Reposted and edited from 2013
I still think about integrating parts of my persona that were buried or stunted or created under stress as an adoptee growing up with biological strangers called mom and dad.
I posted on Facebook in 2013 how I'd experienced huge chunks of CRAZY, patterns of unhealthy behavior and even how big blocks of memory seemed hazy or gone. This does not make me special at all or any different (or better off or worse off) than other adoptees. But if I am to heal myself, I need to know how I coped as this little girl who lived in fear and confusion so I can let her go.
My crazy hazy chunks of time were in fact self-preservation – it was the only way I could handle what I had to face to avoid fracturing or destroying my delicate developing mind. (And this did happen to others living in a dysfunctional setting in childhood.) I am now aware I had various coping tools, as did my friends.
One of the best tools was a vivid imagination. Another one: listening to the voice inside, a voice of sanity and clarity. Another tool was determination. I was determined to survive and very determined to create a safe environment for myself as a young adult, when I could move physically and emotionally away from where I was raised. I was determined to open my adoption and find my relatives and my ancestry. I never lost that determination. I grew resilient and strong.
I had a conversation with my friend and co-author Patricia [Two Worlds: Lost Children of the Indian Adoption Projects] about this process of integration, how we created little people who could handle situations, a character and persona tougher than us – and now as grown-ups, these little people are no longer needed. I am not suggesting we had multiple personalities. That is too psycho-speak for us. As babies and toddlers, we were confronted with strangers who called themselves our parents and they had their own instability. (Both of us had an alcoholic parent). Their imbalance caused our childhoods to be terrifying and unstable. That can put us in a situation of weakness and vulnerability. Our real fears made us very unstable and distrusting.
We chose to survive so we had to be outwardly creative in some way. Being creative is an outlet for a grief this enormous. Patricia is definitely an artist and I was a musician – and we both kept journals. Add to that we are abandoned as infants and not nurtured and denied the bonds with our mother-creator. That also created an instability and frailty that carried forward from childhood to adulthood. This trauma is the PRIMAL WOUND (coined by Nancy Verrier).
Remember the movie The Three Faces of Eve? Though Eve was an adult, she had created personalities who could stand-in for her. One movie that terrified me was SYBIL. Sally Fields played a child who was terribly abused and created numerous personalities who stood in for her while she underwent the abuse. In therapy, these movie characters found out they had created stand-ins, what I call the little people. When they are no longer needed they can melt away. Or integrate back into the soul.
There are couples right now holding a bake sale, asking their friends to raise money so that they can adopt an orphan. That is crazy – dangerously crazy! Why? Adoption has serious side-effects and the adoption industry is careful not to disclose this. (One of the reasons adoptive parents are re-homing their adoptees is because they were told babies are blank slates but as we grow into kids who don't and can't adjust and be the child they want.)
I do write this as a survivor of human trafficking, what was a closed adoption that I opened. I write this from a place of sanity and balance, after years of working on myself, knowing myself, finding my relatives, and yes, learning the truth.
No, I am not crazy.