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164 – Adoptees Thriving

Simon from the United Kingdom, knew he was adopted from as early as he can remember. When he finally decided to search for his birth mother, he had a flash of anger about the toy. The woman left him.

But when he learned of her situation and heard another birth mother’s perspective, that his anger was likely misguided, he quickly changed course to empathizing with his birth mother. Listen to Simon’s efforts to support other adoptees and his desire to change prevailing narratives in adoption. This is simon’s journey


165 – Simon Benn

Cold Cut


[00:00:00] simon: in that moment, I remember it like got shivers down the spines in a good way. As I’ll tell you this story the tears just streamed down me and I felt her love for me and also her desperation in her predicament from the wording of the letter she was clearly in a very low place.

Show Intro

[00:00:22] Damon: I’m Damon Davis. And you’re about to hear from Simon. He called me from the United Kingdom. Simon knew he was adopted from as early as he can remember. When he finally decided to search for his birth mother, he had a flash of anger about the toy. The woman left him.

But when he learned of her situation and heard another birth mother’s perspective, that his anger was likely misguided, he quickly changed course to empathizing with his birth mother. Listen to Simon’s efforts to support other adoptees and his desire to change prevailing narratives in adoption. This is simon’s journey[00:01:00]



[00:01:00] Damon: Simon learned he was adopted before he was two years old. He said he had no challenges related to adoption. Growing up as a kid, the only story he told me was one of a mild jealousy for his younger sister who was adopted after himself. When the family of three went to pick up their new edition, the young lady was gifted a new blanket,

but Simon didn’t get one and he was upset. Simon said people have asked him over the years, whether he wanted to find his real mom and dad. But he always says his adoptive parents are his real parents. They’re the ones who raised him and he’s attached to them. I asked simon about similarities and differences between himself and his parents

[00:01:46] simon: So, my dad was the entrepreneur bread. Business focused guy, really kinda like very, uh, on that. And then mum wisdom or, you know, [00:02:00] traditional nurturing type.

You know, we had some, we had the ups and downs, I guess I thought perhaps, you know, my dad was very focused on that, on the business side as guys tend to tend to be. And I, I became that as well. I still am not. Yeah. , I’m a white guy adopted by white folks, you know? So, uh, do I look like them?

Not really, but not very dissimilar. , I do remember it at a time when I was about maybe 14, 15, we were away. We were on holiday, on, we were in, like a bar cafe during the day playing pool on the back of the beach, this was in Multa. One of the, we used to go to use it’s an island in the Mediterranean.

So my dad went there on national service in the, in the Royal air force. Uh, and we often went, we bought, he bought a flat over there and we used to go over a year. And anyway, , an older bloke made eye contact with me. And then my dad, , as we were standing around the pool table, waiting for our turn to pool, [00:03:00] and the guy said, , that’s your dad?

Isn’t it to me. , and I kind of looked at, I looked at my dad and my dad kind of winked, I think. And I went back at. Yeah. So, you know, we were about the same size. Well, my dad died about four years ago. We we’re about the same size, like five, 10 similar kind of build. Do we look like each other? Not really.

Do we look dissimilar? Not really.

[00:03:24] Damon: Yeah. family-ish, family

issue close enough. I’m with you 100%. And we had the same sort of family makeup in my, my family. , I’m sort of middle brown. My mom is light brown. My dad was dark brown, so we kind of looked like we were family. And if somebody asks, we would do the same thing, you kind of look at each other and smile and wink and say, yeah, that’s my dad.

You know? So I’m with you. That’s really cool. How about how you got along with your sister? This is another adoptee and you know, so you’re not entirely like your parents. And then you’ve got another person who comes from another family. How did you and your sister get along? [00:04:00]

[00:04:00] simon: Uh,

good and bad, really? You know,

I doubt some fallings out with her and we didn’t, we didn’t fight much. We didn’t fight go a tissue, the hammer and tong or anything like that. , she’s quite different to me now, you know, she got a different outlook on life. She’s got a different take on like me and my wife. I’m Johnny kids.

She’s got, she’s got three kids. So she’s, . She lives a different lifestyle and, um, yeah, we’re very, kind of very different P uh, very different people. So I’ve really rushed headlong into self-awareness, you know, that sort of stuff. , and she’s not, she’s not like that.

[00:04:45] Damon: Yeah, I understand. How about your mom? How to get along with your mom?

[00:04:49] simon: Yeah. Great, you know? Um, I don’t know. I mean, yeah, I can go on with my mum. She’s very empathetic kind of person. , so [00:05:00] I, I sometimes tell the tale about, I got knocked over. I ran in front of a very slow moving car.

Right. It was just coming out to the, a junction, when I was about 10. and I, I got knocked, I got knocked over and just a little bruise, nothing, nothing bad. But when I got home, I told him what had happened. And she, she said, oh, you silly idea or something like that. And I thought, I didn’t do it on purpose, you know?

, so I, and that, that, that sticks out for me because that was one of the, I would say that was one of the few occasions when I didn’t feel that she was empathetic towards me. So th that was like, Ooh, that’s a bit different. You know, obviously she was frustrated or worried, concerned that, you know, getting myself into danger by not, not being aware of traffic and, you know, she’s, she’s worried for me. But I thought why didn’t do on purpose. So, yeah, I’d say I probably can become closer to, uh, since my dad died, I see more of a, I can’t, I, I speak to her every day and just check in, um, she’s not [00:06:00] really into. And she’s in her eighties. So it’s a slightly different generation. It’s not a very, I don’t know whether you’ve kind of got this vibe or not, you know, so the British and we’re known for our stiff upper lip.

Right. So you’re, you’re America, Americans, mass generalization here, generalized,

[00:06:22] Damon: sorry, I make that. I make these generalizations generalizations to,

[00:06:26] simon: yeah. Yeah. And so, you know, we, we are a little bit more reserved if we don’t talk about our feelings as much. Um, we didn’t talk about adoption that, that much, you know, , very little, but it wasn’t an issue.

It didn’t really need talking about

Simon was adopted in Liverpool, but within the last five years or so, he got his original birth certificate, which showed he was born 30 miles away over the border in Wales. He said it wasn’t a big deal when he learned that fact, just kind of interesting to put the pieces together.

But we’re getting ahead of ourselves. [00:07:00] Simon has already said he didn’t really have questions about his adoption. So I was curious to know what may have happened to make him realize what adoption truly meant in the formulation of his family. And what was the catalyst for his search?

[00:07:15] simon: So the catalyst for the search. was sitting in a therapist’s office. , having the bejesus scared outs with me by the idea of my birth mother rejecting me again. ,

[00:07:28] Damon: where did that come? How did you get to that point?

Take me back to before you went to therapy, how did you get to that point?

[00:07:34] simon: So, um, I hit 40 by 2007 and I found out that my Teddy bear, the Teddy bear that I had from birth had been given to me , by my birth mother. And it hadn’t, I didn’t know that I didn’t know that it was from her. And my first reaction was one of curiosity and then [00:08:00] telling, somebody about it a couple of months later, an avalanche of sorry, an avalanche of volcano of anger came out of me.

, I was going through. Tough time business wise. So I was at a low eb and that when I was at that low eb, I can see this now I can see it at the time. So, so what I said was my birth, I, those sorts of profanity, which I won’t share because, you know, it’s a family show. Um, my birth mother didn’t and there was a lot of venom behind my words.

So I’m just, I’m just repeating the very matter of fact, you know, that, so my, my, she didn’t love me enough to keep me, what, you know, this Teddy bear is just a consolation prize. She gave me this effing consolation prize of the Teddy bear. Yeah. And, and the lady that I was with said, well, I’m a, I’m a mum myself, as you know, and I don’t think it was quite like that Simon and with that, the [00:09:00] volcano erupting straight away.

So I had a very intense. Anger and, , anger towards my birth mother. I’d never really thought about that, but, well, not never really. I’ve never thought about my birth mother. I’d never thought about in a bad way. I’ve never felt like this to her, but that’s how I felt in that moment.

, and so I thought maybe I had an issue to look up and also, but the bigger issue really was for me was, was business. So I I’d been working towards business, you know, been trying to make my business a success for quite awhile. And when I finally got that and it was short lived. But it, but it wasn’t that it was a hollow victory.

It didn’t mean anything to me. So the meaning that the thing that was going through my mind, this was all around about the same time within a year, so I thought that, you know, basically business success hasn’t made me happy and adoption has made me sad, insecure, [00:10:00] low self-esteem, whatever, not good enough.

But, um, so that kind of set me off on a, on a journey., so it’s either, uh, a, um, a midlife crisis or a spiritual journey, you know, doing the work, you know, depending on, you know, whichever self-discovery whichever you want to say. , so I learned a lot of stuff and, , I felt, I felt a lot better in my self and a few years later, Yeah.

[00:10:37] Damon: Before

you get to the primal wound. I want you to just take me back for a moment, cause you kind of glossed over what the therapist said to you, you’re you?

[00:10:45] simon: This was later on.

[00:10:47] Damon: Oh, okay. Gotcha. So you, you, so too, let’s recap for a quick moment, then you have been trying for a while to reach , business success

[00:10:58] simon: a long time.

[00:10:59] Damon: And [00:11:00] it sounds like as a result of that attempt, your emotions were heightened as you were in this lower point of not having reached that success. And so you, it sounds like you were really in a place of self-examination in general. What am I as a businessman? What am I as a man? What am I as a, you know, a person, a human here and that self-examination, it sounds like involved also thoughts about your own self-worth and as a result, your, your thoughts about your biological mother, like this was not a thought process you’d have before.

It sounds like this all bubbled up at the same time. Is that roughly correct?

[00:11:37] simon: Yeah. That’s a great way of

putting that.

[00:11:39] Damon: And it sounds like also then you had this Teddy bear that you had been cherishing for a while, but then as you sort of got into this darker place of self-examination you thought to yourself, this is just a piece of crap.

Like this was just a, a farewell gift and it doesn’t really mean anything to you to me in

that moment. [00:12:00]

Not quite, all my, uh, animosity was turned in that splits, like five seconds was turned towards my birth mother, not the best, so, gotcha.

So this is all preceding this, sit down with this therapist.

So in between,

[00:12:21] simon: yeah.

[00:12:22] Damon: Yeah. So the you’ve you’ve had this, this moment of self-reflection that turned into a dark. And then it sounds like you said you read the primal wound. What happened then you, so tell me about reading the primal wound and what that I

[00:12:33] simon: meant to you. So I want to give you, I want to just take the timeline back here.

So I was, I was 40 when I found out that the Teddy bear was from a birth mum. I hit the businesses. That’s when I was 41 and it didn’t, and it was a hollow victory. I started searching. I started looking for myself probably, you know, around that, around that time, [00:13:00] I did a lot of work and learn a lot of stuff and, and was a lot better in myself.

So my life went from a seven out of 10 to a nine out of 10, 8, 8 years later, I read the primal wound and that took me back a step that took me down again. So my life had gone from a seven to a nine. It probably went to like an eight. and, so I was looking to heal the primal wound until I realized that I wasn’t actually wounded.

And then that took my life to a nine and a half.

[00:13:33] Damon: Wow. That’s fascinating. What was it that made you realize that you weren’t wounded?

[00:13:39] simon: Well, it’s because of it’s it’s because of who we truly are. Right? So there’s a French guy. I use this quote all the time. I should learn how to pronounce his name. Did I did French at school for like eight years Damon.

So I should know this, but you

[00:13:54] Damon: should know how to pronounce

[00:13:56] simon: it. It’s called Pierre do jar down or [00:14:00] something. Taher do our genetics. Let’s just call him Pierre right. He says that we’re spiritual beings having a human experience, spiritual beings, having a human experience. So. The the feelings of insecurity all people have.

obviously as adoptees tend to have a little bit more, perhaps all the, the thought that I’m good enough, which I know that at pretty much everybody has as well, whether we’re adopted or not, that’s all in the human experience. We’re fixated by that human experience and, life is a contact sport.

So that’s where all the, the tricky stuff is. That’s where all the trauma is. and that’s where we’re focused. Cause it’s really loud. we’re really bought in. We’re really invested in our thoughts and our feelings. And we don’t really pay a lot attention to the spiritual essence of who we are.

The spiritual being spiritual being [00:15:00] spirit is the opposite of material. Right? Spiritual is the opposite of material. I think there’s one way of looking at it. So spirit isn’t a thing. And because it’s not a thing, it can’t be wounded. So if you try and get a knife and stab air, you can’t stab aircause there’s nothing that there’s nothing for it to land.

, so does that, does that make sense? Yeah.

[00:15:28] Damon: Does it, does the whatever, think I’ve heard you say is basically because your spirit is a non-tangible object, you can’t actually hurt it physically.

[00:15:43] simon: Yeah.

[00:15:44] Damon: Especially with something, you know, Physically detaching as adoption.

I hear you. That’s really fascinating. That’s an interesting way to look at it.

[00:15:54] simon: So to me, this does a difference between kind of like [00:16:00] a neat concept and an, a deep knowing. So I’ve, I’ve expressed this in a kind of logical different, but logical, a neat little soundbite, but I get this in my soul deep man, like, as I’m saying this now, and I’m slowing down, I can feel it.

I’ve got an embodied understanding of this. So this, this thing that we are, we every single person on the planet, every single adoptee, we are fundamentally unwoundable

[00:16:40] Damon: I like that.

I like that. I wonder though,

[00:16:45] simon: but we will feel wounded.

[00:16:47] Damon: That was exactly what I was going to get to. So what is it then that adoptees feel when they, you know, suffer? We suffer, you know, mentally, among other suffering that may be inflicted upon us physically, but what, what do you [00:17:00] think it is then that so many adoptees are feeling,

[00:17:05] simon: uh, disconnection with ourselves.

[00:17:07] Damon: how do you help folks reconnect then? What do you suggest to people

[00:17:14] simon: look within? You’ve got to see it for yourself. We have to see it for ourselves. I came up with something really cool to explain this a couple of years ago, I was talking to my, uh, one of my wife’s friends.

She’s not adopted, but I said to her, there’s no such thing as a second hand, epiphany

we’ve got to have them for ourselves. So for me, there’s no such thing as a secondhand insight. There’s no such thing as a second time aha moment. There’s no such thing as a second, a new idea. You’ve got to see it for yourself.

And this isn’t one of my metaphors. This is one from a mentor of mine. He says that, were all born [00:18:00] perfect, like a brilliant priceless diamond.

And then we go through life and poop happens to us, , such as for us, you know, we relinquished. Other people, you know, and people go through extreme poop. So the most, the most important mentor in my life, she was raped by her dad. She was sexually abused by her dad. Right? So poop happens. We feel like poop. We have poopy thoughts. And over time we get that the diamond is obscured in layers and layers and layers of poop. And we lose sight of the perfection. And as adoptees, we’ve got a really good reason to believe that we are poop because we weren’t good enough.

This is [00:19:00] sacred stuff, you know, mothers giving away babies. There’s gotta be something wrong with me. I’ve got to be poop with. So the disconnection with ourselves is losing sight of the diamond. It is, uh, focusing on the human experience rather than the spiritual being that we are.

So I’m trying to connect the dots on, on the different things I’m talking about. So,

[00:19:38] Damon: no, no. Yeah, no, it makes absolute sense. Yeah, for sure. It’s

fascinating. And I, and

I can

Appreciate where you’re coming from in terms of having done this introspection, to think these things through absorb what mentors have told you and sort of synthesize it into your, your own understanding of what this means [00:20:00] for both you and for, you know, the human experience.

This is, it’s fascinating to hear how you’ve arrived at this stuff.

[00:20:08] simon: I do a lot of work on this stuff. .

[00:20:10] Damon: So let’s go back sort of into your story for a moment. I do want to hear about the therapy session, where you’re having the bejesus scared out of you by this therapist and, and this person basically talks you down from your thoughts about what this. Teddy bear means to you. So can you explain how that session went and what this therapist said to you that changed your mind?

[00:20:34] simon: Yeah, so the, the Teddy bear talewhen I’m fought was when I was 14. If therapy session is, is eight years later, I see the reading, the primal wound and, and believing that I’m wounded and therefore needing to heal before I’ve got to the realization, not talks about that.

So I’m starting this therapist, chair. I had, or about six [00:21:00] months before that session, I got my original birth certificate with my birth mother’s name on it. And I had not gone any further. I’m not decided to search her out. So I’m talking to the therapist presumably about birth search.

Cause this is six years ago now. Right. she’s asking me about why I’ve not searched. And then the idea of her part being outside therapist room pops into my head and I imagine myself opening the door and her rejecting me again. And

So I get angry. Then I get scared. Then I get very determined that I’m not going to let this fear ruin my life. harm me hold me back and I decided in that moment to resume this.[00:22:00]

[00:22:00] Damon: In the UK. Simon had to engage an intermediary who initiated a search for his adoption file. When he received it, Simon found letters from his birth mother to the agency about planning to place him. There were notes from his social worker, documenting the process and what his birth mother conveyed about her situation.

At the time of her pregnancy, she was going out with a guy for five months. Told him she was pregnant. And he told her he didn’t want anything to do with the child. His birth mother made the decision to place Simon via adoption in the documents was a unique letter

[00:22:36] simon: Then there’s this letter from her to the agency four days after she has, handed me. At the adoption agency counsel saying that she’d wanted, she had wanted me to have something from her.

She’d wanted to stop [00:23:00] on the way to the agency and buy a Teddy bear to give me, but the traffic was bad and she didn’t want to be late Would, the woman that runs the council, the agency, the social worker. Would she contact my parents and ask them if they would accept a bear Teddy bear from her if she was to buy one.

And in that moment, I remember it like got shivers down the spines in a good way. As I’ll tell you this story the tears just streamed down me and I felt her love for me and also her desperation in her predicament from the wording of the letter she was clearly in a very low place.

some of the wording was very, you know, it was very disempowered. It was clearly, you know, it was begging, it was almost back in.[00:24:00] and I, I saw that, Eight years previously for five seconds, I had said my mother, she didn’t love me enough to keep me what sort of f-ing constellation prize is.

this Teddy bear when she wouldn’t look, something like that. She didn’t love me enough to keep me eight years later reading this letter that she never thought I would see. You know, you were so far off there Si, you know, that, that was pure fiction. You made up that horror story you made of that horror story for five seconds. And Sarah, the lady that said, I don’t think it was quite like that was a thousand percent true.

[00:24:48] Damon: Yeah.

this is one of the challenges that we have inside of our own heads. The narrative that we create as to what has transpired, why it transpired, [00:25:00] how the person felt about us when it happened and you can’t help it.

Cause you don’t ha your brain doesn’t have anything to go on. So you create something to attach to. And some people create fantasies that are, you know, fairytales and rainbows, and we’re positive and others create narratives that are more negative and it can depend on where you are in your life.

As you’ve indicated, you were in a place that already had, , some self-worth questioning happening already. And so to be in contemplation of yourself as an adoptee at the same time, you could see how you couldn’t necessarily create the rainbows scenario at a time when you were all. Feeling not so hot about business success or the hollowness of it, or what have you.

So it’s really, it’s interesting to hear how your mentality evolved over those eight years into recognizing, especially by view of the letter, recognizing where she was, what she was saying, how she felt and, and interpreting it [00:26:00] from the words she used and, and, and, and extracting her disempowerment from the content of the letter.

It’s really interesting.

Simon enlisted. A freelance researcher, not an adoption search angel to help look for his birth mother. As they searched for clues, they found a notice of a woman’s death on a church website. Her name was Patricia Simon’s birth. Mother’s name from his original birth certificate. The note of remembrance about Patricia was written by a second woman named Beverly. Simon wrote a letter to Beverly to introduce himself and to try to learn more. He didn’t get any reply

[00:26:40] simon: And then I got a, I got a letter from them about nine months later. I got a letter from, from Canada and it said that it was from another guy probably won’t mention his name.

And he [00:27:00] S he said that. He said that, um, I was, I was right. Patricia was my birth mother and she, unfortunately she died 2005, I think . I can’t remember exactly, but a long time before I ever went searching,

what, what year was your search? Roughly?

My search was probably 2015.

[00:27:25] Damon: Yes. Roughly 10 years prior.

And what was this gentleman’s relation to your biological mother? That he would, she was his,

[00:27:33] simon: he was her brother.

[00:27:34] Damon: I see. So if I’m hearing clean

[00:27:38] simon: and he’d gone to Beverly’s house to clear the house after she died and found a letter. So that was three siblings, , Patricia.

Beverly her sister. And they said the guy who’s name. I’m not gonna say I see.

[00:27:56] Damon: So your mother passed in [00:28:00] 2005, her sister places, a eulogy or some sort of death announcement on a church website, which he later found with a person who, uh, a volunteer searcher. And you reach out to the author of that notice.

Correct. Who was your birth? Mother’s sister. Correct. And you didn’t hear anything back from that woman

[00:28:24] simon: because she died.

[00:28:26] Damon: Oh, the sister of

[00:28:27] simon: your birth mother died as way the just died. Sorry. I

[00:28:32] Damon: see. So this third individual was the two deceased sister’s brother. He had never gone to her house to clear the clearing out her the second sister.

He was clearing her home and found your letter. I got ya. And then he wrote back to you in response to the letter that you had written to your Barth aunt. Oh my gosh. That’s fascinating. [00:29:00] Wow. How long if you don’t mind me just for clarity, how long was the time period between when you wrote your letter to your biological aunt and the response that came from your biological

[00:29:13] simon: uncle?

Roughly? I think it was about nine months. It could have been six months. It could have been 15.

[00:29:20] Damon: Yeah. Yeah. So more of a year-ish. And did you in that time think, man, she didn’t write me back. I should write her another letter or I should try to call her like what, what else happened in your search?

[00:29:32] simon: I didn’t, I, I wasn’t, uh, I know I wasn’t going to do anything else for me.

So I done a lot of. As I’ve explained, I’ve done a lot of healing , and work. And that has been mainly in internal and there’s not a lot, really, uh, the letter is, is very easy and easy thing to, for people to [00:30:00] grasp. And people say, well, it’s all about the latter. Well, , my, um, self-discovery had a number of chapters that the, , the letter is, is a big obvious chapter.

I, I was pretty much, I was at peace by then writing the, so, so The letter and the connection and the love, the love that I had felt, my birth mother’s love for me in a letter that she’d written 48 years before it was visceral. It was a visceral experience. So search for her was not, ,

potent. It wasn’t, it was like it wasn’t I got to find her or else, you know, it was just like, well, I’ve come this far. Let’s go. Let’s keep going. And then when they didn’t get a response, right. I thought, well, maybe, maybe she wasn’t the right person, or, you know, [00:31:00] I didn’t have any other avenues, but , I wasn’t particularly bothered.

And I’m a really persistent guy, so. If I’m not being persistent, then I know I’m not really bothered. She tells me when something matters, I’m a dog with a bone. Right. So I’m a dog with a bone and this search was not a bone.

[00:31:21] Damon: Sure. Do you remember having any feelings at all when you read this announcement of your birth mother’s passing?

[00:31:27] simon: no, I can’t because I wasn’t sure it was her really. So, and then when I found out that I was like that sad, but I wasn’t, I didn’t have the, kind of the emotional, uh, reaction that I had when I, when I read the letter, the letter was was the massive was massive.

But there have been a series of massive things, but me telling you about those massive things that they don’t just doesn’t mean anything. It’s just like a change that’s happened in my head.[00:32:00]

[00:32:00] Damon: I wondered about Simon’s search for his birth father. At the time we spoke Simon had written to a guy that he thought could be the man, but Simon made sure I knew that the search was never about finding this guy. ,

[00:32:14] simon: I think because for 40 years, I never had an issue with my mum first month. then, then I did. Okay. I did some Googling around and did some research. And, um, but there is one thing, there is one thing that, you know, from, from the letter, well, clearly he didn’t want anything to do with the baby before it was me, you know?

So, , not like

I’m not going to, not like that, but just like what and also, I, the other thing was a diamond at,

it was like, well, I wonder what.

I wonder what I would’ve done,[00:33:00] I don’t think I would have been like him, but who knows? I mean, one of the things was, , like abortion wasn’t legalized in the UK til 1967. And I was born on the 4th of January, 1967. So when I was conceived, it wasn’t abortion. Wasn’t lawful, so she didn’t have an option.

She didn’t have, so she didn’t have that option. but I wondered, you know, like, cause you know, what would I have done if I’d go? I can, I can think of girls. If I’d got, , a girl pregnant, I can think of, you know, like relationships I’ve had and what would I have done?

[00:33:41] Damon: Yeah, it’s impossible to contemplate.

It really is. Cause you never know until the, or you can’t predict what situation you are in at the moment that you hear that, you know, a woman you’re with is pregnant. You can’t predict sort of what kind of person you were in that moment. Not so life [00:34:00] situation, as well as your own sort of maturity and advancement.

There’s so many factors that determine how a person makes a decision in a situation for better or for worse. We all would like to think we would make the best possible, most positive, you know, mature decision ever. And it’s just not so uncertain situations. And we can all look back in our lives and acknowledge that we, you know, we made some poor choices and, and that was a result of immaturity among other things.

The lack of experience. What have you. So it’s impossible to try to predict that.

Simon works to support other adoptees in the UK. He runs a podcast called thriving adoptees, where he brings together members of the adoption constellation. We chatted a bit about his work and our perspectives on the prevailing adoption narratives

[00:34:49] simon: It sharing different perspectives to help other people on their , hopefully help people on their learning/ healing [00:35:00] journeys. Um, and I’m also doing some,

you know, I’m doing some speaking on this as well.

the thing for me is that there’s this,

does this trauma obsession and there’s this,

primal wound obsession. And as I’ve already said, I believe that we’re fundamentally on wounded bull. I’m not trying to change that because I think the two dominant narratives, I was completely wrong, both the rainbow and unicorn one, and the all adoptees are primarily wounded.

One I think that both of those are completely wrong.

[00:35:37] Damon: I agree. I agree. but I also think we have to acknowledge that everybody comes from different places of different strength and endurance, right. Mentally, physically, whatever it is, you know, and there are people who are not able to sort of separate themselves from [00:36:00] their experiences and it could be adoption.

It could be other. And it makes it incredibly difficult to carry on when you continue carrying the burden of experiences that have happened to you in the past. I think there’s an important growth process in turning, facing what has happened to you in the past, acknowledging it, dealing with it, and then carrying on with yourself as a person continuing to grow.

And, and I, I’m always fearful for those who carry


When I feel like it should be something that you can acknowledge, but not like carry right in, in front with you. Do you know what I’m saying? It’s part of your history, but I want people to be able to sort of acknowledge.

And continue to grow and move forward. And I think there’s a lot of work that needs to be done by [00:37:00] folks to get to that place. Does what I said, make sense.

[00:37:04] simon: Yeah. Perfect sense. Like

he’s so, so the truth is Damon. I had an easy ride man I find that I’ve had an easy ride and I kind of know that,

but what I, as I said earlier on the most, important, my most important mentor, Liz, she had that office thing. I mean, w w you know, like if, uh, being sexually abused by your dad, you know, if you’re going to play, if you’re going to play some sort of sick game of who’s had its toughest, that’s got to be pretty close to the top. That’s got to be a winning hand. If she can come through that, she wanted, I say this on sometimes on my podcast, because I’m, I’m aware that, you know, like I’ve had it easy. So she’s, she’s the proof that people that are dealt, far tougher [00:38:00] hands can come through it.

Yup. Uh, and you know, she wanted to be adopted. because she’s being abused in every way possible by her dad and her her dadwas also abusing, you know, her mum. And just like

if she can get through that and, and, and she had a stuff, but then she had, she had the, you know, like that aha moment, the epiphany moment that, um, and, and, and now in inspires of the people, including me.

So I put, I put a note on a, put a post on her adoptive Facebook group. You know, adoption is something that happened to us. It doesn’t define us. And I got 120 likes, 30 loves and 10 vitriolic, how bad. so

[00:39:00] everybody’s at a different point. Everybody’s got a different story, but we aren’t our story. And I think for me, you know, you were talking about this earlier on, , I heard a really great, really great way of summing this up. I heard it from somebody else. Uh, we think the voice in our head is CNN when really it’s the comedy channel.


[00:39:24] Damon: That’s a good one. That’s pretty funny. It’s not, it’s not factual. It’s made up and it’s almost, it could come with a disclaimer for entertainment purposes only, right. Because until you get facts for, the things that happened to you, , you’re creating a fictional story.

So I’m with you 100%. Wow. Well, Simon, thank you so much for taking time, man. This has been really fascinating to hear your story and your journey of self growth, self growth. I think that is the powerful piece that I [00:40:00] take from what you’ve said today is that you’ve really done some introspection to figure out sort of who you are physically, spiritually, mentally, and, and I’m glad that you’re helping other adoptees through their own journeys.

That’s really awesome.

[00:40:16] simon: Yeah. Thank you. And I, I wanna bring adopted parents on it and this as well, because, they are being, , fed the the trauma obsession as well, that being funded and it’s putting them off, it’s putting them off. and you know, I continued to do, then I continued to do the introspection.

Stuff. I consume audio, audio and podcasts, couple hours a day when I’m walking the dog and, um, I don’t want to drive in the car. You know, I, um, I know that, I know that, that I still listen to that voice in my head and think it’s CNN [00:41:00] sometimes like a lot of the time. . So I’m not the finisher.

[00:41:05] Damon: Work in progress. What can progress? I love it, man. Thanks so much for being with me today, Simon. I appreciate it.

[00:41:12] simon: Thank you. My friend,

[00:41:14] Damon: take care all the best bye.

[00:41:15] simon: Bye. Bye.

Show Close

[00:41:17] Damon: Hey, it’s me. Simon admitted he’s headed easy, but he said that from a place of a lot of introspection and working on himself. You heard Simon say that he had been to therapy? He has mentors. Who’ve also been through adversity. And he shared how much he spent time working on himself, listening to podcasts and thinking about his feelings.

I loved hearing the story of the Teddy bear that he had as a kid, but didn’t realize its significance tried to hate the toy for the consulation prize. He perceived it to be,

then came to cherish it once he read his birth mother’s letter expressing her [00:42:00] desperate situation. This is the challenge of adopted people who live with no facts . About our origin. We’re forced to create false narratives that lead us to unfounded, anger. And sometimes when we find the truth, it can be such a relief to understand why we were placed for adoption and realize how wrong our false assumptions were. It doesn’t always work out that way, but for Simon, it did. Take a moment to find the adoptees thriving podcast, wherever you get your podcasts and look out for Simon’s work, bringing adoptees together in support of one another.

I’m Damon Davis, and I hope you found something in Simon’s journey that inspired you. Validates your feelings about wanting to search or motivates you to have the strength along your journey to learn who am i really

Who Am I Really?

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