Adoptive moms -Does your child have mixed up memories?

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by BeachPeace, Jun 7, 2011.

  1. BeachPeace

    BeachPeace Guest

    Had a good counseling session yesterday with Blue. His meltdowns have subsided for the last few days and we may be getting into a routine before summer school starts.

    After yesterday's session - the Counselor says that she feels that Blue is remembering his past abuse but at times is memory may be confusing ME with his birth mother. Therefore that may be why his rage is often directed at me and only me.

    I can't stop thinking about feels so very heavy to think that after everything I have done and as much love as I have given that he could even remotely consider me in the same category of the person who violently abused him and neglected him.

    What do you all think?
  2. timer lady

    timer lady Queen of Hearts

    Yes, Beach. I've felt that anger, that disrespect, that out right rage from the tweedles.

    It was explained to me that bio mum wasn't available & I was the "stand in" for the rage the tweedles felt. Against therapist's advise I tell kt & wm repeatedly "wrong mom, I'm not the one who hurt you". In my mom's heart, I knew that the tweedles needed to separate today's reality from their past abuse.

    While I learned to understand where the anger came from, I no longer tolerated that anger being directed at me.
  3. keista

    keista New Member


    I'm very sorry, and while I don't have first had experience with this type of situation, I do have experience with how elastic a young child's memory can be. Step son told me repeatedly of the story when his dad supposedly abused his mom and left. He told this story as if he had been standing in the corner watching it. He even remembered me being there! Reality is that the stepson was in utero at the time. His mom just LOVED telling the story, and it became his memory.

    In your situation, I can understand the counselor's thought process. I don't know how old he was when you adopted him, but I'm just guessing that you and the other person have similar names? Mom, Mommy? In his young mind the same name makes both of you the same person. If he remembers his previous abuse at all, and it is discussed with either you or in therapy, a suggestion would be to distance you and this other person by using a completely different referring name. in my opinion the real trick is to figure out what actions he associates more with the name MOM. If to him, MOM is kind and loving. then the other person needs to be called "Jane". If, on the other hand, he associates MOM with abuse, then maybe call you by your first name. Yes, an absolutely heartbreaking thought, because you ARE MOM. You are giving him everything a REAL MOM is supposed to be giving him, and you DESERVE the title, but if in his little mind, MOM is a BAD thing, do you really want to keep that association? If I'm on the right track here, in my opinion breaking his negative association with the title would be more difficult than to adjust to a new an more positive title or name.
  4. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    Have an adopted brother - he had 5 homes before he started school - ours was after that.

    He told "stories" that we would never believe... they were just too far out. Then, in working with the case manager, we found out that some of these "stories" were in fact true. Others, didn't make sense - until he was grown, and tracked down some siblings... it turns out some of these strange stories just got moved on the time line... things that no one thought he would ever remember from when he was a toddler, he associated with about age 3 - an age when we would expect him to remember some of this, but he was in a setting where it just didn't jive.

    So, yes - child memories can be very fluid, and especially when they don't have the usual sign-posts to tie things to and on-going validation of the stories as they grow... Even our own kids have fluid memories... things that happened after we moved to another city, they associate with the city they were born in... and they were well into school-age when we moved!
  5. BeachPeace

    BeachPeace Guest

    Thanks for the insight and encouragement.
    Linda - your comment about "wrong mom" put tears in my eyes....I wish I could say that, that is exactly how I feel.
  6. JJJ

    JJJ Active Member

    Why can't you say it? It's true.

    Kanga's memories are all muddled -- between abusive birthhome and the foster homes with a heavy dash of her delusional thinking, there is almost no path to what really happened.