It took me years to see the suffering of others. I hid alone in my tower, peeking over the protective wall to decide, is this person safe?
Childhood bullies called me “flat nose” and “harelip”, and I believed them. My journey to self acceptance was slow and complicated. As a special needs adoptee I waited months for a family willing to adopt me. Having a cleft lip and palate was all mixed up with the shame of being relinquished by my birth mother and rejected by my birth father.
My loving adoptive parents helped me through surgeries (I’ve lost track how many) and to overcome deficits from my orphaned first year alone in a hospital. But I did not know how to let them into my darkest places, because adoptees were supposed to be ‘grateful’ and I feared being rejected again.
In my early twenties, supportive friends and therapists helped me see myself as they did - fun, smart and beautiful and I became proud of my journey and what I’ve been through.
Reaching out, telling my story allowed others to be vulnerable with me in return.
I learned we all have pain, fears of being hurt.
Tell me about your journey, your struggles. We are in this together.
The Day they Got Me