It’s not uncommon for adoptees to feel sad on their birthdays. There are many different nuances to that feeling. This one was not one I had seen expressed quite this way before.
It’s my birthday and I feel like I do every year. I feel guilty, confused, and like I can’t stop grieving. I’m not sure if anyone else goes through this too. I was adopted from an orphanage, so there’s not a lot of detail about my biological mother. Every year, I get stuck in negative thoughts . . . that I ruined her life or traumatized her by being born and her having to give me up. I know these thoughts are really driven by my emotions and irrational but still they consume me. I feel it is so challenging to celebrate a day that forever scarred the person that gave me life. I feel guilty for being born and feel bad for being thankful for my life, when it came at such a heavy cost for someone else. But at the same time, I feel awful that I’m not celebrating and honoring everything she gave me. By being happy. I’m not sure who else experiences this or if anyone has any positive thoughts to get through the day.
One response said – You have intrinsic and immeasurable value. It’s not easy to be separated from one’s child. You may very well be loved and missed. As much as the negative things are possible, there are positive possibilities in their midst. It stinks because the negative is so heavy and truthfully we may never be truly rid of it.
Another suggested – You are definitely not alone in having those feelings. Please don’t blame yourself. None of this could possibly be your fault — you are the real innocent in this situation. Be good to you and blow your first mom a kiss into the cosmos, hope that she feels good that she gave you life. Find another day to celebrate and enjoy yourself – you deserve happiness.
This is not uncommon for “late discovery” adoptees – I no longer like my birthday. I found my family a couple of years ago. I was 33 years too late to reunite with my momma. So that day triggers me now.
And the meaning of that day can change over time, as it will for this one – You are not alone. I’ve disliked my birthday since I was a very young child. I’ve frequently self-sabotaged anything nice my family tried to do. This year, my daughter graduates from law school on that day. So, for once, the attention and celebration will be about someone else and I feel so relieved.
One response was rather harsh towards the original mother. Which caused some discussion and this response – we agree that the relinquished baby is the only 100% blameless party. I can tell you that my mother suffered profoundly after losing me. Our deprivation of each other was a burden we shared. She paid the ultimate price for it, and I ache and long for her every day.
I smiled reading this response – I’m wishing you peace today. It’s an incredibly difficult day filled with so many conflicting emotions! If there are people in your world who want to celebrate you, it’s OK to let them know what you’d like or not like. My birthday was two weeks ago – I prefer to not have any surprises on my actual birthday, and I also prefer to celebrate it on another day. It’s easier for me to do by throwing a birthday cake onto our Easter dinner. I might not like my birthday but I will not pass up the chance to shove as much homemade buttercream frosting into my face as I can.