I am an adoptive mother - why?

I have always wanted to dig deep within to understand why I wanted to be an adoptive mother rather than a biological one.

It was an instinct so overpowering that at the time I never thought to wonder why. It is an instinct that had been with me since I was in my early teens. I never could think of myself as a biological mother.

I have a vague idea that maybe my early years took away any attachment to and dependence on the idea of sanctity and safety in the ties of a genetically linked family.

It was a scary childhood. Perhaps if I can bear to, if I can find the courage I’ll write about it later, but in short in involved:

-  Death of our mother from breast cancer when I was six and a half, my sister four, following which there was a prompt send off to a depressing missionary boarding school. Our father was in another continent too distressed to come for his wife’s funeral or to take a decision as to the future of my sister and I,

- Within the next seven months my father married a woman who lived up to the disrepute of stepmothers in fairy-tales,

- All the while our guardianship was being farmed out to various members of the family who fought amongst themselves for the kick their ego got as the ‘chosen ones’. Then to appease them we were separated.

- Through those years we lived in a complete emotional crap-house that nobody was interested in getting us out of,

- Sexual abuse began when I was twelve and lasted until I was just over fourteen. He was my father’s sister’s husband. Tolerating this was preferable to the alternative of going to live with my stepmother. My Uncle otherwise treated me well, now I realize that I possibly was suffering from Stockholm syndrome. I found out when I was twenty-three that my aunt and my cousin had known about it all along. I understand my aunt’s reluctance to expose them to such infamy, but I don’t understand why she couldn’t send me away.  After all, the situation must have been unpleasant for her as well. At fourteen I couldn’t carry on any more, had a nervous break down and somehow managed to be finally be sent to another country to another (thank heavens, much better) boarding school while my sister went to live in a women’s hostel to carry on with her studies and her rigorous training as a dancer.

What I will always be grateful for though is that through all this I had managed to remain hopeful. My poor sister wasn’t so lucky and is emotionally still damaged, although the nature of her work and the emotional maturity gained over the years is now helping. The difference between her and my temperament is that she fights and I sweep things under the carpet. To fight she had to register all that was happening. She remembers while I have forgotten. Even when my memory is jogged I don’t remember. I live in a world where I, even now, paint characters in to suit my convenience. Living in my ‘la-la land’ has stood me in good stead.

And I love my father. Doesn’t matter what anybody says, I absolutely love my father, not in his role as my father, but because he is a sensitive man with fondness for literature and music, and a photographic memory. His sense of humour is hilarious. He was an amateur boxer with a formidable record. The way I look at it – his life couldn’t have been easy either. He lost his wife to a dreadful illness for which there was little treatment available. His second wife turning out to be what she was is not something he could have predicted. He did try to juggle things around as much as he could – unfortunately it did not work.  I see him as an affectionate man. He is eighty-seven now, still a voracious reader. I know that he has been an ostrich all his life, but nothing will change my attachment to him. 

My blog is about life with lupus and bipolar, good thoughts and bad and everything else. http://isis-thisisit.blogspot.com

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