Thursday, April 16, 2015

Living with Reactive Attachment Disorder

Many of you have asked what it's like to have a child who has RAD.

Here is a run down of what I deal with at home.

L gets up around 7:30 each morning, however she is usually in her room freaking out because one of her blankets isn't feeling right.  We have to ignore that.  She has an alarm on her door and a camera in her room because she wanders at night and steals food and snacks from our pantry to eat, she also can be dangerous at night so it's to protect our other children.

At 7:30 I open the door and smile to say good morning, depending on the morning she will either grunt like a little animal or say good morning back.  If she grunts I am to shut her door and wait for her to act more appropriately which can take up to two hours of screaming and yelling at me.

When L yells at me it is not your typical yelling session.  I used to get mad at my mom.  I even yelled at her a few times but this was when I was a teenager and it was never anything like this.

This is how L treats me at the age of 6.

"I hate you!"  "You are the worst mom ever!"  "You are so mean!"  "You're not my mom, I will never do what you want me to do!"  "You don't care!"  "I don't care about you!" "You are ruining my life!"  "I don't want you as my family!"  "I want a new family!"

Luckily in our house we don't swear, so she doesn't know any curse words...yet.

As she is yelling I am to maintain a calm face and when she is done with her rant I am to hug her and let her know I love her.

In her mind she doesn't want to be loved and through this therapy I am showing her that no matter what she does or how she treats me...I will still love her.  This is very hard to do.

L will push little J down punch little E in the stomach or face.  L will break toys and ruin furniture.

She is now in a stealing mood and pees in her pants and on furniture every day.  She is to wash her clothes out by hand when she does this.  She is also to do chores in order to pay back for what she stole. (please understand this is not medical it is behavioral)

L also lies about everything every day and she's good at it.  She goes into crazy detail and can fool almost any adult.

The hardest part I think however, is the inability to feel that bond with my child.  Imagine for one second that one of your children whom you love and have loved just didn't love you back.  They constantly gave you negative energy and feedback.  They squirm at your touch and can't make eye contact with you.

Imagine that when you try to correct them of their wrong, all they do is smile and laugh because hurting you is their main source of entertainment.

Imagine that when they see anyone else they are a complete angel for that stranger or friend or family member who has done no where near as much to love and care for them. ( I know most kids are nicer to others but she is extremely cruel to me and extremely sweet to others)

Now don't misunderstand this post.  L is not to blame.  These are all symptoms of a horrific disorder where she was not given the love she deserved in utero.  She didn't ask for this.  This is not her fault.

But living with a child who has Reactive Attachment Disorder is like living in your own personal hell.

There is so much hate and mistrust.  So many lies and hurtful words.

She charms everyone around her and beats me up at home.  Parents of RAD children are considered abused parents.  It is a lonely scary battle where so many will never understand and so many will judge.

Many of these children get lost in the foster program never getting the help they need.  


Again, I am not writing this out of some self fulfillment of pity. 
While this has been one of the most difficult trials of my life I am one who feels the need to share with others so others may benefit from my own experience.

These children can be healed.

It's a long and can be expensive process, but there is help and these children deserve a chance.

I love my L.

I am fighting for her and I will continue to fight for others now.

If you have any questions feel free to contact me.

Lots of love,
Niki