Archive for January, 2009

Nature VS Nuture

I wonder what she’s like.

Does she laugh like me, talk like me, walk like me, think like me?

Or are most of my traits things that I’ve picked up from being an American and living with my adoptive family? 

I don’t think I will ever completely understand nature vs nuture until I can see nature in action. I can see it in other people, but I feel detached from them and can’t see nature in them, but can’t comprehend it in myself. I’m not able to understand which parts of me are biological and which parts of me  are created by my adoptive family and the circumstances I grew up in. How much of who I am today is who I was born to be, who genetics say I am?

In my mind, nurture has played a large part in creating who I am. My adoptive family and I share a similar sense of humor and similar ideas and interests. But do those similarities come more from a shared history or coincidence or are they things I also share with my first family as well?

January 25, 2009 at 3:27 pm Leave a comment

A Goodbye to a Loyal Friend

 

Not my picture...I couldnt find one of my own

Not my picture...I couldn't find one of my own

My heart aches for my little truck.

She was a trusty old gal…survived over 22 years with under 90,000 miles. A gift to my younger sister for her sixteenth birthday, the truck became a member of our family. My sister and I rode around in the little white dodge often. We would go to the movies, to the mall, to work, home, and on all kinds of random adventures.

Eventually my sister purchased another, newer, larger truck. And after totaling my last car (a white Ford Tempo) I bought her truck from her for one thousand dollars cash.

The first summer I had my truck (the summer of 2007) was a sweet, beautiful summer I will always remember. That’s the summer I fell in love with John, the summer that I changed.

I remember the first time I drove my little truck. I went to my friend Amy’s house around the corner to watch tv. The day was warm and smelled of grass and sun. I was ecstatic to have her. I loved my truck from the moment I first drove her.

When I first moved out on my own I moved the majority of my boxes in the back of my truck. That lonely time when I was at first all on my own I spent driving around town in my truck. She was more than just a vehicle to me, she was a companion.

To see my friend, my companion, crushed and shattered like that broke my heart. I sobbed because I know I lost more than just a car. I lost a friend, I lost a link to who I became that beautiful summer when everything changed.

I sat in her for the last time this morning as I emptied the last of my belongings from the inside of her and said goodbye to one of my most loyal friends.

January 24, 2009 at 5:15 pm Leave a comment

The Soundtrack to My Life

There was a great thread on the adoption forum I visit about songs that are significant to us about adoption. I was looking to add to that thread Our Lady Peace’s “Somewhere Out There” as a song that struck me as pertaining to adoption and I stumbled across this song from “American Tale” which came out the same year that I was born. Cue the tears.

January 24, 2009 at 4:52 pm Leave a comment

Control Freaks

 detail

I’ve been meticulously making lists for the wedding, doing drive bys of venues, looking into doing my own flowers, and I finally found a dress. The one thing that is keeping me from bridezilla territory is really lack of a diva worthy budget. The other day when I was talking to my friend about it  (she’s also engaged and is planning her own spring wedding) I realized how controlling of a person I am. I guess I’ve always been a controlling person, but having something like a wedding to focus my efforts on may have just magnified the situation enough for me to see it in a more obvious light.

I started to wonder (as I always seem to do lately) WHY I’m such a control freak.  Is it just in my nature? Or is it really another manifestation of the effect of “the primal wound” upon me? My personal theory is that since I was “abandoned” I decided subconsciously that people couldn’t be trusted and I would instead rely on myself. I feel good when I’m in control of a situation. I feel safe when I know exactly what time we’re supposed to be at point a and point b. I’m not the kind of person who just “goes with the flow”. I like to KNOW.

It’s not really only adopted people who are like this either. My mom was always a controlling, had to have the last word, stubborn woman. Much like me, she liked to “know” and felt safe when she did. Unlike me, she wasn’t adopted, but I do believe she was abused as a child. That type of lack of control in a situation might also lead someone to (like me) be a control freak since all we are really doing is overcompensating for a lack of control in past situation that allowed us to be hurt. Really all we’re trying to do is prevent ourselves from being hurt again.

Another different aspect of that was brought to my attention by a question asked on Yahoo! Answers in the adoption forum. The question was  “Do You Think Adoptive Parents are Controlling Types?”. Obviously there are all types of controlling people including adoptive parents, biological parents, non parents, kids, monkeys….you get my drift. But there do seem to be a lot of well, control challenged adoptive parents. I know my mom was, and I know of other adoptees who say that their parents were controlling growing up.

I wonder if that is more because they type of people who become adoptive parents are really type A, hyper vigiliant, stubborn people, or if it is because they are also trying to overcompensate and in a sense make it seem like their kids are their “real” kids, because they might be trying to live up to the whole “pool, pony, unicorn” thing a little too much, or if they are scared their kids might really go back to their “real” parents.

Focusing more on the last of the things I mentioned above, I started thinking about something my own mom told me once when I told her(in explaining to her why I was pushing them all away)  I was afraid that when I moved out I would no longer be part of the family, that they would all move on without me.

“Well,” she said, “Sometimes we create what we fear.”

I think she got that from Dr. Phil. As much as I dislike Dr. Phil, I think that statement is particularly true. In the case of adoptive parents being “controlling”, they may be trying to control a situation that they don’t have control over by being unwilling to reason with their kids, by not being open to talking about adoption and the traumatic effects it has, by demanding their kids be grateful, they will ultimately create that which they fear by pushing their kids away with those controlling behaviors. I mean, think about it, why would you want to come to your parents and include them in your search at all if they are going to make you feel like pond scum for doing it? A lot of parents don’t say outright that they are against it, in fact a lot of them say they are all for their kids searching. How many of them are being genuine when they say that? The secure ones I believe. The insecure adoptive parents who grasp at straws and cry that their kids are “different” from other adopted kids are the ones I don’t believe.

Going back to the reasons that people like me and my mom are control freaks (overcompensating to prevent being hurt in a situation where we have lack of control), I wonder why it is that some people (such as my adopted sister who is not controlling) who have faced similar circumstances as we have, did not turn out controlling? What is it that they clung to after the “primal wound” as a method of survival? Are they more naturally trusting people to begin with? Have they evolved past people like my mom and myself to a place where they are comfortable with change, and able to relinquish control? Where was I the day that they taught that in school???

My sister’s situation was a lot milder than mine, but I still believe she too was inflicted by the “primal wound” when she was relinquished. Unlike me who constantly pushed people away, my sister was a lovely, friendly, outgoing child. My parents compared us a lot and her demeanor being so contrary to mine was probably large in part why they could never believe that adoption traumatized either one of us.  Maybe it is just really beyond my understanding because I do not understand her since we are so different. I think she is a “closet” control freak who seeks order in her own unique way. After all, no one ever said that a control freak has to be a domineering, stubborn bitch like I am. I see her as a very open person who lets a lot of people in, but never goes very deep into anything with anybody. Perhaps it is her desire to be liked that controls her life, rather than my own desire for solitude and control.

I am starting to think there is a little control freak inside of all of us. I can’t think of anyone I know that doesn’t desire control, doesn’t need it, doesn’t use it to their advantage. Control can be a beautiful thing. It can make us feel safe, help us survive.

January 22, 2009 at 4:57 pm 1 comment

A Ghost

I just came up with an analogy for the way I feel when I think about my loss.I feel like a ghost, a phantom, as if I might not really exist. Honestly that might not even be completely original because it seems so simple, so obvious. How else would you describe someone who doesn’t have a birth certificate? You could say I may or may not exist, right?

The Unborn comes out tomorrow. I hate scary movies. I definitely will NOT be going out to see it. But the movie (about a woman who is being haunted by her twin that died in utero) reminds me of myself. Well of my Korean self. To me, Korean Katie is a ghost. Someone who was supposed to exist, but died before she could be born. Instead of Korean Katie being born, I went on to become American Katie, White Katie, sarcastic lonely, confused Katie. The Korean me died and I wasn’t even allowed to mourn.  It’s as if she’s haunting me, taunting me, willing me to look for her, to at the least acknowledge that she once existed, however briefly.

That may be the saddest part of her non existence. That I wasn’t allowed to mourn losing her. And that no one else even notices she’s not around. It’s only me, missing her in silence.

January 9, 2009 at 2:34 am 2 comments

2009

“THREE, TWO, ONE….HAPPY NEW YEAR!”

Everyone around me kisses and takes celebratory shots of some kind of sweet liqour as the year officially becomes 2009. Instead of joining them, I stand in the thick of things sobbing. My heart feels like it’s breaking, I feel sad and alone even among a crowd of people.

“What’s wrong, Katie?” John asks me, looking concerned.

“I’m never gonna know her am I?” I bawled. “This is just one more year I’m not gonna know her.”

My heart was swollen with my sorrow at that moment in my drunken vulnerability. I let loose my emotion, completely sobbing in a rigid posture off to the side by myself, not at all caring who saw. 

I was sad for the years of my denial, my dishonesty, my betrayal of my adopted self.  The years slid by before my eyes, one after another filled with self-loathing, confusion, and doubt. I can’t take another year where I lie to myself, hurt myself, and live in haze.

I dry my tears and walk away to be alone for a second. I close the bathroom door and compose myself the best that I can. When I can finally breathe without shaking, I wash my hands and leave the bathroom. 

It doesn’t seem anyone has noticed I was gone. But to me, that is the story of a lifetime. I cause trouble, raised hell as a child because I craved attention from my parents. It didn’t matter if the attention was negative. In fact, negative attention was easier to come by, because being good was too hard and my little sister had already cornered the market on that. I screamed, cried, kicked, fought, cussed, and bitched so others would hear my voice, be forced to admit I was around, forced to recognize my pain. I could not stand for my mom to walk away from me or to ignore me. I would try my best to catch her attention in any way possible. I needed that attention to know that I existed.

Now that I am adult I prefer more to blend. I stay behind the scenes, still needy and desperate for love and admiration, but armed with the knowledge that no one likes a needy bitch. I crack jokes, I laugh, I eat, sleep, and shower. I do my best to pretend as if everything is okay, maybe just to lure myself into that delusion. 

John finds me and comforts me as best he can. Asks me what’s wrong and kisses me on the head. I can tell by his lazy smile that he’s as drunk as I am.

He loves me. I can see it every time he looks at me. It’s the most unconditional thing I have ever experienced. I’m not a void he’s trying to fill in his life, but someone he got to know and still chose. I will never again say that my adoptive parents “chose” me. They would have adopted another child if not me. John is the one that chose me. The only one.

“Nothing’s wrong” I finally say, kissing him back. “Everything’s okay.” 

Everything’s okay.

For now at least.

January 1, 2009 at 2:47 pm Leave a comment


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