Monday, November 9, 2009

Speaking TRUTH to POWER

The phrase "speaking truth to power" goes back (at least) to 1955, when the American Friends Service Committee published Speak Truth to Power, a pamphlet proposing a new approach to the Cold War.

The phrase has become popularized; Anita Hill entitled her memoir of her sensational charges of sexual harassment against Supreme Court nominee Clarence Thomas, Speaking Truth to Power.

Yet Quakers date it back to the eighteenth century. Their intent is clarified specifically as:
We speak to power in three senses:
  • To those who hold high places in our national life and bear the terrible responsibility of making decisions for war or peace. 
  • To the American people who are the final reservoir of power in this country and whose values and expectations set the limits for those who exercise authority. 
  • To the idea of Power itself, and its impact on Twentieth Century life.

While our issues are not of war and peace in the traditional sense, we are certainly fighting a war on the sanctity of the family whose separation in some instances has meant a difference between life and death.

We unquestionable need to speak truth to the powers that allow, promote and encourage - with government tax incentives and the like - unregulated control of baby brokers to permanetly sever families for no other reason than their profit andgreed.

We need to speak to our truth to those who use religion as  weapon against single mothers and their fear of abortion to believe and propagate lies about secrecy in adoption.

We need to speak truth to all who beleive that adoption is a warm fuzzy win-win.

And, we need to speak truth to wmpower ourselves.

There is no time like National Adopotion AWARENESS Month to speak our truth and make all AWARE of that truth!

A recent comment by Joan on The Adoption Feminists: Grieve Your Adoption Month speaks to this:

Adoptees: let your adoptive family know how you feel about being adopted. I mean that. Adoptees are used to be cowering in the corner or not wanting to  hurt anyone's feelings, but be real to yourself. This past March, while I sobbed in  therapy, my counselor asked, "Does your mother know how you feel?"

Yes, she does. It's been well-over 30 years since the beginning of my reunion and my mother has not acknowledged my pain. Only hers, and how I hurt her by participating in a reunion, or that I knew my siblings during my childhood and lied to my adoptive parents about it. Really? How could my adoptivemother twist the evil deeds around to make me out to be the one who lied? She and my adoptive father lied about my siblings,about my father, about my entire natural family being right within  a five mile radius of our home. I was deliberately prevented from knowing my own siblings by my so-called "loving" adoptive parents.

So, adoptees, come right out and tell your adoptive parents and autns,  uncles and cousins how you feel about being adotped and lied to. Lete them  know how you feel. Don't save it for the therapy sessions. Get right in  the abusers faces and tell them what they did to you and the emotional trauma left in your soul because of adoption. Put the blame of pain right where it belongs.

Here's another idea: Write to legislators and to the President to telll  them that our birth certificates are legal lies. Falsified birth certificates should  be made illegal because this is identity theft.

This applies equally for mothers who lost children to adoption. Many of us have major issues with our parents, especially our mothers, who were forceful, instrumental, complicit - or stood by in silence - in our time of loss. While we do not have the a fear of rejection rooted in feeling like we had been rejected once at birth that adoptees harbor...we do have a deep-seeded internalized feeling of having hurt our parents, and causing them shame.  These keep us mute.

Our parents, like the adoptive parents described in this comment, often also turn things around and feel that they are the victim, not us!  Accepting that puts us in the position of victim and the villain; the sinner who deserves the lifelong pain cast upon us by our loss.  My parents went to their graves beleiving themselves to be the victims of my loss. It was all about them and, I was told specifically that, my search for my daughter was my choosing to cause them additional hurt!

Confrontation is not about hurting those who have hurt us. But still, it is not right for everyone or in every circumstance.  If it is what you need to do to free yourself of the chains that bind you, by all means consider it. You have the key to set yourself free.

If you cannot confront them because they are too frail, or deceased, or you just don't see the's OK.  You can do "empty chair" type therapy and you can  take back your power by recognizing your Truth even if it is not spoken to "them" - and speak it to all others!

Cast off any and all remnants of your cloak of "sin" and "shame" and "guilt" and stand tall and proud and know that you did the best you could given the information and options you had at your disposal - which were few to none.  Give the sin and shame and guilt right back to whomever cast it on you: social workers, clergy, your Mom...either literally or figuratively.

And then, having shared your honest pain, feel sorrow and forgiveness for those who chose to hold onto their false beliefs and cannot accept what is true for you....pity them, they know not what they do. Pity their deluded thinking, their ignorance and their inability for compassion for fear it will weaken them.  Show them - and yourself - the compassion they are unable to.

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