3 Biggest Mistakes Adoptees Make When Coming Out of the F.O..G, and How to Avoid Them!

Apr 25 / Kat Linquist
Coming out of the fog (Fear, Obligation, and Guilt) as an adoptee is a journey filled with complexity, introspection, and often, unexpected challenges.

It's a process of reclaiming your identity, understanding your experiences, and finding your place in the world.

However, amidst this journey, there are common pitfalls that adoptees may encounter.  Let’s explore three of the biggest mistakes adoptees make when emerging from the fog and provide insights on how to avoid them.

Mistake 1: Rushing the Process

One of the most significant mistakes adoptees make when coming out of the fog is rushing the process of wanting to “Fix Yourself”.

It's natural to feel eager to unpack years of suppressed emotions and untangle the complexities of your adoption experience.

You may feel even more broken and are seeking ways to heal or fix your brokenness.  The feelings of separation, depression, mistrust, and closing yourself off to other people becomes more apparent to you, as you begin to analyze yourself and your life as an Adoptee.

Coming Out of the FOG also drives many Adoptees to search for your Biological Family in an attempt to feel “whole” and to “finally know” where you came from. 

Rushing into Biological Discovery or Reunion without doing your emotional and energetic preparation leads many to experience additional traumas and pain, rather than the peace and clarity you are seeking.  

How to Avoid: Take your time. Embrace the journey of self-discovery and  as a new life pathway rather than a crash diet.  You are NOT BROKEN.  Adoption Didn’t Break You!  It handed you a set of life circumstances which caused you trauma.  You don’t need to be “Fixed”. 

 Learning to let go of the Pain and Trauma is different than “fixing what is”.  Have you ever caught a fish, or a spider, and then just let it go?  You can learn to do that with painful memories, traumas, and emotions which no longer serve you.  Once you let go, there is space to create the Powerful You, you were born to be.

Mistake 2: Allowing Your Emotions to Define Your Life

Another common mistake adoptees make is allowing your emotions to become the driver and defining factor as you come out of the FOG.

Growing up in the fog often entails burying feelings of loss, confusion, anger, and grief in an attempt to assimilate into your Adoptive family or avoid rocking the boat and creating pain or discomfort for others.

These buried emotions becomes the driver of People Pleasing and Considering yourself Last, or Not at All.

Yet once you come out of the FOG, your emotions may take a wild rollercoaster ride, as you are now able to begin feeling and expressing all these suppressed and bottled up emotions. 

It’s also very easy to get “stuck” in the feelings of anger, frustration and overwhelm and allow these feelings to drive your thoughts and actions, as you grapple with where your power really lies.  

How to Avoid: Allow yourself to feel. Acknowledge and validate your emotions, even the uncomfortable ones.

Journaling, art therapy, or mindfulness practices can provide a safe outlet for expressing and processing your feelings.  

Watching sad movies or listening to music can help you release deeply held emotions which have trouble being released in a conscious way.  The movie Fan Boys always helps me release grief…

Become aware of your feelings and notice when you are having “automatic” reactions to things, or “getting triggered”.  These emotions generally indicate a trauma that is being activated and flooding your body with its practiced response.

When you notice this kind of reaction, stop, take a deep breath, hold it for 5 seconds and slowly release it.  Do this 3 times. 

Then ask yourself - what do you want to feel about this situation or how can you respond from a place of self-love and clarity, rather than react from the FOG.

Mistake 3: Seeking Validation from External Sources

Many adoptees struggle with seeking validation and acceptance from external sources such as their biological parents, adoptive parents, or society at large.

This quest for validation can become a relentless pursuit, leading to feelings of inadequacy and self-doubt when expectations aren't met. 

This was ME, most of my life.  Always looking outside myself for love, acceptance, and validation to the point of accepting highly toxic and abusive behavior from my husband - for 25 years!  

When you rely on something or someone outside you to make you feel loved, valued, and accepted, you will most likely not have your expectations met.

You are putting your happiness and peace in the hands of someone else.  You’ve given away your power.  And in the wrong hands, you can experience some pretty ugly stuff.

How to Avoid: Shift the focus inward. Instead of seeking validation from external sources, cultivate self-love, self-acceptance, and self-validation. Practice self-compassion and affirm your worthiness independent of others' opinions.  

For Adoptees, this can feel particularly challenging, so finding an Adoptee coach, guide, “teacher” or mentor who has been through this process and can support you along your journey is highly recommended.

By growing into your Personal Power, you can liberate yourself from the cycle of seeking external validation and embrace your authentic self.  

Emerging from the fog as an adoptee is a profound and transformative journey.

By avoiding these common mistakes and embracing patience, emotional authenticity, and support, you can navigate the complexities of your adoption experience with resilience and grace.

Remember, growth is not linear, and every step forward, no matter how small, is a testament to your strength and resilience. You deserve to reclaim your truth and find peace as you Move Beyond Adoption.

Look for my next Blog and the Last in the Coming Out of the FOG Series:  Gaining Emotional Mastery as you Come Out of the FOG. 
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