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The Primal Wound

(20 Posts)
misspollysdolly Sat 05-Jul-08 23:52:03

...by Nancy Verrier. Has anyone read it? If I do will it help me understand our adopted DD deeper, or provide me with some strategies for knowing her more closely as she grows, or will it just terrify me?!

It seems to be one of those significant book that both draws and repels me because of what I may take in by doing so. Just wondered if anyone had read it. Any other books you would recommend - have got/read a few but am always interested in ones others ahve found helpful.

ladystardust Mon 07-Jul-08 13:30:32

I did read that one, I'm sure. I went through period of reading all sorts of things with titles like 'Parenting the traumatised child' or something.
I think The Primal Wound was especially helpful in being able to recognise certain behavioural traits like birthdays being difficult, low pain threshold which my ds certainly showed.

Reading always good, I would say.

Kewcumber Mon 07-Jul-08 13:32:58

I think you need to read the PRimal Wound bearing in mind that it is only her opinion. Not all experts (or even adoptees) agree with the existance of some kind of primal wound.

I am told that 20 things adoptees wish their paretns knew (did I get that right) is very good.

How old is she?

misspollysdolly Mon 07-Jul-08 21:49:37

She's 8 now. Spent the past year accepting that she has a degree of inevitable attachment stuff going on. - I know that sounds strange (sounds strange to me writing it now - how can someone have such a tough and weird start in life and NOT pick up some 'foibles' along the way?!) - I just think I had a real denial mentality for the first 4 years. Believing that if she lived with us (I knew DD through my work before adopting her) she'd be OK. Getting to a point of accepting that it's just not going to be that simple has been painful - like a kind of grieving.

I am getting some therapy to work some of that pain through, and also to talk about those 'foibles' and their effects upon me, her and us as a family. - Very positive about that. But also feel I need to read about what might be going on for her and yet adoption stuff generally (including face-to-face support groups) has sometimes terrified or depressed me further as they seem to be a space where people just come and off load their hardships - the denial bit of me only wanted to hear that it was all going to be OK, even though I knew that wasn't too realistic.

So now I'm trying to strike a balance - considering what impact her early life may have had on her/us now and in the future, while accepting that our walk together is as unique as she is and that come what may we'll be going through it together.

I love her so much but some days she drives me round the bend talking incessantly and questioning anything and everything I say, do, think, or feel and I struggle because coping with shit laid at your child's door by someone else is really hard sometimes - for us all (I have two younger birth children too).

I'm absolutely certain that compared to many people whose kids have severe behavioural issues, our family have it jolly easy and I need to hang on to that too.

Thanks for your thoughts and responses. I'll look into that book you mentioned Kewcumber - I saw it on Amazon. If I get it, I'll let you know what it's like!

misspollysdolly Mon 07-Jul-08 21:52:16

Just noticed on your profile, *lady s.d*, that you are a writer - what sort of writing do you do...?

ladystardust Tue 08-Jul-08 09:56:34

Ah well I say that because once upon a time I had a couple of novels published and have been banging my head against publishing brick wall ever since but can't quite let go of 'writer' describing me rather than what I do!

Sounds to me like you are doing exactly what you feel is the right thing to do for you and your dd.
I have also been through the 'how do you acknowledge the different experience of our adoptees without pathologising it' dilemma.
I too have been in some kind of counselling/therapy for most of our life together and things have got worse as teenagehood descended and I've been castigated for 'making excuses' for behaviour.

We are the carers and we know our children.
w have to do what helps get us (and them) through.
Carry on reading smile

misspollysdolly Tue 08-Jul-08 16:58:21

I find the prospect of a teenage DD terrifying...sad

gothicmama Wed 09-Jul-08 09:27:20

Caroline Archer's books are very good for promoting understanding

Kewcumber Wed 09-Jul-08 09:29:57

she's the tiddlers and toddlers woman isn;t she?

Kewcumber Wed 09-Jul-08 09:31:23

How could I have forgotten - try Holly Van Gulden. She comes to the UK to speak occasionally and have heard great thigns about her www.amazon.co.uk/Real-Parents-Children-Parenting-Adopted/dp/0824515145/ref=pd_sim_b?ie=UTF8&qid=1215 592162&sr=1-1

Kewcumber Wed 09-Jul-08 09:33:24

I have this but the emphasis may be on intercountry adoption. I'll check when I get home.

gothicmama Wed 09-Jul-08 09:35:42

yes tiddles and toddles and tykes and teens plus one called family scripts which is very goo at developing your family's responses

Kewcumber Wed 09-Jul-08 09:36:48

OOh I must look for the scripts one - I haven;t had to make any responses yet, it just hasn;t come up.

alysonpeaches Tue 05-Aug-08 19:30:14

You have mentioned several books. Which one would be most appropriate for my situation? I am bringing up our grandchildren on residence orders/special guardianships and each one has different circumstances. The eldest boy spent the most time with his parents and is also the one with the most emotional and behavioural problems. I have two living with me at the moment, another two babies will be joining me shortly.

I feel I need guidance on not only the reactions to relinquishing by parents, but to other children joining the family.

Please recommend one good book as I dont want to buy half a dozen and certainly dont have time to read more than one. Thank you!

Kewcumber Wed 06-Aug-08 09:44:50

why don;t you go to your local library and ask them to get you tehm all! Then you can dip into them and buy the ones you like. Library should be able to order any book which you have an ISBN number for.

alysonpeaches Wed 06-Aug-08 11:25:39

Cos Im a lazy git kewcumber and I order my books from Amazon!

Kewcumber Wed 06-Aug-08 11:37:08

He he he! Well glad I'm not the only one then!

drspouse Thu 07-Aug-08 15:01:33

I request books online from the library, then I only have to go down there when they come in - they email me telling me they are ready!

ActingNormal Wed 03-Sep-08 13:44:16

I was adopted and read the primal wound. It really messed me up for a few days and made me cry, I think because the words were so true for me - so it must be good. But I would advise reading it when you feel quite strong. I think it will help you understand her but you are right it could be a bit depressing because it seems to be saying your DD will always feel some degree of pain and detachment.

It sounds like you are doing a really good job and care about her a lot. It is a really important job you are doing and you should feel good about it even if it is depressing that adopted children are instinctively more resistant to bonding - they just need to protect themselves from feeling that pain again.

I admire you for caring enough to want to find out about it instead of being in complete denial about the effects like my adoptive parents were. Adopted children can feel stupid for feeling the way they do because it seems somehow illogical when they can't remember being given away and they still do have parents (adoptive ones). It feels even worse if the adoptive parents are dismissive because they want everything to be so normal because it makes you feel even more like you are going mad to feel the way you do.

OptimisticMum Fri 05-Sep-08 13:30:53

Hi AN - I'm so sorry that is how you feel and how you are / were made to feel. I honestly don't know how adoptive parents can deny that their children are different. I recognise that my children have to be different as they have suffered more / different trauma than a birth child - even just by being adopted.
I've read a variety of books and actually I struggle to get other people (family) understand that my children do have 'foibles', issues (whatever you want to call them) that have roots in their being adopted.

With regard to the books, I quite enjoyed (?) Caroline Archer and if you're feeling v brave Dan Hughes has done a lot of work on attachment disorders.
I borrow the books through Adoption UK - check out their website.

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