The Right to Process
The right to feel is inherent. The right to feel how you feel and use your own terms to state it is a given. Unless you’re adopted, of course.
If you’re adopted, all involved parties are aggressively eager to inform you of how you feel, when you feel it, and how you’re allowed to say it, all the while diminishing the reality of your feelings by interjecting the comparative importance of their own.
For instance. The adopter. “I love you! I’m bonded with you! You love me too! You’re bonded to me too! You’re grateful for the better life I’m providing for you! Look how nice your things are! Could your horrible junkie parents give you such nice things?”
In the meantime the Adoptee is wearing her nice clothes and wetting her nice bed because of the nightmares, and by eight years old is already wondering what it’s like to be dead.
I could give you examples of how relinquishers, gentle adopters, industry flunkies, and even our own fellow Adoptees, those who claim the mantle of “happy” and “grateful”, try to reprogram us into the shell they want us in. “Use the words that make US comfortable. Have the feelings WE are comfortable with you having. And NEVER FORGET that kept children have problems too, relinquisher pain is more intense and debilitating than adoptee pain, and #NOTALL.” If you forget any of these “facts”, you will be brusquely corrected (and that is putting it mildly).
The fact is, the only opinions adoptees are allowed to have are everyone else’s. If we don’t condone adoption we’re crazy and uneducated. If we don’t sympathize with relinquishers we’re mean, angry, cruel, and like to “torment broken mothers”. If we don’t agree with “happy” cribmates that adoption is wonderful and saved us, we “just had a bad experience”. Very rarely are enlightened adoptee perspectives lifted up and listened to the way “happy” adoptee perspectives are.
Very seldomly is our pain able to be recognized and validated. Very seldomly is our healing process able to be respected. This generally only happens in private rooms and little “safe zones” we carve out for ourselves, and even then we aren’t safe. We will still be betrayed by cribmates panting for relinquisher approval. Little dark rooms, whispering behind our hands, keeping our pain small and silent so it doesn’t get us brutally attacked and reviled by the ones whose opinions we are supposed to bear. The ones whose feelings we are supposed to feel… The ones who ACTUALLY COUNT. The adopters. The relinquishers. The “happy” adoptees.
I’m not allowed to feel how I feel. I’m definitely not allowed to talk about it. I’m not supposed to use the words I choose to describe my feelings. Because my feelings, and the words I use to describe them, make others angry and uncomfortable. I’m not allowed to heal how I need to heal. I am supposed to subscribe to the prescribed methods of the interested parties. If I heal my own way, if I use my own words, they might have to consider. If I tell the truth, it might expose a lie.
It’s too hard to look at, my truth. My truth SUCKS. Too bad. You have to look at it anyway. I can’t live the comfortable lie. Why should the perpetrators of adoption sit in their self-appointed seats of superiority and dictate to a victim of their crimes how, when, where, and what we’re allowed to feel, what we’re allowed to say about it, and how we’re supposed to be so kind and compassionate toward them through it all.
Frankly, how dare you even try to suppose how I should feel? The legs of the so-called “triad” that stand on the backs of adoptees know what life is like without adoption in it. They DON’T know what it’s like to lose your entire world and have it replaced with a fake one. Before you can talk. Before your modes of communication can be properly translated. How dare they suppose to have a single bloody clue what it’s like to grow up with a stranger for a mother?
You don’t get to tell us ANYTHING.
YOU DON’T KNOW. YOU CAN’T KNOW. AND ALL THE EMPATHY IN THE WORLD WON’T TEACH YOU.
Sit down. Shut up. Let me process my shit hole of a life my way. (A shit hole it would not be, might I add, if I had not been relinquished and adopted.)