Felt this to be my most revealing post–so I hid it in a page! Do that until I get the nerve to post sometimes.
Being adopted is a fact of my life. I think it’s a wonderful thing. Love my adoptive family, and would never in my wildest dreams call them that. They are my family; my one and only. They also provide much fodder for my posts and my memoir.
When I was fourteen I went to the adoption agency to find out about my birth family. At the time I was the youngest person to seek information and was laughed out of the agency. I went at my dad’s urging because he was curious; he, a CPA of some note, couldn’t understand why it wasn’t my right to know this information. Even at fourteen I knew more than my dad about somethings. But I was still young enough to see him in the reception area, and begin to cry because of the social worker’s obvious bias against me or any adoptee knowing information. This was in 1965.
Went again when I was 21 and engaged. Thought it was my right to know about my health history. This time I was told a pack of lies and knew it. Once again my dad was waiting in the reception area. This time I waited until we were on the street to break down.
Won’t bore you with the whole story; it’s in here somewhere. In bits and pieces and whole posts.
Around the time I went to the agency in 1972, the anti-adoption movement was becoming more and more and more in vogue. That movement makes me sick.
I say “more and more,” because I did have problems. My parents being progressive and sophisticated took me for help. For many years I was told that I was “resistant to being adopted,” had to “hate my adoptive family” and more.
Not many nine year old kids can say that they talked back to the child therapist. I can.
Couldn’t have learning disabilities; I wasn’t a boy and I was adopted. My parents always believed in me. I wish that they were here now. They did live long enough to know that I had many learning disabilities, yet had somehow managed to graduate from a good college, have a career, many friends, and some great and some horrible men.
Personally couldn’t care less. Yes, I know times were different then. I’m always the first person to talk about that.
But I do know that “blame it on being adopted,” robbed me and my family of many things. Obviously my Aspergers is mild. On Boston Legal last week there was a woman who was fired because her boss wouldn’t keep employees who smoked. As the trial went on she began to become more and more nervous; fidgeted and played with her hair.
Meet me. Not anymore; awhile ago.
For some reason people found that endearing. I didn’t. I wanted to be perfect because my father thought I could be until my problems were finally almost diagnosed when I was around 36
My parents had no doubts that I loved them very much as I had no doubts that they loved me even more. But for so many years there was that niggling doubt that maybe I really was lazy, maybe I didn’t love my family enough. Even my father, the biggest perfectionist I have ever met, believed that I worked too much. This was even before the sort of diagnoses;
He would tell me that for every hour somebody else worked, I worked two–and I can be very fast. To anybody who knew my family it was obvious how much we did love each other.
My learning disabilities didn’t affect my reading or writing, except for grammar, spelling and tenses. Minor details, really. Just that until the era of modern computers I couldn’t organize myself enough to submit my writing. Had so many talents that I just didn’t feel worthy of having
I have worked very hard to overcome any remaining problems. Computers have been integral to that.
When I went into the anti-adoption site I felt that I was reading filth, dreck, revisionist material. My birth mother didn’t abandon me, she gave me up because other people could give me a better life. I always knew that. And I was very happy that she had because I so loved my family.
If I sound defensive I’m not; just tired of the subject. Several years ago when I first approached agents with my memoir, they loved it, with a caveat. Obviously I didn’t look or sound learning disabled, whatever that is supposed to look or sound like, so why mention it?
Because damn it, it wouldn’t be an honest story without it. My memoir doesn’t really go into my childhood, but those wonderful years in the 70’s and 80’s when I was a golden girl. It does touch upon my childhood and my problems; and I’m sorry if that upsets the people who want me to focus solely on the positive aspects of being adopted ple but I have always been about honesty, and in this post Frey era, hope that my honesty will be appreciated.
Nothing is perfect; nobody is perfect. I have been hiding behind my blog for the past sixteen or so months, and can’t do that anymore. Yes I will continue Courting; it’s part of me, an important part of me.
Ever since I went into that anti-adoption website the nagging doubts have returned. I can’t and won’t allow them to take center stage. I understand that I can’t go back into time and confront the people who called me a liar, lazy, sloppy. There is a certain guidance counselor at my old high school who once was my teacher and mortified me in front of the class. Was used that by then. But for some reason the things she said about me to my whole eighth grade class have remained with me.
I think I saw that day how she was trying to win the affection of the popular kids; I think that day was a turning point in my life because I finally understood that teachers also were needy. But did she have to be needy at my expense?
I wasn’t a Columbine waiting to happen; nor was I suicidal or had destructive tendencies. When I went to my therapist De jour, he decided to discern the truth in what she had to say. My sister will verify that our family only had one TV and it was black & white. My therapist tried to make it into a “was it the way you said it?” “Maybe that’s something that you shouldn’t be honest about,” “were you dressed poorly?”
Who the hell cares? Why put it back on me? Why was every adult in authority right, except for my poor parents, and I was always wrong?
I thought I was over the anger and bitterness. I thought I had no more rage. I was wrong. I can’t blog while angry, and I know that this anger will pass soon.
I did become “popular.” I have spent much of my adult life championing the underdog. The country might be falling apart, but I need to champion me. Courting has taught me that there is an audience for my work. Deep inside I always knew that.
Sometimes when I read about LD’s, CAPD, and Aspergers I become angry. While life is still hard for kids who have them at least most of the time they are acknowledged. My parents were too sophisticated, well dressed, good looking and successful frankly for people to dismiss them out of hand. But they did dismiss them eventually.
Parents today know that if they fight long enough good things might happen. Schools generally, sometimes after long battles, let them take steps to ensure that their children aren’t ridiculed, harassed or thrown into the bushes–thank you–won’t name them.
I went to grad school and while I did a clinical concentration, I refused to study adoption. Knew some of the leaders of the now not called anti-adoption movement, and knew that they were influential there. Maybe I should have. Maybe I could have made an impact.
But all I ever really wanted to do was write, and even my professors would tell me that while I had the potential to be an excellent social worker, I had a very rare talent with words. I even began to believe them, and this past sixteen months has reinforced that belief incredibly.
I feel so stale, and as if I’m going in circles. But I will never let anything come between me and my dream. We are all responsible for our destinies, and our success in life.
“My name is Pia. I am a blogger. I love blogging and will never stop. But I will put my goals and my desires first. I have been hiding behind my blog. From now on, it will come second. After I have finished my work for the day.”
Don’t want any Pia love fest comments; any comments that I consider to be rude or crude will be deleted. Hate being adopted? Talk about it somewhere else. Consider adoptive parents to be slave owners? Take your filth somewhere else. That slimy sick web site has brought something out in me. Something that I don’t like. It has made me want to advocate for every adoptee, adoptive parent, birth parent. It has made me want to advocate for every person and their families affected by LD’s, CAPD, Aspergers. No that’s not what I don’t like.
I don’t like being angry. It doesn’t become me. It doesn’t become most people but I can’t tell them not to be angry can I? No, I can only tell myself. When I think of all the wasted money, time and emphasis on wrong problems I want to scream.
I don’t want this to happen to other people. I don’t want my friends to begin to hate me because I’m so angry. So I’m going away on Saturday–really four AM Friday night, because when the going gets tough people in my family go on vacation. It truly helps. And yes I’m glad that I can afford to, and refuse to apologize for saving money and not having squandered it.
The friends that I have made through blogging understand. But I have had comments that would have made many people give it up. First from the radical right, now from some people who view my “blogging success” as a threat or something, and leave comments telling me that I have too much money–don’t–and am not part of the real world. Delete the comments. Don’t tell people about them. But give it up. How much realer can my life get?
Will they only be happy if I fail? Screw them. I will take their comments and make posts out of them, because I truly don’t deserve to be treated that way.
I’m sorry if my non-linear style doesn’t satisfy everybody. I’m sorry that everybody doesn’t have enough money. I’m sorry if people are having a bad day and want to take it out on what seems like an easy target. You don’t know how I can take a comment and make mincemeat out of it, and you don’t want to try–that’s you the person who once was in my real life who has left more than a few comments that I have deleted.
Sorry that you didn’t make it as a blogger. But it takes time, discipline and talent. You might be missing the two more important variables. No longer going to apologize for being talented.
But if I keep on deferring my dream because this issue is important, and that’s important, and I’m not, I’m useless to everybody. Most of all myself. And I sort of treasure myself
Will probably regret posting this. But ever since I read that website, I have been mad as hell. Because some people still buy into that crap. Usually don’t use words like the ones I have been using. But no other words feel descriptive enough.
Please read this blog for a much more intellectual, almost ego-less, in the best sense of the word approach to the subject. While our symptoms are very different as as our are skills and abilities, I could relate. Anybody who reads Courting knows I have problems putting a phone cord into a phone; she’s an engineer.
My socialization skills were excellent for anybody with or without Aspergers. Thank G-d, if there is one for giving me remarkable parents who always laughed at my stupid jokes, and other things.
There were people who made fun of me, in adulthood, for missing cues etc., but fortunately they were in the minority.
It’s too complicated and will take too much time right now for me to get into in depth. Really need to escape from everything political and Aspergery for a week.
I was always successful when I wanted to be or needed to be. Courting is the first project that I have undertaken totally on my own, though I have always had so much support from other bloggers. Actually I had to learn the ins and outs on my own, but the compassion and caring, wow.
Blogging has really helped my organization, my learning disabilities–while I might dislike somethings Google does, their spell check makes everything worthwhile. This isn’t a great ending. I have much more to say on the subject, and will, but not today!
Had the post up for about an hour, and took it down because it just felt so damn personal. Received an email from Esoteric Wombat who asked if my site was being funky–though he said it better–because he wanted to comment on it. EW is my “youngest known reader” and gives me much faith in our futureMore than most people he understands how history impacts on each generation, and the importance of communication between individuals and generations.
Originally wrote this post to try and explain some things to Bone, who is a better friend than I deserve.
Well I can be a good friend also, especially when too exhausted from wonderful tropical ocean air to think or talk. Bone has the potential to be a truly great writer, and I never say that lightly, he just doesn’t know it yet. Have watched with some wonder his soul searching and have seen that shape his writing.
Think we’re all going through the end of winter blahs. That’s why I’m away from home this week!