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, April 27, 2014

The Adopted Child's Love-Hate to Benefit the Ego of the Adoptive Parent

ADOPTEE RAGE!

The Adopted Child's Love-Hate to Benefit the Ego of Adoptive Parent
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The adoptive parents expect allegiance to their values, morals, religion and adoptive family. The child's past is erased by the adoptive parents in an attempt to assimilate and indoctrinate the child into their "Vision" of what their own offspring might have been. The attempts of adoptive parents to change the normal biology of an adoptive child and mold them into the fantasy of the adoptive parent's offspring will always end in failure from twenty years of programming, molding and correcting the adopted child. 
When the adopted child is young the constant mental grooming seems to be working successfully. The child retains the generic child-like appearance and the adopted child strives to make the substitute parents happy by acting and performing the behaviors they applaud. 
The adopted child is not developing a personality, he is using coping mechanisms to keep the substitute parents from abandoning him. As the adopted child's motivating factor is "not to be abandoned again" as he was abandoned at birth by his biological parent, the child's foundation for all future relationships will end in abandonment. He is programmed to believe this forever. Throughout the adoptive child's childhood he will have conflicting thoughts and they manifest as "splitting". Being all good or all bad, to love or to hate is splitting, these "coping mechanisms" continues in the adopted child's dialog.  When the child says "he Hates his biological mother" and later in adolescence where he is questioning the adoptive parent's motivations to change him from who he is, He will say "I love My biological mother and hate my adoptive mother. This is normal for adopted child who is denied to be his true identity, and must maintain the false identity to please the adopted parents so they wont abandon him. But in reality when the adopted child reaches the awareness stage in adolescence he will have trouble performing the identity act to his adoptive parents. The adopted child's cognitive development will make him see the dual identity as his own identity sham. The adopted child can't be true to himself and perform for his adoptive parents, while he is exploring what it is to be his true self. The identity is dual in the adopted child, and will have more performance identities for different people in different situations.
The adult adoptee may be feel unable to keep up the masquerade and be true to his true identity, to stroke the ego's of the adoptive parents become an abomination to who the adult adoptee is.    

The U.S. Greed-Based Cultural Consensus of "Blame the Adopted Child"

ADOPTEE RAGE!

The U.S. Greed-Based Consensus of "Blame The Adopted Child" 

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The beginning of a child adoption is motivated by a person's mental illness or medical problem that prevents the woman from bearing her own natural offspring. This assault to her ego, public image and how she believes life has been unfair to her. 
The woman who is scorned by her own world, will not tolerate
the limits of her own lacking biology. She will buy a child to have the last world and save her ego's public humiliation, to show her community that she is worthy of motherhood when she takes it by force. Not many husbands grow up to plan on adopting a child, child adoption is against the laws of a man's nature, against the laws of anthropology and far against the principal of a man's biological drive to secure and replicate in his offspring.
Women are the perpetrators of child adoption traffic and make the demand to adopt outside offspring and force the issue temporarily. As time passes the realities of difference will build the walls that keep the adopted child outside of the family's reality to become the blame for all of the parent's problems.
    
The adopted child is forever the outsider to the adopted family,
the perpetual deposit of blame, anger and hostility for all that goes wrong in a parent's life. Whatever the parent's problem-Is the motivation for adopting the child and the parent's problem will be ignored and displaced on the child as a daily reminder of the parent's medical or personal problem for the life of the parent. The adoptive parent's ignoring of their own personal problems will bring a plague of hate upon the adopted child.
The child becomes the manifestation of the parent's life dissatisfaction and blame for all the parent's mistakes. 
The child is trained and becomes accustomed to taking all of the parent's hostility, anger and rage for being "second rate". 
The position of second-rate is all the adopted child knows and is a comforting position of relatedness to the adoptive parent. 
The adopted child welcomes criticism without protest as trained and shrinks in fear to the adopted parent's wrath of anger.
As the adopted child grows into maturity and drastically different in physical appearance the parent no longer recognize the adopted child from early childhood. The pronounced physical differences gives the parent conflicting memories of the stereotypical child appearance and now the emerging stranger child who is the shell of that familiar child becomes the enemy of all the parent's predictions that the child never belonged in the family to begin. The adoptive parent's hatred of the difference pushes the child far away and the child becomes estranged from the family. The parent's unconscious, conscious and verbal abuse hatred for the different child makes the absent child the blame in public to AGAIN save the adoptive parent from public ridicule. The parent verbally bashes the absent adoptee to friends and family on a grand scale of spreading gossip about the trouble and inconvenience the bad adopted child has put the adoptive family through. The adoptive parent is now the recipient of the public pity awards for taking in an ungrateful child who spit on the upstanding christian American family.
  
In the United States Culture of self-centered greed, adopting parents are seen as honorable, humanitarian family charities, worthy of parenting awards for their selfless donation of financial liability for 18 years to "Save A Child From Himself".
When the adopting parents have thrown the child away, they are again seen as heroes for tolerating ungrateful adopted child.

Friday, April 25, 2014

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Thursday, April 24, 2014

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Monday, April 21, 2014

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Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Multi-generational Patterns Perpetuated By Narcissistic Adoptive Parents

ADOPTEE RAGE!

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Multi-generational patterns Perpetuated By Narcissistic Adoptive Parents 


"Narcissistic adoptive parents give raise either narcissistic or codependent adopted children, because of their inability to engage emotionally, keeping an intentional mental and physical separation of disconnect, and deny the reality of the substituted relationship by ignoring their adopted children's needs. 
Narcissistic parents likely went through some form of psychological, physical or/and sexual abuse and neglect in their own childhoods. The narcissistic adoptive parent will find it impossible to place their children's needs and interests ahead of their own desire to feel in control.
The Narcissist Child: Children of a difficult, more stubborn temperament defend against being supportive of others in the house. They observe how the selfish parents get his needs met by others. They learn how guilt and manipulation gets the parent what he or she wants. They develop a false self and use aggression and intimidation to get their way. These children grow up to be Narcissistic themselves.
The Codependent Child: The sensitive, guilt-ridden adopted child in the family learn to meet the parent’s needs for gratification through negative reinforcement, chronic and constantly punished, and is the family's scapegoat for all problems.
The child's parent interaction cycle is a permanent lifelong pattern of disregard, as the parent see's the adopted child as inferior, different and does not belong. The exception is when the child is doing the specific function or task that he/she was adopted for", providing the role of "The needy orphan who is the forever admirer audience of the beautiful parent's performance in life" game. The child's hope filled, repetitive attempts of trying to be loved (by mother/father) by accommodating the whims, wishes and demands of the heartless parent. Yet the child never receives any praise, comfort, positive reinforcement or nurturing from the child's willingness to perform what was demanded, so why does the child keep trying to please without reward? Survival, Programming, Repetitive habit?   
The child’s normal feelings are ignored, denied and eventually repressed in attempts to gain the parent’s “attention.” Guilt and shame keep the child locked into this developmental arrest. Their aggressive impulses and rage become split off and are not integrated with normal development. These adopted children develop a false self as defense mechanism and become co-dependent (to a flaw)  In all and future relationships. The child's unconscious denial of their true self perpetuates a cycle self-hatred, fearing any reminder of their authentic self, because it may ruin the established continuity and comfort of familiarity.

































The Dysfunctional Adoptive Family's Relationship Patterns

ADOPTEE RAGE!

The Dysfunctional Adoptive Family's Relationship Patterns
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Link:http://brown.edu/campus-life/support/psychological-services/dysfunctional-family-relationships

Dysfunctional Family Relationships

Many people hope that once they leave home, they will leave their family and childhood problems behind. However, many find that they experience similar problems, as well as similar feelings and relationship patterns, long after they have left the family environment.
What the Dysfunctional Family Child Missed Out-On:
 Ideally, children grow up in family environments which help them feel worthwhile and valuable. They learn that their feelings and needs are important and can be expressed. Children growing up in such supportive environments are likely to form healthy, open relationships in adulthood. 
The Child's Consequences:
However, families may fail to provide for many of their children’s emotional and physical needs. In addition, the families’ communication patterns may severely limit the child’s expressions of feelings and needs. Children growing up in such families are likely to develop low self esteem and feel that their needs are not important or perhaps should not be taken seriously by others. As a result, they may form unsatisfying relationships as adults.           

Making Changes

Sometimes we continue in our sub-human roles because we are waiting for our parents to give us “permission”; to change. But that permission can come only from you. The dominating parents in dysfunctional families often feel threatened by all changes, especially in their children. As a result, they may thwart your efforts to change and insist that you “change back!” That’s why it’s so important for you to trust your own perceptions and feelings. Change begins with you. Some specific things you can do include:
  • Identify painful or difficult experiences that happened during your childhood.
  • Make a list of your behaviors, beliefs, etc. that you would like to change.
  • Next to each item on the list, write down the behavior, belief, etc. that you would like to do/have instead.
  • Pick one item on your list and begin practicing the alternate behavior or belief. Choose the easiest item first.
  • Once you are able to do the alternate behavior more often than the original, pick another item on the list and practice changing it, too.
In addition to working on your own, you might find it helpful to work with a group of people with similar experiences and/or with a professional counselor.

Special Considerations

As you make changes, keep in mind  the following:
  • Stop trying to be perfect. In addition, don’t try to make your family perfect.
  • Realize that you are not in control of other people’s lives. You do not have the power to make others change.
  • Don’t try to win the old struggles – you can’t win.
  • Set clear limits – e.g., if you do not plan on visiting your parents for a holiday, say “no,” not “be.”
  • Identify what you would like to have happen. Recognize that when you stop behaving the way you used to, even for a short time, there may be adverse reactions from your family or friends. Anticipate what the reactions will be (e.g., tears, yelling, other intimidating responses) and decide how you will respond.

Final Note

Don’t become discouraged if you find yourself slipping back into old patterns of behavior. Changes may be slow and gradual; however, as you continue to practice new and healthier behaviors, they will begin to become part of your day to day living.

T
















How To Talk To Relatives From Borderline to Narcissism and The Dysfunctional Adoptive Family

ADOPTEE RAGE!

Article "How to talk to relatives" 
Applied to the Adoptive Dysfunctional Family

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LINK:http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/matter-personality/201209/how-talk-relatives-about-family-dysfunction

By David M. Mullen, M.D.

How to Talk to Relatives about Family Dysfunction

Recalcitrant relatives have ways to derail constructive family problem solving
First, everyone fears that they will hear something about themselves that is negative. Some do not want to face up to or admit to anything they may have done wrong. If they are already feeling guilty about their past behavior, they may expect they will be unjustly blamed or misunderstood or humiliated. Sometimes discussions about family dynamics elicit angry outbursts or lead to an emotional cut off or the silent treatment. Some may even lead to violence.

Monday, April 14, 2014

The Definition of Psychological Pain., Continued Research of the Origins of Peculiarity Psychological Suffering and Child Abuse in Adoptees

ADOPTEE RAGE!

The Definition of Psychological Pain.
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Wikipedia.org/psychological_pain/

Psychological Pain
Psychological pain is an unpleasant feeling (a suffering) of a psychological, non-physical, origin. A pioneer in the field of suicidology, Edwin Shneidman, described it as "how much you hurt as a human being. It is mental suffering; mental torment. There is no shortage in the many ways psychological pain is referred to, and using a different word usually reflects an emphasis on a particular aspect of mind life. It may be called mental pain, emotional pain, psychic pain, social pain, spiritual or soul pain, or suffering. It is sometimes also called psychalgia. While these clearly are not equivalent terms, one systematic comparison of theories and models of psychological pain, psychic pain, emotional pain, and suffering concluded that each describe the same profoundly unpleasant feeling. Psychological pain is believed to be an inescapable aspect of human existence.
Other descriptions of psychological pain are "a wide range of subjective experiences characterized as an awareness of negative changes in the self and in its functions accompanied by negative feelings", "a diffuse subjective experience ... differentiated from physical pain which is often localized and associated with noxious physical stimuli", and 
"A lasting, unsustainable, and unpleasant feeling resulting from                     negative appraisal of an inability or deficiency of the self."









































































The Psychological Damage of Maternal Abandonment In Adopted Infants-Children-Adult-Adoptees, The Exploration of the Physiological and Cellular Biology Response to Emotional Abandonment

ADOPTEE RAGE!

Psychological Damage Maternal Abandonment Of Adopted Infant-Child-Adult Adoptees
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Maternal Abandonment The Fundamental Foundation of Adopted Children

The reality of "Maternal Psychological Abandonment" Is grim for the future of the offspring abandoned child. The severing of the continuing birth bond weather the child is forcefully removed in Adoption, the child is stolen, civil injustice or intentional maternal deprivation; The child will suffer on a cellular and biological level from the separation, producing incurable damage of the child's psyche, physical functioning if the child survives the separation ordeal. 
The adoptive parent's denial of the intentional psychological injury, It's severity and lifelong damaging effects that the infant is subjected to in the Negligent packaging and sale of the adoption product. 

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The Psychology of Emotional Abandonment

Link:wikipedia.org/Emotional_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.
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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 labratory 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.

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 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.

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.

As a trauma

The depression of abandonment grief creates a sustained type of stress that constitutes an emotional trauma which can be severe enough to leave an emotional imprint on individuals' psychobiological functioning, affecting future choices and responses to rejection, loss, or disconnection. A contributing factor to the trauma-producing event is that 'being left' triggers primal separation fear, also referred to as primal abandonment fear – the fear of being left with no one to take care of one’s vital needs. Our first anxiety is a response to separation from Mother.[37] This sensation is stored in the amygdala – a structure set deep into the brain’s emotional memory system responsible for conditioning the fight/freeze/flight response to fear. Primal fear may have been initiated by birth trauma and even have some prenatal antecedents. The emotional memory system is fairly intact at or before birth and lays down traces of the sensations and feelings of the infant’s separation experiences. These primitive feelings are reawakened by later events, especially those reminiscent of unwanted or abrupt separations from a source of sustenance.
In adulthood, 'being left arouses primal fear along with other primitive sensations which contribute to feelings of terror and outright panic. Infantile needs and urgencies reemerge and can precipitate a symbiotic regression in which individuals feel, at least momentarily, unable to survive without the lost object. People may also experience the intense stress of helplessness. When they make repeated attempts to compel their loved one to return and are unsuccessful, they feel helpless and inadequate to the task. This helplessness causes people to feel possessed of what Michael Balint calls “a limited capacity to perform the work of conquest – the work necessary to transform an indifferent object into a participating partner.” According to Balint, feeling one’s ‘limited capacity’ is traumatic in that it produces a fault line in the psyche which renders the person vulnerable heightened emotional responses within primary relationships.
Another factor contributing to the traumatic conditions is the stress of losing one’s background object. A background object is someone on whom individuals have come to rely in ways they did not realize until the object is no longer present. For instance, the relationship served as a mutual regulatory system. Multiple psychobiological systems helped to maintain individuals’ equilibrium. As members of a couple, they became external regulators for one another. They were attuned on many levels: their pupils dilated in synchrony, they echoed one another’s speech patterns, movements, and even cardiac and EEG rhythms. As a couple, they functioned like a mutual bio-feedback system, stimulating and modulating each other’s bio rhythms, responding to one another’s pheromones, and addicting to the steady trickle of endogenous opiates induced by the relationship. When the relationship ends, the many processes it helped to regulate go into disarray. As the emotional and bio-physiological effects mount, the stressful process is heightened by the knowledge that it was not you, but your loved one who chose withdraw from the bond. This knowledge may cause people to interpret their intense emotional responses to the disconnection as evidence of their putative weakness and ‘limited capacity to perform the work of conquest’.

Post traumatic stress disorder

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 post traumatic stress disorder.  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 norepinepherine, 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 post-traumatic.
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.

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.

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. The use of psychotropic medications, cardiac medications both to modify the bodies normal functioning to a slow reaction and general numbing feeling or the use of "shock Therapy" to make the victim injured in childhood loose long term memory....I think I'll keep my bad childhood memories!

Contributors to the 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.


Sunday, April 13, 2014

The Narcissistic Family Portrait

ADOPTEE RAGE!

The Narcissistic Family Portrait
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The Narcissistic Family Portrait

It can stink and look pretty at the same time

Link:http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/the-legacy-distorted-love/201105/the-narcissistic-family-portrait


Clinical experience and research show that adult children of narcissists have a difficult time putting their finger on what is wrong. Denial is rampant in the narcissistic family system. "The typical adult from a narcissistic family is filled with unacknowledged anger, feels like a hollow person, feels inadequate and defective, suffers from periodic anxiety and depression, and has no clue about how he or she got that way." Pressman and Pressman, The Narcissistic Family. It is common for adult children of narcissists to enter treatment with emotional symptoms or relationship issues, but simultaneously display a lack of a

In a nutshell, the narcissistic family operates according to an unspoken set of rules. Children learn to live with those rules, but they never stop being confused and pained by them, for these rules block children's emotional access to their parents. They are basically invisible - not heard, seen or nurtured. Tragically, conversely, this set of rules allows the parents to have no boundaries with the children and to use and abuse them as they see fit. Sounds awful, doesn't it?
Let's browse some common dynamics from this profoundly dysfunctional intergenerational system. Keep in mind there are degrees of dysfunction

 on a spectrum depending on the level of narcissism in the parents.
Secrets:The family secret is that the parents are not meeting the children's emotional needs or they are abusive in some way. This is the norm in the narcissistic family. The message to the children: "Don't tell the outside world...pretend everything is fine."
Image: The narcissistic family is all about image. The message is: we are bigger, better, have no problems, and we must put on the face of perfection. Children get the messages: "What would the neighbors think?" "What would the relatives think?" What would our friends think?" These are common fears in the family. "Always put a smile on that pretty little face."
Negative Messages:Children are given spoken and unspoken messages that get internalized. Those messages typically are: "You're not good enough." "You don't measure up." "You are valued for what you do rather than for who youare."
Lack of Parental Hierarchy:In healthy families there is a strong parental hierarchy where the parents are in charge and shining love, light, guidance, and direction down to the children. In narcissistic families the hierarchy is non-existent. The children are there to serve parental needs.
Lack of Emotional Tune-In:

Narcissistic parents lack the ability to emotionally tune in to their kids. They cannot feel and show empathy or unconditional love. They are typically critical and judgmental.
Lack of Effective Communication:
The most common type of communication in narcissistic families is through triangulation. This is where information is told through one party about another in hopes it will get back to the other party. Information is not direct. Family members talk about each other to other members of the family, but don't confront the individuals directly. Alas, causing the creation of passive-aggressive behavior, tension, and mistrust among family members. When communication is direct, it is often in the form of anger or rage.
Unclear Boundaries:There are few boundaries in the narcissistic family. Children's feelings are not considered important. Diaries are read, physical boundaries not kept, and emotional boundaries not respected. The right to privacy is not typically a part of the family history.
One Parent Narcissistic, The Other Orbits:If one parent is narcissistic, it is common for the other parent to have to revolve around the narcissist to keep the marriage intact. Many times the other parent has redeeming qualities to give to the children, but is tied up meeting the needs of the narcissistic spouse. This often leaves the children's needs unmet. Who is there for them?
dysfunction displayed in violent and abusive homes is usually obvious. Emotional and psychological abuse, as well as neglectful parenting, is often hidden. Where the drama is not displayed as openly to the outside world, it is just as or more damaging to the children.
In reviewing the above dynamics one can see how this kind of family can stink and look pretty at the same time. If you recognize your family here, please know there is hope and recovery. Although we can't change the past, we can take control of the now. We do not have to be defined by the wounded in our family systems. As Mark Twain defines the optimist, I also see the recovering adult child: "A person who travels on nothing from nowhere to happiness." We can create new life that will flow through us to the future and stop the legacy of distorted love learned in the narcissistic family. If we choose recovery, we can defy intergenerational statistics.
Clinical experience and research show that adult children of narcissists have a difficult time putting their finger on what is wrong. Denial is rampant in the narcissistic family system. "The typical adult from a narcissistic family is filled with unacknowledged anger, feels like a hollow person, feels inadequate and defective, suffers from periodic anxiety anddepression, and has no clue about how he or she got that way." Pressman and Pressman, The Narcissistic Family. It is common for adult children of narcissists to enter treatment with emotional symptoms or relationship issues, but simultaneously display a lack of awareness of the deeper etiology or cause. The narcissistic family hides profound pain.
The family secret is that the parents are not meeting the children's emotional needs or they are abusive in some way.