I finally watched Grey’s Anatomy this week, my bestie called me and told me she needed to discuss the episode like usual and I needed to hurry up. Being the good procrastinator that I am, I waited a whole extra day.
I have never checked into a treatment center or psychiatric facility however the mix of emotions watching Jo walk into hit me hard. The hardest part was her giving Alex an “out”.
Like most adoptees, we have “outs”, whether we realize it or not, we always seem to have an escape route. Whether it is a relationship or friendship, we always, whether conscious or not, have an “out”. We have create a way to “leave” or “abandon” the situation without our pride or feelings being hurt, or at the very least, rationalization on why we have left said relationship or friendship.
Looking back through my life, I can see my “outs” or the “outs” that I have given or created for people, just like Jo. She tells Alex that she knows of his history, that he seems to always date “crazies” and that since they never officially filed a marriage license, that was his out. He doesn’t answer her. Some part of me knew why she did it, knew why she was pushing him away, why she gave him that out.
At an adoptee’s core whether consciously or unconsciously we are used to people leaving us and on some level we expect those around us to leave. We create these “outs” to “spare our feelings” to let people leave because that’s “what they do” but what if we let them leave or force them to leave because we devalue ourselves and don’t believe that we are worthy enough for love.
That’s a heavy statement. We have decided for ourselves that we are not worth someone else’s love. We have decided for them that we are not worthy of their love. I used to play it off, that I always had an exit plan “just in case” was it really just in case or was it because I had already decided that I was not worthy enough for what someone was offering me? That on some level I was in reality planning for my own self sabotage and self fulfilling prophecy. My creating the “out” or the “exit plan” it is only a matter of time before history repeats itself again and we spiral down only to feel miserable because we have created our own worse nightmare.
Knowing all of this, what does it all mean? Where do we go from here? Are we even capable to “stop” giving “outs” to people?
Personally I can tell you that I am fully aware that I self sabotage and I plan for an “out”. Sometimes I can’t tell if I’m doing it to be smart or if I’m doing it out of habit. At the very least I’m glad I’m aware of it. I know the behavior exists, I know the consequences and sometimes I honestly don’t know anything different. Sometimes the compulsion is so great that I can’t even reason myself out of it or even stop the impulse. Being aware of it helps, talking about it helps. I have had plenty of conversations with other adoptees and they just understand. They get it, they know the similar behaviors and feelings and sometimes the best thing I do, is just talk about it with them and work through it. Maybe one day we can start addressing it head on and a better solution, but until then, talking with professionals and talking with other adoptees is the best that I have found.