Psychological Issues Faced by Adopted Children and Adults
Many times it is relationship or marital issues that cause adult adoptees to seek out counseling services initially. Often adoption issues are the. Seemingly banal relationship problems are not to be overlooked, minimised or dismissed. The impact of that severed relationship is colossal. Psychological Issues Faced By Adopted Children And Adults therapy because she has difficulty maintaining intimate relationships and feels quite depressed.
What this does is leave the baby with neurological connections which convey: Ten, twenty, thirty, forty years later, the effect of that early neurological imprinting remains. Adoptive mothers know about this. Not allowing her to get too close is a frantic attempt to keep devastation from happening again. She may act this out in one of two ways: Depending on the circumstances, a child may vacillate between the two. Usually in adult relationships the adopted person will go back and forth between these two ways of acting: In my second book Coming Home to Self I explain in much more detail how all this plays out in relationships and make suggestions as to how to overcome the deficit of those early neurological imprints.
Adoptees, the first step in changing your attitudes and behaviors is awareness. Knowing that your early experience set you up for these kinds of difficulties is important.
The next step is to become more aware of how you are affecting others. Stop, look, and listen. Notice how you are affecting the other person, and then make the appropriate changes in attitudes and behaviors.
Psychological Issues Faced By Adopted Children And Adults
There is a difference between love and approval. It is a side-effect of trauma. It is not the rational adult who walks out and slams the door on their partners.
In scary situations, the scared child takes over. High risk, high reward? That is not to say that adoptees do not want intimacy. Adoptees yearn for intimacy, but the 'closeness' required in a relationship alarms them. Petrified of being hurt, the openness and vulnerability is just too risky.
Neil Rosenthal: Why do so many adoptees struggle with love as adults?
This is why many adoptees articulate that they have never felt close to anyone. To make matters worse, they often choose partners who are equally unavailable emotionally, physically or socially.
They select partners who are suffering too; that may have been half the attraction in the first place . They prefer the company of those who are not committed or unable to express emotion . Attractive partners include those who are angry about a previous injustice, who are not over past relationships or who have their own histories of abandonment. Adoptees are drawn to those who like themselves, are prone to avoid and run away from stressful situations, who are passive-aggressive and who always are relationship-enders, never being broken up with.
Because these partners will collude to keep everything at a superficial level. The problem is that those partners will eventually do what they fear most - abandon them.
Even the most dedicated partners struggle to see past the deeply ingrained trauma if the adoptee is treating them badly. Living on an emotional rollercoaster is exhausting. Even if they recognise that deep, sensitive wounds exist, they become tired of walking on eggshells.
Many partners simply allow the adoptee's behaviour to continue because they are intimidated into silence. They do not dare risk an outburst of pent-up angry, pain and volatility. Some partners may also become sick of the 'parent-role'. Adult adoptees often yearn to heal childhood wounds, but this requires fulfilment of childhood needs.
Thus, partners often feel as if they are a parent in some way. This only prevents an intimate, mature relationship and eventually, the partners will reach breaking point. Even if they are aware of the residual trauma, they will leave.
They will realise that they cannot change the adoptee; only the adoptee themselves can do that. What doesn't break you, makes you It is vital that adoptees and those around them understand why close relationships can be difficult. These issues cannot be dismissed. PTSD, depression and suicide may be more dangerous impacts of adoption, but the seemingly banal problems that plague the adoptees relationships are not to be overlooked, minimised or dismissed. That initial separation of mother and child can cause persistent sadness which casts a shadow over their lives.
The adoptee may eventually mature and gain insight into their behaviour in a relationship, but by that stage, the damage may have been done. Adoptees need help to realise that avoiding intimacy will not keep them safe; it will only prevent them from having meaningful and long-lasting relationships.
Distancing techniques may provide some semblance of safety, but unfulfilling relationships will leave them sad and alone. By avoiding getting close to someone, adoptees just prevent themselves from achieving their own happiness. The paradoxical yearning for intimacy but fear of connection will linger on, leaving nothing but an unfulfilling, sad and lonely existence. Failed relationships are undoubtedly devastating and can feel like abandonment.
Failed relationships also force adoptees to admit secrets that were dormant, suppressed or hidden, even from themselves. It can floor the adoptee because they waited so long to find someone special with whom they wanted to connect, but sometimes it is only after a failed relationship that adoptees begin to realise that their coping mechanisms are what drove their partners away.
For some, it is only the painful and consistent failure that causes them to recognise that there are other factors at play. That realisation is a positive, signalling a realization that the childhood trauma needs to be healed.
In fact, if adoptees are ever inclined to seek help for adoption issues, it is often because those issues have been triggered by a failed or difficult relationship.
- Choosing Change Blog
- 7 core issues of Adoption – Part 4 : Intimacy & Mastery/Control
- Adoptees and the Double Standard
One resource I highly recommend for dealing with loss is the book Tear Soup. Even when we know that an adoption plan was created out of love and with the child's best interests in mind, it doesn't mean that the adoptee child or adult doesn't feel rejected or abandoned. Often when an individual feels he or she has been rejected or abandoned in the past, they are constantly waiting for the other shoe to drop with the next person.
They may be afraid to commit to a relationship. Sometimes the person who believes he or she has been rejected or abandoned and thus believes he or she is likely to be rejected or abandoned again will unconsciously create the situation that will cause rejection or abandonment. He or she may push a romantic partner away or behave in ways to seriously test the relationship.
They may not understand what they are doing or why they are doing it. Unfortunately this emotional pain can interfere with parent-child relationships, romantic relationships, and even friendships. Sometimes even children whose parents have both died from a tragic accident can feel abandoned and all these same outcomes are risks.
The key is whether a person feels rejected or abandoned, not the actual facts of one's story. Just as subsequent losses remind the adopted person of original losses, additional rejections can be experienced more powerfully for the adopted person that feels that he or she was rejected or abandoned.
For example, when your second grade or younger! While it may seem like an exaggeration to you with your perspective on schoolyard romance, it is an accurate expression of how the child feels and his or her fears and feelings of shame surrounding adoption and rejection.
7 Core Emotional Issues in Adoption | Choosing Change Blog | Adoption
The shame experiences when rejected by a potential date is nothing compared to feeling rejected by one's mother. Some believe that their behavior was the cause of rejection or abandonment.
Some believe that they do not have value and were not good enough a or cute enough. This is too heavy of a burden for anyone, especially a child, to bear in my opinion.