I hate when people get excited to hear I'm an adopted twin from South Korea. The only reason I was adopted was because my biological father abandoned us at an orphanage. This is first on the list of my abandonment issues. R and D (foster parents) had adopted a little girl named Bethany from South Korea right before we were adopted. Unfortunately D's car rolled back when she was getting out and she died. Ever since then he's been an abusive alcoholic and an insensitive jerk. The side of his family doesn't deal with any type of emotional issue. Abby and I were shortly adopted after her death. And by shortly, I mean IMMEDIATELY. We were replacing because they didn't grieve. I've talked to my therapist and social worker about this and they agree, so please don't tell me I shouldn't think I'm a replacement.
R and D were never around. I seriously saw them for an hour starting when I was 4. I'm currently 24 going on 25. Where was all my time spent and who with? We had a baby sitter that's been taking care of us as well as my maternal grandmother. They were my family as well as my sister Abby. We would speak for one another - we were connected. We no longer talk, but that's another story. Growing up was rough, especially when Abby abandoned me after I was hospitalized. It didn't matter to her I lost my job because she was hospitalized and I was the only one who would visit her. Abandonment #3. I can go on and on, but it's really upsetting. Being rejected and thrown to the wolves to fend for yourself. Am I being a baby?
I decided in my early 20s that the decade of being twenty was for figuring out why one is who one is, and that one ironic or amusing offshoot is that after identifying a reason one might be the way one is, the next thing that happens is that there is a period of time where one uses it as an excuse before being able to do something about it. In your shoes, sure, you have a lot of reasons to be upset! Some people have fewer grievances, some deal with much worse things. (My sister-in-law, when a mutual friend told us an absolutely horrendous story about something that they had been dealing with years, said, "Everyone has a garbage can they carry around and in it are bad things that nobody else knows.") The question is, where do you want to end up? Relationship with sister/ no relationship with sister? Still close to grandma or is grandma gone? Relationship with adoptive parents / no relationship with adoptive parents? Whether or not you were a "replacement," if things had been really perfect and your adoptive family had showered you with love, you would not have given a damn if you were a replacement or not, you would just have been glad to be there. (I'm someone's second wife. I'm so glad to be the replacement for his first wife! He's a great husband and I got to have him and she didn't!) So your grievance has really got to be the crappy treatment, not the issue of being a fill-in.
Anyway, whatever you decide you want to end up with, you can get there. There is help, therapy, directed thinking, visualization. For me, it was always harder to decide exactly where I wanted to end up than it was to get there once I decided. Maybe it's like that for you also. It's easier to stay high-centered on emotional issues if there is no clear goal that leads away from them.
I've heard that Dr. Laura's "Bad Childhood, Good Life" is an OK read, maybe you could start there.
I have goals and aspirations but my sister has ruined it and I accept my consequences for what I did, but my dreams have pretty much flown out the window. I wanted to teach ESL in China, but now I have this on me - I'm never going to get a job. I don't have a relationship with my sister. I don't have a relationship with anyone. They're not my family and they never were. My maternal grandmother has passed. The only grandparent still alive is my paternal grandmother and I don't have a relationship with her, either. My foster father's side of the family is very stern and doesn't express emotions. They let it fester. I disagree. I will always have replaced my older sister. Like I said, that side of the family is insensitive and they weren't there for me. I'm very dedicated to my therapy, medication, and working on issues. I'm responsible, mature, and rational. I would expect nothing less after being "sick" after this many years. Thanks for the advice.
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