Assembling Self

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

The Holiday Show - Through The Eyes Of A Rejected Adoptee

The Holiday Show

I see my friends on Holidays going off to see family.
Groaning, moaning, and complaining of all the difficulties.
To get to all those people that they had to see.
And buy and wrap all those gifts and be where they're expected to be.
There's always people arguing and rushing to and fro.
Sisters, brothers, uncles and aunts, grandparents and more.
Too much to do, too little time, and they are wishing all the time,
that they could be somewhere alone or some place else rather than go home.
I guess they'll never imagine in any form or way.
How much I envy watching, all their crazy days.
For if you have never lost it, then you will never know.
How much of an outsider I feel watching “the show”.
But I see through the surface and to reality.
They can't know how it feels to have no family.

I just had another discussion with a friend over Holidays and family.  As she knows I have none that want me...not really.  I'm something to be put up with, an obligation, but mostly an outsider.  I am supposed to pretend that the whole family dynamic of rejected adopted child and adored biological child (and grandchildren), the elephant in the room everyone feels but no one acknowledges, doesn't exist.  And, that all of the abuse never happened either.

I cringe thinking of the usual family Christmas "letter" I'll receive.  The one that goes on and on about my adoptive parents wonderful life living near their biological daughter and their beautiful grandchildren.  Then, there will be the usual one line I get "Karen is still living in Dallas".  Even my adoptive brother who has been smart enough to stay away for years gets a mention of a wife and his son.

My biological family wants me to remain their dirty little secret.  I wonder what they are doing, what their religious and family traditions are.  Or, do they even celebrate at all?  Are they (or myself for that matter) Catholic, Lutheran, Baptist, Jewish, Jehovah Witnesses, Agnostic?  I have siblings out there I know of too, and probably nieces and nephews.  Trees, are they artificial or real?  Presents, are they opened on Christmas Eve, or Christmas morning?  Egg nog, with or without rum, or extra rum?  So many unanswered questions brought to mind each and every year.

So my friend was speaking of all of the issues, logistics, and gift exchanging during the Holidays that were so draining.  I mentioned that I would have no one that will call or worry or wonder what I am doing.  Once again I was told how not having family had its good side, meaning not having to deal with the totality of family Holiday responsibilities.  I stated plainly that no, it doesn't and it never will.  It is the deepest, darkest, most desolate chasm of loss and pain.   The full depth of which no one can truly know, nor would I ever want them to.

The void that is having no family is magnified during this season.  The monumental evidence that no one in either of "families" accept me for who I am is overwhelming this time of year.  But, I will get through it as I always do.  I am one of many adoptees who fell through the cracks of the adoption system.  Sadly, I am far from alone.

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