To continue my rant from the original post, "Uh-oh, I'm an angry adoptee," here are some specifics on what makes me angry--for those who need a bit more clarity or are just curious, and certainly for those who can relate (in no particular order...and try to remember that I'm not the only one who thinks or feels these things, so that you don't mistakenly pigeonhole me as the self-indulgent exception):
- I'm angry that the majority of my friends and family don't understand the complexities and realities of my adoption experience--that I can't even begin to talk about it without being immediately judged, condemned, corrected, and/or patronized.
- ...that I am not taken seriously because of the emotion I display. I'm angry that I must be a paragon of composure and pleasantry to at least be perfunctorily heard and by a slim chance taken seriously.
- ...that I am constantly caught in between. And that I am expected to be just dandy with that because I was "saved."
- ...when I express anger, everything else that I've ever said or felt is suddenly forgotten by everyone else, and I immediately become the one-dimensional "angry, unhealthy, toxic adoptee."
- ...that my words, emotions, views get twisted and perverted by others who refuse to hear what I'm actually saying because they think they already know me and all there is to know about adoptees.
- ...I can't just be angry without having to field everyone else's judgments and condemnations. I'm angry that I can't just be angry without others expecting a disclaimer or at least an explanation that will make them feel better. And it makes me angry that the anger I express obscures and discounts the grief and sorrow I feel.
- ...that being angry is treated as the cardinal sin by adoptive parents and the like.
- ...so many adoptive parents still refuse to acknowledge the role that international adoption plays in perpetuating the corruption in the adoption system. Similarly, I'm angry that so many AP's refuse to see the role that international adoption plays in perpetuating child abandonment and its root causes.
- ...that Korea and my Korean family rejected me when I was so helpless, powerless, and innocent. I'm equally angry that, despite that fact, I'm viewed as a traitor for still wanting to know and love them.
- ...certain adoptive parents view themselves as near saints and hence get defensive and dismissive when we (adoptees and others) address the imbalance and corruption inherent to the adoption system.
- ...about the deception and misrepresentation that adoption agencies continue to propagate to portray a grossly oversimplified and biased picture of adoption that is detrimental and hurtful to the families and children involved.
- ...that as one with a Christian background I am expected even more so to feel nothing but unquestionable gratitude, awe, and wonder about my adoption and am viewed as a misguided and heretical dissident if I express antonymous sentiments.
- ...I am viewed as an ungrateful brat or unstable miscreant for even thinking such thoughts or asking such questions.
But beneath the anger there is also hurt and pain that I, and so many others, are not understood, but rather that we are dismissed and further rejected as nuisances and blemishes or pitied as unfortunate apples gone bad.
And no, I do not refer to the pain and hurt so that you'll feel sorry for me and want to pat me on my head and say "there, there now." Just as I don't want to be dismissed when I express my anger, I don't want to be pitied or patronized when I acknowledge the pain. And no, anger is not a "cover" for the pain--it's a reaction to the injustices, wrongs, and willful ignorance that lead to the pain.
To sum it all up, as Amanda at Declassified Adoptee put it, "Loss, poverty, stigma, taboo, women, children, and family rights injustices....aren't those things people SHOULD be angry about?"