Your Real Family is the One that Loves You
** Note: I use the terms “the guy and the lady” in reference to my biological parents. My parents, my “true” parents are the ones I refer to as mom and dad. My Parents have earned the right to be called mom and dad because they raised me, showed me love, and took care of me.**
** These were my feelings at the time. I express how I feel in my blogs and I am not ashamed of what I felt. I no longer look at my life in this way, but I feel it’s important to share my past**
My story in life starts back in the spring of 1979. I was a little over a year old when I was placed in an adoption agency based in the city of Chicago. I was taken there because one uncaring lady decided she didn’t want to take care of me. The guy who started the pregnancy, left town the moment he found out that she was pregnant with me.
According to the agency, the lady had a bad drug habit during and after her pregnancy with me. Apparently, she thought it was important to party with hardcore drugs, then give me the slightest care. I laid in my crib all day and night. From what my parents told me; she never really lifted a finger to take care of me. I was told that when the state came to the house to remove me, the diaper was beyond soiled. When they picked me up from my crib, my diaper disintegrated from sitting in my own excrement. In her drug-induced mindset, she thought, me in my own waste was the proper choice. I can’t even fathom what it must have been like lifting a baby up in that state of neglect.
This lady never held me or had shown me any love. The back of my head was completely flat from never being held. For any newborn, not having the most basic simplest care from another human being, must be a very traumatic experience. I can see why I’ve struggled to enjoy the most basic of human contact.
When the Fates Step in
Born into a new world, not knowing a soul, one splits town and the other is too busy enjoying her drugs. The two people that are supposed to give you love and protect you aren’t there for you. Lucky for me, a woman from next door ended up being the first to show me love. She shifted my life into a different gear. I never found out why she came to my rescue, but I’m glad she did. This wonderful woman saw the current predicament and decided to call DCF. The state came immediately and took me away! At that time, it was the greatest thing that has ever happened to me!
The Arrival of My Parents
I was covered in dirt and filth, smelled awful, and probably cried the entire way to the adoption agency. Luckily, my time there was very short, for two wonderful strangers happened to be there.
As I arrived at the adoption agency, my soon-to-be parents were sitting down with one of the workers. The worker told my mom that they had just received a child and had to explain the situation.
Whenever my dad tells the story about seeing me for the first time, he speaks of it with humor and love. When they went in the back and first saw me, they saw a baby covered in filth! My hair was sticking straight up, dirt-covered my face, and my body was colored as if I had a spray tan on. I had only a cloth towel to cover my bottom.
When I was young, there was an ongoing joke of how ugly of a baby I was. My parents, who loved me deeply, used to tell me how my hair stood wildly upon my head and one of my eyes was half blue and half green while the other eye was completely brown! My dad used his fingers to imitate my hair sticking up as he’d make faces and laugh. My Aunt Vera was the only one that stuck up for me and tell me how beautiful I was. Jokingly, I asked them why they had chosen to take such an ugly baby? lol. If it was that bad, I’m sure I looked like something plucked out the dumpster from lower Wacker Drive. Maybe it was my uncanny charm that wooed them in, but for some reason, my parents fell instantly in love with me. I’m lucky to have had two amazing people have the ability to see a child for their possibilities rather than their current conditions. This day brought me two of the greatest gifts in my life!
Learning to be a Family
A year earlier, my parents had adopted my older sister. It was their first time adopting a child. As many siblings do, my sister and I fought a lot. Mischief was something I excelled at and so I will have to admit my part in fighting because I am one who loved to provoke it! I was good at pushing buttons and always knew what buttons to push with her. I do want to mention that my sister and I did get along as well. We have made many great memories that I still think fondly of until this very day!
Growing up, my sister was the brains and I was the hyperactive trouble maker! lol. Now I will never tell my sister because I would never give her the satisfaction lol, but I was envious of her for the grades she received in school. My sister is a very special person to me. She and I have had many hardships in our relationship, but I love her very much, and is a diamond in my life.
She, like I, had much trouble showing affection to other people including each other. There were often many times when I wondered if my sister really cared for me. Although there was always a bit of doubt, something in my heart always told me she did. Between the two of us, I was always more affectionate towards my parents than my sister. When it came to our friendships, she had a hard time making friends and bonding with people. I never had any problem making friends, but I could never show emotions towards them and keep them. It was then that I started to realize, at a very young age, that she and I had emotional and affection issues. My sister and I dealt with our emotions differently. For me, it was easier to make jokes and blow things off than it was to show someone I cared about them. My sister just locked herself in the room and dove her nose in a book.
When we Seek Answers
For many years of my young adult life, I had this curiosity to answer why my sister and I had trouble showing affection to people. After all, allowing someone the dignity of my affections felt very awkward, uncomfortable and made me feel vulnerable. A simple hug, a touch of a hand, a show of emotions or to tell someone that I cared about them was extremely difficult. What seemed weird was that if I was helping a person out then emotions were easy, but when it came to my personal life then that was a different story.
The Research Starts
During my high school years, I befriended other classmates that were adopted at birth and discovered that they seem to have the same emotional issues as my sister and me. I observed their social interactions and discussed their personal relationships with them. I quickly realized that there was a connection with those that are adopted and having personal affection issues. It was during my junior year that I decided to take a psychology class to see if I could find out any professional information about this connection. Sadly, that particular psych class was an introduction to psychology and had no answers for me.
Finding Emotional Depth
It’s extremely hard for a person to grow up and have felt distant from others, felt unloved (even if they are loved), and to have the inability to express themselves to someone they care about. As I mentioned earlier, it was easier for me to express my feelings towards my parents than to my sister. My personal relationships were mostly always rocky, and since I had a hard time with affection, it was only fitting that I always attracted others who had the same issues.
As I look back on some of my past relationships, whether they are romantic or not, I wish that I would have been able to express to them how I felt. Unfortunately, the way I showed I cared was, and still to this day, is to punch someone on the arm, grab on to you and wrestle you and even make fun of you! I’ve always told people that the more I pick on you, the more I liked you. Unfortunately for my friends always ended up bruised and beat up! lol
Many of my friends have always told me that I appear standoffish. When they or anyone tries to get close to me that I push away, and I agree with them 100%! It is a weird feeling to know love, to understand love, to teach about love, but intimacy is a giant roadblock! I have spent many years being angry at the lady and the guy for not giving me the love and attention that babies first need after birth. I blamed them for many years on the relationship issues I always encountered. But in all honesty, if they would have given me what I needed then I wouldn’t have ended up with my real family now!
My parents, who are two of the three greatest people in my life, have showered my sister and me with a lot of love and affection, and yet, not even that could change those chaotic feelings inside either of us. My sister and I had developed this pattern and it was ingrained into us since birth. Speaking from a lifetime of experience, it’s hard to get rid of it!
If you ask the people who know me best they will tell you that I am a loner. I love to spend time with myself, go out by myself, and do things on my own. When most people see me out it’s usually with a party of one. I have always been someone who never really needs the company of others to have a good time. I know this may sound sad, but there is a freedom one feels when one is comfortable being with self. Now don’t get me wrong, I do love spending time with people, especially to those who matter to me, but it’s just easier for me to do things solo. It may be there is a subconscious thought process to me being a loner. Maybe I’m still afraid of being rejected by people, but I find more freedom in going it alone.
In recent years I’ve been working diligently on being more affectionate and allowing me to express my feelings to others. It is unfortunate that some people, including myself, find love and affection to be a stranger, awkward and uncomfortable. The most basic human need, no matter who you are, is to be loved. I truly care for those I call my friend or family! It hurts me when they feel that I don’t care because I do, I do very much. I would gladly give my life for my family, my friends, or a partner. I have always been there for those I love in other ways. If someone needed me for anything, I was the first one there!
I have been fortunate enough to have a very close friend who helped thrust me into the need to be more affectionate. Strangely, I never saw how it may have hurt people’s feelings until having this particular conversation with her. I remember this conversation that we had one day where she was telling me about how she felt about my emotional disconnect regarding our friendship. She felt as if I didn’t care and as if our friendship was expendable. When I saw the pain in her eyes and in her soul, it hit me! If I ever wanted to have healthier relationships with people, these things would have to change. Surprisingly, I already knew that the change would have to be all me. I grew more than I realized that day!
I decided to go see my therapist the following week. Before I continue, I want to mention that I think it’s healthy for everyone to go see someone to talk to from time to time. No matter who you are and what issues you think you have or don’t have, being able to express how you feel is very healthy for the mental and emotional bodies.
For me, talking things out always gives me clarity on the situations that needed contemplation. I have been very lucky to have had two exceptional therapists in my life that has truly helped me. On the flip side, I’ve also had therapists that go by the book and judge you on what you say. Fortuitously, the two therapists that helped me have been catapults for great change within me. I have always felt safe and never judged by them. I was able to open up and say anything and I never felt threatened. With their help, I have found great emotional realizations that have stemmed from my first year of birth.
Facing Our Truth
As I always face my challenges, I am now facing my emotional and affection challenges. I have finally accepted the facts of the first year of my life. I have accepted that I cannot change it and I’m truly grateful for my parents and everything they have done for me. If I am ever able to evolve my life into its’ next chapter then I must cut those chains that bind me. I have chosen to cut those cords and have realized that it is time for me to move on. I must let go of my past, the thought that the lady and the guy did not love or want me. Although it seemed personal at the time, it doesn’t mean that I’m not loved or cannot love. The reality is that even me at my worst, being covered in dirt and soiled, having a flat head, and having an eye with two different colors in it, that two wonderful people who didn’t know me saw the beauty within me and loved me from that very day.
I have spent many years working on myself and trying to overcome these issues and I will continue to do so. Learning to express how I feel about those I care about is important to me. I will push past my awkwardness of hugging and giving compliments to show them appreciation. Sharing my affections still feels awkward to me, but gets easier for me at every chance. I am the master of my life and I choose to be in control of those ideas that I can control. I am now finding love within myself and I refuse to let two people that I never knew control the outcome of my life. No one will destroy my happiness or who I am because they have challenges they are facing. I have had exceptionally wonderful parents and an equally wonderful sister. They are part of the reason for who I am!
The Final Message
For anyone who is adopted or didn’t have the love as a child, you are someone worth loving! Understand that what people do to you is not about you, but about them. Make sure you face your challenges with the strength inside! Realize that those feelings are just a reflection of someone else’s unhappiness and not your own. Own the things you cannot change with pride. Appreciate who you are and understand that you can have any life you want! It is up to you and YOU alone that makes your life the way you want it. You are loved, just like I am. Sharing your emotions can make you feel vulnerable, and yes you can get hurt, but it’s much healthier than living a life that you deem lonely, filled with emptiness and sadness! You may not think that it is a big deal, but a little affection goes a long way to those around you! I wish you the love and the life you deserve!
In Mission and Purpose,
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