My friend has been watching Switched At Birth, it’s her fist time but several re watches for me. I’ve been wanting to talk about this show for awhile, but haven’t gotten to it yet.
But I just saw an episode that I do want to discuss. It’s in season two episode 15, and in it they show an alternative universe of how it might be if both girls had been raised by the Kennishes.
****** SPOILER ALERTS***********
The whole show is pretty trippy but something got me in the gut about this episode. First, let me back up. I was excited all those years ago when this show came out because I identified with it on so many levels, beyond the Deaf theme. Obviously I wasn’t switched at birth, but as a cross cultural adoptee, I VERY MUCH identified with the things that were brought up, specifically for Bay. Those are the things I want to address about this show, but not right now in this post.
Back to this specific post. Which by the way is named Ecce Mono. I have no idea what it means. I surmise One something from the word mono. Anyway, so the episode shows Daphne as she (allegedly)would have turned out if she had been raised from the age of three on up by her birth parents. And Bay, as usual, gets left on the fringe of the family a theme that resounds through out the show for her, in an alternate universe or not. Eventually due to digging, Bay finds information about Regina, (her birth mom) discovers that the Kennishes banned/prevented/blocked/ any attempt for Regina to have any contact with her or Daphne. After investigation on their own and finding the Grandma, they learn that Regina has died. And that is the point that brings me to tears.
Flashback to 1998 when a very young, eager Naive Mary Black Bonnet was standing in a pow wow arena anxiously awaiting to meet her birth mother, only to be told she was dead. The impact that had on me. I was overwhelmed by thoughts of what could have been, an over surging of feelings for my poor birth mother who had NO money, NO back up, NO support and was going up against rich white people. She had NO CHANCE at winning.. NONE WHATSOEVER. All these years later it still gets me and causes me to cry. I can honestly say that it is one of the many reasons why my adopted mother and I will forever have a chasm between us. The answers my adopted white parents provided about my adoption and about my birth mom were scarce yet horrific. Leaving me to feel that I wasn’t wanted anywhere, that I didn’t matter or wasn’t important enough to anyone. The answers I finally got were answers I found on my OWN, through my own research and hunting, etc. But it disproved their lies and obliterated their false stories. UGH. That is literally something I could write on just by itself, but I don’t want to delve into that.
The point is, I don’t care who you are or who you think you’re helping, you do NOT get to keep a parent from their child and a child from their parent. In my situation, much like this commercially made, t.v written show, it was white, rich people wielding their power and getting their way so they can win. Bottom line, it is better to be honest with your child about a parent than to lie about them or paint them as monsters just to make yourself look good to OTHERS and to make you feel good about YOURSELF. Again, getting all that praise from other white people for being a “Great white savior”. PUKE
It doesn’t matter how great you raise an adopted child, they are always going to yearn for where they come from, no matter if you think they “don’t remember”. Even if you give them the perfect life, they are going to have an unexplained bubbling from inside that won’t go away just because you don’t talk about it. In fact, if you just look the other way, get ready for behavior issues like alcoholism, drug use, possible pregnancy. Any number of things that a child could use to cope with or kill a feeling they don’t understand and no one is talking about, so they start to think there is something wrong with them.
I’m an enigma. I, by all rights should not have made it into the healthy, successful, fiercely independent person I am today. I could have been any number of less than ideal versions of me. I am not normal. I was able to see early that If i was going to make it I’d have to do it alone. I also knew that my mom was out there and that became my goal, to find her and BE with her AGAIN. Obviously, that didn’t happen. But it set forth a whole new goal for me. That was to become a daughter she cold be PROUD of.
Post my horrific abusive childhood, I succeeded. I am aware that as a result of my childhood I developed some un healthy coping mechanisms yes, but I will not apologize for them. I don’t connect with other people for deep meaningful relationships. I am 100% content being on my own and in my own company. I am fiercely independent, a trait that was not helpful, nor appreciated in my marriage. I don’t usually ask for help. I feel much safer figuring it out alone and learning from it then to be criticized or made fun of by someone else.
I have more to say, but I need to go spend time with my kiddo, the person who is the most important human in my life and means 100% the most to me in the entire universe.
I’ll come back to this.
Thanks for reading.
Peace, hugs and Turtles,