So here I am again, it’s been a while. Life has been crazy, but while taking my little hiatus I thought of something that I would really like to do- ask an adoptee. It’s going to be probably one post a week where I answer a question from someone else that is posed to an adoptee. This question could literally be anything. If you or anyone you know has any questions, you can email them to me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Now, without further ado, let’s get into the first Ask an Adoptee post!
Question: What can I do to help my AD 17 get rid of her anger and see that she can have a great future if she wants it?
Okay, first off I just wanna acknowledge how happy I am that you’re willing to even ask such questions. When adoptive parents desire to learn more and really strive to figure out more and more about their adopted child it just fills my heart.
Now, as an adopted child myself, and only about four years older than your daughter, I can say that I totally understand the anger she’s feeling. I don’t know the exact circumstances of her situation prior to coming into your home, but I think that regardless a lot of adoptees feel angry. I’m not sure if you understand the anger or not so I’ll just try to explain anyways.
For me, I’ve always felt angry in one way or another. At times I’ve felt angry at my birth mother for giving me up in the first place been though I know that was the best decision she could have made for me. I’ve felt angry feeling like there’s no one out there that understands me and the things that I go through. And quite honestly anger isn’t even always explained.
As far as getting over the anger, I’m not entirely sure that that ever really happens. Dealing with all of the emotions that come with being adopted is a lifelong process. She may not always have such intense anger, but if she does seem to get over it for now, it could resurface again. I think the best thing that you can do for her is to keep an open line of communication, but not in any sort of pushy way. You could always encourage her to reach out to some sort of support group or something. I know that one of the biggest things in my life has been able to talk to someone that knows exactly what I’m feeling and can 100% relate to me. It’s nice to talk to people in general, but having someone that truly understands is so comforting.
Aside from talking to people who have also been adopted, seeing a therapist has been huge in my life. Just in general being 17 isn’t always that great and therapy could help regardless of the anger. But having someone whose job is literally to listen to me for an hour is a great feeling. Just in general I think seeing someone could be beneficial for literally everyone. In addition to that, just knowing I could talk to my mom about anything, even my bio family was extremely important for me. It took me a while to feel comfortable doing it, but once I did it totally changed my life. Also a practical for her if she doesn’t already is journaling. I cannot advocate enough for that.
If she is living in a healthy, supportive home, she will get over it and I’m sure she knows deep down that she can have a great future. Unfortunately, sometimes these feelings can make you feel stuck and almost alienated from the world. That then in turn can make you feel like you’re going nowhere fast. I think it depends a lot on her circumstances, if she’s generally motivated, what exactly she’s angry about at the moment, etc.
To be completely honest, I’m not sure how long it takes for anger to dissipate; if ever. So with that, I’m not really sure if there is anything you personally could do to “help her get over” the anger because that is really something that has to come from her on her own. But what you can do is encourage her to vocalize how she’s feeling and giving her different outlets for these emotions. I think that channeling these feelings into different things will bring out the source of what she’s feeling as well as help it subside, as she is able to deal with each issue. The most important thing is for her to know not to brush things under the rug. I have done that countless times and it truly only makes things worse and makes you feel alone.
Sorry if this wasn’t specific enough, but if you are ever interested in talking more in depth I would totally be willing to do that.