Forbidden Curiosity: How We Lose Our Voice

eleanor roosevelt quote | Dianna Bonny Photography

My meditations have been taking me back to childhood lately. I’ve never really been one of those folks with vivid, in tact memories of my childhood. They are scattered and patchy, at best. I’m not sure if there is an underlying motive behind my not remembering, or if my mind is just wired that way. The other day, I did have an overwhelming remembering moment however. It took my breath away.

I was a curious child. I mean really curious, about everything and everyone. It drove my mother nuts. She was always swatting me, or grabbing my face and turning it toward her, while saying, “Stop staring. For god’s sake, stop staring.”

In my mind, I wasn’t staring. I was curious. I wanted to know more, like how did the girl end up in the wheelchair. Or, why was the man sitting on the corner with a shopping cart full of trash. I often asked questions, but they were interrupted by my mother’s apologies to the person, and a swift, menacing look in my direction.

Perhaps my curiosity was born from the fact that I was adopted, or at least the story that was crafted around the fact that I was adopted. It went something like this:

“Your mother made the ultimate sacrifice and gave you up to a better home because she couldn’t take care of you. We chose you because you are special.”

I was meant to accept this unquestioningly. Being chosen and special made it extra hard not to accept, but there was the problem of my curiosity, which must have piqued around the age of ten when I decided to go nosing, uninvited, into the metal box that housed my father’s important documents. I had seen a file marked, “Adoption” in there, and so one day enlisted the support of my younger brother to embark on a fact-finding mission.

Our mother was out, or otherwise engaged, so we crept into the den and opened the box, and there was the file calling to me like a shiny beacon of hope. I lifted it out of its spot, carefully noting where it came from, and opened it up to find a legal document with my name on it. My whole body tingled with excitement. Everything around me was forgotten in that moment as I gazed at the name, which wasn’t entirely mine, only the first and middle names were recognizable. The surname was mysterious and unfamiliar.

I finally had evidence that my birth mother existed, and that I came from somewhere, from someone.

If there was an LP record playing at this moment, it would screech across the vinyl as my mother walked in to see the treachery. My brother and I froze in place as she registered and reacted to what was happening before her.

You have no right. This is none of your business. It’s all lies,” she yelled, as she grabbed the papers, befuddled. Poor woman. It must have felt like an ambush. I noted the agonized look on her face, the red cheeks and eyes bright with tears.

“Go to your room and forget you ever saw these lies,” she screamed, pointing us out of the room.

We went to our room but did not, and could not, forget what we had seen, neither the information, nor the reaction. It was never spoken of again and settled deeply into my cells, impacting my curious nature for many years to come.

My ten-year old self learned that keeping quiet was paramount, that my mother’s peace of mind was more important than my need to know about myself.

From then on, I lived in a suspended state of not knowing, my forbidden curiosity exiled to places unknown.

I carried this notion with me into adulthood and, in my next post, I explore the path my perception led me down, as well as how important it is to honor our curiosity and find our voice.

Was there an event that dampened your curiosity? What effect did it have on your life?

Sending love and a bright shining light to encourage your curious nature.


Who is Dianna Bonny?

Hi, my name is Dianna Bonny. It’s my mission to candidly share my journey with you. For me, it’s all about the healing: to create a radiant healing energy for others who have befallen a similar fate. Together, we can forge beautiful lives of belonging and connection. Thanks for joining me today! I look forward to hearing from you.



  2 comments for “Forbidden Curiosity: How We Lose Our Voice

  1. March 2, 2015 at 7:30 am

    Hi Dianna! My brother and I were also adopted. My parents never hid that from us. They did not, however, allow us to see the paperwork. In the early 80’s I got a phone call from someone claiming to be my sister. We met, and as it turned out, we did share the same mother. My sister was raised by her, while I was put up for adoption. When I told my adoptive parents this, they were a bit threatened at first. Would they lose me to this person? Well, at my age and children of my own, that would never happen. I was then given my original birth certificate. My name was completely different. After a time, the novelty wore off. I haven’t seen my birth-mother in many years. My sister and I, however, have continued our relationship.
    Adoption can be a hard thing in itself without having other negative memories attached. I hope that you can heal well.

    • Dianna Bonny
      March 3, 2015 at 2:39 pm

      Hi Mike: I appreciate your comment and can relate to your experience and feelings of the novelty wearing off. There seems to be a lot of baggage carried by the parents and I have heard of many siblings who form life long bonds. Glad that was the case for you. I think it is the expectation of maintaining the secrecy and confused loyalty that makes adoption so difficult. How can one not be curious about their origins? This curiosity of course can upset the status quo. Appreciate your kind words – I’m always on the healing path! Be well 🙂 db

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