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, November 16, 2014

The Adoptive Mother's Burden of the adult world on the Adopted Child


Forcing the Weight of the Adult World on the Adopted Child

Some adoptive mothers seek adopting a baby to fill their own personal void, outside of the marriage. When faced with resistance, the adoptive mother may make threats of divorce unless she is granted what she wants....a baby. To the detriment of the already rocky marriage, the tantrum of an angry woman is no match for any man. Adopting against a husband's and family's wishes is not uncommon, and sometimes becomes the norm, as the husband knows better than interfere with his wife getting what she wants. The situation of an adoptive mother "Being on her own" in an adoption where she is the one-man-band performing for the family, yet she is the one genuinely in control. The adopted child becomes her toy, necklace and accessory that she wears on occasion when she needs validation. The adopted child becomes the adoptive mother's separate relationship from the family. The adoptive mother looses her sense of perspective of the parent-child relationship, and begins to gossip to the child about the people around her. The adopted child's allegiance to the adoptive mother is one of desperation, as the relationship was never normal and only a twisted reality can emerge from the relationship as master & servant, dependence and privation. The adopted child is desperate to hold on to any type of attention being negative or positive from their twisted view of living and survival. The adopted child's driving force is not to make adoptive mother angry, when she is not provoked she is neutral figure in the adopted child's life, which is acceptable considering the alternative of abandonment. The burdens of adult behavior, adult concepts and borderline psychopathy of the adoptive mother cause the adopted child to live in a constant state of hypervigilance. The high alert for oncoming 
dangerous of negative regard toward the adopted child, severe negative attitudes, verbal abuse, physical abuse, neglect and severe physical adult tantrums by the adoptive mother's quickly changing behaviors. The hypervigilance becomes the adopted child's core coping skill and defense mechanisms that are usually mistaken for the adopted child's personality. The adopted child's learned adaption to and around the adoptive mothers alarming coping behavior to the adoptive mother's complex changing mental environments cause the adopted child to crave excitement, torment, find and create dramatic circumstances, as hypervigilance can't be washed off, unlearned or healed. It is a permanent condition that was biologically developed in the adopted child during infancy and young childhood by the adoptive mother's primal tumultuous personality that amplified her outrageous reactionary behavior of yelling, screaming and physical striking of objects, walls and people. This is the unfortunate reality of the adopted child's legacy from the adoptive mother, the behaviors taught were observed early in life and embedded in the brain as normal. The daily adoptive home environment and the everyday way the family relates, talks to each other, especially the  behaviors observed are embedded in the psyche of the growing child to impact his life forever as the normal home behavior from childhood.      


Burdening the adopted child with adult problems

Making a child the stand in for the spouse you lost, be it through divorce, separation or death, is not unusual and common coping mechanism for psychologically compromised adults. 
From a Family Systems perspective, this dynamic makes perfect sense. When one member of the system leaves, another one will step up and take its place. This is nature's way of maintaining a sense of balance. The scientific term for this phenomenon is "homeostasis." When a space as large as a mother or father becomes vacant, something or someone will unconsciously and automatically want to fill it.
Those who are using their children to get their emotional needs met may believe that the new arrangement is a good one because they believe everyone benefits. They get their needs met and, as they see it, their children benefit because they get to feel useful and loved. The adults may not realize that there are many more negative impacts on children who are parentified than positive. 
Asking a child to play the role of an adult and it is a heavy burden for most children. In many cases, the troubles shared with children (who don't have the coping skills or life experience to know how to deal with them) leave the child feeling hopeless and helpless. Rather than augmenting a child's self-esteem, the constant feeling of futility can lead to lower self worth.
It's not only parents imposing this role on their children. Some children see what is needed (or at least what they think is needed) and offer to fill the spot. For every story I hear about a parent leaning too heavily on a child, I hear about a child who wants to be seen as "the man of the house now," or "dad's caretaker."
How the Surrogate Spouse Role Impacts a Child's Adult Relationships
This level of parent-child enmeshment fosters unhealthy codependence. The child who was trained so well to anticipate the needs of its parent will, without awareness or intervention, carry this trait on into his or her adult relationships.
A daughter who later becomes a wife may suppress her own needs and not speak her own truth in her marriage. This in turn leads her into toxic rages or might cause her to act out by having an affair.
Because she was trained not to ask for what she needed, it never occurred to her to do so. Meanwhile, she merely had to state what she needed and her husband would have responded positively.
A son may grow up with a pattern of setting himself up to be a doormat by doting on his partner who is only to happy to have a one-sided relationship.
Those with learned helpessness may become chronic underearners and those with an over inflated need to please may unconsciously turn into workaholics.
How to Avoid The Parentification Trap
Turning your eleven-year-old or, for that matter, your 17-year-old, into your mate, friend or equal is known as "parentifying" him. I can think of no circumstance where it is of any benefit to anyone in the long run.
It is unequivocally an indication that the adult in the family is not getting her needs met sufficiently. Understanding the signs of what some professionals refer to as Emotional Incest or Surrogate Spouse Syndrome can prevent life-long damage to the children who otherwise have no choice but to be there for their needy parent.
Here are a few signs that you may be leaning too heavily on your son or daughter:
1. You forego plans with friends or peers to attend events with and for your child;
2. You tell your child more about the marriage or divorce than you tell friends or peers;
3. You don't go to therapy or seek professional help despite intense emotions because you have your child to lean on;
4. You often tell your child how much they have helped you and that "you don't know what you'd do without them;"
5. Your child foregoes plans with friends or peers to attend events with and for you;
6. Your child asks questions about your marriage or divorce.
If you have any of these dynamics in your parent-child relationship, my recommendation is that you seek professional support as soon as possible to change it. You will get more adequate and appropriate help and your child will be able to have healthier, age-appropriate relationships.
Suggested Reading:  
-Silently Seduced: When Parents Make their Children Partners, Understanding Covert Incest, by Kenneth M. Adams, Ph.D., Health Communications, Deerfield Beach, FL (1991)
-The Emotional Incest Syndrome: What to do When a Parent's Love Rules Your Life, by Dr. Patricia Love           - When He's Married to Mom: How to Help Mother-Enmeshed Men Open Their Hearts to True Love and Commitment, Kenneth Adams and Alexander Morgan