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.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

The adoptive Detachment and Attachment Refusal

ADOPTEE RAGE!

Disorganized Attachment, Attachment Refusal of the 
Sociopathic Adopted Child
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As an adopted infant that never experienced bonding with biological mother at birth, Immediately indoctrinated into the foster system as a ward of the state. I experienced five foster caregivers in the first six months, at that time the intentional confusion and shifting from carer to carer was to avoid attachment to each of the foster parents pending adoption. Unfortunately upon adoption, to replace the dead stillborn female child of a grieving mother, the grieving mother rejected me, and several new caregivers stepped in to help. The grieving mother grew jealous at the pseudo relationship that was developing with her adopted child and the next carer and she was dismissed. I was sent to grandparents for the next several weeks and again upon return to the adopted home was rejected by the adoptive mother and shifted to the arms of a new caregiver. I have estimated 15 carers, foster mothers, babysitters and relatives of the adoptive family in the first year of life. I am a borderline sociopath who engages in meaningful relationships with strangers only. I never formed any attachment to anyone and am chronically unreliable, non-trusting and unconsciously rejecting of any form of social human relationship. 


Human Attachment:
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Humans are equipped with the human attachment system that serves many purposes. The attachment system lays the building blocks for mental health, relationship skills, and self-regulation. The attachment system is also a biological system that ensures our survival. It is through the attachment system that keeps infants close their parents. When babies are distressed, they behave in ways that brings a parent toward them. As babies get older, they move toward their parents- with their legs or with their eyes- seeking out closeness and safety. This system works because parents aren’t supposed to be feared. When a small child is feeling anxious, nervous, uncomfortable, scared, or terrified their attachment system becomes activated and draws them closer to their attachment figure.
When the attachment figure is the source of fear:  the anxious, nervous, uncomfortable, scared and terrifying feelings children are left with an unsolvable dilemma. When your fight/flight/freeze system is activated by the SAME person who activates your attachment system,                     problems arise psychologically. It is this unsolvable dilemma that is the basis for disorganized attachment.
Hebb’s Axion tells us that “Neurons that fire together wire together.” Children who experience terror, fear, or neglect at the hands of the person who is supposed to keep them safe experience a simultaneous activation of both the attachment system and the fight/flight/freeze system. This simultaneous activation weaves together these experiences in the nervous system, linking these two systems in a deep way.
Over time, in a new,  safe home, children’s attachment system begins to be activated by the new, safe caregiver. But due to the previous tangling of the attachment system and the fight/flight/freeze system, this new, safe caregiver activates the attachment system and the fight/flight/freeze system. Our children become caught in this impossible paradox of “come close, run away.” This horrifying confusion, which leaves children feeling vulnerable, exposed, and at risk of death, is the driving force behind their bizarre and confusing, sometimes dangerous, behaviors.
This entangled circuitry- of attachment and fight/flight/freeze- can be slowly untangled overtime. It is a slow, methodical process which solidifies our understanding of the importance of parenting with connection. It is the piece we can turn back to when we begin to doubt “trust-based parenting” (Purvis & Cross, TCU) because it reminds us that we must never be sources of fright or terror to our children. That if we become triggered and behave in ways we regret- with a spanking or a threat or any attempt at gaining better behavior through fear or coercion, that it is imperative to repair that breech and continue to repattern our children’s nervous system. We cannot simply reassure our children that we are safe. We must prove to them- over and over and over again- that we are safe. We must commit to never reinforcing in their nervous system that “attachment figure” and “danger danger” goes together.


Attachment theory


An Inuit family is sitting on a log outside their tent. The parents, wearing warm clothing made of animal skins, are engaged in domestic tasks. Between them sits a toddler, also in skin clothes, staring at the camera. On the mother's back is a baby in a papoose.
For infants and toddlers, the "set-goal" of the attachment behavioural system is to maintain or achieve proximity to attachment figures, usually the parents.
Attachment theory describes the dynamics of long-term relationships between humans. However, ‘attachment theory is not formulated as a general theory of relationships. It addresses only a specific facet’ (Waters et al. 2005: 81): how human beings respond within relationships when hurt, separated from loved ones, or perceiving a threat. In infants, attachment as a motivational and behavioural system directs the child to seek proximity with a familiar caregiver when they are alarmed, with the expectation that they will receive protection and emotional support. Bowlby believed that the tendency for primate infants to develop attachments to familiar caregivers was the result of evolutionary pressures, since attachment behaviour would facilitate the infant’s survival in the face of dangers such as predation or exposure to the elements.
The most important tenet of attachment theory is that an infant needs to develop a relationship with at least one primary caregiver for the child’s successful social and emotional development, and in particular for learning how to effectively regulate their feelings. Fathers or any other individuals, are equally likely to become principal attachment figures if they provide most of the child care and related social interaction. In the presence of a sensitive and responsive caregiver, the infant will use the caregiver as a “safe base” from which to explore. It should be recognized that “even sensitive caregivers get it right only about 50 percent of the time. Their communications are either out of synch, or mismatched. There are times when parents feel tired or distracted. The telephone rings or there is breakfast to prepare. In other words, attuned interactions rupture quite frequently. But the hallmark of a sensitive caregiver is that the ruptures are managed and repaired.
Attachments between infants and caregivers form even if this caregiver is not sensitive and responsive in social interactions with them. This has important implications. Infants cannot exit unpredictable or insensitive caregiving relationships. Instead they must manage themselves as best they can within such relationships. Research by developmental psychologist Mary Ainsworth in the 1960s and 70s found that children will have different patterns of attachment depending primarily on how they experienced their early caregiving environment. Early patterns of attachment, in turn, shape – but do not determine - the individual's expectations in later relationships. Four different attachment classifications have been identified in children: secure attachment, anxious-ambivalent attachment anxious-avoidant attachment, and disorganized. Attachment theory has become the dominant theory used today in the study of infant and toddler behavior and in the fields of infant mental health, treatment of children, and related fields. In the 1980s, the theory was extended to attachment in adults.

Attachment patterns

“The strength of a child’s attachment behaviour in a given circumstance does not indicate the ‘strength’ of the attachment bond. Some insecure children will routinely display very pronounced attachment behaviours, while many secure children find that there is no great need to engage in either intense or frequent shows of attachment behaviour”.

Secure attachment

A toddler who is securely attached to its parent (or other familiar caregiver) will explore freely while the caregiver is present, typically engages with strangers, is often visibly upset when the caregiver departs, and is generally happy to see the caregiver return. The extent of exploration and of distress are affected by the child's temperamental make-up and by situational factors as well as by attachment status, however. A child's attachment is largely influenced by their primary caregiver's sensitivity to their needs. Parents who consistently (or almost always) respond to their child's needs will create securely attached children. Such children are certain that their parents will be responsive to their needs and communications.
In the traditional Ainsworth et al. (1978) coding of the Strange Situation, secure infants are denoted as "Group B" infants and they are further subclassified as B1, B2, B3, and B4. Although these subgroupings refer to different stylistic responses to the comings and goings of the caregiver, they were not given specific labels by Ainsworth and colleagues, although their descriptive behaviors led others (including students of Ainsworth) to devise a relatively 'loose' terminology for these subgroups. B1's have been referred to as 'secure-reserved', B2's as 'secure-inhibited', B3's as 'secure-balanced,' and B4's as 'secure-reactive.' In academic publications however, the classification of infants (if subgroups are denoted) is typically simply "B1" or "B2" although more theoretical and review-oriented papers surrounding attachment theory may use the above terminology.
Securely attached children are best able to explore when they have the knowledge of a secure base to return to in times of need. When assistance is given, this bolsters the sense of security and also, assuming the parent's assistance is helpful, educates the child in how to cope with the same problem in the future. Therefore, secure attachment can be seen as the most adaptive attachment style. According to some psychological researchers, a child becomes securely attached when the parent is available and able to meet the needs of the child in a responsive and appropriate manner. At infancy and early childhood, if parents are caring and attentive towards their children, those children will be more prone to secure attachment.

Anxious-resistant insecure attachment

Anxious-resistant insecure attachment is also called ambivalent attachment. In general, a child with an anxious-resistant attachment style will typically explore little (in the Strange Situation) and is often wary of strangers, even when the parent is present. When the mother departs, the child is often highly distressed. The child is generally ambivalent when she returns. The Anxious-Ambivalent/Resistant strategy is a response to unpredictably responsive caregiving, and the displays of anger or helplessness towards the caregiver on reunion can be regarded as a conditional strategy for maintaining the availability of the caregiver by preemptively taking control of the interaction.
The C1 subtype is coded when:
"...resistant behavior is particularly conspicuous. The mixture of seeking and yet resisting contact and interaction has an unmistakeably angry quality and indeed an angry tone may characterize behavior in the preseparation episodes...
The C2 subtype is coded when:
"Perhaps the most conspicuous characteristic of C2 infants is their passivity. Their exploratory behavior is limited throughout the SS and their interactive behaviors are relatively lacking in active initiation. Nevertheless, in the reunion episodes they obviously want proximity to and contact with their mothers, even though they tend to use signalling rather than active approach, and protest against being put down rather than actively resisting release...In general the C2 baby is not as conspicuously angry as the C1 baby."

Anxious-avoidant insecure attachment

A child with the anxious-avoidant insecure attachment style will avoid or ignore the caregiver - showing little emotion when the caregiver departs or returns. The child will not explore very much regardless of who is there. Infants classified as anxious-avoidant (A) represented a puzzle in the early 1970s. They did not exhibit distress on separation, and either ignored the caregiver on their return (A1 subtype) or showed some tendency to approach together with some tendency to ignore or turn away from the caregiver (A2 subtype). Ainsworth and Bell theorised that the apparently unruffled behaviour of the avoidant infants is in fact a mask for distress, a hypothesis later evidenced through studies of the heart-rate of avoidant infants.
Infants are depicted as anxious-avoidant insecure when there is:
"...conspicuous avoidance of the mother in the reunion episodes which is likely to consist of ignoring her altogether, although there may be some pointed looking away, turning away, or moving away...If there is a greeting when the mother enters, it tends to be a mere look or a smile...Either the baby does not approach his mother upon reunion, or they approach in 'abortive' fashions with the baby going past the mother, or it tends to only occur after much coaxing...If picked up, the baby shows little or no contact-maintaining behavior; he tends not to cuddle in; he looks away and he may squirm to get down.
Ainsworth’s narrative records showed that infants avoided the caregiver in the stressful Strange Situation Procedure when they had a history of experiencing rebuff of attachment behaviour. The child's needs are frequently not met and the child comes to believe that communication of needs has no influence on the caregiver. Ainsworth's student Mary Main theorised that avoidant behaviour in the Strange Situational Procedure should be regarded as ‘a conditional strategy, which paradoxically permits whatever proximity is possible under conditions of maternal rejection’ by de-emphasising attachment needs. Main proposed that avoidance has two functions for an infant whose caregiver is consistently unresponsive to their needs. Firstly, avoidant behaviour allows the infant to maintain a conditional proximity with the caregiver: close enough to maintain protection, but distant enough to avoid rebuff. Secondly, the cognitive processes organising avoidant behaviour could help direct attention away from the unfulfilled desire for closeness with the caregiver - avoiding a situation in which the child is overwhelmed with emotion ('disorganised distress'), and therefore unable to maintain control of themselves and achieve even conditional proximity.

Disorganized/disoriented attachment

Ainsworth herself was the first to find difficulties in fitting all infant behaviour into the three classifications used in her Baltimore study. Ainsworth and colleagues sometimes observed ‘tense movements such as hunching the shoulders, putting the hands behind the neck and tensely cocking the head, and so on. It was our clear impression that such tension movements signified stress, both because they tended to occur chiefly in the separation episodes and because they tended to be prodromal to crying. Indeed, our hypothesis is that they occur when a child is attempting to control crying, for they tend to vanish if and when crying breaks through’. Such observations also appeared in the doctoral theses of Ainsworth's students. Crittenden, for example, noted that one abused infant in her doctoral sample was classed as secure (B) by her undergraduate coders because her strange situation behavior was “without either avoidance or ambivalence, she did show stress-related stereotypic headcocking throughout the strange situation. This pervasive behavior, however, was the only clue to the extent of her stress”.
Drawing on records of behaviours discrepant with the A,B and C classifications, a fourth classification was added by Ainsworth's colleague Mary Main In the Strange Situation, the attachment system is expected to be activated by the departure and return of the caregiver. If the behaviour of the infant does not appear to the observer to be coordinated in a smooth way across episodes to achieve either proximity or some relative proximity with the caregiver, then it is considered 'disorganised' as it indicates a disruption or flooding of the attachment system (e.g. by fear). Infant behaviours in the Strange Situation Protocol coded as disorganised/disoriented include overt displays of fear; contradictory behaviours or affects occurring simultaneously or sequentially; stereotypic, asymmetric, misdirected or jerky movements; or freezing and apparent dissociation. Lyons-Ruth has urged, however, that it should be wider 'recognized that 52% of disorganized infants continue to approach the caregiver, seek comfort, and cease their distress without clear ambivalent or avoidant behavior.' 
There is ‘rapidly growing interest in disorganized attachment’ from clinicians and policy-makers as well as researchers. Yet the Disorganized/disoriented attachment (D) classification has been criticised by some for being too encompassing. In 1990, Ainsworth put in print her blessing for the new ‘D’ classification, though she urged that the addition be regarded as ‘open-ended, in the sense that subcategories may be distinguished’, as she worried that the D classification might be too encompassing and might treat too many different forms of behaviour as if they were the same thing. Indeed, the D classification puts together infants who use a somewhat disrupted secure (B) strategy with those who seem hopeless and show little attachment behaviour; it also puts together infants who run to hide when they see their caregiver in the same classification as those who show an avoidant (A) strategy on the first reunion and then an ambivalent-resistant (C) strategy on the second reunion. Perhaps responding to such concerns, George and Solomon have divided among indices of Disorganized/disoriented attachment (D) in the Strange Situation, treating some of the behaviours as a ‘strategy of desperation’ and others as evidence that the attachment system has been flooded (e.g. by fear, or anger). Crittenden also argues that some behaviour classified as Disorganized/disoriented can be regarded as more 'emergency' versions of the avoidant and/or ambivalent/resistant strategies, and function to maintain the protective availability of the caregiver to some degree. Sroufe et al. have agreed that ‘even disorganised attachment behaviour (simultaneous approach-avoidance; freezing, etc.) enables a degree of proximity in the face of a frightening or unfathomable parent’. However, 'the presumption that many indices of “disorganisation” are aspects of organised patterns does not preclude acceptance of the notion of disorganisation, especially in cases where the complexity and dangerousness of the threat are beyond children’s capacity for response’. For example, ‘Children placed in care, especially more than once, often have intrusions. In videos of the Strange Situation Procedure, they tend to occur when a rejected/neglected child approaches the stranger in an intrusion of desire for comfort, then loses muscular control and falls to the floor, overwhelmed by the intruding fear of the unknown, potentially dangerous, strange person’.
Main and Hesse found that most of the mothers of these children had suffered major losses or other trauma shortly before or after the birth of the infant and had reacted by becoming severely depressed. In fact, 56% of mothers who had lost a parent by death before they completed high school subsequently had children with disorganized attachments. Subsequently studies, whilst emphasising the potential importance of unresolved loss, have qualified these findings. For example, Solomon and George found that unresolved loss in the mother tended to be associated with disorganised attachment in their infant primarily when they had also experienced an unresolved trauma in their life prior to the loss.