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Just like everything in life there is good and bad. Bad people, bad movies, bad classes, and bad experiences; there's good memories, good laughs, good books, and good music. Ups and downs are relevant to every aspect of life. In this case adoption, it's beautiful but also dark all at the same time. Not many people have expressed their thoughts about adoption, or even what it's like. There's google that tells you anything you want to hear from scientific facts about adoptees and their parents but there aren't many first hand experiences with the process and the years thereafter that have shared their story. That's why I'm here to share my story; I'm here to share the good, the bad, and the ugly so bear with me.
I was born May 26th 1999... I think. That's problem number one, not knowing if the date your parents tell you is actually your birthday. I know I've never actually seen my birth certificate so I just claim my birthday is May 26th like I was told since I was a kid. I was born just outside of Targuvishte, Bulgaria with a completely different name than I have now. I was brought to the states in the year 2001 to a large, kind hearted family. At first I was accepted with open arms, but as I grew up I started realizing I would be pushed away by my cousins anytime we would play outside. I instantaneously linked it to the fact I wasn't blood related to them. They would harass and berate me all the time. That would push me to think the worst about families leaving me. So much that I would cry myself to sleep at night thinking that one day my parents would be gone and that I would be alone once again.
See, the second that a baby's heartbeat starts in the womb, the baby is already making a bond with the mother that's carrying it. The second that that baby is torn away from said mother, the bond starts to break and it creates a hole in the child's head. This hole could be filled with any thought that the baby subconsciously puts there. In my case, I put the "Fight or flight" thought in there and got ready to defend myself at a moments notice when I was in my orphanage in Sofia, Bulgaria. Right then, it made it hard for me to have any real bonds with people, which I have recently discovered has always been prominent in my life. Problem number 2. I have only meant the words "I love you" to very specific and few people in my life for I don't feel the emotion with many.
Now that that bonding mentality isn't concrete in my head as a kid, I grew up forming an artificial relationship with most people in my life. Many could diagnose that in many ways psychiatrically, but for me it's always been my defense. The more someone comes close to me the more it will hurt when they leave. Problem number three. Separation anxiety IS A THING and it hurts more than the average person. That leads to a fourth issue, when people do leave, many adoptees get in their heads and feel that no one wants them and they're not good enough. It's like a bad song on repeat on the radio, it replays in our heads until we get so deep in ourselves that it's hard to come out. When that happens things can become dangerous, many are triggered into a state of depression, some of us just turn off all care or want and give up. I did both, I went through three or four years of depression and then stopped caring and gave up on most emotions.
Birthdays, holidays, or even family meals become a hassle as well. For me, family events are the constant thought of "Why am I trying so hard for a family I'm not even blood related to?" Yes it's bad to think but it's a subconscious, hard to fight thought that creeps out every now and then.
Then the whole dark side comes out, 'Why do I care about these people, they aren't my family' 'Why do these people want me if my own family didn't want me' 'I can leave right now and these people won't care, they have each other' and so on.
This leads to the fifth issue. Not knowing your birth parents or family. Do they know who I am? What am I supposed to look like? What if I wind up with a deadly medical issue? Do I have siblings? Where are they? Are they struggling while I'm at a university, driving a car, buying food without a second thought, or jet skiing with my parents? They could be struggling for their next meal while I'm living an amazing, fulfilled life.
Now I'm not trying to say that I'm a dark, depressed or angry person, but these thoughts are hard to fight. It feels like you have two different sides of yourself fighting each other every second of every day. The way that the adoptees handle this shows who they are. I decided to stop letting these thoughts get to me and control my life. Instead, I tried living my life in the moment and look at all the opportunities I have; college, family, a car, real loving parents, siblings, etc. I realized that the more I don't let these bad thoughts control me the better of a life I'll live. The thoughts of course come back, they'll never go away. It is an ongoing fight within myself that I personally have learned to control enough to not get as depressed as I used to. Yes, I still have mental breakdowns, yes this will be a never ending struggle as I grow older but I'd rather deal with it than put someone else in my shoes to deal with all the related issues that I haven't mentioned here. I would never put anyone else in my shoes, I never want someone else to walk a day in the life of Lena.