The Primal Wound by Nancy Verrier

In Adoptee Experience, Complicated Roots by Louisa Leontiades

The Primal Wound occurs when the baby is separated from the mother before the course of natural growing independence.

At 8 days old my natural mother was replaced with an adoptive mother with whom I had no history. She who was desperate for a child, envisaged me as the answer to her unsatisfactory and unfulfilled life. But she was a stranger.

  • They told her, “your baby is a blank canvas; she can’t distinguish between her mother and you.”
  • They told her, “if you are a good enough mother, your child will never want to find its biological parents.”
  • They told her, “you don’t have to tell your child she is adopted. She’ll never know.”

Just writing those words sends chills down my spine and shoots pinpricks of tears into my eyes.

Somehow, somewhere, we know. And it doesn’t matter if we’ve been told or not. How cruel and shortsighted their well-meaning advice was for both of us.

Just as amputees feel their phantom leg, adoptees manifest a deep and insidiously pre-verbal wound; the mother they expect to be there, is missing.

For those adoptees who lose their mother before the separation of the self occurs at around 2-3 years old, they will manifest a primal wound. A deep and lasting impact.

Worse still, it is a wound which is unacknowledged buried deep in the subconscious and thus remains unhealed… unless you read and understand this book.

Far more than merely biological and historical, this primal connection is also cellular, psychological, emotional, and spiritual. So deep runs the connection between a child and its mother that the severing of that bond results in a profound wound for both, a wound from which neither fully recovers. In the case of adoption, the wound cannot be avoided, but it can and must be acknowledged and understood.

Nancy Verrier, The Primal Wound: Understanding the adopted child

To the adopters… don’t be afraid. Your future as adoptive parents is a potentially amazing, difficult but different journey. Please read this book.

There are many children out there who need a loving home and parents to care for them. The Primal Wound does not negate the usefulness of adoption. However a child does not determine whether he/she is born or even adopted. Therefore although many parents will adopt to satisfy a need deep inside themselves, they should bear in mind the possible consequences and give due thought to the stranger who is to become their child. They should be aware that the hurt caused by separation from the birth mother, although unacknowledged and subconscious, is still unhealed and can manifest itself in unexpected ways.

To those birth mothers who deny their child’s rights to get to know their heritage… Please read this book.

I understand why you might deny and I love you. But please have the courage to own your past, you may be pleasantly surprised by the outcome. We need you. Without you, our identities and our very sense of selves are impacted. Getting to know you will help us more easily heal our pasts.

To all you adoptees who are lost insecure and invalidated… Please read this book.

You have been given the gift of limitless possibility although you may not know it yet. The primal wound forces you to go through the experience of finding yourselves and making the defining choices that many people neglect to the detriment of their character. You will have the benefit of choosing to know where you come from or being able to create your personality without the confines of family history.

You will never be a shadow of someone else’s genes – just your own magnificent self.

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