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Wrestling with Social Anxiety as an Adoptee with Tammy Murphy - Ep 146

Unraveling Adoption

Release Date: 05/20/2024

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“I have a hard time believing in love, that love just really exists, that you can love somebody. Then I feel like I have a hard time loving men and stuff, so I wouldn't want them to get hurt if they ever felt like I didn't love them.” - Tammy Murphy


Episode Summary:

In this episode of Unraveling Adoption, I had the privilege of speaking with Tammy Murphy, a Black, same-race, domestic adoptee living in Indiana. Tammy shared her struggles with social anxiety and dissociation, stemming from her adoption experience. She recounted how her adoptive mother's inconsistent responses to her questions about being adopted led to confusion and a sense of not belonging. Tammy also shared her journey of self-medication with substances like alcohol and marijuana to cope with her feelings of disconnect and identity crisis.

Despite facing challenges in forming deep relationships and feeling a sense of authenticity, Tammy has taken steps towards healing. She recently started therapy and has begun journaling to identify triggers and coping mechanisms. Tammy expressed her aspirations to become an adoption therapist and to write a memoir titled Two to Forgive, focusing on forgiveness towards her birth mother and adoptive mother.

Throughout the episode, Tammy emphasized the importance of honesty in adoptive families, early communication about adoption, and seeking therapy and self-help resources to navigate the complexities of adoption trauma. 

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RESOURCES:

Resource mentioned in this episode:

  • Seven Core Issues in Adoption and Permanency: A Comprehensive Guide to Promoting Understanding and Healing In Adoption, Foster Care, Kinship Families and Third Party Reproduction: https://amzn.to/3QLyqXF

Other Resources:

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Unraveling Adoption is produced and hosted by Beth Syverson

Music written and performed by Joseph Nakao

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TIME STAMPS:


00:05:30 - Connecting with Others as an Adoptee
00:11:01 - Seeking Therapy and Beginning to Address Adoption Trauma
00:14:06 - Future Goals: Becoming an Adoption Therapist
00:15:50 - Advice for Adoptive Parents: Honesty and Openness
00:16:40 - Impact of Lies and Deception on Adoptees
00:18:16 - Advice for Adoptees: Therapy, Emotional Intelligence, and Coping Strategies