Why Adoptees Don't Relate Relationship Problems to Adoption Trauma

shout-adoption-shout-abortionFellow adoptee friends….

What is it about us adoptees? We tend to dismiss talking about adoption, or even thinking about it deeply…why?

Could it be that we’re still unconsciously bound by loyally to our adoptive and/or birth parents? No way do we want to hurt them, right? They are the hands that feed us and the hands that brought us into this world.

We put a bubble of romanticism around adoption and deduce that it has nothing to do with the behavior and relationship problems in life. After all, how could something as good as adoption hurt us and cause us to look at life in a way unique to us?

So, if we desire to improve our quality of life, if we want to have healthy relationships, and if we want to heal from adoption-related trauma and wounds, what must we do?

If we were asked to check which of the following is true of us, what would we check?

  • I feel like something is missing.
  • I often feel like I don’t belong.
  • I blow up easily and hurt others.
  • I sometimes fantasize about my birth family.
  • I am confused about my identity.
  • I push myself to be perfect.
  • I am terrified of rejection.
  • I struggle with self-esteem.
  • I get uptight whenever I think about my birth family.

Many of us could check all of the above. We are buried by them emotionally and spiritually. And, why is that?

We think they are all our fault. We think we are losers and that’s how losers feel and nothing will ever change that.

Friend….that is an outright lie!

And, it is shame-based to the core. “Something is inherently wrong with me.”

The truth is that you and your life are invaluable, priceless, vital, rare and irreplaceable.

You were created by a God who loves you dearly and who in his sovereign wisdom, allowed you to be adopted. It is not a mistake, even though it involves pain, like every other relationship in life.

However, seeing those truths is nearly impossible because of what I call “the adoptee fishbowl.” Our fishbowls are filled with all the painful feelings listed above. The water around us is filled with shame.


Actually, there are three layers in our fishbowl.

  1. Our perspective as an adopted person
  2. Our perspective as someone who grew up in a dysfunctional family)…and all families are dysfunctional to one degree or another
  3. Our perspective as an adoptee who has suffered abuse in the adoptive home while growing up

In the last blog post, I referred to this complicated perspective as “the triple bind of adoptees.”

The good news is that there is a way to resolve the triple bind, but we must work really hard at it.

Because adoption is a lifelong journey, it will never completely resolve this side of heaven. But we can resolve it to the point of recognizing triggers instead of going under in a major meltdown.

Addictions complicate it further.

We must be willing to let go of the alcohol, pot, meth, and whatever we are choosing to numb the pain. That will happen as we process this.

But first, will you agree with me that adoption traumas are causing the pain in your life relationships and quality of life?

That is the first step…Are you with me?




5 comments to Why Adoptees Don’t Relate Relationship Problems to Adoption Trauma

  • rachael

    Yes, I’m with you!
    I’m a 44 year old female, found out I was adopted at 34…always knew, thought I was crazy because everyone lied about it.
    I’m only now starting to realize how badly i’m affected and that I must take immediate steps to help heal myself because its causing problems in my relationship and I don’t want to lose the man i love.
    I have found a man who truly loves me, but is having difficulty putting up with my ‘shit’…it (my behaviors) hurts him …the silences, the blocking, testing out. If I want to find love and happiness and I truly believe after my hideous adoption journey that i deserve it…then I must face It and deal with it.
    I refuse to waste one more minute of my life hurting myself or my man because of adoption.
    Any tips, resources or must read books or words of wisdom that you think I should be reading please tell me…


  • Baby girl worthless

    Purdy deep and eye opening

  • Your website is fantastic, I just found your website at Yahoo, I am interested to learn more. Hope it works out for me. Thank You.

  • David Hall

    Rejected at birth, rejected once I traced them, every negative response to a first date request, every unsuccessful job interview, every failed relationship and seperation hurts more than the unadopted. To leave a human being, a defenseless baby alone, abandoned, scarred, just screws them up emotionly for life. In a just world the perpetrators should be punished sevenfold since it is a lifetime sentence of agony that they inflict due to their base passions and abortive flushing us down the toilet.

Leave a Reply

You can use these HTML tags

<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>