Adoptee, Healing Inner Child Wounds

Healing My Inner Child…

If you look over my blog posts, or if you are someone that’s kept up with them you will see the roller coaster of emotions that I’ve experienced in the last 3 years. The last 3 years I’ve embraced the recovery lifestyle as a way to heal my adoptee and life wounds that have kept me in bondage for far too long!

Today, I still experience those same roller coaster feelings. Some are improving while others aren’t. I feel like certain areas are holding me down like a ball and chain while others I’m receiving freedom from.

I’ve tried everything to get to a place of healing.  When I experience the “Lows” they are really low. The dark cloud never leaves. Let me explain, I have a great life. Aside from this I’m an extremely happy person. Aside from this I love people, I love so many things in life. I love my career. I love my kids, and my family who I have in my life. I love serving in Celebrate Recovery, and mentoring women with Chemical Dependency issues. I love being outside. I’m totally head over heels in love with the sky but I just can’t seem to shake this sadness that seems like it’s here to stay.

I refuse to sit here and accept its here to stay!!!

I’ve had adoptees who are older than me, explain there adoptee pain went from a sharp knife, to a dull ache as they got older. I can take the dull ache.. And I believe I will always have that, but I can’t take this deep dark sadness I’m experiencing.

I stopped drinking on August 12, 2012. What has that felt like? Like a ton of bricks have come smashing me straight in my face. Some days it’s extremely difficult to get out of bed. But God gives me the hope I need and my kids give me the motivation. As for me and myself.. I wouldn’t even be here if I didn’t have those 2 things in my life.

Recently I’ve discovered by reaching out to other adoptees, that it may very well be I have unresolved inner child wounds that haven’t been healed. The feelings I can describe is a deep inner sadness that I just can’t shake. It hangs over my head all the time. It feels like a broken heart each and every day that will never go away. The low points seem to come and go, but when they are low, they are LOW and they bother me the most when I’m alone.

Of course when I’m now in recovery, no longer drinking or drugging to numb my pain, I know I’m feeling everything. That’s to be expected. But I am also doing so much at working towards HEALING in all areas, but I just can’t shake this feeling. I have prayed to God, and asked him to please help me figure this out.

This picture speaks to me…

I believe the responses of my fellow adoptees to be the closest thing I have experienced regarding an accurate description as to what is going on in me, unresolved childhood wounds.

If I think about it, from the moment I was conceived my birth mother rejected me and the pregnancy; she drank alcohol the entire time. I was a secret conceived in shame. She hid me from the world. I was told she was an extremely negative and mean person and it was verified after I met her one time and I got to see that for myself.  My feelings of low-self esteem began way before I was ever born. My feelings of worthiness began to diminish when I was in the womb. The trauma that happened the moment I was born, stuck with me in my subconscious memory as well as the damage done in utero.

My childhood wounds add to this trauma. There are a TON of inner child wounds from my childhood. Let me share a few. My adoptive parents divorced when I was 1. SO much for the “Better Life” promised to my birth mother. My adoptive mom who was infertile used to tie us to chairs when we were “Bad”. She would try to commit suicide in front of us. She battled depression, and had manic-depressive episodes very frequently. She is a hypochondriac and was sick every day of my life. She was a mastermind manipulator and loved seeking attention from everyone around. She never was capable of being a mother. I lost my childhood because of her. I never could go outside and play. I never could watch cartoons. My life was centered around what I could do for her and how I could be of service to her. Whether it be massaging her body, rubbing lotion all over her, rubbing her feet and back, or giving her enemas, or popping pimples on her back, or running her bath water.. There was always something that needed to be done for her. ALWAYS. I took care of her, she never took care of me. Not to mention her low self-esteem and feelings of worthlessness spilled onto me as a little girl, and this had a direct impact on my life in many ways. She cried every day and said over and over she wasn’t worthy of being a mother. My sadness and tears didn’t matter, my feelings didn’t matter. I had to be strong for her. She talked from the earliest days I can remember, about not wanting to go to a nursing home when she was old. This is truly why she believe she adopted me. I believe she’s a narcissistic to the fullest degree, and she never recovered from her own childhood wounds, and the divorce and not being able to conceive her own children. I also believe she had some severe mental illness in her.

As you see, I had no mother. I lost. It was never about me or my feelings. I never received the unconditional love a child was supposed to receive from their mother. My original bonding with my birth mother was severed, and trauma occurred. That trauma never went away, it was tucked away and now it’s surfacing. The trauma that was inflicted by my adoptive mom is different. She made me feel like I didn’t matter, my feelings didn’t matter and this increased my feelings of being important to anyone. I have written about not being able to “FEEL LOVE”. I believe all these things are connected.

I spoke to my lay pastor the other day about all of this, and she said it all makes sense. I’ve been attending the same church for 3.5 years. I have an amazing church family who listens to me, supports me and I KNOW THEY LOVE ME. It’s just that I have never felt that love. I know God loves me, but its hard for me to FEEL IT. I know my kids love me, but it’s hard for me to FEEL IT. My last blog post was about “Finally Feeling Loved”. I’ve been in a relationship for 9 months, and I know he loves me… And God has given me glimpses of what LOVE FEELS LIKE. He’s done the same with my kids. When I feel it, it’s like my heart fills up and I get really tearful and overfilled with emotion, but then it goes away really fast.

Why can’t I feel love all the time like other people do? I mean I know I love people, and I know they love me because they say they do and they show it. (sometimes). But I know this has to do with being adopted, and going back to unresolved childhood wounds, and trauma in utero and being rejected by my birth mother in the womb, and after. It has to all be connected. The great part is, now that I have identified at least I hope I have where this is coming from now I need to take the steps to heal in these areas.  God has brought me so far. I have a desire to be whole and I know I deserve to FEEL LOVE like everyone else does.

So my next question is to my fellow adoptees. Have you ever experienced this type of feeling? If you have done any inner child wound healing, what has worked for you? I’m a Christian and I know there are a bunch of “New Age” healing ideas out there. I know Jesus Christ is my healer and for some reason he keeps telling me I need to go THROUGH this pain again to get to a place of healing. I have to relive each situation, and share my feelings regarding each trauma, and cry and scream and get angry and share feelings I had to keep locked inside my entire life. Do any adoptees reading this have any experience with this? You really don’t have to be an adoptee to have experience with it, so please share with me either way.

This picture absolutely teared me up when I saw it. Something about it made me weep with sadness because I have never felt anything like this in my life. How does this picture make YOU feel?


This revelation has given me hope and I’m thankful for my fellow adoptees on the page who have helped me get to the root of this issue. Now onto the healing.

Thanks for reading. Please share your opinion and advice if you have experienced anything similar. Please share any techniques you might know about healing your inner child, regarding in the womb or being separated from your birth mother, as well as wounds outside the womb.

Many blessings,

Pamela Karanova


10 thoughts on “Adoptee, Healing Inner Child Wounds

  1. Yes, I recognize the feelings you talk about here–the overwhelming sadness, the not being able to feel love, the not knowing how to make it better. I think you are on the right track. You recognize that you have wounds that are not yet healed. I have recently come to the same conclusion, and I think the core of these wounds is something you mention here. You, as I, did not have a mother who actually mothered you. To make things worse, you had two mothers who did not mother you as you deserved to be mothered, as did I. I’ve considered myself motherless for a few years now, but I recently realized that I have not fully explored all of my feelings around that. I think this is a big part of why the sadness remains. I’ve discovered two books that hit home with me about this experience of never being mothered. One is The Emotionally Absent Mother by Jasmin Lee Cori. The other is Will I Ever Be Good Enough: Healing the Daughters of Narcissistic Mothers by Karyl McBride. McBride emphasizes something that I think is particularly important. She stresses that we cannot heal without properly grieving what we lost, no matter how long that takes. Grieving is what we avoid doing, because it requires feeling the pain in order to work through it. I’m in the process now of working through these books, of facing the reality of my life and allowing my child self to grieve all that she lost. I don’t know how long this is going to take, but I’m hopeful that by doing this I will eventually find peace and the pain will recede, as you said, to a dull ache. I hope for you, too, that you will be able to allow yourself to grieve and that you will be able ultimately to heal. Sending you love. ❤

    1. Karen,

      Thank you so much for your message. I can’t even begin to tell you how much freedom I get in hearing other adoptees feel the same way. It’s amazing.

      I think you are right, I’m right where I need to be. Just realizing this has given me hope. I have been so “stuck” and I PROMISE you I have done everything in my power to try to overcome these feelings. If I read over my blog posts I find darkness, anger, sadness, hope, some fun, and exciting things… But it always goes back to this darkness area and identifying it’s a “Mother Wound” is HUGE. I can only imagine how many other adoptees are experiencing this but aren’t able to identify it or even understand it for that matter… DEEP!

      So glad you are finding hope in the books you mentioned. I actually bought the daughters of narcissistic mothers book, but haven’t read much yet and I will go ahead and get the other one. Are writing your feelings associated with this? Are you sharing them? (validation) I have found this to be the most freeing yet. I also have a private blog set up where it’s deeper raw feelings, and I’m going to start documenting and writing about healing my inner child wounds. You are so right about having to go through the grief and loss, and FEEL those emotions, some (in adoptees cases most) we have been denied the right to feel, or conditioning detoured us away from feeling the truth. I believe that’s why we’re doing this so late in life.

      I do have a few suggestions a woman who’s a spiritual mom to me gave me over the weekend, and I consider myself to have had a HUGE BREAK THRU in the last few days regarding this very topic.

      I honestly cried out to God, and I told him I was tired of feeling this way and for him to HELP ME! Stay tuned in my next blog post about the tools that were given to me!! I can’t wait to share it with my fellow adoptees! ❤ Love you MUCH and I'm here if you ever need to talk! Vent! Chat! ETC! <3<3


  2. I can relate to so much of this. And I had what from the outside could be called a “good adoption experience” and a “good reunion” (although my adopters definitely had their own brand of crazy, one that truly increased the developmental trauma a hundred fold. Anyway, I don’t feel love like other people either. The terrible emptiness and loneliness is all encompassing at times. It’s like there’s no one inside, like my whole life was a big fake. I wish I had good advice, but at this time I have none. Nothing has worked so far (not that I really have tried anything that I could even explain – more like trying to find a therapist that even understands so that someone could direct me to the next step. Still looking. )

    Wishing I could gather us all up for a month at a semi-quiet, private retreat so we can all bond and heal.


    So glad you are here and you can identify with some of my blog post. It helps to know we aren’t alone and I always feel a little less “Cray Cray” when I know other adoptees feel how I have my entire life. LOL Now don’t get me wrong.. I hate it for US, but I do have hope because if I don’t have hope what do I have?

    I hope somewhere you have some hope as well. I can totally understand how you are feeling and I have felt this same way my entire life. It’s so hard to describe, and it’s always there hanging over my head like a dark cloud.

    I have prayed like crazy that God just take these feelings away. I have recently been at a low point, one where my mind is consumed by this “darkness” and I have been in a Step Study through Celebrate Recovery, at my church. In the step study all kinds of deep rooted emotions and situations from childhood and even birth come up. And you put them all out on the table and work on them. I found I needed a little “extra” than some people, because of this darkness I’ve always felt attached to this adoption experience.

    I reached out to a lady who is a spiritual mom to me, (Thank GOD for her!) and I poured my heart out and told her how I had been feeling, how I pray every day that God just take me away from this earth, because I don’t want to feel this pain anymore. I have NEVER shared those feelings with anyone, not even my blog because I’ve always been ashamed of them, and people will think I’m suicidal, or depressed, when in reality I just don’t want to feel this pain anymore. I also never want those close to me to FEEL like they aren’t enough for me, to make me happy. So I have suffered in silence for ALONG TIME.. With that being said, when I went to her, and shared her these feelings. She said, “Oh Pammy…. I just completed a workshop and you will be amazed by this and I promise you God is going to set you FREE from this!!!”.. So she shared some of it, and TBH, I made some major moves this weekend towards healing and I CAN’T WAIT TO SHARE IT WITH MY READERS and my FELLOW ADOPTEES!!!!!!!!!

    Don’t give up hope yet! I will be blogging about it in my next blog post! ❤

    Let me ask, do you share your feelings anywhere? Do you blog? Writing has been one of the biggest healing tools yet!

    Many blessings and HUGS AND LOVE from me to you!!!

  4. I don’t often find very many adoptee blogs that I can relate to. But, I can somewhat relate to the, sudden sadness. Some times I can pick up on it pretty quickly, and am able to stop it in its track by, putting on praise music, making a checklist of all that I am thankful for, or, read my bible. I love to read and study it, and even reading the same passage over to see if I can get something from it that I may have missed all the times before.
    I know that some people who will call this a type of denial, or covering it up, but I disagree. I have identified the source, and it is that very first rejection (rather it was a rejection or not, that’s the impression it left.)
    Nothing I can do is going to change that. Reunion certainly hasn’t, which has gone well.

    Someone you may benefit in checking out is, Leanord Orr. He is a, new anger, and some of his ideas may seem far fetched, especially if hearing/reading it for the first time.
    I heard him speak in person in 2006, and I must admitted that most of what he said made since.

  5. Hi Pamela

    That’s a truly powerful post that struck a chord with me.

    The need to feel love is so strong for me too.

    Have you tried John Bradshaw’s book Homecoming …healing for the inner child.

    I’m a 49 year old adoptee and have found Nancy Verrier’s books which you recommend truly enlightening and lovely. The best bits…realising my reaction is normal, understanding how adoption drives my thoughts, feelings and actions…UNDERSTANDING…

    I had a loving upbringing and never felt I had a problem with being adopted.

    Then at the age of 40 I found out that the teddy bear I’ve had for as long as I can remember had been given to me by my birth mother.

    I’d never been told that and it was a little surprise… but not a bad, nasty one….

    Then I was talking to someone about an anger issue that had cropped up and I went into a rage..


    I’d never conscously been aware of that feeling. NEVER.

    So I did a lot of spiritual/consciousness religion stuff and then eventually came across Nancy’s books 2 years ago that were a godsend (you note I’m not religious right?)

    I’d never wanted to find birth mother. Then I did some therapy and the idea of my birth mother outside the therapy room scared me I couldn’t abide that so I went looking and eventually found it she died 15 years some pics of her from her brother and some very touching letters to the adoption agency about the teddy bear…would my adoptive parents let me have it? I broke down in tears…some closure there.

    I’m more and more consciuos and ok with life spotting when perceived rejection is upsetting me

    I’m still suffering some issues with rejection and projecting this onto events that aren’t actually rejection eg someone doesn’t value my work…helping kids become bullyproof, disagress with me, won’t accept my advice, suggestion something I don’t want to do, tries to control me etc.

    Would love to have a skype chat with you about this.

    Love Simon

    1. Simon,

      So glad you could resonate with my blog post. I’m always elated to know I’m not alone in feeling the way I do.

      I believe that would have been very difficult if I experienced something like the teddy bear and didn’t know it was from her. I even think about that and feel all kinds of ways, and then to find out she passed away 15 years ago. I’m so sorry. I can’t even imagine how that has felt. Heartbreaking. I know you will hold those letters close to your heart. Did you have any siblings out of the deal? How is your relationship with the uncle?

      I can totally relate to still suffering with the rejection and issues stemming from that root issue. I’m seeing a pattern I am picking up in as I get older I just want to be by myself. No hurt, no pain, no drama, no issues. People call it “isolation” but truthfully it’s the most peaceful place for me at this time in my life. I have dealt with more heartache than I can handle and I just want to be by myself. I have friends but keep them all at a distance.

      I would love to skype sometime but I don’t have skype. I will have to look into setting that up. Do you blog? I would love to follow you!
      Love Always, PK ❤

      1. Hi Pamela

        Thanks for your kind words.

        Strange…I wasn’t heartbroken when I found she’d died..! just numb…but when I read her letter asking the adoption agency to ask my parents if they’d accept a teddy bear I just gushed tears…finding out my first name was also an eye tears though.

        Pat my birth mum didn’t have any kids so I didn’t get the siblings.

        Pat had a brother and a sister, I wrote her sister and eventually got a letter from the brother telling me she’s died too. enclosing some photos of their family and my birth mum…no big deal again..couldn’t see my face in hers.

        Wrote to brother got no response…got a bit upset about that then 6 months later got xmas card

        Let me know when you get skype installed…it’s easy and free

        I don’t blog on this

        Love Simon

  6. I know exactly how you feel. I was adopted within my family. Seeing my birth mother a lot; she let me know on the daily I should of been aborted. A joke within my family. I don’t and have never found it funny. At 36, finally sober. I was a alcoholic for 15 years; I want to go no contact. I tried to make it work, but I want to heal and stop associating with distrust I’ve behaviors and dysfunctional people because that’s really all I deserve. It’s a work in progress and the pieces of the problem are fitting together something I never wanted to look at before. God bless.

    1. Hi Cat- So very sorry for your heartache and pain. How awful they would say something like that to you! As if adoption damage isn’t enough? Congrats on living a sober lifestyle! That’s something to be truly proud of. I know first hand how hard it is for an adoptee to be living in sobriety, feeling these feelings. Its one of the hardest things on the planet, yet the most rewarding to actually be able to do it. I totally get wanting to disconnect from dysfunctional people! You deserve only the best! Self care is so important to us, especially when it comes to who we let inside our circle. I have a zero tolerance policy. Ya’ll might have chose for me before, but today I’m choosing who I let in, how I run my life and what happens. Keep up the good work SIS! Sending KY love! ❤

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