Originally Posted by monkey's mom
I'm thinking that I've been in a lot of denial about the whole adoption part of my life--b/c there has been a lot of stuff lately that has made me very uncomfortable (discussion wise). And if it truly wasn't a the big deal I've stated it to be, then why would that be? I just don't want to be *that* damaged, you know? Like if I pretend, I can just be "above" all that unreasonable adoption angst.
Hm. May I suggest reframing this a bit?
In order to be 'undamaged' or 'minimally damaged', does that mean that you have to be completely comfortable with any discussion of adoption?
Or can a normal, reasonable person be allowed some discomfort over any given subject, if they're in the right (or wrong) mood, if they've been feeling sad lately, if they've been thinking about things in the same vein, so it's fresh in the memory?
Are you afraid of not being praised for being a 'well adjusted' adoptee (or conversely, worried about being disliked if you don't present whatever facade you feel is necessary, or that you're worried you may have been presenting in the past) if you dare disagree or have mixed feelings about any given topic/subject/conversation about adoption or related things?
I would submit to you that it is reasonable to have angst now and then. About anything. If you are in an intense period of mothering right now, I feel it would be more unusual for this to NOT trigger any sort of questions or sadness or mixed feelings, than for you to be thinking about this more. It's okay to have your viewpoint change. It's okay to have your sensitivity change! It's okay for them to flip flop!
Well adjusted does not mean always-complicit-happy-bunny. You can be well adjusted and very angry or sad. In my experience adoptees tend to be very afraid of acknowledging these very strong but healthy emotions because many of us have been told (either explictly or implicitly) that keeping part of oneself shrouded in secret is 'good', and to think otherwise means we are betraying the only family we know.
I am not sure that by dropping the 'pretending' that you'll therefore become damaged. If anything, I think acknowledging mixed feelings and allowing yourself to feel whatever it is that you need to feel in the intensity that you feel it will heal some of whatever damaged is there or reaffirm that you're not.
Just something to think about. It does not have to be all or nothing. Sometimes when people say things they are meant to be backhanded comments, but most of the time they're not. I'm glad you are not willing to pretend anymore! But if this is the first time you've really permitted yourself that freedom, then please allow time...the intensity of what you feel may lessen over time, and you may yet discover it's no big deal for you!
Discussing adoption is intense. I think it can (and often is!) be just as as intense and emotional as political discussion. (In a way, I guess, it is!) I don't think people who get worked up about politics or a blood-pressure-raising story in the news are damaged. It's part of the human experience, when something stirs us.
I just wanted to try to reassure you that you aren't necessarily damaged just because things are intense! That well adjusted normal people can become passionate about things (and be bothered by things that didn't bother them before! Or find they care less about others). Maybe there are some hurts you need to work through, that you didn't think were there. But isn't realizing that they might be there part of being healthy? Everyone deals with this a little differently, and that's okay.