The other day I read an article where the author slammed any parent that thought their child had Reactive Attachment Disorder. She felt strongly that a child could never have a tendency to kill or hurt anyone maliciously. That children will always be healed with love and that the parents who claim RAD aren't capable of loving said children.
It took all of my strength NOT to hit reply. I wanted to share my entire story with this woman, convince her of how wrong she was and that we had done nothing but love and find the best help for our L. I wanted her to see the hell we live in each day as we deal with the ramifications of having a child who does indeed have RAD. I wanted her to see the pain I feel each and every day that I don't get to see my second child meet those milestones we often take for granted with our healthy children. I wanted to make her see how much I do love my L, so much so that I have given up friendships, my way of life, parts of my home, so much of my time, my energy, even my health for this beautiful child.
As I went to type my scolding remarks, I realized quickly and thankfully that I didn't even know this woman, I didn't know her background or her life story. I didn't know enough about her to convince her of my story. I saw clearly that all she was writing was her opinion, and so many of the replies agreed with her. We were all bad parents in their eyes. We were evil and didn't even deserve to live. Had she ever lived with or raised a child with RAD? No. Had she seen the real struggle it is to do so? No.
So how was I going to convince her that her opinion of me was wrong? What power did I have to show her the truth of what trauma can do to a child? In the end, none.
I have found that once someone has made an opinion of someone or something, it is very hard to change that opinion.
As the human race we are riddled with opinions, we have opinions about politics, movies, food, art, education, health, breast feeding, bottle feeding, religion, vaccines, abortion, civil rights, immigration, adoption, government, wars, childcare, working mothers, stay-at-home mothers, IVF, movie ratings, gay rights...well, you get my point. Everyone everywhere has an opinion about everything.
Now some of these items have a strong moral pull...but in the end, it is still just an opinion. You may have a conviction from whatever religious background you come from, but still, to the world it is just your opinion.
To try and change someone's opinion is like trying to get two magnets to stick with their polarity being the same, north on north or south on south. You can't do it.
In my opinion, only God and personal experience can help change someone's heart and mind, and in the end their opinion.
I guess this is why I am so open about our life with RAD, wonder if all you wonderful friends and family read the articles of those who state so blatantly that RAD does not exist, that RAD is not real and that the parents who say their child has RAD are unloving, cruel parents? I think my circle of help would be a lot smaller. But because of your opinion of me is overall good...and because I have taught you all the realities of this horrific disorder your opinion of it is accepting.
Opinion can be based off of truth or error. So I am choosing to help share the truth about RAD to gain accepting opinions so in the end my L and many others like her will be more able to get the right kind of help.
The fact that my child has RAD is not an opinion to me. It is my truth. Just as God is my truth, Jesus is my truth, and the Holy Ghost is my truth. But to some, these will only be my opinions, because they haven't found that truth out for themselves. Just as that woman who wrote the article, and many others who have tried to say that RAD isn't real, she and they haven't found out for themselves my truth.
In my opinion the only way we can get past our own false judgement of what someone else is going through and thinking we would do so much better, is by truly and sincerely praying for that person or in the end going through it ourselves.
I think the world would be so much better if we stopped placing so much stalk in our personal judgements and opinions. You are no better than your enemy. God loves you both the same. But if your enemy doesn't hold the same hurtful feelings for you, who is really in the wrong?
Let's get past our opinions and try to understand each other better. Let's stop judging others harshly because we think we would live their story better.
Let's live truthfully and not self-righteously or bitterly.
They are our own image of what is right and wrong, they are not the true stories of those whom we are judging. Let's stop shaming others just because they have a different truth, set of values, or background.
You can stand up for your beliefs without putting others down.
“If we can share our story with someone who responds with empathy and understanding, shame can't survive.”
― Brené Brown
Lots of love,