I am hot! And I don’t mean attractive. I would like to use a different word, but I am trying to maintain my composure and a modicum of decency on this blog. So, what am I so upset about? This:
Reporters have turned the life of gymnast Simone Biles upside down. All this 19-year old-young lady wanted when she went to the Olympics in Rio was the gold, but she’s gotten much more than that. Sure, we like a good back story, but reporters have gone way too far, but some of that was caused by her own family going too far. I will give them that. Her grandfather provided more information than Simone may have been comfortable with, telling reporters about her being abandoned by her drugged addicted biological parents. And there is where my anger begins. Although her grandfather provided that information, these reporters did not have run with it. This is very sensitive, personal information. Simone should have been consulted before that information was printed, but we all know that the media prints first and apologizes later. All I can hope for at this point, is that Simone has been isolated enough in Rio that she is not aware that this information has been made public. She may not be as sensitive as I am about my biological past, but if she is, it would absolutely affect her abilities in this competition.
As an older adoptee (I was adopted at the age of 5 1/2), I was extremely insecure about being adopted. I wore a chip on my shoulder for decades. I believe me when confronted or teased about it for several years I sucker punched many kids and spent time in the principal’s office. Then, I went to the other extreme, I became depressed and anxious. I tried to hold it all in and not let it show. I didn’t want to disappoint my adopted parents any more by being angry and fighting. The anxiety was horrible. It would get so intense at times I couldn’t bear it. I would barricade myself in my room and hold a pillow to my face and just scream. Finally, around the age of 11 or so, I couldn’t take that any more either, so I decided I would block it all out. So, I internalized it all. I don’t know how the psyche works, but I now have no real memories before the age of 8. And all of this happened BEFORE I knew my back story!
When I was in graduate school at Florida State, I decided to write to the Department of Family and Children’s in Alabama and request my adoption file. They sent me my non-identifying information, which alone was enough to send someone in an anxiety attack. In that correspondence with DFACS, they told me that I had a half-brother and asked if I wanted to be reunited. Of course, I did! When I met him, he knew what his given name was at birth to include our last name. Several years later, after I returned from serving in the Army in Hawaii when the internet was still new, I was able to obtain a list of everyone in the State of Alabama with that last name. I wrote a letter to everyone on that list. The third letter I received was from our grandfather. He lovingly poured out his heart telling us our tragic back story.
After reading the letter, the first thing that popped into my mind was, “THIS HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH US”. And, the same is true with Simone Biles. What her biological parents may or may not have done has NOTHING to do with her. It has no bearing on who she is or what she will be. Nothing she has accomplished or will accomplish is because of them. She is who she is because of herself and because of those people who have loved her and who have been there for her. To give them any press or attention is ridiculous. These headlines are meant to detract from Simone’s success, as if she couldn’t do this because she had drug addicts for parents. These people did nothing for Simone except to give her life. That is the only credit they deserve. They should never be mentioned again. Move on passed this because it is a non-story. Support Simone’s as she goes for the gold in Rio. Cheer her and the US Olympic team. She is phenomenal because of all the hard work and determination that she has put into herself to get there. That is what is important here. That is the real story!