Tuesday, November 20, 2012

NaBloPoMo Day 20: Jealousy

Nobody’s perfect and sometimes we become jealous of other people (just as others become jealous of us). Has a non-adopted person told you they were jealous of you (due to adoption)? If so, how did that make you feel? How did you respond? If you are in reunion, has jealousy come into play at all? For example, if you have siblings, have they expressed jealousy about a difference in lifestyle? Are you jealous of them? How do you handle this? If you are not in reunion, do you harbor any jealousy toward anyone? If not, why do you think that is?

It's funny because most of the comments I get about being adopted or adoption related situations comes from people I've met online.  I have heard the "I've always wished I was adopted..my family drives me crazy sometimes!" line more times than I can count.  It hurts, to be honest.  I mean, how can someone wish they had grown up with a family that was not their own?  How could you want to have a fake birth certificate or not know what happened to you in the hospital in the six days after you were given up by your mother and before you were dropped in the laps of strangers in a cold adoption agency waiting room?  I will never understand someone wanting that to be their story.  And on a more personal level, as the survivor of abuse at the hands of my adoptive parents, I want to shake them and say, "Your life is fine!  I would give anything to have grown up with my natural family to have been spared the pain I suffered!".  I do try to explain that to the misguided people who believe the grass is greener on the adoptee's side of the fence but I know that it probably falls on deaf ears.

I am in reunion.  And yes, jealousy has come in to play.  I have met all of my relatives on my natural mother's side and have spent an extended amount of time with them at family gatherings and a long weekend trip to celebrate my grandfather's 80th birthday.  Seeing the easy way they all were with each other made me realize what I'd been missing all my life.  I did fit in well with them...our sarcastic wit binds us all together...but they have inside jokes that I can never be part of.  My aunt Julie told me that it was like I was away at college for an extended amount of time but that I was home now...like I was always part of the family.  And while for the most part, I agree with her, another, more bitter part of my soul, grieves intensely for the lost time.

In regards to my adoptive siblings, they have never expressed jealousy towards my being adopted.  They adore my mother and she adores them...and me.  It may have something to do with the way they found out about me though.

My mother and their father got divorced when the kids were little and he had visitation every other weekend.  When my brother Greg was six and my sister Cate was three, he was driving them home after their visit.  He said to them, "Make sure you are good for Mommy so she doesn't give you away.  She gave away one bad baby already."  Can't really blame them for not wanting to be adopted, can you?

But on the flip side, I  fully admit that I am jealous of them. They grew up with my mother in a house full of love and of acceptance.  They were allowed to make mistakes and to grow from them without fear of being hit or screamed at.  They got to experience unconditional love...something I only learned was possible when I gave birth to both of my own children.  I don't harbor some deep resentment against them for their upbringing though.  I'm glad they didn't have to go through what I did.