That Moment I Wanted My Mom, Then I Remembered I Don’t Have One.

On February 19th, I had an accident where I slipped hard and fell on the ice, and I hurt myself badly. I was trying to get to work to take the lady I care for to get her Covid-19 Vaccine, and time was in a significant crunch. It was 6:30 AM on a Friday, and the sun hadn’t even started coming up yet.

As my feet slipped out from in front of me and my back and backside landed hard on my three front steps covered with ice. My left hand was mangled in the railing, my car key snapped off the keyring and flew in the snow. My right palm tried to help me land but ended up being bruised and hurt as well.

I tried to find my car key, but I was completely taken back, and now I didn’t even have a car key to get to work. I started to become frantic while my pinkie was bleeding, swelling, and causing me a lot of pain. My backside was doing the same.

I remembered I had a spare key inside, but I had to find a battery. Thankfully, I was on my way to work, pretty banged up. I arrived one minute early. Over the next few hours, a football-sized bruise appeared, and the color changed from dark purple to almost black. The swelling was out of this world. I still had to work, which was not easy.

As the days passed, my pain set in, and I was beside myself. After nine days, I hoped my pain would be better, but I was still in a significant amount of pain. While the bruise was getting lighter, the knot in the middle of the bruise was the same size, about 5in x 6in, and the pain was still about an 8. I decided this past Sunday I was going to the ER to check it out to make sure nothing else was going on. I also wanted to discuss some pain medication for nighttime which seemed to make sleeping impossible.  

All CT scans came back normal, which I figured they would, and they ended up sending me home with some pain meds, and they wanted the hematoma that was causing so much pain to absorb itself back into the skin. In the meantime, they gave me a shot in my arm of pain meds.

This shot was so painful; I had immediate tears stream down my face, and at that moment, it hit me. Something that never hits me.

I wanted my mom.

This wasn’t the familiar daily feeling of wishing I had a mom as an adult; it was much deeper than that. I want a mom every day, and I’m constantly reminded I don’t have one but this was a deep and sad longing, one that has rarely ever come out in my adult life.

Is it a sign of healing?

Is it a sign of saving space for my inner child to come out?

 It was a new experience for me because my story is a story that has unfortunately set me up to live a life MOTHERLESS. As the thoughts of wanting a mother came over me, this deep sadness came over me. I was in the ER hospital room alone, and I realized I didn’t have a mom.

It’s not that my moms are dead, and I had a lifetime of beautiful memories with them, and they just no longer existed because they passed away. Both my adoptive mother and biological mother have passed away. It was more so the sadness set in that the biological mother I wanted and needed didn’t want or need me. And the mother that wanted me couldn’t care for me; she wasn’t there for me. She was mentally ill, and she was emotionally and mentally abusive in a lot of ways. She caused me a lot of childhood trauma, and I never felt connected to her or bonded with her. I felt like I was forced to bond with her, which was traumatic in its own way.

This reality set in, and tears were nonstop. I let myself cry and sit in the sadness. I couldn’t help but think about the last time being connected to my biological mother in a hospital, which was 46 years ago, the day I lost her on 8.13.74. Did you know the maternal bond that’s formed with your biological mother is the core bond that sets the tone for the path of your life? There is lack of resources for adoptees on this topic that directly connects adopted individuals who are relinquished by their biological mothers but there are many studies and articles for adoptive parents, and non adopted individuals.

Robert Winston and Rebecca Chicot explain –

“Infancy is a crucial time for brain development. It is vital that babies and their parents are supported during this time to promote attachment. Without a good initial bond, children are less likely to grow up to become happy, independent and resilient adults.”The importance of early bonding on long term mental health and resilience in children.

David Chaimberlain, Ph.D. says –

“Separation of mothers and newborns is a physical deprivation and an emotional trail. Mothers know deep within themselves what scientists are just discovering – the relations between mothers and babies are mutual, reciprocal, even magical. A baby’s cry triggers release of the mother’s milk, the only perfect milk on earth for babies. In addition, there is a vital power in the baby’s look and touch to turn on feelings and skills necessary for successful mothering.”Babies Remember Birth.

Where does this leave relinquished newborns in regards to the prenatal and perinatal bonding and the traumatic separation at the beginning of life?

When I was a child, I used to have a reoccurring dream that I was about 4-5 years old, running down a maternity ward’s long hallway. Everything was white. I had a hospital gown on, no shoes, and the hallway went on forever and ever. I remember a clock being at the end of the hallway, and the time was disappearing minute by minute as I ran. I remember jerking all the curtains back, one by one in terror, as I searched for HER. It went on forever. I never did find her, but this dream was reoccurring through most of my life. Did this hospital visit connect me to that dream subconsciously? It’s hard to fathom I’m 46 years old, and discovering these connections and truths are still impacting me greatly.

I’ve recently started to become familiar with IFS – Internal Family Systems by recommended by a great friend, Stephani H. (TY STEPH!) Watching the video will explain what IFS is the best, but in a nutshell, you identify different parts of us that have been parts of us back to the beginning of our lives. It helps us learn our parts are all welcomed and a part of us.

Stephani mentioned that it was my inner child part that wanted my mom, and when she said that, it made total sense to me. It was the little girl in me that just really needed my mom with me, and the entire concept that she wasn’t there, and she has never been, and she never will be set in. It was a hard pill to swallow. I was in a significant amount of pain, and that didn’t help me any.

The best part is, I’m learning that my feelings of sadness are not feelings to run from; they are feelings to sit with. I didn’t realize that was my inner child feeling that way until after I was already home and Stephani mentioned it to me. I was blown away because it made total sense.

If I thought of that while I was at the hospital, IFS teaches us to talk to the parts, welcome them and give them what wasn’t given to me as a child. I didn’t realize it until I was already home, but my sadness consisted, and I got comfort in understanding the dynamics of my child part coming out while I was at the hospital.

I have recently decided to give IFS therapy a try, and in the last month of learning about it, it is a miraculous and fantastic tool. I don’t want to share much here, but I plan to write about my experience with IFS because I want other adoptees to consider using it as a healing tool.

At a very young age, I was disassociated from the entire concept of wanting and needing a mother to protect myself. When those feelings came, it caught me off guard. I’m usually a strong person, and tears are something in the past I have held inside. But this time, these feelings wouldn’t let me. Even when I tried to stop crying, the feelings of wanting my mom overwhelmed me. I’m 46 years old and still navigating the aftermath of adoption.

As I learn more about IFS, self & my parts, I want to share them with you! I’m also starting therapy with a new therapist who is an adoptee! I am excited about this process. It seems I’ve done a lot of self-work, but I have never done trauma work. I have work to do. I think acknowledging these parts is the first step, and making the choice to sit with them, and no run is the next step. What’s next? I hope to share with you what the process looks like by trauma informed therapy, IFS and other techniques I am using to navigate the healing process from an adoptees perspective who also lives a life sober of alcohol.

Adoptees, have you ever been in a situation where you wanted your mom on a deeper level? Did these feelings surprise you? I would love to know how you describe them? What helps you navigate them when they come?

The views and opinions expressed in this article are that of the author, Pamela A. Karanova. Reproduction of the material contained in this publication may be made only with the written permission of Pamela A. Karanova

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.

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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?

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This revelation has given me hope and I’m thankful for my fellow adoptees on the www.facebook.com/howdoesitfeeltobeadopted 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

www.howdoesitfeeltobeadopted.wordpress.com

@pamelakaranova

www.adopteeinrecovery.com