I was five when I was told I was adopted. I only got the gist of what it meant but as far back as I can remember I didn’t feel I belonged. Nor did I look anything like my adoptive Mum and Dad. They told me they brought me to their home when I was nine months old and I think the best thing I did was somehow enable my mum to get pregnant, twice in quick succession. She and Dad had been trying for years to have a baby but it only worked once I arrived. I suspect I must have been a last resort.
With three children under four life was hectic, tempers flared and I was usually the one to get blamed. My parents became increasingly intolerant of me as I grew. I wasn’t as clever as my sister, nor sporty like my brother. Instead I was a bit dumpy and slow.
Mum criticised me for things like my hair which was wiry and difficult to brush and told me I was too fat. Things became much worse when I was a teenager. I wasn’t allowed to be moody. Whenever Dad caught me like that he would say I was being ungrateful and if they hadn’t adopted me I would be on the streets by now. So I learnt to keep my feelings to myself.
If I didn’t like something Mum had prepared for dinner she would then be the one to say I was ungrateful and that I could have been left to starve.
I knew I didn’t count when they sent me to the local comprehensive while the other two went to a private school. The budget for my clothes was far less than for them too. Luckily my siblings weren’t actually too bad. We were never close and didn’t talk much together but at least they weren’t spiteful to me.
It saddens me to say that my adoptive parents made me feel they just didn’t need or want me in their life. It is a terrible burden on top of being rejected by my birth mother. Not surprisingly it has affected my self-confidence and made me feel unworthy or anyone’s love.
On the other hand I was lucky to have had the experience of living in a family with a work ethic and that has done me some good. I love cooking. I managed to get a catering apprenticeship, which Dad helped me get, no doubt partly to get me working and out of their house sooner rather than later. I am currently in a flat share, just about manage financially and don’t see them much. But they left me determined to prove them wrong about me and I hope eventually get a job in a good restaurant. I like the fact that the hours are long which will help stop me feeling lonely.