The Abandoned Baby

Yesterday, an 8-year-old child, Gabrielle, was brought to me. When she was born, her biological father gave her away to a relative. From birth, her biological mother completely abandoned her and never appeared to her up to this day.

A number of weeks ago, when Gabrielle found out that her caretakers are not her real father and mother, she began to cry, give blank stares, and exhibit wild or violent behavior. Several days ago, Gabrielle lost interest to continue school. She's unable to talk anymore and her hands would stiffen or not move.

My heart is broken for Gabrielle.  At such a young age, she's going through a severe psychological and emotional trauma.  One of the deepest cuts to our human condition.  Abandoned babies learn to feel, "I must not be worthy to love, so my mother and father left me. I don't really matter."  They may mourn for long periods of time. Such "abandonment wound," if not properly and sufficiently treated, could result in a life-long sense of unworthiness, failure, and sadness.

At this initial stage of Gabrielle's trauma recovery through her caretakers and the therapy process, things may actually get worse first before they get better. I understand that in spite of best efforts of those around her, the beginnings can be beyond anyone to help her significantly. Her trauma recovery is really going to be one day, one moment, at a time over the long haul.