Not Bonded

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I have posted in this forum before under the heading 'nine years and still struggling' and got some very supportive responses, well now its nearly 10years and we are struggling more than ever. I think I in particular have reached the 'no more energy for it ' stage and life with my ac is just existence. I know i am not helping the situation with her, and i know i am not giving her what she needs but i feel i just can't. As a mother of 3 other birth children my energies are on trying to protect my family, these are my instincts. She is just an alien in my house who is just causing hurt to the family i am trying to protect. i hate myself for this and this was not my vision and my desire when we adopted 10 years ago and we have tried with all sorts of DDP counselling, theory, medication (both her and me) and other resources to try and improve the situation to no avail. The

bottom line is i have never bonded with her and dont now feel i ever will. As such i suppose i lack that empathy to try to understand her actions, her violence, her lies and her manipulation. i dont feel that the situation can improve since i can't give to her when she is the cause of my family's stress. I feel for my bc and wonder how their life would have been without her, all the time i could have given them and how i would now be as a person if it wasn't for the decision we made 10 years ago. Where we all go from here i am not sure . Just continue existing in the hope that the (teenage) years ahead some how make the situation better ?? I dont know. I do feel that we need some regular respite to re-charge, but this seems unavailable . my mother used to help but my ac refuses to go and i think we need more help than the occasional night off. Does anyone out there know if bonding does eventually happen ?? I am shamefully currently in a state where i can't stand her in the same room as me let alone bond. i feel ashamed and saddened , tired and completely out of options. Help can anyone identify with any of this ?

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How old is your adopted child? And your birth children?

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ad is 11 birth children 15,17 and 19

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It can eventually happen. It is possible it's just damn difficult and a struggle. We are 13 years in and it's been very rocky personally with one of my AD. I have to continually work hard on managing myself and my mixed feelings. I'm getting there but it's still up and down. some days I feel I am bonded the next I feel very dark and negative. It's very understandable that you feel like this. Don't feel ashamed. I understand and I'm sure there will be plenty of others who do.

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thanks curly100 x

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Sorry, I can't help but I'm with you on this one, so just to say I understand, and I hope you will get some helpful comments.

I've run out of empathy for my AS, I've felt rock bottom all day, not wanting to do anything with him.

I feel bad, and useless, especialy as I have had lots of advice from play therapists and some NVR etc, but sometimes I just can't get out of this deep dark hole.

Talking to therapists and suport groups tends to make me feel more positive for a while . I'm 5 years in with AS 9 and AD 8 and also dread the thought of 'just exisiting' for another 5 years so if you get any good advice please share,

I find it's hard to share all the details here, so I might send you a message.

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Maybe now your adopted child (starts or is in) secondary school it is a good moment to look or a boarding school could be an option. You know that the teenage years are turbulent for most adopted children. What I want to say is try to accept the situation without huge guild. Bonding/attachment is very challenging and not always fully possible with attachment disordered children.

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Hi pinkclanger,

I remember your previous post. So sorry things haven't improved for you and your family. Please don't feel bad - i am sure that nobody could have done more than you both have. I think deep down you know what you have to do - you just need to find the strength to do it. Sometimes our children need more than we can give and by being strong you will help her get the help that she needs. I think you need to get social services involved now and get an assessment of need or start the section 20 procedure - you got some excellent advice on that last time. also consider pluto's advice.

sending you big hugs xxxx

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Whilst I'd say I felt I bonded with our adopted daughter in retrospect I don't think she ever bonded with me. I certainly relate to your feelings of needing to protect your birth children. Lies and manipulation can be very wearing and in hindsight I wonder how much their constant presence played a part in my lack of confidence and anxiety regarding our adopted daughter. However, she did prove herself to be a very real danger to our family.

You have similar age gaps to our children. If you want to pm me feel free.

In a bit of a rush at the moment but will post more if I think of anything else.

Sending you a big hug, it's very tough

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I know its said that true love is unconditional but I have never been able to understand that. Love is a two way thing that relies on both people putting in and taking out the same amount of commitment.

In a marriage if one person always gives and the other always takes the rest of us would look on that as a fairly unsuccessful set up. Yet adoption is so often just like that. As a parent we try and try, make excuse after excuse and question ourselves, our commitment and our behaviour constantly.

I could tell you that I love my children and in a way I totally do but I am also very aware of just how rocky that 'love' is. I hate the lies, the violence, the competition for my affection, the arrogant know it all mixed with the total insecurity.

I know where it all comes from, I know it can't always be helped but I'm no saint. Sometimes I just don't like my children.

I seriously do think you need respite, my son is accommodated and some of the children who turn up there regularly are in families so it should be available. If it is not then at the very least LA should pay towards a PGL style holiday break but really you need a boarding school I think.

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The fact that most people when they write a post about difficulties always mention 'but I do love them' is in my opinion guild or fear what others would think. We all love our children if you define love as 'caring for', 'providing', 'having the child's best interest at heart'. It is not important how I feel about my children because I have nothing to compaire it with, I am however convinced if I would have had a birth child I would feel very different. (I am a first choice adopter)

But than my children are brain damaged, adopted when they were 6, the fun started straight away. I just accept it is how it is and I am not making it myself difficult by questions like 'have we bonded, how is attachment, do I love them?'

For me it is commitment towards the child first and foremost. You can not make a horse drink water, you can not fix a brain what is damaged. Just accept there is a relationship with the child what is very special, and do not compaire it to the close bonds people around you have with their birth children. That happened naturally, the attachments in adopted children are challenging, hard work and often limited. I think it is harder when you have birth children as than you know how it is to have healthy attachments with children.

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