One Year (+5 months)

This post has been long overdue.  I tried writing this back in February to post in March.  Starting a new job and school drained me of motivation to do anything else other than plop myself onto the couch at the end of the day.  All I wanted to do was blankly stare at the walls because I was mentally exhausted.  Biology.  Need I say more?  Winter turned to spring, spring into summer and it sat in draft form on my dashboard giving me the stink eye.  So here it is, an update 16 months after finding out.

So where am I?  
A few months prior to finding out, I had made an appointment to see a psychiatrist because it occurred to me that maybe the social worker was right back in 2001.  Maybe I was bipolar but never knew because Dumb and Dumber never took me in for an evaluation.  Then I found out about being adopted.  Which posed a whole other set of issues.  After several discussions and tests with the psychiatrist, he diagnosed me with Borderline Personality Disorder and recommended Dialectical Behavior Therapy. The diagnosis seems pretty accurate.  According to the National Institute of Mental Health,

"Many people with BPD report experiencing traumatic life events, such as abuse or abandonment during childhood. Others may have been exposed to unstable relationships and hostile conflicts. 

Sounds about right.  After finally being diagnosed, I found and went to a therapist that specialized in DBT but after a few weeks of attending group sessions with her, I didn't feel like we were a good fit. Plus, according to one of my friends who also happens to specialize in DBT, my therapist was doing it all wrong.  So I broke up with her.  That was last August.  I haven't seen a therapist since.  I have been too busy with school to really think about anything.  I guess that's a good thing.  The less free time I have to think, the better I am.  I always find my thoughts go dark when I'm by myself.  Which is why I either don't go home if I know I'm going to be by myself or if I am going to be by myself, I have stuff to do to keep me busy.  Like say, studying.

It may sound weird but I have to wonder if all the dark thoughts mentioned above, are because subconsciously, maybe I knew my biological mother was trying to abort me. Maybe that's why I never felt like I belonged.  Because I don't.  I get scared when that thought floats into my head.  Even with the family I've created with J, I still feel this emptiness.  I sit and watch J interact with Nathan and sometimes the thought that they would be better without me creeps in.

In an effort to try and process the new(ish) information, I have joined several Korean adoptee Facebook groups. A lot of their experiences of abuse and neglect by their 'parents' and sheer ignorance by non-adoptees are all very similar to mine.  But one major difference between their experience and mine was that none of them had been adopted by a Korean. A lot of them wanted to try and discover their roots.  Luckily (unluckily?) I don't feel the need to learn about my heritage because I got to experience the country and culture first hand when we lived in Korea for four years back in the 90s.

An adoptee posted this article and the part that stuck out to me was:

"Those who do not learn their adoptive status until adulthood call themselves Late Discovery Adoptees or LDAs, and have formed a unique niche within the adoption community to support one another, as with LDA Facebook groups.

Like Mobley, LDAs live all their lives, unbeknownst to them, with non-related strangers they have called Mom and Dad. Some report having occasional feelings of not belonging or being different – lacking physical resemblance or traits or talents. Most dismiss their doubts. Some have even asked if they were adopted, and were assured not. Others never suspected a thing out of the ordinary until their lives and their whole world were suddenly turned upside down by the discovery – as adults – that the only mother and father they knew where not related to them by blood at all but had adopted them. Some report “anger towards those people who had known of the adoption,” which in some cases can be many extended family members, causing feelings of betrayal or even a sense of conspiracy. That it was all legal does not change the emotional upheaval."

So just like that, I'm now part of another group.  Like the Korean adoptee groups, most in the LDA group have their share of stories of abuse, neglect and narcissistic 'parents'.  Seems to be a common thread.  Unlike the Korean adoptees, most in the LDA group were adopted Stateside and can follow a longer paper trail to find their biological parents.  So that just leaves me still feeling like I don't really belong to either group.

Switching Identities
I knew the possibility of ever finding any biological family was slim.  In Korea, having a baby out of wedlock is a huge no-no.  It's an even bigger issue if I were to find my biological mother because more than likely she is married.  If she is married, she more than likely didn't disclose that she had a baby, out of wedlock and put the baby (me) up for adoption.  So this could have huge ramifications for my biological mother.  Knowing this, I know she would more than likely never submit a DNA sample to ever be matched with.  For grins and giggles I did request a DNA kit.  Figured it wouldn't hurt to have my sample out there.

I submitted my kit back in March and got the results in mid-April.  When J talked to Dumb and Dumber, they told him I was full Korean.  Yeah...DNA Land says otherwise.  I'm 46.55% Central Chinese.  So in a year, I went from being half Korean and half American.  Then went to being full Korean.  And now I'm 46% Central Chinese.  I guess I shouldn't be super surprised.  With the constant invasions, occupations and migration in the region since the beginning of time, intermingling of cultures was bound to happen.

So what next?  I don't know.  I think this may just be the end of the adoption discovery road for me because I've had enough of being the universe's punching bag.  I joke with my friends that prior to finding out, my life was a Lifetime movie.  Now it feels like it should be a Lifetime mini-series sitcom.  All I can do is laugh at the whole situation and how crazy bizarre it and I must sound when I start telling the story. 

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I'm a 35 year old working, running and shopping (not necessarily in that order) mom living in the burbs surrounding the beautiful city of Austin with my husband, our very active 5 year old and our rescue dog Buddy. This blog is my little space of the internet where I let my ADD run loose and I blog about...anything.


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