Consistency, as in the condition of cohering, holding together and retaining form – of one’s sense of identity, for example — is the direct result of a consistency of information about oneself. If we are, as adoptees, introduced to several versions of our birth story, or, as I was, different narratives of what happened to our birth parents, it makes it difficult to develop inner consistency.
Inconsistency is what happens when we are induced to believe variations of the same story, should an adoptive parent chooses not to cope with the implications of the truth. And yet the truth is the only consistent message.
Trust in the world, in ourselves, and in the word of others is brought about by consistency. I find the adoptee personality, my own included, to be chameleon like in order to survive and adapt to a new family. If the consistency of one’s identity is shattered by inconsistent messages, that character is split up even more. She / he identifies with many stories and develops strategies to deal with a fictitious world.
Birth children take for granted the veracity of their history. This gives an inherent strength of confidence that we, as adoptees must take back if our histories were altered. Fortunately, I always knew I was adopted and from where, just not from whom. Today, five decades later, I still encounter the issue as I request a copy of my birth certificate to obtain a dual passport for Switzerland, where I will live next year, home ironically, to my birth father and my two half siblings.
Questioning ourselves, and our choices, is a natural offshoot of inconsistency and it undermines confidence. I’m hoping to erase the switchbacks on myself and the second guessing as they occur. Part of the game is understanding where they originate: inconsistency. Let’s get a thick, juicy consistency to our beings, and join the rest of humanity.