Adoption Can’t Give This

Dr Nelson, in his book – Healing the Split, suggests the ideal gestation, birth and infancy circumstances for healthy development in a child. This goes beyond the obvious and unavoidable trauma of separating an infant from their natural mother or any emotional distress that mother feels while pregnant and planning to surrender her baby to adoption.

Here is what he suggests – some of the best pregnancy, birth and infant care advice I have already encountered during my own last two pregnancies and baby care days, beginning in the early 2000s.

In pregnancy, this mother might be treated as special by her own loving selfobjects, so that she finds it easy to maintain a placid inner state. Her pregnancy would allow her extra time to meditate regularly and through this practice she establishes an unspoken communion with her unborn fetus with the subconscious residues of her own early life experiences resolved.

As the time of her child’s birth nears, the mother rehearses breathing and pelvic exercise to facilitate her natural delivery. As the child enters the world, he is welcomed into a softly lit room, the predominant feature of which is his mother’s warm skin and breast as she gently bathes and massages him.

The synapses that are rapidly proliferating within his still unfinished brain form a physical supporting grid for a psychic self that is primed to accept soothing, is ready to trust and can intuit a sense of belongingness.

As the newborn’s psyche begins to construct holographic patterns of the consensual world, his empathic parents instinctively anticipate his needs, neither overstimulating him nor leaving him wanting. Wordless harmonies resonate between him and his caretakers and condition his own fundamental vibrational patterns. These harmonies are periodically broken by inevitable frustrations and deprivations but timely reunions with empathic parents quickly restore synchronous patterns within his psychic field.

As the child grows into a toddler, empathic mirroring enlivens his tentative explorations of a world apart from mother, followed by just a little extra soothing that directs his psychic energies along navigable neural pathways. This compensates for his inborn exaggerated stress reaction and enables him to incorporate his mother’s self within his own without fear of engulfment. His self-secure mother joyfully encourages his wary independence and offers a fresh measure of support during what is a particularly lengthy rapprochement period. This insures that his slowly forming self-boundaries can withstand the social challenges that this unusual child will later endure.

As the child learns to communicate, his parents take pains to be consistent in their rewards and punishments. When he is excited and hyperaroused, they set firm limits on his behavior and they teach him to cope with this and similar altered states of consciousness by monitoring his breathing and concentrating on his inner awareness, especially his feelings. They teach him to ask for a massage and also to give one back. Both calm a turbulent arousal. Kindly, they teach him to laugh at them, and at himself.

Dr Nelson believes that as many as half of all permanently disabling psychotic altered states of consciousness could be prevented or diverted into a favorable life pathway if given the right start in life.

Looking In The Dark Place

My adoptee father said to my adoptee mother when she wanted to find her original family that she shouldn’t go there because she might be opening up a can of worms. Now that I have gone there, I find it very sad. His own half-sister was living 90 miles away from him when he died. She could have told him so much about his original mother.

I read this morning in Anne Lamott’s Bird by Bird these passages –

We write to expose the unexposed. If there is one door in the castle you have been told not to go through, you must. The writer’s job is to see what’s behind it.

You can’t if your parents are reading over your shoulder. They are probably the ones who told you not to open that door in the first place. If the truth were known, they would be seen as good people. Truth seems to want expression.

I opened the closet door and let what was inside out – liberation and even joy rushed through. It’s wonderful to finally open that forbidden door. What gets exposed is people’s humanity. Turns out that the truth, or reality, is our home.

What I learned was that I was where I was supposed to be. As much as I have already revealed for my own self, I hope there is more yet to come. I will bravely go into those rooms and closets and woods and abysses because it has been utterly satisfying to have gone in and looked around – to finally know the truth of my family’s origins.