Skip to main content

Julie Gray, Buried Alive

If you were adopted at birth, you may have only known yourself for a few days before it happened to you. But rest assured you knew.

I was eight months old. I knew who I was when they started trying to bury me. I screamed and threw off the dirt. "Julie's not dead. I'm Julie!" But my "mother" was determined, older, stronger. She could shovel on more that I could throw off. I was slowly buried under the daughter she named.

She shoveled the identity over me with her violence and her cloying, syrupy, overprotective "love". She subverted my real self, dictated that I was "theirs" and therefore should be "like them". I fought her until I was four... It's the only explanation I have for the violence escalating so far against such a young person. I must have resisted and rejected her efforts to pretend to be my mom. Why else would you knock a two year old unconscious?

By the time I was four, I was pretty well subverted. Compliant. Miserable. I'd learned that she would hurt me if I rejected her. And while I continued to be "defiant" and "oppositional", the opposition was no longer against her.

It was against the me they wanted me to be. The me she told me to be. The one that didn't fit.

And the father I'd clung so desperately being nothing more than a thin, infantile memory, I started to believe this was where I was supposed to be. Before five I had no inkling of being adopted, but I always knew my skin didn't fit. 

I began to believe that he was both a famous scientist who loved to play chess and a dangerous addict who would have killed me. "You'd be dead if we hadn't taken you in."

He was a mechanic.

How many adoptees claim this fate? We'd be dead if not adopted? I've talked to possibly hundreds, and actively avoided the conversation with hundreds more. It's bloody common. And where do you think that statement comes from? From some some weird, vague memory from infancy?

No. True or not, it's what we're told by our adopters.

What kind of loyalty did she hope inspire? What kind of gratitude? I lose my family, I don't want you, you force me into a mold I don't fit in, tell me how lucky I am, and outline how my real family was full of dangerous neglectful uncaring junkies who would kill me as soon look at me.

Is it any surprise that our real selves are in a coffin six feet under, while we force ourselves into the molds adopters give us, breaking our own bones and carving out chunks of our own flesh to fit into it? 

To those who've known me for years, (the one or two actually bothering to read this life-altering blog [snort of derision and how much you all "care"]) that annoying piece of shit girl you knew is dead. She was a false construct. She was never a real person. If you liked her, too bad. She's gone. She's taking my place in this fucking coffin and I'm taking my life back. You don't know me. No one does.

But I'm pounding on this coffin lid anyway. My knuckles are bloody, but I just heard the wood splinter.

Ok, Pai Mei. Here I come.


Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Sibling Connection

I was robbed of the connections that belonged to me. The connection to my blood, my biology, and the life I should have had were severed by my mother when she chose to abandon me with my father. She had already taken one sibling from me at that point, my older sister, relinquished at three years old, not too long before I came along. She would go on to take eight more; the six she passed out to her friends as they came out of her, like litter after litter of unwanted kittens, and the two my father kept. He would have kept me, too, had my mother not effectively ostracized him from his family with her habits and then abandoned him with a four month old baby. On her side, eight children scattered to six different families... no chance for connection there.

But with my father's side, I will always feel the missed opportunity. I will always believe there was a chance in the pages somewhere with them that was missed. Part of me will always feel like I blew it with my honesty. You see, I …

Dismissive Language: Tone Policing and Other Damaging Habits

Dismissive tactics are fairly well understood, especially in social justice and debate circles. In the adoption arena, however, these tactics take on a willful blindness and venom which is truly disturbing. Let's explore some of the most commonly used phrases.

"Not all adoptions are the same."
"What if the mother won't parent?"
"Well what do you suggest, then?"
"I'm sorry you had a bad experience, but..."

Really, I could fill a blog with "phrases commonly used to dismiss anyone who has anything negative to say about adoption" but I won't waste my time or yours reiterating that familiar drivel. We all know the phrases. We've all been told we "just had a bad experience".  We all have experience with those that dismiss because they don't like our tone.

Dismiss being the key word. Phrases like "not all...", "what if...", angry, bitter, bad experience, and "can't we all be nice to eac…

Adoptive Parent Fragility

I'm curious, how do you expect to raise an adoptee when you can't even handle talking to one online?

Really. Riddle me this, because I want to know. Let's say, for sake of argument, I put forth the theory that an AP feels more bonded to their adoptee than the adoptee feels to them. I suggest that it's possible that, as most of us do, the adoptee is afraid to share any unhappiness they may feel. That they are subverting that unhappiness to soothe the AP. Adoptees are notorious people pleasers and often do live in terror of displeasing APs. I suggest that, when asked, an adoptee is likely to lie about their detachment, so as not to disappoint the AP and out of fear of rejection.

Some APs take advantage of his level of depth and openness to examine their own families and consider ways ways to solidify their attachments to their adoptees.

Fragile APs will insist they know how their children feel. "MY child is bonded with ME," they'll say. "I can FEEL it.&qu…