Monday, April 4, 2011

Trying to Make Sense Of The Therapy Bit

Fainites's avatar

Fainites · 5 hours ago

Hi. I was trying to make sense of the therapy bit. Was the attachment therapy done to make you attach to your parents? Or foster parents? What age were you?

That is a Million Dollar question. That makes no sense.  The “blanket therapy” I described I believe was meant more as a “rage reduction therapy” which is the same/similar “technique” as rebirthing therapy, made famous by the death of Candace Newmaker. I do remember being told that it had to do with me being mad at my mother, about not taking care of or protecting me, however she was not there...I think the therapist was playing the role of my mother and I was to yell at her about why I was angry as if she was my mother…it was a long time ago…when I think about it I remember, more like experience the feelings just like they are happening right now. But the actual words are fuzzier. I believe I was 11 at the time. The implication has always been (and I had been told by staff and therapists) that I failed to properly attach to my mother. I will not argue the point. What I will argue is that even as a kid I was no fool…

I believe my mother (a social worker/therapist herself and adult adoptee) believed that her children, most of all me (the youngest) were defective because we failed to fulfill her expectations as children. We were needy, selfish, and always hungry and generally in the way of her doing what she wanted to do for herself. Worse yet we were all ungrateful and unappreciative. Once she divorced my father and he refused to continue to pay for our nanny to take care of us,  help our mother in any way or provide to for us, my mother proceeded to manipulate, exaggerate, and flat out lie to get me made a ward of the state and out of her hair. (Or as she likes to tell people including me to get me “the help I needed.” What I (and my sibs) really needed were actual responsible parents.)

Meanwhile I had father who sat back and watched the two women in his life rage, fight and throw his children under the bus for the sake of his own comfort. He watched, he knew what was going on, he knew it was wrong and he did nothing to stop them from throwing the lives of his children away. Some things never change.

As I see it after many years of reflection, is in essence the trauma-drama I went through being in foster care revolved around my mother’s expectations of how her children were meant to serve her needs and how we failed to meet those expectations, her own emotional limitations and her view of parental responsibilities that were shaped by her own childhood of severe neglect. (Although those are not her conclusion, merely my observations and interpretations)

I would never deny that I was a very angry child, and eventually I was filled with rage, but I honestly wonder who wouldn’t be.

When I look my life and my mother’s role in it I have to say that it makes a lot of sense to me now.  It has taken many years to get any understand of how she could have been the kind of parent she was to us. But when you look at it, what does she know about being a parent? She knows severe abuse and neglect at the hands of her parents and those whose care they left her in, which causes victims dislocate and disconnect, and a deep instinct of self-preservation above all others. She knows loss. She knows the upheaval and instability of foster care. And she knows the expectations of blind obedience and gratitude all too familiar to many adoptees. She knows that kids are meant to serve and improve the lives of their parents. She knows that when they don’t it is their own fault and you can just walk away or send them to the next place on the list, this is what her life taught her.

Those are the lessons I refused to learn, and for that I thank god.


As for my father? Well, there is still no excuse for him…Yet.  But I’ll keep looking.

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