When going through the adoption process, we were often asked to put ourselves in the shoes of our prospective future children and to empathise with the reasons they may be put up for adoption. The key was to get an understanding of their experiences past, present and future.
It brought back some things that I’d not thought about for years, and others that I’d never even considered as having had an impact on my life.
Fast forward a year or two and through counselling for my depression I’m now finding myself bringing up memories that I’d long since forgotten. Memories and feelings that give a whole new perspective on how I’ve got to where I am today.
I was lucky to have had a warm, secure, supportive upbringing from birth, but it seems there have still been moments and feelings that have shaped how I am. As a child (fat and clever with glasses – just the red hair missing), being bullied and teased brought overwhelming feelings and on occasion a desire for the world to end. As an adult, I can empathise with those who carried out the bullying and teasing, or at least hypothesise about how their situation made them do so.
By starting to do that, I wonder whether I might get closure and be able to move forwards in life without some of the insecurities I have. At the very least, thinking about these things and bringing back forgotten feelings gives me a chance to put myself in my sons shoes and do my best to help him cope with all life throws at him.