Why Do I Care ?

I was searching my heart for a topic for today’s blog. I’ve been reading a book and recently the topic was treating Borderlines. I once knew someone slightly who lost her children and described her diagnosis with that as the reason. I didn’t think too much about it at the time but due to my reading, I understand her personality better now. I also know that adoptees often suffer from a wide range of mental health issues. So I googled Adoptees and Borderline Personality Traits.

I am going to link this sad article for you because there is so much there. I actually care and have learned a lot more to care about since uncovering my adoptee (both mom and dad) parents origins and adoption stories. While I will be forever grateful I didn’t end up adopted (because it is a minor miracle I did not), I care about all things adoption and an extension of that has been caring about foster care youth and often, foster care does lead to adoption. That is the background of the story I will link for you here.

Dark Enough: When Adoptive Families Struggle

The subject of the story is Rebecca who was removed by Child Protective Services (CPS) from her natural mother when she was 6 years old. CPS did initially try a kinship placement with Rebecca’s maternal grandmother but a few months, it became clear that their grandmother was unable to meet the children’s needs. There were 3 girls. Rebecca went through multiple foster care placements but eventually was reunited with her 15 month old sister Alina, when Rebecca was 7, in that separate foster home. The 3 girls had been sent to separate homes after their stay with the grandmother. Rebecca and Alina were then placed in a foster to adopt situation.

Rebecca’s adjustment has been difficult, to put it mildly. By the middle of eighth grade, her adoptive parents began to suspect that Rebecca was afflicted by Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD). Though both RAD and Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder were both ruled out, her adoptive mom felt frustrated and defeated. Everyone was telling her this child was normal when she knew something was terribly wrong. CPS referred them to a psychiatrist who found symptoms of PTSD, major depression and anxiety, as well as poor coping skills for stress – and one surprise (which based on behaviors was not surprising at all) – Rebecca displayed an attachment disorder specific to father figures. Rebecca was able to develop an attachment to her maternal grandmother and to her adoptive mother but had severe difficulties with the adoptive father.

Rebecca’s new attachment therapist Cheri diagnosed her with Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD). BPD is not curable, but it can be understood and managed. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, BPD sufferers have an unstable self-image and their actions display that uncertainty about how they see themselves. Unsure of their worth, they will go to extreme lengths to avoid real or imagined abandonment. They also feel victimized by the world and have great difficulty taking responsibility for their actions. Therefore, by the very nature of the disorder, BPD sufferers are blind to their role in the troubles surrounding them.

The article is worth reading in full.

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