I’ve mentioned before my discomfort with the 11 weeks between my birth and placement in my adoptive home. I have spent a significant amount of energy chastising myself for that obsession. I tell myself that perhaps my fanciful adult mind is creating problems where none exist, assuming cognizance and motivation where there actually is only the need to be fed and to sleep as slow days foster the emergence of a consciousness. Perhaps.
I have been analyzing how each time in my life I have encountered a lack of support I respond with deeply hurt feelings and a grim acceptance, masked over with the appearance of indifference. How difficult it is for me to even ask for help in the first place, and how bad it hurts if it is denied. How hard it is for me to tell someone they have hurt me – because I am afraid to face the additional, often greater hurt if they devalue my pain or don’t accept its legitimacy – or simply don’t care if they hurt me in the first place.
I experienced significant breaches of trust in my childhood, and the ensuing significant needs for protection and support went unmet. I sorted through the fallout from those experiences as an adult and felt they were largely resolved, but now it feels like everything has to be re-sorted with this new understanding of my beginnings. Emotional constructs formed in my gestation and immediate after-birth circumstances surely informed my reaction to experiences I had and surely continue to inform my experiences and reactions today. That infant-me, denied the one thing every iota of my being was programmed to require still exists in my psyche.
And what possibilities exist for my experience in those 11 weeks? Was I alone in a nursery, cared for by a series of nurses, left to cry? Was I lovingly cared for by a foster mother? Did I bond with my foster mother only to be removed from that nascent bond? How can I trust anyone, if either scenario was the beginning of my life? Have I ever really trusted anyone? Am I able to trust at all?
So here I am, a year passed. Angry toward the society and systems that caused this state of affairs – for myself and for my mother. I feel pity for her and my father… teenagers, leaves spun in the gale force of society’s expectations for how they were to resolve the problem of my existence, yet still a little angry that they did not resist. Angry and embarrassed that my existence itself was a problem. Angry that it was acceptable to take a newborn baby away from her mother and store her like so much merchandise for 11 weeks. Angry that no one stood up for my right to know the truth about myself.
I want to say to the world: I was hurt. That hurt me. That still hurts me today. That hurt me even before I knew what it was that was hurting me. But sadly I think the response from most of the world is (some combination of): It doesn’t really hurt you. It was really good for you, it was what was best for you. You were lucky to be chosen. You are an ungrateful wretch.
Ouch. Is it any wonder we LDAs cling to one another?