Friday, January 1, 2010

New Year=New Beginnings

I'm not big on New Year's resolutions. I never ever keep them. I do think it is good to set goals in life though. It keeps me "living on purpose" instead of drifting along. I am back at Weight Watchers losing the same old 20 lb that plagues me every few years.

What about some RAD review and goals.

2009 was such a mix of successes and failures. No one who does not live with a child with RAD can begin to understand how hard it is. Every day. Hard. Hard.  It is hard to be hated by someone who you love so much. You know you have progressed though when you can remind yourself that under the hate is fear. Fear of abandonment. Fear of rejection. Fear of attachment. When I remember those things in the tough moments is when I parent successfully.  When I let myself be afraid: Afraid of rejection, afraid of the future, that is when I become angry too.

2010 goals for me: (as RAD related)

Continue working on teaching the boys to talk about their feelings, to get past what is on the surface to what lies beneath. The real stuff.

Work on their social skills. Practice reading my expressions, the expressions of those on tv (with volume off)

Work on life skills. Our boys are 14 and 17. We need to continue working on filling out job applications and practicing interviewing. We need to work on money management, budgeting.

Have fun. This is lacking not just for us but for them. When they were deep into RAD the only time I saw my boys smile was when someone had something bad happening to them.  They do genuinely smile sometimes now, Taz much more than Teddy. We need to play  board games, go out to eat, laugh and play. I went with our daughter, Dancer, to a place where you paint pottery. They fire it for you and then you pick it up in a week.  There were a couple of techniques non artistic kids would love (I used one of them as I am artistically impaired) I think I will take Taz back there in a couple of weeks for his birthday if he wants. I know Teddy would love it.

During 2010 I will continue to work on having fun with my husband and emotionally healthy kids. I will work on taking time to be alone and enjoy time with friends. It is so important to be "normal".

Cheers to 2010.


Mom 4 Kids said...

"Living on Purpose", keep saying it because it is a good reminder for me!

peggysue said...

You changed your wallpaper! Very homey. Looking back over the last year, reflecting more than making resolutions is what my DH and I do on new year's. And we believe somewhere, somehow, our daughter turned a corner. Things are a bit different. We had a very full year, but there are a lot of signs of improvement with attaching. We still need to work on reading social skills as you said, hearing laughter for genuine reasons is great, lots of road left to travel but we turned a corner this year and I'm so thankful.

Life's Mom said...

We too have definitely turned a corner with "Life." If she were being evaluated now, I really do not think they would say she has RAD. (She was considered un-adoptable in 2007 - she moved in with us in 2008.) She is definitly attaching and showing signs of settling down. The physical therapist is guaging her motor skills at around 6.5 to 7 years old. Last year they were 4 yo. (She will be 10 next month.) Huge improvements there. It seems that her emotional age is about the same - she's gone from 4 to nearly 7 (although she re-visits 4 yo when she gets upset!) She has a couple of kids who save her a seat a lunch time - HUGE!! God bless the teachers aide who volunteered to sit with her at lunch during the first few months of school. Now the aide is around, but is backing off as she is able to so that Life can interact with the others. When it starts to go badly, the aide comes back to the table. We have been very blessed with people like this both at church and at school. Life's PTSD has also dramatically improved. The basketball scoreboard buzzer used to make her cower, now she barely notices it. Fire truck and ambulance sirens used to send her into the fetal position, now she prays for whoever is hurt when they go by. She is little by little gaining coping skills - she used to have none. 2009 has been a good year. I pray tht 2010has as much progress for all of us. Happy New Year!

Brenda - I got a Wii fit for Christmas. I LOVE it. As a family, we have had so much fun with it. Watching the others on it is just so funny - especially the hula hoop. There are quite a few games that Life can do as well and it is very good for her eye/hand coordination. It is a good way to incorporate family fun.

Brenda said...

So heart warming to hear the stories of recovery. Life's Mom~ Extremely funny you brought up the Wii. I believe Taz is using Christmas money plus some birthday to buy one! Glad to hear it is fun!

LemonyRenee' said...

We have had a profound setback over these holidays. We're only 2 months into therapy, just beginning, I know. But we were just beginning to see a teensy bit of effort on my daughter's behalf. Counting the hours until we see the therapist on Tuesday.

Problem is, I turn 40 tomorrow. And I'm desperately afraid I'm going to live the next 5 years as I've lived the past 5. Darkness.

Brenda said...


Don't let the "what if's" eat you up. They've had me for dinner a few times. I suppose tomorrow will be rough since it is about you. I bet once you get past that and back into school you will start moving forward again. We will all be here to cheer you on with your successes and to listen during setbacks.

lovingmygirlsalways said...

I have taken my daughter to one of those pottery places and she loves it. It really helps her to concentrate, show her creative side and make her own decisions on color/ what to paint. I even like it for myself it is a great stress reliever. Good luck and thank you so much for all your wisdom and ideas you have left on your blog. It has given us a lot of ideas.

matryoshka said...

oh the pottery shop. We are blessed to have my sister who works at a pottery shop and Jupiter absolutely ADORES going there. She "helps" by cleaning the tables and getting paint and totally thinks that she works there too. Of course I need to add on a room for all the pottery she brings home. But it's such a boost for her..expressing herself artistically has always been good for her.

Jeannie Davis said...

What kind of possibilities would cause a person not to be able to "read" others well or correctly, especially if they came from an abusive background? I already know about the abusive background but am having trouble making the connection. Can you help?

Brenda said...


We learn to read emotions very early on from a couple of things.

face to face time: With mama during feeding, play time, stress. Babies learn those first few years. If there is no face to face or very little the ability to read faces does not develop

Communication: talking to our babies and toddlers, singing, reading. All those things teach voice inflection, appropriate emotion. If they don't happen or are chaotic it does not develop

Heart to heart. Babies keep their faces close to mamas heartbeat. Their heartbeats regulate to mamas. If mom regulates her heartbeat baby learns to as well.

Regulation: Watching mom model self control, learning to talk through difficulties, being an exmample. It is all so important.

If it is missed in those early years the brain wires in an unhealthy way or doesn't connect at all on some things.

Did I answer what you meant Jeannie?

Jeannie Davis said...

Yes. Thank you for taking the time. BTW, Happy New Year!

Sean's Ladies said...

So nice to hear all of the journeys and hopes for the new year.

"normal"-yes. I need it. I think at times we let our wounded child set the standard for interactions with everyone. Probably because they are the loudest. And I need to not feel guilty about those normal interactions with my kids that are progressing/healthy.