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  #1  
Old 04-03-2008, 04:08 PM
OCboy1 OCboy1 is offline
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adopted men

I found my birth family in my early 20s. Iím now in my late 30s. I thought by now I would have my adoption in perspective, but I donít. I struggle with being adopted. I never viewed it as positive.

When growing up I had identity issues. I felt like I was living a lie, but never could figure out what that lie was. I felt hollow, empty and that my feelings didnít mater. I figured if I met my birth family I would feel complete and validated. We did meet and it did help. So many things were answered. I felt a connection I never felt before.

However now Iím stuck. Iím torn. Part of my hart earns to be with my birth family. I like being with them and they treat me like family. However, my life is with my adopted family. The family I grew up with. The family I feel hollow with, like something is missing.

My adopted parents love me very much and would do anything for me. I would never tell them how I feel about adoption. They know I found my birth mom, but we havenít talked about it in years.

On the other hand, I have some resentment towards my birth mom. I still resent her for giving me up for adoption. My birth dad wanted me and so did my grandparents.
I know this happened many years ago and I need to move on, but for some reason I donít.
Recently she told me she has no regrets about her decision to relinquish me. That hurt.

Well now Iím in my late 30s. Iíve never been married. Iím alone. I feel like Iím here,
but not really here. I feel like Iím going through the motions of life, but not participating in life. Iíve had many girlfriends, but loved none.

Are there any other guys out there who have had a similar experience? Do men who were put up for adoption as kids have intimacy issues? If so, how did you overcome? Any feedback from anyone would be appreciated..........Thanks
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  #2  
Old 04-03-2008, 06:03 PM
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pgwidener pgwidener is offline
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OCboy1~

I am not an adoptee ~ but a birthmother in reunion with my bson since Aug 06. He was 24 when I reached out to him. We have had our ups and downs (which is completely normal and I understand this) and your question is very interesting to me.

I have never posted before today....always reading posts from all points of the triad, trying to gain insight from adult adoptees. Especially young male adoptees. I believe that knowledge is power and say this to my bson quite regularly. I was 16 at the time of his birth and choices were made for me. I felt like I never had a voice and wanted him to know this. When I did open up this line of communication, his answer was similar to your bmom's. I can relate when you say that it hurts.

I do not see intimacy issues with him, but more of anger issues. My question for you is - do you think that it is just his age? That over time he will understand his own anger and let it go?

I am thankful, blessed, happy .... that he is in my life.
I believe that I am in his life for a positive reason to be a loving, supportive friend when he needs it. So - I continue to find peace in the fact that we do love each other, even if it gets a little bumpy along the reunion road.

Wishing you the best ~ and thank you for your post...I am going to try and take a more active role in this forum!
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  #3  
Old 04-03-2008, 07:14 PM
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Howdy Howdy is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OCboy1
.... I thought by now I would have my adoption in perspective, but I don’t. I struggle with being adopted. ...When growing up I had identity issues. ...I met my birth family ...and it did help. ...However now I’m stuck. ..Well now I’m in my late 30s. I’ve never been married. I’m alone. I feel like I’m here, but not really here. I feel like I’m going through the motions of life, but not participating in life. ...Do men who were put up for adoption as kids have intimacy issues? ...

First off I must say I have no knowledge of adopted men, being as I'm the adoptive mom of a girl.

I'm replying to your post because I happen to be reading a book about parenting teens and it talks about identify formation and says not having consolidated one's identity can cause intimacy problems, I'll quote the book (except the book alternates gender pronouns and I'll just change them all to 'he'):

"...All of that frenetic and seemingly insane behavior of trying everything and keeping nothing the same is actually the most critical challenge of your kid's teenage years....Indentity formation..is a process by which your kid tries on a thousand different hats to see how they feel, to see if any of them seem to reflect who he is....If this seems foreign to you [parents], be comforted in knowing that in the old days, many of us don't recall having had the time for identity crises. We were too busy just trying to stay alive or earn money for college. The fact is that many of us who didn't complete that adolescent process when we were teens ended up going through this chaos at 30 or 40. Sooner or later, we all have to figure out who we are ....Identity formation is critical because everything that follows in your child's life hinges on the successful completion of this process. In short, knowing who you are is the key to all else that is good in life..when identity is formed (or consolidated, as we like to say)..wonderful things begin to happen. Life looks much more positive and exciting. Levels of energy rise. Challenges are gifts to be eagerly sought after and mastered..frustrations become minor annoyances..drives for impersonal sex become lusts for true intimacy and commitment. Self-serving behaviors transform into healthy needs to serve others.... [Incomplete identity formation can cause] a lifetime of terrible identity pain with consequences that can include intimacy problems, relationship failures, multiple divorces, broken homes for his children, depression, anxiety, poor career choices, and so on."

Editing to say the name of the book is 'Yes, Your Teen is Crazy!' by Bradley

Last edited by Howdy : 04-03-2008 at 07:16 PM.
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  #4  
Old 04-03-2008, 07:40 PM
OCboy1 OCboy1 is offline
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I can only speak from my own experience. I was also angry that I was adopted. Part of my anger was rooted in the fact I just didn't have a secure understanding of who I am. I wasn't able to embrace life and enjoy it fully becasue of self doubt. As I grew and had a better understanding of who I am the anger slowly went away and life got better. Does that answer your question?
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  #5  
Old 04-03-2008, 08:15 PM
echox echox is offline
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On the other hand, I have some resentment towards my birth mom. I still resent her for giving me up for adoption. My birth dad wanted me and so did my grandparents.
I know this happened many years ago and I need to move on, but for some reason I donít.
Recently she told me she has no regrets about her decision to relinquish me. That hurt.

Well now Iím in my late 30s. Iíve never been married. Iím alone. I feel like Iím here,
but not really here. I feel like Iím going through the motions of life, but not participating in life. Iíve had many girlfriends, but loved none.

Are there any other guys out there who have had a similar experience? Do men who were put up for adoption as kids have intimacy issues? If so, how did you overcome? Any feedback from anyone would be appreciated..........Thanks





I can relate to you. None of my past relationships have worked out. I am always scared to put it all on the line and open up emotionally. I have never told any of my SO's about my adoption, it hurts so much and I don't want anyone to see me when I am so vulnerable. I feel being adopted has robbed me of the ability to really love someone. I too resent my bmom for giving me up. I don't know if my feelings will ever change, I haven't really started searching yet and a reunion or some sort of relationship with my bmom seems like a fantasy.


Pgwidener: I am willing to bet that your son doesn't really know why he feels the way he does. I'm not angry at anyone in particular, I just hate the fact that I had to grow up knowing I wasn't who they said I was. I didn't choose to be put up for adoption. I didn't want to live a screwed up life but I had no choice. Next time you are doing something you really don't want to do, imagine living your whole life with that feeling. Sometimes you can put it out of your mind but it's always there.
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  #6  
Old 04-03-2008, 08:34 PM
OCboy1 OCboy1 is offline
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Hey Echox

I can relate to not telling people about being adopted. I don't talk about it. I even have friends who confide in me that they are adopted and I still don't admit it. For whatever reason it brings sadness to me and I just keep it to myself
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  #7  
Old 04-03-2008, 08:51 PM
echox echox is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OCboy1
Hey Echox

I can relate to not telling people about being adopted. I don't talk about it. I even have friends who confide in me that they are adopted and I still don't admit it. For whatever reason it brings sadness to me and I just keep it to myself


I hear ya, I am not scared to admit that thinking about my adoption turns me into emotional jello. I do find talking about it on this site makes me feel a little better.
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  #8  
Old 04-04-2008, 12:04 PM
IrishBlue IrishBlue is offline
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I can relate... I found my birth family at age 23 and I'm now 35. I think during childhood that men suppress a lot of the negative emotions relating to being adopted. When I say suppress, I mean most of the time I managed to lock those feelings away someplace in the back of my mind. I did have a profound feeling of being different and not fitting in with my adoptive family, feared rejection and felt empty, like something big was missing even though I wasn't able to identify what it was at the time.

I never thought of meeting my birth family until my early 20's when my adoptive mother one day casually mentioned that I may want to look for them- since if I waited too long they might be dead by the time I figured out I wanted to know them. She gave me the phone number for Catholic Social Services, who had handled the adoption, and three months later I started meeting my birth family... that was an event where I had massively underestimated the impact that it would have on me.

I was soon overcome with feelings of joy and pain that I had never known before. That was the real awakening when I realized what had happened to me. I recognized my birth mother instantly and she looked beautiful and familiar to me as if I had always known that face. I was amazed by how much of who I am is genetic- especially the personality traits. My birth mothers whole family and I played a game like trivial pursuit- except that you make up definitions to words and people have to guess which is the real one. My birth mother and I had each thought up "fake" definitions that were almost verbatim on like 5 or 6 different turns and the whole family was looking at each other and bio half-sister said "that's scary".

Soon I fell into a deep depression as the entire sense of loss that I had been suppressing my entire life hit me at once. I felt connected to my birth mother and felt as though I had been robbed of something huge that had left a big open hole inside of me. Everyone blamed my grandparents for "making" her give me away since she was only 16, so for a short time I was angry with them and avoided them and viewed biomom as my fellow victim. Later I began to re-examine her role in the situation when parts of different stories came together, like her going out and partying it up at state fair only one or two days after she handed me over to social services.

I ended up moving 60 miles from my hometown to the city where she was to be closer to them- she very strongly encouraged it and even offered me free rent which at the time was a big deal to me. I was not as close to my half sisters- I know the oldest one (2 years my junior) felt threatened by not being the oldest anymore. Aunts and Uncles I never got very close with either. It took me quite some time to figure out that even though they had welcomed me with open arms, that it's impossible to walk into a family of people you've never met before, at age 23, and have things be the same as if you'd always been there. I always did and still do feel like an outsider in that family.

Birth mom and I had our ups and downs over the next 8-10 years and it's taken me this long to realize that I'll never really be a part of that family... All the invitations to everything came through birthmom, and when she was mad at me for something then the invitations stopped coming. Then we'd make up and she'd want me there again. The way things have unfolded I have just in the past year realized that that is not my family. They all have a sense of loyalty and concern for each other that doesn't extend to me the same way that they feel close to one another- except for birth mom, who intermittently flipped between thinking I was the number one light of her life to totally despising me.

Birth mom didn't get off scott free though- after the adoption it doesn't seem that she ever formed strong bonds with her other two children, she stayed emotionally at age 16 for her whole life and is apparently indifferent to her 3 grandchildren.

The ups and downs eventually got to be too much and I haven't spoken to her in a year and the year or two before that things were pretty terse. I am now back to pretty much where I started (although it is nice to have the extra knowledge) and don't communicate with them anymore.

I understand what you mean about not being married and not being attached to anyone. I spend my entire life up until age 34 pretty much womanizing. I dated a lot of great women and the same thing happened again and again. We would be getting along great and then as if on autopilot, I would become emotionally detached and drift away from them. I broke up with almost all of them within 2-5 months because I felt there was no passion and I didn't feel a connection. As it turns out the problem was me...

I got married last summer and my wife tells me I have intimacy issues (she is correct) but she tolerates them and blames it on the adoption issue. We have a baby girl on the way in 5 months. This will probably be a shocker as well since I will have a child that is my own flesh and blood, since I feel as though I never was a child who was someone else's flesh and blood. I was off on my own. Now that I am separated from the biofamily I am starting to feel 'normal' again. I often felt like a freak having to explain to friends or associates that I had 2 sets of parents and seeing the look on their faces- now I have only one again, my adoptive family who has always been there for me. You might say you don't have to explain it to people, but people remember things said in casual conversation such as telling them one day that your parents have been married for 40 years (adoptive family) and then the next time you're talking about parents you tell them that your parents were never married (bioparents).

Bio-mom didn't walk away from the ordeal unblemished though... After the adoption she had 2 more children who she never seems to have properly bonded with, she stayed emotionally at age 16 for her entire life, and now has 3 grandchildren who she seems to be indifferent towards. She experienced her own sense of loss that she was never able to fully recover from.

This is actually my first visit to the site. Every time I hear Hootie and the Blowfish it gets me looking up adoptee stuff. Biomom had just bought the album when I met her and I heard it a million times at their house. Most of the songs on that album sound like he's singing the song of the adoptee-
I'm Goin Home
Not Even The Trees
Time

I could go on forever, but eventually I'll run out of room. If you want to chat about it feel free to email me through the site with your email address, or IM.

Jason

Last edited by IrishBlue : 04-04-2008 at 12:30 PM.
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  #9  
Old 04-04-2008, 12:21 PM
echox echox is offline
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Jason, that was an excellent first post. It sounds as if you've thought very hard about everything you wrote.
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  #10  
Old 04-04-2008, 09:22 PM
OCboy1 OCboy1 is offline
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I second that
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  #11  
Old 04-15-2008, 11:29 PM
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doug43223 doug43223 is offline
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male adoptee, 33

I understand what you mean about not being married and not being attached to anyone. I spend my entire life up until age 34 pretty much womanizing. I dated a lot of great women and the same thing happened again and again. We would be getting along great and then as if on autopilot, I would become emotionally detached and drift away from them. I broke up with almost all of them within 2-5 months because I felt there was no passion and I didn't feel a connection. As it turns out the problem was me...

I can relate to that, I am a 33 year old male adoptee, just found bmom 3 months ago. It was very emotional, feelings I never realized I had. I am divorced with 2 kids, and have never connected all that well either. It was a driving reason to search for bmom, after watching August Rush on a date. We split up a couple weeks later and I started wondering if my being adopted had contributed to my relationship problems. I did a lot of research and found it was common for adoptees to have relationship problems, and problems connecting. I have always been shy and withdrawn. I was amazed to learn of a lot of these things since I was adopted at birth, I had never thought much about it. Since finding my bmom, I have found that I was definately missing that part of my life. I want to talk to her all the time, and thankfully she is the same way. I have grown very close with my half sisters also, but have not had a big desire to meet my brother or father. I have met both of my bfathers daughters (my half sisters), and he wants to see me, I just have not been in a hurry. Maybe there is something to that with some sort of female connection missing, I dont know. I wish there was a magic fix, and if anyone knows of anything let me know, but I think there is something to relationships and connections with male adoptees.
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  #12  
Old 04-17-2008, 01:24 AM
rudderlesswithhope rudderlesswithhope is offline
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Blown away !!!!

I stumbled upon this message board and the stories form OCboy1 and IrishBlue are eerily similar to mine. I'll elaborate at a later date, but I'll note the most common similarities. Given up at 6 months, late 30's, met birth mom @ 24. Thought that was the answer, it wasn't but helped in ways I don't even know yet. Emotionally distant, huge trust issues. I'm glad I found this place, it can only be postive.
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  #13  
Old 05-29-2008, 09:30 AM
phoenix11 phoenix11 is offline
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I dont get around these parts often, but today I had a moment to cruise through here and came across this post and wanted to respond, male adoptees on any adoption board is slim.

Personally for me it is difficult for me to enter into a realationship, I think at times im overly selective. Im in my mid 30's and have had a few genuine relationships thats lasted a couple of years at least, where I've fell for and truley cared for my g/f, however, it takes a lot for me to get there. I can tell you that if I can get beyond being so selective and picky its like my body physically desires to w/draw from her. It's as if I go on some sort of high alert or protective mode and I deeply feel like I need to get the hell out of their. This occurs somewhere when "storng like" begins to turn into love. Consciously Im fully aware there's a reason Im that close to a girl and that being with her is a good thing, a very good thing. Im also aware how rediculous it is to feel that way, but its an autonomic sub-conscious response. I withdraw, I pretend im super busy and avoid phone calls, or I'll purposely call at inconveinient times. I simply cant control ths feeling, but I do know all I have to do is ride it out. A couple of the relationships Ive had over the years I've lived about an hour away from them, another defense mechanism, so if the crap hits the fan I can get out quick fast and in a hurry knowing IM litterally at a safe distance. Once I get past this hump, its always been smooth sailing from there though.

On another note, once i get to the place where I deeply care and having that "relationship" and giving myself unconditionally to the relationship the break up sucks, badly. It's extremely painful for me, i usually dont eat for weeks, or eat very little, it consumes my thoughts while im trying to detox from the relationship, an Im usually not ready to date for another couple of years after the fact. And not to mention that the sting becomes worse and worse with each breakup making it more difficult to find the desire to find or enter into a new relatinship.

I remain optomistic- Always- being truly in love is a very cool thing and beats out the pain of breaking up any day of the week. Its like learning to ride a bike as a kid, taking those falls sucks bad, but the reward of successfully riding that bike out weighs that hurt by far.

best wishes

~John
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  #14  
Old 05-30-2008, 06:49 AM
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male adoptees

I am a female reunited adoptee (18 years of contact now with my bmom, but my bdad has been strangely in and out - I'm 37 years old). I have two older brothers who were also adopted by our aparents. One searched, one never will. The first has children, the second never will. The first is in complete turmoil at 45 years of age over his difficult attempt to reunite with his bfamily. The second is a functional alcoholic.

I hurt for my brothers, despite their poor treatment of me growing up. I want to understand the male perspective of adoption and adoption reunion.

I am also a PhD student who conducted research on adoption reunion recently. During the pilot research process, the voice of male adoptees, and for that matter, birth fathers, was noticeably absent from the literature. I would be honored to hear more about your stories, the male adoptee and birth father point of view and experience. If you are interested in participating in a research study - which I have been told by other participants that they found taking part to be interesting and at times helpful - please contact me either here or at MySpace.com - www.myspace.com/alynp

It takes strength to be vulnerable with those who love you. My heart goes out to each of you.

Kindly and respectfully,
Amy
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Last edited by alynp : 05-30-2008 at 06:58 AM.
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  #15  
Old 06-25-2008, 09:52 PM
irishbri irishbri is offline
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Amy,

what are you going to do with your research when finished? Will it be posted anywhere. I would be curious to read your results.

Thanks,

BH
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