Subjective Narrator

I remain a subjective, at times compulsive, narrator in this story.

Unlike a true non-fiction book, by its very nature my story is somewhat fictionalized. I myself reside as an identity infictively resonating within a governmental institutional practice – my status is functionally different than that of the non-adopted, and as with other closed-file adoptees I have more in common with those in the Federal Witness Protection program. I do not know for sure that these memories are not all of the same thing, or metaphors for some completely different experience altogether. And for many people who are adoptees, that positioning can be much more problematic than my own. Continue reading →

On writing my book

I am writing a book from a subjective point of view.

The editing process will sand away the raw edges, provide depth and context, and the bits that don’t make it into the book will pop up here, on my blog.

Writing is brain surgery, all of it is struggling with sweeping extremes of emotion in digging out these memories to put to ink.

My life story begins with the adoption, but proceeds beyond that to the abuse, and negligence, of parenting in the seventies and eighties. I halfheartedly believe that my adoptive parents were well-intention-ed – just deeply misguided  Continue reading →

The term “ADOPTEE”

It’s interesting from a larger perspective – adoption laws are different from state to state, and Bastard Nation is dedicated to making records available to adoptees. For example, I can’t have my real birth certificate, but at least it is on file somewhere in Idaho and if the law in idaho were changed, I could hold my own birth certificate legally. But this is not just about my own birth certificate, it’s about how poorly adoptees as a class of citizen are treated by these laws that hide and wash away identity and lack oversight into the situations adoptees find themselves in as they grow up. Not all adoptive parents should be parents.

Creating a dialog around individual accounts is essential – when accounts are isolated they become easily dismissed, quickly diminished, but when a collection voices, each with a unique take on a greater social injustice, can be presented, the possibility for a conversation to extend into the public sphere increases.

Self-Erasure

We are all individuals, and our interests and desires are formed as much by our biology as our experiences. Those who are raised with their biological parents find corresponding interests driven by genetic similarities, something often completely missing from the equation within an adoptive family setting.

When there are no shared interests within a family dynamic, there is no support to develop those interests.

At best, I would be left on my own to engage with those things I found interesting. In many cases, I was punished for my interests, or actively prevented from pursuing them. I learned to hide what I was reading, I developed speed-reading unintentionally along the way, my constant state of near panic, a adolescent-long hyper-vigilant state of mind, drove this adaptation.

But it also left me convinced that I was inherently flawed, broken, and unvalued. My inner world was awash in self-erasure, fantasies of some distant rescue operation underway to recover me from my life and bring me back to my true parents. And when that rescue never came, the feelings of hopelessness grew ever stronger- Continue reading →

A Fistful of Fog

The real drugging began in a mental hospital, where I had been brought by my parents, against my will.

I cannot recall the precise timeline of events. I do know specific dates, because I spent specific amount of time in the hospital setting, and I know I celebrated my 17th birthday behind its walls.

I believe the issues began earlier, with the prescription of doxycycline and a summer of heavy exposure to sunlight. Continue reading →

Turning Seventeen

I remember the LA Riots as the thing that was happening when I was locked up.

I only recall the newspaper headline, and half a photo, seen through the grill of a vending machine outside the mental hospital, a Meier-affiliated Christian mental hospital my adoptive parents had driven me to in Plano, Texas.

I was sixteen, nearly seventeen, and they were frightened out of their minds. I was signed over to the institution, and that was it for a while. I was alone. Continue reading →

On being a bastard

In the abstract, the adoptee is positioned across two tensions of the state – the assumption and legitimation of identity, and the power of the State to maintain an arbitrary secret indefinitely. When an identity is held tenuously, when identity is the first injury, individuals will find challenges to identity and authority re-traumatization, and suffer accordingly. Continue reading →