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.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

The Emotionally Blackmailed Adopted Child


The Emotional Blackmailed Adopted Child

Emotional Blackmail and FOG, terms coined by psychotherapist Susan Forward, PhD, are about controlling people in relationships and the theory that fear, obligation and guilt ("FOG") are the transactional dynamics at play between the controller and the person being controlled. Understanding these dynamics are useful to anyone trying to extricate themselves from the controlling behavior of another person, and deal with their own compulsions to do things that are uncomfortable, undesirable, burdensome, or self-sacrificing for others.
 Emotional blackmail typically involves two people who have established a close personal or intimate relationship (mother and daughter, husband and wife, sister and sister, two close friends).  Children, too, will employ special pleading and emotional blackmail to promote their own interests, and self-development, within the family system.
Emotional blackmailers use fear, obligation and guilt in their relationships, ensuring that others feel afraid to cross them, obligated to give them their way and swamped by guilt if they resist. Knowing that someone close to them wants love, approval or confirmation of identity and self esteem, blackmailers may threaten to withhold them or take them away altogether, making the person feel they must earn them by agreement.
 Fear, obligation or guilt is commonly referred to as "FOG". FOG is a contrived acronym—a play on the word fog which describes something that obscures and confuses a situation or someone's thought processes.
The person who is acting in a controlling way often wants something from the other person that is legitimate to want. They may want to feel loved, safe, valuable, appreciated, supported, needed, etc. This is not the problem. The problem is often more a matter of how they are going about getting what they want, or that they are insensitive to others needs in doing so that is troubling - and how others react to all of this.
Under pressure... one may become a sort of hostage, forced to act under pressure of the threat of responsibility for the other's breakdown and could fall into a pattern of letting the blackmailer control his/her decisions and behavior, lost in what Doris Lessing described as "a sort of psychological fog". (Adoption Fog)


Forward and Frazier identify four blackmail types each with their own mental manipulation style:
Punisher's threatEat the food I cooked for you or I'll hurt you.
Self-punisher's threatEat the food I cooked for you or I'll hurt myself.
Sufferer's threatEat the food I cooked for you. I was saving it for myself. I wonder what will happen now.
Tantalizer's threatEat the food I cooked for you and you just may get a really yummy dessert.
There are different levels of demands... demands that are of little consequence, demands that involve important issues or personal integrity, demands that affect major life decisions, and/or demands that are dangerous or illegal.

Patterns and characteristics


Addicts often believe that being in control is how to achieve success and happiness in life. People who follow this rule use it as a survival skill, having usually learned it in childhood. As long as they make the rules, no one can back them into a corner with their feelings.

Mental Illness

People with certain mental conditions are predisposed to controlling behavior including those with obsessive compulsive disorder, paranoid personality disorder and narcissistic personality disorder.
People with borderline personality disorder are particularly likely to use emotional blackmail, (as too are the destructive narcissists). However, their actions may be impulsive and driven by fear and a desperate sense of hopelessness, rather than being the product of any conscious plan.


Codependency often involves placing a lower priority on one's own needs, while being excessively preoccupied with the needs of others. Codependency can occur in any type of relationship, including family, work, friendship, and also romantic, peer or community relationships.

Affluenza and children

Affluenza — the status insecurity derived from obsessively keeping up with the Joneses — has been linked by Oliver James to a pattern of childhood training whereby sufferers were "subjected to a form of emotional blackmail as toddlers. Their mothers' love becomes conditional on exhibiting behaviour that achieved parental goals.

Assertiveness movement, training

Assertiveness training encourages people to not to engage in fruitless back-and-forths or power struggles with the emotional blackmailer but instead to repeat a neutral statement, such as "I can see how you feel that way," or "No thank you, I'm not hungry." They are taught to keep their statements within certain boundaries in order not to capitulate to coercive nagging, emotional blackmail, or bullying.
Techniques for resisting emotional blackmail, including strengthening personal boundarys, resisting demands, developing a power statement – the determination to stand the pressure — and buying time to break old patterns: she accepted nonetheless that re-connecting with the autonomous parts of the self the blackmailer had over-ruled was not necessarily easy. One may for instance feel guilty even while recognizing the guilt as induced and irrational;  but still be able to resist overcompensating, and ignore the blackmailer's attempt to gain attention by way of a tantrum.
Consistently ignoring the manipulation in a friendly way may however lead to its intensification, and threats of separation, or to accusations of being crazy or a home wrecker.

Cultural examples

  • Angela Carter described Beauty and the Beast as glorifying emotional blackmail on the part of the Beast, as a means of controlling his target, Beauty.
  • Doris Lessing claimed that “I became an expert in emotional blackmail by the time I was five.