Those of you who know me well probably already know where I am going with this. Let's start with why we appear hostile and angry. First our children: When we take their actions personally we are so hurt. How strange is it to put 120 per cent of yourself into parenting a child with all your love and be completely rejected. There is no trust, no commitment, no love (at least it is their version of love) on their part. It hurts deeply. At our worst, I would awaken to screaming fighting children, a destroyed bedroom and violence. I'd send them off to school and dread greatly the moment it came time to pick them up. They came to the car screaming and fighting and hitting each other. Spewing hatred at me and this continued until bedtime. Unless someone walked in. If my husband walked by, it stopped. If we went to church, it stopped. We'd go to church and people would say "My you have done such wonders with your boys. They are so sweet and well behaved." Then I would have horrible thoughts about my boys and feel so guilty. Guilty as though I were deceiving the world. As though no one understood the pain I was in. Then our spouses: At first my boys were excellent at fooling my husband. Until one day he was outside working and a window was open. He heard one of the boys giving me an emotional beating and then he knew. School: They first start out on the sweetness issue too. Then once the child starts showing their true colors they want you to fix it. You feel pressure to fix it. You cannot fix it. Friends: At first you hear "I told you not to do this." (adopt) or "I always thought you were crazy to do this." So what do you do? You know what is coming......TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF. Get away. I left and went to my mother's for 3 days the first time. Take a day off to go shop, get a manicure, have coffee with a friend, read a book. Think about something else. Make sure you are getting counseling for yourself as well as the kids. If need be, get counseling for you and your spouse. I believe it was Deb Wesselmann who said there are 3 keys to parenting a child wit RAD: Take care of yourself. Take care of yourself. Take care of yourself. So....take care of yourself. This is not said flippantly. I swim laps 3 times a week. I run/walk 3 times a week. I get pedicures and manicures now and then. I have coffee with a friend at least once a week. I read like crazy. Take 30 minutes to sit down and watch a show. When you go out with your husband or friends talk about things other than your kids with RAD. Focus on the healthy relationships you have, your healthy kids deserve to have you too. Do not let this consume you. It is not who you are. I have heard so many moms say they don't know who they are anymore because they are so exhausted and caught up in it. If that is where you are Stop! Take care of yourself.