Adoption and Uncanny Dreams

“When I was a child I dreamed of my mother—a reoccurring vision of someone I was too young to recall. I didn’t even know her name. She was performing on stage, playing the violin in a symphony orchestra in Paris. She had long brown hair. Her back was turned toward me as the imaginary scene mystically unfolded. She was perfect. I dreamed of her because I had a strong desire to be reunited with her again someday. I sincerely wanted the experience to be real. As the years went by, I secretly wondered if my reoccurring dream of being reunited with her was a harbinger of a future reality?” Judith Land

Dreams | Judith Land | Adoption Detective

“Those who dream accomplish the most. Following our dreams and endeavoring to live life the way we imagine leads to uncommon success. Dreaming by night may be driven by vanity and fear, dreaming by day with eyes wide open makes alternative realities possible.” Judith Land

Are dreams harbingers of future realities?

The future belongs to those who believe in their dreams. The accomplishment of all great things begin with a dream. Dreams have the power to move our hearts. Dreamers see alternative realities that identify the possibility of turning one into the other. Dreams may seem impossible and improbable in the beginning but when we summon the will, they become inevitable.

Dreams are a succession of images, ideas, emotions, and sensations that occur involuntarily in the mind during sleep that reveal insight into hidden desires and emotions outside the control of the dreamer, ranging from normal and ordinary to overly surreal and bizarre. Dreams represent the entire range of human emotions, revealing secrets of something once known and familiar, then lost and hidden within, haunting images of the return of repressed ideas, experiences and people, ranging from frightening, exciting, magical, and melancholic to adventurous and sexual. Dreams expose repressed thoughts and desires related to encounters, ideas, people and experiences of long ago that were previously repressed. Within each dream there is always a specific character, an image, or an event that evokes an emotional response that awakens us.

From ancient times to the present day, dreams have revealed secrets of something once known and familiar, then lost and secretly hidden deep within our minds. Content is often driven by unconscious wish fulfillment, drawing you toward intriguing possibilities and exploratory adventures. Adoptees are highly prone to vulnerabilities of being physically or emotionally harmed and dreaming can be an experience that can be terribly unsettling when events and circumstances exceed the boundaries of ordinary awareness, sensibilities, and normal dimensions of reality. Those that fear reality may feel apprehensive and alarmed when dreaming of uncanny events that seem otherworldly and unnatural.

Dreams allow spiritual connections to take place, stimulating and inspiring creative thoughts, miraculously opening our minds to alternative realities and future possibilities. Dreams remind us that nature works in mysterious ways, presenting opportunities for future serendipitous Hallmark moments, as well as, omens warning of potential encounters and events that are best avoided.

What do your dreams tell you?

Judith Land

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Adopted—who’s pulling your strings?

“When I was a small child my adoptive mother put me in a leather harness attached to a dog lease. I had to walk at the exact pace, not too fast and not too slow, never running, hopping or dancing ahead to pick a dandelion, smell a flower, or skip a rock on the surface of a pond, and especially never falling too far behind.” Judith Land

Adoption Detective | Judith Land | Puppet

Puppets are an ancient form of entertainment using strings operated with the puppeteer hidden to an audience. The attachment of the strings varies according to the character’s behavior and purpose.

One of the greatest challenges for many adoptees is to learn how to gain control of your life when it becomes obvious that emotional manipulators are making you doubt your own self-worth and self-identity; people that pull your strings without good intent, intentionally attempting to undermine, confuse, and bring you down; often starting out with flattery before using your insecurities and vulnerabilities against you, coercing you into proving your love and devotion by doing chores and favors for them.

Emotional manipulators have no desire for authentic communication. They are wolves in sheep’s clothing that control and influence others in an unscrupulous way through fear, obligation and guilt. They are emotional bullies lacking love, empathy, guilt, remorse, or conscience that use mental and emotional abuse to serve their desires for power and control. They know your weak spots. They tell you how lucky you are, and then act as though you’re a burden, making you feel guilty and indebted. They destroy your self-esteem and question your validity. Whatever you do is wrong. 

Any problems you experience are your fault. If you’re upset, your expectations are unjustified and unreasonable. They say that you are too sensitive, over-reacting, and lost your sense of humor, leaving you doubting your own behavior. Gaslighting is the oldest trick of manipulation. Giving you the silent treatment increases your anxiety, desperately waiting for a reaction from them, whereby they sow the seeds of doubt that erodes your ability to navigate daily life. They never take accountability for their own behavior. Don’t expect an apology or expect them to change their ways. If they are upset, you are responsible for their bad moods and obliged to fix them.

Breaking the cycle of manipulation requires awareness and emotional distancing. Boundaries and hard lines are important, especially when you need to sustain a relationship with family members. Buy yourself some time when you need to regroup and determine the best way forward. Establish boundaries and stick to your standards. Remember that nobody can manipulate you without your consent and cooperation. Don’t try to beat them at their own game and don’t let things drag on too long because you may be compromising your health, identity, and future. 

Sometimes the best strategy is the exit door. Always aim for the best…

Judith Land

 

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Adopted Child Syndrome verses Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

Post traumatic stress disorder and adopted child syndrome similarly explain the psychological trauma that may result from exposure to a severely distressing event. Post traumatic stress disorder is an intense psychological condition that develops after a person is exposed to a traumatic event, including death and separation from family and loved ones. The diagnosis may be given when a group of symptoms continue after the traumatic incident, such as disturbing recurring flashbacks, avoidance or numbing of memories of the event, and high levels of anxiety. Abnormalities may be diagnosed as subjective, chronic, relapsing or remitting. In all cases, health care providers should be alert to the presence of a distortion of normal feelings and behavior.
Post traumatic stress disorder | Adopted Child Syndrome

Homesickness, the loss of a birth parent, unrequited love, broken heartedness, and post traumatic stress disorder are deeply rooted in the mind of the patient, but difficult for anyone other than a psychologist to diagnose. The insecure patient stifles their normal curiosity because they sense the adopted parents’ anxiety, and feel a pattern of tension and an ominous pressure against voicing their feelings. Many adoptees hope to heal the wound caused by the separation by reliving the life that was lost at the time of separation to provide a more solid base for their lives, but fearing to know why they were abandoned by the birth parents, and knowing that the adoptive parents would feel their interest in the birth parents was disloyal, the adopted child experiences a dread of the truth.

Severing the connection with the birth mother is a stressful incident that traumatizes the primitive instincts of the adopted child; an occurrence that may lead to a severe psychological condition referred to as the the primal wound. When the effects are chronic there is substantial evidence from many sources that the non-relative adopted child is more prone to higher levels of anxiety and emotional difficulties. There has been consistent evidence of morbidity of various types in adopted adolescents and adoptive families are more likely to seek help for their distress. Evidence in the statistical record highlights an abnormally high percentage of adoptees exhibiting anti-social behavior. On the behavioral level, examples include problems in human bondingattachment disorder, antisocial behavior and oppositional defiant disorder as indicative warnings trending toward an antisocial pattern. Adopted child syndrome is a term most commonly used to explain behaviors in adopted children that are claimed to be related to their adoptive status. Other terms used to diagnose and describe the behavior of orphaned, fostered and adopted children are genealogical bewilderment, oppositional defiant disorder, selective mutism, and other anti-social behaviors.

Post traumatic stress disorder, adopted child syndrome, and the primal wound don’t technically qualify in medical terms as syndromes because the signs and symptoms are psychological and subjective, the observed condition and the cause and effect aren’t clear, and the relationship is not measurable. In medicine, a syndrome is based on clinically quantifiable terms where the cause and effect have a clear relationship that is noticeable. A symptom is defined as a feature which is noticed by the patient. A sign is a condition noticed by others. High blood pressure and diabetes resulting from physical or medical conditions may produce fatigue, nausea, malaise, anorexia, mental disorders, and quantifiable weight loss, but these medical conditions may also be signs of chronic fatigue syndrome and deep rooted psychological issues.

When diagnosis of the signs and symptoms and the underlying cause and effect are judged to be of a subjective nature they may not be accurately diagnosed because they cannot be measured in medical terms. The patient suffering from post traumatic stress disorder, anxiety disorders, the primal wound, sorrow, grief and bereavement may be ignored because the signs and symptoms are psychological and not medically quantifiable. Adopted parents faced with diagnosing feelings, emotions and behaviors in their adopted child classified as social withdrawal, apathy, inability to experience pleasure, antisocial behavior, defects in attention control and failure to thrive have difficulty identifying symptoms that cannot be measured directly. For that reason, they may fail to recognize the signs or the severity of the cause, and when the patient avoids telling others about their symptoms, the relationship between the two remains unclear. When stress and anxiety rise to a high level, the patient may eventually exhibit destructive behavior directed toward self, family or society—only then is the problem accurately diagnosed.

Contact Judith Land

 

http://www.adoptiondetectivejudithland.com | Judith Land Blog

Adoption Detective | Memoir of an Adopted Child | Judith Land

Detective Adopción | Memorias de un niño adoptado | Parenting & Relationships

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Thông qua Thám | Hồi ký của một trẻ em đã được thông qua

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Incredible Discoveries Await Curious Adoptees

“Even when it isn’t possible, or desirable to contact family members directly, it can still be highly rewarding to study history, lifestyles, social influences, cultural customs, and language, and learn about the geographic places from which your ancestors originated.” Judith Land

Roots | Alex Haley | Adoption Detective | Judith Land

“Genetic testing is becoming a cornerstone of healthcare. Genetically encoded features of a person for ancestral research can also be used to diagnose current illness, predict future disease risk, and to define other less medically relevant traits.” Judith Land

Ancestors are much more than a name. Adoptees should be favorably encouraged by the growing popularity of DNA testing and rapidly expanding ancestry computer data bases as reliable sources of educational enlightenment and entertainment. Adoptees curious to learn about family genetics, medical history, cultural and social customs, language, country of origin, and significant historical events influencing the lives of previous generations, get ready for some excitement. 

Alex Haley grew up hearing stories from his grandmother about the family history. He wrote the novel Roots: The Saga of an American Family the story of Kunta Kinte, an 18th century African captured in Gambia, sold into slavery, and transported to North America. The story traces the life of Kunta and his descendants down to himself. The novel, combined with its hugely popular television adaptation Roots led to a cultural sensation in the United States. Haley earned a Pulitzer Prize and many awards, including nine Emmys and a Peabody. Roots is a work of the imagination rather than strict historical scholarship but it was an important event because it captured everyone’s imagination.

Thanks to DNA testing I have learned much more about my family background than I ever anticipated. Thanks to the internet, my appreciation of other cultures and knowledge of other regions of the world where many of my relatives originated from, has been significantly increased. 

Don’t be discouraged by rumors and innuendo. Discovering the parts of the world where your ancestors came from can be highly exhilarating, illuminating, and compelling. 

Judith Land

 

 

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On Children

Kahlil Gibran

 

 

 

 

 

 

And a woman who held a babe against her bosom said, Speak to

  us of Children.

And he said:

Your children are not your children.

They are the sons and daughters of Life’s longing for itself.

They come through you but not from you,

And though they are with you yet they belong not to you.

 

You may give them your love but not your thoughts,

For they have their own thoughts.

You may house their bodies but not their souls,

For their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow, which you

      cannot visit, not even in your dreams.

You may strive to be like them, but seek not to make them like

      you.

For life goes not backward nor tarries with yesterday.

You are the bows from which your children as living arrows are

    sent forth.

The archer sees the mark upon the path of the infinite, and He

   bends you with His might that his arrows may go swift and

     far.

Let your bending in the archer’s hand be for gladness;

For even as He loves the arrow that flies, so He loves also the

  bow that is stable.

 

 

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Adoption and Conventional Wisdom

“The next time someone challenges your personal beliefs about post traumatic stress disorder resulting from maternal deprivation, ask yourself if their way of thinking is restricted by conventional wisdom. The health hazards of using pesticides when growing fruits and vegetables and smoking tobacco were not considered particularly harmful to one’s health in the 1950s, even among doctors. After all, the world turned out to be a sphere, not flat.” Judith Land

Judith Land | Adoption Detective | Conventional Wisdom

“Wisdom is a virtue. It is the soundness of an action and decision with regard to the application of experience, knowledge, and good judgment. Acquiring and practicing wisdom gives way to happiness and longevity of life. A wise person is a person who can foresee the future.” Judith Land

 

Conventional wisdom refers to all the commonplace ideas and expert opinions that are accepted as true by the majority of people, common ideas that most people agree on and use to make everyday decisions about their lives, to use as a gauge of normative behavior, beliefs, and professional conduct. Conventional is an adjective for things that are normal and ordinary that follow accepted ways that are typical and commonplace, accepted standards of social behavior, and cultural norms.

Conventional thinking is a term that emphasizes predictability, related to usual ways of thinking and doing things in your family, business, community, and culture, based on ideas which are esteemed for their acceptability. It is the body of ideas and explanations accepted as true by the public and experts in a field of knowledge and experience that almost no one disputes.

Conventional thinking leads to conforming cultural norms in behavior and thinking, but conventional wisdom isn’t always true. It may be a hindrance to the acceptance of new information, new theories, and explanations; an obstacle that must be overcome by legitimate revisionism. Since conventional wisdom is convenient, appealing, and deeply assumed by the public, consistently repeated statements may also become conventional wisdom, whether they are true or not. 

The topic of adoption is rife with specific ideas and notions about what is best for single mothers and adopted children. The inertia of repeated ideas about traditional customs, beliefs, and usages handed down from past generations that adhere to accepted customs and cultures, can last for many years, even after many experts have shifted to a new reality. Over time, there has been a gradual shift in thinking in American society regarding open verses closed adoptions, the value of family reunions, and the severe lasting psychological effects of the primal wound, maternal separation, and deprivation.

Unconventional thinkers are individuals that visualize possibilities that haven’t taken form yet. They think independently to visualize the bigger picture and comprehend the details. If the care of children and motherhood are important to you, educate yourself. Learn to seek the truth by challenging conventional wisdom.

Judith Land

 

 

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Adoption Triggers Intense Feelings

“Life is an endless trial. Death is the certain verdict. Pain teaches you more than pleasure. Adversity teaches you more than comfort. Even a small glimmer of hope tantalizingly far in the future, can help adoptees overcome the anxieties and traumas of daily living.” Judith Land 

Adoption Detective | Judith Land | Emotions

“Adoption is a huge life-altering event that triggers complex emotional responses in adopted children. A lack of control and power leads to anxiety, fear, and anger, resulting in attachment disorders, a negative sense of identity, difficulty with intimacy, and emotional trauma.” Judith Land

When the adoptee mind reaches for understanding and relevancy during times of darkness, confusion, and deep distress, powerful emotions and intense feelings are evoked in the conscious mind.

Emotions are the outward display of our feelings about circumstances and the people we are with. Emotions are reflected in our behavior, mood, body language, thoughts, and verbal responses. The world cannot be fathomed or described without talking about how we feel about things. Many of our emotional responses are triggered by speculation and abstract concepts, rather than concrete facts and events. Glory, love, honor, courage, death, beauty and poetry are examples of abstract thoughts that trigger complex thoughts, sentiments, and reactions that are often difficult to describe in ways that others can comprehend. 

Adoptees with the highest levels of ‘emotional intelligence’ are more likely to possess a higher degree of empathy for others. By understanding how another person feels about certain things, they can profoundly understand with deep insight what the other person is communicating. Those who understand the profundity of others share the greatest insights and depth of knowledge and often sense these things without words. 

Emotions are a natural instinctive state of mind deriving from one’s circumstances, mood, and relationships with others. Understanding the consequences of emotions is critical to healthy living and future success. Sadness is emotion characterized by feelings of disappointment, grief, hopelessness, disinterest, and a dampened mood. Fear is the emotional response to an anticipated negative social situation. Disgust is a sense of revulsion to things we hope to avoid. Anger has negative mental and physical consequences on our health. Surprise triggers flight or flee responses that trigger spontaneous memories. Happiness is a pleasant emotional state characterized by feeling of joy, gratification, contentment and well-being. Happiness is also linked to increased longevity and satisfaction in relationships. 

No one is born with success. Our emotional reactions to circumstances, tribulations, and frustrations test our faith, temper our passions, shape our character, and help us succeed. The higher our destiny, the greater the obstacles we are forced to overcome, and the more important it is to display emotional intelligence.

Judith Land

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Adoption—Transcendence is Key to a Better Life

“Transcendence refers to the very highest and most inclusive levels of human consciousness. Adoptees that learn to ‘transcend’ the limitations of conventional thinking and common obstacles of daily living are best able to overcome continuous dull pain to achieve good health, discover purpose, and find happiness.” Judith Land

Adoption Detective | Judith Land | Transcendence

“Transcendence is a way of expanding personal boundaries, stimulating individualism, and defining uniqueness based on critical thinking, creative thinking, and other skills that are vital to success in life and beyond.” Judith Land

What is it that makes attitudes and perceptions different from person to person? Is it the ability of some individuals to transcend the stale, mundane, commonplace, clichéd, platitudinous, conventional perceptions of adoption to overcome the severe life-long consequences of maternal separation?     

There is a common thread among adoptees that the possibility of ‘self-actualization’ is reserved for individuals who have been lucky in life that haven’t had to struggle for their day-to-day survival, living with individuals that don’t honor or respect them. And yet, there are many examples of people in basically the same circumstances that have turned out very differently, which indicates that the ability to transcend life’s trials and tribulations has an enormous bearing upon one’s fate and happiness.

Transcendence is the highest and most inclusive level of human consciousness, a holistic way of behaving and relating to oneself, to nature, our relationship with the world, all things and all people. It is the act of rising above prevailing trends, traditional points of view, and common ways of thinking to achieve a higher mental state, sense of well-being, sense of purpose, sense of wholeness, and greater connectedness. 

Spiritual transcendence is the part of humanity that separates us from all other species—the very highest and most inclusive level of human consciousness. It is a skill of incalculable individual worth that allows individuals to achieve self-actualization. Transcendent thinking leads to a greater sense of awareness, well-being, serenity, connectedness, wholeness, sense of purpose, and expansion of consciousness beyond the self, to something of much greater importance.

Self-actualizing individuals are high achievers that have a comfortable acceptance of self, others and nature. They rely on their own experiences and judgement. They are passionate, task centered, self-sufficient, independent individuals with a spontaneous freshness of appreciation and profound interpersonal relationships; individuals that strive to see beyond the normal range of colorless, mundane, and common experiences of a material universe. It is essential to the mental fortitude and health and happiness of adoptees that we dedicate ourselves to some kind of mission and purpose that helps us ‘transcend’ the mundane limitations of daily living.

Transcendence is definitely one of the keys to a better life.

Judith Land

 

 

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Adoption Stories

“In the mind of a writer, the protagonist of an adoption story is usually an isolated figure that brings a strong will to bear against great sufferings.” Judith Land 

Judith Land | Adoption Detective | Celebrity Writer

“Life for adoptees is not as simple as finding a garden path of flagstones leading directly home.” Judith Land

“Nobody writes books about silence and all the things that nobody ever said. Blank paper makes me cry knowing that adoptees have so many pent-up emotions and strong feelings inside waiting to be spoken. Adoptees living in fear and shame, too afraid to share their personal feelings of hurt with others, may be tempted instead to use a fountain pen to obliterate the sky.” Judith Land

In most adoption stories, maternal deprivation results in a series of traumatic emotional reactions during which the child engages in an anxious period of calling and active search behavior followed by a period of declining behavioral responsiveness. Victims are plagued by insecurity, nightmares, and worries. Adoptees lacking the very essence of maternal nature, exhibit emotional and behavioral problems, and suffer from terrible feelings of isolation. Psychological and biological responses are deep and long-lasting, including problems in bonding, attachment disorders, and other effects that extend into adulthood.

The plot usually hinges on a child separated from its biological mother that the characters in the story investigate and attempt to solve. Adoptees are often depicted as disadvantaged, insecure individuals, seeking solace in the beauty of nature and quality relationships with others. The story unfolds as the trials of a lone survivor who is eventually martyred to the cause of liberty, independence, self-expression, and freedom.

Mimicking reactions to their own experiences, many adoption writers emphasize historical and cultural knowledge gained from personal incidents and perspectives. Following a series of harrowing events, only the narrator survives unscathed.

Judith Land

 

 

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Adoption, Cursive Writing and Communication

“Beware of exposing your secrets to Mother Nature and Father Time. The sea is boundless, if you expose your confidential thoughts to the ocean, don’t blame the waves for revealing them to the shore.” Judith Land

Judith Land | Cursive Writing | Adoption Detective

“When your emotions, feelings and fears are powerful, you become an instant poet, song writer, moon-gazer, and philosopher.” Judith Land

Communication is very important when it comes to the topic of adoption. Some letters and documents may become cherished possessions many years after they are written. The timing of knowing when, where, how and who to share your most intimate thoughts, feelings and fears with are crucial decisions with lasting ramifications. 

 I lament the fact that poetry, handwritten letters, cursive, and clear writing have become lost arts, relics—ways of communicating made popular by previous generations that are now a thing of the past. Many people in today’s world, brag about their multi-tasking ability and speed reading skills. They rip through news headlines, Facebook pages, sporting scores, and emails in one gulp, the way that a dog consumes a steak. I prefer to work at a slower pace, allowing time to reflect on the true meaning of words, the way that a caterpillar munches on a leaf one tiny bite at a time; believing that literature is meant to be relished, enjoyed in full, delighted in, and appreciated the same way that we delicately savor the delicious taste of sweets that melt in your mouth, the lingering smell of perfume in the air after a woman walks past, single piano notes floating into the air, and the comforting flavor and aroma of a favorite glass of wine in a Waterford crystal glass.

The primary problem with communication is the illusion that it has taken place. In this age of Facebook, Twitter, Linked-in, Pinterest, YouTube, Tumbler, Instagram, dozens of social dating apps and social networking sites, casual writing is at an all-time high. Computers allow anyone to put themselves out there in crazy ways with no restraints. Modern communication has shifted entirely toward the informal and the difference between creepy and romantic has become entirely hazy. Casual communication without much thought often occurs by chance. Lacking a high degree of interest or devotion and showing little concern, intent or commitment, modern conveyance of ideas is often insensitive to the feelings of others. We seldom write in cursive anymore and pay little attention to the real meanings of words, classic literature, poetry, the lyrics to songs and quality writing. The social fears of ostracism, criticism and misunderstandings prevent adoptees from taking action or saying how they really feel about adoption with any depth or clear perspective, and when they don’t express themselves with clarity, dignity and honor, what they intended to say isn’t always interpreted correctly.

In this modern era, it is far quicker and easier to communicate with abbreviations, emoji, and acronyms than it is to take the time to thoroughly compose our thoughts, transmit our ideas, and clearly express ourselves from the heart. We are reluctant to use poetry to express a yearning for love and communicate our sentiments with the words of a song because we fear what others may think. Poetry is an inherently dramatic method of communicating tangled abstract thoughts and simple expressions of complex ideas. Songs stir our emotions, make perception inevitable, and leave residual feelings of satisfaction as understanding merges into appreciation. In this world of text messaging and emails, good old-fashioned handwritten love letters and valentines have become very rare special treats. Personal notes have evolved into commercial Hallmark cards and copied quotes. I cherish ancient love letters, poems and songs that cinematically paint images with words that clearly project the personal thoughts, perspectives and experiences of the writer to convey eternal sentiments and messages of love and hope—memories of a bygone era recorded somewhere in time in handwritten script on parchment paper and encapsulated in a faded envelope.

If you’re an adoptee or an aspiring author, try writing some of your thoughts on paper, the old fashioned low-tech way. Daily writing makes you smarter when you write in a cursive style of penmanship. Writing makes you think. Some studies even show that writing by hand increases cognitive activity and can actually make you more intelligent in the areas of thinking, language and working memory. The more you pay attention, the better your handwriting will be. 

Judith Land

 

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