ON THE WAY TO MY ULTIMATE PERSONAL
SO HERE'S MY STORY IN A NUTSHELL
As I am sure many adopted people are aware, living your life being treated like you are a piece of meat becomes tiring. Especially when you have the responsibility to pretend like your not being treated like a piece of meat and your 'so exited and thankful' for it. When people force their own judgment on you, about what they think you are, and who you are as a person, you finally get fed up and say, ENOUGH. It is never okay to treat another human being as though they are your property. It is never okay to form your own entitled judgment about another person's character, when you have no understanding of who the person actually is.
I've lived my whole life feeling like I was banging my head against a wall, constantly saying, "That's literally the complete opposite of my character, and who I really am as a person!". Who's the expert on knowing who I am as a person? ME. I am. I know myself to the core. The people that adopted me constantly treated me like I was their property. The massive control issues were suffocating. It never mattered what I said, how I felt, what I did, if I was wronged or treated improperly/inappropriately- it was ALWAYS disregarded, dismissed and these people just helped themselves to violating my boundaries, and exploiting my privacy. I knew at age 11 that I was going to have to fend for myself, and I had a job to do- my job was to 'play pretend' to survive.
Now lest we forget, these people constantly TOLD me that they were doing right by me, and TOLD me that I was 'imagining' things when I would blatantly ask them why it was happening to me. This is called psychopothy at it's finest everyone.
GASLIGHTING: A VERY REAL FORM OF ABUSE
If I was called 'Nigger' by my adoptive sister, or was physically attacked by her, I was TOLD it wasn't happening I was TOLD I was overreacting and 'being too sensitive again'. When my adoptive brother molested me, I was never apologized to, it was never brought up, I was never spoken with, listened to or consoled. Instead, my pain was blatantly ignored, and all attention was focused on my adoptive brother for HIS 'sadness' for what he did to me. When you are constantly neglected in this way, you learn very quickly, that the people that are treating you this way are not to be trusted. It's extremely isolating to have someone who is constantly neglecting, and psychologically abusing you tell you to 'stop lying', and 'stop over-reacting'. When your 'reality' is being controlled by the very people you are supposed to have to look up to, the very people that are supposed to love and nurture you in a form of gaslighting- it becomes hard to navigate. But you have to figure it out, and figure it out QUICKLY because you only have yourself to protect you. I can remember being 11 years old and knowing this.
TRYING TO 'PROVE' THE ABUSE WHEN ALL SEEMS 'JUST FINE'
One of the worst parts of all of it, wasn't the abuse I constantly suffered. It wasn't the constant psychological warfare I had to deal with on a constant basis. It wasn't the fact that I was very clearly the targeted one out of myself, my adoptive sister and adoptive brother. It was how scary my adoptive 'mothers' two persona's were. Mind-you, this lady- on the outside looks and acts to the outside world like a cute, happy loving mother. She's 4 foot 9, acts like a sweetheart, was always involved in the cosmetic things like being on the boosters club, active member in church, holding dinner parties, having people over on the boats. So to the outside world, it just wouldn't be possible that a person like this would be capable of abuse in any way. Believe me, THIS IS AN ABUSIVE PERSON. THIS IS NOT A HEALTHY PERSON. When someone is able to act and behave one way to the public, and be extremely abusive in private, it's a terrifying thing for the child that is in this person's direct care. I was always living under the guise of fear that I needed to perform as a 'happy grateful child' or else. This was the 'normal' that was created for me.
Dinner was always on the table at 6:00 pm on the dot. I grew up on a private all sports lake with boats, my school clothes were always bought, I was a 'happy' cheerleader, I used to play along with the fallacy that 'My Mom is such a great lady'. People used to constantly say to me, "Your Mom is so cute!", or "Your parents are such great people". I never realized or understood why I would always get such a sick feeling in my stomach when I would blindly just agree with a forced smile on my face in response by saying, "Yes they are". Now I realize that I was enduring some massive psychological abuse on a constant basis by these people, and the outside world was praising them for being 'such great parents'. I mean, of course they looked like great parents, they looked squeaky clean from a normal outside perspective. They always did just enough to make things appear so.
WHEN A NARCISSIST HAS ONE OF THEIR RAGES
I can specifically remember thinking how very strange and confusing my narc adoptive 'mother's' behavior used to be. It was constant. I used to HATE going home or being home. I wanted to get out of that environment SO badly, but I had no resources to do so, and no one believed me anyway.... I mean, I was just a kid, so what did I know? You see, they were the parents, so they controlled the narrative. If the narc abusive adoptive 'mother' said I was a liar, (which was a constant)- I was a liar. If the narc adoptive mother said I stole things? I stole things. The list of what I was accused of for no reason on a constant basis is endless.
I remember when the narc adoptive 'mother' would fly off the handle on one of her narc rages stomping around the house, etc- It was either her, or my adoptive sister. I never knew which one of them was going to go off, and I never knew when it was going to happen. For some reason, I was the 'chosen' one to always deal with it. My adoptive brother and my adoptive Father always left me to fend for myself and take the flack for the psychopathy of these two. Did my adoptive 'father' ever do anything about this to stop it or protect me from it? Of course not. Great father figure right? Nope! I now know and well realize, his interest was in protecting himself, and himself only. A real Father who loves his children would NEVER allow his child to be treated that way. Out of proper fatherly instinct, a man would immediately step up on behalf of his child and protect them no matter what. Instead, it would just be him there, me trying to defend myself, and him saying things like, "Don't you talk to my wife that way".
To the present day, as I am now 34 years old, I am now for the first time learning what a real man is, and what a proper man behaves like, because I was never taught this. The male role and figure that I had was cowardly, and only showed me that it is okay to allow abuse to happen and not step up and protect your children. This man was constantly praised, when in all actuality, he cowered constantly. Whether it was his job, etc. No matter what, the whole narrative for him was that he was being wronged in some way or another. I remember constantly feeling 'so bad for poor 'ol dad'. Do I feel bad for this person now? Absolutely not.
I was left alone to deal with the psychopothy and abuse from this adopter 'Mommy Dearest', and for some reason, it was 'my fault' if she was 'provoked' into one of her narc rages. I'm talking, we would be sitting at the dinner table, everyone would be having normal conversation, and she would out of nowhere threaten to kick me out of the house for some strange fictional thing that she would make up and tell me that I did. And that would then turn into me questioning what she said, because I knew that I didn't do what she said, and that quickly turning into me being told that I was 'copping an attitude', 'being defiant', and 'lying again'. As a child, this form of complete blatant gaslighting is VERY confusing and frustrating. I constantly felt trapped. If I tried to get up and leave the situation/dinner table, I would be reprimanded for having 'bad manners' and leaving the dinner table without permission to be excused. If I defended myself, I was being defiant and 'copping an attitude against my 'mother'. My only alternative would've been to just sit there and allow the psychopathy to happen at my own expense, however I've always been the truth seeker, and I always challenged the constant targeted gaslighting that this mommy dearest would place on me.
All while this was happening and escalating, My adoptive 'father' would go out to the shed, or do some yard work when things like this happened, or if we were at the dinner table, and he couldn't just 'slip away' and pretend it wasn't happening, he would get this blank robotic stare in his eyes, and play the 'I have no idea poor me' card, while I would say to him, "Are you seriously just going to sit there and pretend like this isn't happening?!" Like the narc adoptive 'mother's' behavior wasn't scary enough already- what scared me the most was how quickly she could switch her moods/behavior within a second. It was like her head turned around on her neck the second the phone rang. She would answer so sweetly, "Helloooo, Pleva residence". THAT out of all of it was the part that creeped me out the most. The way her behavior would immediately change within a matter of seconds if she knew anyone was paying attention. No one would've ever known she was behaving the way she was towards me. And I was left to deal with it by myself.
It was like that movie Poltergeist, I always remember thinking that about my adoptive 'mothers' strange behavior. I used to think about the fact that she could COMPLETELY fly off the handle, and get psychotic about the most irrelevant things, and literally it would come out of no-where.... I would have to deal with it for a good hour+, (never knew when it was coming) and then the second the phone rang, it was 'kitten's in baskets', 'lollipops and rainbows', IMMEDIATELY. It was the scariest thing. In my teens I used to say, "Oh my gosh it's that character in that movie Poltergeist!"- It was seriously like my adoptive 'mother's' head would turn around on her neck the SECOND an outside person was all of a sudden be paying attention. And then she would get off the phone, or finish playing her little pretend persona, and back to terrorizing and bullying me would commence. She would follow me around the house, wouldn't leave me alone. There was seriously nothing I could do about it.
When I tried to do anything about it, it would be when it got so bad that I was completely depleted and exhausted. I was frazzled from the constant psychological bullying she would put me through, or how she would pit my adoptive sister on me, and encourage my adoptive sister to physically attack me. But no one seemed to care or pay attention to that. Instead, people only reacted when I would get so frustrated that I would completely blow up as a result of being constantly messed with. I was constantly scared, I was constantly on guard, I never slept properly, I never knew when it was coming and I was never able to just- relax, because I was constantly waiting for the other shoe to drop. And when I did react in front of other people as a result of it, I looked crazy- which gave this 'mommy dearest' the ammo she needed to show everyone- "see that? She is Suzan is such a difficult teen, you know how she lies and over-reacts".
SELF PROTECT AND SURVIVAL MODE
Not only are you busy protecting yourself as a child, you do not have time to enjoy childhood, because you are also busy 'putting on airs', and pretending like everything's 'just fine' and that your 'family' is so perfect. You have to pretend that the abuse isn't happening in order to function. Because otherwise, I was reprimanded, I was put in therapy to get 'fixed'. I can't count the amount of times this 'mommy dearest' had me in therapy to fix my 'problems'. Now, looking back, the only 'problem' I had was the psychotic environment I was living in with nowhere to turn.
IT GOT SO BAD THAT I LITERALLY ESCAPED OUT OF FEAR
It got so bad, that at age 15, I ran away. I planned it as strategically as I possibly could. I knew that if I tried to ask someone for help, or to protect me, no one would help me. I mean, if my own father didn't seem to care or do do anything to stop it, why would anyone else believe me? I remember that the adoptive 'mother' was specifically in terror bully mode that week, and I was literally exhausted because of it. I remember that I was in the house alone with these adoptive parents, which was also extremely hard because this mommy dearest only had me, and specifically me to focus her attention on at all times. It was SUFFOCATING. My adoptive sister and brother had moved out and must've been away at college at this time I think. All I know for sure and remember is, they weren't there, and I was an absolute target at the time.
I made a plan for my friend to come pick me up in the middle of the night. I ran through the back/lake side through 4 yards and had her pick me up in the neighbors yard. I did this because the adoptive parents had motion lights that were extremely bright in the front yard, so if I had my friend pick me up there, the adopters would immediately know I was trying to get out. I stayed at a friends apartment for 2 weeks. I was gone and had ran away at age 15 for 2 weeks. I would've stayed gone if I could've. The only reason I returned back into the adopters home was because I ran out of money and had no where else to go.
What I specifically remember now..... After about 3 days of being gone, running away, I called my adoptive mother on a pay phone to tell her that I was safe and okay. Instead of joy for knowing I was okay, or asking if I was safe, she laid into me about 'You have no idea the trouble you've caused us', 'you are in trouble with the police and they are looking for you'. She told me that they filed a 'missing persons report' with the police department. Looking back on it now, that was clearly all absolute BULL SHIT. If the police were looking for me, etc- I WAS AT SCHOOL EVERY SINGLE DAY Monday through Friday for those 2 weeks. Wouldn't that have been the first place they would've looked for me? So, you know. Things like that. And this is what I mean about blatant abuse happening, right in front of people's faces, and no one paying enough attention to the fact that a child (teenager at the time) was clearly in a very abusive situation and needed help but no one did anything about it. If a 15 year old teenager runs away for TWO WEEKS, and nothing is done, there's something extremely wrong with that. Just think for a moment, what message that sent me. the 15 year old.... 'NO ONE cares. NO ONE is looking for me.'
I also think about, what the hell did my adoptive 'mother' and 'father' tell people about the fact that I was absent for 2 weeks straight? How come no one PAID MORE ATTENTION to that?
Character Assassination & Projection
One of the most specific things I can remember with this lady who adopted me's lunacy was when she would accuse me of physically hitting her, or when she would tell me that she 'locked her door when she went to sleep at night because she was 'AFRAID I WAS GOING TO KILL HER IN HER SLEEP'. Those were just the worst. I'm not a violent person. The fact that she would drum up these types of psychotic accusations was just intolerable. But that part was always ignored. What was ALWAYS paid attention to, was my challenging her, and saying 'What?! That's literally never happened!". Then all hell broke loose of course, and the "how DARE you speak to me this way in MY HOUSE", would commence, and the threatening to kick me out would begin as usual, her talking about calling the cops on me, etc......
As I mentioned, these things would seriously just come out of no-where. I never knew what mood she was in. When I state, 'mommy dearest'? Oh I mean it. I've healed from it now, but just the memories of her groveling voice used to get to me. She would say, "You HIT me, YOU KICKED me", and I would be like, "What? What are you talking about?!" Then the argument would commence.
I've touched that woman once. I was in my late twenties. She started up when we were sitting at the dinner table. (if I knew it was just me, the adotpive 'father' and the adoptive 'mother' at the table, I tried my hardest to avoid eating dinner with them) She drummed up some thing about telling me I was lying about where my bus stop was when I was a kid. Of course I challenged that, because it literally makes no sense at all to even lie about something that ridiculous. So of course an argument commenced. She started storming around the house.
I went downstairs to my bedroom to get away from her. Of course, she followed me. Surprisingly, that time, my adoptive 'father' actually made a week attempt at stopping her that time, which I was shocked by. I had heard him walking around behind her when she was stomping around throwing a temper tantrum quietly saying, "come on don't go down there".... She wouldn't get away from me. I kept stepping back, and back and back, until she had me backed into a corner. Like, a literal corner of the bedroom where my back was smooshed into where the two walls met. She was spitting and screaming in my face, "You're ROTTEN, You're ROTTEN!!!!" She just kept going at me. She was about 2 inches from my face and I kept saying, "get away from me, get away from me". My adoptive 'father' was standing there just watching at this point. I finally didn't know what else to do, but push my hands out in front of me to push her away. THAT IS THE ONLY TIME I'VE EVER LAID MY HANDS ON THAT LADY.
You know who has punched, hit, kicked my adoptive 'mother' several times? My adoptive sister. But for some reason, that meant that I was the one that did it? Ya that was a regular and re-ocurring theme in that house, when my adoptive sister would do something psychotic, somehow, I was told I did it. It could be the most stupid thing, and I would be told I did it. An example would be, apparently my adoptive sister didn't load the washing machine all the way with clothes, so for some reason I was always told that this was what I did. Why? No idea.
So ladies and gentlemen, when I say I dealt with a life of complete psychopathy with these adopters, I really mean I dealt with absolute scary stuff. There was never a 'day off' there wasn't time to relax, it was just me running on pure nerves, fear, and hypervigelance at all times.
My Late Teens and Early 20's Were A Train Wreck
Now remember. I was conditioned for decades to play 'Suzie Socialite', and put on that 'happy face'. And believe me, I was good at that. When I say conditional love is what I had by these adopters- I mean, if I wasn't 'happy Suzie', there was either reprimanding or non acceptance. I was met with my so called 'family' being combative and annoyed with me. I well knew internally that these people were not the ones to turn to if I needed support of was in need of help. NOW- Let me clarify this..... If it was something that I needed that would have a result to the outside world, and cosmetically that others would see? The adopters were FRONT AND CENTER to 'help me out'. If I needed emotional support, or had questions about things, or was going through a rough time? They were either argumentative towards me, annoyed, questioned my apparent 'motives', or were blatantly absent.
In college and in my twenties, I had a constant feeling of chaos, and complete confusion. I had no idea what was up or down. All I knew was that I felt like an absolute robot with no real feelings or what I knew to be tribe. This, in turn- as I realize well and now know is why I turned to drinking. Little did I know that I was self medicating. The only time that the adopters would address it was when it was used against me. If only people knew of the blaming and shaming I would receive because of it. Looking back now, why didn't anyone actually reach out to me and say, (actually show up) I'M HERE FOR YOU. I support you, I'm here to help you. Now if I was in trouble, or something bad happened? Tada! There were the adopters. Specifically the adoptive 'mother'. She liked to play the victim card. She LOVED to get at me with the 'how could you do this to me?' rants. That was one of her hallmarks.
What I did not realize was, subconsciously, I had lived such a long life of complete turmoil and abuse, that my mind and body were telling me that I couldn't handle any more of it. My energy was depleted and I had shut down without realizing it, and the only thing I knew to do to protect myself from allowing the reality of the abuse I was going through was to drink it away to forget about it. This- in turn showed the outside world that I had a problem, and that there was something wrong with me. I specifically remember the adopter 'mother' telling me that she 'couldn't believe I did this to her', and her telling me all about how she was going to these support groups to talk about my 'addiction'. Apparently, she was going to these support groups for months without my knowledge. Now, to the societal 'norm', this would sound like a loving caring thing to do and only natural for a concerned parent. What people do not realize, is that this was the farthest thing on this woman's mind. She had an agenda, she ALWAYS had an agenda. She would use it as a weapon against me in arguements, etc.
Mind you, we lived in an extremely small town, where everybody talked about everything. So if my private business was out there? EVERYBODY knew about it. And the adopter was well aware of this. A real and loving proper parent would be sitting down with their child, and asking them about their well being, and if they were okay, showing their child their love and concern. I NEVER had any of this happen. I didn't even realize it was happening, or what I was doing in self medication, because no one ever addressed it.
WHEN MY GRANDFATHER DIED IN MY MID TWENTIES
My adoptive 'mother's' side of the family always made me extremely uncomfortable. They were the type of family that were 'showy'. It was about social status, the Yacht Club, Big Houses, and social climbing. That became very clear to me in my mid-twenties. To this day, I haven't spoken to one of these people for years, and I am completely fine with that.
I've always respected and felt love for my Grandfather on my adoptive 'mothers' side. He was always very kind to me. Actually spent time to sit and listen to me. He became ill with Alzheimer's and dimensea, and I was there for a lot of these times when he wasn't himself. When he died, I took it very hard. At his funeral, I was treated TERRIBLY by this so called 'family' that I was supposed to be so thankful for. The funeral consisted of the showing, the service at the catholic church, his burial ceremony with his 21 gun solute, and luncheon at the Yacht Club. I had never felt like these people were family, but that was always something I pushed way down and tried to ignore.
At my Grandfathers funeral, that very day- that's when I knew that I wanted absolutely nothing to do with those people. But I kept it in, and I pretended like all was well. At the funeral in the catholic church- two of my 'cousins' (I had 12 cousins on that side) were standing at the entry way welcoming guests, and my adoptive brother was also standing at the door way welcoming guests. As kids, these two cousins (who were brothers) and my adoptive brother and I spent a lot of time together because the older brother and my brother were the same age, and the younger brother and I were the same age. So in my perception, seeing the three of them standing at the doorway greeting people to the funeral service in that church, I only thought it natural out of respect for my Grandfather to join them and welcome the guests.
I walked over to the double door entry way as people were arriving, and stood next to my brother across from the two brothers (the cousins of mine). I couldn't have been standing there for more than about a half a minute, when my 'cousin', the younger brother said to me, "what do you think your doing?". I said, "I don't know, I thought I'd help you guys greet everyone". I remember feeling extremely uncomfortable and unwelcome, and then thinking in my head, "Fuck you- this is my Grandfather too". So I stood there despite the clear tension in the air. As the funeral proceeded- there was a portion where all of my Granfathers grandchildren (13 of us) were called up to the front to stand around his open casket in front of the guests for his flag to be placed with him. The priest and my adoptive 'grandmother' were facing all of us grandchildren. The priest placed the folded triangular American flag in my adoptive 'grandmothers' hands and said, who would like to do the honor. No one offered, so I raised my hand. My grandmother looked at me and shook her head and said, "no, let's have (I will not name names) "---" do it.
I couldn't believe it. I got a sickened disgusted feeling in my stomach, and I distinctly remember my whole body getting hot like I had a fever or something. I couldn't believe that this lady blatantly did that in front of hundreds of people. Now mind you, this was something that was so quick, that no one in the audience probably even realized it happened.... To me, it solidified my 'place' in that family. Which was no place at all. I had known this all along, but I would constantly get blame and shamed for not coming to these 'family' events by my adoptive 'mother' if I chose not to attend.
The Smoke & Mirrors, Putting on Airs
I literally HATED attending these 'family' get togethers. It was always such a 'smoke and mirrors' type of occasion any time they happened. Out of all of the times I've felt extremely uncomfortable and under direct fire in my life, being around those people at these 'family' get togethers was always the worst. When I would be at these 'occasions', I was always counting the hours for when they would end. The subtle racial jokes about me, my race, my 'ridiculous' hair and how it needed to be fixed, the taunting and stupid things these people would say to me were extremely inappropriate and uncalled for ALWAYS. Of course there was an exception of the bunch, where there were a few that weren't this way towards me, but it never made up for the ones that were blatantly degrading and exploitative of me and my presence.
I was treated like a complete joke to these people in my perception. To give you an example of the subtle things that made me extremely uncomfortable and embarrased- there was an instance where I was a teenager, and there was a get together at my adoptive 'parents' house. There were about 15 or so people in their upstairs living room. My adoptive 'grandmother' insisted that I play the piano for everyone. I said I didn't want to because I was still working on my recital piece and it wasn't ready yet. Talk about pressure. For a good 10 minutes or so, I was DIRECTLY under pressure and in the spotlight, being egged on to play for everyone. I finally caved and started playing a song. My adoptive 'grandmother' cut me off about a half a minute into my playing the song and said, "no no, don't play that, I want you to play the star spangled banner". I said, "I don't know how to play that". She then responded with, "Well you can at least sing it for us, right?". I felt like I was some sort of monkey with tambourines or something.
The egging on and tension built. I wasn't going to be able to get out of it. I knew it. I knew that she wasn't going to let it go. I knew that if I tried to walk out of the room, I would get it from my adoptive 'mother'. So I started to sing the Star Spangled Banner. When I got to the verse, "And the rockets red glare....."- my adoptive 'grandmother' cut me off and said, "no no don't sing it that way, you sound like a black person when you do that, sing it right". So this is just one example of the blatant disrespect for the fact that I AM HALF BLACK and was being reprimanded for identifying with my own race. How dare I, right? That was a constant in that family. Lest we forget, I was the token ethnic adopted child in that white family. And I played that submissive quite role quite well until I got fed up with it for good.
After this all happened, when all the guests left, I tried to bring up how 'mean that was of grandma' to my adoptive 'parents'. The response? My adoptive father got his usual blank stare like he didn't hear me. My adoptive 'mother' went into her rant about, "Oh here we go, unbelievable Suzie. Unbelievable. Why are you so sensitive all the time? You've got to stop making such a big deal out of things. It was just a joke." That turned into me challenging her, and then of course, an argument commenced, which as usual lasted for a good hour+ as usual; I was then repeatedly accused of lying about the whole thing, (even thought there were a good 10-15 people that witnessed it)- "You know how you lie Suzan", and I couldn't sleep that night because my nerves were shot and I was devastated. I distinctly remember my throat being soar the next day and feeling sick but not knowing why. I now realize that that whole situation probably took a toll on my immune system. I should mention, I was always dealing with soar throats and sinus infections growing up due to being on edge all the time, self protect mode, running on hypervigelance, and lack of sleeping properly. Of course the rule was, unless I vomited/threw up and my adoptive 'mother' saw proof of my throwing up, I had to go to school and couldn't stay home.
I now know, looking back- again- that in my mid-twenties, I was having some sort of realization that I was trying to push deep down that I wanted nothing to do with these people. This 'cousin' of mine that I spoke of earlier that I was supposed to be so close to because we were the same age, and we spent so much time together in our childhoods was the worst to me. He used to refer to me as 'Oprah', because of my hair and because I was 'black' like oprah. When I would say anything in our younger years, my adoptive, 'grandmother' would always grab me by the back of the neck and reprimand me and say, "Hey, be nice" to me, and shake my neck. It was like I was some sort of trained dog or something. This specific 'cousin' and my adoptive sister used to sit around and swap jokes about me TO me about my hair, my race, etc.... It was seriously horrible. But I always just sat there and laughed with them because I literally didn't know what else to do.
THE TRAUMATIZATION OF THIS 'FAMILY' AND MEMORIES FLOODING IN
The day before my Grandfather died, the whole 'family' was by his bedside. My adoptive sister and I and her daughter spent the night at our other grandmothers house because she lived close. We did this so we could come right back to be with my Grandfather's bedside. Being around that family triggered me in such a massive way that I completely shut down and couldn't handle it. I decided to try to just drink it away because I didn't know what else to do to protect myself. I felt extremely exposed, and seriously wanted nothing to do with being around those people at all what-so-ever. As I was there, and we were all aware that my Granfather was about to pass, all I could think about was the fact that I was spending time with these people who seemed extremely fake to me. These people, that I saw about once, possibly twice a year, where we played 'pretend family' were just--- well, strangers to me, and I HATED the fact that I was there with them, pretending like I had some sort of profound connection to them. None of these people ever called me, or asked me how I was doing, or stepped up and acted like my family- so why was I pretending like they were?
SO I DECIDED TO SELF MEDICATE TO FORGET THE TRAUMA
What happened because of this? Did anyone ask me if I was okay, or if I was going through something? Was anyone concerned for my welfare? Of course not. Instead, the next day, I got a call from my adoptive 'father'. He proceeded to tell me on that phone call that he couldn't believe that I would humiliate him like that. He NEVER asked me if I was okay, or if I was going through something, or if there was something he could do. He NEVER expressed any sort of concern for my welfare. Instead, the whole phone call was about the fact that I had embarrassed him. The whole phone call consisted of ME consoling HIM for what I put HIM through. And this is how it's always been. So when I say my mid-twenties were a train wreck, this is one of the instances of realization that were right front and center for me to realize how these people were, their lack of concern for my well being. But at this time, I was still in the 'fog' of it all.
This was not the first time that my adoptive 'father' had spoken to and treated me this way. Looking back, this happened on a regular basis. If I stood up to my abusive adoptive 'mother' for her bullying and terrorizing behavior to me, my adoptive father would tell me that I was 'causing problems in their marriage'. If only you knew the times that I was told this, and how badly I felt for the fact that I was 'doing this to my dad'. Now? Now I realize that this is an extremely cowardly thing for a man to do. A real man stands up for his children, and at no matter what cost, would never allow his child to endure abuse and would protect them. Ill say it now, the only, and I mean ONLY person that I know of in this world that could put their foot down, and put my adoptive 'mother' in her place and make her behavior stop.... is my adoptive 'father'. He chose to do nothing about it. That's on him, and he's going to have to live with that on his own. I will no longer 'feel bad' for him because he chose not to protect me from the constant abuse.
Adopting A Child Doesn't Make You A Savior
Nor does adopting a child by any means give a person a right to think that they are actual proper real parents because they bought their way into parenthood. They didn't. More often that not, the 'norm' of society has this misconception that a family, or people that adopt a child are 'saviors', and did 'such an amazing thing' by adopting a child. More often than not, these adopters have a massive 'savior complex'. When there is this sort of unfounded entitlement, and desperate need for control over people, this is a toxic situation for a helpless, voiceless child to be adopted into. Adopting your way into parenthood by no way shape or form just automatically makes you a good parent. Being a parent is EARNED. Being a parent means unconditional love, and doing everything possible in your power to put your child first. Doing the fundamental tasks that you are responsible for, obligated to do, supposed to do for the child, by no means should EVER make a person entitled to place the burden on a child to think and feel that they should be ever so 'grateful' for having what is rightfully entitled to them. Lest we forget- these people CHOSE to adopt me. THESE PEOPLE CHOSE to take on the responsibility of parenthood.
Not only this, but they CHOSE to adopt a child of color. This in itself should've been handled with extreme care and gentleness for me, the baby/infant/child/teen/person. Instead? I was the only ethnic person, adopted into a family of all white people. I was raised in an extremely closed off 'good 'ol boy' town, where I was literally one of a handful of ethnic people in the entire town. So, out of a few thousand people, I was one of about 7 or so ethnic people in the town. To give you an example, the store that my adoptive brother and I used to ride our bikes to, the man that owned it was a member of the KKK. Was any of this nurtured, or handled properly? NOPE. Instead, I was constantly made fun of for my race. I was affraid to ask about my own race/identity because the one time that I did, I was given a book called, 'Little Black Sambo' to read. That book was given to me to read at about age 8.
I was supposed to read the book by myself. What ended up happening? It ended up blowing up in my face. My adoptive sister then began taunting me, and had a new nickname for me. It was constantly, "Little black sambo- Little balck sambo- that's all you are". If I defended myself? I was reprimanded. As we got older, into our teen and adult years, my adoptive sisters nickname for me evolved from 'Little Black Sambo', into "You stupid fucking nigger- that's all you are". Believe me, it wasn't fun for me. Aside from this, I had cousins in the extended family, my brother, etc constantly making fun of my 'ridiculous' hair. I had my adoptive grandmother (the mother of the sociopath 'mother' that adopted me) CONSTANTLY trying to 'fix' my hair. She would constantly buy these chemical products to put in my hair to 'fix it'.
I got in trouble once because I stood up for myself about this. When I was in 6th grade, the adoptive 'grandmother' bought one of these products to 'fix' my hair like she always did. I remember it burned my scalp and it hurt SO badly. It turned my hair green. I was mortified, and crying. My adoptive 'mother's reaction to this was horrible. She laughed at me and told me, "Unbelievable, just unbelievable Suzan. You are so ungrateful. I can't believe you would act like this after what your Grandma did this for you". I was mortified, and was TERRIFIED to go to school with my hair like this. My adoptive 'mother' refused to do anything to get it back to my normal color. Mind-you, I already had an absolutely horrific time in elementary school, as I was the 'new kid', who moved there, and I was the 'ethnic kid'. I was named 'alien'. YEP! That was my nickname.
The bullying and taunting at school was terrible. I had a kid following me around, who constantly badgered me by calling me "Sexual Chocolate". I was so horrified, that I finally told on him, and he got suspended for a week. Me? When my adoptive 'mother' found out about it, she grounded me for 'causing problems'. This was the constant life I lived. There was literally no where to turn, no one to help or protect me and I constantly felt terrorized and bullied. No matter what I said, no matter what I did, there was no consistency, there was nothing to rely on, and no where to turn.
People tend to think that adoption is 'beautiful'. Believe me all, in my and so many others experience of being adopted, it is the farthest thing from beautiful. When people see that things are cosmetically okay on the outside, they automatically assume that the child is doing great, and the adopters are 'shining examples of parents'. PAY CLOSER ATTENTION. Pay attention to the child, does the child seem forcibly 'happy'?
Unnecessary Control, and Psychological Abuse
When a psychologically/mentally unstable adopter with narcissistic personality disorder of a child has complete and total control over the child they adopt, and the narrative on how this child perceives the world, and how others see/perceive the child, this is a complete form of abuse if the adopter ensures people think untrue things about the child. The child is often talked about in subtly negative ways, that tend to be massively untruthful to who the child really is as a person, because the child's real self is completely ignored. People naturally think that there is no way possible that a parent would want anything less than the absolute best for their child. So when the abuse of the child is exposed, it makes people uncomfortable, and they want nothing to do with it.
This is extremely re-traumatizing, isolating for the person who is working to overcome the abuse that they suffered at the hands of their adopters. I know, I lived it. I only found out in my adult years what had actually happened to me, because I spent my whole life trying to block out what really happened in order to try to protect myself in any way that I knew how to.
NO Means NO- When I Say Stay Away From Me, STAY AWAY
In my 30's, I knew that I had to completely cut off the abusers who adopted me. The adoptive 'mother' is extremely psychologically unstable.
The scariest part for me, was the fact that this lady knew when to behave in the ways she needed to in the right situations that would accommodate her. It was ALWAYS about her. This woman constantly told me that I was 'selfish', 'a brat', 'such a princess'- when in all actuality, I was suffering greatly. Due to this adopters psychopathy, and manipulation of others, and knowing when to put on an act, and control the narrative of my life- people thought I was 'a troubled difficult person'. Guess what, I was troubled. Why? Because no matter what I did, no matter how I tried to seek help, and get someone to listen to me, no one listened or stepped up to hear me.
I finally said ENOUGH, and officially went no contact with the people that adopted me. These people wouldn't take NO for an answer- and continued to completely violate my boundaries, and in their unnecessary controlled ways, continued to help themselves to me like I was a piece of meat. That is when I knew to keep strong, and go public with it all. I had had enough. In no way shape or form should these people have had any business being allowed to adopt children.
Being In Denial, Abusers Don't Think It's Wrong
When an abuser has no idea of their own psychopathy, and thinks they are doing no wrong, this is when you need to get away from them to protect yourself and your own welfare. It is extremely hard to cut ties with abusive people like this, because they have been able to control the narrative of what was actually happening your whole life.
When others find out about the fact that you have cut the abusive adopters off, they think that they are 'helping' by trying to mend a relationship that never existed in the first place. people are only aware of what the adopter has controlled them to think. When this is all people have known for 3+ decades, it's tough to change that narrative.
One of the worse things that a person can do is invalidate, and try to make the abuse victim 'prove' the abuse they endured. If you know of someone who has had the courage to come out and speak up to overcome the abuse they have suffered, and has decided to turn to you to speak about it- BELIEVE THEM.
DO NOT FURTHER TRAUMATIZE/RE-TRAUMATIZE AN ABUSE VICTIM
> Respect their privacy
> Respect their boundaries
> Respect their words
> VALIDATE that what happened to them was never okay
Moving On and Moving Forward
If someone you know has tried to open up to you, and they have decided that you are no longer allowed to be a part of their life, there is a reason for it. No person goes no contact 'just because'. Look within yourself to realize why this may have happened. Do not further place blame on a victim of abuse. Educate yourself on these extremely important matters, make yourself more aware of what really happened. You can be saving many future lives by doing so. All-in-all, if a person finally decides to tell the actual truth and reality of what happened to them, ask yourself- can I be a solid support system? If the answer is no, then you need to stay away from the person overcoming the abuse they suffered. You need to respect this persons boundaries and leave them alone so that they can properly heal and move on with their life. The more the victim trying to overcome the abuse keeps the toxic and abusive people away from them, the more room they have to build a solid, and proper support system for themselves.
In Conclusion; Where I'm At Today With It All.....
I am proud of myself. I am proud of who I am. I never realized how dammed strong I am as a person. My soul is amazing. For some reason, when I was born, I was stripped of my actual identity. I was for some reason placed in the household of adopters who thought it was 'okay' to treat me like a play thing. I'm now working on finally knowing what normal reality is, and what actual loving and caring people are. As I am finally speaking up and speaking out about the truth about what happened to me, things haven't been easy. The real true people that have compassion for what happened to me have shown themselves. I tell you- this is what keeps me strong and keeps me going. With the documentary being made, finally telling my story has been exhausting both mentally, physically and emotionally. But I know that it's necissary because I am not alone. I know that there is a reason that this all happened- I am supposed to be a figure and advocate for others that this is now happening to, or had this happen. I am here to serve as a figure of strength and encouragement for other victims of abuse to stay strong and keep at this whole life thing, because there ARE good people in the world, and there ARE great things coming. There IS validation.
THE WAY I SEE IT, I AM BASICALLY STARTING LIFE FOR THE FIRST TIME
I was raised with my boundaries constantly violated in every way possible. Now speaking up about the abuse to present day, I'm being re-violated by people trying to silence me from exposing the truth. I will not allow this any further. I will not stay silent a second longer. I've been physically violated, sexually violated, mentally/psychologically violated.... the list goes on and on. I will not stop telling the truth. Now that I have come 'out of the fog', I am on a mission. Unfortunately, in the process, I realize that I never had a real family or support system. This has become extremely clear to me now. With the extended family on my adoptive 'mother' and adoptive 'fathers' side. No one stepped up and ensured my safety, and no one stepped up and secured and validated that what happened to me was WRONG. Instead, when I reached out to these people, I was met with accusations, excuses, or just blatant ghosting.
I have to say, the ones that just ghosted are my preference. The way I see it, I never really knew these people anyway. I'd see them about twice a year or so at holidays, where we would have polite surface-level conversations. So it's not like these people really had any sort of connection with me anyway. The reason I prefer these extended 'family friends' and 'family' members just ghosting, is, it's just one more thing off my plate that clears the path for me to move forward with my life. One less person to try to have to stop from harassing me or hold control over me any longer, because the ones that just ghosted and ignored my extreme need for support and aid put it right on the table and I got the message LOUD and clear. They have no interest in my well being or welfare. Because if they did? They would have shown themselves, no bullshit, no excuses.... They would've just been there like family should be.
THE FLYING MONKEYS WHO AID THE ABUSIVE ADOPTERS BEHAVIOR
Now these are the people that I have a problem with and just need to GO AWAY. These are the people that weren't there when I really needed them. They haven't been there now, but for some reason are extremely participant in trying to communicate with me by acting as a flying monkey to the adopter abuser.
These are the ones who may or may not realize, they are aiding in further abuse on me. For ANYONE to try to invalidate my life, my story, my experiences is WRONG. To these people I feel indifference. To these people I say- you don't like it? Take a hike and leave me alone. I owe these people nothing, and I will no longer allow them to exploit my privacy or life any longer. I've learned a lot by these many people that were supposed to be my family, these many people that I was surrounded with that did nothing. I've learned what real love is, what real support is, and what isn't support. I've learned what people with agenda's are.
FLYING MONKEY ON THE ADOPTIVE 'FATHERS' SIDE- THE HARASSING AUNT
I actually had an adoptive Aunt showing up at my place of work, my places of community involvement without my permission or consent, or knowledge uninvited and unannounced, doing 'check ups' on me. Mind you, I hadn't personally spoken to this lady in probably a year. She knew I was pregnant with my Son, and doing everything on my own. I taught at this art gallery at the time, and one day I came in, the director of the gallery came rushing down to me as I walked in the door and said, "Suzie is everything okay? We were worried about you" I said, "ya, why?". The director proceeded to tell me that my Aunt came in and was 'concerned about me and wanted to make sure everything was okay". If this aunt of mine was SO concerned, why didn't she have enough respect to NOT violate my boundaries, profession, and call or text me and ask me that?
This Aunt also showed up at my place of work without my consent or knowledge, or invitation at an event that I was hosting. This was creating all sorts of problems, and really making a mess of my good reputation that I've built for myself in my career and community. Not only this, but it was blatant harassment if you knew what was behind it. This aunt was acting as a direct flying monkey for the narcissist adoptive 'mother'- which in turn is 'abuse by proxy'. This lady was just.... blindly following my narcissist abuser, who I was doing all in my power to keep away from, and keep my life private. I brought it up SEVERAL times, stating how inappropriate, and disrespectful it was, and that it completely violated my boundaries to blatantly ignore my direct requests to stop. It got to the point where I finally sent her a formal e-mail telling her to STOP. I was prepared to take it to a legal level if she didn't cease to quit it. Then, as the rumor mill goes with this so called, 'family' of mine, another aunt told me on the phone that this other aunt said she was worried that I was going to be found "DEAD IN A DITCH SOMEWHERE". Did this lady ever call or text me while I was pregnant with my Son to see if I was okay? NOPE. She chose to blatantly disrespect, and completely violate my boundaries after my REPEATED requests telling her to stop.
I confronted this aunt for the last time I will ever speak to that lady again about a year ago. I made sure there were other people around to witness it. I told her it was wildly inappropriate that she did what she did, and that she owed me an apology. Do you know what her response was to my confronting her about her harassing behavior towards me was? And I quote word for word, she said: "Do you want to take this outside?"- YEP! So, some great 'family' this lady was. This is a perfect example of when I say, I am now learning when people actually have your best interest at heart, or THEIR best interest in mind. And when someone is blatantly aiding a victims abuser in further traumatizing and harassing the victim of abuse.
Might I mention, this lady got a degree in social work back in the day but never persued the field. I am VERY thankful that she didn't, because if this is the way she behaves towards a person that's supposed to be her family, and blindly follows a narcissists requests, and condones in the abusive behavior towards the narcissists abuse victim who is working to heal from the abuse, and still was actively trying to kick the victim while they were down? Lord only knows how much damage this lady would've done to people if she was in the social work industry. She could've really wrecked some lives. And it's people like this that create the abuse for these helpless children. It's WRONG of them. It was WRONG of her. I already felt pretty indifferent to that lady anyway, it's not like I had any sort of connection to her at all, but after her behavior, and the way she snapped at me in the way that she did when I confronted her about her absolutely harassing and inappropriate behavior, I knew that this was a person that I would never speak to again. That is not family, that is a person that condones and enables an abuser.
The Lesser of Two Evils- Extended 'Family'
Was I heartbroken to learn this about these people that had no interest in properly showing love and support for my Son and I? Yes, absolutely. These people were supposed to be my family. I now realize that is not the case. I went through the most turmoil, and roughest time in my life, all while I was bringing my Son into this world, and I was VERY vocal that I needed help and support. I was met with excuses, excuses, excuses. But I've got to keep moving. On my new journey, the more supportive people, and those who do not show up for me except when they have an agenda- the more clarity and strength I gain in realizing that talk is cheap, and actions speak louder than words. Not only this, but it's the actions someone shows you that really brings out their true colors.
People tend to live in denial because it is easier. That's all good and well, but I will no longer be a part of that at my own expense and violation. To these people, I wish them well, and wish no harm to them. I'm glad that these people have shown themselves for who they really are- which is NOT my tribe. Just because I share a last name with people on paper-legally, doesn't mean that these people are my family or support system by any menes. This I have come to realize very quickly in the past couple years. If these people were actually my family, they would've been there for me, NO excuses. I wouldn't have even had to have asked. And I asked REPEATEDLY. I was met with excuses, blatant nothingness, we were moving.... blah blah blah. My gosh... I'm so sorry that I burdened you all with the fact that I needed support in bringing my CHILD INTO THIS WORLD. How dare I, right? Come-on.
My Life Is Finally About Me Now!
Anyone who invalidates or tries to disrespect me in anyway concerning my life, or my Sons life, (in which several of these people who were supposed to be 'family' haven't even acknowledged my Son's birth or existence) are not worth my time or energy. This, I now realize is a blessing in disguise. It shows me that I can then take the energy from that, place closure on that situation, and use it to build up my real support system, and the family that I am now making for myself. As mentioned before, I'm on a mission to advocate for those who have endured unnecessary adoption, mistreatment, abuse, selfishness and lies. This is no longer my problem. It was never my responsibility in the first place to make other people feel better about the fact that I was treated like a psychological punching bag. It's astonishing how some of these people only pay attention to the outcome of the source, instead of what made the reaction to it happen. This only perpetuates further abuse. Those who accuse me of 'lying' about the abuse I suffered at the hands of my adopters, I simply flick them away like a speck of dust now. They are showing themselves to not be worthy of being on my radar or allowed to be worthy of being in my life. This does me a favor. To these people I say thank you for showing yourselves.
I said it before and I'll say it again- anyone who 'doesn't like' the fact that I am speaking the truth about the people I've been surrounded with, or that I got dealt a bad hand in the family department? They can take a hike. They clearly have their own issues to deal with and it isn't my problem any longer. Onward and upward to bigger and greater things for me. I'm finally living to be who I really truly am, and I am taking back what was stolen from me- MY TRUE IDENTITY
Anyone who is reading this- know that it's important to educate yourself on what adoption is, can be, isn't, should be, and more. Educate yourself on the laws of adoption, the different types of adoption, and more. I am a 34 year old woman, and I am not allowed my own REAL birth certificate without petitioning the courts in my State. And this isn't even a garuntee that I will be granted access to my own birth right.
To this day, I have record that I was born at 2 different hospitals. To this day, I now realize why the people that adopted me never let me see my own birth certificate when I would ask. I had a detective track down one of the 2 birth certificates that are on record. The detective informed me that on this birth certificate (NOT my original birth certificate)- it states that the person that adopted me is the person that gave birth to me. THIS IS A LIE, THIS IS FALSE. My real mothers name is Jacqueline. My REAL Mother Jacqueline gave birth to me, and she named me Susan Marie. I was then renamed, 'Suzan'. I had to find this out from a detective that worked the case of my real mothers missing persons case at age 34. My stand point? Support family preservation in any way possible.
THIS Is My Family- THIS Is My True Heart, Where I Belong
Do not allow unnecessary adoption to happen. PAY MORE ATTENTION to people who are looking to adopt, and PAY ATTENTION to what their motives are for wanting to adopt. If their reasoning is anything other than for the betterment of the child and the child's welfare, THIS IS WRONG OF THEM. Just because an adopter says that they have adopted for the child, does not mean that this is the reality and truth of the situation. In my experience, it is extremely prevalent that unnecessary adoption happens with women who are infertile and can't give birth to children of their own. Just because a woman is barren/infertile, does not give them the right to adopt and use a child to 'fill the void' in their life. This is USING another human being for their own gain and is an extremely traumatizing thing for a person adopted into this situation to go through.
For my Son, for my real Mother- I say to you all, support family preservation. My real Mother has a beautiful heart. No matter how many times I was lied to, no matter how many times I was told otherwise. No matter how many times I was shamed for even thinking about my Mother- I will NEVER allow this again. NO ONE tells me how to think or feel about my Mother or my Son.... NO ONE. I may have only met her once when she brought me into this world. One thing I know for certain, she gave me the biggest gift of all- She gave me the will to live, she gave me my strength, she gave me my beautiful soul, SHE GAVE ME LIFE and the will to love despite the love I was never provided. And I have passed this legacy onto my Son. My Son has all of these amazing qualities and I will live the rest of my life ensuring that he knows that he comes from a bloodline of pure souls and hearts.
EXPOSING THE TRUTH It takes many adoptees a lifetime to find out the actual truth about their lives before they were adopted. Not only this, but they also find out that there are half truths, stories have been skewed and worse, there is no information at all. Due to being lied to their whole lives, having things covered up, there is a conditioning of tending to be afraid of the truth. It's important to stay strong, and not allow the truth deter you from moving forward, and use it as a tool for the healing process.
REALIZING IT'S TOXIC One of the hardest things to come to terms with is realizing that your abuser is a toxic person. When you have been under the same conditioning and the same treatment for a long period of time, especially when it's a consistent influence in your environment, it tends to become the new 'regular'. A huge step in starting to be in the know is by stepping out of the situation to see it.