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  #1  
Old 07-30-2008, 11:53 AM
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Separation Anxiety

I have a question. Do you think that babies when they are adopted can face separation anxiety when they are older. The reason why I am asking is because when I was born I had a week of bonding with Birth mother than I was in foster care for almost 2 months and then placed in the adoptive home. And to this day I have a hard time with allowing people get close to me or me getting close to other people.
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Old 07-30-2008, 12:06 PM
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Hi Sherr,

Yes, I do.

Have you read the Primal Wound?

There is a lot of validity to the theories that book espouses. I know for myself, as an adoptee, I recognized many of the behaviors in myself that were identified as “separation effects” in the Primal Wound.

I have done the work ( therapy ) to try and heal myself, and believe I have made progress, but I believe separation of the infant, from the natural mother has residual effects.

Kim
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Old 07-30-2008, 12:21 PM
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Thanks kim. I will have to check that book out
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Old 07-30-2008, 02:03 PM
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I have not read the book mentioned, nor am I an adoptee.

My son was abandoned by his birth family at the age of 8 months. He was hospitalized for respitory problems and birth family never returned. He was put into an orphanage, (he's an international adoptee) where he remained for 2 years.

He is now almost 8, he and I have been family for 5 years. We are extremely close and well bonded. He is very close to the extended family - grandma, grandpa, cousins, aunt, uncle. He also bonds to his school teachers to a degree.

However, I found out just a few weeks ago that he is not healed from his experience. He went away to camp for a week. He came home and acted as though I was a stranger to him. He felt abdoned the entire time he was at camp, although he had the time of his life. It took him a week to start to be nice to me again, to get back most of his personality. But he is still a little guarded with his emotions of love and caring. He isn't hugging me or kissing me or telling me that he loves me as he did before.

We are working on it, that I did come back, I love him, I didn't leave him, I wanted him to enjoy himself.

And it's WORK!

So, yes those feelings can recur.
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Old 08-17-2008, 09:21 PM
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I have a question. Do you think that babies when they are adopted can face separation anxiety when they are older. The reason why I am asking is because when I was born I had a week of bonding with Birth mother than I was in foster care for almost 2 months and then placed in the adoptive home. And to this day I have a hard time with allowing people get close to me or me getting close to other people.

Sherr34,
I definitely think that adopted babies can feel separation anxiety when they grow older. And I agree with Austin0i to read the Primal Wound. Very powerful book-painful, but powerful.

My birthmother died while giving birth to me, so I missed out on the crucial mother/daughter bonding. As an adopted kid I personally never felt separation anxiety. It was probably the opposite and still is. I didn't care if I went away for a few hours, a day, a week, or two weeks. I never have felt homesick for my adoptive parents. EVER. Doesn't mean I didn't love them, just means that I never missed them. It probably had to deal with a fear of rejection if I showed I was homesick.

But it's funny, now at the age I am, (22), I feel separation anxiety towards the family I never knew, my birth family. I know what you mean when you have a hard time letting people get close to you. I also struggle with that-even with my friends, I hold them at arms length. And I want to get close to people but don't allow it for fear of rejection.
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Old 08-18-2008, 05:29 PM
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Lonewolf3,

I absolutely know what you are talking about when you are saying that you "hold people at arms length", and that you never missed your aparents and it didn't mean that you didn't love them.

I can totatlly relate to you. I have a 23 yr old daughter and a 22 yr old son, and I love them with all my heart. WE live 1100 mils away, and I don't miss them. I know I can talk to them on the phone and that's fine for me. And I get pics on the net too! so we stay in touch. I'm sure if I didn't have that it would be painful for me, so maybe that's not so unnormal, I don't know. I am very close with both of them, and I love them with all my heart!!! I just don't miss them. I hear mother's talking about their young adult children and how much they miss them sometimes, and I feel guilty that I don't really miss mine. I doin't miss people in general though, never have. It's all very logical to me, you are there, I am here, and so??? I'll be back on such and such date, or I won't be back, I mean I just adjust to whatever the facts are. I don't know what else to do. Missing people seems like a big wasted emotion to me! But, my birth mother??? OH, now that's something way different altogether. I MISS HER! I feel deeply about her, and I'll weep over it for hours only end wanting her! I still know she's out there though. If I knew that she wans't there??? I don't know, I'm not in that spot to deal with that, or not that I a know of yet. I very well could be, the last I heard about my birth mother was about 5 years ago she was still living, that doesn't mean that she still is. I just don't know yet, that's all.

I have only experienced the feeling of "missing someone" a couple of times and that was my husband a couple of years ago, I went back home for a visit and he had to stay because of work, and I relaly missed him by the time I was away for a few days. It was a NEW feeling for me at the age of about 41!

i wasn't told that I was adopted and that I had a birth mother out there, and recently found out, I didn't escape not one behavioral issue or relationship problem due to this and it's all about the emotions I have for her that are to this date "unresolved"! The more I work on things, the better I am getting, and I know that working through this, although painful and awful at times, is so well worth it. Some days, it's not so good, had a couple of them in the past two days!

I'm probably the only person that actually giggled to myself with joy that I felt like I missed my husband while I was away! It's silly, but it is true. I cherish moments like that after not feeling that way for my whole life. It does make me feel alive!

I'm so glad you are only 22 and you are starting to work on your issues, there is so much hope for you. There are so many helpful supportive things you can do, and so many ways to connect to others that have been through what you are going through. It helps me immensely just to know that I don't go through all this stuff alone, and that others know how this feels at times.

Glad you are here!
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Old 08-19-2008, 02:04 PM
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white_elephant,

That is so weird (yet oddly comforting) to hear that someone else has that "love to the death but never miss" kind of feeling. I always wondered if I was the only adoptee who felt like this. I too am very close with my family, and would take a bullet for them but I never miss them. I don't even have pictures of my family or anything in my room, like a lot of people do, or anything like that-no family memorabilia. And I agree, it's so logical. Like when I went away to college, my view was that, hey, I'm going halfway across the country, you're staying here, what is there to freak out about? It's also intriguing to hear it from a mother's perspective. I'm sure I'm also going to be like that-not missing my kids.

My question to you is, how were you when you were before you married your husband? Like, when you guys were moving towards marriage. Did you feel like you never missed him if you weren't together? Did he ever think you didn't care about him as much because you didn't miss him? I hope it's not too personal of a question-I'm just always wondering about that for when I seriously date a guy.
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Old 08-19-2008, 08:02 PM
white_elephant white_elephant is offline
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lonewolf,

I too was "oddly comforted" by your issue of the "missing", not missing feelings. One of the reasons I like it here, I learn that I'm not the only one that has these issues, and it does seem to cause a sense of "normalcy" to it, if there is such a thing for us. lol.

I would say that my DH places more stock on the fact that he can trust me to do what I say and say what I mean, and be where I say I am going to be. We are very honest with each other, and I have learned the hard way that it is imperative that I be wholly honest in any relationship that I am in, those are the best ones, and the ones most worth it. Since he had been cheated on in the past, and so had I, we went into the relationship being very honest. WE are also best friends and have been from the start. He just wants to know that he can trust me, he doesn't really care if I miss him or not, if he does, well, that's kind of too bad, cause I really only have that emotion sometimes. lol, he can't have it all! I have so many other very passionate emotions about him, with him and for him I don't think that one matters too much. He's a guy, they don't get into the feelings thing all that much either. At least mine doesn't. Yet he is very sensitive with me for a guy. I am very blessed to have him for a husband, he is a very unique and wonderful man. I am blessed, very blessed. Another testiment to why it is always best to be honest, no matter how painful it is in the beginning, always be honest. Get it out in te open up front, then you at least know what you are dealing with, even if you don't like it.

I'm not easily offended either, I tend to take a long time to reply or post because I am aware that not much offends me, so I have a hard time gauging what might be offensive to someone else.

Feel free to PM my anytime.

Look forward to hearing more from you...

Warm regards.
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  #9  
Old 09-06-2008, 10:52 AM
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I wish I had understood about Separation Anxiety when I gave my son up for adoption. I thought it was just a symptom of him watching my husband beating me all the time till he finally sent ended up sending him to foster care while I was in the hospital. I had no idea that this was also normal behavior for a child as they started to walk till I had children when I got older. Talk about the quilt and the ”If I only knew.”

However my Amother was always complaining about me not being kind of baby she had wanted. She wanted a baby she could cuddle and rock and I would have none of it. The birthmother had known for quite a while during the pregnancy that she wasn’t going to keep me so I would imagine those feelings would be transferred even at those early stages of life.
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Old 09-06-2008, 11:02 AM
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I have no doubt it does effect the baby, only thing is I have no proof to substanciate it's effect.

bprice215
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Old 09-06-2008, 08:21 PM
erikamarie erikamarie is offline
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I am an adoptee. I am 20 now. I still stuggle with letting people get too close to me or me getting too close to people. It makes relationships really difficult. I have met my bfamily and I noticed that it is getting a little better, but mainly just with family.

I really do believe that adoption has something to do with it. I don't know what or why, but its there.
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Old 09-07-2008, 12:09 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by erikamarie
I am an adoptee. I am 20 now. I still stuggle with letting people get too close to me or me getting too close to people. It makes relationships really difficult. I have met my bfamily and I noticed that it is getting a little better, but mainly just with family.

I really do believe that adoption has something to do with it. I don't know what or why, but its there.


My reunited daughter will be 23 on New Years Day and she has shared that she also has a difficult time letting others get close and that we, her B-family are only a handful of folks shes allowed to do so. It's funny... (as in Primal Wound funny) because she never knew she was adopted until I made connect! That tells me there is truth behind the P / W theory. Lonewolf, I posted to say no, you are not alone. In my Adoption Group there are many adoptees with this and similar issues. My daughter has stated she has never let a boyfriend get "too close" and that she avoids emotional attachments even when she dates men who qualify as "The One." She dated a guy for 2+ years and one night while staying at his condo she found a receipt for a ring days before Valentines Day so she came up with a bogus excuse to bail.

I gain so much insight when I read posts from the various sectors of the triad and I thank you for sharing. Tracy


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Old 09-07-2008, 01:13 AM
katie52 katie52 is offline
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Okay you guys. I am going to set forth another theory here about the adoptee's described 'failure to allow oneself to get emotionally close'...
I am NOT trying to offend, I am just going to put this out there because I think there MIGHT be a little possible kernel of truth, perhaps.

After reading all the posts above, and having read Primal Wound when our kids were younger, another possibility comes to mind. I am almost afraid to post it because if you do not read it in the way it is intended, it will sound mean and it is not at all.

Okay, many of us can agree that emotional temperament can be genetic and inherited. And while a bmom is pregnant, she may often try really hard not to get too atttached because it is so painful for her.So perhaps, just perhaps, SOME adoptees inherit from their bfamily, a temperament which does not easily get too close to another. Maybe that is an emotion that the bmothers feel they NEED to try and develop while they are pregnant, otherwise they could never give the child up.
And so maybe the baby, in utero, absorbs this 'disconnect'
and carries it into their life. Do not hate me for putting forth this shred of a tiny thought. I am simply brainstorming, and am not trying to be disrespectful in ANY way.
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Old 09-07-2008, 02:05 AM
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Katie posted...

Maybe that is an emotion that the bmothers feel they NEED to try and develop while they are pregnant, otherwise they could never give the child up.
And so maybe the baby, in utero, absorbs this 'disconnect'
and carries it into their life. Do not hate me for putting forth this shred of a tiny thought. I am simply brainstorming, and am not trying to be disrespectful in ANY way.


Thanks for posting another theory on this topic; in my case if you are correct, this could very well be the reason.

My daughter was conceived during a rape involving multiple rapists and I did everything under the sun to avoid even THINKING about her while in utero. The only problem is, it DID NOT PREVENT ME FROM BONDING AND CONNECTING WITH HER. In fact, it probably created a stronger connection knowing our time together was limited, and because I saw her as a victim, too. I have 3 raised kids in addition to my reunited daughter and I can honestly say I am able to recall much more of the details involved in my pregnancy and the moments and days after her birth almost 23 years ago than I can of my most recent pregnancy 2 months ago. I know for a fact that I was extremely connected to her, so much so that even though the newborn nursery was at the other end of the corridor I "knew" when my baby was crying b/c my breast would ache. They hurt to the point of waking me from a deep and I made a game of calling the nurses to ask if she were crying. They never hurt at any other time and I was not engorged. The nurses would scream and ask "how did you know?" They called me psychic!

I never wanted to think of her as MY baby, since I knew I couldn't raise her but it didn't stop me from bonding with her. The fact that we would be separated soon and forever ( closed adoption) made the connection we formed very intense. It's kinda like visiting with a dying relative while they are in the hospital. You "absorb" every breath, smell, sigh, movement etc. b/c you know it won't last. The bond just happens no matter what you try or try not to feel.

I don't hate you for having thought this but it is important that you realize that adoption workers often felt if we didn't see, hear, touch or hold our babies we wouldn't bond with them and the decision to place would be easier to make, and many of us I'm sure believed it. The fact is the bond / connection is involuntary and happens long before birth.

My daughter doesn't seem to have a problem getting CONNECTING to anyone, she has a problem WANTING TO CONNECT.

Maybe you theory is correct, I don't know. Tracy
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Old 09-07-2008, 05:23 AM
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ya know its really great to read these and very comforting to know that im not alone. i am also an adoptee and can relate to not missing my parents. i love them with my heart but am now also living in a different state. i dont feel i ever bonded with my aparents the way i saw so many other children bond with theirs. is that normal for an adoptee to feel? i try not to get too close to people but the few i let in i notice i fight to keep them in my life... ive managed to stay close friends with the few exs i have and have a couple really close girlfriends as well. but i dont open up much and although ill say how im feeling i never let people see me angry or hurt. i tend to keep things bottled up. is that also a common thing?
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