Tuesday, December 23, 2008

The Traumatized Parent

OK. I lied. Here I am again. I'm squeezing in just one more before Christmas! I thought this is too important to wait. Here is information on the Traumatized Parent from the Wesselmann/Bruckner seminar.

"Living with the RAD child is traumatic in and of itself. It's easy to misinterpret the child's survival behavior.
  • "My child is evil and he is out to get me."
  • "My child is the next Von Maur shooter." (Personal note: This seminar was given in Omaha by professionals from Omaha. Von Maur is the department store there where a teen with RAD walked in and shot 6 people, shot up the store and then killed himself.)
  • "My child ruined my life/my marriage."
  • "My child doesn't want my love."
  • "My child wants to hurt me."

Digging up the past....

  • Any unresolved issues within the parent are easily triggered by the RAD child, including...
  • Parent's childhood feelings of rejection.
  • Parent's childhood victimization.
  • Parents' unresolved losses of the past.
  • Marital issues (i.e. rejection from spouse)"

If you have not been through attachment therapy I hope this gives you a better understanding of your feelings. When we went to attachment therapy these issues were addressed as they came up. If you are struggling with any of this it may be time for you to seek out therapy for yourself. I did. I went to EMDR therapy to deal with past issues. I went back a few times after that just to vent. It helped me get through some hard times with my boys. Instead of venting at them or constantly venting at my husband I'd think "Just put it in the box (mental box) at Joan's and save it to discuss with her." I have had many very negative experiences with therapists. I will tell you when you find the right ones it makes all the difference in the world and really benefited our family.


Lisa said...

Thanks for squeezing this in Brenda. This is so true. They can find all of our buttons and push them on demand. It's key to address the issues before the button pushing ensues.

You're absolutely right about therapy. It's amazing when you find the right therapist! I couldn't make it without her! One of the key things she taught me was tapping which is like self-EMDR and is so helpful. J does it also and it's painfully obvious that it works when we skip a day.

Brenda said...


They are big believers in EMDR for RAD and so am I. That is where Taz made some major progress. There is a whole section on that I will get to after Christmas! I like your point of addressing the issues before the button pushing ensues. If you watch their body language, listen to their tone before they escalate you learn the signs. There were a lot of things we did before we got that far. That is another whole post.

Melissa said...

Looking forward to the EMDR post - something I've never heard of. Merry Christmas to you and yours!

marythemom said...

I did EMDR therapy for myself - really helped me deal with stress. Two of my children have PTSD. We've been using it for the last 4 months with my attachment disordered daughter, and am contemplating it for my RAD son. Luckily it is covered by my insurance. Unluckily for my son he is limited to 31 mental health visits a year and that includes his monthly psychiatrist visits and weekly therapy appointments, so we don't have any "extra" visits available.

My daughter sees an attachment therapist with me weekly (takes her Medicaid) and the EMDR therapist (I attend with her). Should I be letting her do the EMDR without me? (We've had her 2 years and she is 13.5).

I wish the AT and EMDR therapists were the same person. One listens and allows her to relive issues without the emotional reaction, but the AT actually works on relationships and behavior. I'm seriously tempted to buy one of those EMDR things. My daughter would be "too embarassed" to try tapping, although I've found it helpful.

Mary in TX

Mom to biokids Ponito(9) and his sister Bob(12)
Sibling pair adoptive placement from NE 11/06
Finally finalized on Kitty(13) on 3/08 - 2 weeks before her 13th birthday!
Finalized on her brother Bear 7/08. He turned 15 the next day.
" Life isn't about how to survive the storm, but how to dance in the rain."

Brenda said...

Mary the Mom,

Since forming the Attachment and Trauma Center of Nebraska Dan does the Attachment therapy while Deb does the EMDR. Both are well learned about Attachment and work together well. At the time we did it, since we live so far away, we went to a therapist in a closer town who did the EMDR.She was wonderful and more than willing to talk with Dan about what he was doing and even called Deb to ask her questions. She was a God send. If your EMDR therapist does not know about attachment I'd ask her if she'd be willing to work with an attachment therapist. I believe at the seminar that Dan said he and Deb had worked with the company who approves Medicaid in Nebraska on the importance of having both and so not parents can generally get approval to have both at the same time. Cheaper than residential later!