My Abandonment Was Better Than Yours


Abandoned child syndrome is a behavioral or psychological condition that results primarily from the loss of one or both parents, or sexual abuse. Abandonment may be physical (the parent is not present in the child’s life) or emotional (the parent withholds affection, nurturing, or stimulation).

Have you ever compared your family to someone else’s and done a value assessment?  Who has the better family?

Adopted kids do that with abandonment.  There are some adopted kids, myself included, who just see being an adopted kid as an experience that all adopted kids have in common, no hierarchy in place.  I call these people sharers.

Grumpy old men: I was an nwanted child, even my mother left me before I was born.

Then there are adopted kids who compare their story to others and say, essentially, “mine is more important.”  I call these people comparers.  There are 2 types of comparers.  (I’m willing to bet that there are comparers with other forms of abandonment…my divorce was better, my breakup was better, my parent leaving was better….etc.)

Type 1. Their adoption story is more important because it worked out so beautifully and perfectly and they are part of the small, if even existent, group that escaped adoption issues.

Type 2. Their adoption story is more important because it was way more tragic than yours.  How can you really have adoption issues at all when you have NOT been through what they have been through?!

Their abandonment was better and much more unique, than yours.  Don’t you ever forget it.

My first instinct is to say “Da fuq?!”

Then, I remember to stay positive and LOVE, LOVE, LOVE.

What are these people really saying?

I talk about self worth, inspired by how much adoptees struggle with self worth, and then by the realization that most people in our society struggle with self worth, and the realization of that being a significant issue.  ANYWAY.  I have come to the conclusion that when an adoptee focuses on finding differences in the circumstances of adoption stories, rather than recognizing the many ways in which adoptees have a shared internal experience, it is really just a cry for validation.  These people struggle with self worth and want others to recognize their story, and by extension themselves, as worthy of attention, of love, of pity, of compassion…of whatever it is they are looking for.

Think about what that really means.  A person must be stuck in a serious emotional choke-hold for their method of gaining validation to be comparing their abandonment story to others.

So, when it comes to comparers, I’m trading “Da fuq?!” for “What’s up? What do you have to say?  How can I validate you today?”

Isn’t it better to LOVE a comparer than to



LOVE always and forever,



3 thoughts on “My Abandonment Was Better Than Yours

  1. amherbert

    Phew I think I’m a sharer.

    Great post. I’ve never really compared my story to others, nearly every adopted person I’ve spoken to has a completely different experience and story.

    Sure even my sister and I, who went through exactly the same thing would have different stories.


  2. Great post! Those of us from open adoption often get compared as having had a “better” adoption than closed. But how can any of us say that one was better or worse than another? I feel traumatized by being left by my mom. It was an awful, terrible, horrible open adoption, but I don’t know if my pain is/was any worse than another. Pain is not a competition. I agree with what you’ve written here. We need to hear each other especially as adoptees. I want to know how my fellow adoptees feel. I want to know what they’ve gone through. Not to rank. Just so that we all know we aren’t alone. Thanks Juliana!


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