Please join us for our guest blogger “V”. “Based on her own experience, she is telling us what she believes your adoptive teen wants you to know., Please read, contemplate what she’s said and we’d love to hear your thoughts in the comment section. If you have an adoptive teen and you’re wondering why they are doing certain things, or if it’s because they’re adopted, read what “V” has to say.
I know the majority of parents can agree that being a teenager wasn’t all that easy. Puberty, recognizing that the opposite sex didn’t actually have cooties, having BO, anxiety and of course the sassy attitude that always got you into trouble were pretty standard teen stuff. Face it, adding the ending -teen on your age turned more into a curse than a ticket to freedom or the magic word for manly chest hair. I’m here to share that being an adoptive teen is a WHOLE different story. Yes, we struggle with puberty and big mouths as well but our thoughts go way further then the “average” teenage mind.
I’m a 19 year old female who was adopted from Russia when I was four and half years old. Although I’ve been able to deal with a lot of my past baggage I still struggle with a ton of anxiety and fear of rejection by family and friends. It’s interesting to compare myself to my fourteen year old brother who, although I consider him a “goober”, is normal when it comes to his thought process.
For example: My brother has so many incredible friends and it seems that he picks up more every time he steps out of the house. When his “crew” is over and I’m walking by I always notice how relaxed he seems. He’s completely content and acts like himself around his crazy group of friends. I’m jealous because I envy that sense of relaxed and normal feeling.
I have a few close friends and that’s all I really want. However, that’s only because I have such a fear about being rejected by new people. In large groups or places that are a feeding ground for potential new friends I find myself freaking out that nobody will like me and that they already know my deepest, darkest secrets. It’s silly I know but you have to remember that my anxiety of being rejected is fueled by that feeling of not being good enough for anyone. A feeling I know all too well after my mom gave me up.
It’s easy to say or think that all you have to do is change your thoughts and open up, but that’s too risky for us adoptive teens. Opening up is just an easy target to being let down and being left. So instead I put a mask on and be the person I THINK the people around me will accept. It’s tiresome and it’s lead me to really question who I am after I’ve removed the masks from a long day of pretending.
Some adoptive teens may make friends fine and have their anxiety under wraps, but I guarantee they fear rejection more than anything. On the other hand if you notice your teen squirming at the suggestion of meeting new people or start acting out when you question them about friendships, this is what’s probably going through their head.
“The more you push, the more I don’t want to.”
“I’m not comfortable in my own skin.”
“I’m afraid they won’t like me like my biological parents/parent.”
“Nobody will like me. What’s there to like?”
Sad, I know. Us adoptive teens tear ourselves up more than you probably realize.
Anxiety and rejection is just the start of feelings that we adoptive teens may feel. I’m in a time of my life where I’m having to process through what I went through in the orphanage and having to deal with the emotions that came with it. However, I pushed down those emotions for a long time and ended up acting out through bad eating habits, drinking and being promiscuous.
If you’re a parent with an adoptive teen and your shaking your head thinking, “Oh no. My teen doesn’t struggle with that,” I encourage you to check your teens cell phone and start to question who they see themselves as a person. Try to get them plugged into a group where they can talk about their feelings in a safe environment, because if they aren’t acting out physically I’m sure there’s a lot of mental and emotional acting out happening.
I know us adoptive teenagers are a pain in the butt sometimes but don’t think we don’t appreciate our parents trying to help. As much as we push away we still want you to love and pull us back. We need to know that no matter what, rejection will never be an option.
Stay tuned for my next blog!
“Signs that your adoptive teen is struggling”