My siblings reacted very badly when they found out I existed. I told myself it was their choice not to know me, and we all have free choice, and even though I was deeply hurt and couldn’t understand why they wouldn’t want to know a sibling, I thought I had accepted it for what it was. I was used to accepting and moving on – that’s what adoption teaches you – this was no different from accepting any of the other parts of being adopted. Put it out of your mind and carry on.
Over the years one sibling changed their mind and wanted to know me. I was thrilled, or so I thought. To know my siblings had always been a dream – as far back as I can remember I had always wanted to know if I had siblings, one of the few precious questions I got to ask as a teen was – did I have siblings?. That question and answer that I did made me so happy, and that even though I knew I would never know them – I had siblings. That knowledge stayed with me and I would day-dream about meeting them, knowing them, being their sibling.
Yet despite being thrilled with the turn around by my sibling and starting off good, soon I started holding back, not being able to talk, not wanting to talk, shutting down. It made no sense and it took a long time of self-reflection to admit that my holding back – was in fact anger at how all of my siblings reacted to me, and my inability to trust it wouldn’t happen again.
Right now we have an uneasy truce, and I don’t know if that will ever change, if I can change. Deeply ingrained in me is keep the peace at any cost, and I don’t know how to be honest about my deepest feelings of being rejected by them – and how that made me feel. That I don’t trust my sibling not to do it again. Trust makes me vulnerable to being rejected again.
Adoption – the gift that keeps on giving.