A pattern I have noticed when speaking with my fellow adoptees is how narcissism (narcissistic parents or just narcissistic thinking) can easily creep into adoption. In fact, the adoption system is a minefield of narcissistic thinking.
What are you talking about, Lynn?
Stay with me here.
Let's start with a brief definition of narcissism. I am not going to quote the DSM here -- we will leave that to the psychologists and social workers. I am going to talk about narcissism in plain English. These traits are common in narcissistic people or systems:
* lack of accountability, abuse of power and lack of transparency * sense of entitlement * lacking in empathy and ethics * secrecy * magical thinking * all about the image, not about the truth * making friends with people in high places * lying * corruption/greed *objectifying others for own gain
In studying narcissism over the past 20 years, I have noticed many parallels to adoption that it is quite mind-blowing.
Have you ever wondered what makes adoptees tick? Well, wonder no longer! I hope to answer some of your curiosities today. In an effort to reach both adoptees who may think they are alone in addition to my other aspiration to educate those of you who are still ascribing to traditional myths about adopted people, today is the day you can learn the inside scoop!
"Traditionally, American culture has communicated to adopted children that aside from the fact that they are “chosen children,” their lives and experiences are just like that of those who are raised by their birth parents (Silverstein & Kaplan, 1998;Wegar, 1997). In more recent years, however, theorists, activists, and adoptees themselves have contested this perspective and argued that the experience of being an adopted person is unique and worthy of attention (Brodzinsky, Smith & Brodzinsky, 1998; Rosenberg, 1992; Wegar, 1997). -- Unique Issues of Adult Adoptees by Jennifer Carizey
I wanted to do a post about "failed" adoption reunions because I hear from many adoptees who are in the same boat as myself. I don't like to view my adoption reunion as a failure. I have had many people (including other adoptees who have not taken the plunge themselves) assume that my reunion was a failure because there were certain outcomes that did not meet my expectations.
I look at my adoption reunion as successful, even though the relationship with my mother could not last.
I have no regrets at all about my reunion. I had two decades to think about having a reunion with my mother and deal with all the emotional baggage that comes along with being raised in closed adoption. At some point, I decided to hell with the outcomes, I was just going for it. (I got in touch with my inner badass).
On some level I knew that my reunion with my first mother would not be a life-long relationship. Before I flew into Philadelphia, I had carefully prepared a photo album of my li…