Tuesday, October 08, 2013

Adoptee Abuse, i.e. You Know That Thing We're Supposed to Never Talk About? Let's Talk About That.

I found a good therapist this time.  (You'd be amazed how often that isn't the case.  Kind, yes.  Well-trained, yes.  Good?  Not so much.)  He's willing to dig down past all the obvious layers to go after the deeply buried stuff.  Right now we're at the level of dealing with being an abandoned child adopted by child abusers.  It's not a comfortable topic, but it's one that needs to be addressed.

I know it's completely against the stereotype of all adoptive parents being loving adoptive parents.  "Every adopted child is a loved child," the saying goes.  Whenever I hear that I just want to  pat the speaker on top of the head, hand her a Harlequin Romance novel, and make her sit in the corner while the grownups talk .  Because -- let's compare it to marriage, okay?  Is every bride a loved bride -- in a healthy way?  And even if she's loved in a healthy way at the altar, how many are still loved in a healthy way 2, 3, 5, 10 years down the road?

Yeah.  Now, do you honestly think it's any different for adopted children?  What happens when the "babymoon" is over and the adorable baby stops being adorable?


I'm not saying that all adopted children are abused.  My best friend has wonderful, loving adopted parents.  But statistically a greater percentage of adoptees are abused than children who live with their biological parents.

My sister and I were two of those children.

Whatever made the agency think that handing over newborn babies to a petty, domineering, narcissistic, self-loathing woman with the emotional maturity of a 13yo was anything remotely like a good idea was not a good thing.  Greed?  Apathy?  Naivete?  IDK, but if they fed my birthparents a line about me being sent to a loving home, then they lied through their teeth.

Imagine yourself a child and everyone is always telling you how lucky you are that your wonderful adoptive parents rescued you from a terrible beginning and took you in.  Imagine that those same parents belittle you, neglect you, beat you, and worse.

Imagine yourself trying over and over again to get help and no one believing you because those things don't happen to the "lucky" adopted kids with their "wonderful" adoptive parents.

Imagine telling your life story over and over again and every time being told flat out that you must be lying.  Those things don't happen to adopted kids.

Can you even begin to imagine the special kind of Hell this creates for abused adopted children?

Even if you can imagine that, here's the kicker.  Other children can imagine that they were switched at birth, and that somewhere there is someone out there who will rescue them someday.  Abused adoptees don't have that luxury.  We know we were rejected at birth, and that no one is ever going to come and save us.  We have no hope at all.

So we're in pretty bad shape to begin with.  A remarkably high number of men abused adoptees become serial killers:  Ted Bundy, Son of Sam, etc.  The women are more likely to become drug addicts or suicides.

But the icing on the shitcake is our social invisibility.  Nobody wants to hear our stories.  Nobody wants to know that things like this happen.  When we do speak we're told to shut up and take one for the team so that potential birthparents won't be scared off and keep their kids instead of giving them up.

But whose team are we taking one for?  The children, or the abusive adoptive parents?

There's an awful lot there folks would rather you didn't talk about.  So much so that the stopping of it has kept me from being able to talk about anything personal for most of my life.  I don't have much in the way of funny or pleasant anecdotes about my childhood to exchange with people in the process of making friends, and an excess of the sort of soul-searing horrors that should only be shared with good friends -- which leaves me little way of making good friends so I can share those stories.  Talk about a Catch-22.


Sarah said...

I don't know you well, and I know my words mean little in the grand scheme of things, but I'm glad you've finally gotten a good therapist and can open up. I'm sorry all that happened to you. I wish I could make it better. I suppose all I can do now is ask how one advocates for a better screening process or how to help other kids who are suffering. Because you're right... nobody wants to hear it, but some things need to be said.

Miss Lissy said...

I am so sorry that happened to you. I believe you and am willing to listen to you. No one should be abused and adopted children should especially not be abused because they've already gone through so much. I am so, so sorry that society doesn't want to hear because it doesn't fit their perfect vision, but I am willing to hear because I know I need to know the hard stuff in order to figure out how to enact real, lasting change.

Anonymous said...

I've heard some things about your childhood before, although I didn't know you were adopted. You have my sympathies. You also have my admiration; you seem to have found a decent man, made a good marriage, and done a proper job of raising your children, which is more than can be said for some people who didn't start with your disadvantages.

Best Regards, Nicholas

Lioness said...

Thanks folks.

I don't know what to do to make it better. I'm trying to find that out, but progress is slow and painful.