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help me wipe away these tears of the sun I cannot seem to let go of you
now that you have gone leaving me here unplugged, all fuses blown,
mother can you please help me
I do not feel that I can make it
out there on my own.
Most people do not have to deal with beginning a life in which your mother and your entire family have been brutally removed, a death at birth, a cataclysmic event around which everyone is silent, a wound, a primal wound that never heals, a wound that festers and is at the root of the life that you have built, a life build on grief and loss that has been sown within every bone, within every molecule, with every strand of DNA and every strand of hair on you head, on every inch of your skin and on every inch of your smile and on every medical and pscholoigi9cal ailment that flares up in response to this gut wrenching loss. The years of being imprisoned within this castle of loss, the years of depression, of actins driven by a pain that you do not understand, the years of anxiety ad hyper vigilance and because nobody acknowledges what has happened you blame yourself and that makes it even worse.
Your life is in fragments, you r life is shattered glass beneath your feet, glass that you do not understand as the weeds sprout from the buried wound and smother your soul, your buried self, you are at a permanent funeral of sadness, loss and betrayal, you betray yourself because you have been betrayed by your family that gave you up, by the State and its agents and by societies silence and acquiescence in the face of your oppression. T hey smile about it, they tell you that it’s a good thing, removing a child from its entire family and then lying to the child about this loss because the child will know nothing. They do not know this to be a fact but they say it anyway because it sounds good. You trust no one least of all yourself because why else would your mother leave if you were up to scratch she surely would have stayed, no one tells you any different. As you grown up self hate becomes the reason for your existence.
I am here standing in the past, I have always lived in the past because I cannot deal with this wound, this incredible wounding, the loss of my entire family, the fact that they will never return, the fact that what I wished for in all my heart can never be, the fact that I am reminded of this loss everyday as I live this tenuous existence with little family around me and little family support, I have no foundation, no roots, how do I live in this life, how can I find the courage to exist, to be me when the very essence of me was rejected at the moment of my birth, how can I love in the face of such rejection. I choose to play it safe but that just leads to an unsatisfied life on the margins where I have always been, devoid of a family, craving love but too scared to open my heart.
I live in an existential dilemma and I cannot escape it, I am the canary down the coal mine always o the lookout for poison gas, the poison of rejection, the poison of reliving that hurt when she left, yes she left but I never left here, this place, this mine, deep down inside me, this wound became my beating heart, my terror, my anxiety, my way of life, when she left this wound, my anger was the only thing that kept me alive and it has sustained me right up to now.
I do not want to live here, I do not want to live, how one choose to live in the midst of such heartbreak, I exist, I exist, this sadness in my eyes, you can see it in ally childhood photos, that confused little boy sucking his thumb, confused eyes looking away from the camera, trying to escape from this nightmare but still the nightmares haunted him at night, how was he to cope with this place, with living with these strangers, in this house, in this permanent heartbreak the source of which was never talked about. But she was always there. Always there.
His eyes were never right, when he got older he developed tunnel vision, his corneas were not right, he did not want to see, he did not want to be alive, he wanted to be buried in a book, in an attic, in his room, down by the creek, in the long grass but he was always hunted, hunted and haunted by his unknown past. Although he was not told that he was adopted until the age of eight, he already knew, he even knew his real name, but no one talked to him about how he felt and about what he knew. There was silence, his needs were not valid, he was there to meet the needs of others.
When he was he was not born dealing with the moment, with the pain of birth and the onwards into the future, no he was born backwards staring into the past, into the abyss, into the womb that he could feel rejecting him as his mothers heart beat. He was conceived and subsequently germinated within a hot bed of family history, of sadness, of anxiety, of broken promises, but he was not to know this as he gestated inside all this anger, hostility, confusion and sadness. Before he was born he took the weight of his ancestors worlds, both his fathers and mothers upon his shoulders, and once born like Sisyphus he began to roll that weight up the hill of life over and over, like Atlas he stood and acted like he had the world on his shoulders and he did, he was the product of a world of sadness. His conception was not a celebration of wild orgasmic sex and fecundity, no it was the product of two confused young adults who felt abandoned and unwanted by their own families but the twins that were conceived between them were not to know this. Nor were they to know the moral climate that they had been born into, a moral climate that was under siege by the free love generation and as result they went out of their way to punish and adopt out their children.
My mother was not a free love hippy, I wish that she was and I was not a free love child, no for me love was not even a cost, it simply was not there for me, I endured the agony of birth, of being pushed out of Eden, albeit a deeply compromised Eden, only to find hurt, only to be born into a massive wound as they severed, in their own words, all the ties that I had to my mother and to my family, there was no warm welcoming breast, no warm skin, no comfort to be found for me. No all I had to hand onto was my feeling of massive disappointment, anger and confusion, the world was not a loving and welcoming place, the world had let me the world had hurt me, the world had abandoned me and left me angry, confused and lonely.
These feelings became my life, they became my world, my world was not to be one of love, of hope, of looking forward to the future, of trust, of knowing that everything would be okay, I knew that everything was not okay, that nothing was right with the world, that something had happened that should have happened, the love that I needed to survive in this world, the unconditional love that I needed for my foundation had been taken leaving me cold and shivering, empty and heartless. There was to be for me no place of safety, my life was a conditional life where I could at any moment be thrown back into these feeling of total and pure abandonment and rejection.
As a result I have spent a life time running from y past, from this wound and living in this wound, never escaping it because this wound was me, this wound was my foundation, and the only way to get rid of it was to run from myself but I could never get rid of it, it was always there haunting my every footstep, dogging my every action. I was a fly in amber, trapped in the past, trapped in this wound, created by it, buried in and at every turn in my life desperately trying to deal with it, there was not one action that was not affected by this massive primal wound and I was in a fight for survival now that she had left but in many ways I did not want to survive or live at all,. For who wants to live in constant emotional and psychic pain, feel unloved, rejected, unwanted, feeling that there was no lovable core inside you because the fuse for that one had been pulled the moment that you were removed from her at the moment of your birth.
I was trapped in this event, I remembered it alright, it was a tsunami that engulfed me, that pulled unplugged all the fuses in my brain, the lights went out and I lost touch with myself, I was engulfed in darkness, in an unspeakable sadness, I had along with my brother become a scapegoat for the sins of my family and for the morals of a deeply conservative society that chose lifeless science moralistic science over real family bonds. Yes they claimed that I would feel nothing, that I would remember nothing of this brave new world as they lied about my origins, falsified all the documents including my birth certificate to make me as born to my adopted parents.
I died in that hospital, I was not born, I was lowered into a grave, into despair, into anxiety, into a shattered foundation , my way into life, into love, that age old journey from the womb into the world, into the arms of my mother had been blocked, had been savagely cut short and as a result I feel backwards into silence, unable to move on from this wound, I joined the unborn, the miscarriages, the still births, the children that did not make it, I was a disembodied spirit crying out in the darkness for her return but she never did return and so I lay there in my cot in body only my spirit was far away from that place of tears and sadness.
I had not received the unconditional love that my spirit needed in order to be born into this life, no I had just been mortally wounded, stabbed in the heart and so I was stuck, unable to move on and unable to deal with this wound, I was a child, an infant, a newborn, there was nothing that I could do and so the sadness, the tears, the anger settled around my heart and covered it in blackness, I blamed myself for my inability to be born, for her not staying to bring me into the world.
The world crashed in around me, the sadness crushed my heart with a weight that would not leave, I could not breathe, I did not want to live, I was scared, frightened, overwhelmed, what was to become of me and my sadness had taken over my entire body, I was locked into despair, hope for her return was going out like the tide fast.
They came, they saw, they adopted me and my brother, like a zombie I spent a lot of time in attics, in corners of my room, in the cemetery across the road, I loved that cemetery, in the long grass, I was never present, I was never living in the present, I was always dreaming of far off places, I was always running away from my adopted family towards the sharp blades of a sawmill when I was sleeping. At school they read books out loud of children who had been abducted or been abandoned by their parents these books terrified me. I was never present in the classroom I was always far away wondering why I felt so sad, why I felt that I did not fit in as I played with the play dough, I lived in a shelf from which I cautiously peered out upon the world.
I was always looking for something in the attic, in the basement, digging, never knowing what I was searching for, in the long grass, in the cemetery, I was never really there, I was always somewhere else searching for clues. I could not see well, I had a lazy eye, I loved the fact that my adopted mother took an interest in me when I struggling to see. I had a lazy eye operation at the hospital, I loved being there, being away from home, being fussed over, the eye patch, the jelly, talking to the older patients, the baths, I did not want to go home.
My eye problems were to continue throughout my life, I was silence, withdrawn, never rocking the boat while my twin went crazy but I did crave attention, that was why I learnt to read, the special needs teacher was so soft and kind to me, she listened to me, she took time with me. My adopted mother tried to do the same, she tried to get me to read but I did not want her, I did not want that home with those two sisters and my brother who was soon to get shipped off to welfare. I did not feel safe there. All I wanted was to be left alone.
Because of my special needs teacher I learnt to read, years later I spoke to her and she said that she had always known that I had it in me, that I was smart, what she needed to find was a way to get me out of my protective shell. She opened my up through kindness and gave me a way into the world through her love, did my adopted mother love me, I am not sure maybe, did she, did my adopted father ever love me, I am not sure, their love if it existed did not help me into the world. I still remember telling my adopted mother as a tiny boy next to the kitchen bench that I loved her and her reply was “why did you say that for?” I was devastated and never said so again.
Well my special needs teacher may have given me a road into life based on her love and attention but it was not in my mind unconditional. In order to keep receiving this love I had to be perfect, I had to perform I had to please other people and so in reality I was still stuck in the past, I was still stuck in that wound that had created me at birth that no one ever talked about. Yes that wound shaped my every move and my every decision in regards to the trajectory that my life would take. I had to be perfect so that people would not see the scared, rejected child that lived within.
Being told that I was not of them by my adopted mother at the age of eight came as no surprise; no it just told me what I had already sensed. What it did reinforce was the fact that I needed to get home at all costs so that my mother could give me the unconditional love that I needed in order to live. In return I would give her my carefully guarded heart; my heart was not for my adopted parents, especially my adopted father who kept trying to hurt my sensitive soul. No, I knew that no matter what he did to me that I would keep my heart safe and ready for her. I did not know how I was going to find her but find her I would and based on how well I had done she would see the error of her ways and at last love me unconditionally thus freeing me to enter the world as myself at last.
Until then everything had to be an elaborate game that was designed to elicit praise from people so that I had the illusion of being loved, I never did what I wanted, no my whole direction was shaped on the altar of running from my unlovable past and the pain of being rejected and abandoned. I was running from the past but permanently living in it, I was never dong what I wanted to do, indeed I never felt that I had that choice, especially in my adopted family where getting along depended upon my doing what they wanted be it in sport or at school.
When I finally escaped them at the age of fifteen I was still living in the past, my entire trajectory and life course was based upon getting back into school once I had left the City Mission at the age of sixteen. Plenty of people wanted to help me, they saw my potential, I was doing the right thing unlike my brother who was drowning in a sea of alcohol and drugs and well on his way to prison.
I was vulnerable, so vulnerable but this did not stop me from moving forward on a narrowly constructed foundation, I returned to school and got qualification so that I could get into University. I stayed a short while, left and vowed to return, I was vulnerable, I had little confidence and had just had an argument with a close friend, I was doing the wrong course to impress others and I knew it, I was smart enough to leave and then they opened the adoption records.
I talked excitedly with my workmates about what my family might be like, were they Scottish, at long last I could come home, at long last I could make amends with the past, prove that I was lovable, at long last I could heal, it would be as simple as meeting her and that would be the end of it, I would come home to live, I would belong at last upon a altar of unconditional love. I would be able to undo the past, undo my adoption and come home at last.
I had of course no contact with that raging volcano of emotions that I had run from all those years and I had had no support in dealing with them, indeed not once had anyone even acknowledged that they existed. One free counselling service later with my birth certificate in hand I was off to reunite with my mother, the counsellor had not even mentioned the word un-dealt with trauma.
I was picked up by a stranger at the railway station, not by my mother, her friend drove me to her door and stood in the background as I stared at my mother who sat at the other side of the table in the shadows saying “hello son”. No hug. No connection, her body was still after all these years unavailable.
She had her trauma, plenty of it, I might rape her, I might be like my father, we danced around each other for three months and then much to her disappointment I left, there was nothing there for me but massive disappointment, no straight answers, half brothers who had grown up, a half sister who had died and a young half sister along with my Grandmother and Great Aunt. The family was shattered, was in pieces, was in free fall, none of them liked each other, especially my mother and grandmother; my step grandfather took me to one side and said that gran had treated mum badly, what was I supposed to do or say, it was not like my life had been a picnic and why had he not stopped her?
She talked about the past, she lived in the past, so did I , all those years of hardened trauma, all those dreams, all those times, I could not undo the hand s of time, she was physically incapable of offering the love that I needed to be brought to life and so I left for the University in my country. But University papers and the praise of others could not give me the love that I craved and so through my unresolved trauma like a baby I went looking for a lover who mirrored the abandoning and rejecting ways of my mother and I gave all my heart to her. This was because my primal wound had warped me into thinking that the only way to undo this wound was by convincing my mother who had abandoned and rejected me to love me unconditionally by giving her all my heart. My mother had not proved worthy of my heart so I found someone else to give my heart to and she trashed it and she abandoned and rejected me over and over. Trauma traps one the past and until it is resolved you keep repeating it such is the story of my life as an adopted person.
I had run from and carefully hidden my unlovable past while at the University but in the midst of my breakdown it all came out. There was of course no support for me because no one took the wounds of an adopted person seriously, my University counsellor acted like I was making it all up. I had broken down into a sea of trauma and for some years I tried to avoid it like the plague by acting as though the problem was outside me when in reality I desperately needed to come to terms with my past and stop running from it.
But in the absence of any how to guides and the enormity of my pain that had just got worse over the years I was not sure what to do. Ultimately I did embark on the long and lonely journey inside all the way back to the beginning but I had no idea just how long this journey would take, I wanted over as soon as possible, I wanted to be rid of it just like I kept wanting to get rid of my adoption and feelings but unfortunately adoption is a life long journey and it is the story of my life. Only by accepting this past and therefore the fact that I am lovable in spite of my adoption can I live in the present no longer running from the wounded ocean.
“South Carolina’s Post and Courier has a bizarre and heartbreaking story today about adoption scammers, who are tricking desperate childless couples and then vanishing. The truly weird thing: some of them aren’t doing it for money, but instead, as the paper puts it, “for the sheer sport of breaking some stranger’s heart.” ”
These scammers may do a better job of bringing in adoption reform than painfully commenting on rainbow adoption posts.
I am guilty of being born into a guilty situation, I am the wages of sin, I am the outcome of sin, I am the bastard child, the orphan, the one who was not meant to be here, the mistake, the accident, the problem that needs to be dealt with, the unloved one, the one that needs to be punished not celebrated for his arrival on earth. I am the complication that sent the State and its government department into action, I am the one that the priest turned his face away from, I am the one that the nuns would have none of, I am not the golden one, I am not worthy of celebration, I am only worthy of punishment. There is no joy here, there are thrilled voices crying out welcome, I am merely an entry into a ledger, I am the motherless and fatherless child sitting alone in his cot waiting, I am the one who always cries and never shuts up, I am that problem in the corner who should be grateful for being looked after at all, I am the one who should be guilty about his existence and blessed by any crumbs that are swept off the table of life in my direction.
Who am I? Illegitimate, who am I? A bastard, who am I? Unwanted, the one about which one needs to make a decision, who am I? The black sheep, the accident, who am I? The one who brings perpetual shame to his family, and what did I do wrong, I existed, I was brought into existence the wrong way, not the planned way and for that I am sorry, can the makings of you be viewed as joyful, the sex as free spirited and triumphant, there is no joy in sex, only whores take pleasure in sex and give it out, sex is only for marriage and your Mother, whore that she is forgot that.
Oh take me home, country road to a place that I belong, a song that I loved as a child but there was no home, home for me had to be earned, there was no place for pure belonging, life was no idyll, life was no pleasure fest of the senses, life was hard, a punishment that needed to be borne with good faith and humility otherwise nobody would love me, the homeless one, the one who did not belong who was through the Grace of God allowed to reside with others.
It is obvious , well at least it was to me, I had done something wrong, and that was why she was gone, long gone and with her all my happy days but were there ever any happy days, my conception was in the eyes of society a sin, an abomination, outside of marriage, and nobody wanted to admit that nice girls did that or enjoyed sex outside marriage and if you did indulge and got caught, they were all at it, then you, yes you were a guilty slut.
But wait, they were I protest, all at it, even back in the 1920’s pregnancy outside of wedlock was as high as it was in the so called scandalous era of “closed adoption” post-World War Two, but now they had a solution, a final solution.
But wait I hear you say, in this glorious period of post World War Two science was King, the age of scientific rule and benevolence was in, the Welfare State would take care of all our problems in a caring and sharing manner, not the Church and its Institutions. But the Church was there, out in the open, amongst the Bunsen Burners and science, informing the morality of the time, sex was bad, sex was guilt, sex outside of marriage for pleasure had to be reigned in and now the y had the full weight of the States “Closed Adoption Policy” behind them along with the social workers who were determined to make their work a profession by preying upon unwed mothers.
But wait, I had nothing to do with this, with her pregnancy, well she does claim that “she was raped”, maybe you are a bad seed, you carrying him inside you, his genes, maybe you are like him, you carry the sins of your father don’t you. And as for her, she hates sex, always has, so one of your brothers says, obsessed with it all her life, dirty, not something that she enjoys or ever has, not good, a good Christian woman is she, sex is a duty that a woman does for a man once bound in the arms of marriage.
Oh joy, joy, joy, I swam in her guilt, I was bathed in it, I was made in it, I was soaked in it as she carried my brother and I around in her womb, how could she hide us, the fact that she had no wedding band, the fact that she was alone, unmarried, a sinner in need of punishment. But she was not alone, she had found him, a new man and he did not want us, the wages of sin outside of marriage, no he wanted like a feral animal to replace us, to punish us, to kill us, to banish once we had reached the world so that we could be replaced with his progeny produced the right way, through marriage, because nature decreed that only marriage makes fit and proper babies that are right for keeping.
He gave her an ultimatum, it’s them or me, she chose him, she chose the right way, yes he was giving her a chance as the theorists of closed adoption had maintained to begin again with a blank slate, putting her past, her unfortunate mistake for which she had been rightfully punished behind her. Her breasts were swollen with milk, her nipples were tight, she was ready to nurse the bastards but what to do with all that milk, all those signs of her sin when the bastards had been taken away. It would not take long, within a year she was pregnant again in the right way to him and we had vanished into thin air, a secret, a bad secret that she could lay to rest in her marital bed in which she was very busy doing her duty but not enjoying it as more and more children replaced us.
But what becomes of the mistake, of the replaced, well I was still here, in this world, in the loving care of the State, fed by the nurses from a Breast Milk bank, yes my milk as befits a no good bastard who comes from nowhere came from multiple woman, I had no mother now, I had no father, I was a motherless and fatherless child as like the blues song but I was bluer than that, for I was guilty, yes I saw myself as being terribly guilt of some unknowable crime for which I was being punished in the most cruel ways possible, why else had she not come back?
Well she was never coming back, she had been punished, banished in one direction and us in the other, none of the family wanted me or my brother, we were skeletons being silently confined to the closet , our Grandfather had died, not that he would have been much use given his problems with the sauce, too much death he had seen in that State sanctioned murderous sport for young men called war, he was a medical orderly, he liked to save lives but he could not have saved us, our new born lives were destined to die. My Mum claims that my Great Gran sat in the car outside the hospital, she was too ashamed to come in, my Gran on the other hand did, only to deliver the message that “your step-father does not like boys’. The message was clear, there was to be no support, she had had a baby out of wedlock and had then married my Grandfather whom she met halfway through the war, yes a shotgun marriage much like my mother intended. Unlike my mother, Gran kept her first child, a boy and when her marriage broke she only took him and my mother back to Australia and left her youngest son behind for adoption.
Oh she was a saucy character and a survivor was my Gran and unlike my mother she rather enjoyed the company of men and so it did not take her long to find a new one with whom she married and had yet more children. My mother felt left out, oh how she wished to have been adopted out along with her younger brother rather than having to put up with her mother’s abuse and constant punishment of her. Yes she was a third world, an imposition upon the new family and its happiness, or so she was made to feel, well hell I know where she is coming from, been there, done that. Not that anyone would ever listen, including her and I tried so hard for her to listen to me, for her to lift my guilt over her leaving, for her to make me feel that I had no part to play in this, for her to make me feel that it was not my fault, that it was not that I was being punished for being unlovable and that this was not why she had left me.
Oh I keep going on and one about this, I have done all my life because I feel guilt, I feel that I have done something wrong, something awful and that if I am not perfect I will once again be abandoned, be rejected and I could not stomach that again, all that fear, all that anxiety, all that waiting in my cot like a complete and utter loon, naked, vulnerable, dependent upon the good will of strangers, no one there to protect me, wide open to being hurt, to being punished, to having my heart crushed.
All my life I have wondered “why me?”, “why did it have to come to this”, all my life I have wished the opposite of what my mother wished, I have wished to undo my adoption, to undo the stigma of it, of the fact that my very own mother did not want me, at least her mother kept her, at least she was wanted, goodness imagine how my Uncle felt being the one that was left behind like some third wheel, like a dead weight, ye t my mother sees him as the lucky one.
I am going crazy, I cannot stomach the magnitude of her gift, of the fact that she really felt that she was handing us the keys to the lottery, freedom from her, from our family, how bad was that family, I do not understand her, this, why she felt compelled to do this, why she cannot say sorry that she did this and thereby lift this burden off me, this burden of feeling that this was all my fault, yes all my fault that I got left behind, beached along with my twin, goodness imagine what it would have been like if she had of decided to take one of us, what would it have been like for the other. My Gran claims that she was happy that we were twins because at least we had each other but we never had each other because the moment we were born the pain of mum leaving tore us apart. He took it out upon the world and blames me, I went inwards, he went into a bottle, he went into drugs, he went into prison, he was punished, he was not perfect. Yes I was perfect, always trying to be bloody perfect and punishing myself when I failed to be perfect. I am the self hating one, well he is to, it is just that for me it is obvious, all that self analysing, tearing myself apart, wondering if God was punishing me for some unspecified crime and that is why he/she had taken all my family with the exception of a twin whom I do not get on with, from me.
And as for that family, once again, I float around it, the depth of this despair, the depth, the true depths of my self hatred, loathing and pain as I lay there in my cot, stuck on this wound, like a fly caught on fly paper, never able to escape from it no matter what I build to accomplished because at heart felt that I was never good enough, that I was rotten to the core inside, unable to be loved because if your very own mother is unable to stay, love and look after you then who will.
Yes, the seeds of self punishment were planted inside me from the moment I was born, my guilt over her, yes over her, and where was he, the one who had planted the seed, come to think of it, where is he, the one who was never held accountable for this, the man that she claims raped her, whom I have never met, the silent shadow that I fear, the rapist that I fear I might be deep inside, the bad seed, but did he really rape her?
The truth is a long way from coming home, few believe my mother but the guilt remains, walking down the street years later one of my half brothers asks me” is it true that your father raped our mother”. I carry the sins of my father and I carry the sins of my mother, I am punished for both yet I have only met her and that side of my family. Who is he? Is he like my brother a bad seed? Well my adopted father claimed that my brother was a bad seed and that was why he had defied him that was why he was a drinker that was why he acted out so much.
I tried so hard in my cot, I tried so hard as a child to hold it all in, to hold all this pain in, it was after all my fault that I had wound up here with strangers and their two daughters, how else could I explain her leaving me, why else would a mother leave her child behind, leaving him with nothing, no information, no clues, no traces, leaving him with strangers who do not love him leaving him to stand on his own.
The moment that they told me that I was not one of them in an argument it all made sense, yes my adopted mother waved her arms, pursed her lips and told me that I belonged to someone else, I knew it and now I understood why I needed to find her because only she could make me feel better inside, only she could make me feel loved.
I kept my love for her, deep inside, I kept myself hidden so that my adopted father could not find it, myself was my gift for her. Meanwhile my brother was punished for being bad, a bad seed, acting out, stealing money, trying to burn the school down, tantrums, being chased around the school room, for being an ungrateful little bastard. It was clear that he needed to be punished, banishment was the only option, our family took a vote, I put my hand up, that made it alright, and he was gone.
I helped him run away once, I helped him pa ck his bag, I helped him climb out the window into the starry night sky, once he was gone I told on him. There was me and there was them, nothing I did was ever good enough, I lived in guilt, taking biscuits from the cupboard with my brother a few times, we were not allowed free access to the cupboards because we could not control ourselves, our sisters who were flesh and blood to them had free access. I was not as good as them, I was never perfect, they never had to be perfect but I knew that I had to be, I had to be perfect at everything in order to belong otherwise they would not keep me. I tried so hard to please them, to please my teachers, to please everyone around me. I took it all to heart, I was not good enough, I did not belong anywhere, I did not know where I came from, there were no clues, there was no way of going back to where I had come from so I had to do what I could to fit in, to survive and life was survival nothing more, nothing less. Love was not free, it had to be conquered, it had to be won, love was a competition and there was not a lot of it to go round. Did they love me, I will never know, I was never hugged, I wish that I had of been.
But this is the wish, this is the dream, this is the reality, this life of constant toil, of constant gut wrenching guilt, of always feeling far from perfect, of feeling second best, of being so bad that they had to hide where you came from. Of where you came from being so shameful that it has to be hidden, that it has to be a secret that is not talked about by anyone, you are not special, you are a mistake, someone who does not deserve unconditional love, a home or a family, you have been taken, there is no place to call home.
And so you punish yourself and push yourself relentlessly, you must succeed, you must be perfect otherwise you will be punished and he does punish you all the time, he does punish you relentlessly and so you wander around feeling permanently guilty as if you have done something wrong all the time. Years later he tells you that you were much too sensitive as a child and that he felt that he had to toughen you up for the hard knocks of life by punishing you all the time. The man is sick but his is your punishment for being a bastard, one of two bastards that is and boys and especially twin boys are hard to place.
There can be no room for mistakes, for love you have to be perfect and inside you know your guilty secret, you are not perfect, your mother did not love you enough to keep you and so you were adopted, you must keep this fact away from people at all costs, you must keep your adoption like everyone else does a dirty little secret. You must blind them with your achievements so that they do not see who you really are, that guilty secret that you carry inside, that unlovable self that you drag around like a millstone.
But what happens when you cannot rehabilitate this self, when it is beyond redemption, when even a reunion with your own mother fails to lift this curse of unlovability, when she reminds you of where you came from and that you might be like your father, a bad seed, a rapist, what happens then, how will you live, how will you continue in this life now that all hope of lifting this curse has gone?
You will run back into the arms of academic success attempting to banish how unlovable you feel to the very depths but it won’t work you have now a hunger for love, a hunger for redemption, a hunger to prove that you can be loved, that people can love you, that your self can be taken and adored by another and so you find her. The most abandoning woman that you can find, a straight woman who reminds you of your mother, who lures you with the promise of belonging to the middle class, to proper society, the lure of belonging at last. And so you do everything that you can to convince her to love you, you cut of all your interests, all of who you are, you do what you have learnt so well in this life, you perform, you please, you beg, you do everything in your power to turn her round and by doing so you break your heart, your soul, your mind wide open on the altar of your pain.
Out comes the pain of your adoption, of your mother abandoning and rejecting you, it overwhelms you like a tsunami and because no one has ever told you that it was not your fault you blame yourself for how you feel, you blame yourself for not being a perfect student, for not being a perfect lover, for your collapse, for your breakdown and so you condemn yourself to death as an unlovable failure who does not deserve love.
You punish yourself, you feel guilty for what you have done all in the name of love, of trying to be loved and so the years, the restless years of wandering in the desert, wanting to die, not knowing how to heal because no one has ever taken your pain seriously begin. You have no option but to keep walking or die as you flagellate and blame yourself for what has happened, the loss of all your family, the loneliness, the despair, the loss of your mother substitute which was sadly academic success at a University, your anger at your denying your intuition which told you time and time again to leave her, to stop trying to please her but you stayed and broke down instead such was your hunger for love.
But this is the only way out, total destruction is the only path towards healing and mercy but you do not know this yet, you asked for rebirth, you asked for healing and that can only come through the destruction of everything that you built in this life in an effort to shield yourself from the shocking pain of her loss. The only way forward is the dark path through the valley of death, the only way forward is for you old life to die, the only way forward is death for only through death can you be truly born free of her dark shadow, free at last be yourself.
My entire life has been a lie, lie, lie, lie, lie, I do believe that I need a lie down, time to contemplate the truth, the truth of my being, of my life, of this startling fact, my life has been a lie, one complete lie, I did not start the lie but it stuck. So who started the lie? The government, and who are you told to trust, the government, and who carried out the lie on its behalf? Social Workers and what are social workers supposed to do, work for the good of a child, and so for our own good se we are told they laid about us and to us, they covered my life and many other lives in lies. And who helped, them do that, the God fearing Church who busily captured single mothers and put their babies up for closed adoption.
The entire practise of closed adoption is built on lies, it maintains that single mothers did not want to keep their children when in fact they had no choice but to give them up because they were given no benefit from the State and often no support from their families so they had no choice but to give them up, they were in truth driven by the whip of moral and economic compulsion. Most were forced into this situation, some saw it as the best choice because they had lied to themselves that they would not be as good a mother and would not be able to offer their child as much as a wealthy middle class family could. In truth our mothers keeping us even if they were dirt poor would have been a far better choice for us.
Once the dice of closed adoption was rolled into action by the mother under pressure from the social workers and priests the lie was given a life, the social workers under the practise of closed adoption were instructed to separate the mother from the child so that a new family could be found, this new family would be listed as the real parents of the child and the mother and her feckless sexual partner would disappear. There are a number of lies here, the biological father was seen as superfluous to the process, indeed he had no voice, and was left out of the equation all together when in fact it takes two to tangle. This made it far easier to deal with the mother, it also reflected the patriarchal norms, sex was not something that woman enjoyed, it was for procreation only within the confines of marriage, if a woman enjoyed and felt driven to have sex outside marriage then she was a worthless slut with a dubious moral character and lineage who had to be separated from her child at all costs. Some of these women were even sent to mental institutions. This view is a non-scientific religious view of sex but nevertheless it underpinned the so called scientific practise of closed adoption during the closed war period right through the swinging sixties and onwards. In America it still prevails today.
Yes nature was doing her thing, having woman reproduce, nature does not care if a woman is married or not, it is hormones that determine our destiny not an imaginary books treatise on sexuality that tells us that woman emerged from a man’s rib when we all know that man emerged from a woman’s sacred womb, yes the biggest of all centres around a woman’s sexuality and what gave rise to the entire human race. Human’s and governments don’t like sex, or the fact that it exists, no people can get too wild and out of control with it in nature, in the bedroom, they can’t legislate it you see but they can legislate and control a woman’s fertility and take the fruits of her womb from her as a punishment and warning to others and they do. Slut shaming and baby stealing are alive and well, anything tor rob a woman of her sacred primal power, men cannot give birth so they give rise to death instead. Sexuality is the ultimate poison apple, the apple that the organised Church stole and strove to control as they drove woman out of the garden of paganism into the cold dark narrow stone corridors of the Church which was you guessed it controlled by male priests and female nuns who within the Catholic Church sold the fruits of their womb to Christ and for this sale they gained access to male power which they used in order to suppress woman who dared to express them power and sex outside of male sanctified marriage. The nuns stole the offspring of this so called fallen woman and took out all their rage and wrath upon them, all their suppressed sexuality and anger against the patriarchy while the priests ravaged the boys.
You lie and chase out sex with a broom and it will come back with a pitchfork in a warped and twisted fashion and yes I am the product of this lie, I am the product of this twisting, I am the product of a society that cannot deal with its true nature, I am the product of a Christian society where God is far away, where humanity and human emotions are swept into the dustbin, where compassion is a virtue only doled out to those who bow down to the priests, to the magical book, to the power of capitalism , to those who play by the rules, who suppress themselves and live lives of moral hypocrisy. My mother has always struggled with her sexuality and with sex, she does not like it, is there any wonder why, sex is in this society playing with fire, as a woman you get burnt over sex, if you dared to have marriage outside sex they use it as an excuse to kill you in spirit by stealing the fruits of your womb or they kill you, in many societies they still do.
And so there we have it, a so called scientific theory that is based upon a fantasy book called the Bibles view of sexuality, sex is only within marriage, as if sex goes hold up now, you are not married and so you are not allowed to do it, the world is sex, everything is sex, the flowers, the bees, natures wants to be abundant, to multiply, to have pleasure, to be fecund. The theory of Closed Adoption is supposed to be scientific but I do believe that it is pretty clear that its view of human sexuality is a fantasy that is derived from the fertile imaginations of humans who wanted power and as a result went out of its way to control human sexuality, yes the Church exiled woman and their sexuality and therefore their sexuality to the naughty corner and whipped them back into shape if they ever stepped out of line.
Stealing a woman’s children is an extreme punishment, one could say that it is the worst possible punishment, to then expunge her from the birth certificate of her child is extreme and to say that this will have no impact upon her or her child is well a lie, an absolute lie. To act as if the father had no responsibility in regards to her becoming pregnant is absurd, we are not talking about the virgin Mary and God here although that is a very odd story that denotes that rape and adultery are okay if it is carried out by a higher power and results in Jesus who is here to save us and to tell us that adultery is not okay and acts as though the cuckolded one Joseph is perfectly fine with God doing this. But I digress, the theory of Closed Adoption maintains with no evidence that a child being removed from his or her mother will not suffer at, the fact that no other animal in the world would ever do this to their offspring is secondary, at this point we are above nature, just as we say we are in the Bible, we are superior to nature, can do what we like and can bend it to our will.
Our will means separating a child from not only from his mother but from his/her entire ancestry from the moment of their birth because the mother is bad blood, she is morally dubious, the child has to be removed from her influence and steps need to be taken so that she and her child never meet again. She on the other hand her breasts full of milk has the chance to redeem herself, she will soon forget about that child and replace it when married with the right kind of child her having put her sordid past well behind her. The bad seed on the other hand can be turned into a good seed through judicious placement from morally upstanding social workers into the right kind of handpicked upstanding middle class family. The child will know nothing about the switch and the so called stigma of illegitimacy will be magically removed by a proper set of married adoptive parents being put on the child’s birth certificate as his or her real parents. The offensive original birth certificate, in essence the truth, can be stamped in bright red ugly letters with the words “Given Up For Adoption “ down the side and then locked in a safe because such information is radioactive and may contaminate society. Having been decontaminated though this through lie which is framed as being for my own good I am now free to go into my new family and live a morally virtuous life and lie with no idea of what has just happened.
Oh happy joyous Orwellian life in the land of New Speak, in the land of the brave new world, shorn of all the ties that had weighed me down, yes it is an offense to tamper with the facts that appear on a birth certificate, you could be prosecuted but if you are adopted go ahead and lie, I may as well have been flown in by a stork, one may as well say that I was made out of a rib or like Lazarus was reborn because I was, I was resurrected and given a new lift under the ambit of the theory of Closed Adoption. Reborn, my old life was supposed to be dead to me, reborn into my happy family, the parallels with the New Testament are uncanny, the stone rolled away and there I am free of sin, shining with uplifted hands, a new born babe, born twice, who many can claim that, newly hatched in my new family, none the wiser, as if I had been abducted by aliens and I had been.
No other citizen in this world has been granted this right, this glorious right that of being stripped of your entire ancestry, lied to about who your parents are, the truth firmly locked away, they hoped forever, well the theory which had not been tested in reality maintained that I would know nothing about their benevolent lie which meant that they did not have to pay single mothers a benefit so that they could raise their children. So cheap, such a social solution, yes God fearing, middle class folk would pay for them, what a bargain, they turn these morally reprobate children into model citizens who will never question the status quo for nothing. Once the adoption is done there is no further cost to the State, the theory is perfect, it is foolproof, it will work although it has never been tested in realty, yes it is a scientific theory, it just happens to have never been tested and is based on faith alone and a smattering of psychological theory about babies which is exactly that just a theory says that babies will not feel any trauma if separated at birth from their mothers. It is a theory that is the perfect head fuck, it mirrors a society in which the God of money means everything and the wellbeing of people means nothing, it is a theory of power that is firmly wedded to the Church. In the Post-War period they say that science manages the Welfare state but beneath all their theories the moral justification for their polices remain the same, the Bible and its agents working hand in glove with the State are alive and well and now they have new partners in crime, social workers who are determined to make their role as agents of the State carrying out the social policies of the State their profession.
Oh what a devilish brew and oh what a situation all these vested interests landed me in as a result of their lies and hunger for power. I did not stand a chance, I was born into their lies, I was born into a moral maelstrom of double dealing and politicking. What could I do? I was but a babe in the woods, I did the only thing I could, I took it all to heart, I lied to myself, I blamed my-self because I knew nothing about these people, I was just a babe in a cot who had been ripped from his mother’s arms and I was trying to figure out why.
I was born into the silence of the lie, it was as silent as the graves across the road from me when I was growing up, I loved that cemetery because something inside of me had died, I loved the sweet smell of death. No one talked to me, no they carried out the theory to the letter, don’t tell him but I knew that it was all wrong, I knew that I did not belong here, I knew that I was on my own in this much like those people in the old graves in the cemetery were, nobody visited them and nobody visited me either. My Grandmother claimed that she once tried to find us when we were kids, around five I think to see how we were going but the policy had made us as good as dead to her and they were true to their word, they refused to say anything and so I was dead, dead to the world, free floating, wondering why I felt so bad about myself inside.
To survive I went along with their lies, I told myself that I was bad inside, that there was something wrong with me; unbeknownst to me this is exactly how this theory viewed my mother. It also maintained that without the stigma of people knowing that I was illegitimate I would be free to prosper in my middle class utopia, in truth everyone knew where I came from, or at lease my adopted parents did it was just that they said nothing to me about it, they had a role in perpetuating the lie. Everyone was lying to me, at the same time I was living the lie that being separated from my mother and from my entire family would have no impact on my emotional, spiritual and mental wellbeing and as a result I blamed myself for how I felt inside and was driven away from being true to myself. I ended up blaming and completely abandoning myself, my entire life became one big lie.
Well they said not knowing where I came from would have no impact on me which make me wonder why the theory included what to tell your children when they discover that they are adopted, well if you are as flesh and blood to this family as the theory maintained why would there be the need to tell the child anything/ Well they never explained that one but nevertheless I was told at the age of eight by my mother that I was not one of them because I was adopted, but what does that mean exactly, I mean if the theory was correct then surely I would have bonded with them and she would have seen me as one of them just like her daughters? Yes daughters, she had had one daughter out of wedlock that she had adopted out but she did not tell me that, did she wonder if this daughter was being treated well, as flesh and blood? I only found out about this daughter years later, did the social worker care about her moral lapse when they adopted us to them or did they see her as morally rehabilitated or did they even know? Well they did know that my adopted father was aggressive and somewhat psychotic and not fit to adopt but they had to bend the rules a bit because twins were hard to adopt out, especially boys and none of the adopting males wanted boys, they wanted girls who would not challenge them. My adopted father was, however, an exception; he needed boys upon which he could get rid of his childhood trauma.
Always an exception to the rule, to a scientific theory that supposedly put the interests of the children that were being adopted out first, adopted out such a euphemism for the forcible abduction of children through the whip of economic coercion. But they were not stupid, they these progenitors of this theory, no they gave themselves an out, an escape clause, if the child reacted badly to the adoption it was the child’s fault not the theories, and this was because the child was bad seed whose mother and father were probably drinkers, drug users and anti-social types and that is why they got into trouble/[pregnant in the first place. This was great, it explained why my brother was trying to burn down the school, why he was wild and acting out form the age of five onwards, it had nothing to do with his being taken from his mother, no it was his fault, it was the fault of his bad genes, bring in the professionals to deal with him, bring in the social workers who did such a great job in the first place, shuffle him through a variety of foster homes, make him a Ward of the State once again, never talk about the lies that you told him or admit that separating him from his mother at birth caused this, blame, get him to blame and hate himself. Set the lies in motion and keep them in motion as he advances towards drugs, alcohol and jail. It is not our fault, his mother must have been a drinker, it was his bad genes says our adopted father in defence of adoption, parroting the lie that he had been told, if it goes wrong it has nothing to do with your parenting skills or with his separation from his mother, it does, however have everything to do with his bad genes.
You can’t win, I rolled the dice and blame myself, just like my brother, I did not know any different, the only difference was that I did not act out. No I went quiet, as quiet as a grave, there was something wrong with me, with who I was, with my being, I took their lie and did as I was told, I blamed who I was for my predicament, who I was was the reason for why I felt so bad inside, I must have done something wrong and in truth I was not very far off the mark, I had, I had made the mistake of being born to a mother who had defied the moral code by becoming pregnant, it did not matter how it occurred be it rape or consensual, nonetheless you had broken the code, the patriarchal code that decreed that your body was the property of your father until you gave it to a man in marriage.
And so I huffed and I puffed and I punished myself and tore myself to pieces in a bid to please and win love from others for the crime of being myself, a self that felt so bad because I had been ripped from my mother’s arms at the moment of my birth. Love, love , love, well there was not much of that as I tried to belong, to fit, to please my adoptive family, as I tried to belong to a lie, a State manufactured lie that had torn me from my ancestry, that had placed me in a vacuum, on my own with people whom I had nothing in common with who were using me for their own nefarious means, I was a commodity set afloat on the adoption market, alone, terrified and willing to sell myself out to the devil, to crucify myself in a bid to survive leaving me inside alone, brittle, alienated and hollow.
Yes I lost everything to adoption, I lost the truth of my being, I lost contact with my feelings because no one took the trauma of having my mother ripped from me seriously, with this massive wound as my foundation I lost all contact with who I was and I became a slave, I became a people pleasing machine, only slaves have their entire family, their entire ancestry, and their names removed from them and that is what they had done to me. And so I stepped into the hollow, into the black hole of perpetual depression and despair and that is what my life became for me, survival, survival on my own in the thickets of adoption country where I knew no other adopted person besides my brother and that boy down the road who might of being adopted. This was pre-internet, I was a freak, an outsider trying to fit into a world of families, I felt second rate, ashamed that my family had left me and I was on my own.
All I could do was people please, always putting my needs to one side until I lost all contact with who I was, I lived in fear of not pleasing my adopted parents, friends, their friends, everybody, fear of being abandoned and rejected. I had no place to stand and so I did the only thing that I knew, lie about my needs, put them second, this was easy, my needs had been secondary to others from the time that I was born, the needs of adults, my mothers and that of my adoptive parents, social workers and priests had been paramount, I counted for nothing and I felt it and knew it and so I acted to type. I self blamed and dreamed of that heavenly day when I would finally meet my mother and she would make me feel lovable again thus undoing the ravages of her having rejected me.
But alas, as I have said time and time again this was not to be, reunion with her was a bitter fruit, she could not stop abandoning and rejecting me, it was all she had known as a child and it was that she had to pass onto me. At least there were a few brothers and a sister who accepted me but the truth of who my father was and if I had family on that side was in the fullness of time nowhere to be seen. And as for the strategy of people pleasing which I renewed with extra vigour when I returned to my old life well as one can predict not being true to me could only lead to a nervous breakdown, the collapse of my people pleasing foundation and calamity forced on by a lover whom I tried to please beyond the limits of my ability.
But how does one finally come home, how does one finally undo years of not loving oneself, of blaming oneself for the actions of others, how does one deal with the bitter hands and disappointment that living a lie have led to? A spiritual teacher long since gone once said to me “what is it like knowing that you have lived your life as a lie?” He lacked compassion; another person said to me “everything you build in this live will collapse until you finally come to terms with your foundation”. I had just told this healer about my adoption, a person told me that this sounded like a curse. Well it may be, he gave no answer to this riddle of my existence, and I have had to attempt to work it out on my own and as an Indian healer once said to his grandson “you know grandson the longest and hardest journey that you will have to undertake in this life is the sacred journey from the mind to your heart”.
Well I was the product of a mad mind based theory that sprang from the loins of the European enlightenment and it was this theory that has set me on a lifelong journey of reclaiming my heart, a heart that I kept hidden out of the mistaken belief that it was only for my mother, not myself, and the belief that only through her love would I be strong enough to love and deal with rejection. I took refuge in the University, the very place that dreamed up the mad theory of Closed Adop0ton in search of love for my academic achievements and found no love there, oh the irony, I went looking for love in the very place that had sanctioned stripping me of my mother’s love and I expected them to help me emotionally when my life went to custard as a result of so wanting to be loved by another because I felt so unloved given the absence of my mother from my life. And when my academic foundation collapsed I blamed myself just like I had blamed myself for the loss of my mother therefore perpetuating the lie of self hate, of self blame, of being too scared to be myself because of my mother’s original rejection.
My life is a spiral that always ends up in that place, the moment of my birth, I must come to terms with it so that I can be properly born, so that I can live, as the psychoanalyst and Freudian renegade Otto Rank said, a blocked artist is a person who cannot come to terms with their birth and coming to terms with my birth I must.
Punch drunk on Koolaid? Tasted too much rainbow?
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Because of this, which, why, when, how, floating, not quite touching, ripped, they talk about families, about the importance of relationships, you need to take care of them, but not us, she will no longer exist, no she will not, she will not reappear in your dreams, in your heart, in your life, she has disappeared, there she was never there. But there was a heart that I used to listen to like the beating of a clock, like clockwork, I think that I am going to cry, I do not want to live here, to live anymore. What was that that you said so far away from your body, up there, floating, rubbing your eyes, too sad, too hurt to do there; I am no longer attached to you, to my body, to them, to anybody, to any family, to anyone.
Why do I feel so sad, why can I not feel anything fuck it, why have the lights switched off, why have I switched off, why have all the fuses been pulled, why am I so numb, why is the room so black, so semi-detached and precious, yes I should not complain about having my limbs ripped from me about fearing that I might not survive her leaving, no I was sure that I would not survive your brutal detachment of me from her, of me from my ancestry, of me from my entire family, of me from her womb, of me from their energy.
But you kept me alive in my buried state, you nursed me, you kept me going with your soothing blanketing lies even when I was struggling to breathe in the hospital. You acted as if I was a piece of meat that could be lopped from the bone so easily, as if I was no longer attached, as if I was detached from her for good with no attachment left, no phantom limbs, no her hiding in the closet, no her hiding in my brain, in my heart, in my skin, in my DNA, gone, gone, gone. But she was there and I was not, I had long since left the building, what you did hurt, I could not take this so I left, left for the sky, left my body, left this darkness inside, I became dead to the world, as good as dead, gone, numb, unthinking, unblinking, I was left behind with her, I could not let go of her, she was my survival, my ticket to life, did you think that I would ever let go of her hand?
Blankness, I have lived this, I have fled this, I have tried to avoid this hurt by avoiding myself, by blaming myself for what you did, yes you did this, you took an infant from its mother as soon as it was born and shoved it like a sack of coal into a cot on its own. You did this, the State, The Social Workers, My Mother, my Grandmother, My Great Grandmother, My Father, The Moralistic Majority, you did this, you did this to me.
My twin brother on the phone, years of alcohol and drug abuse catching up with him “Our Mother did not like that letter that you sent her, she feels that you were too hard on her, she showed the rest of the family” I tell him that I am glad that she found my version of the impact that this event had on me hard, she has after all been playing victim just talking about how hard life has been for her in the twenty six years that I have known her. Now she has had to listen to the impact of her actions upon me, she did after all believe that adoption was a fantastic choice, she had always wished that she had been detached, adopted out, abandoned, jettisoned from the family like her brother had been, this was her wish fulfilment and gift to us. “You know my brother says, she is lying about who our father is, she was not raped”. Over and over he goes through the same old story, this is the gift of detachment, the truth flies away shrouded over the years in secrets and lies, too many people with too much to hide, too many people wanting to cover up their mistakes, too many people trying to look good, trying to look themselves in the mirror.” She is a Christian you know” and so I will tell her, he says that “God knows the truth and will judge her harshly is she does not say it about our father”.
Collect up the ruins, the wreckage of the day, free floating, my brother and I in a sea of lies, with no family to catch us, only fragments, only splinters, they say that relationships are the most important glue in the world, they bind us, they give us a reason to live, they keep us healthy, they give us the will to live. Our will to live, every relationship that we could have possibly had with our family in this life was pulled up and destroyed. We live the reality of that destruction every day, feeling ashamed that we were torn away from our families, feeling ashamed for having ended up in such a situation. MY brother says “I gave her an ultimatum to either come over and see me or just concentrate on her side of the family and leave me here on my own, I knew that she was coming, that she was in the country, I sensed it, just a shame that she brought that friend of hers Pam”.
Yes that mad Christian woman who picked me up from the train station over twenty six years ago, I had expected to see my Mother for the first time, my Mother was sheltering in the darkness of her home behind a table. I had come with my bags ready to start a new life and then I realised that there could be no reattachment, they were right there could be no coming back from this. What they did not say is that this hurt would last a lifetime, that this hurt would snap at my heels like a rabid dog, that this hurt would keep me running from myself, detached from myself, blaming myself, in a crucifying toxic relationship with myself for many years of my life because I blamed myself for her leaving and by doing so I let her off any responsibility for her actions.
Pam fell out with my mother on that trip, she stole money from her and denied it, at last her eyes were opened to what this person was really like, her family had been telling her this for years. But what a family, my Gran detached herself from one boy, my mother from two, my Gran liked sex, she had children with three men, good on her, that does not make her a bad person but she was a survivor and she survived by learning to cover up her actions. She was Machiavellian, always shifting the blame elsewhere, telling me that “I should be good to my mother regardless because she was my mother but never admitting to her abuse of her or to the fact that she refused to help mum keep us or so mum says. So they all say, trying to cover up their abandoning ways, Gran claims to have come looking for us at the age of five but was this to make her look good? This was the woman who planned her funeral in meticulous detail, including the use of one of my poems without telling me, she ensured that the hearse left for the crematorium with her along, yes the hearse just drove off and left the family mourners in the chapel. The ultimate in detachment, in abandonment, in I did it my wayment… They were all stunned.
My mother’s energy and presence did not vanish in a puff of smoke up the crematorium stack as they claimed it would when she left us in our cribs bewildered and vulnerable in a world that was hostile to our kind, bastards to unwed mothers. No as the caravans were drawn in the wolves began to circle and the auction was set in motion, we were to lie there and wait for our new owners to come, children had no rights at all, we were voiceless, just left waiting. There must have been a special room for babies like me, such a happy waiting place, ironically my happiest childhood memory was when I returned to the hospital for a lazy eye operation as a child, it was like a homecoming. They gave me sweets, they washed me, they fussed over me. I presume that she finished the paperwork before entering the birthing room where yet another bastard, in our case two were born. Once that was complete people could file past our cribs and decide, like any animals in a pet shop where there are two for adoption, the ideal was for both of us to be taken. That is why they overlooked our adopted father’s lack of suitability; there was a lot of stock to move.
But since when has it been alright to detach, to completely detach a child from its entire ancestry, well apparently the world of open adoption makes this okay, my hands are sweating as I write this and tears are welling in my eyes. It is not possible for a person who has not gone through this to grasp the enormous impact that this event has upon a baby, indeed it has been nigh impossible for me to grasp it which is why I have spent my life running away from this hurt and self blaming, What else could I do, this event ripped up my entire life and cursed it with the fact that I was always looking over my shoulder trying to outrun it while wondering if it would have been a better life which means that I have been disassociated from the actual life that I have been forced to live and as a result have been largely absent from large chunks of my life.
I cannot grasp this, mother I am sick of this, I am sick of living with you, I am sick of carrying you, I am sick of you blaming me for this, I am sick of blaming myself for this, I am sick of carrying the wounds of my ancestry, of my adopted family, of holding onto this hurt, of not being able to heal this hurt because I blame myself for it. I am sick of being a second hand citizen who is forced to live with falsified birth documents, who has been forced to live with secrets and lies all my life because the State decreed on behalf of society that UI was a moral aberration that needed to be detached from my family and then denied the hurt and by doing so condemned me to a life of suffering, of self blame. And I am sick of Soothe Sayers who give me unasked for advice on how to survive this mutilation of my family, of my identity, of my place of standing, of the lies that I have been told, who tell me to ignore the hurt, to just let it go, to not hold onto it when that hurt is affecting my life in the most prefund manner on a daily basis.
Mother, I am sick of waking up with you in my bed, in my head, yes with your rejection and abandonment of me translating into trauma, into Post Traumatic Stress, into my being unable to grasp or deal or live with my own life and self because I blamed myself so that I could survive. Yes anger and self blame, kept me alive in that hospital as I bunched my fists in disassociated confusion, struggling to breathe, unable to comprehend the fact that you were not coming back. Yes, I never let go of you, I never allowed myself to be born into this terror, no I clung to you, to you warmth, to your energy, I could not face the darkness on my own, I did not have the courage to do so and as a result was not born at all.
No I remained in storm clouds of tears, it was terrible to leave the womb, I knew that it was coming but it was far more terrible to lose you, to have no one, to be completely lost, abandoned, isolated, on my own, waiting for your return so that the terror would cease, wanting to feel your love, needing your love more than anything, I wanted love! I Wanted love! Bitter disappointment, you were not there to offer me your breast, your love, you were not there to offer me anything, emptiness, the void, the abyss, the endless falling into darkness, the sleepless nights, the balled up fists. Mother, can you not grasp this, I was an infant, you were good enough for me, I was an infant, you were an adult, you can play the victim but you knew what you were doing, you had lived in this world, I was a defenceless innocent, I had done nothing but when I met you you tried to blame me for what you had done, you tried to say that my brother looked exactly like our father , who was in your words a rapist and that is why you could not hug me.
I had hoped that your hug, twenty seven long years ago would welcome me at last into this world, would allow me to live, would allow me to reattach to you, to my family, I had come over hoping to start my life anew, I had hoped that this nightmare would be over, that at last I could live without running, I could escape my adopted past, I could become unadopted. But I can’t undo my adoption and so I am left wondering how the hell to dare with this hurt that never leaves, how to come to terms with it so that I can actually inhabit my body, reattach to my life and no longer be disassociated, to no longer live in a pea soup, to no longer be suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome.
What happened, well I keep trying to explain, I keep trying to reattach in a world a relationships, to no avail, to anything, to anybody, to any substance, to this life, so that I can finally come to earth, yes this world runs on families but I am an outsider, I am married but we have no children, I remain an outsider, outside of loving relationships what else is there to live for. But this is what annoys me, I keep getting stuck over her, over the fact that she left but that was forty seven years ago, yes for forty seven years I have been arguing with her ghost and she is a ghost because we will never reattach in that way ever again but there she is, fuck off! Yes she is there in every relationship in my life from my relationship to myself, to my friends, to my wife, to my adopted family, she is in everything and I am sick of her and how she hurt me so comprehensively, so totally devastated me.
And so picture this, two grown forty seven year old men talking about her all these years later, about what she said about who was our father, one of them has almost totally destroyed his mental, physical and spiritual health over her through drugs, alcohol and jail, he went crazy at the age of five over the loss of her. Well her leaving him. The other went quietly crazy also and in his own way has just as obsessively tried to understand her, them, that family, the family that adopted us, it has consumed us and directed our life paths. She has always belonged in her family although she hates most of them and paints herself as a victim, that is her role, but at least she belongs somewhere. One saving grace, my brother says that he has met amazing people, has lived on the edge and that his funeral will be large. Yes death has been his constant companion, near death so many times, so many drugs, so much alcohol, most thought that he would die at twenty one. He has goals, a driver’s license, giving up marijuana playing the guitar, buying a canoe but he is totally detached from wider society, from work, from mainstream relationships, his family are ex-state wards, jailbirds and alcoholics.
My family is my wife, her family, fragments of my adopted family, my cousins and their parents and friends and some of my birth family siblings, such a strange word but so is my life, strange, I know that belonging can end in detachment, in heartbreak, in not belonging in an instant, yes people can just say you no longer belong, you are not my friend, not my family. I know this, I have experienced this, it makes opening up ones heart a scary business. But I have spent my life trying to find a way through this hurt so that I can open up my heart, to myself, to others but she is always there lurking with that knife, yes the one who abandoned me, the who could not give me what I needed so that I could enter the world in the first place and who is still stubbornly unable to do so. I am sick of waiting, life is flowing by like a fast river and she is always there, always there, her actions and their impact upon my life cannot be washed away, I am a refugee, I am an exile, I am a wanderer, I am permanently exiled from this world of belonging, of families but oh how I long to belong and how I have tried only to find that this is not to be my lot. I feel ashamed.
Grasp this and do not forget it, it does not matter how good your adoption is, detachment at birth will always leave a person feeling disassociated, disconnected and traumatised and will continue to have an ongoing impact upon their lives whether they choose to admit it or not. You are ripping up the fabric of life, you are playing with the most fundamental building blocks of what makes us human and you are ripping people away from these building blocks in the most brutal manner imaginable no matter how you try to dress it up be it rescue or open adoption the wound remains.
It is not possible for me to fully grasp the fact that my very own mother chose to exile me, chose to abandon me, especially when she says that she genuinely felt that this was a good choice that she believed in this choice. The fact that she chose to do so only makes it worse, the fact that my mother, my flesh and blood, my loving nurturer chose to leave me behind, it makes me feel dirty, as if I was tainted goods, as if I was not good enough. As if I was just a sack of coal with no emotions, value, yes value, I was not worthy of being kept, I was not valued.
And her shadow has always been with me even before they told me, no I did not see myself as valuable, I did not see my life as valuable, I did not see myself as having equal value to others and I was disassociated from my body, I could not enter it because the pain was too much. This pain has no words, it is total self annihilation, my sense of self and of who I was and what the world was and what the world was like was built upon this pain. It frame who I was in a totalising manner to this day.
Imagine an explosion that you cannot escape, an explosion that ripped you from your entire family, from natures chosen life path for you which was not deemed good enough, instead you are placed on another path that you are told is better. Would you not spent your life wondering about the old path, wondering about what might have happened and would this not prevent you from living in the present moment because you have all the lies and energy of this previous life dragging you backwards. Imagine not being able to come to terms with the circumstances of your birth, of always having to deal with it, with unanswered questions, lies, people hiding the truth and all this is constantly with you. How can you commit to living your present live when you are so attached to the past in spite of their telling you that your past has no value, no meaning, no use and that no such attachment exists.
But you are living proof that this past does exist and that one’s attachment to it continues, imagine being told that everything that you feel emotionally is one big lie, that you cannot trust what and how you feel, how would you live, how could you live with such uncertainty? I live in a society that forces me to do exactly that, a society that denies this wound so that I have for many years been unable to deal with it, there are no resources for me to do so, not dealing with a wound does not get rid of it instead it condemns you to a life of repeating this trauma because it has not been healed. And in the midst of this unhealed pain society actively celebrates the practise of adoption, a practise that ripped up my living relationships, denied that they existed and replaced them with paper lies and a new family on paper. I was expected to accept their lies as my truth and the emotional truth of my reality as a life is it any wonder that I am confused and cannot get over this?
I cannot detach myself from this life or disassociate myself from the emotional truth of what has occurred. My life is a living testament to this fact, so is my brothers. We have tried to deal with this hurt in the best ways that we can in a society that was not only happy to engage in a State sanctioned ripping up of our relationships, it was also happy to do nothing for the many adopted people who were left with few family relationships at all when the grand adoption experiment failed which it often did,
Relationships give us a web of support and sustenance through the bad times from the moment of our birth onwards. Yes, I had the support of Nurses and Doctors, that is probably why I was so happy to return to hospital as a boy but it is also shows the level of my trauma, of my disassociation, of my numbness, these relationships could never substitute for the real thing nor could my adopted family to say that they could would be to deny reality which is exactly what I was asked to do. Loneliness and a lack of relationships kills, just witness all those elderly people abandoned by their families, waiting for visitors, standing on their porches scanning the horizon in rest homes. I have always been terrified of how alone I have been as a result of my adoption, just me versus the world, an island with no support net, trying to survive, trying to find love and be loved. It is truly terrifying and I have no doubt that this aloneness, this terror is what lies behind many adopted people engaging in whatever substance they can find, whatever they can find in order to numb the pain, in order not to feel the terror and the hurt that they felt in hospital at the moment when they found themselves detached, disassociated and so alone.