Blog Post Roundup

I started a blog about my experience with adoptee abuse and promised to keep you in touch.  Here's highlights from the first six months.

Introduction

I hurt all the time, with a heartache that oscillates but never leaves.  There's no point in not talking about the pain now as it's not going to go away anytime soon, so I might as well blog about it.

PTSD Primer

PTSD has a way of robbing you of joy.

Link Roundup

I've talked about my childhood periodically in my other blogs.

On Searching, Anger, and Closure

People compliment me on my calmness is talking about these issues.  I'm not calm, I'm numb.

Goodbye Ground, Hello Freefall

...that lying piece of legal shit that said I was the actual daughter of my abusers -- I have never, ever hated anything in my life as much as I hated that piece of paper.

My Adoption Story, Part 1


...a socially acceptable sham marriage needed real offspring, and that's where I came in.

Wrestling With Searching

I was convinced that (searching) would be unethical, immoral, selfish, and self-destructive.  I believed it was the most awful and irresponsible thing I could possibly do.

My Adoption Story, Part 2:  Cindy

Any forensic examination of the process my adoptive parents went through when they decided to adopt has to ask, "What the Hell was up with Cindy?"

Purchased:  Bought, Sold, and Treated Like Toxic Waste

My adopted mother no doubt felt like she didn't get her money's worth.  She wanted a Prom Queen, not a nerd.  Shouldn't there have been a discount?

"Aren't You Grateful You Were Put Up For Adoption Instead of Aborted?"

Isn't that like asking, "Aren't you grateful your husband only hit you once instead of beating you to death?"

My Relinquishment: A Forensic Reconstruction Part 1

I don't know what she personally thought of her body (How many 18 year-old girls are satisfied with their appearance?) but to Society in 1965 and to heterosexual teenage boys in any time she would have looked beautiful.

...right now it feels like there's an ocean of grief that I have to drain through my tear ducts.

There Are No Good Adoptions

An adoption may or may not be a rescue, but every adoption is a tragedy.

Traipsing Through Tar Pits

It seemed to me that I was sitting Shiva, but I couldn't say for whom or what.

Babies and Bridal Bouquets:  The Issue of Trust in Closed Adoptions

It is deeply ironic that a population which was watching The Manchurian Candidate and arguing over whether (brainwashing) could really by done  to "our boys" in foreign countries were perfectly willing -- even grateful -- to have them done to "our girls" at home.

Don't Stop Believing

Most people feel good as a result of doing good, setting up a nice positive feedback loop.  PTSD steals that from me.  I do good, I feel good, and PTSD opens the floodgates for yet another crashing wave of despair.

The Frankenfamily Part 1

...it wasn't that I stood out from the norm, there was no norm, period.  Underneath my adoptive parents' overwhelming concern for social acceptance which led to both their marriage and our adoptions, anomie and disconnection were the norm.

What's Wrong With Her?  She's Gifted

Her suggestion was met with universal derision.  How could a very smart child be such a failure?  But upon reflection it was decided that I might be retarded (the term was still used clinically at that time), and that I should be given an IQ test to see if I qualified for Special Education.

The Frankenfamily Part 2: The Terror of the 98th Percentile

Modern adoption practice is based on the premise that you can fit square pegs in round holes if you start forcing  them when they're tiny and soft.  How is that not child abuse?
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After-the-facts

When I was going through my own recovery, I toyed with the idea of searching for my first mom.

Forget the process prompted a nervous breakdown that no one around me understood. ("You were so LUCKY to be adopted, and not left to rot in an orphanage; why can't that be enough?")

Forget I lacked the papers I needed to search outside the USA.

When I felt as though I was finally getting close, it hit. Just like you wrote, I found, for myself, an abused adoptee (who was supposed to be grateful and happy) "I was convinced that (searching) would be unethical, immoral, selfish, and self-destructive. I believed it was the most awful and irresponsible thing I could possibly do."

How could I tell the woman who gave me to 'a better family', "Uh, the family 'chosen for me' sucked. The mother was an emotional mess who could not even boil her own water for tea, let alone mother the child she had before she bought me."

When it came down to telling my after-adoption story, I felt the need to protect the minds and reputations of others.

After all, as an adopted child, wasn't pretending and faking (for the sake of others) my God-given role?

It's been 16 years since I've allowed myself to work on my grief, rage, and anger. I've tried a variety of therapies and meds, but I have found the only thing that has worked for me and my PTSD and major depression is acknowledging two simple adoption facts.

Fact #1: Adoption, in most cases, is a selfish act. It is selfish for the birth parents to walk away, and it's selfish of the APs to think their desire for a child is enough to be a good parent.

Fact #2: Not all adoptions are bad and abusive. There are some situations where adoption works, and it eventually works-out so it is best for the child, but it's never without it's period of traumatic adjustment, something others (including the adoptive parents) need to understand.

In another post, you asked about Support systems for abused adoptees.

Have you ever seen a trauma specialist?

How could I tell the woman

How could I tell the woman who gave me to 'a better family', "Uh, the family 'chosen for me' sucked.

Yes.  I have this almost overwhelming urge to say that very thing.  It's why I'm blogging so much now; I'm trying to clear out my system beforehand.

I don't blame one woman caught in the system for that entire system's failure, but there's no denying I was wronged.

Have you ever seen a trauma specialist?

I'm seeing a gifted specialist right now.  First therapist I've had who could call me on my bullshit in 30 years.  We've tried working on the trauma, but there's problems.  I don't have auditory or visual flashbacks, I have analytical flashbacks, so EMR's out.

Resolving Trauma

Over the years, I have come to the somewhat lame conclusion that I think we "survivors" each need to identify and define what it is that we want from each of our relationships, including those that involve a therapist.

Until this rather mature/maturing step is done, I believe, many of us will continue to feel... well, lost and undefined, and above all else, victimized.

I'm glad you found someone you can talk to and relate well with. Can you give an example of called-on "bullshit" you would try, and why/what makes this one particular specialist so good/special to you?

PTSD and hormones

Has anyone here had their hormone levels tested? I'm curious because when I tested mine I was surprised to find that I had "normal" hormone levels aside from slightly low cortisol and quite high DHEAS. I tried to look up information about what this might mean, and all I could find was that this is apparently common among people with PTSD, recovering anorexics, and "highly conditioned athletes". I'm definitely not a highly conditioned athlete, but I can see how the other two categories might apply. I'm not trying to make any kind of point, I'm just interested.

P.S. Lioness, I've been reading your blog. I have a history of sexual abuse in childhood and I am infertile.

Hormones

Vasilissa, thanks for mentioning hormones.  I hadn't thought of that, but it makes sense.

Thank you.  My condolences for your losses.

specifically....

When I was recovering from a self-induced head injury, my neurologist told me "hormones control everything".

At first I thought about the 'easy hormones', like estrogen and progesterone, and I doubted her remark. But then I thought about stress hormones, and how they can change a body's baseline and sense of homeostasis/stability. [See: http://poundpuplegacy.org/node/5601 ]

Whaddya know... the annoying/frustrating doctor was right. My stress hormones WERE keeping me from sleep, and functional relationships!

(Soon after her statement, I decided it was time to wean of all meds, and try things my own way. So far, with the help of a great support-person, I have found my own measure of secure stability.)

Personally, I think one can get really bogged-down and distracted by the trappings that go with "defining" one's problem. Nevertheless, I can understand why some people need to have an actual answer to the always-pervasive question, "why is this always happening to me?!?"

The Old Hand

Kerry, I've been in and out of therapy for almost 40 years.  I speak the lingo.  I know what I'm supposed to say when, and often I do it without even being aware of it.  I've found over the years that's enough to convince an inexperienced therapist you're making progress even when you're really being rather shallow.

I also make sweeping negative statements which contradict the facts.  He's taken to writing them down and calling me on them.  It's rather refreshing.

therapy

I myself had very bad experiences with therapy.... so the encounters were far from effective.

Fortunately, over the course of some very troubled years, I was able to find a very good relationship for myself. This relationship developed quickly, yet over a long period of time. This person, from the very beginning, was able to acknowledge who and what I am, and accept all the dark drama that goes with each fragmenting triggered event that cuts into an otherwise happy-go-curse-yourself life.

Having this type of acceptance is more than refreshing.... it's become the oxygen I need to breathe.

(No one, not even my many therapists, ever taught me how critically important Acceptance can be in a personal relationship.)

Most therapists weren't able

Most therapists weren't able to do much for me either.  To be fair though, the state of therapeutic practice sucked for a long time.  And even with the good one I'm seeing now, it took us weeks of trial and error to pinpoint the actual problem.  CBT doesn't work on developmental trauma and EMR doesn't work on my particular  PTSD flashbacks.

To give us both credit, we kept plugging away at it & got to the root problem.

Pound Pup Legacy