16 [Healing Series] Why Me? with Pamela Cordano, MFT


Pamela Cordano, MFT addresses the question that many adoptees struggle with, "Why Me?". Pam shares that it's a natural, yet painful question for us to struggle with. We talk about how we can work on healing this feeling of shame and unworthiness.

Show Notes

Topics We Discussed

  • Pamela's briefly shares her bio and reasons for becoming a psychotherapist

  • Adoptees and the feeling "Why me?"

  • Children naturally are self-centred, and assume anything that happens (divorce, adoption, home burning down) they are somehow responsible; they don't have the critical thought to separate themselves from those situations.

  • Powerful feeling there's something inherently flawed about us personally, that this happened to us

  • It's a natural and painful question to hold on to

  • Adoptees struggling with shame and believing "we are flawed"

  • Feeling ugly or stupid, making stories up about what was inherently wrong about them vs children who were kept

  • What do we do with that as an adult?

  • Working to have an adult part of ourselves that can speak to that child in us, "my parents didn't have the capacity to keep me" (etc.)

  • Using the adult part of us to soothe the child in us that doesn't understand

  • It's not things going wrong that cause the deepest wounds in children; it's the things that aren't addressed that go un-repaired

  • It's hard to heal without the hurt part of us addressed directly

  • Part of repair includes connecting with other adoptees so we don't feel alone

  • The hurt part of us needs direct care (a sympathetic adult, a wise friend or therapist), then eventually ourselves

  • Practice talking to the baby inside, from an adult voice "You didn't deserve this, this wasn't about you, of course you're sad, of course you're mad, of course you're confused, things feel hard for you that don't seem hard to to other people, you're alone with this but I'm here." Dividing yourself into two parts to have the adult voice speak into the child portion.

  • Cultivate the adult to "have our own back"

  • Addressing the spiritual aspect, why do bad things happen to good people?

  • Looking at how this pain informs us, what do we do with it to help others

  • Nelson Mandela's story

  • Adoptees have the potential for superpowers because of what happened to us: empathy, strength, resilience and compassion