S4E02 – UNRELATED: Adoptee Identity Trauma

Unrelated Thoughts on Being an Unruly Adoptee – Part 2 of 13

There are millions of adoptees “in circulation” in the United States, and nearly all of them live with their biological histories erased and sealed away by the states in which they were adopted, at least during their formative adolescent and teenaged years. This episode is a narrow slice of one very particular example of that experience. We adoptees are compartmentalized by those around us, compartmentalized by the legal status of our identity-washing, compartmentalized by religious and cultural traditions, and ultimately we are internally compartmentalized, taught (unintentionally) to mask our differences, to mimic, to mock, to maintain and participate ‘as if’ we are identical to biological offspring. We are commodities that aren’t meant to be noticed except as an act of charity, or civic obligation… or perhaps penance. Please know that to understand why oneself is adopted is likely never enough for that adoptee… the reason why one was ‘put up for adoption’–and how that came about–that is the nugget around which one’s internal psychic landscape accretes. I ‘came out of the fog,’ which is to say, I started deeply questioning the value and intention of my adoption. I found myself in opposition on nearly every political and religious perspective imposed by my adoptive parents. The lives of my peers who aren’t adopted, as opposed to those who I have known who are adopted, were so clearly divergent that I have become convinced that there is a traumatic core to the adoptee experience that is shared by all of the adoptees I’ve met and known. (I refer to this as identity trauma throughout this podcast.)