Thursday, March 10, 2011

The Danger of Suppressing Anger

I posted earlier in the week about allowing adopted persons to feel and express anger surrounding their adoptions.  Then I came across this description by an adoptee of a show, Heavy on A & E, featuring a dangerously obese adoptee:
At an early age, Johnny began to hoard food as a way to cope with the abandonment of his biological mom that was battling a 14 year drug addiction and living a life style as a prostitute. Johnny was placed in Child Protective Services, and placed in the foster care system. This is when Johnny turned to food as an outlet for comfort. He felt that food was the only thing that would never leave him. At the age of 6, he was adopted by a family that felt he struggled to transition into their family and have that sense of "belongingness". Therefore, his adoptive family believed that his behavior problems stemmed from there. He was then placed in a military school.

While Johnny was working with a trainer, one of his workouts was a boxing drill. His trainer was yelling at him to dig deep inside and find out what makes him mad to increase his aggression and increase his power behind his punch. Johnny yelled "my biological mother"! The trainer asked him to repeat what he said and he again yelled "MY BIOLOGICAL MOTHER"! At that moment I could see the pain in his eyes and the pain behind all the punches he was throwing against the wall. That anger that is hiding deep inside many adoptees. Since losing weight and progressing through his treatment plan, Johnny decided to do a Google search on his family's last name and found his half brother Chris. He was able to reach them via phone and Chris answered the phone. Immediately Chris yelled out to his grandma, "Oh my god it's John-John"!
I didn't see the show, but I found the description so evocative I wanted to share.  It paints just one picture of the consequences of suppressing that anger. . . .

1 comment:

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