Emotional Amnesia

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    I was adopted in 1951. Even though I always knew I was adopted (no one in my family look remotely like me) I was not officially told until my first child was born. For most of my life I have been almost completely unable to access any childhood memories. I do not remember affection by either adoptive mother or father. I have vivid recollection of my first day in kindergarten then almost nothing but shadows until the age of eleven. I have feared rejection and suffered terrible anxiety as the result of it.

    I recently completed a memoir, as my life, on other levels has been extraordinary. My current editor discusses this almost 3rd person recounting of childhood. She does not understand how I feel nothing and that I cannot relate to my small self at all. I have no answers. My sister (older) was also adopted. She came first. I was her Christmas present the following year, sold by the nuns at the mater Hospital in North Sydney. My adoptive mother never wanted to admit she was not a 'real' mother. Back then it was kept secret because being illegitimate was a bad thing.

    I have three children of my own, one born in 1972. I was single and shamed, terribly by the social workers of the Royal North Shore Hospital where I gave birth. When I reflect back over my life it is rejection, always, that I have feared more than any other thing. Even now, at almost 64 years old, I seek insight and a sense of belonging that has never happened. The emotional amnesia exists still.


    I want a cure, finally, for what I can only call the emotional amnesia that I have suffered my entire life. I do it every time I reflect back on trauma. Every act of rejection has become a disconnect. I am only now, as an elder woman, coming to realise this is from rejection at birth.