Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Teen RAD

First, I'm sorry I'm not on here much lately. My internship has me really hopping. Plus we have been doing a little remodeling on the house AND it is high school swim season so I am always on the go.

We have had some pretty major stuff going on with Teddy. He is 17. The legal age in Nebraska is 19 but they can leave of their own will at 18 legally if they wish.  He is a junior in high school. We have been working hard on a couple of things: What adult responsiblities go with adult privileges. And what adult/parent relationships look like.

Let me back up a little to say we were gone all day to a swim meet last weekend.  He was schmoozing it up with everyone. Mr. Smiles and Sweetness. We had a man walk up and say the usual "You son is such a neat kid. He is always so friendly."  The emotionally battered mom in me wants to say "OH YEAH. YOU SHOULD SEE HIM AT HOME."  Remember to think with the logical mind and not the emotional heart in those moments. The way he was acting then is what we want to see more of not less of.  So scolding and saying he is being manipulative serves no purpose.  My husband did a great job of saying "Thanks. I appreciate hearing that."

But what all this meant was that after an entire day of hiding his fear he was exhausted when we got home and let it all out on me. The next couple of days were H-E- Double Hockey Sticks.  I spent much time talking with Teddy who was acting more like Bear at this point. He ranted endlessly about how he could not wait to get away from us. When he grows up he will tell his children we are dead. If we make him do what he doesn't want he will tell people we hurt him and throw us in jail. We will never make him do anything he doesn't want to do. Yada yada yada."

Finally last night he calmed himself and apologized. Today he is back to his "new normal" and other than having a cold is great. Now realize that even though both my boys have some healing from RAD,  they have triggers that send them off the deep end. Hopefully time and more work will make these fewer and further apart. Our goal is not to make them like everyone else, but to help them heal to the point of being able to love, hold down a job and care for themselves. That is a pretty lofty goal right there.

Healing is possible.

Never, never, never quit.

10 comments:

J. said...

I am glad that he was able to get back on the bus so to speak, it is so hard when they are triggered and have those days, we have had lots of them here too. hang in there!

Mom 4 Kids said...

I sent you some Sunshine, come by my blog and pick up your award! You are an AWESOME Mom! Hugs!

peggysue said...

I can feel your exhaustion from here . . . hang in there. Today is a new day.

LemonyRenee' said...

Hang in there, you are doing a great job and are pure inspiration to me.

Anonymous said...

That is a scenario right out of my life! Except for the apology part. Our almost 16 yr. old daughter with RAD never gets to the apology -- she just stays mad. At a recent ER visit after a suicide threat, she told the doctor that she's been mad "forever." It's true. It's exhausting. It's so challenging.

Tired mom in PA

Brenda said...

Tired mom,

That would be tough, never getting an apology. I do think I get them out of guilt and shame and not out of remorse, but I do get them. ((((((((hugs))))))) to you. I hope you get time for yourself and have a good support system.

Miz Kizzle said...

Wow. Those were hurtful things he said. What set him off? Was the swim meet stressful for him?

Brenda said...

Miz Kizzle,

My guess is that the stress of putting up a front that everything is fine at the meet all day was really tough. When we got home he let it all out.

bylerbunch said...

Brenda, I would love to hear more about putting up a front and then falling apart at the end of the day. We have homeschooled our children for most of their school years -- we now cyberschool 6 of the 8 -- with 2 in public school. It became necessary to put our oldest in public school because her behavior here all day was very distracting to everyone else (adopted from Russia at age 7, currently 16, RAD and PTSD). So, now, she keeps it together for 9 hours and when she gets home, she is a bear! Any suggestions for helping her to cope and manage the stress? Thanks! ~ Beth (PS -- I'm the tired mom in PA!)

Teen RAD Mom in NV said...

I'm so glad I found this blog. My 14 y.o. adopted son is probably FAS + RAD + puberty = explosive anger specifically at me, his mom. It's hard to be both compassionate toward him and keep myself safe, both physically and emotionally.