“I’m not upset that you lied to me,
I’m upset that from now on I can’t believe you.”
Do you honestly love yourself?
Maya Angelou believes that unless you love yourself, you really can’t be trusted. She quotes an African Saying which is:
“Be careful when a naked person offers you a shirt.”
Because of relinquishment, trust is difficult for adoptees. I know everyone experiences trust issues over their lifetime and most are able to repair the damage. With adoptees, that first betrayal never leaves. On top of that you have no genetic markers, no history. In my childhood I wasn’t able to trust my adoptive parents, and running away experiencing life on the streets as I describe in Finding Heart Horse certainly didn’t foster trust.
When trust is destroyed at such an early age in adoption, it takes effort and practice to regain. Whether it’s in reunion, or with relationships in general, everyone has an obligation to “show up” while the relationships are forming, sometimes for years depending on what both sides want. Because of the imprints of distrust on the early neurological system, positive, trusting experiences have to be integrated into the limbic system as well as understood by the neocortex. Deeply ingrained, biological, neurological. So important to recognize this. Continue until…….
Sounds complex, not really, just takes time and practice and people willing to stay for the journey.
Trust doesn’t mean never having to say you’re sorry. Trust means that you can count on the other person to have your best interests at heart. They don’t have to agree with you, just care about you. Interestingly, the word trust originated in Scandinavia; akin to Old Norse..traust. I’m Scandinavian.
In reunion since 2003 when I first heard my biological families’ voices, I’ve experienced the roller coaster that most of us happily jump on, not knowing the psychic chaos it will bring. I opened my heart for the experience, hesitantly mind you. I trusted. Something about finding your mother cracks that locked up heart pretty fast.
Unfortunately, every time I started to relax, and trust that I was accepted as part of an already established family, something would happen to fracture the relationships. Ten years later their lives remain constant, as they were before my appearance and mine has completely changed. One by one they left. At the worst times possible, when I was most vulnerable, right after the death of a friend I was “unfriended” for speaking up. A sister needed to “look after herself”. Sometime later I was told I wasn’t “ready for a sister relationship” and unfriended by another sister and lastly the trust I had built with my brother was smothered by anger at a time I desperately needed a brothers support. A statement made in an adoption group that was referring to bio family, not meaning the immediate family, shattered what I thought was family. How could that be? I trusted. History won. I lost my family. Would I ever trust again? How many times can one be rejected and still keep an open heart?
I often think of the “what ifs”. Had I known what to expect, had I known how physically ill I was then (many of the symptoms such as exhaustion, constant crying, were due to mast cell degranulation), had I been medically treated, had I not pushed myself over the edge energy wise, had we worked as a family to heal, had I not had my heart broken….had I not found my mother only to lose her…what if…….
Part of trust is respect. One must respect and love themselves first, then you can love and respect others. Most of us need to go right back to the basics and learn to love ourselves first.
You have to know yourself first. Trust yourself to do the right thing. Believe in yourself. Understand that you can survive on your own. Face your Demons. Be vulnerable but selective with who you share with. Acknowledge your accomplishments. Adoptees need to remember life isn’t black and white!
Resolution is possible. We need to push through the fear of being hurt again.
Listen to the other side’s feelings without judgement
Let go of the past. Stay in the now.
Focus on what you want today not next year.
Trust takes time. Go slowly but go..
Continue on..over and over and over again…until…