Emotional Detachment in Surrenders

It is completely understandable to me that when a woman in the midst of pregnancy has already decided to surrender her baby to adoption, that she would also choose to wall off her heart from the child growing in her womb.  Here is one such story . . .

It took me almost 10 years to come out of the fog. The biggest reason is that I had emotionally detached from the situation even during pregnancy.

Last year I had a complete mental breakdown because I suddenly started having flashbacks from being raped at 6 years old and I didn’t even know it happened until I began reliving it. This sudden onset of PTSD was a catalyst for turning my emotions back on and finally feeling grief about the adoption. I’d forgotten most of the events of my life, and the things I remembered were pretty numb.

I’m insanely lucky to have chosen adoptive parents who have actually kept the adoption open. With all of these personal changes, I’ve been trying to open myself up to my first daughter and actually connect with her.

A lot of people suppress their trauma. The hurt from adoption cuts both ways – mother and child. Unless you have no emotions, and it is the emotional pain of separation that causes detachment, you could not let a child you brought into this world be raised by someone else without suffering from guilt, shame or self-blame.

Here is another story –

I gave birth 2 weeks ago. And I had made an adoption plan, with a good friend. Baby is currently with her and I have 2 more weeks to change my mind. But when I had the baby I felt no emotional attachment to her. I didn’t feel like she was mine. I haven’t had any regrets yet. She is with an amazing family that I know without a doubt I will have contact with for her entire life.

She asks other women who have experienced this if they later had regrets.

One replied –  I felt the same way when my daughter was born. Like when the doctor gave her to me, I thought, “why are you handing me her baby?”

Another response was this –  It’s emotional numbing/detachment. It’s a trauma response to try and protect yourself from the pain of losing her forever. It will catch up to you, HARD, and it can cause a lifetime of trauma for you if it’s not dealt with quickly. Your daughter only wants you, and being given up will traumatize her for life. I beg you to reconsider. And this suggestion – try parenting her, with no contact with the hopeful adoptive parents for the next two weeks.

And there is this very sad story – I had some severe anger issues and no support which would have made it dangerous for him to stay with me. I begged my mom to adopt him until I was older but she refused. In my case, the adoptive parents weren’t total strangers, they were long time friends of the family. It’s my truth though, and I hate that that whole part of my life ever happened. I hate that I was convinced not to get an abortion. I hate who I was and everyone that had abandoned me back then. And if my son hates me too, then I deserve it.

Bottom line – You don’t just give your child away and not regret it.  It may take years or decades. Emotional detachment often catches up to you with the painful truth.

2 thoughts on “Emotional Detachment in Surrenders

  1. I’m not sure I had an emotional detachment but I sure lost a lot of memories-I’m sure because of the trauma. I did try my best to turn off the feelings after though.

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