I finished reading The Mistress’s Daughter last night. It was either recommended by the lovely Ms. Violet, or I found it through some link she sent, what with all the vast reams of adoption reading she’s been doing. (So far hypochondria hasn’t kicked in, so I haven’t self-diagnosed myself with FASD or RAD or anything else she and I have discussed at some point.)
Anyway, interesting enough read, but once again, my overall impression was the same as always: I don’t get it. It’s not that my story isn’t the same as hers. Well, I don’t know who my bios are, and I’m not interested in finding out, but one would HOPE they’re not as messed up as hers. And hell, the whole “replacement for a dead sibling” couldn’t have helped…
It’s just that… I don’t get any of it. The overwhelming searching/curiosity. The feeling of aloneness and need. The necessity, eventually, of having her own child. I wonder if my brother could relate. I should ask. Particularly timely given the imminent nie-phew.
I admit that the issues of belonging that I have could be construed as inextricably linked to my origins, but it’s never felt like they are. I KNOW I don’t really fit in with my extended family, personality and interests-wise, but I’m also not the only one who doesn’t, and I fit in just fine with my immediate family.
It’s outside of that, more socially and with significant others, where the space has almost always been. And again, I know I’m not the only one who’s known that. There are lots of us who have something that sets them apart — the smart kids, the fat kids, the bad kids, the poor kids, the nerdy kids. Come to think of it, us misfits probably actually form some sort of majority. 🙂
Perhaps it’s just a fashionable thing right now. Lord knows there is enough parenting and adoption literature out there these days, accompanied by myriad theories related to both. Perhaps this is just a time when more people than ever have found ways to tell their stories, to try and connect and find their own belonging. Plus, while societally we used to subscribe overwhelmingly to keeping secrets, we’ve pretty much swung the pendulum all the way back the other way. The name of the game now is full disclosure. Government-mandated, even.
It’s just odd finding yourself to have all the criteria for membership in a certain club… and then realizing you really don’t belong there, either.