Friday, January 14, 2011

Statement Enclosed

I saw an excellent post this morning by Amanda at Declassified Adoptee. She was talking about silence and success. Of course this was from the adoptee point of view but I could certainly relate from the mother's perspective.

"The notion that "not talking about it" means a person has not thought about it or experience difficulty, or that their silence means that there is no different experience or difficulty for anyone, is absurd."

Oh, so true.

"And then comes you're ever popular, heard-it-a-million-times, "I know someone who is adopted and they're fine with it; they never talk about it." After hearing/reading this response so many times, I wonder why it is, to so many people, that being silent about such a big thing is a sign of success in an adoption?"

It could have just as easily read "I know someone who is a natural mother....." This is something I found when I started talking about adoption with people - the shock that they express when finding out that I wasn't just fine with the whole notion of adoption. Like adoptees, we didn't go around talking about our experience as mothers. Some of us were silent for literally decades. So, if we were silent for so many years, how were people to know what it was like for us? On one hand I can understand why someone would be surprised at how we feel and felt about the experience. Actually, if we call it what it really was - abuse, maybe people would think a little differently about it.

On the other hand though, I have trouble understanding how people could not know that surrendering a child for adoption is devastating. I've had a woman tell me that she had no idea I experienced such pain or that the pain continues for years. This was coming from a woman who is a mother herself. This is common and I don't know why. How can someone who experienced pregnancy, childbirth and raising children not know that losing a child hurts like hell and keeps on hurting? Just because I haven't gone through life beating my chest and sobbing daily doesn't mean I'm fine with what happened. I guess this is what's missing - something as simple as the thought - "I wonder what that would be like" and then mentally and emotionally be in that person's shoes for a while. We not only need our stories to be out there so people have knowledge, we also need some more imagination in the world, imagining what life is or was like for other people.

As I've written about before, many of us kept silent because were told to, because we were shamed into silence. Well, I think a lot of people prefer that we stay quiet. Being quiet about the abuse means they don't have to imagine what that would've been like. No one wants to feel pain. That's what we're about, finding pleasure and avoiding pain. If they don't hear about it they don't have to feel it. They also don't have to feel guilt depending on the connection to adoption. They don't have to feel obligation to do anything about the injustices. It's just plain easier to not deal with it at all. So the message is......all of you people who are unhappy with the way things happened or the way things are happening now, just go away.

Well, no such luck. A lot of people involved with adoption have no intention of disappearing. There's a statement enclosed.

1 comment:

  1. :-)

    You're right, people don't want to hear about it because they don't want to have to acknowledge another person's pain. Especially when it challenges their view of adoption if they've held a previous positive opinion of it or only viewed adoption from their own perspective and not another's. It's sad people are glad when others are not talking about the challenges they've faced.