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Coming Home to Self: The Adopted Child Grows Up Paperback – June 30, 2004

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Coming Home to Self: The Adopted Child Grows Up + The Primal Wound: Understanding the Adopted Child + Being Adopted: The Lifelong Search for Self (Anchor Book)
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 485 pages
  • Publisher: Nancy Verrier (June 30, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0963648012
  • ISBN-13: 978-0963648013
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 6.1 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (27 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #100,108 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

154 of 158 people found the following review helpful By Kasey Hamner M.S., Adoption Author, School Psych. on March 30, 2004
Format: Paperback
Verrier takes you a quantifiable textbook-like journey of healing. She starts off by reviewing the traumatic effects of being separated from one's mother at the beginning of life and the impact of adoption on the brain. She then talks about anger, rage, guilt, shame, sorrow, joy, and many other emotions that adoptees experience and why. She then tackles head on what we adoptees can do about our pain in order to find our authentic self. She illustrates how important taking responsibility for our actions are paramount, how periodic "reality checks" are crucial to make sure that we are not reacting to our childhood trauma. Boundaries are a good thing and always being aware of our effect on others should remain in the forefront of our minds. One of my favorite chapters is A Definition of Terms. She points out how adoptees often misinterpret approval as love, observation as criticism, empathy as collusion, boundaries as rejection, different as wrong, disappointment as betrayal, and caring for intrusion. We must remember that just because somebody doesn't agree with us, it doesn't mean they weren't listening or that they don't care. She reminds us that when our friend cannot accept our invitation to dinner it is not a betrayal, but simply a disappointment. Verrier also discusses reunion issues for the birth parent, adoptive parent, and siblings/spouses of triad members which is helpful for all triad members to see how the others side(s) feel. She does not shy away from difficult topics such as Genetic Sexual Attraction, difficult relationships with birth/adoptive family members, spiritual concerns, and how to deal with the adoptee in your life. Overall, this book has the feel of a resource book that can be accessed again and again, depending on the adoption issue that is pressing at the moment.(...)
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87 of 91 people found the following review helpful By Lina Eve on January 6, 2004
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
"Coming home to Self" (The adopted child grows up)
This is a book of great depth and investigation into the experience of being adopted, and is an invaluable tool to understanding and healing for adopted people, their family of origin and adoptive family.
Verrier presents accessible information of the way the brain changes when children are separated from their mothers at birth, and how they build a false self in order to survive, yet how this false self serves them not, as they become adults.
She speaks about adoptees retaining the fight or flight mode because they are unwittingly always affected by their initial separation trauma. How the false self that mantles many adoptees, also prevents them from having authentic relationships and makes intimacy difficult. The adoptee who uses the false self to prevent further pain, building impenetrable walls around their hearts, are also isolated by them.
This book is challenging, as it encourages the adopted person to recognise their choice to remain in victim mode and encourages them to take responsibility for their effect on others. Verrier points out that adoptees are often insensitive with others, yet ultra sensitive to any comments or action that they see might be derogative to themselves ...in fact, sometimes their agenda colors everything anyone says as potentially negative, and they may be always ready to rail against it. Verrier points out that this is because of the initial trauma of separation from the mother, which has kept the adoptee in a traumatised state.
Verrier encourages adoptees to reassess what is really happening in their present situation, in order for them to start healing their relationships and their lives.
This is powerful writing with clear and thoroughly researched insight.
Lina Eve [...]
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44 of 48 people found the following review helpful By Cynthia J. Dutton on September 22, 2004
Format: Paperback
As a birth mother, this book was not only gut wrenching, but so enlighting. Everyone in the Adoption Triad must reconize him or herself at one point in this all too powerful book. For any member of the triad to deny the trauma a baby taken away from it's mother at birth will carry for the rest of his/her life is to live in a cave. Although Birth mothers have always known the pain of adoption, thanks to this book,and Verrier's insight as a adoptive mother herself, hopefully the adoptee will reconize his/her issues in life, such as the anger, guilt, rage, sorrow, and joy. To keep an open mind when picking up this book, is to find healing, compassion, and understanding of all members of the tiad.

Cindy Dutton/Birthmother
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Andy O'Hara on April 30, 2007
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
"Coming Home to Self" is an excellent follow-up to "Primal Wound" for those who want to know, "Where to from here?" It's heavier reading, to be sure, and should be approached studiously. In doing so, however, one finishes with a wealth of information on what happened to us when we were separated from our mothers, how it has impacted our lives, and how we can stop surviving and start living.

There's so much here that it's impossible to summarize. Suffice to say I was both abandoned as a baby and then adopted children, and certainly wish I had read Verrier's books before doing the latter. It would have made the experience far easier and, hopefully, helped avoid many of the traps she writes about--and that I experienced. This, and "Primal Wound," should be read by every mental health care professional.
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