From conception we develop physically from top to bottom, but really this self development takes place during our school years and we certainly are very aware of it and I was self-conscious of it. Our head, body then legs then feet, fingers and toes grow. Our muscles develop and we can run, hop, jump, catch, carry and even climb. As a child I was kept very busy outside of school and involved in all sports and I believe this helped a lot in my own development and certainly in trying to understand and master the world I was living in. Naturally accidents and failure were a regular feature but this all aided me in the art of problem solving. Divorce was not a thing in Ireland when I was growing up so I was aware that all my friends lived with their biological parents and I understood what adoption meant. This is when I saw a difference between me and my friends.
Essentially at this time I struggled with the meaning of being adopted, felt sad and even a bit lost. I wondered was there something wrong me and why wasn’t I wanted? These emotions had nothing to do with my parents they were always there for me just as a Mum and Dad should be. But it did not stop me from thinking why would my birth Mother give me away? Looking back I probably felt abandoned and was angry. This might explain some of my behaviour especially when playing sports. Loosing was not an option and I was motivated. From the age of 14 I became very self aware and I remember I had told someone in school that I was adopted and had sworn him to secrecy. However for some reason he told the other kids and I ended up breaking a chair on him. Safe to say that was the end of the friendship and my parents were called in to the school to give an explanation and they stood by me. I day dreamed a lot, a hell of a lot trying to figure out and work through my identity issues and worried that my Mum and Dad would take off and leave me. I never asked for reassurance, I was in boarding school so I had to sort these emotions out on my own.
I don’t make friends easily and probable have a lot of trust issues. My first profession was in Hotel Management and I learned how to pretend, I was on stage. Put a suit on and I could pretend to be anyone and I am really good at it. I would get home after a long day at work and collapse into the comfort of myself. I continually questioned what people thought of me and often socially would leave in the middle of a party. I am sure I lost friends over this as they thought I was weird or just did not care but the reality was I was exhausted pretending not to be me.
I am convinced I have a mild form of dyslexia but have never got tested, I do tick most of the boxes, Google is a great tool for self diagnosing. One of my closest friends swears I am on the borderline of autism, Google agrees but again I was never diagnosed. The one thing I definitely was, was hyper to the point of manic. School was tough, I had the concentration span of a goldfish and needed to hear things being repeated which never happened so I lost out and most of my teachers lost interest in me. I found it hard in school and this in turn led to this stage of my life, difficult and confusing.
During my teenage years I did wonder about my genetic history and thought how different life might be if I hadn’t been adopted, would there be similarities or what differences would exist? Where did I belong and where would I be? All of these feelings I kept to myself, my private thoughts.
Of course this is my story and each adoptive child differs throughout their childhood developmental stage. Adopted children view adoption differently but our emotions are very real and live on with us.