Monday, May 21, 2007

Whine Away. Or Not.

Another blogging adoptee got me thinking. She's annoyed by adoptees who don't like adoption or their a-parents or adoptees who blame adoption for ruining their lives.

While I have whined and complained aplenty, I don't think it ruined my life.

The social worker did that by placing me with an undereducated, self-absorbed couple incapable of acting like parents, adoptive or otherwise.

Just kidding!

Sort of.

Today I am happy. Mostly. Despite my bad placement, I have been 100% financially independent since the age of 17. I've taken responsibility for my education and my life and blame no one. That said, it would be shallow not to explore the enormous impact that Closed Adoption, especially as practiced by the wrong sort of people (ignorant) can have on a human life.

Whether we like it or not, some of us were part of a social experiment. A part of history. We must try to make sense of it as best we can. For those who fared well, tell us why. What made it work for you. For those of us who fared badly, why? What made it a failure? I see these blogs as not simply confessional and therapeutic, but as an aggregator of adoption experiences across a broad spectrum...from wonderful to good to the opposite end of bad to miserable.

One of the most fascinating things to learn is that so many of us adoptees, including those who were placed with empathetic, capable and loving a-parents, also share many of the same adoptee issues. People pleasing seems to be a big one.

23 Comments:

Blogger Rhonda said...

I found you through Elizabeths blog and am really glad I did.

Finding like-minded adoptees isn't always easy. I'll make this a regular read . . .

Thanks!

9:18 PM  
Blogger LeRoy Dissing said...

Nina...Even kids raised by their own parents sometimes experience this syndrome whereby parents expect some kind of gratitude for their exisitence. I am wondering if it has more to do with the caretakers than it does with the child??? By that I am saying adoptive parents probably have a greater need for validation as parents since they did not give birth to the adoptee than parents of their own children. Just an observation since I do know some parents do expect their own children to be grateful for their "sacrifice" in raising them which I think is ridiculous and harmful to lay on a kid - minor or adult.

3:21 AM  
Blogger Nina said...

Hi Rhonda, I think we found each other's blogs around the same time thru the same person 'cause I started reading yours last night...written very beautifully, too.

Leroy, DEFINITELY! Case in point. My adoptive second cousin, who's more like a sister. Her mother hits her over the head with the martyr stick to the point of estrangement. In fact, this unhealthy attitude is so common in my a-family that I did some research and found that this "you owe me" mentality runs deep in Hispanic culture. I'm sure it happens in other family systems, too. But in the case of MY a-parents, there's the added dimension of adoption and the expectation that an adopted daughter should be REALLY grateful and THEREFORE stay by their side and take care of them thru old age as repayment of services rendered. And while that expectation does exist in some bio families, too, I think it's heightened in some adoptive ones.

8:21 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

True there are the non adoptees who deal with difficult parents, I see the chief difference as being they are dealing with their own parents.



Adoption is a unique situation, I too am amazed at the similarities that we have, and the adoptees who shout they are happy while displaying anger are also fascinating

8:47 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

That was me Joy

8:47 PM  
Blogger Nina said...

Joy. Yep. That's a pretty HUGE chief difference. Exactly. It does make it very different.

9:10 PM  
Blogger LeRoy Dissing said...

I believe that whether it is one's own parents or adoptive parents - it is absolutely ridiculous (if not bordering on emotionally abusive) to expect gratitude from one's child just for existing.

6:34 PM  
Anonymous JustEnjoyHim/Judy said...

"I believe that whether it is one's own parents or adoptive parents - it is absolutely ridiculous (if not bordering on emotionally abusive) to expect gratitude from one's child just for existing."

-- absolutely 100% agree, and I'd add to that -- it's ridiculous to expect gratitude for taking care of one's child(ren) when that's the purpose of being a parent and children aren't capable of taking care of themselves.

My opinion, for what it's worth, is that whining is bemoaning a situation that you can actually change and not looking deeper into it and not changing it. Adoptees talking about their pasts is different in that: 1. they can't change the past, and 2. typically, from what I've seen, they're trying to come to a deeper understanding of how this affects their present, their relationships, etc. Some use this knowledge to make changes in their lives, so I don't really see it as whining, just as relating experiences and trying to come to an understanding of what happened to them.

10:32 AM  
Blogger LeRoy Dissing said...

Joy...your opinion has worth and I think we are riding the same wave :)

I do agree that relating experiences helps one understand how their past can/is affecting them presently...and that insight can be a catalyst for change.

10:24 PM  
Blogger elizabeth said...

I always say I can't please everyone, so I might as well just please myself. It takes practice and I'm still learning it. But most the time, I stay true to myself. At least I like to this so.

1:12 AM  
Blogger Possum said...

Possum -> is a people pleaser!!!!
Yay for me.......NOT!!!
Hugs,
Poss. xxxx

5:09 AM  
Blogger Nina said...

Thanks for commenting everyone! It is amazing how much personal progress CAN be made by exploring the past and the origins of certain problematic behaviors. Feel I've conquered the worst of my people pleasing and am getting in touch with what I want and how i feel...finally. It's really never too late. It's like I can't imagine what my life USED to be like IN THE FOG.

5:03 PM  
Blogger Manuela said...

Sort of a side note... I know the blogger you are talking about, and man... talk about pot calling the kettle black. That woman is INTENSE and VERY much a whiner.

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