories, that we are wrong and misguided and slaves to "fuzzy" or nonexistent science? Well, fuck you. Again.

So next time I get furious, remind me that these so-called people don't have my best interests at heart. Not at all. They don't want to help, they want to belittle and badger. They aren't worthy of my time or attention, no matter how many degrees they have (or don't).

I remember back to sessions with Dr. Brodzinsky, whose opinions matter to me a hell of a lot more because he has worked with adoptees for his ENTIRE career. Although he doesn't embrace the primal wound, he doesn't tell adoptees that they make shit up, either. When I told him about these dismissive harpies bitches people back in October, he told me to turn as deaf an ear to their entreaties to "understand" as they do to my accounts of what I feel.

I'll save my next call to the Furies for something more worthy.

Peace out.


Allison said...

"Anyone who has grown up with their natural family immediately starts out with a sense of groundedness that adoptees don't have. Abusive natural family or not. You look like people around you and can see yourself in others. It's so subtle that it's unremarked. And because it's subtle, it cannot even be seen to exist. "

Don't waste anytime talking to people like that run like the wind!!

Much love to you Kara.

Real Daughter said...

Kara, I was involved in that discussion, too. I had over 25 links to studies, journal publications, etc to post, but I decided not to post them. Any research they don't like they will rip to shreds- "Oh, well, there were too many male babies in study # 1", "I cannot accept study number 4, because the researcher is adopted", "Study number 5 was performed during a full moon and one of the Mothers ate cabbage rolls before delivering". It doesn't matter who performs the research or what the results were, they just don't care.

They don't want to believe that a child has a bond with his or her natural Mother, and that the child suffers stress/trauma due to being separated from his/her natural Mother.

It doesn't matter to them how many adoptees agree/identify with Verrier's The Primal Wound. Why are they so dismissive? In the case of most adopters, it scares them. Because they cannot have the SAME bond. Their adoptling will eventually bond with them, just like most of us did, but it is not the same, and it's a control thing, in my opinion.

The f "mother" who claims her relinquished & left-to-rot-in-foster care has "no issues" isn't worth arguing with. She found her son, when he was a minor,and basically stalked/harassed him, and now has limited contact with him. She's a joke, and speaking for him proves it...not to mention how she trolls around baiting adoptees (and some f Moms, too) on every blog in blog land.

It doesn't matter what these women think about me and my sadness, or that they think the PW is devoid of "scientific evidence". What SHOULD matter is how younger adoptlings feel, especially the teenaged girl's a Mom, to whom we are referring.

Adoptees are very good at "reading people". That child has probably already picked up on how her adoptress feels about the PW or adoptee loss....and it's doubtful there will ever be honest discussion about it- from the child. Not to mention, can you imagine how that girl will feel reading her mother's ridiculous posts, belittling other adoptees and telling them their pain cannot be proven? And she will eventually read what she has written. Hell hath no fury like a bastard scorned. Poor girl.

They have no interest in learning from adoptees who voice their pain. They only want to try and "blame" our pain on something else. They cannot face the fact that we were bonded to someone else, and that the severing of that bond caused us pain. They should be listening with ears wide open- because more and more adoptees are speaking their truth...and it just may be one of them, or one of theirs.

You know your experience. I know my experience. The adoptees on the forum, hundreds of them, know their experience. All of us (who are brave enough to admit it) know what we have lived through, and that our sadness comes from losing our first Mothers, and was in many cases, compounded by a family members who discounted our sadness and why were were sad.

Like you, I do NOT have an "inability to form lasting, meaningful adult relationships", as the nay-sayers have written. I just have a lifelong pain stemming from losing my first Mother. My a Mom couldn't "fix it", reunion cannot "fix it", and no researcher or guilt ridden idiot will convince me it is not there, or that it wasn't caused by losing my Mother. It was there LONG before I ever read Verrier's book. Her book only gave it a name.

I'm glad you aren't going to engage with them. Let the four of them bask in the glow of their denial alone. No one takes them seriously but themselves, anyway.

Erimentha said...

I also tried to point out to Dr Moreau that just because she doesn't believe it, doesn't mean that adoptees don't feel it. I asked her a few times what her qualifications were, what right she had to "debunk" the primal wound while she supported an equally unscientific theory about adoptees causing their adoptive parents to suffer from post adoption depression. She pointed me to her 2009 CV and then told me the first amendment gave her the right to debunk. I decided that rather than continue to listen to her completely missing my point that I would also walk away. I think you are so right about people who quite simply take for granted what it feels like to be raised by their biological family. What I really don't understand is why our feelings about adoption seem to bother them so much. Why do they care if I think adoption is a spiritual crime? OK, I can sort of understand why the adoptive parents care, but what about fellow adoptees? Why does it matter so much to them and why are they such arseholes to the rest of us?

ms. marginalia said...

Thanks. I really appreciate the support today. I wish I were less angry about all this as it certainly does me no good. I am trying to breathe and laugh and move on.

I just realized when rereading that the Nasty Person spelled my name "Margalina," probably a mix of margarine and vagina. Guess this person has no clue whatsoever. Eejit.

Jenn said...

I give you a lot of credit for trying with them. I get really angry sometimes and try to engage and then decide it's just not worth it to me. I agree that we all know our own experiences and I don't like it when people try to tell me that I'm wrong.

I'm currently avoiding PW so I can't say if I agree with it or not, but I do know that if adoptees tell me that it fits for them, then it fits. End of story.

L said...

These people you are arguing with are not pundits, they are just people with computers, yes one of them is a quack and all of them seem to lack the intelligence to separate opinion from fact but they are just a handful of individuals who are clinging to ideals that fit their needs.
You don't need to waste your energy on people this ignorant. They have an agenda that does not want to include an your voice. Let them.
They are insignificant in the grand scheme of things.
You know who you are and you know how you feel and you are entitled to your opinion so hold your head high and live your beliefs.

Unknown said...

You know who they remind me of? The pictures of the white girls in the south spitting on the black students in the newly integrating schools. The angry girls who harrassed the Little Rock Nine and would do anything to keep the status quo.

I mean yes, it is okay for them to speculate wildly about a whole host of cockamamie ideas that make no sense and then dismiss us for their own personal gain. Sadly there are always fractions like this. Short-sighted, cruel and abusive. They totally misrepresent us, the facts, the studies about newborns et al. with their unflattering smugness.

God love them, is all I can say.

Trish said...

For the record I am a mental health clinician, researcher, family therapist and family preservationist. I am also an adoptive mother. I have spent the last 17 years working with opressed adolescents and families, many of whom were adopted and fostered in many different scenarios. Does that make me know your experience? Hell no. Does it qualify me to say "I BELIEVE YOU AND I KNOW YOU FEEL THIS IN YOUR CORE" Hell yes. Kara, fuck these people. Fuck them. Other adoptees and those who love them will find you and hear your voice in a forum where you are not being abused.

sostinkinhappy said...

Shucks Kara, your brilliant writing leaves me in need of shades once again.

You are *MAGNIFICENT* and while I am not privy to the full conversation, let me add my voice to the choir: Don't waste time talking to people like that.

Smooches - and please, keep on being your brilliant self.


ms. marginalia said...

Thanks, everyone. I have chilled out a little bit after spending this weekend with my brother. What matters is my family, and not what random people on the Internet tell me about myself.

Hugs to all of you. Your support means the world to me.

Julia said...

Did you see this? I thought you might find it affirming:

You know how I feel about those people. I'm so glad that you're continuing to hold your own truth.


ms. marginalia said...

Julia, thank you for sharing the link. I had not read her post, and it brought tears to my eyes. You're right, I need to keep speaking my truth. And it isn't just my truth: it belongs to so many others. I am glad that we will not be silenced.