Sunday, October 18, 2009

More Harm Than Good?

In the past couple of years I have become more active in the adoption community. This happened in large part because I searched for, and ultimately reunited with, my first mother. The emotional turmoil that search brought about sent me looking for other adoptees.

I hadn't known many adoptees in my life before then. And I didn't realize I wasn't the only person who felt the way I do. It was such a relief to find out I wasn't alone. To finally have people to talk to. To find my people, my tribe.

And now, after a few years, I'm beginning to wonder if I really have anything to contribute. I've butt heads with more than a couple of people who work actively on reform. I come across as abrasive, even when I don't mean to. And I've been told by more than one person that I don't approach some of this stuff in the right way.

So what use am I to the adoption reform movement? At the moment, I can't think of anything. I have never attacked adoptive parents as a group. And I don't think they deserve it, but apparently supporting my fellow adoptees, even when they do so attack adoptive parents and others, puts me on the wrong side of this movement.

I don't want to be a hindrance. I don't want to turn anyone off. And frankly, I don't need yet another lecture on how I should behave.

I'm tired. And believe it or not, I have a great deal of respect for everyone who works on this cause.

But right now, all I feel is that I'm done. I won't stop being an adoptee. I won't stop thinking about this. But I'm tired of being told I am hurting the cause. And I'm fearful they are right. That's not what I want.

And all of this serves to make me more angry. And feel more alone than ever before.


Myst said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Myst said...

Phil, you are NOT hurting the cause. You have as much right to speak up about how you feel as anyone else does who speaks up. I have come across many who come across offensive but I don't see them backing down. By them I mean all parties involved in adoption. But if you can't speak up about YOUR experience then what good is ANYONE doing for the movement? How are you hurting it?

I have been told I don't come across nicely either, I don't give a damn. Being nice is what lost my my child. Time is up for "nice". "Nice" is all relative anyway.

Keep speaking up. NO ONE has the right to shut you down, even if they are supposedly fighting on the same side. We are all individuals and we all perceive things differently. But we all have a right to have a voice.

Don't give up Phil.

Myst xxx

Oops, so sorry... wrote this half asleep and used your blog name, doh!!

October 18, 2009 1:28 AM

maybe said...

Many people will see ANY form of disagreement as the equivalent of not playing "nice." You are incredibly helpful to the cause, as are all adoptees who speak out. It's a voice that is still rarely heard which is why I think it would be a huge loss if you are silenced. Please don't give up.

*Peach* said...

I am feeling these exact same feelings right now.
What is sad is that people who don't want to hear what we say can construe our words and nervousness when speaking however they want. It is so hard to be dismissed because we don't agree with the adoption agenda.

Anonymous said...

I refuse to be lectured by adoptees and non-adoptees on how to act or write or anything else.

Hurting the cause is remaining silent and going along with the "status-quo". I don't see the Gay Rights Movement doing that.

Sadly, to get attention to any cause in today's world, the sh*t has to be stirred and people have to be pissed off.

I only "attack" people who preach to me on how I should act or feel, especially when I'm told to be grateful and not be ANGRY. Ya right, WHATEVER.

lava said...

I have no idea who told you, you were hurting the cause. I certainly don't feel that way. I am suspicious of anyone who would say such a thing.

As adoptees our right to our own agency has been so co-opted by so many--that often I find adoptees who want to "do something" adopt that same model of being patronising and ridiculous. Speaking on the same specious authoritay.

Some misguided adoptees set themselves up in positions of "authority" that exist in their own minds and they are the ones in my unblushing opinion that are hurting a lot more than a cause.

Parenthesis ((((((((((((Phil)))))))))


Ungrateful Little Bastard said...

Who told you that?

I know I need you.

I know you help.

phil said...

I'm very sorry... I'm having a bit of trouble right now. I think all of this is in my head. I'm currently full of self-doubt, and a little bit of self-loathing. It's coming out in almost every decision I make right now, every word that I say. I shouldn't have written this, I think. I'm very down on myself, and I'm seeing accusations of fault in everything at the moment. I do feel that people tell me this sort of thing, but if I had to say who, I don't know if I could name a single person right now.

Myst said...

(((((Phil)))) sorry you are having such a rough time of things... please don't loath yourself, you are a very special person.

Take care of you and know we are all here for you!

Myst xxx

Mei-Ling said...

You know, you and I haven't always been on the best of terms online.

I haven't always agreed with everything you said online - I'm just another adoptee like yourself, almost all of us are bound to disagree on certain points anyway - but there is one thing I admired about you:

The ability in you to hold your stance so strongly.

I really admired that in you. Still do. You have a level of confidence in your position that I deeply admire.

Don't give up. Your voice is just as valid as the rest of ours.

Cassi said...

Your voice would be a very sad one to lose. I hope, even if you take a break you will come back and continue the fight as I believe you do make a difference in what you have to say.

I undestand those times when it feels as if everything is hitting you personally. Even those with the thickest of skins sometimes get overcome by some of what is thrown around out there. But please,remember, there are many out there who support you and your voice.

Without adoptees and their own feelings and experiences, we lose so much in our figh for reform.