14 Oct

I’d be interested in hearing from other adoptees what triggers a reminder you’re adopted, or triggers deeper reflections of being adopted. 

For me:

Pictures of siblings that you just know must siblings because they mirror each other. Those trigger me every single time because I never saw myself in another for so long.

Even though I now have my maternal family health history, going to the doctor results in me being reminded I’m adopted, which then reminds me of the consequences of not knowing all those decades what ran in my family.

When someone uses the term half-sibling to explain their relationship. Yes, I know it has nothing to do with adoption, or being adopted, but it makes me want to tell them how privileged they are to even know their siblings, and why would they devalue that connection. I’m more triggered when an AP uses it to devalue their child’s relationship with another sibling.

When I want to share my deepest feelings, I can’t, whether it’s because I can’t find the words, or because they are too wrapped up with adopted feelings and explaining those is an effort that never ends well. Although I did see some progress in myself recently, it still was full of adoption triggers.

Feel free to share your triggers…

Stay safe.



Posted by on October 14, 2018 in Adoption


Tags: , ,

23 responses to “Triggers

  1. Paige Adams Strickland

    October 14, 2018 at 5:38 pm

    It used to be the phone ringing because you just never know who might be on the other end of the line…

    Liked by 1 person

    • TAO

      October 14, 2018 at 5:42 pm

      Oh my – that would hard.


    • beth62

      October 14, 2018 at 10:06 pm

      I can recall answering two different phone calls where I leaned against the wall, slid down and ended up sitting on the floor, white as a sheet, heart racing – before I determined it wasn’t “that” call.

      Liked by 3 people

      • TAO

        October 15, 2018 at 3:08 am

        Oh wow – that would be panic inducing for sure.


  2. maryleesdream

    October 14, 2018 at 5:49 pm

    What’s not a trigger? Families are all around me. Siblings, parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins. All those things I could never have. My own children are triggers!

    When they were born, I held them and asked myself, how could she?

    I don’t mind the term half siblings, because that’s how I think of my parent’s other children. None of them are full siblings to me. Two are dads, one is moms. I don’t have contact with any of them.

    Father’s and mother’s day are big triggers, as are all holidays, birthdays, mondays-fridays, weekends etc.

    Adoption is always on my mind. I wish it was different, but I’ve gotten used to it. I’ve become better at allowing myself to feel everything, good and bad, and realizing it will pass, and I will survive.

    The support and understanding from other adoptees, like yourself is the best thing I have found in this whole mess. If others feel the way I do, at least I’m not alone.

    Liked by 1 person

    • TAO

      October 14, 2018 at 6:49 pm

      Giving birth really brought up a lot of stuff – so true. Mothers/Fathers day weren’t celebrated per se growing up – they just weren’t the type who liked to be the center of attention so I don’t remember those days being hard growing up. Funny how our triggers are similar yet different – we are all unique and need our community. Cheers


  3. butterfly923

    October 14, 2018 at 6:10 pm

    My birthday. It reminds me of who I am not. Does that make sense at all? I dislike it with all my being.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Pj

    October 15, 2018 at 1:50 am

    Mother’s Day, always so sad/uncomfortable/ unsettling for me and way before I even knew why..
    And yes, the birthday. I just want to go away every year..
    And yes, “ when I want “to share my deepest feelings”…especially when someone shares that they’re adopted and can”t quite understand why I searched..


    • TAO

      October 15, 2018 at 3:07 am

      So many commonalities in triggers between just a handful of us…


  5. beth62

    October 15, 2018 at 4:17 am

    Are there Adoptees that are able to forget?


    • butterfly923

      October 15, 2018 at 4:21 am

      Forget? I don’t think there is any way to ever forget. You find a way to live your life knowing that you were the one they didn’t keep…

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Nara

    October 15, 2018 at 10:13 am

    Family pictures with transracial adoptees in that aren’t my family. I am used to my family. But seeing the adoptees in another family “sticking out like a sore thumb” always brings it home to me.

    Also… occasionally looking in the mirror and seeing a [POC] looking back. Sometimes I’m like, “Who’s that?!”

    I’m really not heavily triggered generally. I’ve only ever known this reality. I get emotional during films, like Finding Dory… Not that I don’t like it, but it brings up a lot of feelings. It’s easier to cry in the dark!

    Liked by 1 person

    • TAO

      October 15, 2018 at 1:27 pm

      I can see how seeing other tr adoptee family pictures would do that, and the seeing a POC in the mirror too. I get the sticking out like a sore thumb analogy too but certainly not to the degree you would being a TRA by any means.

      Films get me emotional – Stuart Little did me in. I’ve often wondered if it was my way to let it out because I’ve always been the one to hide my emotions/stiff upper lip…

      Liked by 1 person

  7. beth62

    October 15, 2018 at 1:44 pm

    Holidays tend to shake it up for me. Halloween 1999 pushed me like no other day in my life to search and find. I’d been perculating for nearly 40 years. That evening, walking the streets alone with my youngest and his dad, everything boiled over. That was it, I put my foot down. I don’t think I’ve ever been that emotional or determined about it, or anything, before or since.
    I was MAD. My insides were raw. That was it, I wasn’t going to stand for it another day. Any and everyone that had a problem with it were wise to STFU and get out of my way. I was all in.
    A year later contact was made. I found out my oldest brother died that evening. Another one of those slide down the wall white as a sheet days.


    • TAO

      October 15, 2018 at 2:33 pm

      Holidays are for family so that makes perfect sense why they’d shake you up. Your last paragraph gave me chills.


  8. beth62

    October 15, 2018 at 5:24 pm

    Still gives me chills :/ and sends me to sycronicity, coincidence and all that never ending circle to reflect on. I can only imagine, forever. But mostly breaks my heart that I didnt get to meet him. keeps me thinking in another dimension where he would have been with us walking the streets stealing candy from babies instead.

    Every Halloween since has been different. And this one coming… you can bet your ass that our new generation will have a huge crowd of family roaming the streets. Dozens of aunts and uncles for my grandkids to torment 😛
    Literally dozens.
    Coincidence? I think not.


  9. juliemcgue

    October 16, 2018 at 11:59 am

    Triggers are everywhere and pop up at odd moments. Just last weekend, I visited my birth mom and the night before the visit I felt the pain of her many rejections, the adoption and the first denial of contact, and then I felt the joys of talking to her the first time, meeting her. Everytime I’m with my half-brother or the siblings that I grew up with, I am triggered into remembering I’m adopted. When I look at my children and I see the smile I recognize in my brother, I’m triggered. I am not triggered anymore when I go to the doctor because I have my family health history. Glad that one got checked off the list.

    Liked by 1 person

    • TAO

      October 16, 2018 at 1:07 pm

      You’re right – they do pop up at odd moments, for me it’s when I least expect it.


  10. beth62

    October 29, 2018 at 2:19 am

    • TAO

      October 29, 2018 at 3:06 am

      I’ll check them tomorrow – sorry you went to moderation – two links trigger it.


      • beth62

        November 7, 2018 at 4:00 pm

        U Mz TAO lol
        Your buddy G needs to get his own screen name, and stay out of my kitchen!
        You might notice “I” didn’t push the like button on that post, for a change LOL
        Might as well! It looks like I’ve liked all of my other posts myself, because of his need to get his own screenname!
        Arg, whatever. Thanks for the links G.

        Liked by 1 person


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