This is the post excerpt.
I learned in women’s studies that to name something is to have power over it. If you can name something, it no longer has power over you. As an adoptee all identifying information is forbidden. Anything that could potentially identify our origins…name them… is blacked out. Like it is too shameful for the light of day. It’s almost like they know a preverbal trauma needs words. Tell me again how adoption is altruistically in the best interest of the baby. We were babies. So we are denied names. Forever powerless. Like we were never meant to have the control in the first place.
I paid my money. I filled out my papers. Unnecessary reasons to know myself deeper. I answered their questions.
I got her name…
When I was 7 I joined the children’s choir at my church. We had just moved to a new town and my parents thought I could make friends that way. The idea kinda backfired. It turns out I could actually sing. New girl comes in and takes all the solos does not a lot of friends make. So I had a choir full of kids that disliked me to the point of tears.
Adults understood my talent. This pattern of singing and crying brought me into contact with the first of my substitute mothers. She looked nothing like me. She was white. Not just white people white, but wispy white. Blonde and rail thin, she wasn’t much taller than the other children in the choir. She took a liking to me. She paid attention to me. And it wasn’t just because I could sing. I felt loved by her. But it stirred something. The desire to be seen? The desire to know another mother? The fear of never having her?
I can see now she probably hit on all the attachment trauma from my adoption. The fear and the longing consumed me and I would search for her with the confusion, awkward, desperation of a child. I created elaborate excuses to speak to her and stories to get her attention. The more attention from her I needed the more risky my behaviors became. This is the first time I scared someone into loving me.
It would not be the last
My mother hated her. They blamed her for my behaviors. They called her crazy and told me any adult who would want to be friends with a child wasn’t right. They didn’t realize how I had manipulated her into loving me.
And when it was over. When I had placed myself in a position where I could no longer hide she left. I haven’t seen or heard from her in years.
Now I knew how easy I was to forget.
Part of the story I was told about my infancy included the tale of how colic I was. My parents would stay up with me for hours. Rocking, singing, pacing. They would fall asleep with pillows propping up their arms should they fall asleep with me in their arms.
The other part of my story is how my parents adopted me at 12 days old. They were told my mother wasn’t sure if she wanted to keep me or not. When I spoke with her she told me she had held me and named me during this time.
My infant mind had only known one reality for 9 months and 12 days. My infant mind only knew her.
To this day it feels as though my world is ending when I experience a loss. Like my insides are peeling away from my skin and my skin burns when it is touched. My life has been a rehearsal of connection and abandonment, disappearing and seeping into others because I don’t know what blood connection is.
So when she tells me she is going to call me on Monday. Even when she promises I tell myself it isn’t going to hurt if she doesn’t because I have been preparing for her to leave again my whole life.
I think I spoke with home. She is home. She knew me and loved me first and I could hear it in her voice.
And my adopted mind wonders if she means it…despite knowing nothing else has ever felt more like truth.
She says she knew we would find each other again and I realize she is speaking what I already knew as well.
And my adopted mind is sure that last text crossed a line and she is rethinking ever answering my request for contact.
Because if you were really worth it she would have never left