Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Don't take it personally

I JUST read in one of your blogs a couple of days ago. Don't take it personally. Don't take it personally. Don't take it personally. I thought so important and so true. Some days it is easy to do. Some days it is very hard. Yesterday Bear asked if he could have the comics from the paper when dad was done. It went like this.

ME: Sure what will you do for me?

BEAR: Not fight.

Now anytime I ask him to think of something nice to do he says either Not Fight or Not Argue. Then he doesn't change a thing. It is really not doing something FOR someone. It is stopping a negative behavior.

ME: I didn't say would you NOT do. What will you DO?

BEAR: Stop arguing.

ME: Pick something from your list of 20 Ways To Show Mom I Love Her.

Lest you become green with envy that my son made a list like that, he couldn't think of 20 things so I had to make the list myself but he won't do the things on the list.

BEAR: I don't know where the list is.

ME: One of the things was to write down something you like about me. Do that.

So.....after sitting for about 20 minutes in his room. He gave up and went and did something else. I was hurt. I could probably come up with one thing I like about just about anyone.

Then later Fish found a book of matches under Bears bed. He finally admitted he took them from my box. He had no answer for what he planned to do with them. I go back to locking the box.

It is important when we see these behaviors to remember the frightened little boy inside. Remember the neglect or abuse they endured as little ones and that their brain is frozen in time into the fright or flight mode. They need comforted, attunement and gentleness. It is hard when it goes on for years. They can be healed. They can change. We cannot just start assuming they could behave if they wanted too. There are times they can't. But the bizarre, strange behaviors we see are driven by fear. What a way for them to live.


Dinah said...

Forgive me for not wanting to go back searching in your posts...but how old is Bear? Just curious.

The thing I find most difficult about RAD is rethinking everything in a different way. If my bio DD had asked for the funnies politely, I would have said "Sure." But I know with these RAD's trying to rethink everything is such a challenge and so exhausting (to me!).

Brenda said...


Bear is 16. It is exhausting. We have to really take care of ourselves.

Rachelle said...

I think the hardest thing for me, would be that you always have to be on your toes. You can never let your guard down. I can think of lots of nice things to say about you!

ali said...

i guess i am just different. if he asked in a nice way, he'd get the funnies. yesterday jack took the trash out without being asked(begged LOL) and i immediately thought, "what does he want???" but i thanked him and told him its really helpful when you take initiative to be helpful without me having to ask. i know there are moments throughout the day where we can help them work on feelings, map their anger etc.. but at the same time, i dont think every moment has to be a teachable moment either. if i asked my mom or husband for the funnies, and got "what will you do for me?" i would walk away without the funnies. then i would eat LOL. maybe i have RAD too.

Queen Mommy said...

Brenda, We do the say something nice about mom. We use to pull her closer instead of show her you love her, but essentially it is the same premise. Her pat answer is "she is pretty" Although on the surface it seems to be a compliment. If we press her to actually say something nice she says she doesn't know and then has escalating behaviors. She also says "i will behave" when you ask what she can do for you. Of course,it is a vacant promise. She and I know she can't keep that promise.

It is so hard to not take it personally but that truly is the best advice. I find it hard to do sometimes! But it truly does put thing in perspective when I am able to step back and remember how she grew up before me.

Thank you for always having so many wonderful posts!

Brenda said...


I understand what you are saying. I'm so glad he will do those things for you. Bear is so far pulled back from me right now that he will not do anything for me but likes for me to do many things for him. I don't ask him what he will do for me for everything but I throw it in now and then.

Queen Mommy,

NO WAY! Bear always respons with Your pretty. I think he has said it to many women before who have eaten it up. I figured out it was manipulative when he mostly says it when
a) I just got up and have crease marks all over my face.
b) Just got out of the shower and have wet hair and big baggy sweats on.
c) someone is near by and listening (He always looks at them after he says it because they go "Awwwwww. Isn't that sweet". I always just answer that it is.

You are the first person to tell me their child says this. So I don't bring it up much because most people don't get what I am saying ((((((hugs)))))THANK YOU!

Christine said...

While I tell myself so often that "it's not about me," I've also started to realize that the part that IS about me is how threatening I am ... because I give love ... and I care ... and I refuse to go away.

That's a good thing.

I still despise the behavior, but it feeds me emotionally a tiny bit.

I'll take all I can get this week!!