This is a series on Adoptee Anger from lived experience, to help people understand what is beneath the surface and why adoptees can sometimes seem angry.
by Andrea Johnstone, adopted from Canada to England.
I used to be angry as a teenager! I so desperately wanted my adopted mum and dad to see me for who I was and for them to meet my emotional needs. It never happened. I was the school bully as I had to learn to protect myself from all the racial comments.
My school teachers used to say to me, “You are nothing but a nigger!” Yes, that’s right f**ing school teachers. I was pulled up by my jumper and hit against the wall from a PE teacher who said to me, “I hate you Andrea Johnstone!” Wtf!! So yes, I was f**ing angry. The kids never got punished for their racial behaviour. The teachers had no idea that I was living in a very dysfunctional household – mother narcissistic with a depressive, passive father. So hell yes, I was angry!
However, the tides turned and I went into deep therapy after a suicide attempt. It was a long journey back to self. And I’m here now supporting many adoptees in the UK. So it was all meant to be, as I know that pain, I know that anger within. I know the primal wounding because I have been there.
That anger still continues at times to bubble within. But I know now how to soothe her xx and no regrets. All my life experiences are who I am today. I’m a bloody amazing, wise woman who has learnt to truly love herself and to remember I was the one I have been waiting for. To give to myself what I was needing.
All the looking outside myself, the love I looked for with men, nagh … I can only have a healthy relationship with someone when I get one with myself first. And let me tell you it’s taken decades to work that one out.
You have to dig deep ladies and gents because this journey as an adoptee is no walk in the park. xx
For fellow adoptees needing professional support, Andrea is a psychotherapist in the Bournemouth UK area, you can connect with her at Psychology Today UK.