At seven years old, I didn't think that she would be able to understand "misplaced anger"--that her anger was really toward her birth mother who mysteriously disappeared from her life. Of course, we adults know that causes a trauma, a huge hurt. The scab over the trauma is anger, so look out adoptive moms. You may be the tareget of your child's anger, but the driving force is the loss of the birth mother/father. You're a convenient target because the Birth Mother likely isn't present.And then at this post, she asks how adoptees perceive their own anger:
Do many adoptees feel ashamed of the intensity of their anger, like the seven-year-old girl described in the previous post?I've blogged before about Zoe's shame at her anger toward her birth parents. She's already gotten the societal message that anger -- especially anger from women & girls -- is socially unacceptable. We use "angry" as an adjective to dismiss adoptees whose legitimate feelings we'd rather ignore. Is it any wonder that that supressed anger has to erupt somewhere? As I said in that previous post:
Speaking for myself, I remember as a teen having shouting matches with my Mom continuously. I looked at my non-adopted friends and didn't see them struggling with such a problem. What was wrong with me? Why couldn't I control my anger? Why the rage?
[A]doptees have reason to be angry, and it is unrelated to how good or bad their adoptive parents parented. It has to do with loss of control, loss of identity, loss of culture, loss of heritage, loss of language, loss of first families, loss, loss, loss. And you can gain, gain, gain -- a permanent family, a different culture, a different language, a different heritage, more material goods than you can shake a stick at! -- and still feel loss. And it is perfectly OK to feel that loss.Only by recognizing and naming the emotion of anger can we help our children learn healthy ways to express that anger.