Here I go again piggybacking on Annette O’Connel’s NAM/NAAM videos. She has brought forward so many essential adoptee/adoption topics that get short-handed in social media which by nature does little to further the adoptee rights movement outside of acting as a sounding board– a consciousness-raising platform–for adoptee discourse, on a variety of (personal) topics, fragmented as it may be.
One of the big problems with Adoptee Twitter (and other social media platforms) is that it opens the door to the Not Adopted, including a certain type of adoptive parent, to come in and throw tantrums because adopted people refuse to conform to their personal mythology of how adoption works and adoptees should behave. According to them, our stories are not ours. We’ve got it all wrong, and they–the bullies– have it all right.
Annette rocks it in her wonderful November 28 NAM/MAAM video. Her honesty and anger (if that is the right word) blow me away. I wish I could be this verbally articulate, and not stuck behind a keyboard. (Doing a TikTok nearly makes me ill).
No one has the right to tell another person that their story is incorrect because it doesn’t fit the narrative that you want it to be… This has been the problem within adoption all along The secrecy, the lies, and the subjection of the adoptive person’s voice Please Please Please just stop. Stop doing this. Stop telling an adopted person that their story is wrong because it is not what you want it to be.
I tend to dunk these jerks, but I’ve been around adoption insanity for decades, so it just bounces off. I’m an insensitive lout. But, a lot of other adopted people are not insensitive or louts, and it hurts them. It discourages them from talking, and I believe in some cases, from entering the political arena. Nobody wants to testify at a hearing and be called a liar. I’ve actually seen that.
Like Annette, this is what riles me: the troll that decides to “interpret” and re-write –in public no less!–someone else’s lived experience to fit their own mythology or own lived experience, which one would dare not ever question. Of course, this trollery isn’t limited to chasing down adopted people. This institutionalized trollery extends to every possible group and experience of everybody who isn’t them. Not a day goes by when I don’t read on Twitter the I-know-better-than-you-do-about-yourself crowd lectures to people of color, Jews, Muslims, atheists, Catholics, Protestants (SBCs love to correct other Protestants they deem doctrinally errant); the poor, alcoholics, drug addicts, the mentally ill, immigrants, queers, feminists, women who have had abortions, the childfree by choice, rape survivors, abuse survivors, Europeans, Democrats, academics, the under- and unemployed. and women in general. Not surprisingly, most of these trolls come from the dominant class who don’t want to share their American apple pie with us.
Disagreement is one thing. Re-writing some stranger’s history to make you feel better about yourself or uphold your personal mythology is another matter. Apparently, the genuine narratives of adoptees as well as other less socially or economically advantaged are a threat to their fragile but well-ordered psychological comfort and belief system.
Good for us!
I’m afraid that adopted people are also guilty of this adoptee erasure and re-write, though not to the vicious extent of wingnut Not Adopted jerk-offs. The adoption experience is complicated and nuanced. It is not universal. To say otherwise is a form of essentialism and erasure. It’s a negation of the lived adoptee experience when adoptees dump on each other for sharing their own experiences and opinions which run the good-to-bad spectrum. Because someone had a “good adoption or a “bad adoption” should not exclude someone from the discourse. There are adopted people who aggravate me, but I’m not about to tell them to sod off or change their story to fit my needs. The only exceptions to this are adopted people who are open Benedict Bastards and class traitors who deny our rights and actively work against the restoration of those rights. They are out there. Open Season!
(No, it will never be X!)