Thursday, March 11, 2010

RAD Shame

There is such shame felt by children with RAD.  Many of these shame feelings come from deep within and flood them with negative thoughts.

"I must be pretty bad if my birth mom did want me." (subsitute care for me, feed me, hit me as fits)
"I can't do anything right."
"I can't love this mom and I know I should. What kind of a person doesn't love their mom?"

They do horrible things to keep us at a distance and then feel deep guilt and shame for that. I think there are very few who actually have no conscience. I believe much of their behavior is driven by guilt and shame even though they try hard not to show it or acknowledge it.  They value themselves so little because they were not valued in those first few years as they should have been. Children are a treasure. What the heck is our society doing? Ooops. Off subject.

Our situation with Teddy blew up big time this week. Little did I know that he bought one of the "BB guns" which actually turned out to be one of those pellet guns that are quite popular now. It was a clear plastic but much cheaper and more toy like looking than the above. Actually I saw it in the other boys hand at the park and thought it was a squirt gun and that the BB guns had gone home. Little did I know. Teddy stuck it in his backpack and took it to school so I wouldn't find it. Then, of course, being Teddy he had to tell everyone he had it. He is suspended. If it were not for his special ed IEP and the work they have been doing with him he would have been expelled for the rest of the year.

This is where the shame comes in. Since getting into trouble he is venting all his anger at himself toward Taz. He is filled with rage toward him and goes on and on about how bad he is. It is obvious to everyone, even Taz, that this is what he is doing. He rants about Taz in ways that says "I am talking about me." So sad to be hurting so much. I've tried talking to him but he needs a little more time to collect himself before we can have a rational conversation.

As hard as it is to parent them, it is so much harder to be them. They are hurting.


GB's Mom said...

I am so sorry Teddy is hurting. I am sending you hugs and prayers because not only do you hurt for him. but you have to clean up the mess.

J. said...

shame is so powerful for RAD kids, I had no idea unitl I saw it in action. I hope that Teddy is able to work through it.

Anonymous said...

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Anonymous said...

Do you know anything else about the gun in the picture? Ironically, my ten year old son with an attachment disorder went to a neighbors house the other day without asking and when I found him he was playing with a gun that looked just like that one. I thought at first that it was a water gun but when I picked it up I saw that it said "for 18 years and up" on the side. When I asked my son about it he said he thought it was a toy. The boy that gave the gun to my son was only about 8 years old.

Brenda said...

I would call the boys parents and ask them to tell you about the gun. If it said not for 18, even if it is a pellet gun they could hit someone in the eye, or ear and cause some major damage. It isn't a toy. It shoots out little plastic balls (if what you are talking about is a pellet gun) so they don't pierce the skin but 8 is too young to use it wisely. I'd call.

Tammy said...

I so appreciate your constant message to remember that it's so hard to be our kids and to never give up. It's too easy to lose that truth in the day to day insanity.

BeckyJoie said...

Hey, Brenda and all you other RAD moms. I've got a new RAD mom that I met today and I think she could use some encouragement. Would you please send an email to her at my address or leave a comment on the post I just made on my blog?

Thanks a million.

Anonymous said...

I am a step-mom to twins, age 13 w/ RAD....I've been searching sites trying to find info as well as help/susport.We have a in-home cousler...but funding has been lost so we only have 2 more months w/ her. I would love to hear from others!!!

Reighnie said...

Hi Brenda,

I was wondering with the insight you have now, having been through parenting RAD kids and then training to become an attachment therapist if you would consider writing a post from your experience and perspective the vital things other parents with RAD kids should be looking for when choosing an attachment therapist?

Sort of like a "If I had known then what I know now" type of post.

I'm going to be meeting with an attachment therapist for the first time and I am terrified of making the wrong choice. I wanted to pick the brains of other parents who have been there done that before and what signs (good or bad) were there for them.

If you've already done this, I'm sorry I missed it. :-) I've read the posts that you have labeled and the Nancy Thomas stuff.


Brenda said...


Well, personally this is what I would look for.

Someone who includes the parent in the therapy and works toward attachment between the child and you. Someone who understand who difficult it is for parents and does not blame you and understands if other therapists have done so. Someone who is willing to deal with what is under the anger. I am on my way to a wedding. I'll mull this over and get back to you.

Brenda said...

I wanted to add that I think getting someone who is trained by an accomplished attachment therapist is also important. Not just someone who has read some books or gone to a couple of seminars.