Thursday, May 31, 2012

Trigger is more than a horse.....

As a child growing up I would hear the word Trigger and I would think of the horse that Roy Rogers rode.

I had no idea that the word would have such a different meaning for me now. Earlier today I watched The Good-bye Room. It was an episode of Cold Case and it was first aired 5 years ago. In this show a case re-opened where a 17 year old girl was murdered just one day after giving birth to her baby girl in a home for unwed mothers. I sobbed through a good portion of the show. It was hugely triggering for me.

My situation wasn't exactly like the girl in the show but it was close enough. Yep, I got sent away like the character on the show.  Yes, it was through Catholic Social Services like the characters on the show. Yes, I labored alone like the character on the show. Yes, it was devastating like the characters on the show. No, I didn't murder anyone like the character on the show but my reaction to the show definitely shows how strong the emotional pull can be when it comes to adoption.

I've been thinking about this because my family has been planning a reunion for the summer of 2013 and today is the deadline for getting the deposit in for the location. Normally, that would be great. My problem lies in the fact that some of the family (the main ones planning this event) are adopters and some other family members think that I'm full of crap when I talk about how I feel about adoption. Those were their words, not mine. My opinion of adoption is according the them.... "total crap". 

Now when it comes to this issue some people are saying... "don't let this be the one thing that keeps you from going to the reunion." or "you might feel that way now, but you may feel differently a year from now."

Ok, fine. Maybe I'll feel differently later but, honestly, right now, I just can't see dealing with it. I recently read a blog post by Myst on with the show and I really connected with the last paragraph of the post... 

"If you are looking to adopt, please re-examine why and ask yourself if you would rather build up a family than tear one down. If you are hurting from infertility, I am very, very sorry for your loss. Truly I am. But I urge you to ask yourself why would you want another woman to suffer because you have? You may be able to relate to the words of this song as well however please do not be responsible for making these words someone else's reality. It is not our responsibility. We did not cause anyone's infertility so please do not create a mother of loss. It is a circle that will only ever bring pain and heartbreak in the long run."

It is a huge trigger when you see photos of a child that has been adopted at birth and taken from her family of origin. Every time I see a photo of that child, all I can think of is the mother of that child and what she must be going through. Yes, I know, there will be people who say that maybe that mother really didn't want her child. I know. BUT.... knowing what I know about the adoption industry and it's methods of coercion, how do I know that the mother of that child is not suffering like I've suffered. How do I know she wasn't coerced out of her baby girl like I was. How do I know that this sweet little girl isn't going to grow up with the pain of an adoptee wondering who she is and where she came from. Yeah, I could take the positive road and say that it wasn't coercion that brought that child to my family members but do I really believe it? No. I've learned too much about the industry. I can no longer live with the "head in the sand" approach to adoption. 

Some of the people encouraging me to go to the reunion really mean well and I appreciate that but they have no idea just how deep and how hard this issue is for me. For a while, I thought, maybe I'm over reacting, but after viewing that episode of Cold Case I realize, no, I'm not. There really are things that are extreme triggers to emotional events. Seeing my family members and their cavalier attitudes towards adoption, even though they know my history with it, is very triggering and very difficult to deal with. Do I want to spend a vacation dealing with that? 

No. That's how I'm feeling right now so any decision regarding a family reunion will just have to wait - deadline or no deadline.


  1. I could not go. I have many a family members like this, and it infuriates me. It has also driven me from them. Life is too short to surround myself with people who think & have told me I am an ungrateful little bastard full of crap.

  2. I'm with Linda here. That would, indeed, be the one thing that keeps me from going to the reunion.

  3. Thanks Linda and Jimm. It's nice to know some people understand, also sad to know that some people understand. Going to the reunion would be like going back in the closet. I think having to pretend that everything's cool and I'm not bothered by some things would be too hard to do at this point. It's too big to just set aside and act like nothing happened. I'm not the person in hiding that I used to be. On the surface it may look like I'm hiding from the issue by not going but what it actually is, is self-preservation.

  4. This post brings up another one of the things I just love about adoption.{insert sarcasm} It so often creates divisions between family members when one has to choice between being true to one's self and being a part of the family. I'm sorry you are going through this but I certainly support you in following your conscience. Adoption has created divisive issues with me in my a-family as well.

  5. I wouldn't be able to go either. And as you said ~ it would not be hiding, it would be self-preservation.

  6. Carlynne, I would not attend either. And yes, I agree - self preservation - you need to do what is best for you. And going will only mean you would need to be on alert the whole time, no chance to relax and just be yourself. I am so sorry you have to face this within your own family. I have already told my sisters if either of them ever adopted I would never ever talk to them again. And I mean it. It would be the death knoll for our realtionship - the ultimate act of betrayal.


  7. Myst,
    I can understand how you feel. If any of my bio-kid siblings had ever decided to give up a child for adoption, I doubt I could ever have spoken to them again. I could not stand the fact that they could be causing a child so much pain.