Tuesday, May 21, 2013
An adopted friend wrote, "Happy Birthday, Andrea. If birthdays are as difficult for you as they are for me, I wish you the best in getting through yours. If not, then just have a great day!" It was a sweet, empathetic message, and it really made me feel for my friend.
There were many years in my early adulthood when an impending birthday would bring with it feelings of dread and sadness. On many May 20ths I woke up in the morning wondering who I really was, what it meant that I was born, and if the woman who had borne me was thinking about me on that day.
I compensated for these negative feelings by planning elaborate birthday adventures so that I would be too busy to think those sad thoughts. But the sad thoughts always crept back to me anyway.
I'm happy to say that since I reunited with my birth families, even though learning how to be in relationship with them has at times been challenging, I no longer dread my birthday. I don't languish in bed wondering if I deserve to exist on this planet.
Birthdays are no longer a big deal to me anymore. I don't need anyone to make a big fuss just to prove they love me, I don't make elaborate plans so I can celebrate myself. I deeply enjoy hearing from friends, but I don't sit around waiting for the phone to ring.
There is tremendous power in knowing where we came from, and those of us who are or were denied that knowledge tend to struggle. Our struggles manifest in various ways, but they are struggles nonetheless.
For any of you reading who do not have access to information about some part of your family, some part of where you are from, that integral part of the self, please know that my heart is with you.