I’m going to let this person’s words stand on their own merits and be “enough.” Not being “enough” in whatever way is a common experience for adoptees.
I’ve always been the black sheep of the family with how shitty my mental health has been since I was young. Always getting in trouble for being ‘too sensitive’. Yelled at, shamed, ignored or bullied into silence. My adoptive parents had high expectations of me and gave me such a great life. I tried to live up to that, but always fell short…nothing was ever good enough for them. I have burned myself out trying to please them and ultimately turned to addiction to self-medicate.
I was diagnosed with ADD at 14, so I could be put into a private school because I was ‘too difficult’. I wasn’t…I just had a hard time coping in school and understanding everything…It was very expensive and they hold it over my head a lot, because my mental health never recovered enough to attend a university or college…my step brothers also had mental health issues as well, but they’ve both turned out financially successful. They compare us a lot. One brother won’t even acknowledge me anymore, even in family settings, ‘because of how much I’ve put the family through’… the shame is soul-crushing.
It’s been just over a year in recovery, but they’re always quick to point out what I’m doing wrong. They think ‘I should be fixed by now’, yet still tell me I need to improve because no one likes to be around me. This is a long time in the making, but I’m officially exploring an Autsim diagnosis. I’ve kept this to myself, because in the past, they’ve gotten very angry about it…they tell me somethings wrong with me but REFUSE to accept that it’s likely autism, because ‘that would make them,’ a bad parent…it’s not about THEM. It’s about understanding ME. My meltdowns, my mood swings, my ‘weirdness’, how I relate and have relationships with people and the world itself. I’ve been involved with different psychiatrists since childhood, because I was ‘too sensitive’. I feel like I have to argue this diagnosis to them for them to accept and try to understand me.
They tell me I’m a hypochondriac for trying to find something that’s wrong, yet they’re the ones TELLING ME there’s something wrong with me and that I need to seek help. I’m on meds, in therapy, I’ve been on disability long term, which pays my rent and food. I feel I’m doing EVERYTHING I can to make things work…but they’re not doing anything to help this situation, then tell me I’m the problem. I was told recently after an interaction, when I attempted to put up an emotional boundary and explain it, that life isn’t fair and I have to do things I don’t like. I calmly told them, ‘I don’t like much in life, but still I’m rising to meet the task’. The fact that I was stating my needs right then – caused a blowout and I was kicked out of the car.
Honestly I’m so hurt and tired. The self-hatred and shame never goes away…I don’t mean to sound like I’m blaming others and not taking responsibility for my actions. I was so blinded by wanting to stop the pain through addiction, I didn’t know how it affected everyone else. I was trying to self-destruct, instead of hurting anyone else’s feelings. When self-medicating, I’d isolate, so others wouldn’t get roped into my misery. I didn’t steal or beg family or friends for money. I wanted my parents to know that I respected them enough not to take their things, even when I was self-destructing.
Now that I’m realizing I was trying to manage my autism, PTSD, ADD – I have started talking with my doctor and therapist about making positive changes to help me. But I’m at a loss with my family. They won’t be receptive to this the possibility of autism and will think I’m ‘trying to find something else to blame’. I’m not…I’m just trying to understand myself, so I can function in this society. Like they’ve wanted me to all along. I’ve been killing myself trying to make them happy and it never feels like enough.