Saturday, 4 April 2009

The Primal Wound

I’ve never been a devotee of our current-day counselling and self-help culture; being encouraged to talk about our innermost thoughts and feelings. I’m not one to bottle things up or sulk - I do talk a lot and prefer to have things out in the open, but this is different to self-analysis. I’ve always been of the opinion that in trying to look deep inside ourselves, we just end up finding stuff that might not even be there, as if we are looking for an answer or a reason and are determined to find one, whatever the cost.

Because I had a very successful adoption placement, and a perfectly normal and happy childhood, I have subconsciously denied any connection between being adopted and my traits and behaviours. I had believed that being adopted was simply a non-issue; what has being adopted got to do with anything?

I’ve also refused point blank to read books on adoption, even autobiographies, despite one title coming up again and again – ‘The Primal Wound: Understanding the Adopted Child’ by Nancy Verrier. I’m going to give in very ungraciously and reluctantly, and read it sometime soon.

An adoptee friend has unwittingly forced me into looking deep inside myself to find, and acknowledge, the existence of my own primal wound. Because, like it or not (and I don’t like it), it’s there. By one of those strange coincidences, at the same time that this friend was suggesting that I ‘come clean’ and admit to myself that being adopted as a baby is still affecting me now, I also had reason to see a GP recently. The adoption issue crept in by the side door and he explained that although a baby doesn’t consciously remember being removed from its mother, it is still aware that it happened. I later discovered that this GP really knew what he was talking about because not only was he involved in counselling, but also he and his wife were going through the adoption procedure themselves.


  1. I too had loving adoptive parents and yet have always felt "not good enough" or worthy of good things. Will be buying the book you mention in a quest to understand. My birth mother presented as lovely in letters but my file told another story of a woman who appears to have used adoption as a form of contraception if you see what I mean. My birth father wanted me but they took me away without his consent - so angry about this. Keep writing and I might be tempted to write my story too on my blog

  2. I still haven't read the book, always seem to have so many other things to do! My birth father wouldn't even acknowledge that I was his, he claimed he couldn't father children. I'm sure b/m was telling the truth for once when she said he was the love of her life and hadn't slept with anyone else (at the same time!). I've actually finished writing, just putting it on here in bite-size chunks - you should do it, it's extremely cathartic and really helped me to put it all behind me.