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Fear of abandonment is a a very common issue for adoptees, as is anger over having been abandoned by their birthmother. After all, if their own biological mother didn’t care enough to stick around and be a part of their life, why should anyone else?

Sadly, many adoptees blame themselves on some deep level that even they don’t really understand. They think that there is something wrong with them, and that’s why the woman who gave birth to them didn’t keep and raise them. Although I’ve never heard of a single case in which this was true in nearly 20 years of working with adoptees and birth families, the feeling is widespread among adoptees.

Adoptees with a fear of abandonment often find it hard to build or sustain relationships with others. For some, they find it easier to hold other people back emotionally in order to avoid involvement, than to open up and let themselves be vulnerable. abandoned

When the very first important person in your life, the woman who carried and gave birth to you, runs off and leaves you, it becomes difficult to trust other people, and to believe that they won’t run off too. Why open yourself up to a potential world of hurt when you can just hide behind that emotional wall you’ve built and keep everyone out? Your history has proven to you that you can’t depend on others to be there for you. It’s not safe to let down that wall. As surely as you do, you’ll be hurt.

Having these kinds of trust and abandonment issues can get in the way of you living your life happily.  EFT can help, though.  Click on the “What The Heck is EFT?” link and find out more about what EFT is, how it works, and what the tapping points are.  Then give the script below a try!

Tapping Script For Fear of Abandonment

Setup: Karate chop:

  • Even though I feel like I can’t trust anyone in my life to stick around and be there for me, I deeply and profoundly love and accept myself.
  • Even though my birthmother abandoned me and now I’m afraid that everyone else will abandon me too, I deeply and profoundly love and accept myself.
  • Even though I’d rather keep people at a distance from me than to let them into my life and take a chance that they might hurt me, I deeply and profoundly love and accept myself, and I’m considering that it might be time to work on those feelings.

Eyebrow: It’s hard for me to let people into my life
Outside eye: I’m so scared that they’ll abandon me
Under eye: It’s easier to just keep my walls up to protect myself
Under nose: Then to let down the walls and maybe get hurt
Chin: My own birthmother abandoned me
Collar bone: And I never understood why she’d do that
Under arm: I just know that I don’t want to get hurt again
Top of head: So I keep my walls up to keep people away.

Eyebrow: I don’t feel safe when I let myself be vulnerable
Outside eye: Because I don’t feel like I can really depend on anyone else
Under eye: But maybe it’s time to start letting go of that fear
Under nose: And to letting down those walls of mine
Chin: Starting to release my fear of abandonment
Collar bone: A little at a time, in a way that feels safe for me
Under arm: Starting to tear down those walls
Top of head: One brick at a time.

Eyebrow: I have people around me who do care about me
Outside eye: And I can open up my life and my heart to them
Under eye: Releasing my fears about trusting other people
Under nose: Continuing to pull down those protective walls
Chin: Letting go of more and more of that fear of abandonment
Collar bone: Finding the courage to open myself up
Under arm: And starting to feel more connected with the people in my life
Top of head: As I let go of the last of my fear of abandonment.

Visit my website here: Seeking Serenity.

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A truly thought provoking article by guest blogger and adoptee Jane Besmehn.

I was adopted at the age of 5 months old. That was in 1941. I was born in December of 1940. Back then many mothers went to birthing hospitals to have their babies and stayed with the baby for three months so that the baby could nurse and get a good start.

My mother didn’t positively decide to release me to an adoption agency until the last minute. It is my understanding that she agonized over the decision. I went to the adoption agency at the age of three months and then was adopted when I was five months old. By the age of five months, I had been moved three times.

I have eight kids of my own. Every one of those babies knew me at birth! There is no question in my mind that they knew me and would have been affected if I would not have kept them, even if they had been removed from me at birth.

My head understands how difficult it would have been for my birth mother to keep me. I intellectually understand the pressure she was under to give me up… away. I guess giving “up” a baby for adoption sounds better than “giving away.” I feel very strongly that she did love me and that she probably had limited options and resources and was also convinced that I would have a better life in a stable family.

My adoptive parents were good folks, educated, mature, owned their home. They weren’t my mother. They had an adopted son, he was eight years older than me, and they adopted another little girl three years after they adopted me. We were pretty much middle-class America.

I had little books of nursery rhymes. Three Little Kittens… picture for a minute a little girl, about three, sitting on the carpeted floor of a living room cutting the mittens out of the book and pasting them back with the kittens. There is another nursery rhyme called A Tisket A Tasket… I sat on the floor and cut the letters she wrote to her love out of the book and pasted them back in the green and yellow basket… no one thought it strange… just “cute.”

My second grade teacher wrote on my report card, “Jane seems to be hiding her light under a barrel.” How perceptive. No one else noticed.

One of my favorite books was Lassie Come Home and I read it probably about 20 times or more during my pre-teen and teen years. I always cried hard at the end when Lassie finally made the journey home and was reunited with her people. In fact, I’m still crying, now, as I type. I see the connection, why I read the book so many times, why I cried so hard, then, and now. I have spent my life trying to put things together that belong together. And today, I’m seeing how futile that has been, because all I ever really wanted was my mother.

Because of some archaic laws, I can’t even know her name.

None of the people in my story are villains, it’s a story without the bad guys. Everyone involved including my mother, my adoptive parents and the Children’s Home Society staff had good intentions and acted in what they truly believed to be my best interest. Maybe that is the danger in believing any one can really know what is in the best interest of another; but something needed to be done. I understand that; and outwardly, I did have a good childhood.

Inside, however, it’s a different story. I was odd. I never fit in. I felt displaced and still do. I never tried to excel in anything, just settled for a very mediocre life. It was too risky to risk, and besides, a very long time ago I made a vow that no one would ever get to know me or see me, who I really am. That decision partly came out of an ongoing conflict I had for most of my childhood with my adoptive mother. Nothing I was interested in was interesting to her, or even acceptable. I was a tomboy and she adopted a girl. I wanted to learn to play the guitar, she had me take accordion lessons because we already had one and my little sister was taking lessons. I wanted a horse. Of course, I couldn’t have one. She wanted me to go to college, I wanted away from school, period…! I was so uncomfortable in any social or academic setting where I had to interact with others. I only had one or two friends at a time. I didn’t keep any of them. I chose to be alone.

I was constantly having stomach problems (which I kept completely to myself… I did not believe it was safe to do anything to rock the boat and I got in trouble when I threw up.) I remember lying very still on my back while I fell asleep at night, afraid to move because if I did it felt like I would throw up. No one knew. Not their fault. I didn’t tell anyone. I did not trust. I still don’t trust. That is the story of my life to now. It has affected me in everything that I have attempted to do, hold a job, start a business, stay in a relationship, even hold on to friendships. I always sabotage relationships, or myself, and still do. It’s safer to live that way than to trust and risk hurt. I don’t even know how to trust and all my behavior is designed to protect me from ever having to feel the full pain of separation again.

Slowly the pieces are fitting together and the way I have lived my life is making some sense to me. From that place, I will be able to make some choices about how I will spend the rest of my life. EFT will help.

Trust is a big issue in the lives of many people, but this is especially true for adoptees. Much of this lack of trust goes back to feelings of abandonment. In the words of Nancy Verrier, “It is difficult to face the fact that by definition every adopted child is an abandoned child, who has suffered a devastating loss. No matter that the adoptive parents call it relinquishment and the birth mother calls it surrender, the child experiences it as abandonment.”

Because this abandonment happens so early that there is not a conscious memory of it, many adoptees aren’t really even sure why they feel that way…they just know that they do. Keep in mind that although this memory may not be accessible to you, the adoptee, it is stored in your subconcious, and our subconscious has a lot to do with our normal day to day behavior.

You may not even realize that the memory is present until something happens in your life to trigger the subconcious, bringing that feeling to the forefront. Maybe as a child, your best friend deserts you to play with someone they like better. Maybe as a teen your first boyfriend tells you that he wants to break up. Any situation is which you feel that someone has abandoned you is going to trigger the feeling. Suddenly you find yourself intensely sad, or maybe intensely mad. You know this feeling….you’ve felt it before…you don’t like it. Unfortunately, there is no way to ‘turn it off’. The memory is a part of your past, whether you’re aware of it or not.

Some adoptees go through their entire lives without being able to trust the people in their lives. This is incredibly sad for all concerned. Sometimes the fear of being abandoned again is so intense that the adoptee would rather not get involved in a relationship than to take a chance on opening up to someone and then being abandoned…again.

The good news for anyone who is dealing with this issue is that EFT can help. Through EFT you can access the memory of abandonment, and you can tap your way through releasing those negative feelings. EFT can help you to get to a place in your life where you can trust others and open to relationships. Your life will be richer and fuller, and all because of a bit of tapping. Don’t take my word for it…try EFT yourself.