The Adoption Trauma Research
I once watched a TED talk on adverse childhood experiences, and how they impacted us in later life, with potential for risky health behaviours and chronic health conditions like addiction, C-PTSD, and chronic anxiety. My immediate reaction was YES, IT'S ME. Yet outwardly I had a privileged childhood, with no obvious markers of deprivation or abuse. Or at least I thought not at the time.
Still, addiction, depression, and anxiety riddled the seams of my life and altered the blueprint of who I would have been, who I could have been. I discovered that these common, and often interrelated phenomena are experienced by a disproportionate number of adoptees, compared to non-adoptees.
But adoption was not mentioned as an adverse experience! Partly I believe now, because it has long been touted as the perfect solution to unwanted babies, partly because it conveniently contributes to the subjugation of women but overwhelmingly, because it is a multi-million dollar business. It pays to look the other way.
Everyone is different. But still there is a group of common questions asked by many adoptees, including me. Some of my initial questions were - Who am I? Am I Broken? Why am I attracted to such assholes? Why am I such a people pleaser?
with surprising answers,
Much of my initial questioning and research I wrote in blog form. Judging from the popularity of this post, many others were asking the same question and coming to the same conclusion. It continues to rank almost the highest on my site, and still there is very little concrete research on it as a phenomenon.
I'm working on collecting adoptees stories about this if you want to help corroborate this (see below).
and trigger warnings.
My reunion with my birth father almost destroyed me. He's a sociopath, and although I know that word is bandied around commonly by unqualified folk (like me), I don't think I'm wrong.
He abused me in 1996, and later on I read in the newspaper that he was convicted of making and distributing child porn in 2003.
However, this may also intersect with the phenomenon known as Genetic Attraction, at least on his side. I am collecting research on this too.
Share Your Story
I am in the process of collecting data, interviewing adoptees and cataloguing our common experiences because they're important. We're important. If I can help create awareness about these things and stop them from happening to even one other person, it'll have been worth it.
Got a question? You can drop me an email using the "Journalism" page.