Saturday, January 1, 2011

New Year Fear or Hope?

For any newbies here let me kind of tell you where we have come from. Our boys were adopted from foster care at ages 6, 6 and 3. Yup. The two are twins. One of the 6 year olds and the 3 year old had RAD. The 3 year old became worse and worse until at age 7 he was kicking apart his furniture, pulling sheet rock off his walls, climbing up onto and breaking his closet shelves, screaming defiantly "You are not my mother. You will never be my mother. Can you get that through your thick head Brenda?" He would partially pop open the car doors while we were driving down the street. I started using the child safety locks and then it became a battle for him to try to turn them back off as the door shut. He would wipe his nose on the walls......well you know the story. You are living it. The 6 yo was very passive aggressive. He would say "OK". and then do the opposite. He refused to do school work. He does have a learning disability but refused to do even work modified for him. Suddenly when he grew taller than my husband he became dangerous. He has threatened to kill my husband. And threatened to "show his real anger" to me. He has swung a big stick at my husband in the yard and Teddy ended up hospitalized for a week in the mental health unit. He was in fights at school and was just a plain scary young man.
This went on for 9 years with Taz and for 12 with Teddy. Taz has come along way in his attachment. He still has a ways to go. Teddy has declared that love is too hard for him. His anger is part of who he is and he doesn't know who he would be without it. But he has attached probably as best he can or will at this point in his life. The boys are now 15 and 18.  Legal age in Nebraska is 19 so he will be a legal adult in June.

Back to the topic at hand! I remember so many years on January 1 thinking "I can not take another year of this. What am I going to do?" We got through it. Keep reading, keep going to a therapist who specializes in attachment and/or early childhood trauma if it is available to you, keep up with the playfulness,attunement, empathy, boundaries, appropriate loving touch.

Do not lose hope. I never thought we'd make it to this point. I was worried both boys would end up in residential treatment. If you have a child in residential treatment be assured you are seeking the best help possible for your child. I'm sure you tried every means. But suddenly with Taz, there was healing and he has grown from that point. Teddy is working with Vocational Rehabilitation on options for high school and with an army recruiter. I have gone from fear, to hope as they approach adulthood. Will they always make wise choices? No, but than neither do I. Will they have successful adult relationships? Only one way to find out. It will probably be a struggle for them.

So choose hope rather than fear to begin your New Year! Cheers to HOPE!


G-Mas said...

Thank you for your blog. I really appreciate your sharing. My 7-year-old twin Grandsons have RAD and I want to understand and try to be as helpful as possible to them and my daughter and son-in-law. Most people don't understand what a real and dangerous condition this is. I see my daughter's family having many daily struggles, and that is why I am so grateful for your useful insights and experiences. I live several hours away from them, therefore my usefulness is limited. purpose for this comment is to thank you, and to encourage you to keep sharing. You are helping people that you aren't even aware of! Thank you again; and may God bless you as you bless others! Sincerly, Sally Saunders

Brenda said...


Thank you so much for the encouragement. I appreciate it more than you know! There are many things you can do for your daughter as her mom. Support support suppport is what got me through those tough days. Be a listening nonjudgmental ear. Send her gift cards, if you can, for dinners out, manicures, a massage. Or pay for a sitter for her and her husband if you can. Be a cheerleader for her and tell her you know she can do it and that you realize she is working as hard as she can. Those things are golden for a mom raising a child with RAD. She is blessed to have you as a mom.

waldenbunch said...

Thank you for your always encouraging message. As we struggle year after year some things get better, some get worse. I have one healing mightily and one just as empty as can be. And one that is no longer part of our family, by her choice. Congrats to you in going into this field to help others. You are a blessing.

Brenda said...

Oh Waldenbunch,

Thanks, but you are such a blessing to me as well.

J. said...

here's to hope, may the coming year be all that you hope for and more.

Brenda said...

Thank you J. I hope some dreams come true at your house as well.

Erika said...