Can I speak frankly?
I’ve been insecure much of my life. I’m hyper-vigilant and I’m always waiting for the other shoe to drop.
For a good part of my life I tried to appear perfect despite the fact that I felt anything but perfect on the inside. Inside there was a darkness so terrible that I was certain if I allowed anyone to see past the mask I wore they would reject me immediately and permanently. Fear of being rejected has haunted me and I’ve adapted to situations, to people, in an attempt to fit in and be accepted. Keeping up appearances has been exhausting and overwhelming at times.
I’m terrified that by putting my feelings “out there” I’ll be rejected and condemned. On the other hand, I’ve done enough work, and been through enough in my life, to know that having someone reject me won’t kill me. I recognize the symptoms now and that’s the first step in being able to talk myself through a difficult experience.
An experience like the confrontation I had late last week with someone.
I was able to recognize what was happening inside of me afterward but it didn’t prevent me from having a couple of restless and sleepless nights as I wrestled with the experience. A fifteen minute situation colored much of my weekend until I finally allowed myself to break down and cry the ugly cry while talking the situation through with my husband.
Does it sound like I’m whining? Does it sound like I’m making a mountain of a fifteen minute molehill? Unless you’ve walked in my shoes you may think so. Unless you experienced the ultimate rejection, relinquishment by the woman who carried you for nine months and gave you life, you may not understand what I’m talking about. Ah, but if you’re an adoptee as I am you will understand exactly what I am saying.
Adoptees talking with other adoptees understand. We get it. And we want you to get it too.
That’s why I’m pleased to be joining with author Jennifer Lauck and therapist John Sobraske in conversation next Sunday. Jennifer Lauck has been presenting a series of teleseminars this month, National Adoption Month, to discuss Healing and the Adoptee. These conversations are recorded and made available on Jennifer’s site afterward for the benefit of those who are unable to join in person. I encourage you to attend one of the upcoming conversations and go back and listen to the ones that have already taken place. Guests so far this month include psychologist Jeanette Yoffe, adoptee and life coach Trish Lay, adoptee and artist Brian Stanton, and best-selling author Nancy Verrier.
I’m thrilled that we are talking about the impact of adoption in an open and honest manner. We can learn from the past and make a difference for adoptees in the future. I hope you’ll join the call next Sunday. Together, we can make a difference.
It doesn’t sound to me like you’re overreacting at all. It’s must be hard for you to explain to others what that feels like. I’ve had friends who are adoptive parents and feel quite passionate about the way their children are perceived by the world.
I’m sorry about your experience, and hope you can use this forum to help shake some of the sad feelings in your past.
Thank you for alerting me to this event. And thanks for the link, I will go and check it out. I have the same thing happen to me sometimes, and I’m not an adoptee. You are so fortunate to have a partner to discuss things with; so do I and it makes a great deal of difference in healing those wounds.
I was not adopted, but when I was five my parents seemingly abandoned me and moved away. I was little and had no assurance that they would move back. My grandmother emphasized that they’d “deserted” me because I was naughty. I needed then a friend, and Arthur, an imaginary lion came to me one day before kindergarten and stayed with me for many years.
My parents did come back, but like you, I’ve spent much of my life wanting to please others so they wouldn’t abandon me. I do understand those 15 minutes and the two restless, haunting, desperate nights that followed. I am so relieved that you have a husband with whom you can break down and share the despair of not being able to let this go. Of always wanting to please.
Like DJan, I’m glad that you’ve alerted me to the site and the Sunday event.
As ssoon as I read your comment, “I’m always waiting for the other shoe to drop,” I thought, “Yes, that’s exactly it.”
Fellow adoptee here, Linda. Take care of yourself.
Hi Rose. Thanks so much for dropping by – I’m always happy to meet a fellow adoptee! I hope you come back and visit often.