For lack of better terminology, and because I know the adoptees reading will understand, I had an adoptee lens experience yesterday.
I’ve been job hunting. I have a job, but it is time to move on, and I’ve been sending out resumes and filling out applications for a little over 6 months. About a month in, I had an interview that didn’t result in a job, but since that time, it’s been mostly silence and rejection
You may know this, but rejection is hard for an adoptee. For me, because my personal life required me to acknowledge feelings, I spent years throwing almost all of my energy into my career, and this multi-year career “crisis” has been about identity, not paychecks. Last week was really bad, and I was very very low.
My partner listened, without trying to fix, as I whined about feeling completely worthless in the job market.
Yesterday, I was offered an interview. I was beyond thrilled, as I also got two more rejections. I considered who to tell. I wanted to shout it to the world, but given that I was at work at my current job, that would have been dumb. So I sat with it a minute. I warred with myself. I wanted to tell my partner — the only person that this job search directly affects is him. But I hesitated. What if he was tired of hearing about my stuff? What if he wasn’t as excited? I tamped down my concerns and e-mailed, as that’s how we communicate through the day.
I then e-mailed two friends, one who helped me shop for interview clothes months ago, and another who is also going through this job hunting awfulness. I chatted back and forth with them for a few hours, while working
No response from my partner. So I bit down my pride (and rejection issues) and sent another e-mail.
I used the burst of energy that comes from being wanted, even if just for an interview, and powered through the rest of the day at work. Ran an errand. Came home, opened the company website. Still no response. Now I felt like I was begging for attention, but I sent a second follow up, asking if everything was okay. I edited 4 or 5 responses that went too far into my (not great!) emotional state and how I felt being ignored, just leaving the concern. I went to a class.
I did get a response, short, blaming technology for a lack of response, 7 hours after my initial e-mail. He was excited for me.
I found I could not respond. I wanted to cry and rage and curl into a fetal ball all at the same time. I felt like I’d ignored my own trepidations and put myself in a position to be ignored. Does that even make any sense? I know there was no malice. No ill-intent. Likely no purposeful ignoring. And yet, that changes NOTHING about how rejected I feel. How cheated I feel for trusting. Because “NEVER TRUST ANYONE” was my easy, go-to motto for so very long. Not that that ever worked out well in relationships! But it kept me from feeling this way.
I responded in the morning and just said it sucked that I was so excited, that he was the one person I really wanted to share this news with, and then nothing. No response. And that technology kind of sucked as a form of communications — not always, but sometimes.
I am well aware that adoption colors how I view things. I’m aware of it as it is happening now, which has made an amazing difference. What it hasn’t changed at all is how I feel in those moments. I have learned not to respond in anger, in the heat. But I’ve also learned not to ignore the emotions or deny them. I don’t even deny them to my partner, as I think that if we are going to make this work, he has to know about my adoption issues. They are changing (or, rather, I am changing how I deal with them), but they will never go away.