Thursday, September 25, 2008

Brenda, I am doing Hooray's early this week!

So I have decided...I am doing Hooray's early....Brenda's idea is so fantastic and I somtimes forget it when I am in the "heat" of it all. We have truly had a very harrowing group of weeks. At this point, I really have no idea how long but it has been a long time!

So here are my Hoorays....

Rose-following directions and we have had Two( yes folks count them, two!) days without a morning fight! Yay us!

Marie- There has been some serious drama happening at the high school and she has not felt the need to run and hide her head in the sand. She has been brave and trusted us to keep her safe

My husband- he just totally rocks all around....

Me- Reacting less to the behaviors...big deal for me

Have a great night!

Be Well...

Wednesday, September 24, 2008


For anyone that doesn't actually live with and parent a child with RAD, you cannot truly understand the challenges of parenting such a child. I find that people in the mental health are quick to tell you what the issue is, duh, we live it. What we need is support and empathy. Another blog. I just wanted to thank those of you that are reading and sending your support to me.

I have spent the better part of the last five years in therapy. I have spent the better part of the last five years reading books. I search websites, I go to a support group, I do...blah blah blah blah....I know what I am supposed to do. I know what the experts say. I know why the kid does it...I know that this is typical for a RAD kid...I know I know I know....But at the risk of sounding like a doesn't change the fact that it sucks sometimes! =)

I am trying to do what I want my children to do. I am trying to enact a concept that my oldest daughter learned in Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT). The concept is Radical Acceptance. It means to accept one's reality. You may not like that reality or agree with what is happening...but you have to accept it. My youngest daughter is challenging. She is who she is. I must accept this. This is our reality. Together. I am not saying that I am resigning myself to allow her the ability to be disrespectful and I am not accepting the bad behaviors.

But I must accept her. I must quit hoping for things to change that may never change. During Attachment Therapy, the therapist said something that I kind of blew off but now after so many months and years...I must do....I must accept her where she is. I am learning to do this.

It must seem so weird to hear this. How can she not accept her child? I love this child. I love her and I want the best for her. I want her to be successful and have a wonderful life. But I also spin my wheels trying to change things about her that I don't like. But that isn't truly accepting her. There are things about her that are just her. They aren't her RAD. They are how God made her. I have to ACCEPT those things.

So I am learning as I continue to struggle...I am learning that I too have many lessons still to learn. I want my children to learn Radical Acceptance of their own past so that they can move forward. I must also learn that same acceptance so that I can move forward with my children.

I think it is truly a gift that as humans, we have the opportunity to always change. We can choose to change our path with every decision we make. With every moment we live, we can make things different....make things better.

Today I choose to accept this adventure that I am living. I choose to accept my daughter and I choose to accept her flaws. I choose to stick by her and continue to do everything I need to do to get her healthy. I choose to change my reactions to her behaviors...

See what a little sleep does for you? It Changes your whole view......=)

Thanks for your comments. I truly treasure hearing your support and knowing we all have common ground to meet on.

Thank you once again and Be Well!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008


I have been doing this RAD parenting thing for over five years now. I never had the opportunity to parent a child without RAD. I know nothing but this life that I have. I never had a child that simply did "kid stuff". So when my kids do "kid stuff" I have a hard time deciding whether I need to call the therapist for an emergency session or just think it is a cute thing the darn kid did.

I think it is something I have always struggled with while parenting my children. Sometimes, it isn't RAD. Sometimes, it doesn't mean they will grow up to commit heinous crimes. Sometimes, it doesn't mean they are doing drugs, having sex or committing crimes. Sometimes, it isn't the end of the world.

I also think, I am oversensitive to everything my kids do...What does that mean? Why did they do that? Did you see her say that? Look at her eye movements...What is she saying to me?

Sometimes she is just a moody teen or tween. Sometimes she just wants to hangout with her friends. They just want to be with kids their own age. Sometimes she just thinks I am an idiot because that is her age. Teens an eye roll is just an eye roll....

Sometimes....I have to relax and let them enjoy being a kid. Because sometimes....that is just what it is....her being a kid and figuring it all out....I need to chill out!

I may write another blog...But I had to remind myself...RAD is part of my life....Not our whole life.....

Be well!

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Decisions to be made......

We have really had a rough stretch with our eleven year old. She has lived with us since February 2006 and we have been going through a rough stretch with her since January 2006. Yes that is correct. She has been a struggle even during our transition. My husband and I convinced ourselves that once she moved in she would quiet down. Then her behaviors escalated and we justified this by saying that once her adoption was legalized she would settle in, just as our Marie had done. Her Adoption was finalized November 2006. Her behaviors continued and have been close to unbearable at least once to twice a month since. I am being kind with these estimates.

We have done as much as we feel we can do to help her heal. In the last month, we have increased therapy sessions. She refuses to be part of therapy 90% of the time. Luckily, her therapist is wonderful and is committed to helping our family. Unfortunately, I think her resistance to therapy goes beyond fear or trauma. It is more of a genetic imprint. I am sure someone will gasp at my theory about this but I am with her, I live her wrath and anger daily.

I will also add that I have successfully parented another RAD child. I am a great mother with solid parenting knowledge. One that is very attached to us now and has made the decision to trust. She has made so much of herself by allowing others to love her and to love others. I do know that healing can happen. I have experienced it. Marie's current issues are more due to being a teenager and the impulsivity of her mood disorder and less about RAD.

Rose is very different. She purposely chooses to be harmful and toxic to everyone around her. We went through attachment therapy with a very well known and successful attachment group. She was willing to do what she needed to do so that she didn't have to sit in their waiting room for hours each week. No real work was done...Sadly she has no interest in buying into it. There is nothing of value to her. Nothing. Nor does anything gain any value through lessons. Consequences mean nothing to her. She will do what she has to do to get through and begins her plan for future revenge. She thrives on the toxicity she spews. Everything is a game. Everyone is her pawn.

This week she did major damage to a main door in the complex we live in and in the process injured my hand. I am fine. A small injury but an escalation in her behavior. I am becoming more frustrated with the situation daily. Her therapist has suggested having her assessed through a state Risk Assessment program. The risk with this is obvious since she is a past foster child. Although, I am starting to feel as though her only help will be a residential placement. I am very conflicted. I want to keep her safe and protect her. She is so cold and hard to this. Her walls are so thick and they seem too strong to penetrate.

I still have so much hope for her. I still want so many things for her life. I still pray that somehow we can break through her walls. I just am not convinced she wants any of those things to happen. I feel so frustrated.

I am still plugging on....I am still parenting her the best that I can....I still have hope....God has to do the rest.....

Be Well....