What Is The Primal Wound?

What is the Primal Wound?

“…Being separated from their birth mothers and handed over to strangers in the adoption process is the only trauma where the victims are expected by the whole of society to be grateful…”

Nancy Verrier, The Primal Wound

Even as a young child my parents can tell you that I was a very inquisitive.  I was also the child that questioned EVERYTHING.  There was no accepting because someone said to.  I had to know the “whys.”  This has often led to difficult roads and battle wounds as a result.  As an adult with a very difficult diagnosis to comprehend much less to ask someone else to understand, I still question everything.  Maybe it’s normal to question these things.  Keep in mind that I function most of the time as a “teenager with an attitude” and you know how much ego, time and energy that requires. Sometimes it’s just like having annoying bags of hell that can suck the life out of everything it touches including my body attached to me like appendages.  But sometimes the internal conversations are better than any comedy routine I’ve ever witnessed including the questions.

I question every person’s motives, practitioners, governments, my adoption, abusive behaviors and, yes, I still question my diagnosis A LOT!  Being on disability, currently, allows me time to search for answers about my puzzled life.  As you’ve read throughout my blog, my connection to adoption and why it’s so painful for me has led me to some obsessive days and nights searching online for something to explain the pain in my soul that I’ve never been able to accurately paint a picture of with words.

On an Attachment and Parenting blog, one adoptive parent is quoted as saying….

 “Scientific research now reveals that as early as the second trimester, the human fetus is capable of auditory processing and in fact, is capable of processing rejection in utero. In addition to the rejection and abandonment felt by the newborn adoptee or any age adoptee for that matter, it must be recognized that the far greater trauma often times occurs in the way in which the mind and body system of the newborn is incapable of processing the loss of the biological figure. Far beyond any cognitive awareness, this experience is stored deep within the cells of the body, routinely leading to states of anxiety and depression for the adopted child later in life.”

adopted-trauma

I now have a simple explanation for the type of feelings that can destroy me to deal with.  The rejection and separation process can still be felt deeper than any other sensation I’ve personally felt.  These words gave me an instant reaction and all internal members on guard and children/teens to safety.   I realize that the intensity felt by other adoptees is on a continuum of variance.  The intensity I feel today is the same intensity I felt as a infant, child and teen.  And as an adult, it can still be very crippling as the loss is for both me and my birth mom is extremely powerful.

In Nancy Verrier’s book The Primal Wound:  Understanding the Adopted Child, 1993, she describes the Primal Wound Theory by saying, ” that develops when a mother and child are separated by adoption shortly after childbirth. It describes the mother and child as having a vital connected relationship which is physical, psychological and physiological, and examines the effects of disrupting such bonds.”  I still haven’t been able to read that book because of how much the topic really disturbs me.  The Nature vs. Nurture debate is another avenue in continuous research.  I see myself both sides of the debate which as people we are a constantly evolving through that very mixture.

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 As an adopted child, I needed and wanted to find parts of my identity.  I was always the kid that looked nothing like my parents but I did have some behavioral traits.  I was raised around some comedy goodness with both my daddy and Nannie.  Their individual humor is enough to sit and tell stories for several hours.  My environmental and social interactions helped to shape beliefs both about myself and other people.  There’s a much longer discussion for that debate.  Genetically, my skin color, facial characteristics, bone structure, eye color, etc. is the Nature side of the debate. The debate often centers around the effect genetics have on human personalities as opposed to the influences that environment and development might have.  So you can see that this will probably on for infiniti + infiniti.

As a developing child, not being able to look in the stands at my ballgames or in a crowd at the mall and not see anyone that I looked like was torture.  I love my adoptive parents no less.  Unless you’re an adopted child with this strong need to just know “why” you can’t understand the obsession.  At major life events birthdays, weddings, graduations, birth of a child, etc. while I tried to enjoy everything in the moment, I couldn’t help but to feel the loss for people who I originally belonged to.  This has also been a big source of guilt and shame from just wanting to know.

My parents were always very supportive in my efforts to find my answers and truth about this situation.  My birth mom, father, full brother, aunts, uncles, paternal grandmother, half brothers, half sisters, step-mom and some cousins eventually met but not on the same turf.  As an adopted child, I had to accept prior to going to meet them all that I would be rejected again.  This time the rejection would be felt as an adult.  I needed that one-on-one time with my mom to ask her the “whys” that continue to haunt me after my answers were received.  But, first, the willingness to feel that incredible lifelong wound gaped open even further if the universe saw fit and it did.  Not the Lifetime ending I was looking for.

What I have done to deal with this wound in the past was to shove anything I could into that big, dark hole in my soul.  I poured alcohol, pills, razors, purging, restricting, perfectionism in certain areas, people pleasing, etc. into this insatiable appetite for something only she could fill.  I guess we can just call this particular therapy topic a work in progress.  And maybe, in time, with COACH by my side, I’ll attain some resolve and peace.  The whole purpose for moving to Texas was to get some healing.  And that’s exactly what I’m doing.

#thispuzzledlife

Roots, Branches & Chosen

Roots, Branches & Chosen

8.11.14

“The effect you have on others is the most valuable currency there is.”

—Jim Carrey

I’ve been looking over my blog and have decided that there is some pertinent information missing.  The main thing that I would like to point out is this……… “Just because of my sexual abuse history with men, please understand that this is not why I’m gay. Men scare me, yes.  But, I’ve always been attracted to the same sex.”

The term “family” has a meaning, for me, which has evolved over time and continues to do so.  The title of this blog is the categories that I have broken the types of “family” that I choose to identify. The first category is Roots.  This category identifies me on sight by the color of my hair, gender, facial features, and other DNA in general.  This is where identity helps to be formed.  All of physical “stuff,” comes from my “birth” parents. Good or bad, they would be the vehicles, by which, I entered the world.

Who consist of the Branches?  This would be my “adoptive” parents, aunts, uncles, cousins, grandparents.  These were the people that actually raised me.  For the “adopted child” this is where the Nature vs. Nurture debate is warranted.  So, the person that “I” reflect back to people is a combination of both nature and nurture.  Personality definitely has genetic components to back it up.  But, how one was or was not nurtured is still not what makes up a personality completely. There are also social factors that help to make up one’s personality.

OK so, my “Chosen” family are the ones that have a very special description.  My “chosen” family are those that have no blood or other family relations to me.  These “family” members tend to be much more plentiful except that my daddy has a very large family.  When I was younger these “special” people where my teammates and close family friends.  Today, this category includes members of the “gay” community.  Since reuniting with my best friend from 20+ years ago, Levi Pierce, I now know what it’s like to actually have a brother. These are people that have watched and continue to watch me struggle, but continue to love me anyway. They have celebrated when I do and cried with me and I with them.  These are people whose “trust” actually means something.  These are the people that if they need you at 2:00 am, I know that they would listen. But, they’re also the same people that will put their foot ever so harshly in my ass if I need it.  And when they do it, you always know that it’s coming from a place of love and not from abuse. The level of “trust” for them has been tested and passed with flying, sometimes, rainbow colors.  I have always been told, “I knew you were. I was just waiting for you to be ready to tell it for yourself.”  That is a stunning example of the kind of mutual respect that the relationship with them encompasses.  If I get a call that one of them needs me, consider it done! I will drive across the country, even to the small, little, southern town that I actually will begin retching just thinking about it, if one of them needed support.

 I also have a “therapeutic” family.  These are the people that have seen and continue to see how abuse can affect someone years later.  These are some of the people that I have been in treatments with that are considered “safe” people.  I have very strong bonds with these individuals. They are always learning about how each one of our brains is similar yet different.  This can actually be pretty damn funny at times.  We understand and respect “trauma” humor that most people would find distasteful.  They know I’m “quirky” about things and well..sometimes they have the same “quirks.”  I can tell them anything that’s going on with my brain and not be “judged” for it.  Many nights, I have stayed up very late talking to them.

So, you see….the term “family” has evolved over time to encompass more than just what people see as a “typical” family.  Melody, Marshall and I don’t have a “typical, Focus on the Family” type of family.  But, make no mistake….we and those that love and support us are all “FAMILY.”

#Thispuzzledlife