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, July 27, 2016

Adopted Children's Social-Emotional Cue Dysfunction


Adopted Children's Social-Emotional Cue Dysfunction

Adopted-children's Inability to read, comprehend and mirror social cues is a consequence of biological-mother-child separation and unfortunately now given a medical diagnosis, pragmatic language impairment. As stated in the previous article, being forcefully removed from their biological mother, the infants are removed from their specific biological-nonverbal-language, The foundation for infant's development of interpersonal relationships begin with the biological-language that can only be taught and learned through their specific genetic-mother-child-dyad. Now the deficit is considered medical problem, that adoption separation has directly caused. 

In 1983, Rapin and Allen proposed a classification of children with developmental language disorders. As part of this classification they described a syndrome of language impairment which they termed ‘semantic–pragmatic deficit syndrome’. Children with this disorder were described as being overly verbose, having poor turn–taking skills, poor discourse and narrative skills as well as having difficulty with topic initiation, maintenance and termination. Over the years the diagnostic label for this disorder has changed several times, until it received its current name “pragmatic language impairment” (Bishop, 2000).
Pragmatic language ability involves the ability to appropriately use language (e.g., persuade, request, inform, reject), change language (e.g., talk differently to different audiences, provide background information to unfamiliar listeners, speak differently in different settings, etc) as well as follow conversational rules (e.g., take turns, introduce topics, rephrase sentences, maintain appropriate physical distance during conversational exchanges, use facial expressions and eye contact, etc) all of which culminate into the child’s general ability to appropriately interact with others in a variety of settings.
For most typically (Biologically Raised) developing children, the above comes naturally. However, for children with pragmatic language impairment appropriate social interactions are not easy. Children with pragmatic language impairment often misinterpret social cues, make inappropriate or off-topic comments during conversations, tell stories in a disorganized way, have trouble socially interacting with peers, have difficulty making and keeping friends, have difficulty understanding why they are being rejected by peers, and are at increased risk for bullying.
So why do adopted children experience social pragmatic language deficits many years post adoption? 
Well for one, many adopted children are at high risk for developmental delay, experience neglect, lack of language stimulation, lack of appropriate play experiences, lack of enriched community activities, as well as inadequate learning settings all of which has long lasting negative impact on their language development including the development of their pragmatic language skills (especially if they are over 3 years of age). 
Difficulty with detection as well as mistaken diagnoses of pragmatic language impairment 
Whereas detecting difficulties with language content and form is relatively straightforward, pragmatic language deficits are more difficult to detect, because pragmatics are dependent on specific contexts and implicit rules. While many children with pragmatic language impairment will present with poor reading comprehension, low vocabulary, and grammar errors (pronoun reversal, tense confusion) in addition to the already described deficits, not all the children with pragmatic language impairment will manifest the above signs. Moreover, while pragmatic language impairment is diagnosed as one of the primary difficulties in children on autistic spectrum, it can manifest on its own without the diagnosis of autism. Furthermore, due to its complicated constellation of symptoms as well as frequent coexistence with other disorders, pragmatic language impairment as a standalone diagnosis is often difficult to establish without the multidisciplinary team involvement (e.g., to rule out associated psychiatric and neurological impairment).
It is also not uncommon for pragmatic language deficits to manifest in children as challenging behaviors (and in severe cases be misdiagnosed due to the fact that internationally adopted children are at increased risk for psychiatric disorders in childhood, adolescence and adulthood). Parents and teachers often complain that these children tend to “ignore” presented directions, follow their own agenda, and frequently “act out inappropriately”. Unfortunately, since children with pragmatic language impairment rely on literal communication, they tend to understand and carry out concrete instructions and tasks versus understanding indirect requests which contain abstract information. Additionally, since perspective taking abilities are undeveloped in these children, they often fail to understand and as a result ignore or disregard other people’s feelings, ideas, and thoughts, which may further contribute to parents’ and teachers’ beliefs that they are deliberately misbehaving.
Due to difficulties with detection, pragmatic language deficits can persist undetected for several years until they are appropriately diagnosed. What may further complicate detection is that a certain number of children with pragmatic language deficits will perform within the normal range on typical speech and language testing. As a result, unless a specific battery of speech language tests is administered that explicitly targets the identification of pragmatic language deficits, some of these children may be denied speech and language services on the grounds that their total language testing score was too high to qualify them for intervention.

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Normal Biological Development Vs. Foreign Adoptive Social-Emotional Language


Adopted Infant's Distress In Emotional Development By Foreign Adoptive Language ________________________________________________________________

The traumatized infant, separated from biological mother for adoption purposes is extremely disadvantaged by being adopted by a stranger, substitute carer. The lack of the biological-mother-infant-dyad's environment, the foreign smell, unknown face and non-familiar non-verbal language, alien to the infant gestures, facial expressions and voice tones are not the biological mother's emotional ques familiar to the infant from it's time in the womb development.
The substitute caregiver does not emotionally speak the infant-mother's language that the infant was exposed to and is genetically positioned to awareness and knowledgeable to their own intuitive biological language. The adopted child will not develop to his potential to the new adoptive mother's language. This is proven by adopted children and adult adoptees that are not competent or confident in social-emotional cues, that do not improve with age.
A large population of adult adoptees have great difficulty in interpersonal communication, as their foundation development was interrupted by adoption with a new caregiver that does not share the adopted child's biological language in regard to familial faces, tones, gestures and emotional expressions that are based on biological family traits. The disadvantages of emotional competence play out throughout the lives of adoptees in their inability to read others and mirror others confidently.

(2 articles below)

Normal Infant Development Biological-Mother-Infant-Maternal-Bond

The Necessity of "biological mirroring" of the biological-mother-Infant Dyad Is essential for the infant to learn social-emotional-ques to read mother's face, understand, and attempt to copy it's biological mother's non-verbal gestures, facial expressions and voice tones. The infant's foundation for all future communication and comprehension of non-verbal facial and body expressions begins with the biological mother that the infant has been in-tune to her since early post conception growth, that grows stronger and is in constant connection before birth. The dyad's post birth connection is a strengthened continuity of intuition between the mother-child-dyad that is driven by the maternal hormones that make the mother-infant dyad a closed closed biological system of communicating.

During the first eighteen months of life, it is primarily the right brain of the infant that develops. The right cerebral hemisphere is associated with development of the ability to feel empathy, understand facial expressions, and read non-verbal communication by the mother-infant practice of constant biological mirroring. It is only during the second year of life that the left hemisphere begins to develop, and language becomes a factor.

Attachment always takes place in the context of the baby being held by a warm and intuitive biological mother.  Her significant smell, taste, and touch play a significant role. One of the most important interactions takes place through eye contact and in the spirit of play. At about eight weeks, the baby’s intense gaze evokes the mother’s gaze and vocalizations. If the mother allows the child to avert his or her gaze and is available with a direct gaze and an animated face when he or she returns, this brings delight to the child. If the mother is depressed, distracted, and expressionless when the child looks back, or if she is intrusive and demands eye contact when the child looks away, it causes distress in the child. Studies show that the more the mother can allow the infant to disengage and waits for cues to re-engage, the better the infant learns to self-regulate from a high state of sympathetic arousal (stress) to cycle down to a more relaxed state (Schore, 2001a).

Autonomic balance is reflected by a state of quiet alertness. Individuals raised by either a chronically intrusive or a detached parent will have difficulty auto-regulating from high states of arousal, both negative and positive, to a more relaxed state. Individuals with poor attachment histories have been shown to have a limited capacity to deal effectively with stress and to perceive the emotional states of others. Their inability to read facial expressions often leads to a misinterpretation of the intentions of others.



Parental Influence on the Emotional Development of Children
by Bethel Moges and Kristi Weber
When most people think of parenting, they picture changing diapers, messy feeding times, and chasing a screaming child through a crowded grocery store. But parenting goes far beyond the requirements for meeting the basic survival needs of the child, and parents have a significant influence on how children turn out, including their personality, emotional development, and behavioral habits, as well as a host of other factors. It is important for the overall development of children that parents be present enough to support them, and this support fosters confidence and growth in many areas. Here we will explore the ways parents can impact the emotional development of their children.
Sometimes, just being physically present is not enough. Parents that may be nearby but that are not emotionally invested or responsive tend to raise children that are more distressed and less engaged with their play or activities. A study investigating the connection between parent’s investment and children’s competence suggests that the emotional involvement of parents really does matter and affects the outcome of their child’s emotional competence and regulation (Volling, 458). Parents should keep this in mind when considering the quality of the time they spend with their children, because if they do not invest enough of their time and commitment into pouring emotionally into their child, the child will struggle to learn how to regulate his emotions and interact with others appropriately.
In studying the outcomes of Ainsworth’s Strange Situation experiments, L. Alan Sroufe found that the style of early attachment relationships predicts later emotional development of children. Sroufe asserts that, “Such variations [of relationship quality] are not reflections of genetically based traits of the infant but of the history of interaction with the parent” (188). This suggests that attachment styles are not inborn but are driven by how parents interact with their infant from birth. Longitudinal attachment studies show that children with anxious attachment were likely to be emotionally disturbed and have low self-esteem (Sroufe 190). If the form of attachment has such long-lasting impacts on children, it is clear that parents must treat their children in ways that foster secure attachment in order for the children to grow into emotionally stable adolescents and adults.
An important factor in the emotional development of children is how warm caregivers are, and studies have been done to find the effects of depressed mothers on the emotional development of children. Depressed mothers have maladaptive thoughts, attitudes, and behaviors, and these, along with being in a similarly stressful environment as the mother, put a child at risk of developing his own emotional problems (Sroufe 204). The fact that depressed mothers are likely to be indifferent towards their children, put them in less social situations, and generally provide less stimulation for their children, puts the children at a disadvantage for achieving normal emotional development.
A key aspect of emotional development in children is learning how to regulate emotions. Children see how their parents display emotions and interact with other people, and they imitate what they see their parents do to regulate emotions (Sheffield Morris et. al). A child’s temperament also plays a role in their emotion regulation, guided by the parenting style they receive (Belsky et al). For example, children more prone to negative emotions or episodes of anger are deeply affected by hostile and neglectful parenting, often leading to even more behavioral problems. Difficult temperaments can become a bidirectional problem that evokes even more negative emotions from the parent if not monitored. Parents should be aware that not only do their own emotions and parenting style affect the emotional outcomes of their children, but if they are not aware of how their children’s tempers affect them, they could fall into a spiral of ineffective and indifferent parenting which further contributes to negative behaviors from the children.
Furthermore, how parents address the emotions of their children and respond to them affects how expressive the children feel they can be. Reacting with criticism or dismissing the sadness or anger of a child communicates that their emotions are not valid or appropriate, which can cause children to be even more prone to those negative emotions and less able to cope with stress (Siegler et. al). Instead, guiding children’s emotions and helping them find ways to express themselves in a healthy manner helps them continue regulating their responses to challenges and even aids their academic and social competence. This sort of emotion coaching greatly helps in reducing future problem behavior in children.
In addition to being able to express their own emotions, it is important in social situations for children to be able to identify and deal with the emotions of those around them. Parents model for their children how to comfort someone who is crying or smile at someone who is smiling, but other parental behaviors also influence how their children learn to understand the emotions of others. It has been found that the interaction between parents affects a child’s emotional and social development, and marital conflict contributes to problems in these developmental areas (Sheffield Morris et. al). The biggest contributing factor in marital relations affecting children’s emotional development is whether the child hears the parents fighting. This is referred to as “background anger” in the child’s environment and if the child is exposed to it, even though it is not directed at the child, problems with emotional security and regulation are likely to result from it (Sheffield Morris et. al). Coming from a family with divorced parents, I (Kristi) can relate to this issue of background anger being a factor, because although my parents split when I was at a vulnerable age, they made sure not to fight in front of my sister and I, and I think that allowed us to have a healthier reaction to the divorce and to be emotionally well-adjusted in social interactions.
Parenting decisions affect how children turn out physically, socially, and emotionally, but that is not to say parents should be obsessed with following certain steps to have a perfectly well-adjusted child. We accept that there is no perfect formula for parents to model behavior or speak to children in certain ways to make them have a perfect emotional development experience, and that places a limit on our exploration of this subject. Parents can help their children develop into emotionally stable people by giving them a supportive environment, positive feedback, role models of healthy behavior and interactions, and someone to talk to about their emotional reactions to their experiences.
Sheffield Morris, A., Silk, J. S., Steinberg, L., Myers, S. S., & Robinson, L. R. (2007). The role of the family context in the development of emotional regulation.Social Development,16(2), pp 361-388.
Siegler, R., DeLoache, J., & Eisenberg, N. (2011). How children develop. (3rd ed.). New York: Worth Publishers.
Sroufe, L. A. (2001). From infant attachment to promotion of adolescent autonomy: Prospective, longitudinal data on the role of parents in development. In J. G. Borkowski, S. L. Ramey & M. Bristol-Power (Eds.), Parenting and the Child’s World: Influences on Academic, Intellectual, and Social-emotional Development. Psychology Press.
Volling, B., McElwain, N., Notaro, P., & Herrera, C. (2002). Parents’ emotional availability and infant emotional competence: Predictors of parent-infant attachment and emerging self-regulation. Journal of family psychology16, pp 447-465.

Friday, July 22, 2016

The Dysfunctional Adoptive Parent Relationship Is Replicated in Adoptee Adulthood


Dysfunctional Adopted Childhood Relationships Replicated In Adulthood

There are several psychological observations, thesis, studies and reflections by psychotherapists that specialize in "adoptee issues" that contribute to this (new and agreeable to me) revelation of adult adoptee behavior. 

Many adoptive parents adopt children for the wrong, selfish and narcissistic reasons. These adoptive parents provide dysfunctional and disturbing adult-child relationships that the adopted child uses as their foundation to compare all other relationships to the outside world with. 

The adopted child and later in adulthood adult adoptees, have extreme trouble relating to others, based on their childhood experience of being neglected and maltreated by adoptive parents. This is not the fault of the adopted person, it is a direct result from psychologically unstable adoptive parents that negatively influence the child by their own dysfunctional personality. 

When the adopted child knows no other way of relating other than being the victim of the adoptive parent, they replicate the adult-child aggressor-victim, domination-submission, and master-servant dynamic in new romantic relationships, that are ultimately not fulfilling and dangerous to the person that feels no worth to the world. The adoptee becomes trapped in the abuse cycle pattern and stages stages. The adoptee replicates the disharmony, disgust, and planning to escape cycle of brake-up, just like they did in adolescence when they decided to escape for the first time. 

The worst part in "adoptee enlightenment" is looking back on all of the adoptee's worthless relationships, where the adoptive parent's bad behaviors and characteristics can be seen in the various spouses of the adoptee. Replicating the cycles of childhood is an unconscious habit where we seek comfort and familiarity, unfortunately for abused adoptees that familiar maltreatment is what we seek to replace with the similar likeness of our abusive parents.
Estimated least possible affected at 25% of adult adoptees survive abusive, hostile and neglecting adopted childhoods perpetrated by adoptive parents. 
As a result of a supply-demand driven adoption markets where anyone can pay enough money to get a child without any human over-site, child welfare checks post-adoption and lacking human rights keeps adopted children commodities.  

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Bonding and Attachment Explained


Bonding and Attachment Explained

In my quest to uncover my strange, peculiar and disturbing personality characteristics that are directly related to my adopted status, the principle psychological foundation of Attachment is the simple answer.

I am the watcher of other children are playing, as I do not know how to participate, and well aware that I am NOT welcome to join in. This is a recognized mental and physical behavior that is a constant in my personality.
I have always been the outsider in the adoptive family group that does not belong and is not welcome to intrude. My learned and conditioned behavior of being inferior to my adoptive family, was practiced throughout my childhood by being isolated from participating in family activities, discussions or watching TV.
Due to my inability to form authentic, or normal relationships, I feel comfort in isolation and solitude. In childhood I was always content in my isolation, playing alone, I was happy and occupied by solely myself. When my name was yelled, my first thought was fear, always under the threat of being punished by my adoptive parents, as the only reason for them to call my name was not to come and join the family's activity. 

In adulthood, my extreme difficulty in relating to other human beings became pronounced. I would be written up at work for not participating in after hours dinner parties, happy-hour and various other activities with fellow staff members. Life was hard enough dealing with people at work, why would I want to do it without getting paid, or see the same people from work that if I was fired, would never talk to me again...The effort to force or develop friendships is a difficult concept for me to grasp.

Leaving my adoption fog, post biological reunion and in my self-discovery within adoptee education I began to read basic principles of human interaction.
I realized that I had no concept of too many common knowledge topics, like a large piece of the human experience is missing from my brain. Learning the basic concepts of human interaction has been vital to my emotional growth and post adoption education has allowed me to grasp so many ideas of cause and effect that I was completely ignorant of.

ADOPTEE ATTACHMENT DISORDER began with forced birth separation, multiple foster homes, and the adoption to replace a deceased child is known to create psychopathology in children. 

In my adopted infancy I was not nurtured, had multiple outside caregivers and was sent away to live with adoptive grandparents in the first three years of life (the window of opportunity for attachment). The grieving mother adopted a replacement baby to fill the void of loss from her third infant that was stillborn. The stay-home mother of two biological sons was indifferent, ambivalent and felt hostility toward the adopted child's neediness. I was programmed to believe that I was nothing, but adoption made me a servant, which is better than nothing?   




The most important property of humankind is the capacity to form and maintain relationships. These relationships are absolutely necessary for any of us to survive, learn, work, love, and procreate. Human relationships take many forms but the most intense, most pleasurable and most painful are those relationships with family, friends and loved ones. Within this inner circle of intimate relationships, we are bonded to each other with "emotional glue" — bonded with love.
Each individual's ability to form and maintain relationships using this "emotional glue" is different. Some people seem "naturally" capable of loving. They form numerous intimate and caring relationships and, in doing so, get pleasure. Others are not so lucky. They feel no "pull" to form intimate relationships, find little pleasure in being with or close to others. They have few, if any, friends, and more distant, less emotional glue with family. In extreme cases an individual may have no intact emotional bond to any other person. They are self-absorbed, aloof, or may even present with classic neuropsychiatric signs of being schizoid or autistic.
The capacity and desire to form emotional relationships is related to the organization and functioning of specific parts of the human brain. Just as the brain allows us to see, smell, taste, think, talk, and move, it is the organ that allows us to love — or not. The systems in the human brain that allow us to form and maintain emotional relationships develop during infancy and the first years of life. Experiences during this early vulnerable period of life are critical to shaping the capacity to form intimate and emotionally healthy relationships. Empathy, caring, sharing, inhibition of aggression, capacity to love, and a host of other characteristics of a healthy, happy, and productive person are related to the core attachment capabilities which are formed in infancy and early childhood.

What is attachment?
Well, it depends. The word "attachment" is used frequently by mental health, child development, and child protection workers but it has slightly different meanings in these different contexts. The first thing to know is that we humans create many kinds of "bonds." A bond is a connection between one person and another. In the field of infant development, attachment refers to a special bond characterized by the unique qualities of maternal-infant or primary caregiver-infant relationships. The attachment bond has several key elements: (1) an attachment bond is an enduring emotional relationship with a specific person; (2) the relationship brings safety, comfort, and pleasure; (3) loss or threat of loss of the person evokes intense distress. This special form of relationship is best characterized by the maternal-child relationship. As we study the nature of these special relationships, we are finding out about how important they can be for the future development of the child. Indeed, many researchers and clinicians feel that the maternal-child attachment provides the working framework for all subsequent relationships that the child will develop. A solid and healthy attachment with a primary caregiver appears to be associated with a high probability of healthy relationships with others, while poor attachment with the mother or primary caregiver appears to be associated with a host of emotional and behavioral problems later in life.
In the mental health field, attachment has come to reflect the global capacity to form relationships. For the purposes of this paper, attachment capabilities refers to the capacity to form and maintain an emotional relationship while attachment refers to the nature and quality of the actual relationship. A child, for example, may have an "insecure" attachment or "secure" attachment.

What is bonding?
Simply stated, bonding is the process of forming an attachment. Just as bonding is the term used when gluing one object to another, bonding is using our "emotional glue" to become connected to another. Bonding, therefore, involves a set of behaviors that will help lead to an emotional connection (attachment).

What are bonding experiences?
The acts of holding, rocking, singing, feeding, gazing, kissing, and other nurturing behaviors involved in caring for infants and young children are bonding experiences. Factors crucial to bonding include time together (in childhood, quantity does matter!), face-to-face interactions, eye contact, physical proximity, touch, and other primary sensory experiences such as smell, sound, and taste. Scientists believe the most important factor in creating attachment is positive physical contact (e.g., hugging, holding, and rocking). It should be no surprise that holding, gazing, smiling, kissing, singing, and laughing all cause specific neurochemical activities in the brain. These neurochemical activities lead to normal organization of brain systems that are responsible for attachment.
The most important relationship in a child's life is the attachment to his or her primary caregiver — optimally, the mother. This is due to the fact that this first relationship determines the biological and emotional 'template' for all future relationships. Healthy attachment to the mother built by repetitive bonding experiences during infancy provides the solid foundation for future healthy relationships. In contrast, problems with bonding and attachment can lead to a fragile biological and emotional foundation for future relationships.

When are these windows of opportunity?
Timing is everything. Bonding experiences lead to healthy attachments and healthy attachment capabilities when they are provided in the earliest years of life. During the first three years of life, the human brain develops to 90 percent of adult size and puts in place the majority of systems and structures that will be responsible for all future emotional, behavioral, social, and physiological functioning during the rest of life. There are critical periods during which bonding experiences must be present for the brain systems responsible for attachment to develop normally. These critical periods appear to be in the first year of life, and are related to the capacity of the infant and caregiver to develop a positive interactive relationship.
What happens if this window of opportunity is missed?
The impact of impaired bonding in early childhood varies. With severe emotional neglect in early childhood the impact can be devastating. Children without touch, stimulation, and nurturing can literally lose the capacity to form any meaningful relationships for the rest of their lives. Fortunately, most children do not suffer this degree of severe neglect. There are, however, many millions of children who have some degree of impaired bonding and attachment during early childhood. The problems that result from this can range from mild interpersonal discomfort to profound social and emotional problems. In general, the severity of problems is related to how early in life, how prolonged, and how severe the emotional neglect has been.
This does not mean that children with these experiences have no hope to develop normal relationships. Very little is known about the ability of replacement experiences later in life to "replace" or repair the undeveloped or poorly organized bonding and attachment capabilities. Clinical experiences and a number of studies suggest that improvement can take place, but it is a long, difficult, and frustrating process for families and children. It may take many years of hard work to help repair the damage from only a few months of neglect in infancy.
Are there ways to classify attachment?
Like traits such as height or weight, individual attachment capabilities are continuous. In an attempt to study this range of attachments, however, researchers have clustered the continuum into four categories of attachment: secure, insecure-resistant, insecure-avoidant, and insecure-disorganized/disoriented. Securely attached children feel a consistent, responsive, and supportive relation to their mothers even during times of significant stress. Insecurely attached children feel inconsistent, punishing, unresponsive emotions from their caregivers, and feel threatened during times of stress.
Dr. Mary Ainsworth developed a simple process to examine the nature of a child's attachment. This is called the Strange Situation procedure. Simply stated, the mother and infant are observed in a sequence of "situations": parent-child alone in a playroom; stranger entering room; parent leaving while the stranger stays and tries to comfort the baby; parent returns and comforts infant; stranger leaves; mother leaves infant all alone; stranger enters to comfort infant; parent returns and tries to comfort and engage the infant. The behaviors during each of these situations is observed and "rated." The behaviors of children in this testing paradigm is observed and categorized based upon both the child's willingness to re-engage with the parent, and the child's emotional state during the reunion.

Classification of Attachment
Percentage at One Year
Response in Strange Situation
Securely attached
60-70 %
Explores with M in room; upset with separation; warm greeting upon return; seeks physical touch and comfort upon reunion
Insecure: avoidant
15-20 %
Ignores M when present; little distress on separation; actively turns away from M upon reunion
Insecure: resistant
10-15 %
Little exploration with M in room, stays close to M; very distressed upon separation; ambivalent or angry and resists physical contact upon reunion with M
Insecure: disorganized/ disoriented
5-10 %
Confusion about approaching or avoiding M; most distressed by separation; upon reunion acts confused and dazed — similar to approach-avoidance confusion in animal models

What other factors influence bonding and attachment?
Any factors that interfere with bonding experiences can interfere with the development of attachment capabilities. When the interactive, reciprocal "dance" between the caregiver and infant is disrupted or difficult, bonding experiences are difficult to maintain. Disruptions can occur because of primary problems with the infant, the caregiver, the environment, or the "fit" between the infant and caregiver.
Infant: The child's "personality" or temperament influences bonding. If an infant is difficult to comfort, irritable, or unresponsive compared to a calm, self-comforting child, he or she will have more difficulty developing a secure attachment. The infant's ability to participate in the maternal-infant interaction may be compromised due to a medical condition, such as prematurity, birth defect, or illness.
Caregiver: The caregiver's behaviors can also impair bonding. Critical, rejecting, and interfering parents tend to have children that avoid emotional intimacy. Abusive parents tend to have children who become uncomfortable with intimacy, and withdraw. The child's mother may be unresponsive to the child due to maternal depression, substance abuse, overwhelming personal problems, or other factors that interfere with her ability to be consistent and nurturing for the child.
Environment: A major impediment to healthy attachment is fear. If an infant is distressed due to pain, pervasive threat, or a chaotic environment, they will have a difficult time participating in even a supportive caregiving relationship. Infants or children in domestic violence, refugee situations, community violence, or war zone environments are vulnerable to developing attachment problems.
Fit: The "fit" between the temperament and capabilities of the infant and those of the mother is crucial. Some caregivers can be just fine with a calm infant, but are overwhelmed by an irritable infant. The process of reading each other's non-verbal cues and responding appropriately is essential to maintain the bonding experiences that build in healthy attachments. Sometimes a style of communication and response familiar to a mother from one of her other children may not fit her new infant. The mutual frustration of being "out of sync" can impair bonding.
How does abuse and neglect influence attachment?
There are three primary themes that have been observed in abusive and neglectful families. The most common effect is that maltreated children are, essentially, rejected. Children who are rejected by their parents will have a host of problems including difficulty developing emotional intimacy; some of these are listed below. In abusive families, it is common for this rejection and abuse to be transgenerational. The neglectful parent was neglected as a child; they in turn pass on the way they were parented. Another theme is "parentification" of the child. This takes many forms. One common form is when an immature young woman becomes a single parent. The infant is treated like a playmate and very early in life like a friend. It is common to hear these young mothers talk about their four-year-old as "my best friend" or "my little man." In other cases, the adults are so immature and uninformed about children that they treat their children like adults — or even like another parent. As a result, their children may participate in fewer activities with other children who are "immature." This false sense of maturity in children often interferes with the development of same-aged friendships. The third common theme is the transgenerational nature of attachment problems — they pass from generation to generation.
It is important to note that previously secure attachments can change suddenly following abuse and neglect. The child's perception of a consistent and nurturing world may no longer "fit" with their reality. For example, a child's positive views of adults may change following physical abuse by a baby-sitter.
Are attachment problems always from abuse?
No, in fact the majority of attachment problems are likely due to parental ignorance about development rather than abuse. Many parents have not been educated about the critical nature of the experiences of the first three years of life. With more public education and policy support for these areas, this will improve. Currently, this ignorance is so widespread that it is estimated that one in three people has an avoidant, ambivalent, or resistant attachment with their caregiver. Despite this insecure attachment, these individuals can form and maintain relationships — yet not with the ease that others can.
What specific problems can I expect to see in maltreated children with attachment problems?
The specific problems that you may see will vary depending upon the nature, intensity, duration, and timing of the neglect and abuse. Some children will have profound and obvious problems, while some will have very subtle problems that you may not realize are related to early life neglect. Sometimes these children do not appear to have been affected by their experiences. However, it is important to remember why you are working with the children and that they have been exposed to terrible things. There are some clues that experienced clinicians consider when working with such children; these are listed below.
Developmental delays: Children experiencing emotional neglect in early childhood often have developmental delay in other domains. The bond between the young child and her caregivers provides the major vehicle for developing physically, emotionally, and cognitively. It is in this primary context that children learn language, social behaviors, and a host of other key behaviors required for healthy development. Lack of consistent and enriched experiences in early childhood can result in delays in motor, language, social, and cognitive development.
Eating: Odd eating behaviors are common, especially in children with severe neglect and attachment problems. They will hoard food, hide food in their rooms, or eat as if there will be no more meals even if they have had years of consistent available foods. They may have failure to thrive, rumination (throwing up food), swallowing problems and, later in life, odd eating behaviors that are often misdiagnosed as anorexia nervosa.
Soothing behavior: These children will use very primitive, immature and bizarre soothing behaviors. They may bite themselves, head bang, rock, chant, scratch, or cut themselves. These symptoms will increase during times of distress or threat.
Emotional functioning: A range of emotional problems is common in maltreated children, including depressive and anxiety symptoms. One common behavior is "indiscriminant" attachment. All children seek safety. Keeping in mind that attachment is important for survival, children may seek attachments — any attachments — for their safety. Non-clinicians may notice abused and neglected children are "loving" and hug virtual strangers. Children do not develop a deep emotional bond with relatively unknown people; rather, these "affectionate" behaviors are actually safety-seeking behaviors. Clinicians are concerned because these behaviors contribute to the abused child's confusion about intimacy, and are not consistent with normal social interactions.
Inappropriate modeling: Children model adult behavior — even if it is abusive. Maltreated children learn that abusive behavior is the "right" way to interact with others. As you can see, this potentially causes problems in their social interactions with adults and other children. For children who have been sexually abused, they may become more at-risk for future victimization. Boys who have been sexually abused may become sexual offenders.
Aggression: One of the major problems with these children is aggression and cruelty. This is related to two primary problems in neglected children: (1) lack of empathy and (2) poor impulse control. The ability to emotionally "understand" the impact of your behavior on others is impaired in these children. They really do not understand or feel what it is like for others when they do or say something hurtful. Indeed, these children often feel compelled to lash out and hurt others — most typically something less powerful than they are. They will hurt animals, smaller children, peers and siblings. One of the most disturbing elements of this aggression is that it is often accompanied by a detached, cold lack of empathy. They may show regret (an intellectual response) but not remorse (an emotional response) when confronted about their aggressive or cruel behaviors.
Responsive adults, such as parents, teachers, and other caregivers make all the difference in the lives of maltreated children. The next article in this series, "Bonding and Attachment in Maltreated Children: How You Can Help," suggests some strategies to use to make a difference in a child's life.
*Adapted in part from: "Maltreated Children: Experience, Brain Development and the Next Generation" (W.W. Norton & Company, New York, in preparation)
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Dr. Bruce D. Perry, M.D., Ph.D., is an internationally recognized authority on brain development and children in crisis. Dr. Perry leads the ChildTrauma Academy, a pioneering center providing service, research and training in the area of child maltreatment (www.ChildTrauma.org). In addition he is the Medical Director for Provincial Programs in Children's Mental Health for Alberta, Canada. Dr. Perry served as consultant on many high-profile incidents involving traumatized children, including the Columbine High School shootings in Littleton, Colorado; the Oklahoma City Bombing; and the Branch Davidian siege. His clinical research and practice focuses on traumatized children-examining the long-term effects of trauma in children, adolescents and adults. Dr. Perry's work has been instrumental in describing how traumatic events in childhood change the biology of the brain. The author of more than 200 journal articles, book chapters, and scientific proceedings and is the recipient of a variety of professional awards.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Why Adult Adoptee's Can Speak Out Honestly


Why Adult Adoptees Can Speak Honestly

The difficulty in being an adopted child is surviving adopted childhood.
If an underage adopted child were to speak out their honest, spontaneous truth they would be railroaded into the nearest psychiatric hospital and drugged into silence, for "ACTING-OUT". 

Even adopted children know the consequences of allowing their personal truth to escape their lips...."Punishment" and the real possibility of being psychotropicly drugged. Most adopted children that speak from their heart art immediately taken to psychotherapy, to get the adopted child's truth changed to a more "adoptive parent "friendly" thought process.

To most adopted children there is an unwritten rule about speaking the "truth",
we adoptees are not allowed to speak our truth, we are permitted to speak the adoptive parent's truth only! This is learned the hard way with repeated slaps across the face for saying things we feel inside, that are offensive to our adoptive parents. 

We are conditioned by our adoptive parents too young about what is acceptable and what is not acceptable to say. Unfortunately to us kids this teaches us to be liars! As we are taught to say what the adoptive parent wants to hear, and not the truth that we see or feel. 

We are taught to lie and give the same lie over each time we write or say our adopted child name, which is a lie. We have a real name that is kept from us. Our adoptive parents know our real names but won't tell us as they don't want us to have any power in who we really are that they deny us our real identities. 

We adoptees have been programmed to lie since we learned to talk, and to please our adoptive parents we must always tell them what they want to hear, and not the truth that lives secretly in our hearts. Adopted childhood is a time of child innocence, ignorance and secrecy that makes us "good" compliant adopted children. 

When we grow into adolescence we gain cognitive awareness and begin to understand the enormous impact of how adoption effects us in a negative way.
In adolescence the comprehension of adoption is a troubling time where we adopted children can't form a true or real identity at the same time where our biologically raised peers are developing their identity, we lack the vital information that leads to normal identity development. 

For many adopted adolescents the stress is too much and we deny the problems we feel to remain agreeable to our adoptive parents, or spend all of our time on restriction for acting-out. Being an adult adoptee is "acting-out" or "speaking the truth" about how we have always felt in childhood and now, without the threat of punishment by adoptive parents.     

Adoptee's Grief Can't Be Fixed or Avoided As It Will Always Exist


Adoptee's Grief Can't Be Fixed or Avoided As It Will Always Exist

The adoptive parent's high expectation that their adopted child will be the single exception to the well documented multitude of adopted child issues, is their own strong willed denial that the consequences from adoption will not occur. This type of adoptive parent of mind set, demanding that their love is more powerful than all others to overcome any problems, unfortunately for the adopted child love is not the antidote for adoption pain. 

In-fact their is no cure for adoption related consequences, that never go away and at some point in the adult adoptee's life they will attempt to address them.
The adoptive parent denial tells the adopted child that there is no tolerance for the adopted child's problems, especially when the adoptive parent believes that when any problems surface it is a direct insult to the parent's attempts to love.
They just don't get it, and need to place blame on the adopted child in order to avoid being implicated for bad parenting.

The standard consequences from adoption begin at birth with the adopted child's "biological separation trauma", the ignoring, dismissing and vilifying of the adopted child's biological parents, and the intentional disregarding the adopted child's unique individuality in forced assimilation of the adoptive parent's traits and values. This is just the tip of the iceberg, the biological reunion is just one small step toward self healing, exiting "Adoption-Fog" and self-discovery in adoptee adulthood is one large step. Yet adoptees are forever broken where healing can never cover the physical scars created by being adopted. As adoptees must find their own peace, in their own time outside of the adoption triangle as a solo self motivation. Adoptive parents can't tag along forever, and they can't expect the adult adoptee to keep playing the "adopted child role" forever, as all things have their season. Beyond childhood, the adopted child role is pointless to the adoptee, and only serves to keep the adoptee seen as a child in the adoptive parent's perspective.  

Sunday, July 10, 2016

What an Adopted Life Is Worth


What an Adopted Life Was Worth

In principle as a potential adopted infant, I had value to the adopters to fulfill their temporary need from their tragedy of a dead child. At purchase, my value plummeted, I became an adopted dependent that did not fulfill the vacancy adoption reason. My value plummeted farther as I was now seen as an outsider and burden to the adoptive family.

Yet In my young childhood, I was not cognitively aware of the family dynamics, different treatment than the biological sons or the isolation from the world.
The child narcissism is only aware of the groups impact on the child himself and survival dictates complacent actions to avoid inhalation. To serve and please was my only way of remaining in the dysfunctional family dynamics. At that point all I knew was the way I was treated by the family, the injustice that came with it and nothing else, as young childhood is ignorant of the world of reality.

As a teenager, I began to develop friendships that gave me confidence for the first time in my life I began to question my family's behavior toward me. If perfect strangers could like me, yet my family did not, that must mean something. There is a big difference between authenticity and going through the habitual ambiguity motions. A child needs no words to know how others regard them as it is strictly behavioral. The contradictory words always fall on silent ears where the truth in behavior takes it's toll on a child.

In reality I avoided adoption, it's implications and the feelings of injustice that accompany it. In my cognitive dissonance in avoiding and distancing myself from any truths. I choose instead numbing all of my senses with cartoons, cookies, habitual behavior and later in my teens with what my family used daily to distance themselves from their pain, alcoholism. I am an alcoholic that does not drink, however I am an addict that would do anything not to feel the psychological pain of living each treacherous day. Living numb is comfortable and I am complacent to exist in habitual comfort. 

When my child got sick with leukemia, I kept myself together with prescription drugs to numb myself from reacting, to remain strong. I still have not allowed myself to feel the stress of children's hospital life, and never will. When needs of a biological relatives came into play, I used search angels to help me find my family, in reunion I still remained reserved and outside of it all. To preserve life if and when future relapses occurred, I had a possible insurance policy to save her but not myself. As this fine line I walk keeps me from falling into the depths of my own horror and despair. This fine line I walk is all that I am able to take in surviving continued and perpetual abandonment of an immature soul that lives on the brink of crumbling down each day that I take in breath. 

I still do not allow myself to feel anything as I go through the motions of living numb, avoiding conflict, avoiding all reactions, especially avoiding my own authentic reactions that I've stored all of the pain of my life inside me over time, is a matter of life and death for me. If I were to somehow allow myself to feel, it would be disastrous for my current complacent life as all my relationships, my home, my simple existence would all abruptly end tragically.  

If I were to allow a trickle of emotion leak out, it will break wide open the walls of my ancient stone fortress, where all of the seas of the world acquired of my un-cried tears would spill out and flood my current existence. The destruction to my current surviving style life would be so great that it would drown me in my own lifelong sorrow, killing me with the choking and suffocation on my own 48 years of held in feelings. Every negative word ever spoken told to me is still here, every attack on my flaws, my humanness and my fragility would overwhelm me with despair and I would die.
Where there is the threat of feeling these oceans of my unresolved feelings, I will run far away from the threat to my current drawing of breath and do whatever it takes to avoid feeling anything so I can continue try to learn how to live by watching others from afar.