Sunday, 5 April 2009

Good Adoptee/Bad Adoptee

Think about it. I was carried in the womb for nine months, I heard my birth mother’s voice and, most probably, the voices of those close by. She gave birth to me and took care of me for the first six weeks of my life. Then without any warning, my birth mother’s voice, smell, feel are all taken from me and replaced with …. well, she’s a woman but she doesn’t look like my mum, sound like my mum, smell like my mum – where is my mum? This new one sounds nice and feels nice, but she’s different. Where has that other little voice gone? My big sister who used to lean over the carrycot and talk to me, stroke my cheek, try and make me giggle. Who and what is this other person who keeps wanting to pick me up? I’ve never heard a deep voice like this before and I’m frightened so I’ll scream, maybe my mum will come back ….yes, here she is … oh, it’s not the one I knew in the beginning but this one obviously loves me, she’s kind to me and she’s very similar so that’s alright, I’ll be safe with her. Apparently this other person is my dad and he’s a man, which is why his voice sounds so different ….I’ve never heard a man’s voice before, or been picked up and cuddled by a man. He loves me too so I’ll be okay with this one as well.

Then along comes the ‘Good Adoptee/Bad Adoptee’ theory; black and white, no grey areas. ‘Bad’ adoptees are the rebellious ones who go off the rails whilst at the opposite end of the scale are the ‘good’ adoptees who are desperately eager to please for fear of abandonment for a second time.

As a child, I didn’t think for one moment that I would be given up to a further set of parents, neither did my mum or dad ever threaten me that I would ‘be sent back’ if I was naughty; so where does this fear of rejection come from? We’re back at the primal wound again, because I certainly act out the part of the ‘good’ adoptee very convincingly as an adult.

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