I* parent with PTSD.
All adoptees experience parent loss and are born into traumatic events. Many of us were exposed to negative hormones during pregnency. Many adoptees go on to experience multiple traumas post placement such as abuse, racism, sexual abuse, domestic violence etc. This compounds our original trauma.
So, while society celebrates my adoption and calls it beautiful, there has not been a day that has gone by that I have not felt the pain of it.
Before kids, it was easier. I was only responsible for myself. If I had an outburst… If I hit someone… if I threw something… if I lost my temper…made a spontaneous choice… if I had a depressive episode… if I couldn’t function… if the only thing I could feel was anger… it was just me. The consequences only affected me.
Everything I do now affects my kids and everything they do affects me. Most everything about kids is a trigger for me. The noise. The interruptions. The needs. The loss of my own anonymity. The responsibility. The expectations. As a parent with PTSD these normal frustrations turn into uncontrollable reactions.
There is not a day that goes by that I don’t truly believe they would be better off without me or with a different mother.
But I know from being an adoptee that they wouldn’t. What I can give them just by being here is better psychologically than the alternatives. If I am going to preach that all parents can parent their babies, then I have to show up in my own shit and parent my kids imperfectly.
So. I get up and I parent. There are SO MANY generational cycles I am breaking. But there are so many I am not.
My children have multiple boxes on the ACES they can check because of me. I am ashamed of this. But I have to swallow my pride, my shame, my guilt, my victimhood, do a 180 and acknowledge the harm I caused.
I will have a lot to answer to when my kids are grown, but I am determined to be there to answer for them. I am determined to break one more generational cycle: To not claim victimhood in my parenting. To give them the apology they deserve. To keep showing up because that is what I was not given and it’s what caused my PTSD.
*I am a good parent with PTSD.