Adult Adoptees & Attachment
Throughout life, attachment matters. From cradle to grave it is a defining part of our human dynamic. Why does it matter so much? It is the platform upon which all relationships are formed.
In our early lives, we experience our first attachment relationship, with our mother, father or caregiver. This shapes all the relationships we will have in our lifetime, influencing our attachment style and how we will navigate relationships in general. Although for many it is an event that happens early in life, adoption is a life long experience. Many adoptees have difficulties with self regulation (feeling ok), attachment and intimacy in relationships, troubles with drugs and alcohol, anxiety and depression, ongoing grief and loss issues, suicidal ideation, confusion around identity, to name a few. This is a natural result of relational trauma, which is the painful loss of a primary relationship with a Mother and or birth family. There are ways to work with this, integrating the experience to decrease trauma, relieve emotional pain, and relationship dysfunction. Through working with the expressive arts therapies, learning self regulation skills and processing experiences with a therapist, many find relief from the intense emotional landscapes adoptees often experience.
Aside from adoption, some factors that influence the formation of Attachment Styles include unexpected absences (hospital stays for parent or child) , the birth of a younger sibling, entry into/moving placements in the Foster Care System, & death of a parent or caregiver. If one or more of these experiences is part of your life, you may benefit from doing some work around Attachment.