Childhood abandonment damages sense of security

By AJ Jones

December 30, 2002, was the most important day of my life. That was the day I was adopted by the Jones family. I was two years old and leaving my grandparents whom I had been living with during the adoption process and it was hard to transition into what the rest of the world considered normal.

The memories I have from that time have become jumbled and confusing. I do not know what a 100% is true or what my mind has made up over the years. My adopted family only knows so much, and I only see my real grandparents a couple times a year, if I’m lucky. Trying to figure out what’s true and what’s not, or where my birth parents are, or other questions like that cross my mind almost every day.

For a long time, I ignored my adoption and pretended that it did not happen. I was ashamed of it. I didn’t want to think about the neglect and abuse I encountered while with my birth parents. It was something that I just wouldn’t talk about, and my adopted family seemed to avoid the subject.

I was so scared of being neglected and abused again that it was hard for me to go an hour without my mom. Fear of being left kept me up at night, and fear of being abused again made it where people that surrounded me had to be extremely careful with the way they talked to me or even touched me. When I got to the age when I was old enough to stay home alone, my mom decided to start small and just run to McDonalds. I remember screaming and crying on the living room floor before she even got out of the garage. I was truly afraid she wasn’t going to come back. I also remember waking up screaming from nightmares of my family leaving. My mom had to sleep in my room with me, or I would often come to her in the middle of the night.

As time went on, these thoughts and memories started to control me and questions fought to be asked. I finally realized that I was going to have to come to terms with this part of my life so it would stop controlling me.

When I finally started to ask questions, my parents were hesitant at first because they didn’t know if I was ready to hear it. However, time had proven that if I didn’t get the answers and the help I needed, it would only continue to control me. I didn’t want to live in fear anymore

There were countless late night conversations and tears, but I came to accept my past. It’s something I will always struggle with and continue to think about. I had to talk through my fears and let down my walls. I still have a lot of issues with it, and I still have the fear of being neglected again and struggle to trust people.

Many people have experienced neglect and abuse and its forever going to be a scar they have on their heart. I’ve become open about my scars because I want to help others who are feeling the same things as me

I also have learned to look at what I’ve gained. Being adopted has taught me a lot. It’s taught me that blood does not make a family, love does. It has taught me what it means to be blessed and have a second chance. I will forever be grateful for that.

I still live in fear but I’ve stopped letting it control me. I am truly proud of my adoption and the things I faced. It’s something that makes me unique and has built me. I may not be able to trust and live without some fear, but I can say that I found the family to which I truly belong.●