Some of you will be expecting this article to be based around instructions on how to be an absolute, grade 1, greasy shit. Looking at the state of the UK over past few decades, there is no lack of valid examples of how this can be accomplished in real terms. All of you will have encountered a level of betrayal in your life, be it personal or professional, where the term “bastard” is more than applicable in the pejorative sense. What I want to share with you are my observations as an individual who has never known the truth about their biological parents, never mind spending any time with them other than the 7 or 8 months spent inside my mothers womb.
A few folk have been rather cruel in my life, suggesting that I have a rather large chip on my shoulder about being illegitimate. Far from it, I wear it as a badge of honour as it has made me the person that I am. If anything, I am far too accepting of the weaknesses of my fellow man, or to put it in the words of my wife “Soft as shit on the outside, hard as nails inside”. Woe betide the individual who misinterprets my kindness for weakness, they will rapidly find out that there is another side to me. While I understand that forgiveness is the essential oil that lubricates a civilised society, I am not so much of a fool as to forget the lessons of history. It is curious to note that all of those who suggest that I am bitter inevitably were not adopted, preferring to walk in their experience of life rather than mine. So be it. They would be the first to condemn the speck in your eye, while forgetting the plank in their own.
I’m not going to say much about my childhood, other than it was extremely difficult. A neurotic, drug addled mother who had her own demons to fight from the war years, the death of a child and a bitter divorce will given you some sort of clue. My father, a strict disciplinarian, had to be physically restrained by my mother on many occasions. Both were the product of a war that left many more casualties in the continuing emotional carnage that results from training people to kill, then expecting them to conform to normal civilian values at the mere removal of a uniform and a weapon. They were messed up individuals, and I hold no bitterness in my heart towards them as they did their best under the circumstances. I left home at 16, and while I kept in touch, it was clear that I needed to make my own way in the world, if just for my own sanity, if not theirs. After all, my GP admitted that my parents were not fit to adopt according to social services, and the only reason the local authority had approved the transaction was to get me off the books.
Anyone contemplating adopting a child has got to think very long and hard about what they are taking on. Apart from the obvious issues of race, colour and culture, there is the big problem of a premature forced detachment from the mother and the effect on the limbic brain. The consequences of such an action have been well studied, and the result is akin to a form of PTSD without an incident to tie the resulting anxiety to. I am sure somewhere along the line – if not already – this will be classed as a form of mental illness. The fact of the matter is that adopted children will be difficult, if not downright unmanageable, depending on your perspective. A significant percentage of adopted children will suffer from substance abuse, depression, suicide and struggle with any number of other demons throughout their life. Most will function alright on the surface, but bring some serious adversity or stress into the picture and a different picture will emerge. It will almost seem as if you have two different people in the same body.
The adoption process creates a schism within the character, a fault line that potentially can have a major impact on society. While we can be thankful that a life has been saved rather than sacrificed at the alter of whatever demonic entity rejoices at the death of innocent children, the consequences to the adoptee have never really been accepted or understood by society. The same issues apply to premature babies placed in the isolation of an incubator. To a lesser extent, the same curse is upon the heads of children of single parent families, insomuch as the natural foundation of a mother and father has been callously disregarded. Give me a child to 5, and I will make the man, goes the saying. To suggest that a betrayal of such a committent by having half, or indeed all, of the partakers that resulted in the corresponding child “missing in action”, is an affront to social and moral responsibility. We end up with a bunch of messed up individuals who cannot understand committent as they have never experienced it as nature intended. You either end up with dereliction or over-compensation, cold callous abandonment or smothering protection. This results with a deep personal internal void, impossible to express, in so much as if I talked Swahili to you would not understand. The head will nod in politeness, but the reality will be very different. And that void is being extremely well filled with consumerism, political activism and every sort of crap you can possibly imagine, like rubble in an empty foundation. Yet the age old question remains of “Who am I” ? No amount of drugs, handbags or cars will answer that.
It wasn’t until I started writing this piece I realised how deep and pernicious the attack on such a precious question has being going on of late. Sure, we will come to the whole issue of adopted children and identity in a minute, but we are clearly entering an age of state sponsored identity. Think about it. It is not an accident that the Jews had to wear a yellow star. Not only was this saying publicly “Who I am”, but added insult to injury by suggesting cowardice by the yellow insignia. By forcing individuals to publicly reveal their identity, you immediately remove any personal humanity and individualism from them, hence the social disquiet over the burqa et al. What you are saying is “I belong to a group, and I am no longer an individual”. Such level of commitment rightfully belongs to a family, not a political or social construct. While we can identify with and share group values, they are not our core identity. Once we go down that route, we are on the path to Hell.
I can be such a moral arbitrator without the slightest twinge of conscience for I know how damaging not having an identity can be. I swing between utter disbelief in myself to a god like omnipotence, neither of which are a true reflection of where I stand in society. On one hand, I have the rejection and abandonment of my birth parents (Both forgiven) against the narrative of being “Special” as I was adopted. I live in my head, and while I appreciate the touchy feely aspects of life I have little regard for them. I am a distant observer, almost akin to a psychopath, unable to truly connect with the “family values” everyone else takes for granted. I have grown an antennae most lack insofar as I can tell bullshit from a thousand yards, but am willing to tolerate a certain amount of it to get along. I pretend to be socialised, but in my heart of hearts I know I am totally alone. Apart from God and the Angels that is.
It all boils down to the internal dialogue we have playing inside. For me, I have to fight the “You are a failure” on a constant basis. When both your parents reject you, it is a fundamental shock to the core of your soul. In reality, I realise I’m not, but it doesn’t turn the damned persistent soundtrack off. I don’t have any genetic foundation to go back to, and while I’m sure my adopted parents would be quite proud of what I have accomplished, they don’t count. They don’t have the roots of a father who died of an overdose. It took so long to discover him the coroner couldn’t accurately determine cause of death due to the state of decomposition. Nor a mother, who when traced via an adoption agency, chose to deny all knowledge. The fact he died alone, and that I only started looking for him in earnest past his demise, will be one of the regrets I will take to my grave. As to my birth mother, my only reason for tracing her was to say I understood her predicament and held no antagonism towards her. Such a history tends to make relationships difficult.
I have never “Fitted in”. Nor will I until they bury me. We speak about radicalisation blithely, but forget about the damage that lack of natural parenthood brings to the door of society in so far as real human interaction is concerned. I have always, by the grace of God, tried to walk the right side of the line. Apart from a few detours involving some recreational drugs, and the usual teenage rebellion, I’ve not knowingly broken the law. Saying that, I could very easily have gone the other way. I was in my youth accused of “Being easily influenced”, conveniently forgetting that the group will always bring their pressure to bear as a matter of course, irrespective of any strength of individual character. We are social animals by default. Battling with personal acceptance will always leave the door open for others to negatively or indeed positively influence, as you are continually searching for value. Or to put it another way, the adoptee is left with a vacuum that must be filled at all costs if he or she to consider themselves whole.
That is why there is such a large move towards social justice, environmentalism, radical politics and the like. Not having the foundational basis of a stable two gender parent childhood, the twin towers of nurture and responsibility are skewed, and as generally (as in the case of single parent families) you have a predominant bias towards the feminine. This is to a degree less damaging to female children, but to the male it is devastating, as the lack of a male role model reinforces “a devil may care” attitude towards collective responsibility. This extends not only through the psyche but the thought process as well. It is very difficult to convince someone that their world-view and reality is not “normal”, hence the general widespread acceptance of the destruction of the nuclear family. After all, what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.
On a personal basis, I have always over compensated from being cut adrift, like a rudderless boat upon the high seas. I tend to take things far too seriously, immediately taking responsibility when frequently others will not. While on the surface I am considered a “Good egg” and will go out of my way to facilitate the best for all, like my father, I am a tormented soul. I have yet to forgive myself for something that is not my fault, and it is so hard wired into my being that in my later years I have come to accept this Achilles heel as something that will not be fixed in my lifetime at least. Or to put it another way, it is purely by the grace of God I have managed to get this far. I could so easily have ended up in prison, dead even, as those tender threads that hold an individual to the normal social constructs of behaviour and understanding have been severed. While I am not a sociopath or a psychopath, my psychometric scores make interesting reading. As an INFJ male, I sit amongst less than 1% of the population, and that is probably just as well. If I had a pound for every time I have told that I am “Too deep”, I would be a multi-millionaire. My response to such statements is to parry with a simple question – “What do you mean by too deep”? I have watched with abject horror as a nation, as a civilization, we have committed ourselves to a race to the bottom, becoming more and more facile and abandoning more and more objective truth along the way. I am not sure if I am a natural philosopher, commentator or indeed prophet, but living my life in such a detached way, unburdened by a history of any true identity and having to make sense of the universe from nothing, has been a blessing in many obscure ways. I care not if you are king or pauper, saint or sinner, but you will be treated with respect by me on the basis that you appreciate that respect is earned and not given by title or position. I do have one thing in my favour though. Call it sixth sense, intuition, whatever. I can tell when something is “off” at 1000 paces. The destruction of the family unit, the pressure to accept sexual deviation and transgenderism is but some of them. Having spent my life surrounded by some of the most broken people imaginable, some of who chose to take their own lives, I can state unequivocally that such “freedoms” come at a huge personal and national cost. For some reason, I seem to attract attention of the birds with broken wings. As a society, we betrayed generations by decriminalising abortion, and it sends a shudder through me as I appreciate how close I came to being found dead in a cardboard dish or a toilet in some state or private institution with the blessing of the state. All the self-hatred sinks into oblivion when faced with that fact.
So I will beg your forgiveness if I get a bit angry in my closing section. The stench of hypocrisy in this nation has reached proportions which would cause our forefathers to vomit. I say that, as it is abundantly clear that freedom without responsibility has reached peak idiocy. Not only have we allowed our institutions and systems to be overrun with Laissez-faire, but the most precious outcome, the product between a man and a woman in love, has been commoditised to extent that it is of no value. Call it moral hyper-inflation. Until we start realising that life is precious, and nature has already laid out the ground rules as to how things work, we fuck with it at our peril, both literally and metaphorically. Sure, the human character is incredibly adaptive, and will by animal cunning or education hopefully rise above negative circumstance. The reality of generations of sink estates where there is no hope suggest that only a few make their way out, if at all. Part of this is clearly a culture where children are just another benefit cheque. While this is a brutal solution to survival on the part of the parents, it forgets one very important factor. The identity of that child will be subtlety compromised, insofar as a contributory “parent” will be the state. The more influence the state will have on childhood, the less opportunity that child will have to grow into a balanced individual.
I really don’t understand the last few generations of women. Having being forced into work if they want to provide a secure home for their offspring, unless of course father earns a substantial wage, they don’t appreciate the damage that abandonment to the crèche or nursery school means for their child. I’ll accept that the majority do it out of necessity, but the number of women regularly absent from the workplace due to “family issues” tells a different tale. Motherhood is a precious gift, and it seems to me at least, it has been sold out for economic expediency if not unlicensed sexual freedom. I really cannot come to any other conclusion, aside from the fact that men really need to keep their reproductive organs in their pants unless they are willing to sleep in the bed they have inadvertently made.
Using the vernacular of Churchill, I’ll keep buggering on. Like him, I have a penchant for alcohol and tobacco. They are the only two things that keep me moderately sane when faced with the internal conflict. I would commend the following lecture by Paul Sunderland to the house, who will put into words from a medical basis far more eloquently than I will ever manage.
Lecture on adoption by Paul Sunderland.
© Rookwood 2019
The Goodnight Vienna Audio file