Think of all the labels associated with adoptees: abandonment complex, lack of attachment, numbing of emotions, reactivity, identity issues, attention deficiencies, and loss; these just for starters. We concentrate on these, the problem labels. What then would be the solution labels? We discover these while asking, how have we come to endure? Perseverance, strength, creativity, adaptability, and character, to name a few traits that have been our ballast.
If it is possible to change other, more general, labels as we grow and mature, such as being irresponsible, acting out, undirected, and / or undefined, then why do adoptee labels seem to stick with us throughout a lifetime? We differentiate ourselves as individuals, from the labels that would keep us standing still by thinking through the processes that caused them to be attached. Cognitive reversals are possible if we catch ourselves responding in reflexive ways.
Some labels are harder to peel off than others. What labels have been applied to you that stuck? What are the labels you apply to yourself? Are there other labels or descriptions that apply more accurately? It’s time to start scraping.
One of the best small satisfactions is to peel a label off right off away. That’s the best kind. For any label, all it takes is looking, intent, and effort. A little elbow grease here, a bit of ‘goo gone’ there. What are the labels that no longer fit you? Peel them off. You will belong much more than you thought.