My biggest fear has ALWAYS been that I will not be enough in the eyes of others.  It is the root of how I as an adoptee have interpreted why I was relinquished and is the thread that I carry with me into all relationships with others. 

While it is not logical and I know that there was nothing that I did as a newborn that affected the decision by which adoption has impacted my life, it has persisted in some form throughout my life.

Growing up in my parents home it appeared as a desperate desire to please, to be perfect, to behave, to excel, and to "go with the flow".  My poor parents didn't have any opportunity to see the insecurities that lay beneath the good girl facade and thus had no way to counteract these negative and incorrect notions that became deeply embedded.

In my late teens it appeared in risk taking behavior with my relationships with boys - again believing that I would not be enough if I did not consent to the pressure of the sexual aspects of dating.  Thus, how I became pregnant at 19.

It appeared AGAIN as a primary factor in my decision to relinquish my firstborn. That deep rooted belief that I wasn't enough obviously - it's why I had been given up. Who was I to think that I should be allowed to parent????  How dumb was I to let the very same thing happen to me as my birth mother? And isn't this what you do when you know you aren't enough? 

It appeared in my first marriage, to a man who treated me exactly as I felt I deserved - in a verbally abusive and emotionally barren relationship.

It appeared in my current marriage - when I began working really hard on my own issues and realized that I had so many wrong beliefs about myself. I felt that my dear husband should not have to put up with such a broken person as a mate and I pushed hard to cause a crisis where he would "give up" on me - my biggest fear but what I expect for people in my life to do eventually if they really get close enough to me.

People who "know" me would never guess by biggest fear.  I keep it closely held to my soul, to my heart. I hold it despite my head knowledge and own experience that the factors that play into reasons for relinquishment are almost NEVER about the adoptee being less than.

In order to work on my biggest fear, I am committed to disclosing it to others, to try to open myself up to reverse this thought that I have allowed to become ingrained into who I believe myself to be.  And, it seems to be working! 

In the past two years while the fear still rears its head, it is less strong and I am able to redirect my thoughts more often to the truth - that my adoption had nothing to do with who I was/am.  The era in which my adoption occured did not equip any member of the triad well to deal with the complicated emotional issues that follow.

I am committed to encouraging members of the adoption triad in whatever phase they find themselves in.

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Comments:

Elyss...
Dec. 27, 2008 at 1:22 AM

Good for you for sharing your fears and helping other moms who find themselves in the same position.

I had a brother who was a genius, and I suffered many of the same feelings of inadequacy when I was younger... I knew that I wasn't the "good child" or the favorite, so I tried hard to be good at being the bad child! lol

My biggest fear, for now, has to do with Elijah's illness... But it is a fear that I hope and think is irrational and will never be realized!

I hope that, as an adoptive mom, I am able to help my son not go through the same feelings that he was somehow given up because of anything that he did or anything that he is!!! That is another one of my biggest fears.

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Mommy...
Dec. 27, 2008 at 1:28 AM

Fear is a terrible thing I have you in my prayers that it continues to become less and less. Prayers with you for your growth in helping others as well.

God bless,

Sheri

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oneth...
Dec. 27, 2008 at 11:58 AM

You remind me of Ann Fessler, author of The Girls Who Went Away. After interviewing all those birth mothers she still hadn't searched for her own mother.

Do you talk to your daughter about your fear of not being good enough? Does she feel the same way? Does the fact that she's known you since she was nine help her?

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oneth...
Dec. 27, 2008 at 12:02 PM

Despite the fact that I love him to distraction I've been a terrible mother to Danny. My biggest fear is that one day he'll decide he doesn't want me in his life anymore. I just hope that the love he obviously has for me means that he'll continue to forgive me. Love conquers all, right?

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