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Monday, January 26, 2015

Broken: Trauma Bonding? #flipthescript #validvoices





trau·ma    
A serious injury or shock to the body, as from violence or an accident. An emotional wound or shock that creates substantial, lasting damage to the psychological development of a person, often leading to neurosis. An event or situation that causes great distress and disruption. 

 

By Trace Hentz (adoption survivor)

After many years, in many quiet moments, I recognize that adoption has affected me very deeply.   
In my case, the day my mother left me, how she never came back, my world changed.  All I knew as this newborn baby was my own mother was not holding me, nursing me, talking to me. I was devastated by that. Broken. Part of my brain shut down. That pain was too much.

That very early experience needed to be processed as stress and trauma much later as an adult.  No one explained this to me, not even a doctor. As an adult I understand that a church/adoption agency places an infant with new parents and society says this is good and permanent. Good? Good for who?

Years pass and I accept this happened to me and my early trauma scars me.  

This monumental loss of my mother cracks me open and I am left to survive it, or not.  No one explains that I need to grieve this. I figure it out.  After years pass, I finally understand.  This experience affected me in complex ways.  This pain has layers and layers and layers.

But for others to tell me adoption was good for me? What? Or how I need to accept this is "adoption." Accept it? Are they kidding?  My scars are invisible but they are there. I know they are there.

How Catholic Charities took possession of me, handled me, first placing me in an orphanage then foster home, with no regard for my physical health, or my trauma-ridden emotional body, this speaks to the inhumanity of child trafficking and the traumatic consequences of adoption for the infant.  This speaks to the inhumanity of the deadly colonization of Indigenous people whose children were taken from them, calling us stolen generations. This speaks to a society that only sees what it wants to see.
Once adopted, you’re erased, an outsider, a stranger to your own nation, lands and people. I prefer to think of my younger self as brainwashed.

The bonding I had made with those mystery foster parents was also broken. How Catholic Charities and other churches and adoption agencies did this to millions of babies has consequences. This leaves millions of adoptees in the state of trauma, a stranger being raised by strangers, and a stranger to your first family.

Adoption is a cruel and inhumane way to treat an infant. A very sick society would do this.  And removing me from my own mother affected me in ways that are now measured and defined as post-traumatic stress disorder, or reactive attachment disorder, or severe narcissistic injury...and this explains how I was unable to bond with my adoptive parents.

What’s Trauma Bonding? What is Complex PTSD? (traumaanddissociation.wordpress.com) 

 

"When a mother is forced to choose between the child and the culture, there is something abhorrently cruel and unconsidered about that culture. A culture that requires harm to one's soul in order to follow the cultures prescriptions is a very sick culture indeed. This 'culture' can be the one a woman lives in, but more damning yet, it can be the one she carries around and complies with within her own mind....." -- Women Who Run With The Wolves by Clarissa Pinkola Estes 


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Takeaway Podcast ICWA

What our Nations are up against!

What our Nations are up against!
Survivors, write your stories. Write your parents stories. Write the elders stories. Do not be swayed by the colonizers to keep quiet. Tribal Nations have their own way of keeping stories alive.... Trace

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Help in available!
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Indian Country is under attack. Native tribes and people are fighting hard for justice. There is need for legal assistance across Indian Country, and NARF is doing as much as we can. With your help, we have fought for 48 years and we continue to fight.

It is hard to understand the extent of the attacks on Indian Country. We are sending a short series of emails this month with a few examples of attacks that are happening across Indian Country and how we are standing firm for justice.

Today, we look at recent effort to undo laws put in place to protect Native American children and families. All children deserve to be raised by loving families and communities. In the 1970s, Congress realized that state agencies and courts were disproportionately removing American Indian and Alaska Native children from their families. Often these devastating removals were due to an inability or unwillingness to understand Native cultures, where family is defined broadly and raising children is a shared responsibility. To stop these destructive practices, Congress passed the Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA).

After forty years, ICWA has proven to be largely successful and many states have passed their own ICWAs. This success, however, is now being challenged by large, well-financed opponents who are actively and aggressively seeking to undermine ICWA’s protections for Native children. We are seeing lawsuits across the United States that challenge ICWA’s protections. NARF is working with partners to defend the rights of Native children and families.

Indian Country is under attack. We need you. Please join the ranks of Modern Day Warriors. Please donate today to help Native people protect their rights.

where were you adopted?

where were you adopted?

To Veronica Brown

Veronica, we adult adoptees are thinking of you today and every day. We will be here when you need us. Your journey in the adopted life has begun, nothing can revoke that now, the damage cannot be undone. Be courageous, you have what no adoptee before you has had; a strong group of adult adoptees who know your story, who are behind you and will always be so.