For me, I always knew I was different, and throughout my life I tried to find out what this causing this “empty feeling of not belonging”
You might have read part of my story on my website, but I want to explain what I had to deal with!
(Again, I place on record that not everyone deals with this issue the same way – so please this is my story).
For me a multitude of emotional feelings arose when my adopted mother finally after 42 years admitted that I was adopted.
- Not only did I have to deal with the grief that I was lied to my entire life
As an adult to hear “We did not want to raise you with a stigma!!”
- I was screaming at her “I AM A STIGMA”, you all knew and “keeping a secret” is just another way of lying!!!!!!
- I was ill treated by family members and could never understand why???
- I had to, since childhood, gear myself up against my perpetrators by acting that I do not care and constantly making sure that I do not show any emotion whether it be scared or hurt.
You see what Adopted parents never think about is that the family (who was supposed to keep this secret, did just that), but made it clear on so many occasions that you do not fit in – you are not blood.
My question, how do you as a child face and protect yourself if your “parents” are living the lie and in denial.
My answer – you have no idea, but something inside me gave me directions on how to deal with them. (and that “something” was called survival”) only later that I understood it was FEAR based.
If this did not happen to you, I am so glad for you, but I had to endure years of being treated like an “outsider” and this made me angry and changed my personality forever. You see when you are being abused, you become the abuser (story for another day).
Let’s get back to the time at 42 when the “Flood Gates” were opened and all the information I had to deal with came out – this was the day something died inside of me.
- My Adopted mother told me she did not want me because they had just adopted my brother!!!!!!!!!!!
Well done mother – I feel so wanted now – more than ever; and your explanations that you looked at me as your own – bullshit! – your version of events for sure does not make sense (did not want you but saw you as my own) AWESOMENESS!!!
- She proceeded to tell me that I was 4 months’ old when they collected me at the Princess Alice Adoption Home. Where the staff told her upon handing me to my FATHER (as he held on to her precious boy) and I quote “She is a real Tiger!!!!!! – I was so sad, how can a baby of 4 months old be called a “Tiger” I asked her did you stop for a minute to ask them what they meant by that – to which she replied no they just had to sign a lot of papers and then we went home. I was held by her brother in the back of the car.
- Proud she proceeded to tell what a “quiet” child I was, as I never cried (huh)
- She told me that she would not even realize I was awake in my cot, for hours, as I kept myself busy
Ok here I have to stop! I am a mother, I gave birth to my only daughter, and this to me was neglect in the highest form.
Take note, she gets a new baby – not picking me up and holding me – she gives me to her brother – and clings onto her baby boy. Great to hear!!!!!
- As she proceeded to tell me that I did not want anything to do with her until I was about 1!!!!! I asked her what did you do about this mother, I was a baby, to which she replied “your father agreed to raise you”!! Wow the rejection is just piling up inside of me.
- I had to deal with the fact that I was seen as a “bastard” (in those years) because my biological father was English and my mother Afrikaans – so this again was held against me.
- I lived a lie and I felt stupid that I did not press harder (looking back at the multitude of times I did try and get the truth from my mother)
- I was denied my cultural background (you see I had so much “English” in me, that I never fitted in with the “very Afrikaans” upbringing), now it was clear why I was so rebellious of nature (besides just being angry and unwanted) – because I wanted that side of my personality to come out! I now know why I was different as I did not share the same DNA.
- Behind closed doors, I embraced being more open and more outspoken than my entire family put together at a party. But again, I was told from early days that I should be more “prim and proper” – which I obviously did to impress my mother and to make her love me more, (because I knew since childhood she did not love me and we did not have a bond.
Since that day in 2006 the feeling of abandonment and not being good enough for my adoptive parents increased but also, I then started wondering about my biological mother.
- Why did she reject me?
- Why did she give me away?
- What is the story behind what makes me, me?
My adoptive mother did ask me if I wanted to know who my biological mother was and I said no. (This was a straight up lie in her face, but I truly did not want to hurt her) – as she made mistakes with me but all in all she did take care of me.
So, I contacted one of my best friends, a private investigator and I found her! I kept onto her file for weeks and then one day I mustered up enough courage to phone. The voice on the other end was me (my exact same voice) It took a couple of seconds and I asked to speak to ……. her reply was “Sean Ray I have been waiting for this call for years”. (Needless to say, I cried because I felt home and I felt a connection) just to get my hart ripped out seconds later.
She proceeded to tell me this story of her being “date raped” etc. they came from a very “well to do family” and my biological father was English and she was 16. She explained that she had to wear a Corset to hide the fact that she was pregnant and asked me if I had any damage…… Oh yes, I did, I had problems with my legs since I could not crawl and when I started walking my father saw my knees and legs were not “forming” the way they should (he spend thousands to rectify this)
She told me that only her sister (which is still alive) has any knowledge of me, and that she is married with 2 children. The boy only 3 years younger than me.
(Wow you threw me out like trash, only to have another child three years later???)
During the entire conversation I became more rejected and the feeling that I am not worth being alive – as I was tossed away by one and the next one also did not care too much about me.
But I told you guys I worked on a defense system and it kicked in.
Lying to her and telling her it is fine, just wanted to know some details on my birth, medical history and who was my biological father.
She answered all the questions and before saying goodbye she pleaded for me to not ever try and contact her as she told her husband she was a virgin when they got married.
(Must be honest I was laughing because I was picturing in my head how stupid he must be because a woman giving normal child birth like she did – the evidence is there) – but I left it.
There I was rejected, hurt, angry and confused and then I decided that I was going to find out more from the Department of Social Welfare.
Well, another shock for me was underway but having the appointment made me feel that I could obtain proof and I am a very logical person, so I was looking forward to familiarizing myself with WHO I AM!
I met with an amazing woman and she took time to explain what I might “experience” going through the “details” of my file.
(must be honest, for me at that point I just wanted time to read the file.
Before I commence, please understand I was adopted in 1965 – so before you start attacking me – I have the proof of how they dealt with Adoption in those years.
- Vital information was not to be found. Which left me with a greater feeling of loss and sadness.
- The circumstances surrounding my case was horrific!!!!!
- Those years no human contact was allowed between the staff at the Princess Alice Adoption home. Yes, they did bath us, dress us, put us on our side, bottle in the mouth (supported by a nappy) and then while lying in that position, we were “burped:
- I was horrified – I had no human contact for 4 months – then was given to a “mother” who also did not have any interaction with me – it all beginning to make sense.
- I carried on holding back the tears as I read my file and how the social workers checked up on me for some time.
- I learned that I was not adopted immediately – as I was first in “Foster Care: – which means that my “adoptive mother and father” were unsure about their choice.
- I was legally adopted in September 1966
- Then I picked up a piece of paper and I still have a copy: DELIVERY NOTE from PRINCESS ALICE ADOPTION HOME – signed by both my adoptive parents.
Well if I ever felt like a “nothing” this was confirmation as I have the proof that I was dealt with like a “cell phone” not a human being. My hate and anger turned me into a very bitter and very confused person.
I left and made copies so that I can confront both parties again.
Having confirmed how “unwanted” I was, I respected both parents and their wishes for many years, but sometimes, even going to a doctor for an appointment would trigger all those hurtful memories and feelings.
Until 2016 when I decided that I am done trying to hide the pain, humiliation and the feeling that I do not belong and I am so unwanted that I confronted family members, the same uncle that held me in the car that day said and I quote “You could be grateful that they wanted you!!!” – whaaatttt grateful!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
They should be grateful to have had the opportunity to have me; remember – they COULD NOT HAVE KIDS.
(needless to say, he is not my family anymore)
My father who had Alzheimer’s died in 2013 – and I looked after him and he died in my arms. He was 80 years and 5 days old.
My Adoptive mother, is 84 and has severe dementia and I am looking after her still today.
My biological mother sent me an email in November 2016 to come up with a completely different take on the first version of her “date rape” – as it now was consensual sex – but because I kept in touch for 10 years only on her birthday and to wish her Merry Christmas and Happy New Year, she felt it necessary, after I begged like a dog, to just see what she looks like (as for 10 years she never even send me a picture of what she looked like) to send me an email which is so hurtful and telling me that if I want her to recognize her as her daughter she will lose everything and her family will never forgive her.
I wrote back and I still have the emails, but to me she died 21 November 2016.
I told her in my email that I am her child, she was not a surrogate (as she now claims), but that she had to explain her lies to God one day.
I am done feeling rejected over and over and over – so I set her free and she can live with this lie until her dying day.
I harbor no ill feelings towards anyone anymore – they’re not going to steal my life anymore.
My perception around my Adoption is
- Everyone involved was lying to themselves and was either feeling guilty because they had to give the child away and the other party was ashamed because they could not conceive. Either way the “STIGMA” they all talk about is the CHILD.
- What Adoption agencies were back in the day was disgusting to say the least! How could you be a trained social worker and nurse and not hold a baby and give love to make them feel wanted and secure and not scared and alone in the world.
- The way I was treated taught me to rely on myself because everyone throughout my life had an excuse for their part.
- I do not ever shift blame when I make the wrong choice/s, I have to live with the consequences so from me to you all – deal with your part in this and do not come up with the poor excuses you do because you make me sick.
- How could you justify the paperwork – this is harsh and for a person to see and read that it does not make for a warm fuzzy feeling in your heart – you actually have the proof that you are seen as an “ITEM” and not a person.
I sincerely hope that the system has changed.
People who adopted children, I am not sure if there is ever a good time to inform your child he/she is adopted. My personal feeling on this was that my adoptive mother and father should have informed me at 21.
My advice is being very honest, open and careful how you handle this matter, because we (adoptees) already have the knowledge that we are different from the day we are born.
We are indeed special children of God – because God wanted us and He gave us all the tools – just sad for me I used the tool of Satan, being fear, and that almost cost me my life.
Lots of love