Funerals, Death, Loss & the Adoptee, Only Speaking for Me!

I would really like to know if its only me, as an adult adoptee that has a strange disconnection with funerals, death and loss or do other adoptees have similar feelings?

Being an adoptee, have you ever had anyone say, “Well, since you didn’t have a relationship with “them” (bio fam) then I’m sure that’s much easier to process the loss, because there really is no loss!”…. As if losing what could have been doesn’t even exist. As if we shouldn’t be sad for the lost relationships, lost memories, lost time, lost birthdays together, lost holidays together, lost EVERYTHING!

WHAT COULD HAVE BEEN IS WHERE I AM STUCK RIGHT NOW! I’M ANGRY PEOPLE DISREGARD THIS AS A PART OF MY LOSS! 

I know, it’s my issue, my problem, and I am the one who is working through this so I can get to the other side! I don’t want to be stuck here forever! Why would I? It’s heartbreak day in and day out! This place is where I can share my feelings, so that’s what I’m doing.

I’ve had multiple close friends lose a loved one recently, a mother or a father, or a sister or a brother. It’s extremely difficult for me to sympathize on how it feels to lose that “close” relationship for the simple fact I’ve never had that with my birth parents, or my adoptive parents. Adoption created a invisible separation from the closeness and life long bonds that I WOULD have had with my biological parents, & siblings if I would not have been adopted. And although I have no relationship with my adoptive mom, (never have had a bond) I care deeply for my adoptive dad, but it’s just not the same even when everyone wishes it was. He IS the closest thing I have to a bond with my adoptive family, (aside from some cousins, and aunts) I cherish them.

What I wonder, is how does the world expect me to turn on my feelings and grieve the loss of someone I made memories with, when they denied me my right to grieve the loss of my entire family whom I had no memories with? HOW DO I DO THAT? I had to learn how to cope on my own from the time I was a small child. I grieved in my own way by searching, and dreaming, and trying to find out where I came from.  I cried silent tears from the moment I found out I was adopted and have every single say since. But now, when someone dies I’m supposed to be a certain way… What if I don’t feel the same way other people do? Does that make me wrong? Or bad? What if I’m simply OVERJOYED that we whoever died have at least one or two, or if I’m lucky multiple memories with them and that’s more than I have ever been given with my biological family. When someone dies I hear over and over, stories of time spent with grandparents, mothers, fathers, and I sit and listen and hear the person sharing such special memories. Every single time, I’m reminded of how precious a memory is, and how I WISH I had ONE memory with my biological grandmother, or grandfather. I WISH I had ONE conversation of how much my birth mother “loved me” while looking into her eyes. After all, I was told she loved me so much my whole life, but she didn’t want to even get to know me. That was another lie. I wish I had ONE memory with my birth father, about his child hood, or his life growing up. I wish my birth father knew the day I was born, that was stolen from him and he will never be telling me “Happy Birthday”. Another loss, stolen forever. This is just a piece of what I’m angry about. You know ANGER is a part of the stages of the grief and loss process? Thank God for this safe place of mine to process my grief! If I was able to grieve my losses growing up I might not be doing it at 40 years old. But here I am, sharing my journey with the world. Yes, I’m angry and I am having a hard time getting over what was LOST. Chances are I might never “get over it”, but I will continue to put my hope in God, work on my issues, and develop healthy ways to share my feelings since I was told by the world my whole life to just be thankful! and writing is one of my favorite places to share my feelings on how it feels to be adopted.

I’M SORRY BUT I CAN’T RELATE TO FUNERALS, FAMILIES GATHERINGS, CRYING AND SHARING STORIES ABOUT MY LOVED ONES WHEN THEY DIE OR REMINISCING ABOUT MEMORIES ABOUT GROWING UP & FAMILY REUNIONS & HOLIDAY GATHERINGS.  That process was stolen from me for the people that I searched for my entire life as well as any memories that COULD have been if I were not adopted. How do I all of a sudden  distinguish HOW TO GRIEVE my loss for someone who is in my adoptive family, or a close friend, when I couldn’t grieve for my losses associated with losing an entire family! I have a hard time with this!!!

I’ve accepted being adopted but that doesn’t change how I FEEL about being adopted!

I honestly feel like I don’t need funerals to accept that fact that someone is gone! I have been expected by society to just FORGET ABOUT THOSE I LOVE (yes, I can love them even if I have never met them!) and just MOVE ON with my life with no feelings at all… How can people really believe that this isn’t something that might bother adoptees? This has hurt my heart deeper than anything on this planet.

I have found that it’s harder for me to grieve the loss of what was LOST with all my relationships with being adopted, than it is for that person to actually leave this earth. This might be complicated to some who aren’t adopted. But when someone dies, most of you have MEMORIES! Adoptees, we don’t have that! LOST IS TRULY LOST! You never truly lose when you have memories to hold onto forever.  I have had a harder time accepting what was LOST in memory form, than my biological family dying and leaving this earth. All that did was make me give up HOPE that some memories would be created, somewhere in my life. But the missed and lost memories CAN NEVER BE REPLACED. I can’t sit at their funeral and talk about all the fun times we had! There are none! But this isn’t for one person, or two.. It’s for our entire families!!!!

I know I’m not the only adoptee who feels this way. I know I can pull a positive out of such heartache,  and that’s the ability to never take a moment for granted. Time spent is the most valuable thing on the earth. I wonder if experiencing such a profound loss is the reason my love language is “Quality Time”..

The other aspect that comes to mind is the fact that no where in my life has anyone ever asked me how it’s felt to loose so much in adoption. Yet everyone wonders why I’ve always struggled with such low self worth & struggled with sharing my feelings. My adoptive parents never let me know I could LOVE my first family so I felt like I had to hide my love for them and they were more a piece of me than anything. Was my love for them unimportant or something I should be ashamed of? It made me feel that way, and this is why I always felt like I was unimportant and struggled with low self.worth.   No one ever cared enough to ask how I felt. It’s baffling to me that the world doesn’t understand the trauma involved with adoption. It’s time we wake up as a nation and start to TRY to understand how adoptees feel. If I had an adoptive child I would be researching every adult adoptees blog and learn as much as possible to try to understand my child the best I could.

As a 40 year old woman in recovery for adoptee abandonment & rejection issues I’m just now scratching the surface on my issues relating to being adopted. I’m extremely grateful for this place where I can share my true feelings. Can any other adoptees relate?

Pamela Jones

@freesimplyme

http://www.facebook.com/howdoesitfeeltobeadopted

The Difference the Truth Makes….

It’s been so heavy on my mind to write about the difference in young adoptees and older adoptees learning their truth.

There is a HUGE difference! 

I know so many adoptive parents wait and have their own reasons for keeping ID-10037119quite about their child’s history, identity, roots, biological family, etc. They have reasons why they don’t “come clean” about all the information they have in regards to their adoptive child. Many years ago, many of them were told to keep quiet, because back in the “Day” that was supposed to be the best thing for everyone. Many adoptive parents have taken this very vital and critical information to their graves, all because they were told keeping it a secret was the best thing to do. Many adoptees find out their truth after their adoptive parents pass away, and long hidden documents are uncovered, somewhere in all their belongings. Many adoptive parents are insecure about sharing that information for fear or “losing” whats “theirs”.. Yes, many adoptive parents look at their adoptive child as “mine” as if we’re speaking of a piece of property. 

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Well times have changed, and things are different now. What was one always kept a secret is coming to light. Secrets and lies aren’t from God. If it’s not from God, it’s from the devil.

Adult adoptees are speaking out on how this secrecy has impacted them over the years and they are sharing about the damage these secrets and lies have done.  I am one of those adoptees. I’ve accepted so much of my adoptee journey but one thing I am unable to accept at this point is the fact that PEOPLE, (anyone involved with or supporting adoption) stood in the way of me having a relationship with my biological siblings. Yeah, my birth parents rejected me, but my new found brother… He happened to be the best part of my search and reunion. Every single day I am saddened because I lost so much with him. I tear up and can’t help feel the loss associated with PEOPLE making this decision for my life. Of all the heartache of my adoption experience, my long lost brother has been the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. I should be HAPPY ALL THE TIME ABOUT ME FINDING HIM! Yet, the sadness of what was lost seems to overpower my happiness. This is part of the reason I write. I need to share my feelings, my truth about what adoption has done to me.

The great part is, I HAVE HOPE. Jesus gives me hope, that my heart will heal and things will get easier. Right now, I’m really sad deep down. I wish I had a switch to just turn it off. I would. I don’t know the answers, but what I do know is that the TRUTH is what will set every adoptee free. Not the sugar coated TRUTH, or half of the TRUTH. Marginal Deception isn’t going to work here. We need ALL OUR TRUTH because we all deserve it. I understand our adopters wanting to protect us, but I will always resent ANYONE who stood in the way of me knowing my truth which in return has allowed me to ignite the healing process.

If I knew my truth at a younger age, I can’t help but wonder how different things would have been. I could have celebrated birthdays with my brother, and holidays. I could have seen him graduate. I would have been at his weddings and been there for the birth of his children, who are my flesh and blood. I’m pissed people took this from me! 

Every single day that passed not knowing my truth, I lost. My entire existence was based on loss. Yes, I was adopted. I’ve accepted that. What I am writing about is those who decided for me that I shouldn’t know my first family, my truth. I can maybe understand if I was under 18 years old, even when I was searching for my family & my identity from the second I found out I was adopted. I was 5 years old. My life would never be the same. Thank GOD I was told. My heart breaks for the late discovery adoptees!  

I believe the younger I learned my truth, the less I would have LOST. I believe ALL adoptees deserve their answers. I get happy inside to see younger adoptees learning their truth. In order to appreciate this, they would have to experience missing close to 40 years of memories that can’t be replaced, and there is no reason for it accept SOCIETY and my ADOPTERS have blinders on about the damage this can cause. I’m not saying it’s any easier on the younger adoptees, not at all. What I’m saying is EVERY LOST MEMORY COUNTS!!!!!!!!!! EVERY DAY THAT PASSES COUNTS. EVERY CONVERSATION COUNTS. Please believe that if I would have found my biological brother when I was much younger my memory bank would be much fuller than it is today. I will always be thankful I found him, but I will always have a hole in my heart that can’t be filled due to almost 40 years LOST.

One day, I pray I get to a place of acceptance, but today I’m resentful about it, and I have no one person to blame. It’s adoption as a whole, and I am writing so adoptive parents and those who are impacted by adoption in some way can understand that the sooner we find our truth THE BETTER. No one should stand in the way of us learning our truth. If you have insecurities as an adoptive parent, go see a counselor. We shouldn’t have to lose because of your insecurities. What it leaves us is with nothing in the end. I’ve distanced those who have stood in the way of me knowing my truth, with my adoptive mother being the main person. She lied to me my entire life, and I can’t have a relationship with her because of it.

Wouldn’t you rather support your adoptive child and tell them the TRUTH AS SOON AS IT’S AGE APPROPRIATE about EVERYTHING in regards to their history and life than LIE and take the chance of losing them for good? I’m telling you, that 18 years passes REALLY fast, like a vapor! Coming from an adult adoptee who’s lived it, I would have loved the support of my adoptive parents. Unfortunately, my adoptive mothers insecurities got in the way, and she made it all about her. (narcissists usually do that!) It was never about me, and always about her to begin with. I can’t forget this, but I have forgiven her. I cannot have her in my life because too much was lost because of her. I have no mother & it breaks my heart. It’s always a reminder of what adoption took.

What a depressing blog post, some of you might say… 

Let me just say, this is my life. These are my feelings. All you are doing is reading it. You will leave this blog, and carry on with your life. Try LIVING it for the rest of your life like adoptees have to? Have some compassion for how we feel and open your heart to LEARNING how adult adoptees feel. I write to help adoptees know they aren’t alone, and so adoptive parents can LEARN. The key is, they have to have the willingness to WANT TO LEARN.

Let me share, I live a pretty happy life. I have an amazing man, great career, 3 fabulous children, yet deep down the pain is still there and ALL OF IT is in regards to my adoption experience. Please take note of what I have written here today and open your heart and mind to receiving how your adoptive child may or may not feel. Just because they “appear” to be happy doesn’t mean deep down their heart isn’t broken. We are conditioned from a VERY early age that we shouldn’t have sad feelings about losing our mother & first families. What makes you think as a child grows up, the light bulb goes on and all of a sudden we’re able to identify those feelings? We have to break away from our adoptive families, and once we start to develop our true self by learning our TRUTH we start to figure things out on our own. We will NEVER feel comfortable sharing our deepest saddest feelings about how it feels to be adopted with our adopters, because we don’t want to hurt them. This is the TRUTH. So please don’t think because were all smiles, our hearts aren’t breaking deep down. At a very early age we’re told to shut our sadness off. It’s hard to come out of this. Try losing a child and being told to be grateful for that loss. Can you imagine having to live your life being grateful for such devastation let alone multiply it to equaling an entire family?

Just think about it for a minute. 

It’s traumatic and terrifying! 

The sooner adoptees learn their truth the sooner they can begin to heal and accept the truth for what it is. We can’t heal when we are being told the half truth and lies. Some of us come from horrific backgrounds and we have “stories” no adoptive parent wants to share with their child, but when we are adopted, so is our story. No matter how horrifying it is, we deserve to know our truth. I can’t say it enough. You can’t heal a wound by denying it’s there.

“Then you will know the truth, and the truth shall set you free” – John 8:32

I’m happy to have this place to share my feelings about how it feels to be adopted. No one has ever asked in 40 years of living how I’ve felt. I’ve lived it, and this is my truth. I pray those who make it this far are receptive in hearing the truth, and in return do whatever they can to make sure adoptees receive their truth.

Every day counts. The younger the better, because every moment and memory missed can NOT be replaced. 

Blessings!

Pamela Jones AKA @freesimplyme

http://www.facebook.com/howdoesitfeeltobeadopted

Photo Courtesy By basketman @ freedigitalphotos.net

Photo Courtesy By Young Corporate Lady @ freedigitalphotos.net

Away, but still processing…

I haven’t written in awhile…

My adoptee emotions have still been going crazy, and I really am doing everything just to make it through another day. No one gets it, no one understands but my fellow adoptees. Many of us share some feelings and it takes everything in us to just make it through it. I find myself retreating away from this “world” because it’s so much to handle on top of LIFE itself.

I’m a Christian, and I live every day trying to be more like Jesus. I’m by far not perfect and I have many flaws! I spend my spare time watching Todd White videos. I LOVE TODD WHITE! If you aren’t familiar you should look him up on YouTube. He’s amazing! I want to learn from him. I have a reading disorder and it’s super hard for me to remember what I read, and retain it (TODD HAS THE SAME THING!) but when I watch or listen to audio it’s easier for me. Todd has a way with words, straight to the point so I listen to him as a way to gain hope and understanding of LIFE & what it’s like to walk like Jesus.

I had a melt down about a week ago. It was actually in front of 2 of my kids. I had a small piece written about me that was uploaded at adoption.com and even when it was a GOOD THING it sent me into some emotional havoc that I wasn’t expecting. Let me share the link to the article. Then I will share my feelings associated with WHY I had a light weight melt down.

http://adoption.com/adoptee-recovery/

Going my entire life hiding my TRUE feelings to protect those around me, and well…. I was simply groomed that my heartache didn’t matter, but being thankful was in order for losing my first family. So for me to be at a place in life where a journalist was willing to invest in me, and write something on my behalf, and share it with the world.. IT’S A PRETTY BIG DEAL! Yes, it’s small… But it’s all about me. I believe this to be one of the most awesome things I’ve experienced since I’ve come out of the fog regarding my adoption journey.

You may ask, “Why would this be so emotional?”. Do you realize that I had to keep this a secret, hidden from my adoptive parents? Of course my biological parents aren’t in my life but I was deeply saddened that something so close to my heart had to be kept secret for fear of hurting their feelings! Being adopted, we are born into a situation where we are put in the middle, worrying about everyone elses feelings and never being able to share our own. FINALLY I’m able to share my feelings, and they are recognized by a major adoption website, yet I can’t share it with my “Parents”.

I wonder if they saw it how they would feel? I wonder if they would make it about them and their feelings? Would their feelings be hurt? Would they be even a little happy for me? Would they be upset with me?

The truth is, I will never know because I have to keep this “world” private from them. Just because I’m adopted I’m automatically placed into a situation where I’m torn in the middle. Torn in the middle of what? My adoptive family, my biological family & my true self. I wish I could say I fit in with everyone but the best place I feel like I fit in is with my “Family of Choice” , my children & with my newly found biological brother and his family, and of course by myself. What is my Family of Choice? My church family. You have no idea how special they are to me. They’ve bridged the gap between me feeling like I’m all alone on an island & feeling like I belong somewhere. Every day I thank God for what I have, but that doesn’t change what was lost.

I find that retreating away from this “world” gives me time to breathe and process things. I’ve learned to find that balance between this world, and my real world. Isn’t it crazy how we have to live a double life? WOW! It just amazes me sometimes. Shush… We have to keep our feelings a secret for fear of hurting others! Every day I wake up I’m thankful for my truth, as hard as it was to learn it. As disappointed as I was to learn that all I was told my whole life was a lie, and my birth parents really didn’t love me at least now I know the truth. They never did love me. Now, I have trust issues based on being lied to, and It’s next to impossible for me to believe anyone loves me. Thank GOD I’m in Celebrate Recovery working on my issues because I know God has more planned for me in my time on earth!

I know the more I share, the more I speak, the more I’m inspiring someone else to do the same. Writing is SO HEALING for me. I want to start writing more regarding my LIFE in general, in regards to my recovery, and my kids, family and such and tie it in with my adoptee journey. Most of you read and notice there is so much hurt here, but it’s necessary for me to identify the hurt, in order to move forward to heal. Healing is my goal, and I trust GOD so I believe I’m right where I need to be.

Being adopted isn’t for sissies and being in recovery isn’t for sissies. This makes me one strong cookie!!!! (POW)

I love you ALL and thanks for reading my blog!

More to come later! Time to prep for snow storm #2!

Pamela Jones AKA @freesimplyme

http://www.facebook.com/howdoesitfeeltobeadopted