A Tiny, Enraged Escape Artist

It’s been three weeks since I’ve sat down to write. Having an illness in my body sends my mind running for the hills. I should apologize here, perhaps to myself. I don’t think a woman my age should just be figuring out the things I’m just figuring out. While I was sick, hanging out in bed, coughing all night, I would grab my trusty phone and listen or read to something I hoped would make me feel better. In the haze, I heard something, I think from Kyle Cease. He was talking about ways we avoid change. He talked about disappearing into our own minds. Specifically, because it takes us out of the present. If we don’t live in our present it’s terribly difficult to change anything about it. I’ve done it for so long, as long as I can remember, really.


I love Sunday morning nowadays. It’s quiet, relaxing, I might even say Zen like. This morning I lounged around in bed in that half awake, half asleep state until well after eight. When I finally sat up, I wrapped my comforter around me and hugged my pillow and quietly meditated for another hour. I had a lot to process. Earlier, in one of my awake moments, I’d read this article from an adoption blog, Do Adoptees and Foster Kids Have a Right to be Angry? 

I grew up on a windy, sagebrush-covered hill in a small farming community in Idaho. My parents had saved and bought six acres of land that was considered pretty worthless because half of it was hillside and not farm-able. They put a HUD (what we used to call manufactured homes) house there on a basement foundation and started planting pine trees. By the time they moved into the house, they had adopted their first four children between 1965-1970.

I’m sure my mom felt more than able to meet the task at hand. She was the oldest of thirteen siblings and had milked cows, worked in the fields, done laundry in a washtub, lived with her entire family in a one-room cabin with no electricity or water. I’m sure she looked at the four of us and her shiny new home with two bathrooms and three bedrooms and thought “This is gonna be a piece of cake!” She’d struggled for ten long years just to get kids, now she had four! She no longer needed to teach school with her husband employed at the local college as a professor. He had his dream job and she had hers.

Dum da da da! Enter, real life.

How am I sure she felt like that? Heaven knows she never talked to us about her feelings. But she trained me and that’s how I felt when I had my first child. For all intents and purposes, I had raised my four younger siblings. Fed them, changed them, bathed them, watched them, cleaned the house, fixed the meals, washed and hung hundreds of flannel diapers on the line then dropped exhausted into bed before ten only to wake up and do it all again the next day. I was twelve years old and had three kids under three and an eight-year-old who wore diapers at night and didn’t speak English. Going home with one little baby boy, puh-lease, a piece of cake.

Growing up, I was angry, a lot. By the time I was four or five I had learned that was not acceptable in this house. Showing anger to mom was dangerous. That lesson was reenforced time and again, year after year. However big your explosion, her response was nuclear. Her frustration often came out in these words, “You are the luckiest children in the world! Don’t you know that? No body wanted you! No one but me. How can you treat your mother like this? Think about that while you’re out finding a stick!”

I lived in mortal fear of my mother’s wrath. In the aftermath of punishments, I spent endless nights wondering about the other mother that didn’t want me. I secretly wondered if I was lucky at all. But I was a good girl. I only wanted people around me to be happy. I was sure I could be good enough to keep mom happy.

It would be years and years before I could understand about hormones and their effect on women. It would take the death of both adopted parents for me to realize I was close to killing myself just trying to be worthwhile in their eyes. It would take fifty years of life, finding lost blood relatives, a lot of pondering what their lives were and how that reflected on my own, so many confusing emotions, then one leisurely Sunday morning I’d be given permission to feel the way I feel.

Hell, yes, we’re angry…We’ve been kicked around, abandoned, lied to, judged, misunderstood, labeled, shamed, pitied, abused, misrepresented, ignored, shunned, marginalized, orphaned and sent away with our few belongings in a black trash bag.

No, I’m not only worthy because you wanted a baby.

Yes, I have every right to be angry for what I lost.

Next blog – The art of escaping when there is nowhere to go!



0 thoughts on “A Tiny, Enraged Escape Artist”

    1. I forgot to close comments on this. This post is more of a me trying to sort my thoughts and make them understandable and make sense to myself then it is really anything else. Every layer I uncover is kind of amazing to me but I realize it’s not really like that for other people. But I’ll always take the hugs!

  1. It would be helpful to everyone, I think anyway, if we were all made aware and better informed about hormones.

    My little brother was a terror, (me along with him) but after my younger by 11months sister hit puberty, he learned the hard way that she might be a girly girl, all delicate and pretty, but tease her the wrong time of the month and you risk your life. He did not know to expect that violent a response. She didn’t used to react so viciously. Plus, as the oldest, I didn’t have the mood swings at all. He was totally unprepared.

    My brother developed a calendar survival technique using the one in our (all kids) shared bathroom that listed our names, (including mom) so he could keep track of all our cycles. Having moved away from home when I was 14 to attend a school almost 300 miles away, I was unaware of this calendar. When I was a sophomore in college, I went home for a visit, a man that liked me followed me home in his attempt to develop a relationship. He stayed in my brother’s room and of course used the shared sibling bathroom. He asked me why the calendar in there listed my name on one of the weeks of every month? I didn’t know; I asked mom, she didn’t know; none of my sisters knew either. Finally I asked my brother. He explained it by saying he needed to remember to never pick on the sister capable of killing him, or at least rendering him infertile during that one week every month.

    Poor man, he never did have kids.

    1. He developed a calendar….
      That poor boy!
      Hormones should be our friends, not the things that drive us crazy. I think the imbalances are worldwide now, and I don’t think it’s just women anymore.

      1. Yes, poor little bro surrounded by a house full of hormonal women.

        On the bright side, he was never shy. Other than he tends to be attracted to emotionally unavailable women. Everyone in my family blames me for that. Even my mom told me this last Wednesday because of his latest breakup. I don’t know if I buy it though cause if that is true, it is all sorts of eff’d up.

        Anyway, he has always been the little player with girls and women. When he was thirteen, I remember having a bunch of my girlfriends over. There were four of us, 16 & 17yrs old at the time and he was seriously crushing on one of the girls that happened to be a twin. (He still wishes she would give him a chance, but she has always preferred women.) He boldly walked into the room we were all set up with our blankets and pillows and stood there for a moment before clearly announcing; “Should any of you tire of sleeping with me on the floor, his warm comfy bed is the first door on the right.” The bathroom is the first door on the left.

        He was always hitting on my girlfriends and never shyly or quietly. When they called for me and he answered, he would act like they wanted to talk to him and speak in his Barry-White-you-know-you-want-me voice. There are so many crazy stories about him. I only know a fraction of them too.

        I think growing up with so many different women didn’t hurt him in the least. Other than he hasn’t found one to be committed to him long term. I told him a few years ago that he is dating too young for that to ever happen. Women who wear short skirts and low tight tops are not looking for a long term relationship. They want what he can buy them and give them, (his Victoria’s Secret bills are pretty outrageous) they want to have fun and so does he, but they are not likely to want to marry and have babies in their early 20s.

        1. Now I’m curious how old he is?
          Men and their VS and little girls. Older women are more complicated, I get it. But isn’t it like thinking you will always be happy eating at McDonalds? Yeah, it’s cheap and you know what you’re getting and it’s delicious but someday don’t you want to be able to sit at a table, order wine and converse about things you’ve always wondered?
          Maybe men don’t really have that desire for more content, maybe they really are just happy with things the way they are?

          1. Okay, I’m not sure, cause I don’t remember his b-day, but he is at least 45/46 by now. Way too old to be dating 20 year olds. Not that he would listen to anything I suggest when it comes to what the wiener wants. Plus he will take whichever hot chick is interested. Haha,

            We had a long conversation once cause he was all butt-hurt when he brought a woman to a family party (he usually doesn’t do this) and my mother acted like the woman wasn’t even there. Never acknowledged the her existence. Even after he went out of his way to introduce them. He was so steamed. But I asked him what his date looked like? Super short dress, 6″ heels so he could almost see panties when she walked. Low revealing top. Just the way he loves them. Yeah, my hubs likes them that way too. But you don’t have the same girl in your life longer than three or six months, from mom’s perspective why bother to remember their names, much less get to know them. After I said that, he got really quiet for a minute then decided that I had a point and laughed. No longer offended. Of course I used very crass language when I talked to him about it.

            I do think men are easy tho and have more than once told them; “I know they are grateful if anyone will touch it much less do more with them.”

            I also think, if we are taught and teach our girls in turn when they are young, that we (women) get to choose who we want to be with. Never settle, men need us more than we need them. So many women are fooled into thinking it is the other way around.

            I tell the boys something like that too, but that it is a little different.

            Now I know this attitude has worked well for me and at least one other sister. If you don’t believe it of yourself, it may not work. I don’t know. I have one sister (the pretty sister, but she is also the dumb one, don’t tell her I said) that thinks she is ‘needs’ a man. Consequently, she settles and well, it hasn’t worked out well for her in life.

            You ever see the train wreak coming, but they won’t get off the tracks? My bother’s failed relationships are nothing in comparison to hers poor thing. But she won’t listen to her sisters and never has.

          2. I have to remember to teach my girls that, it is true. They do need us more than we need them. I hope they find a partner they can live and share with instead of a man to take care of.

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