I am not your shame
May 14, 2018 howtobeadopted
I’m 37 years old. Last night I was given up for adoption. Again.
I felt alone and frightened, just as that baby was. My nervous system went into overdrive, just as that tiny baby’s did.
And the shame. Searing shame overtaken by anger and resignation, but still that lingering shame. It’s always there.
Then something else, something new. A feeling of freedom. I felt almost giddy. I don’t have to put myself through this anymore. I am worth so much more. I am worth a full page announcement in The Times. I will not be hidden. I will not hide.
One thing I didn’t feel was surprise. As an adoptee I’m atuned to rejection in its many forms. You may not have seen it that way. Perhaps to you it was merely an error of admission; a failure to introduce me in a busy room; not the right time, the right place, the right circumstance. In that instant I saw that baby crying and crying and crying as backs turned and footsteps echoed away.
Adoption took my first family, my grandparents, my family tree, my genetic history, my heritage and my bloodline. Enough is enough. Adoption will not take my dignity. You will not take my dignity.
I am not your shame. I have nothing to be ashamed of. I have done nothing to be ashamed of. Except to keep quiet while you humiliated me to cover your own back.
I will not be your secret any longer. I refuse to be complicit in your compartmentalisation.
I know now that you shame me to protect yourself from being shamed by others. You are still protecting yourself as you did when you walked away from that rapidly swelling belly almost 40 years ago.
I need you to know that I am not “Lucy”, I’m your daughter. The one you gave away. The one you’ve been building a relationship with for eleven years.
I will not come to your funeral as “Lucy”. It’s time to speak up. If you want your secret to die with you, consider me already dead.