About Adoptee Rage

Statistics Identify large populations of Adoptees in prisons, mental hospitals and committed suicide.
Fifty years of scientific studies on child adoption resulting in psychological harm to the child and
poor outcomes for a child's future.
Medical and psychological attempts to heal the broken bonds of adoption, promote reunions of biological parents and adult children. The other half of attempting to repair a severed Identity is counselling therapy to rebuild the self.

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Emotional Abandonment The First Life Experience Becomes Reliable Emotional State In Adopted Children

Emotional Abandonment Is
The First Life Experience Ingrained Forever Into the Psyche Of The Adopted Children.

The fact that a child's birth removes the child from his satisfying environment within the womb by biological force as the child has grown too large to continue to exist within the mother's uterus.
The act of birth, the child is being born, is a physical trauma to the infant that is born into the air breathing world. To emerge from the trauma of birth into the arms of the infant's whole self- the mother/object to which the child was previously connected (throughout the infant's awareness) now reconnects and becomes whole again. The becoming whole again means being received by the infant's whole self where the infant's Mother provides a safe, warm and nurturing environment equal to the environment of the mother's womb in the new safe outside world. 

The child that goes through the birth trauma, emerges in to the cold world completely alone is placed in a hospital crib in the hospital nursery. This child has not been returned to the safety of the whole self/mother. The world to this infant is a loud, scary place where the infant is missing half of itself. Half of the infant is gone. The infant can not cognitively understand what went or is wrong. The infant is only aware of what is missing, himself. The infant experiences no satisfaction, no nurturing from his other half, no warmth or interaction effect that comes from the natural mother's chemical hormone messages the infant has relied on throughout his fetal existence. The infant's memory of his existence tells him that something is missing and gone. Without the reunited bond between mother-child after the trauma of birth (child emerges from the birth canal) the child's trauma from birth is the primary ingrained negative experience.
Complicated by the second ingrained negative experience of the loss of the self.(Mother-child is one whole person to the infant) The most powerful message perceived by the infant is that itself is gone, the "Primal Wound" of the child is the first foundation 
experience that the infant's life is based and will build on the damaged foundation in the child's broken and scarred beginning of life. This perpetual feeling of abandonment is an emotional state that is continual throughout the child's life, abandonment becomes familiar and later provides the child with a distorted feeling of comfort that the child will recognize as a normal, reliable feeling unique and dependable to the abandoned child. 
The child's life will be centered around recreating patterns of abandonment to get the normal feeling that he knows and is a reliable core feeling familiar only to the child abandoned at birth. 

Exploring Abandonment

Emotional abandonment is a subjective emotional state in which people feel undesired, left behind, insecure, or discarded. People experiencing emotional abandonment may feel at loss, cut off from a crucial source of sustenance that has been withdrawn either suddenly or through a process of erosion. In a classic abandonment scenario, the severance of the emotional bond is unilateral, that is, it is the object of one’s attachment that has chosen to break the connection. Feeling rejected a significant component of emotional abandonment, has a biological impact in that it activates the physical pain centers in the brain and can leave an emotional imprint in the brain’s warning system. Abandonment has been a staple of poetry and literature since ancient times. According to Roy Baumeister, Unrequited love is a common experience, particularly in youth, but affects people throughout their life.

Abandonment and separation anxiety

 Separation anxiety a substrate of emotional abandonment, is recognized as a primary source of human distress and dysfunction. When we experience a threat to or disconnection in a primary attachment, it triggers a fear response referred to as separation stress or separation anxiety. Separation stress has been the subject of extensive research in psychological and neurobiological fields, and has shown to be a universal response to separation in the animal world of which human beings are a part. When lab rat pups are separated from their mothers for periods of time, researchers measure their distress vocalizations and stress hormones to determine varying conditions of the separation response. As the rats mature, their subsequent reactive behaviors and stress hormones are reexamined and are shown to bear a striking resemblance to the depression, anxiety, avoidance behaviors and self defeated posturing displayed by human beings known to have suffered earlier separation traumas.
Owing to the neocortical component of human functioning, when human beings lose a primary relationship, they grasp its potential repercussions (i.e. they may feel uncertain about the future or fear being unable to climb out of an abyss), thus encumbering an additional layer of separation stress. To abandon is "to withdraw one's support or help from, especially in spite of duty, allegiance, or responsibility; desert: abandon a friend in trouble. When the loss is due to the object’s voluntary withdrawal, a common response is to feel unworthy of love. This indicates the tendency for people to blame the rejection on themselves. "Am I unworthy of love, destined to grow old and die all alone, bereft of human connection or caring?" Questioning one’s desirability as a mate and fearing eternal isolation are among the additional anxieties incurred in abandonment scenarios. The concurrence of self devaluation and primal fear distinguish abandonment grief from most other types of bereavement

Abandonment as a Grief Process

A grief process specific to abandonment was described in 2000, comparing its features to the grief process defined by Kubler Ross, Bowlby,
and others and delineating five phases of abandonment grief and recovery.
Grief is defined as a cause for keen mental suffering or distress over affliction or loss; sharp sorrow; painful regret. [To] come to grief is to suffer disappointment, misfortune, or other trouble; fail.  Kubler Ross outlined the grief process of people facing their own deaths. Her framework consisting of five phases has been applied to grief over the death of a loved one.
According to Susan Anderson, what sets abandonment grief apart from other types of bereavement is its ability to leave residual damages in self esteem. Feeling left behind, excluded, or deemed unworthy by a loved one precipitates a collapse of self confidence. During the mid phase of the abandonment grief cycle, as people grapple with the personal implications of 'being left', they may turn their rage about the rejection toward themselves. This contributes to the intense depression and narcissistic wounding that accompanies rejection grief. The process of self-attack can range from mild self doubt to scathing self recrimination and leave a lasting imprint on individuals’ self worth, causing them to doubt their lovability, personality-efficacy, and attachment worthiness going forward.

Five phases of abandonment recovery

A framework describing abandonment recovery breaks it down into five phases: Shattering, Withdrawal, Internalizing, Rage and Lifting. The SWIRL acronym is designed to depict the cyclonic nature of the grief. As with Kubler Ross’s bereavement framework, abandonment’s grief and recovery phases are overlapping and cyclical, representing one cyclonic process rather than distinct stages.
Elements of abandonment's grief cycle, such as 'feeling deserted' and a sense of personal diminishment, can be aroused by many types of loss, including when a decision to separate has been mutual rather than unilateral or when one’s mate has died. These elements can also be precipitated by being fired from a job, rejected by a friend, or losing one’s home, health, sense of purpose, or identity. For example, a 'stay at home mom' can feel the personal diminishment, separation anxiety, and depressed mood of abandonment grief when her children leave the nest.

Abandonment grief and depression

Losing a loved one can lead to an emotional crisis severe enough to resemble a full blown major depression. Freud made a distinction between this reactive type of depression and a true clinical picture of endogenous depression. A significant component of grieving is what John Bowlby called, ‘searching for the lost object’ – an innate mental process which manifests as expectant anxiety, mounting frustration as the object remains lost, frequent sifting through memories of the departed, and perhaps fleeting perceptions of spectral visitations by the lost object. When the loss involves 'being left' or 'unrequited love', in addition to the above, this mental searching is accompanied by obsessive thoughts about factors leading to the breakup, and possibilities for reuniting with the lost object.
When rejection is involved, another significant factor in abandonment depression is shame – the painful feeling of being inherently unacceptable, disposable, unworthy. Depending on the circumstances of the loss, shame can be accompanied by other abandonment feelings including feeling discarded, rejected, replaced, betrayed, helpless, impotent, self-blaming, and worthless.

Post traumatic stress disorder of abandonment

Some people who experience the traumatic stress of abandonment go on to develop post traumatic symptoms. Post traumatic symptoms associated with abandonment include a sequela of heightened emotional reactions (ranging from mild to severe) and habituated defense mechanisms (many of which have become maladaptive) to perceived threats or disruptions to one’s sense of self or to one’s connections.
There are various predisposing psycho-biological and environmental factors that go into determining whether one’s earlier emotional trauma might lead to the development of a true clinical picture of PTSD.
 One factor has to do with variation in certain brain structures. According to Jerome Kagan,, some people are born with a locus coeruleus  that tends to produce higher concentrations of norepinephrine, a brain chemical involved in arousal of your body's self-defense response. This would lower their threshold for becoming aroused and make them more likely to become anxious when they encounter stresses in life that are reminiscent of childhood separations and fears, hence more prone to becoming posttraumatic.
Another factor is that insecure attachments in childhood have shown to predispose the individuals to difficulties in forming secure attachments in adulthood and to having heightened responses to rejection and loss. There is also variation in individuals’ neurochemical systems that govern the stress regulation. Depending on the severity of the stress response induced in an individual by an event (i.e. a romantic breakup), certain concentrations of stress hormones including CRF, ACTH, and cortisol work to intensify the imprinting of an emotional memory of the event, indelibly inscribing its fears and other sensations in the amygdala (to serve as a warning for future events), while the same stress hormones can act to impede the storage of the facts surrounding the event into the hippocampus – another limbic structure that records, not the emotions, but the contextual facts of an event. Individuals can pick up emotional baggage without corresponding memories of the actual events which caused it, thus setting up the conditions for the memory block component of post traumatic stress disorder.

Abandonment syndrome

Abandonment syndrome is not a diagnosis of a disorder, but a description of typical human responses to abandonment triggers. For instance, people going through the loss of a primary relationship experience some degree of emotional overlay of earlier losses which can intensify their current grief, whether or not they are considered to have post traumatic stress disorder. Almost universally, people exhibit some level of emotional response to abandonment triggers. While some are more sensitive to it than others, seemingly minor events can arouse abandonment feelings. Anderson suggests, “The raw human nerve of abandonment can jangle if in the course of the day we feel slighted, criticized, excluded, misunderstood, dismissed, overlooked, unappreciated, condescended to, taken for granted, ignored, or belittled. These responses are within the normal range. [They] can be remediated through abandonment recovery.

Abandonment recovery movement

An abandonment recovery movement, initiated in 1999, promotes awareness about abandonment and its remedies. The treatment protocol specific to abandonment trauma incorporates the psychoanalytic principles of separation therapy and the findings of ongoing studies of mindfulness/compassion training and its impact on the brain, as well as research on the psychobiology of separation, attachment, helplessness, traumatic stress, addiction, social rejection, exclusion, grief, psychodynamic and cognitive therapy techniques and other areas. Abandonment recovery encompasses a program of abandonment therapy techniques and exercises, targeted to treating the primal wound of abandonment and its aftermath of self sabotaging patterns. Abandonment recovery workshops provide experiential training sessions in which participants perform a
program of abandonment therapy techniques designed to facilitate incremental emotional and behavioral change.

Contributors to the abandonment project

People reach to out a worldwide abandonment community from the United States, Canada, South America, Japan, Korea, Australia, Germany, Spain, France and other parts of the world through a website. Individuals have the option to contribute to ongoing abandonment research through an informal process of making confidential submissions to an abandonment website. They are asked to describe their current abandonment scenarios, childhood primal scenes, and/or patterns of self-sabotage that developed as automatic (if maladaptive) responses to the underlying abandonment wound. The submissions are added to a confidential data base of personal testimonials from individuals world wide.
(membership fee to post)