Starting to “go there”

I haven’t written much about my whole adoption journey. In fact its gone largely ignored in my conscious psyche except for when furiously trying to find various members of my birth family. I’ve found them. I communicate with them. But I have not really taken the time nor spent the energy to really process what this all means to me and them. The whole experience has been joyful and painful all at the same time. I think its time to start backtracking and processing all of the emotions and effects. It might help me explain some, thus far, unexplainable, behaviors and tendencies I have.

Before I go too far into exploring anything, I have to lay down some foundations. Memory is a tricky thing. The “Illusion of Memory” is very strong. In fact its so strong that if you tell yourself an untruth long enough, it can get enveloped into your consciousness to the point you actually think it happened. Sometimes when baktacking there is also a tendency to retrofit “facts” and emotions that are suggested by experiences such as adoption. The suggestion that adopted children might feel “x” then might be read and included in an adoptee’s “memory” when, in fact, it was never like that or the emotion was never felt.

I was just telling someone the other day that I have never read anything about adoption or adoption experiences save for a children’s book my parent’s used to read to me called, “The Chosen Baby.” I’ve read a few articles online off and on when trying to make such big decisions as looking for my bio-parents, but have never really “gone there” in full-force. I’m not sure why. Avoidance perhaps? I don’t like to give myself victimization excuses, but victimization is intrinsically a choice and not something that just “occurs” so I think I’m at the point of exploring without feeling like its giving me excuses for inexcusable behaviors and stupid choices.

In order to combat the natural over reliance on emotional memory and that may or may not even exist, I’m going to try to deal in as much fact as possible. Emotions will only be used as possible speculations into how a fact may have made me feel.

Before I read any adoption books (and The Primal Wound” by Nancy Verrier is first on my list), I need to list out all of my neuroses, quirks, behavioral issues, positives, fears, etc… I don’t want to later retrofit made up experiences to agree with a book or not. So here is my list before reading for later comparison towards things suggested in books.

What I know to be true facts with data or corroborated facts/stories/inferences about me by more than one people:

The Good:

  • My parents (adopted) raised me in a Christian home where respect, responsibility, accountability, and citizenship were emphasized.
  • My parents have been married 44 years and are still very romantic towards each other.
  • I exhibited an extreme empathy and understanding of people at a very early age.
  • I had (and still have) quirky fits over various textures, smells, tastes, lighting, sounds, etc…
  • I am considered highly intelligent and neither right nor left brained dominated. I have excelled at writing (both creative and technical), math (geometry and calculus concepts), music and music theory, history, logic, certain sciences, and reading comprehension.
  • I have strong musical abilities.
  • I’ve always had a strong group of friends.

The Bad:

  • I had and still have trouble with changing time expectations. Too much change or additions/subtractions to a schedule sends me into panic. A sure way to send me into a freakout is to delay getting home and not communicate it. OR promise that we’re going home but then tack on errands.
  • I am a textbook perfectionist with myself.
  • I self-harmed in college.
  • I was bulimic from ages 19-26 and severely so for the last 2 years of that range.
  • I struggled with suicidal thoughts.

The in-between (could go either way):

  • I have always been extremely friendly and outgoing, but will need to withdraw and have space from people. I was considered a home body, but not shy.
  • I got married 3 days after I turned 22.
  • I divorced when I was 26.
  • I remarried and became a mom at 27.

There are more. I might add-to as I think of it. I’m such a bizarre dichotomy between success and failure. I’m sure most people would tell me that’s the case, but let’s look at this objectively. I’ve done a lot of really, really hurtful things to myself. NOTHING in my surface background would lend itself to most people thinking, “Gee, she’s a textbook case to self-harm or develop an eating disorder.” Or <insert dysfunction>.

I write all of this down as a reminder to myself as I start to read. I don’t want to go back and rewrite history, think memories are there that simply don’t actually exist, or exaggerate that things were worse than reality.

 

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