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, July 31, 2017

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The Fetus's Development of Belonging


The Fetus's Development of Belonging

The blank slate theory used in adoption propaganda to deceive and perpetuate the idea that adoptive mothers can mold their new adopted child to satisfy the selfish needs and demands of potential adopting mothers, is still believed despite scientific evidence that disproved this destructive American urban legend.  The adoptive mother's chronic problem of cognitive dissonance where she believes only the psudo-facts what will justify her desires and the adopted child that will provide and fulfill them. Adoption in the U.S. exists only to find children for resource wealthy adoptive mothers. The adopted child exists to fill the voids, replace dead and could be children, and to provide for the supply to meet the financial demand. Nothing about child dignity, identity or child rights matters to the American public.


The scientific research showing that babies in the womb feel, taste, learn, and have some level of consciousness. One study had babies in the womb receiving “vibroacoustic stimulation” (Gonzalez-Gonzalez et al., 2006). That is a fancy way of saying sound waves were transmitted. For comparison purposes, there was also a control group that did not receive the treatment. After they were born, the babies who had received the stimulation were again given the same treatment. The result was that these babies recognized the signal and tended to calm down after receiving the signal. The researchers concluded that fetal life is able to learn and memorize with this capacity lasting into neonatal life (post-birth).
In other research, Anthony DeCasper and William Fifer created a nipple that was connected to an audio device (Kolata, 1984). This nipple test was given to 10 newborn babies. If a child sucked in one way they would hear their mother’s voice. Sucking in a different pattern would cause the child to hear another woman’s voice. The researchers found that the babies sucked in a way to hear their mothers. The same experiment was done using the sound of the mother’s heart beat and that of a male voice. The result was that the babies sucked in such a way as to hear the mother’s heart beat more often than the male voice.
DeCasper later did another test where he had sixteen pregnant women read a children’s book. They read the book out aloud twice a day for the last 6.5 weeks of their pregnancy. Once born, the babies were given the nipple test previously mentioned where they could listen either to their mother reading the original children’s book that was used or another book. The babies sucked to hear the original children’s book. What DeCasper concluded was that a prenatal auditory experience can influence auditory preferences after birth.
An author and well known obstetrician, Christiane Northrup (2005) shares that if a pregnant mother is going through high levels of fear or anxiety she creates a “metabolic cascade.” Hormones known as cytokines are produced and the mother’s immune system is affected, including her child’s. Chronic anxiety in the mother can set the stage for a whole array of trauma based results such as prematurity, complications of birth, death, and miscarriage. 
The opposite is also true. When the mother is feeling healthy and happy, she produces oxytocin. This is often called the molecule of belonging. The presence of this component creates feelings of bonding and strengthens immunity in the baby. Neurotransmitters moving inside the mother’s body creates a chemical and physical imprint on the baby’s brain and body. The message imprinted is that there is safety and peace. The baby feels secure and taken care of.
Can a baby learn while in the womb? The research seems to point in that direction. In terms of mental health, can this be a clue to psychological issues adults exhibit? In some cases, I think so. I feel this way, not because I have done peer-reviewed research on the matter, but because of the hundreds that I have treated for their fetal life traumas. They experienced significant or total reduction of their negative and dysfunctional issues. Many of these patients had previously exhibited spontaneous and abrupt feelings of anger, fear, sadness, loneliness, hyper-vigilance and even co-dependent enablement.
The next time you experience one of these emotions and you cannot figure out where it came from perhaps it came before your physical birth. You may have had a detached mother or a scared one. You could have had a mother that did not want to get pregnant and resented the father. Maybe your mother was depressed and lonely. Hopefully, you had a happy and content mother who nurtured you in her heart and enjoyed having you in her life.
Gonzalez-Gonzalez, N. L., Suarez, M. N., Perez-Pinero, B., Armas, H., Domenech, E., & Bartha, J. L. (2006). Persistence of fetal memory into neonatal life. Acta Obstetricia et Gynecologica, 85, 1160-1164. 

Sunday, July 30, 2017

Adoptee Therapist's Insights Somatic Psychotherapy


Adoptee Therapist Insights Somatic Psychotherapy


Besides the classical developmental approach, which sees development as a series of stages, each of which has an associated conflict to resolve, I also use a developmental somatic psychotherapy model that takes infant movement patterns that come in sequentially in the first year of life as a model of development and as a way to diagnose issues in relationship.
Rather than a linear or scaffolding approach, these movements cycle through our self-other interactions and an interruption or difficulty with any one movement can affect the whole.  These movements are yielding with, pushing against, reaching for, grasping onto, pulling towards, and releasing from, and all of them can be seen in the baby lying in the mother or father’s arms. Everyone, adopted or not, deals with difficulties in different parts of the cycle, and 
adoptees are particularly prone, as is anyone with early trauma, to difficulties in balancing the underlying base of support from which we move, which we might see as our relationship to the ground and gravity......
What is the loss of the mother, for a pre-verbal being, than a feeling of falling forever?
We also deal with questions around our ability to take hold of and grasp onto what we appear to have.  Questions of how much can I truly make you mine, how much can I have you, how much am I yours, are questions at the heart of adoption and that adoptees can struggle with later in life in other relationships.  Loss calls for the ultimate letting go, through grieving, and the more fully you are able to grasp, have and make something yours the more fully you can release and move on.  
On the other hand, if you haven’t really had something, it is hard to let it go.  I think many of us, adoptees and non-adoptees, get stuck in not quite having, so we are not able to release, or in fear of not being able to have, so we don’t reach for and move towards what we want.

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Adoptive Parent Truths Refused


Adoptive Parent Truths Refused

The child adoption industry has sanitized the unpleasant and factual realities of adoption which is directly reflected in adoption marketing. Yet the attempts by professional social workers to educate potential adopting parents falls on deaf ears, yet the adopting parent's refuse to believe that adopted child issues will happen to them, on the contrary adoption issues are guaranteed to manifest. The "psychological inflexibility" among potential adopters is especially true in regard to the population of professional therapists seeking to adopt a child where the educational material about potential adopted children's psychological problems, experiences and statistically outcomes, are ignored through self deception. The problem with educating potential adopters is that they become emotionally motivated, that adoption is the solution to their problems that they can't see beyond their perception of solution. Where adoption related disappointment is a guarantee that their hope in a perfect adopted child will come crashing down. The adoptive parent's need to look like, act like and appear like a normal family is a delusion of the selfish, who adopt a child to fulfill their needs where they are inadequate, grieving a child's death or infertility's emotional trauma that is not cured by adoption. The realistic view that child adoption is not normal, people that intentionally abandon their offspring are not normal and adopted child rearing is not the same as bearing offspring. Just because something is done does not make it right, as child adoption is an immoral practice of stealing the offspring of others, erasing the child's identity and forcing your identity on the adopted child will never change his biology but will cause him emotional, identity and behavior problems. The adoption industry has created wealth for the traffickers, made biological offspring into orphans and created psychological trauma for the child and mother separated...all the carnage to fulfill one psychologically unstable woman. Yet in reality she will not be satisfied, or fulfilled by the token adopted child, she will turn to other hobbies that provide her ego with it's needed attention.        

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

The Alien Adopted Child & Reunion Recovery


Biological Reunion is a Group Effort in Recovery ___________________________________________________________

                                     The long ago lost biological child adopted to strangers is an alien to those
strangers, in the adoptive family. When the adult adoptee finds the courage   and resources to find their biological family they are an alien to their genetic family. The adult adoptee is not trusted, suspect and their family is suspicious   of them. It seems that our society does not believe the estranged adopted child is capable of being motivated by sentimental longing for biological connections.
Yet the basic foundation of human nature is based on blood connections, but the adopted away child is exempt from human nature and always under suspicion.

"Belonging" is defined as the evolutionary motivation of human connection for survival....to avoid being outcast from the biological clan, humans have developed inherent warning signals that alarm for potential discord from the group that result in being cast out.

The act of being cast out for adopted children, has already occurred the moment we took our first breath. The unwanted infant's protests were not herd and our mother's cries of postnatal suffering were met with discontent among the same society that blames her for her own suffering. The adopted infant's traumatic separation suffering does not lead to a better life like the advertising stated. As our separation trauma causes the abandoned infant to be forced into self recognition 12-18 months premature, where the mature baby pushes his mother away at normal development and recognizes that he is an individual as he self-separates from the mother-infant-dyad.  

No matter what kind of family we are randomly placed in we will never belong to them and they will never belong to us. There is no belonging in forced adoption as no child would ever choose or want to be adopted. This is the social stigma that is actually true of how society sees adopted children as it is never normal but is common. And the perspective of the adopting parent is never shared by the cognitively aware adopted child. For the adopting mother's perspective is her own self unfulfilling prophecy where she relies on denial to get her through the day in dealing with a stranger's offspring. The truth can only be seen when we are honest with ourselves about what motivates us to act on compulsive solutions to our personal problems. 

Adoptive parenting can only bring the adopting parent joy during infancy and childhood innocence. When the adopted child begins to develop cognitive awareness, the fairy tales quickly fade into reality for the unwanted child. Adolescence is simply the time of cognitive development that nurtures the child's ability to develop identity, when you are adopted the identity can never be reached because we lack the tools, the people and the information necessary to develop the coherent identity that is ideal for normal healthy individuals. We never belonged to our original families or our adoptive family and the best thing that the adult adoptee can hope for is to belong to ourselves, where there is no social community to judge us. We may try to reconnect with our origins but the biological family that has gone on without us can only see an alien that looks similar to them trying to recover something that they are not able to provide.

The biological family can be extremely healing when we place no blame, and only seek to build new relationships with our biological over time and space with commitments of effort and courage. Through patience we begin to fill the wholes of our wounding with things we never knew, the gentle and kindnesses that are devotedly coveted by adoptees and held in our hearts like precious stones. Over time the voids turn flat and our minds begin to learn new things from our precious biological relationships that evolve into some form of love, wisdom and insight instead of loss, we now can only see what we have found each new day in reunion recovery. And the day may come where the adoptee can find peace within ourselves and gratitude in our own patience as we are dedicate to any kindness that is bestowed upon us by our biological relationships.     

Wednesday, July 19, 2017



Running Away From Ourselves

Our Mother Ran Away...
Our Father Ran Away...
We Ran Away....

And We Ran Away Again... 

Now we continue to run away psychologically, as it is the only escape that adopted children can fathom living in a family of abusive, hostile strangers.
In adult adoptees, the only way to escape the unfamiliar group, the unknown sounds and the perpetual noise that can't be turned down. The misery of relationships where everyone takes from us and forces on us things we refuse.
Closeness, intimacy is like finger nails on a chalkboard as everyone continues to want to own us. They constantly take from our energy depleting our self worth in an attempt to devour our individual existence. They refer to us as "we" instead of she or he. I am not anyone's we, can not and will never be. I am only me, of course I continue to run away from me and hate my weakness and needs. I long for what I can never experience, to accept love would annihilate me and now know that affection is something that I can never give to anyone especially myself. I was forced into this state at birth separation and will never change, I don't ever want to change as I am finally trying to accept who I am.
Therapists want to rewire the brain, erase the trauma and shock my injured psyche into social submission for the benefit of the adopters....so they can feel loved. Therapy has nothing to do with the adoptee. Only to further brake our spirit to be more socially acceptable. Yet the social realm of is the same society that took me away from my biology and genetic family, so why would I ever chose to deaden my brain functions through therapy to mesh with them?
The reality for adult adoptees is trauma, complex and developmental trauma at the hands of what society deemed acceptable, the perfect adoptive home. The only forever in my adoption is the abuse I suffered perpetrated by my adoptive parents, as it forever rains their condemnations and bruises in my head.  

Monday, July 17, 2017

The Adopted Child Outsider Watching Other kids Play


The Adopted Child Outsider Watching Kids Play

The adopted child stands alone at every recess time, never having the courage or self esteem to join any activity. Nor does the adopted child yet comprehend the older adopted child's best used skill of looking engaged, pretending to be doing something important or impersonating the scholarly student by acting like they are reading a large book at recess giving the perception that they are doing something important so that the other kids will not notice them. The adopted child experiences intense anxiety at school every time the bell rings for morning recess, lunch and afternoon recess. I was this socially disturbed adopted child that woke up in the morning dreading the three recesses that would take place each school day and wondering what I could do to be invisible at recess. 
There is no place at recess for the adopted child to go, no place on the playground to hide and is forced to stand out in the open looking obviously out of place and horrified with anxiety while all of the adopted child's classmates notice that there is something seriously wrong with that kid who stands there looking dumb, doing nothing.  The overwhelming feeling of dread when you are an adopted child watching the other children play and engage in activities while never daring to enter the social realm of recess for exasperated fear of being further ostracized. I was never bullied in elementary school as the same children attended from kindergarten through sixth grade although and were familiar but no child relationships existed. I never had any friends in or out of school, I couldn't relate to myself, to my adoptive family and I lived in constant fear of my adoptive mother's threats, punishments and bizarre mood swings aimed at me alone, not her biological offspring.  
I was bullied, neglected and dumped off frequently anywhere possible and convenient to her where she could temporarily rid herself of her burden adopted child. Dumped off often extremely late to and from school for all of the children to witness, by my irresponsible, self-centered adoptive mother yet the teachers blamed me for constantly disrupting their class from being tardy. 
I possessed no social skills, no education skills and showed only fear by my cowering posture in the presence of my adoptive mother. The early childhood neglect, lacking any parent-child interaction I was only told or punished which caused me to only develop fear response to my primary caregiver. Preschool, kindergarten were a waste of time as I was only put there as a form of babysitting. My development was arrested and I never reached milestones that are suggested for adopted children, these are exceptionally slower than normal functioning in offspring children. The adoptive family thought that I was retarded and were more angry toward me that fueled the label of a burden. When adoptive parents do not interact with adopted children, no social skills are learned by the adopted child. Where the home is dysfunctional, alcoholism and domestic violence, there is no place to develop educational skills or social skills.
I was sent to the free babysitter each day, also known as elementary school lacking social skills and absent of emotional regulation skills except for "don't have them or show emotions", It is no wonder that teachers thought that I was retarded. I was taught to be silent, do not tough anything and only speak when spoken to, which made me comfortable sitting in my desk at school. I knew nothing of school work, and homework was non-existent in my emotional roller-coaster parent dominated house. I was never helped, asked about or experienced any adoptive parent interest in my absent school work of any given day. My grades were consistent "D's" and "F's" from my attempts to do the actual schoolwork as an immature, socially retarded and lacking any educational foundation in a psychologically alone adopted child. I can say that I did pretty good in elementary school considering my chaotic adoptive parent environment. Social skills are still completely difficult as I misread people, messages and content. I still relive my adoptive parent's hostility and fear toward me, but I have learned to compartmentalize it, like I do with everything else. Friendships are something that is far too complicated a subject when you are adopted to invest any intimacy. As "all relationships do and will eventually end" and by keeping my internal state of at birth detachment survival, they hurt less and do not brake me anymore when you lived each day of your life in adoption bondage you know that deep down inside are incapable of human bonding. 

What If's In Adoption:
If I were adopted by an older, more educated and psychologically stable and mentally healthy adoptive parents, it is possible that I would have been psychologically nurtured, I would have experienced positive interpersonal relationships with my adoptive parents that promoted my learning of social skills, educational skills and then I would have learned to trust and allow myself the rare opportunity to accept being loved . Being a "Postmortem Adopted Child" being adopted to replace a stillbirth child has scientific studies with documented bad psychopathic outcomes as psychotherapist warn adopting agencies against giving adopted children to mothers of recently dead children.   Unfortunately in my case profit was more important than the future health of adopted child.        

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Long-Term Effects in Emotion Processing From Maltreatment


Long-term Effects Emotional Processing in Neglected & Abused Children

This study outlines the cause and effect of adopted child's malfunctioning in the adoptive family

Long-term Effects of Child Abuse and Neglect on Emotion Processing in Adulthood

 A key component of social competence is emotion processing, which includes emotion perception, communication, interpretation, and regulation of emotion (). Emotions function to provide information about the environment and prepare for a behavioral response, triggering the appetitive or defensive systems, depending on the situation (). Theories of emotion suggest that behavioral responses to emotions are directly related to emotion processing (). This paper brings together research on child maltreatment, emotional development, and psychopathology to examine the consequences of child abuse and neglect for emotion processing in adulthood.

Childhood Maltreatment and Emotion Processing

In general, child maltreatment has been found to disrupt the normal process of emotional development. First, studies of maltreating parents suggest that they show less positive emotion and more negative emotion than non-abusive parents (). It is also believed that maltreating parents tend to be isolated themselves and to isolate their children from interaction with others, providing fewer nonparental models of emotional communication ().
Second, a child who receives inconsistent or harsh caregiving has difficulty predicting the consequences of his/her behavior () and this may be manifest in deficits in processing emotional information. For example, maltreated children have been found to show specific deficits in understanding (), recognizing (), and expressing emotion () and are at risk for exhibiting social delays (), deficits in empathy (), and decreased engagement in prosocial behavior (). These findings reveal general deficits in emotion processing in maltreated children, but the question remains about whether these deficits would persist into adulthood.
Using tests of facial emotion recognition (FER),  found that children with physical abuse histories were better able to identify facial displays of anger compared to controls. Several other studies using event-related potentials and behavioral evidence have found a sensitivity bias to perceive anger in physically abused children () and, more generally, in a sample of maltreated children (). In an attempt to explain these findings, suggested that in abusive home environments children learn to associate anger with threat of harm and therefore, they are hypervigilant to anger in their environment.  elaborated on this theory to suggest that maltreated children become better prepared to identify threatening situations through hypervigilance of emotions. For example, these children may be more sensitive to anger in their abuser and fear of those around them because both sensitivities could help them identify threat quickly and potentially avoid additional abuse (). Consistent with these theories,  have shown that maltreated children show enhanced selective attention to angry facial expressions posed by their mothers. Thus, this body of research would suggest that individuals with histories of childhood physical abuse might be less likely to show deficits in processing negative emotional pictures and more likely to show deficits for pictures with positive or neutral valence.
Very little research has examined emotion recognition in neglected children. In earlier research,  found that neglecting parents were less expressive and engaged with little exchange of affective information in interactions with their children and, thus, provided less support in learning to understand emotions more generally. Impoverished social and emotional environments, which are often present in cases of neglect, prevent the development of normal emotional skills () and may cause a blunted pattern of emotional reactivity (). reported that neglected children had more difficulty in recognizing emotional expressions in a vignette than a control group or physically abused children. When rating the similarity between facial expressions of different emotions, neglected children saw fewer distinctions between emotions compared to the other two groups (). However, this is the only study to investigate emotion perception deficits specific to neglected children. Most studies have included only physically abused children or maltreated children (i.e. physically abused and/or neglected children). To our knowledge, no studies have focused on sexually abused children, and the existing literature is based almost exclusively on studies of children, with no research investigating the long-term effects of childhood abuse and neglect on adult emotion processing ability.

Potential Mechanisms Linking Childhood Maltreatment and Emotion Processing

If the impact of child abuse and neglect on emotion processing extends into adulthood, what might be some of mechanisms that lead to these outcomes? Research has increasingly shown that childhood abuse and neglect can result in a cascade of negative consequences across multiple domains of functioning () that might explain an increased risk for deficits in emotion processing abilities for individuals with histories of child abuse and/or neglect. Specifically, child abuse and neglect has been associated with cognitive deficits in general and various forms of psychopathology that may lead to emotion processing deficits.
First, several studies have reported that abused and neglected children are at increased risk for lower academic performance and intelligence in childhood () and that these effects of childhood maltreatment extend into young adulthood (). Thus, it is possible that deficits in intelligence lead to general deficits in performance on processing tasks, particularly those that involve memory, and this finding may help explain why maltreated children perform worse on these tasks.
It is also possible that some of the psychological consequences that have been associated with child abuse and neglect have a negative impact on performance on emotion processing tasks in adulthood. For example, individuals with histories of abuse have been found to exhibit more symptoms of anxiety disorders (). A separate body of research reveals that individuals with higher levels of anxiety symptoms show deficits in emotion perception () and emotion regulation (), and individuals with PTSD have shown an attentional bias to trauma-related stimuli (). In work by , certain emotional cues become salient indicators of threat. Thus, in an emotion processing task, highly anxious individuals might be more likely to perform poorly on emotion processing tasks.
Childhood maltreatment has also been associated with increased risk for depression (). In turn, a separate body of research suggests that individuals with depression exhibit deficits in regulating emotions () and perceiving emotion in others (). Therefore, it is possible that maltreated children may have difficulty recognizing emotions as a function of higher levels of depression ().
At present, it is unclear whether the association between child maltreatment and deficits in processing of emotion would persist, independent of the effects of psychopathology. In one of the few studies to address this issue,  focused on how PTSD might relate to maltreated children’s processing of emotions and found that maltreated children displayed a heightened ability (faster reaction time compared to controls) to identify fearful faces, independent of PTSD diagnosis. These findings with children suggest that maltreatment is uniquely related to emotion processing deficits, regardless of PTSD symptomatology.
In addition to internalizing consequences of child abuse and neglect, there is also a body of research that has linked childhood maltreatment to externalizing traits, including antisocial behavior and psychopathy (). A number of studies have also reported emotion processing deficits in individuals with antisocial and psychopathic traits (), including deficits in empathy (), experiencing of emotion (), and identifying emotional expressions (). Antisocial individuals have been found to show specific deficits in perceiving negative emotions in facial expressions and to be less accurate in identifying emotions of fear or sadness than emotions of happiness or surprise (). Maltreated children may show emotion processing deficits in adulthood through higher levels of psychopathic traits, reflecting greater desensitization, less empathy, or less responsiveness to the needs of others (), critical characteristics of psychopaths. In sum, there are a number of plausible mechanisms that might explain deficits in emotional processing in adults with histories of childhood abuse and neglect and warrant investigation.

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Recurring Dream Being Abandoned


Recurring Dream Being Abandoned

Last night's recurring dream of me being abandoned again (the 5,000th time) by a person that I love and trusted ended with that person becoming a comedian. This is the first time that this twist has been injected. Usually I am publicly shamed and humiliated. I still ran away on foot to my familiar streets on the way toward the childhood home. Still devastated and sad as I walked.
Then the words came "Nobody can save you" like a foghorn alerting the land of an oncoming air raid. 

The reality is that no one can or ever will be able to save me or stave off this feeling that is inherent to me alone that I am abandoned forever. Abandonment is my truth, I was abandoned and will continue to view being abandoned with every relationship I have ever had or will ever have in the future. Being abandoned is my first experience in this mortal world that can never be made into something beautiful. Abandonment is a hideous experience that can never be washed off like a child's dirty face, it is within me as my first truth in my life.

No amount of psychotherapy, hypnotherapy or medication can erase my primal truth that I am forever abandoned. The only reason that a single love interest stars in my nightmares over 30 years now is because I was cognitively aware and cognitively experienced what was hidden all along in my psyche from the primal wound. 

This time there is a familiar face, a voice and an intention behind my abandoner that I know from the depths of my soul. That says you are not socially acceptable, you are not good enough or psychologically healthy enough to sustain a normal relationship....and this was true all along. I was broken the day I took my first breath after being born. I was forever retarded to the normal experiences that justify compassion, empathy and love. The love that I would never experience from my own mother has forever denied me the ability to love or to be loved. I accept this as how I am as my personal truth regardless of well wishers feeling sorry and pity for my dysfunctional state in life.

"No One Can Save Me" and "No One Can Save Me From Myself". From what I am and now this truth has been the epiphany for my ability to accept myself as the outsider that was always outside looking in watching life unfold as a quiet spectator wanting to join but can't and is paralyzed to act on some impulses.
I will never be able to join in and be loved or feel love as my inherent truth is unable to deny what I am incapable of and inability to experience. I can only love in my own way, from afar while protecting myself from pain and suffering.   My validation as an adult adoptee: I 50 years old and say this with complete confidence absent of anger, resentment or blame, for I was broken beyond repair the day I was born.  

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Hostility Parenting


Hostility Parenting 

A Complex Relationship: Hostility Toward Parents 

By Michael Feld, L.C.S.W.
Certified Psychoanalyst, Licensed Psychotherapist
Some of the most difficult feelings we deal with as both children and adults are the hostile, raging feelings we often have toward people we love. These hostile feelings haunt us throughout our lives always leave us feeling guilty and ashamed. Sometimes adults have difficulty understanding why they are angry with their parents. Some people chalk it up to the simple explanation that “they just get on my nerves.” Some of these uncomfortable feelings adults experience have their roots in the earliest years of childhood.
If as children we experience our parents as being inattentive to our needs, hostile feelings toward them can emerge in us. These angry feelings cause us much discomfort because they are in conflict with our loving feelings for our parents, and the need we have for their continuing love. We especially need our parents to guarantee our safety and well being. In fact, in our earliest years, we are dependent on our parents for our very existence.
If our parents relate to us in such a way that we experience them as being exploitive, or using us to gratify their own compulsive, rigid and egocentric needs, our own hostility gets stirred up. If we experience them as being indifferent to our legitimate needs and wishes; if they are smothering in their love; if they induce guilt in us; if they are coercive and exploitive under the guise of being overindulgent, admiring and idealizing on one hand and having unrealistic expectations and putting us down on the other hand; under such conditions we develop a hostile attitude toward them, which depending on our age can vary in degree from being uncomfortable to being terrifying.
To experience hostility toward our parents is quite frightening, considering how dependent and needy we are of them. In addition, we fear reprisals from them should we express this hostility. What happens most often is that the hostility is repressed. By repressing the hostility, we hope to reassure their benevolence toward us. The expression of any hostility leaves us feeling guilty, unworthy and contemptible. Psychoanalyst Karen Horney called such hostility “basic hostility.” The feeling of basic hostility is the response to an abusive parental environment. Basic hostility leads to what Dr. Horney called “basic anxiety,” which is a profound feeling of uncertainty about ourselves, a feeling of being helpless and alone; a feeling of isolation and of being surrounded by a potentially hostile world out to engulf us. Our way of dealing with basic anxiety is what moves us through life. Almost all our behaviors are designed to alleviate and keep us from experiencing this anxiety this running away from anxiety is the beginning of neurotic development.