ADOPTED CHILDREN ARE FREQUENTLY BULLIED
A generalized example from practice: a child was adopted at a very early age, the family created a safe enough environment for growth and development. At the age of adolescence the child goes out from the family womb to the society and can encounter the directed aggression. It is not always clear at first sight what causes the reaction of rage among the peers. Some qualities cause strong irritation among the peers, and this way the psychologically traumatic situation where the child is exposed to the uncontrolled aggression attacks is reconstructed. At the depth level early deprivation and parental ill-being which the child experienced in the early days of life is anchored into a message, «inner sentence»: «Something is wrong with you, you are not right, you do not match us». Teenage environment senses this message and acts out this early situation of stalking. The task of an infant, and further a little child is to adapt in order to survive. And he or she gets adapted first to the child protection and then to the adoptive family, but the pain of being rejected, abandoned is a wormhole which will remain inside, will, figuratively speaking, ripen and grow stronger. And frequently the teenage years are a favourable time when the child can re-live the feelings of being rejected and not needed in order to confirm that really something is wrong with me and I deserve the attitude like this.
This is the vicious magic of trauma.
It is necessary to immediately stop bullying as the external traumatizing factor as we have described earlier, but the depth work at the level of psychotherapy and psychological help is vital.
Psychotherapy may be the chance to live through the early trauma consciously instead of creating an unconscious situation.
This concerns various psychologically traumatic events of the first period of life when something outstandingly wrong might have happened, later the life situation might have been improved but during the teenage period the pain sleeping in the unconscious can be activated once again. THE CHILD WAS NOT DESIRED OR THE PARENTS WERE NOT READY FOR THE CHILD
Clinical vignette. The 12-year-old girl was mocked, particularly in a girl group, the group situations of derision, attacks, verbal bullying were organized, vulgar gossip was spread.
In the consulting room I observed a good, trusting relationship between daughter and mother, and I couldn't understand the unconscious reason of the rage of her peers.
Only some time later, when I found out about the story of her birth, the reasons of the situation at school started to open up to me.
It was a very early pregnancy, the mother was at school at that time herself. The mother's parents couldn't take this pregnancy and she was cast out of the family. The description of the situation in which this young mother tried to bear her baby (my client) by its psychological characteristics very much resembled the school atmosphere of bullying. Remarkably, the young mother was stalked by her own mother and sisters. My client was given for upbringing to the grandparents from the father's side. In fact, in the period of her early childhood, the girl was separated from her mother. The father's family, to a large extent out of the feeling of guilt (a dysfunctional son) have all the time been creating a very good, super-caring conditions for the girl.
But as soon as she got to the external environment (kindergarten, the change of school group at primary school) the inner ill-being showed itself, as if the child could feel that things are not that good. As the saying goes, every cloud has a silver lining. The bullying situation activated the family system and the girl with her mother came to psychotherapy. Mother recalled the story of the beginning unexpectedly emotionally, and it was the beginning of her own personal psychotherapy. In our work with the girl we managed to return to this early situation and experience the emotions with more awareness. This abscess was opened.
The child got a chance to shape her own value, increase the self-esteem, get to know the story of her birth and recover «the continuous lifeline», which is going to give her an inner support in the future. ELDER BROTHERS AND SISTERS CAN BECOME THE FIRST BULLIES
Sometimes in families with three or more children one child is chosen as a scapegoat and he or she is always guilty, bad, attracting all negative emotions. As the result they are beaten, called names and given bad nicknames.
When the child gets such message from the close siblings, it can leave a trauma inside which with the time can be acted out analogically in the adolescent environment.
Another side of psychological trauma can be connected with the situation of a single-time but cruel violence (a drunken fight, a loud scandal or scuffle). The child remains with the experience of inner unsafety, as if they remember that they can be attacked or can suffer. For example mother could break down and beat them up cruelly, or somehow unexpectedly show sharp aggressive behaviour. This way the feeling of unprotectedness can be encapsulated.
It is important to note that the traumatic situations described above can fail to cause the fixation, but the practice shows that at the early age psychic trauma can be a working hypothesis for the research of deeper unconscious reasons in the situation of stalking.
Reflecting on the psychological trauma we as Jungian analysts frequently use the metaphor of «the solid base of the soul».
«One should have a solid base of the soul and a distinct inner coordinate system which coincides with the Universe…. It is just like with the sea bottom. The surface may be disturbed by any waves or storms, but they still do not disturb the stability and perseverance of the bottom as the base. The same happens to the soul» (Chepovoy, 2017, p. 51).
Working with teenagers, our main task is to strengthen this base of personality. Various events in the lives of our patients will happen, just like spontaneous splashes of the water, that is why we together with the client are working upon «the solid base of the soul». BIBLIOGRAPHY
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