Friday, November 21, 2008

Know a crazed parent of a traumatized child?

Some of you still don't quite understand early childhood trauma, or the types of behaviors that come with it. I tend to be an open book, but never discuss my kids' issues without their permission. Yet, even in what is okay to share, I find myself talking less and less about our family, as the effects of trauma keep much of the behavior at home - and some think I'm too strict or just read into everything ("Oh, all kids that age act that way!"). I can't even begin to explain what comments like that do to me. I'm very glad for all of my children. I am 100% committed to whatever they need from me. Yet, to have someone give me that raised eyebrow, insinuating that I'm overbearing or over-thinking things ...

If you know someone who is parenting children with struggles due to trauma/abuse/neglect, the best advice I can give you is to acknowledge that you have absolutely no idea what goes on at home. They need your unwavering support and encouragement. You don't know.

Trust me on this one - YOU DON'T KNOW!

Your friends are being amazing parents by keeping the worst of the worse private to protect the healing process of their children.

Instead of assuming it's not all that bad because we look like we have it all together, you should go NUTS over the fact that we remembered to brush our teeth and put on pants, after cleaning up God-knows-what, or having things yelled at us, or having every single moment of our day full of manipulation and control, or trying to be sympathetic to the fear when we are bombarded with the anger.

This story is currently floating around the web, about a woman parenting a child with RAD. She took advantage of Nebraska's Safe Haven law, that was recently extended to all children - not just infants. It's a painful picture of the lack of support there is for families, and how misunderstood this disorder can be by traditional therapists.

If you have someone in your life that is the parent to one of these amazing kids, take a moment to write them a note, or pray for them (and then tell them you prayed for them), or take them out for coffee ... or give them a full body massage ... ya' know ... whatever! You never know what they've had yelled at them or thrown at them or left for them that day.

Seriously, you don't know.

Assume the worst and do something to make their day! If you just know me, then feel free to leave me comments telling me how I don't look a day over 35 (a very, very disturbed 35) ... stuff like that ...


Jazmin said...

Honey, you dont look a day over 25.. forget 35! *hughughug* No one knows. Not until you've walked a mile in their shoes, and then all you know is that you're a mile away and have their shoes.

C and G said...

RAD moms and dads are amazing. a. ma. zing.

as we prepare to adopt we've been a part of a local attachment group and have seen many families walk the road of RAD, attachment therapy, neuro work etc. I've had so many people ask "will your kids have attachment issues like XXX? Do you even think that it's real, I mean . . . ???" Um YES it's real. What ever happened to letting moms trust their gut!?!? Anyways - stepping off soap box . . . Cheers, Strength and Grace to families loving RADishes.

a website that has been very informative to us is:

Accidental Mommy said...

I was just writing a crazed RAD mom post when I decided to take a deep breath and see what was going on in the blog world today.

Would it be inappropriate to post a picture of the hardened poo I finally found? After two days of asking and practically begging for the frickin' truth to the smell? It was hidden at the very back of a dresser know just folded in nice and neat with the clothes?

I guess I know the answer to I should be mortified at the very fact that it crossed my mind to post something like that but people really don't understand. I also guess I know deep down, posting that would just make people think *I* am crazy and the cause of my kids problems.

Just for the record, I did not take a picture of it. lol

Christine said...

Gotta' laugh at that. It was a few months in with my RADishes when I noticed that I cautiously sniff any unidentified stain in the house. Is it food? People stuff? Cat stuff? Drug-in-on-our-shoes stuff?

My sense of smell has heightened to a miraculous level.

CC said...

Praise God my children do not have RAD, but many other adoptive families I know deal with this every day. Prayers and hugs and lots of chocolate wishes your way!

And you can't look any older than 29. Really.

Kelley said...

I'm telling you that you do not look a day older than when I met you at HPU! (I will refrain from saying how long ago that was.)

Innocent Observer said...

Thanks for mentioning this. I had a friend over this week (and her RADish as well). Several times I thought to myself, "lay off woman!" and even minimized my own child in her interactions with said RADish. And dealing with other foster parents I can't tell you how many times I uttered the words, "that's just normal X year old behavior!" HA! What do I know!

You are SO RIGHT. I don't have a flipping clue. And sadly not even a coupon with which to buy one. :(

I would say early 30's.

Thanks for being the parent your kid needs. The world is a better place for your efforts!

WVWOTD: alistag

Melissa said...

Oh so well said!! Thanks for posting!

Shan said...

WORD!! I'll keep praying for patience for you on those face contorting days Christine. Slowly and steadily, you are making great strides from where you began. It's also the slow and steady part that can wear a good set of nerves down to the nubs over time though, I realize. Hang in there Wonder Woman. xo

sandwichinwi said...

EASILY 30/31! Mine is not a RADish, but I learn so much from you that applies to him and he is a blessed little boy for it!

Thank you for what you DO post. You are blessing the rest of us.

And thank you to ALL your kids for allowing you bless us with their stories.


Brenda said...

I love you too Christine. It is hard. We are having a melt down kind of evening. By the way, you are even pretty when you are screaming. That isn't fair.

Christine said...

Ahhhh, you guys are the best butt kissers EVER!

Betsy said...

This face is scaring me everytime I look down my blogroll! LOL

Candis said...

I don't have any RADishes, but I did birth a beautiful, clever, pathologically narcissistic child. Nearly EVERYONE thought this one was a great kid, and that I read too much into her comments & behavior. "Aww, that's just typical kid stuff." But they never saw her at home, in action. The demands, the self-centeredness, the threats ("If you don't ---, I'll call 911 and tell them..." And she would do it, too).
Oh yeah, I have a clue, bless all of your hearts. I get NEBRASKA.

and age is irrelevant when you are a goddess in the Pantheon of Parents...;-)

TracyC said...

Amen! It's the looks that kill me--the "this woman is out to lunch, there is nothing wrong with this child that a good spanking wouldn't fix." looks. BTW, you don't know me but I'm praying for you. :-)