Tuesday, July 15, 2008
Hugging a Porcupine!
Sounds like quite a feat, right? Those pesky quills! Loving a child with Reactive Attachment Disorder is quite similar to hugging a porcupine. When you get close to a porcupine, it uses its quills as a defense mechanism. The quills are a way to protect it from perceived danger. A RAD kid has quills....deadly quills. So many of them have been so neglected and traumatized that they have keenly honed their talents with manipulation.
I find that my youngest child has deadly quills. To the outside world, she is charming and beautiful. She has deftly learned that people respond to her victim act, so she is really good at appearing to need to be rescued. As a beautiful child, people find her helpless act as being attractive and they want to help her with everything. Which is frustrating to me as I know the truth.
Back to her quills....hahaha....you should see my puncture wounds....too many to even count at this point. She is so keyed in on being in survival mode that no matter what happens, she has her foot half way out the door AND she is making nasty comments while she leaves. She used to just tell me that she hated me and that I was a bad mom...I became quite immune to such silly attempts at provoking my anger. She has upped the ante...Now she goes directly for my jugular.
It becomes the eternal struggle between what I think is good and her determination to destroy it. I know in my rational mind that she is traumatized and it is just bleeding out for me to help her. BUT my emotional mind becomes angry and bitter with the continuous barrage of abuse she dishes on me....Why oh why can I not be more mature about this....Shouldn't I be able to just deal with it and not let it affect me?
Alas, my peeps, I am not perfect and no, I can't always deal with this effectively. I am loving her unconditionally, keeping her safe, and doing everything with in my power to help her heal....Beyond that...nothing else I can do....So as I get frustrated and think I am going to have a brain aneurysm, I have to remember....Lighten up and remember I am doing a good job....
Like my pep talk...I needed it.....
Hugging a porcupine is harder than it looks AND I am tired from it....