I am supposed to be writing a paper on Erikson, Human Development and how it impacts me.
Instead the prompts for my paper have me introspecting. Looking at Erikson’s stages and which side of the word “verses” I came out on has me digging up pre-natal wounds I was unable to express and came out as anger and rage. It has me digging up old memories that threw me into the “unsuccessful” category more often than not. Words like mistrust, shame, doubt, guilt, inferiority, role confusion and isolation… Words that feel more comfortable than the successful ones.
My life path was chosen for me. I had no control. Even before I was born I tasted and became addicted to the chemical drip of rejection and abandonment otherwise known as cortisol. A picture perfect childhood filtered through Walloon Lake Summer lenses put the underlying rage into the shadows. There it grew and festered spreading it’s mossy like tentacles into the cracks of imperfection and flaws. Anger became rage and was fed on the tension and heartbreak within my chosen family.
No one understood why I couldn’t quite get it together. Why I’d appear almost normal, but something was off kilter. The unspoken words were whispered by all those around me who assumed I couldn’t hear. But that’s the thing about being wounded as a fetus. Hyper vigilance gives us super powers and I could hear a rock shuffle on the moon in the noiseless vacuum of space. As I grew the whispers got louder and became a white noise to my damaged Psyche. “There’s something wrong with Andrea.” Louder and louder it grew until it was deafening. So loud I developed an aversion to noise.
Maintaining control was imperative to my survival. Every day was war against people who would eventually choose I was worthless and abandon me verses war with myself to maintain composure. But every once and awhile the facade would crack and the monster would rage. Screaming. Throwing things. Pounding and hitting. Broken chairs. Broken hearts. Broken tea kettles. Broken knuckles. Broken books. Broken cars. Hulk smash.
Being adopted isn’t special.
It isn’t neat.
It isn’t being chosen.
It isn’t God’s plan.
It was not meant to be.
Being adopted means being broken.
It means being a trafficked human being.
It means living with your brain never having developed completely healthy.
It means in order to fix what is broken, you have to do it yourself.
Adoptees were involuntarily broken and then told to piece themselves back together with no hands.
I’ll get there. We will get there. Children abandon by both or one parent will get there. Children from divorces or foster care or with ambivalent parents… we will get there.
Because we are some of the strongest warriors you’ve ever met and science and psychology are throwing swords at us from lakes saying we can fight for ourselves.
We are chosen.
I am chosen. I’m chosen by a God who placed me right where I needed to be to fight for my people.
I’m chosen by family members from both sides of my equation who see being “adopted out” as what it is.
I’m chosen by a husband who goes the extra mile each day to let me know he will not abandon me and I am worthy and beautiful and strong and capable.
And I am chosen through my children who heal my own childhood wounds with every hug, kiss and annoying questions.
And I am chosen by myself. I am worth the work that it takes for me to change the unsuccessful words to the successful ones.
Autonomy and Will Power
Purpose and Courage
Mutuality of Devotion
These words are new words. Frightening words. But they are my words.