Posts Tagged ‘primal wound’

Once Removed: Residue of Separation

Monday, February 18th, 2019
Adoption Insight by Marcy Axness, PhD | Parenting for Peace

I had originally intended to post a different article “for my birthday” this year, but this one raised its hand and spoke to me loudly. This one, this day, feels alive and real and timeless.

Twenty years ago I wrote the following essay to serve as a prelude in Jane Guttman’s powerful 1999 book, The Gift Wrapped in Sorrow. In her book, Jane chronicled the pain, surrender and healing she had experienced as a birthmother. In her introduction to my essay, Jane wrote, “In the course of writing this book I have become intimately related to the pain of adoption. But I can only truly know my pain. It has been of the utmost importance to me to also become aware of what it feels like to be surrendered. I believe it is essential to include an impression of that experience as well.”

I’ve been aware these many decades that many adoptees get sad around their birthday. Some therapists see this as an “anniversary reaction”—irritability, sadness, anxiety, depression, or less-defined, unsettling feelings that occur at the anniversary of a traumatic experience. (The whole issue of newborn separation as a trauma that is rememberable is another topic, discussed elsewhere.)

That was never me. Yes, I was separated from my biological mother right at birth, and yes, I spent six days in the hospital nursery before going to my adoptive home. But I have always loved my birthday, who knows why.

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Adoption Issues & Me: It Began 25 Years Ago

Wednesday, June 20th, 2018

Adoption Insight by Marcy Axness, PhD | Parenting for Peace

Adoption is cool again. Talking about adoption, I mean. Adoption issues. And writing about adoption issues. Speaking the truth about adoption. So in this, the 25th anniversary of my baptism into the world of adoption reform, I’m circling back to do it again in this new century.

The most interesting part of it now, at least for me, about revisiting and reissuing my articles? It’s that I bring (what’s called in the research world) a longitudinal perspective to the adoption issues I once wrote about so prolifically. In English, that means simply due to the fact that I’ve continued to live with and navigate adoption issues over the years since first plumbing them in my writing and speaking, I have gained a perspective that only comes with the passage of time and living life with abiding curiosity (plus intermittent bouts of therapy, natch). (more…)

The Wound of Mother-Newborn Separation

Thursday, January 23rd, 2014

IanIsolette_optAs I contemplate the 23rd anniversary of my daughter’s birth this week, my thoughts go back to the oh-so-tender moments surrounding birth. How powerful they are, for mothers and for babies. (And for fathers, but that’s for another day!) How imprints from these moments can mark us lifelong.

After Eve was born, she never left my side during our 24-hour ABC room stay. This in contrast to my son Ian’s birth, when I gave in and allowed them to whisk him away to the newborn nursery (against the strong advice of his progressive pediatrician, Jay Gordon). With Ian I was in essence revisiting and reenacting my own traumatic beginnings — as an adoptee who had been separated from my biological mother immediately after I was born. {Read the rest at mothering.com}