Perspective is everything.
Earlier this week, I received a comment that insinuating that I was playing a victim when I wasn’t really one. The truth is, I don’t often hear much in terms of criticism when it comes to sharing my adoption story. I assume that is because I’ve always been so open, honest, and raw about my feelings, my experiences, and what I generally believe now. I’m also okay with someone disagreeing with my point of view; the adoption dynamic is so diverse and really evolves quickly. Hearing other points of view helps me to reexamine my own feelings and thoughts regarding adoption in both a personal and non-person manner.
What I don’t like is when someone criticizes my experience. Unfortunately, I was not in a positive adoption ordeal- coercion, manipulation and lack of choices abounded. That makes my personal story hard to hear, sometimes it seems to be so incredible that it can’t possibly be true, but the fact remains- it’s all true, and it all happened to me.
Now I know what my options are; at seventeen, I simply didn’t. Everyone that I trusted was telling me that adoption was the only possible solution to my unexpected pregnancy. Despite asking for resources, I was only given information about adoption. Furthermore, I was just told that adoption was the only thing that would work out for me in the end. Quite bluntly, I was lied to in a lot of areas, and as time has passed, those lies have unraveled, and the impact on my emotional being has been significant.
Be careful when you hear a story that strikes a nerve with you. In fact, it might be best if you kept your opinion to yourself if you don’t necessarily agree. Yet, I believe when we have a visceral reaction, one that causes us to lay blame on someone who was victimized by a system, it says more about our own internal battle instead of what is being written. Why does it bother you to read a story? Why is there a need to comment on it?
I’m not looking for support every which way I turn, in fact, I think I would be naive to think I would find that in this vast adoption community. What I’m wanting, and what I think we all want, those of us who share our stories, is respect. The ability to have our voice heard clearly. The ability to tell our story without fear of being told we’re wrong. The ability to say what we need to say in the hopes that it helps someone else in the long run. Our experiences will be completely different depending on the path we walked, and that alone doesn’t make any of them wrong; it makes them unique to us.
I can’t apologize for what I went through because I didn’t do it. It happened to me and the best I can do for myself is talk about it. In talking about it, even the ugly parts, I am sharing a part of the experience that some just wish that I would ignore. But this is my truth, even when it’s hard to read.