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.

Monday, May 25, 2015

The Adopted Child's Psychological Slavery


The Adopted Child's Psychological Slavery

According to relevant literature, slavery has been a legal institution in which one person the slave (adopted child) is the property of another the master (adoptive Parent). Slavery dates back to ancient times, but contemporary international treaties (Slavery Convention of 1926) consider slavery a crime against humanity.
However, slavery and human exploitation still exist. Along with them, we are left with a legacy of psychological slavery that we see in many adoptive homes where highly abusive relationships prevail between adoptive parents and their adopted child.
Many studies in the field of psychology and sociology explain psychological slavery based on an incident which occurred in 1973, where two robbers entered a bank in Stockholm, Sweden with guns and dynamite, took four hostages- three women and a man- and held them hostage for 131 hours. After their rescue, the hostages showed a peculiar behavior. These people who had been threatened, abused, and intimidated felt gratitude towards their captors and tried to protect them when expert investigations were made. One of the women became emotionally attached to one of the assailants and another began a campaign to raise funds for the legal defense of the criminals.  The phrase "Stockholm Syndrome" was coined as we see the behavior of abused and neglected children in defense of their parent perpetrators.  
As strange as it sounds, similar situations occur in daily life with abused children, battered women in relationships, prisoners of war, victims of incest, and generally in families where there is verbal, physical, emotional and sexual abuse perpetrated on the adopted child by the trusted adoptive parents.
The explanation lies in our survival instinct, described here as Stockholm Syndrome. When the lives of adopted child victims depend on the action of their assailant adoptive parents, the emotional reactions of some victims turn into gratitude once they survive, just as slaves may have also expressed gratitude when they were given their freedom. Similarly, in many contemporary families the victims, feeling hopeless, develop positive feelings toward the abuser or controller, rationalize to accept such behavior, react negatively to family or friends who try to rescue them, and have difficulty freeing themselves from the adoptive parent's emotional entrapment.
For psychological slavery to occur, research studies have found four typical situations:
◦ Perception of a threat, physical or psychological, and the conviction that misfortune can really occur;
◦ Appreciation of small acts of kindness by the abuser towards the victim;
◦ Isolation from others;
◦ Conviction that one is unable to escape the situation.
Just as in the case of the bank hostages in Sweden, interpersonal relationships where there is an abuse of power also establish a similar pattern which is hard to escape, resulting in psychological slavery. The adoptive parent repeatedly recounts their "savior" status to the unwanted adopted child. Repeatedly reminding the adopted child that they were saved by the adoptive parent bringing out the expectation of the adopted child's gratefulness, servitude and allegiance to the adoptive parent.  
The adoptive parent's demanding and maintaining control over the adopted child by the use of ridicule, personal and self-esteem attacks, and the daily use of threats to remind the adopted child of their poor social status may be direct or indirect. These threat may be directed toward other family members in keeping the adopted child dominated and under the control of the adopted parent. 
When a person feels threatened, the reaction is to find hope in anything that will strengthen the adopted child's will to survive. When the abuser or controller offers small acts of kindness such as a glass of water, the victim adopted child may think that behind the adoptive parent's maliciousness, the perpetrator has positive feelings and good intentions.                                   As a consequence, a "spiritual connection" and gratitude for still being alive is established by the unwanted adopted child.
The adopted child victim may rationalize and justify the adoptive parent's cruel,  antisocial or criminal behavior. Moreover, the adopted child may genuinely try to help the abusive adoptive parent emotionally, feeling the pain of the other instead of the adopted child's own emotional pain.
When an adopted child lives in a world of abuse, domination and control, that adopted child quickly learns to be careful of what to say or do for fear of provoking the adoptive parent, their unrest that might result in violence against the adopted child. As a result, the adopted child victim tries to please their adoptive parent abuser and controller by worrying about everything that could disturb them and by trying to satisfy the wants, needs and desires of the adoptive parent abuser and controller to keep the peace at any cost. Unfortunately, this attitude helps perpetuate the abuse. The adoptive parent abuser learns to demand more from the adopted child, to practice control and power over the child. In turn, the adopted child victim must remain isolated so that the abuser can continue manipulating the adopted child victim with criticism, ridicule and accusations. The victim agrees to be isolated to avoid conflict, humiliation, embarrassment and detaches from other friends or family members. Overwhelmed by abuse and already depressed, the adopted child victim comes to accept the situation and considers it part of their miserable adopted life and servitude.
Freeing oneself from this kind of relationship can be very difficult, even impossible. The victims of adoption often feel bound not only emotionally, but also because of financial obligations, legal issues, the adopted child´s future, threats of death or suicide.
Understanding the complexity of adopted child's psychological slavery preserves the possibility of helping those who need it, keeping a connection, contributing to their self-esteem and opening the door when the time comes to cherish their freedom when the adult adoptee finds the courage to escape the bondage of child adoption and adoption fog that denies his plight.