exposing the dark side of adoption
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The legacy sexual abuse left me


I keep reading in various articles and blogs how PAP's do not want to adopt children who have a history with sexual abuse, because of their "special needs".  The irony for me is knowing so many times the child removed from a home/family is often sexually abused within the sanctum of so-called safety.  So where does this leave so many sexually abused children?  Those who need trustworthy dedicated adults in their life are the least likely to get it because of sex.  Crazy, ain't it?

Rather than discuss the implications a sexually abused child brings a home and family, I'd like to discuss what sexual abuse does to future intimate relationships.

In my case, I didn't dare to act-out at home.  I was too afraid of so many things and people... I simply did not dare to misbehave in any obviously outward aggressive way.  There was a reputation to maintain, and I knew if I went too beyond what was deemed "acceptable behavior", I would be blamed for the fall of this so-called perfect family that adopted me, (especially if my actions brought shame to their good public name).  I knew it was best to keep quiet and pretend nothing in my life changed, even if the reality behind closed doors was killing me.

Instead, once the memories began to surface, I began acting-out in college.... making me the most well-known face within certain groups.... a shame that did not bother me because I could not feel anything.  (The use of drugs and alcohol made the numbing much easier, I might add.)  In an upscale college, I was among the dregs of society, and the poetic justice seemed most fitting.  (Even the wealthy has their low-scum bottom-dwelling groups!)

It didn't take me long to realize this type of slut-and-stoned behavior would leave me alone and lonely, but given what was going through my head, being numb while acting-out actually felt liberating.  I remember thinking I had control over my demise.... as if lies were suddenly in my favor, power was given back to me and I was free to scream "Fuck-you to you and your rules" silently to myself as I knew deep-down I was getting screwed.  (Puns intended).

This is the side of me no one wanted to explore.  This is the side people wanted to ignore.  I had the innocent All-American face with the mind-set of a psycho gone dark and mad.... it had an appeal that attracted and repelled and I knew it.  It's why I socially withdrew.  No one knew what I was carrying inside of me.... and I couldn't dare let the truth be released.

No one wanted to know more than what I was willing to give, and that sickened me.  If what I shared sickened people, that made me sickening.  The cycle of secrets and disclosure would repeat as I would hate myself more and more.  (Funny how my self-loathing didn't come from me, but from the reactions given to me by those who wanted to know "a little more".)

I still struggle with relationships of all kinds, especially those that require deep dark secrets.  Intimacy scares the hell out of me, and yet it's what I want and seek.

I can understand why AP's don't want to bother with this type of mess....

I just wonder if parents realize this is the mess that gets shared once we date and leave the nest?

by Kerry on Thursday, 12 February 2009