When I was a child, I always had the sense that I was different, that somehow I was not supposed to fit in. I didn’t belong and I wasn’t meant to. I remember the day I was told that I was adopted. I was only about five years old. My father took me into his study and told me by reading a story book. There was a moment when I was told that I felt free, as though someday everything would fit together and I would be restored to my true family. Immediately, I knew that I was expected to be happy about this situation, to rationalise it and accept it. My adoptive parents were to be the only parents I would know, yet they weren’t really mine, there would be nothing to bind us together. I was only in their family because I had been randomly placed there. This automatically gave me the idea that if I was ever deemed faulty or too inferior, they might give me back, or maybe they would just choose not to love me. If they got me so easily, then they could just as easily replace me with a better one. Still, I was never able to hide the fact that I wanted to know more, and I would often ask my father to let me view the non-identifying information that he kept locked in a cupboard. I often wondered about that other family, and wished that they would write to me or turn up at the front door. I was told that I had to wait until I was 18 before I was allowed to find them. By the time I was eleven, I wanted to run away from home. When I was fourteen, I tried to escape but I was brought back by the police. Stifled and disempowered, I waited until I finished high school, then left home two weeks later.
When I was a child, I always had the sense that I was different, that somehow I was not supposed to fit in.