A-Z of adoption triggers (Part one: A-C)
I’ve never been “officially” diagnosed with attachment issues, but here are my top adoption triggers, so see what you think!
It kind of makes sense to feel upset and anxious around the themes of (possible) abandonment, I think? I’m hoping other adoptees will get in touch saying “Me too!” – and let’s exchange tips on what works in terms of healing. I’ve touched on a few things in my last blog, but keen to have – and share – a big healing toolkit.
A is for Ageing
Not something one can avoid but certainly more noticeable as time marches on.
I’ve been friends with the same group of girls since we started secondary school, when our mums were about the same age we are now. So whenever we meet up I’m acutely aware of how much they’re now looking like their mothers. Just a fleeting expression or gesture and their whole ancestry appears in front of me.
As my appearance changes with age, I have no idea who I resemble. Although I’m in reunion and see my biological parents fairly regularly, their faces are not imprinted in mind as my family’s faces are. I also don’t know many, if any, of their/my relatives aka my wider genetic pool – I’m may end up looking like an aunt, cousin, grandparent or even great-grandparent! Who knows?
B is for Birthdays
It’s a no-brainer really for adoptees to be triggered around their birthdays. In my teens and 20s I went extremely off-kilter around my birthday, which is a polite way of saying I screamed and shouted at my friends and boyfriend and cried on every single birthday. Friends have since told me they were afraid to attend my birthday parties, but more afraid not to!
I still do cry on my birthday but I accept it as part of the adoptee experience. I suppose I am crying for the little baby arriving into the world and going straight into a metaphorical Waiting Room between two mothers. For most people, birthdays mark the day you joined your family. Not so for adoptees.
I know some people “celebrate” their adoption day as well (or instead of) their birthday. Gotcha Day, is it called? I’d love to hear from you about how this works and whether it helps.
C is for Christmas
I’ve had insomnia since October worrying about Christmas. I feel an intense need to opt out of all the celebrations and hide in a hole. Not really possible with two little ones!
However this is coupled with an even stronger need to be in all places at once so I’m not “forgotten”. My nightmare scenario is all my family realise they have a better time without me there, i.e. that I am dispensable.
I’d love to hear from other adoptees whose parents also have biological children to understand if this is maybe a factor.
Coming soon: look out for the rest of the alphabet of adoption triggers coming soon! I'll be covering pregnancy, childbirth and my love/hate relationship with Long Lost Family.