Monday, December 17, 2007

The Angry Adoptee

You know what pisses me off?

That we adoptees are only allowed to express a limited range of emotions. And opinions.

If I were my teenage daughters, I might put it this way: "Anger really freaks people out."

I'm angry about my adoption, but not an angry person in general. I have got on with my life despite getting stuck with narcissistic adoptive parents whom I had to caretake.

I'm concerned there seems to be a weird love affair going on with adoption. Which is not going to last. We're going through a phase. Several more distraught, woefully unprepared and undereducated adoptive moms who kill their international adoptees is bound to throw the spotlight on the fact that adopting a kid from another country isn't all about bunny slippers and finally getting invited to playdates.

ANYWAY...back to anger.

I can only speak for myself. Not all adoptees are angry. And those of us who are, aren't angry about the same things.

But I'll tell you what makes me angry: Not being listened to. Never. Not once. Not at home. Not in my family. Not amongst friends. Not even now. In 2007. (Except here. And on AAAFC).

It's enough to make you absolutely crazy.

There you are, a bonified SOCIAL EXPERIMENT...the subject of books written by experts, the topic of radio call-in shows and newspaper articles and morning television show segments. But nobody ever wants to hear what it's like to live life as an adoptee. Not if the script doesn't include the words, "happy" or "grateful." Sometimes, a carefully screened adoptee gets to admit to a dollop of ambivalence, in a perfectly pleasant tone of voice that shows she is not in the least bit angry. A little confused, maybe. Wistful is okay, too. She can be wistful. Maybe she'd like some things about adoption to change. But just a little. Nothing scary. Because she's grateful to have been adopted and she just adores her adoptive parents.

The rest of us are ignored. Or dismissed. We're crybaby whiners who should just get on with our lives.

Being an adoptee often means this: Having a lifetime of experience to share and few people to share it with. It's just not something people want to hear about. Unless they are discussing it. Then you can't get them to shut up because they're experts and want to tell you how to deal with something you've lived with every single minute of your life. As a social experiment.

That's what people don't get. Adoption is not just another way to form a family. It's something entirely different. Oh, it's a way. Way different. Definitely. Necessary sometimes. Like in my case. But proceed with caution. It's tricky. Like all experiments.

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19 Comments:

Blogger valerie said...

It sounds like you are inside my head. I've struggled with adoptee anger throughout my entire life. I know sometimes adoption is necessary, but it can sure mess a person up.

Anyway, I feel you. Thanks for writing this.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have felt everything you've described here. It's lame that we're not allowed to be angry, and what makes it worse is when friends from other strange families ask about it, even they just get mad at the 'complaining.' Being adopted is not as bad as being molested, or having been raised with parents on drugs so no one has sympathy. One is left very much alone confused over one's own emotions.

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