Being Adopted (the book) – Part 3, Mid-life

(first published Jan 2007)

The next chapter in Being Adopted: The Lifelong Search for Self focuses on the 40s and 50s, mid-life.

They made mention of the fact that denial can be a GOOD strategy when dealing with an unchangeable situation (as in adoption). I have never heard it talked about like that before. See? I’m doing good. LOL!

Then they talk about “time shifting” and creating a legacy to pass down before you die.

During the middle years,a person undergoes a subtle shift in her notions of time…now in middle adulthood, she begins to look at things from the perspective of time she has left until death…
This change in time perspective brings on a new urgency to get things done. For many people with an unresolved psychological issue, such as is the case with many adoptees, including those who have ignored the issue most of their lives – this time urgency can tend to crystallize a focus on adoption in a way that never existed before. Complicating the new interest is the fact that a real clock is ticking; the adoptee’s biological parents are aging, too, so this becomes the last chance to find them before it’s too late.

Heh, I’m not sure if I *like* being such a textbook case here. 🙂 Maybe it’s my upcoming 38th birthday, but I have suddenly started thinking much more about my time *left* rather than my time lived. I mean, I have no idea how long my biological relatives generally live to. They could have all lived until 98, or all died at 53! I guess starting to think about the rest of my life, and getting older, has brought my adoption issues to the forefront like the book said. (This is compounded in my case by seeing my daughters growing up without a mother who can really love/relate/care as much as should be. Even though I’m doing this for me in part – this whole soul searching thing – I’m really doing it for them. )

Here’s something different that I thought was interesting –

Listen, for instance, to Faye, a 58-year-old homemaker: “I am very aware of being only me,” says Faye. “I am myself. Kind of a really new person.” Faye says she relishes the fact that she has had to invent herself from whole cloth.

While I may not *relish* feeling like I was dropped from outerspace, it *is* kind of neat in a way. Something that I think can make me a more interesting person. Of course since I don’t *share* this stuff with anyone, I’m only fascinating in my own mind, lol! I think what trips me up, is that I’m a stickler for *truth*. I think this is why I can’t invent myself and create a “self” from scratch. Anything I try to “put on” just seems fake, wrong somehow.

The next chapter is on late adulthood – 60s and 70s. I don’t think I’ll be talking about those chapters here… but I will say right now it doesn’t do my heart good to know that adoptees can STILL have issues with their adoption when they are that old! For some reason I never thought of that – just figured that by then “I’d have everything figured out.” Ha. 🙂

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