Posts tagged ‘Grief’

On Grief

I think we should be allowed to grieve.

When I was “in the fog” so to speak, I never thought of it that way. I would have said “Grieve?? I’m so grateful I’m adopted, what is there to be sad about?” But it makes sense to grieve. Think about it. As an infant you pretty much lost the only people you ever knew. If you’re an international adoptee, you also lose the only place you ever knew, the only language you ever heard, and more than likely you lose people around you who look like you.

All in one day.

All in one day you lose your entire extended family, your identity, your culture, genealogy, familiarity. All in one day you lose so many things that other people take for granted. In any other situation, people would rightfully expect you to be devastated. They would not demand you forget about the past, move on from your old family to a new one. They would not tell you to be grateful or chastise you for missing your family. They would tell you to grieve. They would hold you as you cried. They’d bring casseroles and let you wallow for a while.

Why is it different just because I was a baby when I lost my whole life?

I really think we should be allowed to grieve.


August 11, 2010 at 6:00 pm Leave a comment

Today’s Thoughts

My loss and anger are rearing their ugly heads because it is now less than until my so called birthday.

I’m trying to keep my head above water. Trying not to drown in my sorrow.

 When I was a little girl, I would cry while people sang “Happy Birthday” to me. I would shut my eyes and blow out my candles and cry a little bit more. On my eighteenth birthday, I bawled when my adoptive parents gave me a card telling me how much they loved me and how proud they were. I did not know then that the source of my tears was utter sadness. I did not recognize my mother’s absence because I was taught not to miss her. This year I miss her very much. I have noticed myself becoming more and more agitated the closer Tuesday gets.

As feelings of longing intensify inside my core, I snap at the person closest to me (John) and am downright unpleasant to be around. I worry that I have begun to drive him away. That my thoughts, my fears, and my pain are causing me to push him to leave me before he decides to do so on his own.

This is something I struggle with more this time of year. I am most unloveable on the anniversary of the day she left me. What will I do instead of tearing my relationships apart? I understand why I am doing what I am doing, that’s step one.

But now how do I prevent myself from sabatoging what is so important to me? How do I break the cycle and really move on?

July 9, 2009 at 3:21 pm 1 comment

Mother’s Day


Yesterday was a tough day for myself and thousands of my fellow adoptees. Why? While I am glad to celebrate my adoptive mom and all of the graet things she has brought into my life, I can’t help but dwell on the wonderful things my natural mother might have given me and upon my loss of her.

 I started my mother’s day off by going to breakfast with my fiance’s family. I was fine until I got in the car and started thinking about her again. At that moment I went from being Katie, back to being adopted. Each time I get jolted back into my reality like this, the enormity of my loss hits me like a slap in the face. I feel like I have been plummeted into a bottomless pool of cold, cold water. I have been dumped into an ocean of grief and I have no idea how to swim.

 A tear or two rolled down my face. I would have rather kept that moment private, but my fiance was in the car with me, driving to the restaurant. “It’s okay” he said “Your Korean mom is out there somewhere and she loves you”. But it’s not okay. And I don’t believe she loves me. How could she love me, yet damn me to this odd purgatory where I am forbidden from missing her, where I am told to deny my instincts and my nature?

 The nicer my fiance tried to be, the angrier I grew. Instead of providing me the comfort he intended, his words cut deep into my skin and I bled fury. Once we had stopped at the restaurant, I jumped out of the car leaving him sitting there, confused with the engine still idling. Rather than accept his comforting words and his love, I decided to push him away. After all, if my mother taught me one thing, it is that I am wholly unworthy of love.

 Spending time with my adoptive mom was difficult. I feel so much shame when I’m near her because I fear how she will react when she finds out that I need a relationship with my natural mother. It’s a dirty little secret that I hide from her and the rest of my adoptive family. I would hate for them to feel the type of rejection that runs through my veins. I would hate for them to feel abandoned by me. As much as they have hurt me, I can’t stand to hurt them.

 I will remember this mother’s day forever. I will remember it as the first year that I was not just the daughter of my “real” mom, but also of a very real woman who gave me life.

 May 10, 2009. My first mother’s day as the lost daughter of two very real mothers.

May 11, 2009 at 12:54 pm 3 comments

Fears of Abandonment/Tainted Love


There is little if nothing in my life that adoption has not somehow tainted for me. I look at my past, my relationships, my reactions, my struggles and can see how I struggle because of my invisible handicap. I wonder how different I would have been without adoption touching everything I am. Would I be more outgoing? Less afraid of rejection? More willing to put myself out there? I imagine I would be similar to the person I am today, only that life, that Katie would not be shadowed by her sadness.

 My adoptive mom once said to me “You don’t even KNOW what love is.” Through tears I insisted that I did know what love was and that I loved her and was sorry for whatever mistake I had made. I always said I was sorry and “I love you”. I used it as a plea, as a cry for help. “But I love you,”.

 Whatever I had done at the time was enough for her to be terribly angry with me. She would use her anger against me and hold a grudge against me for days for whatever I had done. I would yearn for her to be happy with me again, to love me. I’d write her notes and leave them under her door. “I’M SORRY MOM, I LOVE YOU. PLEASE FORGIVE ME.” Sometimes she would forgive me and show me love again, allow me back into her good graces. Other times she would be cold and difficult to understand. Eventually the ice would thaw and things would be right again.

 I love you mommy. Yes, I love her. I do. She is my mother. For all the bad and good, she is the one who raised me, who taught me. But did I say those words out of love, out of wanting her to understand I loved her? Or out of fear that she would leave? “Please don’t leave me, I love you.”

 I think the latter is more honest than the former. I said that to John one terrible night when he stormed away from me and I, crushed and in tears, cried “You can’t leave, I love you!”. I tell him all the time that it hurts me to be left. That I hate for him to walk away. That it is terrifying to me for him to walk out and slam the door. Yet, it’s hard for him to understand. He knows he’s not leaving for good, just walking out to get some air and clear his thoughts. Rationally, I know this as well, but nothing can bring me to my knees like the fear of abandonment.

 I am more afraid of abandonment than anything else. Whether I think they will leave me by choice or be taken from me by reasons out of my control, I am unsure. But I worry in my heart that anyone important to me will leave me, and I will be completely alone. As a child when I was not acting out in order to push people away, I was constantly paranoid that an accident was going to take my parents away. I would be parentless again and probably sent to live with my adad and stepmom. Or my aunt and uncle. When my adoptive dad and stepmom would leave, I’d be afraid I’d never see them again. When the phone rang I’d be sure it was news of something terrible.

 Now more than anything I fear the loss of John. Because he is perfect to me and our love is beautiful and I am undeserving. If he doesn’t leave me because I am not social enough, not exciting enough, not dynamic enough, I am afraid he will be taken from me by whoever it is that thought I should have him for this time in my life. I’m too young for a love this honest. It can’t be for real. I keep trying to make him leave before he chooses to leave or gets taken from me. I don’t think I could stand up straight without him in my life.

 I am so angry that I have this unnatural, crippling fear. It’s unfair that every relationship in my life has to be touched by such anxiety. This is not how it’s supposed to be. I should not have to approach love with a feeling of angst. What did I do in a past life to deserve such pain? To lose my parents, and constantly be afraid to lose everything else? What is so wrong with me that I deserve always feeling like the bottom is about to fall out?

May 4, 2009 at 11:26 am Leave a comment

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