Wednesday, February 8, 2012

No real words today...

Disclaimer… if you want to hear the mushy, I love you, cutesy stuff about adoption please don’t read this. If you want to see the raw emotions of parenting a child with RAD and ODD read on.

New Mama in town didn’t work the way I thought.

I remember when we learned about little R they told us she was a tough cookie.  They mentioned homes she had been removed from and behaviors she exhibited.  They also told us that she just needed stability and love and she could change.   I was asked on several occasions if we could do this and I said “yes”. I can be stern and loving at the same time and guide and nurture. I love kids, I want kids. I yearn for children in my life.

Two years later and thousands of hours of tantrums, screaming, and every type of oppositional defiant behavior later I am not so sure. We are not talking typical kid tantrums here we are talking rage and deliberate defiant behavior and turn of the hat anger with little regard to living things when angry.

I don’t want to get blasted for this post about how I made this decision and so I have to lie in the bed I made. I don’t want to hear about how she will change if I love her. I don’t want to hear about the good job we are doing and how much change she has made in two years. I don’t want to hear about how she MAY grow out of this.  It has not gotten all that much better and in fact she has gotten bigger and stronger and the tantrums are scarier now.  Her mental stability is unhealthy and unstable and that scares me. We have worked with all sorts of doctors and mental health professionals to make life better for her.

No one is in our shoes on a daily basis. I wish sometimes you could be a fly on the wall to see.   It is tough. I am not sure that everyone could do this, I don’t know how I do.  This past week alone we have not gone more than an hour or so without a tantrum every single day/hour. Something as simple as “put your shoes away” leads to Screaming and hollering, door slamming, complete defiance, breaking things, and complete disregard for anyone else.  Being told I am hated and to stay out of her life. Triangulating one parent against the other is her new favorite.    Questioning if her homework is done leads to arguing, screaming and threatening to run away.

She is almost 11.  You can say this is hormonal changes, but this is so far beyond that.   The rage that we see in this child is terrifying and the anger and defiance is scary.    If we ask her to do anything she does the opposite and looks at us and says “what are you going to do about it” and walks away. 

Last night I cried myself to sleep.  The dream I had of parenting and loving on a girl and enjoying life together seems to have faded into a nightmare of tantrums and having to leave the house to protect my heart and sanity.  My marriage is struggling to cope with the constant tension in the house and neither of us have answers and we both want to “fix” the situation. We have come to a crossroads what do we do?  What help do we seek out that we have not already?   What is the next step to protect us and her?

Why am I writing this?  It isn’t to get your sympathy because although I appreciate it, it isn’t going to change reality. I am writing to let any other RAD adoptive mom out there know if you are going through the same thing you are not alone.  I feel alone, and most days feel like I am the only one in the world going through this and how I want to love my child and parent her and yet she fights that and doesn’t really want it in return.

Today I feel……empty, dead inside, used, defeated, lost and a failure

1 comment:

marythemom said...

Raising a RAD child is TOUGH. There are very few examples of what might work, and every child is different. As you know, parenting is often counter-intuitive to the way we were parented, the way everyone we know parents, and often seems just wrong or unfair. Reading books, forums, talking to amazing therapeutic parents like Christine... all are helpful, but on a day to day basis? It's just not enough.

Even when we do have the support of an attachment therapist who gets it and the support of other parents who "get it," they usually get it because they are in the trenches themselves and often soo busy or haven't had to deal with what we're dealing with right then. My kids have multiple diagnoses that are like no one else I know (some people have kids with RAD, older teens, bipolar, trauma, borderline personality disorders, processing issues, developmental delays, trauma bonded siblings... but most don't deal with all of them or they have them in different combinations).

I've been through the daily screaming tantrums/meltdowns. I've had the rejuvenating, kick in the pants seminars and meetings with other parents. One thing I've discovered is that NOTHING helped me deal with daily meltdowns except respite and/or medication for myself or my child.

The other thing I found was that while my child was better, and my relationship with my child was better, I was still dealing with my own PTSD and resentment of my child's behavior (kind of holding a grudge, having trouble believing in the change). I still struggle with this and have to constantly remind myself that he/she is acting this way because they are scared and overwhelmed, not just to manipulate and abuse me.

Sorry, I'm rambling. Just wanted to say, you are NOT alone, and if you are not already connected there are some Facebook and other support groups out there with moms who really do get it. I will try to be better about checking your blog (I can't get it to work with my Google Reader).

Hugs and prayers!

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