Abandoned, Rejected or Adopted…what do you call it?

Day 1 - Abandoned, Rejected or Adopted…

I hope you’ve been well.

I’ve been going through a lot the past couple of years.

It’s been an emotional roller coaster.

I’d like to share a story with you.

Please don’t forward it…

Don’t facebook it…

Don’t tweet it…

It’s just for you and my other Post Institute Members.

Here goes…

How many times have you wondered…

What is wrong with him?

Why won’t he just act right…

Show us love…

Let us love him back…

Go to sleep…

Stop lying…

Just comply…

Sit at the table and eat…

What are we doing wrong…

Surely it couldn’t be us…

Maybe it is…

No it’s gotta be him…

????????????????????????????????????

40 years I’ve been living with this affliction…

This pain…

Insecurity…

Uncertainty…

Fearful of not being good enough…

Terrified…

Acting out…

Withdrawing…

Not trusting that God loves me.

Over the next several days I’m gonna share my story with you.

If what you’ve been doing hasn’t been working

I’ve got a message you need to hear.

More coming.

Choose Love,

B.

Day 2 - I was born fearful and alone

Conceived in a womb that could only carry me to term

Wilma knew she had to give me up.

It was a painful and traumatic decision

One I’ve lived with for forty years

She recounted the story and I cried

Thirty seven years I’d lived in the dark

not knowing, ashamed, fearful…

sensitive…how else could I feel?

Perhaps grateful?

Grateful for feeling not good enough every day?

Grateful for feeling overwhelmed and ashamed?

Grateful for constantly fearing rejection…

like an invisible monster waiting for me…

lurking…

sharp teeth…

threatening…always…always right there.

How should I feel?

I learned to feel over time…

Lots of emotional processing…

Lots of crying and screaming…

But it wasn’t enough…

The monster only settled into the background…

Out of sight…never out of mind…

buried deep in the cells of my body.

Tomorrow I’ll share more.

Choose Love,

B.

 Day 3 - Hitting Rock Bottom

Adopted child grown up…

Savior of the world’s hurting children…

Light to their desperate parents…

And here I am divorced…AGAIN…

In capable of staying connected…

In capable of staying in relationship…

Always feeling better…

Safer…

Alone…

Never connected…

It’s not an attachment disorder…

It’s an attachment challenge.

I am constantly challenged to remain secure

in the presence of relationship…

To stand present…

To trust…

To feel…that I am okay…

that I am loved.

And that…

was the final breakthrough…

what I had been waiting for my entire life.

The moment…

that series of seconds…

when all of the pain and loneliness…

the shutdown…

the withdrawal…

the absence…

comes crashing into your soul like a spiritual tsunami…

from the depths of my being.

And like an infant child I lay…

in the middle of the dark room…

crying…weeping…racked with emotional pain.

And then I saw…

What I saw is what you need to know.

I’ll share it tomorrow.

Choose Love,

B.

Day 4 - Does your child feel this way?

Have you ever felt like your crying would not stop?

Would not cease?

Like it was pouring forth from you uncontrollably…

without any control…

feeling of safety…

security…

Just pouring forth?

That’s how I felt.

I was alone and I was mourning…

deeply…

I was grieving…

It was so unexpected.

My wife called and asked if she should come home.

I said no…I needed to feel this…

I needed to feel this pain…

deep within me…

And I did…I felt it and let go…

I washed deep into my memory base…

Down to the base of my brain-stem…

I was in the womb…

Safe…

Warm…

Okay.

And then…no more…I fought not wanting

to leave…

Knowing in my soul that I would never feel okay again…

Never feel safe…

Never feel loved…

And that was it…in that moment…

I realized…

For the first time in my life…

I realized…

That I never believed God loved me.

And that was the root of my mistrust…

If God couldn’t love me…

how could anyone else?

And I was washed away again with my grief.

What I felt…released…comprehended…

has transformed my life.

Tomorrow I’ll share what it means for you, your life

and your child.

Choose Love,

B.

Day 5 - Rejection is buried alive

Like an electric shock…

I knew I was free from a lifelong affliction.

I mourned a life ruled by fear and insecurity.

The hours, days, months, and years I had spent

craving to be okay…

Just wanting to be loved…

Safe…

Secure…

Connected…

Not alone…

But I had never been able to trust it…

I never could…

I never did…

I didn’t believe…

I didn’t feel…

I didn’t trust that God loved me.

And I realized that for the adopted child…

the pain is buried in the DNA.

They feel rejection…

Insecurity…

Threat of abandonment…

Fear…

down into the very marrow of their bones.

And that is me…

It still is…

But today I am better…

It has deepened my understanding of what adopted

children, foster children and those that try to love

them go through.

More specifically, adopted children and their parents.

I can speak to foster parents…

I can speak to biological parents…

I can speak to grandparents…

But it’s adoptive parents…

It’s their experience…

It’s the experience of their children…

that I truly understand.

And now I understand it even deeper.

I plan to share that understanding

In a special live webinar November 13th at 8pm EST, (This will be a long event - At least 2 hours, maybe even 3 hours long), If you want to truly know why you struggle to connect with your child…

Why you really struggle to have the loving relationship

that you desire…

Then you won’t want to miss this webinar.

There’s no cost to register or attend. This is a free trial. No cost or obligation to participate AND you will receive a free copy of the video recording just for registering. And if you don't like it you don't have to pay anything. Attendance is limited. For details and to register... To Register for this Event Click Here

Choose Love,

B.

Comments

  1. Suggestions for those who come into this after the webinar?

  2. I wish you all “enough”
    God Speed

  3. Auntie Pita says:

    I saw this today on Facebook… the words spoke to my heart… and I heard, and understood what it is I have been dealing with but not knowing… I would love to do the seminar, however – $$ is a major factor… I have none… brightest blessings to you

  4. This is an answer to prayer! Thank you Bryan for being open with your heart! It is the only way we can truly understand our children! Our family has lived in hell for 12 years since adopting our daughter from Russia. She has played what feels like emotional games with us and I’m at the end of what I can take. I have suffered a lot for her and given so much. She pretends to receive my love, but it is not deep in her heart. It’s easy for her to be loving and sweet one minute and completely cruel the next. As miserable as I am, she appears to be so happy! I know underneath her “smile” she is in a prison I will never completely understand. I am surrendering this to God. I know that He is the only one that can fix this! If I can just let GO, and let GOD, it will all work according to His purpose. I pray for His anointing on your webinar.
    Blessings to you Bryan. Jean

    • Bryan Post says:

      Thank you for these encouraging words.

    • Jean,
      Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you and your family. Please do not give up hope on your relationship with your daughter. I am an adoptee who is running scared for her life. After 31 years of life, I am still unable to face my fear of intimacy due to my abandonment. I was adopted from and orphanage in South Korea at the age of 17 months. I do not have early childhood memories. I seem to only remember the times of frustration and fear that I experienced when I was about four years old and living with my current parents.

      Please do not get upset, but from my point of view, I believe that your daughter loves you but she does not know why and does not know that this act of love is universally accepted in non-adoption relationships.

      She does not have the ancestors of family who will love her. She does not know love. She does not have anyone in her life to relate to who is the same as her; culturally, physically, biologically.

      I cannot write the words that will explain my emotions in an exact picture of what I am feeling, however I can do my best to explain it:
      I am in a 10 year committed relationship with an extraordinary man who unconditionally loves me. I love him with all of my heart, but I have a hard time loving him unconditionally. It is an act/emotion that is not instinctual for me, I am still working on it. This is a revelation that has recently come to my attention, I did not realize that this was an abnormal reaction to this emotion of love in a relationship.

      It will take time and many years for your daughter to release her guard. If you continue to be that loving rock in the relationship she will remember you for that.

      Please try to introduce pieces of her ethnic culture into her life. I truly wish that my adoptive mother would have done more to educate me of my ancestors, of my country. I am from South Korea and did not have Korean food until I found it on my own while I was a young adult. My Mother did not starve me, however she did seem to starve me for knowledge of my culture.

      Thank you for sharing your story. Best of luck to you and your family.
      May you be happy, may you be healthy, may you be safe, and may you live with ease.

  5. Mary gerndt says:

    Bryan,
    You bless me with your story and honest sharing of deep emotion.
    You are in my prayers

    Your culvers friend, Mary

  6. Bryan, I first found your web site when my daughter had entered a partial hospitalization program. She was a Junior in High School and was so angry and she wanted help. This was a place that focused on the behaviors and not the cause of the behaviors. I read your book “From Fear to Love”. I began to understand more. I still struggle to understand how she thinks especially about relationships. We adopted her at birth and were very naive to what challenges we would end up facing. I was drawn to your way of thinking because on some level it fell more in line with how I feel about my daughter and the fact that you have been where she is. I need help to support her in the way that she needs me to so that she can live a full and happy life. I so look forward to this webinar!!!! Thank you for doing this important work.

  7. such an important topic.
    I am an older parent of a young adult (early 20’s) only-child we adopted after multiple moves (yeah, I said I’d never do that OR have an only child thing to anyone but it ended up that way after my husband became ill shortly after he arrived and much later died)
    But having been to many workshops earlier on about the damage of multiple moves, when they described him I wanted to rescue him from ever having to move again.

    Our son arrived at almost 5 months quite armored (emotionally and physically) having been in two foster homes prior to coming to us even though he was placed just after birth (which as a former social worker I can say happens all too often with babies being treated as if they are dense sacks of potatoes when I believe they are the total opposite)

    At least after all these years our son seems to feel free to express his feelings to his long time girlfriend but I sometimes feel concern that if he and this one and only girlfriend of many years ever split up or something happened to her, he would be blindsided by these early feelings of loss and not fully understand where they are coming from.

    I know all too well that infants have extensive feeling experience and conclusions from experiencing my own fathers illness when I was only a few months old and he later died.

    Although I was raised and treated sensitively otherwise by my family as far as understanding and support, little was said about the topic, and I had been too young to understand what the grief or shock or whatever occurred was, or why it was a taboo subject for my mother. I belive I was left holding the bag of trying to make sense of the whole body feeling of perhaps something bad happening to my mother without understanding why she was in what I now know was the grief and perhaps exhaustion of her husband’s illness and needing to keep going to support us. I think on some level it caused a feeling in a self involved child that I might had been the cause of her grief and therefore had to be hypervigilant not to inadvertentlly cause people that pain without even understanding how I might do that.

    In my own long journey I found that physical feelings released first without understanding (especially through shamanic breathwork) but when I sought support to work them through interpersonally I have found that very few healing professionals adequately understand the fragile feelings of that very young time period. Actually the intimacy of the first years of our marriage were the most healing, but then came the stress of years of rejection by a baby son who came unwilling (or able?) to mold to my body when I tried to carry him, etc. etc. and I found myself just bucking up like superwoman as my mother had.

    But years of trying to assist him took a toll especially when I had to quit my job to deal with the appointments he needed, and in retrospect many of which I could have skipped since none of his therapists seem to understand the issues, and our insurance kept changing and making him change therapists which also caused him to mistrust their commitment to him since none of them lasted long and many encouraged testing and medication, etc. which he has a lot of anger about now, and so do I. It felt like the therapeutic community did more to hurt us than to assist us.

    I recently attempted to do more of my own work with an organization that ended up wounding many who attempted very young inner child work due to e practitioners inadequate understanding and skills. It really can bring up some ugly stuff in healers when they encourage clients to bring these feelings up and then when they encounter their own inadequacies can become very rejecting and shaming (or at least that is what they appeared to do to several of us when they didn’t know how to help people, possibly due to their own early wounding) I ended up with new wounding as a result that was much worse than what I started with. I hope your clinicians will be aware of this.

    In working with those early memories, the feelings of a very young being are much less organized than those of their older self and for the practitioner not to comprehend that or to fail to support work that can feel both very delicate and also disintegrating is to make matters worse, since then both the young part and the adult trust are hurt that time around.

    That felt far worse than the positive relational experiences of most of my regular life. This was because the fact that my adult had intentionally trusted to bring those feelings up for healing only to instead have to watch as that part was not understood or assisted, and even harshly treated, was a horrible crushing feeling especially since it involved the relationship between those two aspects of myself. Prior to that I had not always known how to address that younger part but I had always respected her and been trustworthy. Having now done something intentionally that set my inner child up for neglect and abuse was not a good feeling and proved much more detrimental than the original one had, ( since it did more to destroy my self trust that I would at least never hurt that part, as well as the trust that my family had instilled that the world is otherwise basically a good and safe place. It really proved to be one of the worst experiences I have ever endured and rates as one of the top things I would skip if I had it to do over again.

    So I applaud your sensitve and understanding approach to the experience of these children and their families.

    I did find it amazing, that although I had been married for many years, the pattern repeated somewhat when my husband became ill when our son was only a few months older than the age I had been when my own father did so. Life is a trip, no?!

    I have heard you speak and am rooting for your continued unfolding enlightenment and happiness. Most in the therapeutic community are only geared to things like sexual abuse or whatever their own wounding involved. Not many have done the work that you have to understand the real issues involved or to be clear enough to presence the work as it unfolds but too often seek cookie cutter approaches mimicing whatever they think happened helped them. When their own resistances get into the mix of one’s work it can be really ugly. I experienced and saw people rejected, shamed and blamed for what was the healer’s own discomfort as well as a lot of projected anger. (picture someone with gritted teeth telling you you are angry when you know you are feeling crushingly painful disappointment! And then that person blames you for becoming stuck in your work without taking any responsiblity for their part in that?)

    This topic is more important than people suspect and has the potential to really help make an exquisitely more sensitive world. Thank you and best wishes with your work. I pray you get out your important message.

    • Bryan Post says:

      You have shared a lot here. Thank you for taking the time, and for caring enough to speak out. and Yes, Life is a trip…!

  8. Hi, Bryan,
    Thank you for your always inspiring messages. My adoptive son is nearly 20 and has truly hit “rock bottom” over the past couple weeks. It took an intervention to get him to face his truth…and he is being brave and dealing with it. Your work has brought me the insight that lets me look in his gentle, pained eyes and say, “I get it.” –Valerie

  9. I adopted my two kids after being their foster mom since they were 14 months and 2.5 years old. They are now ages 12 and 13. My youngest attached immediately the older took a long time and the reason we finally made it was finding Beyond Consequences about 8 years ago. We are firmly attached now and although they were drug and alcohol exposed before birth they are pretty normal (even if very impulsive) teenagers now. My older child and I would probably never have made it without Heather Forbes and your guidance. We still follow their birth parents on Facebook but the kids mostly have little interest in that or phone calls with them. Thank you!
    Louise Raven

  10. Bryan,
    Thank you soooo much for sharing your HEART!
    Please continue to share and I will be following.
    It is my belief that “Wounded Healers” who heal and follow their hearts are the most effective healers.

    Hearts & Blessings! 😉

  11. Karen Hall says:

    Thank you for sharing such raw emotions! I love someone who was adopted and so much of what you describe is so familiar. Please keep enlightening us. It is so helpful!

  12. Wow, Bryan. Very powerful. Can’t wait to read the rest. As an adoptive mom, the mother of four grown children–two adopted internationally and transracially, the sister of an adult adoptee, and the director of a ministry for teen adoptees called CHOSEN International, your words really resonate with the needs of those I care very greatly about.
    May God pour out His blessings and continued healing on your life, your family and your work.

    • Bryan Post says:

      Thank you Cindy. Has your organization purchased the Parenting Attachment Challenged Children Home Study Course? Have you listened to the Parenting Difficult Tweens and Teens audio set?

  13. Thank you for this.
    You seem to need to always be “doing” or “fixing” or “making better”.
    As if you are still caught in that need to prove to yourself that you are worthy.
    It is enough just to be.
    But how many of us can do that?
    You are helping me remember how far my child has come and I hope I can work towards not blaming myself for everything that goes wrong.
    We get so caught up in this dance.
    For good motivation – but drains the energy.

    Jan

  14. Christie Wennmacher says:

    Thank you so much for sharing your journey with us. It really resonates with me. I look forward to hearing more. Blessings to you.

  15. I’ll be here – I’ve felt some of this with our adopted kids true enough – but I’ve also been feeling this with our relationship with our in-laws…maybe because I feel much like their adopted child?

    Thank you for sharing your heart – it’s a part of why what you do is so effective I think – you may be one of the few genuine people I’ve ever “met”…

    Prayers – aus

  16. Feeling abandoned, rejected, just divorced…an adoptive mother and I feel like we have failed our adoptive son. Hitting rock bottom. Yet love always trumps anger. Thanks for sharing…

  17. I love you, Bryan…

  18. Good work Bryan but I thought it was me you were writing about !
    Love you for sharing your journey.
    S. Ellis

  19. Poignant and painful post. May the healing begin.

  20. I sent this message this morning to a friend inquiring what a community of recovery is:

    I volunteered for a year at Miracle Meadows working with youth, like my youngest son, many of whom were adopted. All of whom had severe emotional issues. Most qualified for inpatient psychiatric. All were acting out in defiance and opposition. During that time, I went to receive further help and instruction from a Bryan Post who was a tall black man who had been adopted by a white family. He had a Reactive Attachment Disorder himself, as did my son and most of the youth at Miracle Meadows. I received great assistance for myself. I grieved much and learned that my grief had been greatly frozen since I was a child. I have come to understand that I suffer from a “proactive” attachment disorder. My aggressive acting out was in the intrusive and abusive form of “fixing” and “taking care” of others. I did what is socially acceptable, but no less intrusive and abusive than the acting out my son and the other youth at Miracle Meadows engaged. I was acting out of fear and a natural love that is controlling and coercive and possessive, which is opposed to and defiant against the unconditional love with which God has surrounded all who live. My trying to change my son through cognitive behavioral means was no less aggressive than his acting out. I was acting in and he was acting out. It was a dance of demons, which most parents engage in. What I learned and am learning is that healing involves being with others in their pain and conflict. Rules and laws are not bent to accommodate, but enforced to provide safety. Not to punish because we have been violated, but to discipline in love because we are forgiving as we have been forgiven.

    A community of recovery is made up of those who have confessed the patterns of selfishness (often found in compulsions and addictions) that cripple and maim ourselves and those we love. Recognizing that we can’t erase our history or eradicate our propensity to repeat the past (as it is part and parcel of what constitutes our emotions). But we can continue to confess our selfish hearts, as did Paul when he said to Timothy, ‘Jesus Christ came to save sinners, amongst whom I am chief. This is a saying worthy of everyone accepting for themselves.’ Confession is a necessary but insufficient component of recovery. Repentance is the other. They must go together continually for one to grow and become established in a community of recovery. Repentance is not substituting something deemed good in the place of something deemed bad. (That was the substance of my proactive attachment disorder, in trying to control others and their presence in my life. It’s what forms the basis of cognitive-behavioral therapy.) Repentance is looking for God’s direction in the place of my continually asking God to help me in my direction. Repentance is turning from seeking my will to seeking God’s will and allowing Him to guide and establish me in His will. The principals (commandments, laws, rules) of love I cannot keep, God keeps within me. This is why it was necessary for God to become human and live a life of trust in His Father, without doing anything for or of Himself. We can’t live such lives of love. That is why He lived it for us. Just like He died the death we deserve for us.

    God be with you in your ministry and your life. Jamie

Leave a Reply