Someone Like Me

I can't be the only one to have been adopted and then brought up in a dysfunctional family—and survived it. I think there must be more out there like me. I just haven't met them yet.

I was born in Seoul, South Korea to a family with four other children, one of whom who was my twin. Two weeks later, I was placed in an orphanage through Korean Social Service. On April 27th, 1977, at three months old, I was adopted via Danadopt in Denmark and began my new—dysfunctional—life as an only child.

I was adopted into a defective family that sexually abused me.

My dad was narcissistic or psychopathic, and my mother suffered from a personality disorder, likely borderline personality. They not only were unable to take care of an infant, they abused me. The abuse was instantly present all the time, mixed together with ordinary family-life stuff like having dinners.

In school, I was the natural underdog, the neglected child who had problems connecting with other human beings. I had not learned how to mirror others or that emotions were ok to have…that it was ok to cry if I fell and hurt my knee, for instance.  Because of this, I was an easy target and was bullied in kindergarten.

I've used most of my grown-up life recovering from the damage that was done.

Today, I'm not functioning in an ordinary job. The consequences after years of emotional and sexual abuse in my adoptive family requires a great deal of therapy, but I’m proud of my coping skills and ability to go on after decades where life stopped every time I was abused.

In 2009, I found my birth parents and subsequently lost contact again for 8 years. Culture and language barriers make it very difficult to maintain a relationship.

Just two months ago, I communicated with my sister—and am at an impasse with her as well. I made of the mistake of asking about her husband, and there has been no response back. (I have notion that she might be divorced.) I don't know how to break the silence to resume a conversation again.

Someday, I’d like to live abroad, though I don’t know where. I’d love to study something, but I don’t know what. This year, I hope to go to Korea. Or maybe next year. It doesn't feel like the right time just yet to do it, and there are no open opportunities for me to make it real.

For now, I’d settle for finding someone like me.