Lets Talk Forgivenes

Forgiveness is a funny term to me. It can mean so many different things if you really dissect the word fully. The Merriam-Webster Dictionary website define forgiveness as the act of forgiving, wow that's a lot of detail. Now look up the definition for forgiving it says willing or able to forgive. So here comes the big moment the definition of forgive which according to Merriam-Webster is “1 a : to give up resentment of or claim to requital for b : to grant relief from payment of 2 : to cease to feel resentment against (an offender)” - Merriam-Webster Dictionary.

Ok so we have somewhat of a better understanding of the world but really what does it mean to us. To many people it says “I am forgetting the wrong you did.” Whether that wrong be towards you as an individual or a third party of your concern. Is it really that simple? When you feel someone has done you wrong can you simply just throw it aside pretending its not there? No of course not nothing is that easy if it where there would be no need for people pursing the same profession as me. It would be a dream come true just to throw the feelings for resentment and hate for another person. Those feelings will always haunt you. This does not mean it is not possible to move on though and here is where the tricky stuff begins. This will be one of the hardest things for me to post knowing that my mother and possibly others from both families will read it, but it has to be sad.

As a child growing up I was abused physically and mentally. I spent several years hating the people who had hurt me. When I would lay down to sleep at night my body would grow numb as my mind started processing my hate. When I was left to myself I would blame my adoptive family for everything it had to be their fault I was so screwed up in the head. If only they didn't do this to me, if only adoption wasn't part of my life and I grew up far from that evil world. Really all I was doing bringing myself down even more. I didn't focus on school or work, I focused on how much I hated myself and my adoptive family. Id tell everyone that I had forgiving them and that I had moved on. The hole time lieing straight threw me teeth. Then I woke up you could say. I stepped back and looked at all the circumstances, not just what happened to me. But what was taking place in the life of others. The lives of my adoptive family. It hasn't been until recently that I can say I have truly forgiven what happened to me. This does mean I have forgotten in anyways it is still a part of me. But I have come to realize what happened, well happened. Why should I sit here and wish things where different, and why should I focus on nothing but hating my adoptive family? I let it go. I realize, in a large thanks to my mother, that I did deserve to be treated better then I was. I stood up for myself against my adoptive family for the first time and believe it or not that was a key moment in the forgiveness process. My mind has been clearing since then. There are still some cloudy parts but all in all things are starting to make a lot more since. That forgiveness wasn't for my adoptive family, it wasn't for my mother, it was for me. It was for me to let years of hate go and start moving forward with life. I know I will still struggle with those moments of hate. Those moments of how dare you. But when they come I will simply say to them no. No I do not want you back in my life, I am stronger then you now. Now I told you this moment of true forgiveness in my life to tell you another story about another time I had to forgive.

After my Family had found me and we lost contact I found myself in another hating frenzy. My mind would jump from how much I hated “God” and how could he put me here instead of with my family. I would hate my brothers I was jealous to me they where living perfect lives with perfect parents. Again my body would go numb and my mind would start processing all the hate. I blamed my Father for coming down to see me. Where did he have the right just to spring that on me. But the worst hate and anger would come when I would think about the adoption in a hole. My mind would jump from how could my Mother just let me go and just expect me to come back with arms wide open, to hating myself for not talking to them. This was all on top of hate building for my adoptive family. Hate really does start to kill you inside. It wasn't until I received the two books (Adoption Healing by Joe Soll, LCSW and The Primal Wound by Nancy Newton Verrier) that I started to see things from a different perspective. Again I looked and circumstances surrounding everyone involved. I got a small but eye opening peak into the mind of a Mother, not just a 1st mom or adoptive but a mother. A women giving birth to her child. Keep in mind this is still when I thought adoption was one of the best things in the world. I saw a young confused 16 year old girl being fed many things by adults that told her to “trust them”. Who do you look up to when you are a teenager? Adults! I started to understand more of why adoption at the time seemed like the best answer. Where could it go wrong, abortion was out of the question, It was an open adoption so it wasn't like she would never see her child again. She was promised she would know everything that happened in her child's life. The sad truth is that it was lie fed by money hungry adoption agencies and my Mother was their prime target. My mother stopped receiving updates about me, the presents she sent me where sent back to her. No more photos, no more updates, nothing she had lost her child. Losing a child to a parent, especially a mother is one of the most emotional devastating things that could happen. Of course she was excited when she first met me. Here I was all grown up after so many years of not knowing what happened what mother wouldn't want to immediately start reconnecting with their child after long term separation. Things started to fall into place in my head. Then just as the first wave started to ware off it hit me, she know had lost her child again in the same manner. Here it was happening all over again losing her child. Needless to say In my mind I was the worst person on earth not worthy to breathe the same air as everyone else. It took some time and unexpected move into an apartment but I couldn't take it anymore. I broke the silence by sending her a message on myspace. It wasn't long after both my parents came to see me and we where going to Nebraska. Here is where I really got to know my brothers, and the truth was I loved em. I was so overwhelmed with the love for them. These two boys where my blood, they where like two mini mes. It was there at that moment I no longer hated my family but I still hated myself for what I had done. I moved up into my parents house soon after. After hearing my mothers story and views adoption I began to open my mind more. She would stay awake late at night sometimes and just talk to me about everything. I don't know when and I don't know why, I say family love, but I forgave my Mother because know I didn't see it as “Oh I don't want this baby” I saw it as “I want the best thing for him I love with all of my heart and If I have to suffer for him to have a good life I will.” That was a weight lifted off my shoulders. I have no also forgiven myself for disappearing like I did. Again because I was able to see the hole picture and not just bits an peaces of it.

I told you these two stories to make this point. We as adoptee's and we as biological families will be told over and over and over again we should just be thankful and forgive everything. The thankful part make want to puke my guts out but I do believe a good deal of forgiveness has to be to help the healing process.

I will speak to the adoptee's first here. Please do read this and take something from it. All the hate you have bottled up inside for you Biological family is understandable. But you have to look at it from other sides to besides your own. If your parents knew something would bad happen to you because of adoption I guarantee they would have called it off right then and there. They are told there are no risks with in adoption. That the hole thing is nothing more then unicorns and rainbows, and like any scared person they will believe more if a professional is telling them. All of the hate you have bottled up inside you is not helping you as a person move forward. Understand this forgiving does not mean forgetting. I understand if you never want to have anything to do with biological family again, as much as I would push you understand where you are from it is ultimately your choice. But the hate you hold inside will keep tearing you down even further. Try to understand their feelings and place you self in that spot and think really what would you do. Deep feelings like that will never go away fully they will come visit you anytime the please this is a natural human response. What counts is how will you deal with. Will you let it bury you in a field of hate, or will you learn to move threw that moment and have the strength to let your feelings move on and be on there way?
Now let me speak to the adoptee who has hate for their adoptive family. I will lay it all out here. Your adoptive family is just as big a part of who you are today as your biological family. To deny one part is to deny you who are as a person. I can fully understand and appreciate not ever wanting to speak or see your adoptive family again, trust me I do. However just as your biological family they did and still do love you. You really have to ask yourself is it worth destroying yourself to hate a part of you, and a part of your life? Again you must always look at everything surrounding a situation try seeing things from a different perspective it really can be eye opening. Despite how bad they may have treated you it is important to understand the more you hate someone else the more you will end up hating yourself.

This part may be small portion but it was one thing I feel I have to say and I am saying this to every 1st mom out there so please listen up. We adoptee's are not the only ones who have hard things forgive you are lucky enough to have the same issue. It kill me every time my mother feels guilt for losing me to adoption, I know at times she blames herself and to me this is just wrong. I know I will never fully know what it is like to be a mother, but I do know you love us your children with all your heart. As with me I had to forgive myself to stop hating myself and feeling guilty about past mistakes. YOU have to do the same. Yes it was mistake and yes it was your choice, but honestly if you knew all of the consequences up front would you have still have gone threw with the adoption? I don't think so. I know the guilt will never fully go away but I believe a little forgiveness is in order here. Feelings will never fully go away but you can move threw them. I know for myself I in no way blame my Mother for the adoption nor do I believe she should blame herself and something tells me a lot of adoptee's out there feel the same way. If not for you, then for us how we can start to heal if you can't.

I am sorry for any major errors in my typing if there is a part that doesn't make since please tell me and I will clarify it for you.

I know nothing will happen overnight but if I got you to at least think a little bit I will be happy.

THE BIGGEST THING IS LEARNING TO FORGIVE YOURSELF FOR WHAT YOU FEEL YOU HAVE DONE WRONG IN LIFE NO MATTER WHAT IT IS.

8 comments:

  joy

January 24, 2010 at 5:49 PM

Hi Justin!

I am Joy, welcome to the adoptee blogosphere.

If you like to read, you might check out Alice Miller's "the Body Never Lies" it is not about adoption, but it is relevant. I got a lot out of it anyway.

Again welcome!

  The Improper Adoptee

January 25, 2010 at 5:05 AM

Hi Justin-I am glad you are starting to find some peace with all you have been through-I am glad too that you found Cassi again because she is a great lady. I think though that not we Adoptees have had experiances that are "forgivable". My Adoptive Mother said she hated me to my face when I was 29. And she meant it.She has never apologized to me for saying this to me, nor has she ever taken it back She had blamed her marital problems on me too when I was 14 and has spent since then trying to destroy my life constantly. 15 years ago I asked her to apologize for saying her messed up marriage was my fault and she hung up on me-not all Adoptive Parents love the children they Adopt. And not all people care how badly they have destroyed someone. To be forgiven is not an issue with them, because they aren't even sorry, and they wanted to hurt you. I agree that for some Adoptees forgivness is plausible, and it will help them-an that their Adoptive famillies do really love them, but this isn't the case for me. I am glad this is the situation for you however-and I hope many other Adoptees are touched by your good words and take your advice. I am glad you started this blog though because I am sure it will help alot of people. So welcome back to Bloggerland and be proud of yourself for starting this. Tc

  Lynn

January 25, 2010 at 12:46 PM

Justin, thank you for writing this post. I cried as I read it. I'm sorry for what you've gone through. I'm so happy for you and Cassi, though, that you have each other back in your lives and that your relationship is going well.

Forgiveness can be a very difficult thing. You are so right in saying that just because you forgive does not mean you can forget. They are two different things. When you forgive, you choose to go on and give the person another chance and you choose not to dwell on the hurt that was inflicted.

And, dear young man, you are so right in saying that if I had known the consequences beforehand, I most certainly would not have gone through with the adoption. Bless your heart for understanding this and for putting it into words.

I don't know you, but I'm proud of you, and I think you will make a wonderful counsellor to young folks who are going through what you've been through. You have that rare ability to see all sides of an issue and to empathize with them all.

I pray you will keep moving forward with your plans, as people like you are desperately needed.

  The Improper Adoptee

January 25, 2010 at 4:11 PM

I think though that not** we Adoptees have had experiances that are "forgivable".

** all

stupid typo fairy...:)

Justin-I meant to say too that I think it is great you want to counsel other Adoptees but I told you a little of my Adoption experiance because some people have been through things that forgivness doesn't apply too and I don't want you to take that personally and let it undermine your confidence. That is just the reality. Anyway, good luck with this hun.

  Maryreunited

January 25, 2010 at 11:05 PM

Hi Justin- welcome to the blogosphere!

I read lots of adoptee/mo/adoptive mom blogs. Found you via your nmom Cassi- she is one of the most amazing women I know-

I am a mother as well, reunited for almost five years-

I want you to know you hit the nail on the head with so much of this-keep writing, keep speaking,, it's what all of us need.

Mary

  MLC

January 28, 2010 at 6:31 PM

Thank you so for sharing your journey with me. As a birth/natural mom I feel the need to learn from all adoptees. To forgive my family and the system is on going for me.I see my reunion cannot erase the lost opportunity to have raised my child. To forget will never happen the loss is to great. After 33 years I still take baby steps towards a growth I may never reach. MLC

  Von

March 15, 2010 at 3:36 AM

Great post, glad you've been able to come this far on the journey.Good wishes......

  Mary

March 30, 2010 at 3:03 PM

Just found your blog! Great post.