murderous thoughts

it was in a normal working class town, on a normal working class street in the midwest, that holt orphan #4708 grew up as an adopted korean girl in an all caucasion family in an all white town and began her life as thousands of adoptees before her and thousands after her would.

they seemed like the typical family of the day - a bread winning father, a stay-at-home mother, outwardly conservative, liberal minded but apparently upstanding church-going citizens, who were raising three well kept, well mannered children.  they seemed like the model of stability. 

they wanted to be good christians and do something charitable and were enchanted with images of adorable little asian children they'd seen in magazines.  they thought that, if they sacrificed a little, they could fit one more child in, give it food and clothing and shelter.  the idea of saving one of these waifs from a horrible life pleased them a lot.    they didn't know anyone else who'd done that.  they would be the first in their church, the first in their community.  this idea tickled them, fascinated them, and captured them until it was something they absolutely had to follow through with.

enter the child.  she arrives five days before christmas to great fanfare and celebration.  much too much celebration in the eyes of the child's three new siblings.  the mother dresses the child like a doll, is suddenly social, showing her new charge off to church, friends, and neighbors.  spends lots of time making her clothing and training her to fit in with the family.  that training, it turns out, was to be seen but not heard. to never complain, to always be grateful, and to keep oneself busy. 

and thus, her happy life in america commenced.  it was easy to keep her quiet - she was terrified to say or  doanything to upset anyone.  it was easy to take care of her - the television kept her attention focused.  and soon, now that the novelty had worn thin, her mom fell back into the habit of shutting herself in at home and doing the bare minimum required to keep up the pretense of being a good parent. at the end of a long unfulfilling day of mundane household tasks, chain smoking and devouring romance novels, the mother gladly handed off all parenting duties to the man of the house.

the man of the house was not a man's man by any stretch of the imagination.  yet he'd managed to transform his wimpy demeanor into something resembling cool by being a jazz musician and school music teacher.  he was the kind of guy who wept openly and considered himself a renaissance man. 

yet something was not quite right in that household.  the eldest daughter ran away, was in trouble with the law, did drugs, and got pregnant.  the eldest son was wound tighter than a drum, extremely reserved and seething with contempt for everyone, especially the new toddler.  the youngest son seemed pretty normal and idolized his dad to a possibly disturbing degree.  the parents never interacted except behind closed doors.  there were no displays of affection in the family.  there were no displays of anger in the family.  there were simply no displays of any type.  there was very little conversation or dialog, despite the father's attempts.  there was very little interaction between anyone.  it was orderly and sterile.

it was in this repressed environment that the little girl daily counted down the hours, keeping herself busy in total isolation.  the people who moved around her were all gray and miserable - there were no hugs, no kisses, no playing - the only bright spot of her day was the homecoming of her dad, who seemed to have a little color left to him.  and he doted on her.  he took her to cultural events and played her music and sang to her and gave her rides and took an interest in everything she did.  he bathed her and tucked her into bed and cared for her and she felt loved.

but this feeling only lasted a brief time.  because the music he brought to her life took on a perverted dissonance and became a screeching cacophony crashing down upon her, filling up the empty spaces with painful noise.  it became her prison.

the shower was a game where he was the car wash and she was the car, cleaning all her nooks and crannies.  and then the shower became a first anatomy lesson.  she didn't know that an erection was not the normal state of a man's penis.  she knew she felt anxiety and disgust when he made her touch it.  she suspected other little girls did not have to do this to their fathers.  she did not see this on tv when she was learning about normal american families.  he told her not to mention it to mommy, as this might hurt her feelings.  because mommy was abnormally delicate - her feelings got hurt too easily.  it would be her fault if mommy's feelings got hurt.

the bed time stories dispensed with book reading.  the anatomy lessons continued there.  without shower water.  with saliva.  he never hurt her.  he would kiss her all over and tell her how much he loved her.  she felt like vomiting.  she felt like she was betraying her mother against her will.  she knew mommys and daddys were supposed to love each other.  not daddys and daughters.  she laid there wishing her brother would burst through the door and rescue her.  she wondered why nobody else wanted to tell her bed time stories, why they were all happy to let him be the only one to enter her room at night.  she wished she didn't have her own bedroom.  he told her not to say anything to anybody about their secret.  he told her mommy was unstable and if anyone found out, mommy would find out, and it would destroy her.

the little girl became more reserved.  she stopped laughing out loud.  she stopped talking to anyone.  she was afraid the secret might slip out and she would destroy another human being.  she would destroy many human beings.  she was responsible for all those lives.  she was about four years old when this started.

the proud adoptive parents continued to show her off to the world like a precious souvenir, but the novelty had worn off.  they took the little girl to gatherings of other international adoptees and the little girl would watch in horror as the adoptive parents bragged and got into pissing matches about how gifted their children were, or what adorable things they would do, or how assimilated they were.  they tried to get her interested in cultural matters about her birth country, but she could see they didn't really care if it was important to her or not - it was more an embellishment they wanted to appropriate for their souvenir.  the other adoptees seemed to be in various states of being opportunistic and spoiled, or confused, or like her, sad and disgusted and not wanting any part of the circus.

she got taunted at school for looking different.  and it would literally follow her on her walk home from school.  from the moment she woke 'til the moment she closed her eyes, every human she saw was caucasion.  she felt caucasion.  but she was constantly told by others that she was different.  she looked in the mirror and was shocked to not see a caucasion face staring back at her.  this was her waking life.  at night were the continuing visits by her father.  she dreamed of airplanes arriving in america and she tried to turn the airplane around. it never did.  she was trapped. 

one time the mother went away for a week to care for her sick mother.  the father made the daughter sleep in his bed every night, in her mother's spot.  talking with the neighbors, he told them how the daughter was now the lady of the house, and that she was even his little bed partner.  the little girl stared at the neighbors, eyes imploring them to save her.  they didn't.  the father gloated.  there was no one the little girl could tell.  he could tell the truth of her abuse and captivity publicly, and no one was going to do a thing.  she was trapped.

as the years rolled on and bedtime stories could not be passed off as an excuse for visits, the father paid visits on weekends after late night gigs.  a music gig was a guaranteed visit, and the girl would steel herself knowing what was to come.  she would lay in her bed and anticipate the door opening, the smell of alcohol, the legs standing by her bed.  despite knowing what was to happen, she still pretended to sleep, hoping some charity would enter his heart and he wouldn't disturb her.  it never did.  in his minds eye he was waking her with pleasure, because they were lovers, even though she never returned anything but lay there stiff as a board. 

she grew to loathe and hate him.  she gave him shit at every possible private opportunity.  she became a small lolita, analyzing him for any weakness, finding control where she could, blackmailing him for things she wanted.  she felt evil and diabolical for doing this, but it felt better than being totally helpless.  she had no real friends, could confide in no one. she was totally isolated.  she became promiscuous.  lacking the tools to form relationships and knowing nothing but sex, it was the only means by which she felt company or intimacy.  it became the turn of the screw in the face of her father.  he could get away with it, but he would pay for his sins somehow.  she reminded him whenever she could, that her love was stolen, and that he was a criminal.  she could give it away to anyone.  preferred to give it away to anyone but him.

she asked a friend to live with them and told her parents she was leaving.  they dragged her to their minister.  the very same minister who had molested her on a church outing.  he told them they should take her to family counseling and they shouldn't allow a minor to make the rules.  they all went, but it soon devolved into couples counseling she was forced to be party to.  of course the incest was never brought up.  lies flew thick.  the powder keg that was their family was about to explode.  all the other children had grown and left, and it was just the three of them coming home to a building silent tension so thick and suffocating something very bad was sure to happen. 

the counselor moved away, and after the last session the family came home in a more aggravated state than normal.  the father sat at the head of the table, burst into tears, and told the mother of his crimes.  the mothers jaw dropped. she asked the father if he'd molested any of the other (biological) children and he said no.  he said he'd tried with the oldest daughter, but she had said, "no."

the daughter's blood ran cold.  it drained out of her and was replaced by a rage so terrible it frightened her.  for twelve years she had gone through daily hell to keep this secret to protect this repressed, unstable woman. day after day, year after year, isolating herself from the world, the knowledge and tension ripping her apart, in an effort to prevent shattering multiple lives, and in one moment this man, this coward, this criminal, had come clean and done away all that effort just to make himself feel better, and damn the consequences. 

she scanned the room for knives - all in a drawer too far away.  she remembered the hunting rifles - too far away.  she wanted to bash his head in.  all she could think about was how to make this man die.  she desperately looked for any heavy object she could throw.  this futility of her efforts, all those wasted years, the utter profound loneliness, the emotional deprivation, the lack of love and the twisting of love, the humiliation of all she had suffered for naught, all of the pent up injustice coiled up for a tragic ending she couldn't control.  and to add insult to injury, all his biological daughter had to do was say no.  die. die. die. was all she could think.  all she could think.

and then her mother got up.  she quietly said, "you bastard."  turned and walked into her room.  father and daughter sat in silence.  the father left the house.  left alone again, the daughter went to her room and fell on the floor a shell of a person.  a dried up husk.  she was sixteen.

the mother never mentioned it again.  the confession was erased.  they went on with the charade of their lives and the daughter left at the first opportunity.

story continued here...

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and people wonder why

and people wonder why adoptees kill? 

I had to be the secret-keeper in my family because my adoptive mother was too weak when it came to stressful situations.  She was "fragile".  She had to be protected because she had a "tough life".  The worst thing anyone could do was upset her,  or create an image of imperfection.  GOD FORBID the world saw flaw, or saw her for who she really was. 

I was fragile, too.  Only, I was a child, and I knew very early, I  couldn't be like her.  I had to be "different".  "better".  I had to be more woman than she could ever be, and I had to be quiet and grateful for the lessons I was being given.

No one gave a crap about what was happening behind closed doors, as long as it wasn't hurting or upsetting anyone else.

I wait for the day that woman gets what she deserves. I pray God has the balls to show no mercy on her soul.

i'm surprised there aren't

i'm surprised there aren't more of us on death row...

Have you ever visited Lori

Have you ever visited Lori Carangelo's AMFOR website? It has a section called Adoptees Who Killed Their Adopters.

talk about

talk about disturbing...

since my recent nervous breakdown and this recent foray into learning about the delicate nature of neurobiology, i have come to take issue with the idea of "mental illness."

i think, instead, that it is a perfectly normal human response for people subjected to atypical traumas to find ways to cope in proportion to their trauma. 
ANYBODY subjected to what these children go through would respond in much the same way.  psychosis doesn't come from nothing.

there has to be a better solution than this system we have...
we shouldn't damage children, blame them if they can't deal with it, then lock them up and throw away the key.

Honest Assessment

Years ago I went to a male-therapist who finally said out-load what I had always thought, inside:

"You're not fucked-up, your situation is"

He STILL put me on three different medications to "cope".  I didn't need pills, I just needed an ear, a shoulder, and some validation.

A picture's worth

I read your story before you added your photographs.  Now I read your story,  and I think the most disturbing image you share is in the form of a photograph, the one that depicts you as a prisoner.  Could there be more foreshadowing truth written within the image of you as an infant - complete with the name and numbers written on a card, which got attached to your removable clothing?  [Remove... Replace... NEXT?]

I'll be honest, I have real issues with photographs, especially when I learn an adult "falls in love" with the image of a child sent by an adoption agency!!  It reminds me of mail-order brides or catalogue shopping, and for myself, that's not an image that goes away.  Too many facts and lies can be hidden in a photograph, yet it's the magic of a photographic moment  that sells "love and need" to those who want to believe such intangibles can be bought in the name of an innocent, wanting child.

 

some children wait

we would get the HI families magazine from Holt International all the time. 
i would pour over the photos of all the other adoptees - they looked so happy - i wondered why my parents never sent my photo in - i figured it only represented the happy cases.

then i would look at the photos of hard to place children in the section called some children wait.  they looked so sad.  they looked like save the children photos.  like Sally Struthers should be crying over them.  that's what happens to non-photogenic kids.  the ones who really need adoption.

the contrast of the two sections of the magazine was disturbing.  the idea that you can choose a child by a photo and a couple line description always seemed messed up. 
the fact my parents got me sight unseen except for a photo is disturbing.  people spend more care adopting pets.

a friend of mine was also struck by the idea of the square photo - every Holt adoptee has one - i sent her this link so she could see it.
like you, who saw it as a foreshadowing of a prison to come, she said it reminded her of slavery and the tragedy of being forced to be involuntary participants in a life where other people have choices.

HI FAMILIES

If I were to tell you about HI FAMILIES then you would know who I am....  I believed in those pictures of the happy children, but adopted from the SCW section.  I am not as brave as you, to let you know which pictures are us.   At this very moment my
family identity is very fragile.  Your words hit home to me.

One Step Up From Bottom,
Teddy

Reading HI families

Reading HI families would be an exercise in anger management, so I haven't looked in its pages since I left home decades ago.

To be honest, I always wanted to adopt the children from the some children wait section myself. 
when i was a little girl
to have a sibling, because I was lonely and so I could take care of it.

Probably for the same messed up reasons adults want to adopt
i think it was something like what kimette just mentioned about internalized racisim
i had something like internalized adoption think

Sibling request

I always wanted a sister... I thought "at least a sister would like me."

For some reason I believed a sister would never hurt me, and together we would form an alliance that could never be broken.

My aparents wanted the perfect family, so they had the son, bought adopted the daughter and years later bought the dog.  Although I didn't name the family-pet, I did dress him up in doll clothes and diapers, pretending he was my baby-girl.

 

My prisoner's number was K-6714

It still surprises me to see that other adoptees have same thoughts, feeligns or experiences than me after thiking during 30 years that I was alone. I believed that I was alone when I saw the Hi Families magazines showing the happy faces but I remember once asking to myself if they were really happy.

For Holt's photos, I didn't pay attention to  it when they took the pictures but once I arrived in America, I felt like a prisoner, in a golden prison and well-fed. When I saw the photos a year after my arrival, what annoyed me was the number on me.

Eight  years after my arrival, I was disguised as prisoner for a Holloween party with that number on me.  I didn't need to look at the photos, I never forgot my number.  Nobody knew that my prisoner's number was the case number given to me by Holt. When I told someone about it, he laughed out loudly... and I laughed... I told about it to a 2nd person, he also laughed... and I laughed. I didn't tell it to a third person because I didn't want to laugh again about it.

Then few months ago, I found on internet a Belgian KAD who wrote his autobiography in a comic book.
Couleur de peau: miel I saw the following excerpt and I bursted out laughing.

Pound Pup Legacy