Monday, February 1, 2010

Explosive Anger

I do still see excessive anger in my boys almost daily. Nothin will compare with that time about 3 years ago when we began attachment therapy.  That escalated their behavior beyond words as their fear of attachment was opened like a wound and they began to look at it and see it for what it was. Some of the behaviors we faced were:

When in time out they would spit all over the rug by the front door. Nothing like walking through that with bare feet. Ugh.

Taz went through a time of opening car doors just a crack while we were moving down the road. It wasn't enough to make them swing open but enough to make me stop the car as it was unsafe. I began clicking the child safety locks inside the door. Then I'd have to cover them with my hand as he got in so he wouldn't unclick them. Then he started reaching across and doing it to the door on the other side. I kept an umbrella of the Jimmy I drove at the time. He'd get it and reach up and push the button on the radio.  All of this with a smile of glee.

Every piece of furnture in his room was kicked apart into a pile of boards. All the shelves in his closet and the rod were pulled down. Sheet rock was kicked in and pulled off down to the insulation. Don't even ask about urine. The wood trim on windows was pulled off.

We'd look outside in the summer and long past his bedtime he had gone out his bedroom window and was running around outside.

He'd raid the cupboards and fridge all night and binge on entire boxed of food, containers of sugar, bottles of honey.

He'd go into siblings rooms in the middle of the night and turn on their lights.

He stole money. Bear stole jewelry, tools, etc from their dad and me.

They were kicked out of or sent home early from every activity we tried.

Grades dropped. Suspensions for fighting were common.

Healing has begun. There are no more suspensions. Grades are up. Our home is better. Do we have a long ways to go? Yes.  The two of them have a trauma bond that sends them into violent fist fights.  Bear has only had the beginnings of attachment to me so still says some pretty cruel stuff. He still threatens to run away, to tell the police we hurt him so we will go to jail, calls me names.  But are we where we were 3 years ago. No where close.

When the boys first came my main concern was that Bear would be homeless as an adult. I can see the possibility of him caring for himself at this point, at least minimally.  I was afraid Taz was going to hurt someone. He still has some pretty impulsive behaviors that could land him into trouble.  There is hope. Never, never, never quit. Our children can heal from RAD. Get help. Read. Read. Read. Pray. Pray. Pray. Put into practice the methods your learn. You can do this.


peggysue said...

What a positive thing to look into the past to assess the progress the boys have made and the level of peace you have achieved in your household.

I don't think it is anger, more control, but my daughter still will disappear sometimes when I think she is safe in the house and I have to scour the neighborhood for her. That happened again on Friday. So scary.

Jennifer said...

We went through intensive attachment therapy for 4 days and today was day one back home. Even though some were more explosive and some were more calm over all my stress was extremely low for the first time since our second adoption 1.5 years ago.

Thank you so much for sharing your blog because I need it. It is so encouraging to read.

Anonymous said...

While a child may be dysregulated inadvertently, it is very important that the therapist work very very hard to avoid that happening. First of all, if dysregulation occurs, it negates the safety that is necessary for therapy to effectively proceed. Second, it can be very disheartening to parents. Third, it increases the child's shame, which is counter productive.
I see it as the therapsit's job to maintain a healing PACE to treatment. If dysregulation occurs, it occurs in a session because the therapist missed some cue (often I see this occuring with therapists earlier in treatment before a fuller degree of attunement has been developed) and so I generally will apologize for my error.

Anonymous said...

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Brenda said...


Do you feel this is true even when the therapist is teaching the child to regulate themselves? Just a thought. Thanks for the food for thought.

tracey fields said...

thank you so much for posting this. we were our child's 3rd foster home @ 6 months old. even though she was an infant we have seen signs of rad everywhere. i have had similar experiences with the running and the sugar binges. PTL we got her so young. she is 5 now, but delayed and still has major struggles, however, where she is now compared to 2 years ago is night and day. we are homeschooling due to her running away from 2 mother's day out programs. thanks again for the encouraging post.