Yesterday we talked about collateral damage as it related to your extended family and the loss of your child from that family. Today I want to talk first mother mental health. Very technically, one could argue, first mother mental health is not collateral damage since it applies to the original target – the mother. I disagree. I do believe it applies. Let me explain why.
As noted, collateral damage generally applies to “unintentional deaths, injuries, or other damage inflicted incidentally on an unintended target. In military terminology, it is frequently used where non-combatants are unintentionally killed or wounded and/or non-combatant property damage results of an attack on a legitimate military target.” (Wikipedia)
Mothers are most often told that surrendering your child will be a non event in their lives. They will “get over it”. They will “move on” seemingly unscathed. This may be true for some but for many this is not at all the case. Many mothers experience secondary infertility, struggle with anxiety, depression and suicidal ideation post surrender. Many, myself included, are diagnosed with PTSD struggling to “get over it” as they were told they would. For this reason, I believe mother’s mental health is collateral damage. Intentional or not, our emotional property damage results.
With that in mind, I ask you to consider your mental health post surrender.
Pre and Post Surrender Counseling – Did you receive counseling prior to surrender that informed you that you might suffer from long term mental health challenges? If so, what were you told might happen? How long was the counseling? Were you given recommendations and resources to follow up post surrender should you experience emotional difficulties?
Post Surrender Resources – If you attempted to find counseling post surrender, were you successful? Did you find mental health professionals to be knowledgeable in the area of adoption grief?
Non Traditional Support Resources – Outside of professional mental help, what other sources of support did you find to be helpful? Please be specific, for example, online support groups, in person support groups, books, etc.
Other – Anything else you would like to share regarding mental health?
As always, thank you for your consideration and sharing. You can comment below if you wish or email me details to bluestokking at gmail dot com.