Sunday, January 02, 2011

We're all in this together!

I received this message on Facebook today and begged, cried and pleaded politely asked if I could reprint it here.

Be encouraged.

My son is 12 now, he came to me at age 10 through foster care, and he has RAD. And today I am tired and cranky and I found myself taking the bait when he was trying to make me angry. I know better, really, I do... but I found myself arguing with him about who used the computer last and we were both getting angry, and I took a deep breath and told him to put his coat on. He argued and cursed and said no and I said, "That's ok, I will see you when I get back" and left. And separation anxiety won, when I got to the corner I looked back and there he was. We walked for 20 minutes and I took deep breaths and told myself "let it go" over and over in my head and then we came home and talked about what happened, and agreed on what to do next, and went on with our day. And so I had to write you and thank you, because 6 months ago that probably would have escalated to physical violence and day or week long crazies- and instead I walked fast, took deep breaths, regulated MYSELF first, so I could help him- and we got through it.

From Sarah Milliman who blogs at The Many Stars That Guide Us


The Lundys said...

Yep, I needed that today. A lost shoe & salt shaker almost put me over. I need to walk more.

Birthblessed said...

Oh thank you thank you thank you. Tousled with mine again, it's so stupid. He just really doesn't see that he treats me so bad. We had a family of 8 visiting for Christmas break, my old college roomie and her family. It was so much more difficult than I had anticipated because the old roomie made it her job to point out to me any time I was in the same room as my RAD, how his RADness is actually my own fault. At the same time, she did things to annoy my RAD so that he actually was also finding some solidarity with me and rolled his eyes behind her back so that I could see it, in support of ME.... but he still interrupts me every time I try to say anything helpful or instructive. He still curses like a sailor at me and in front of my littles. Last night he started jumping up and down and swearing and punching his fist into the breakfast bar because the *Cool Whip* was frozen. He wanted to eat it NOW. I had suggested he take out of the freezer yesterday but he hadn't done it because he "didn't want to dig in the freezer" so he waited for me to do it, and then put on a show for me because he was so pissed off that it was frozen when I got it out.

And again. If I mention it to anyone they say such helpful things like "If you take something away or punish him then he'd be different" because never in a million years have I ever thought of setting limits and then making him stick in the limits, right? They just don't understand. I am doing everything as right as I possibly can. Why don't any of the other 6 kids have RAD, cuss at me, throw fits over whip cream, interrupt me with "Whatever" and so on? If it was my parenting they'd all be like that, right?

Birthblessed said...

Although, since my RAD isn't adopted or fostered and was born by me and has always lived with me, I guess it's true. It is my fault.

J. said...

Thanks for sharing that. This am I hugged my kiddo through some hard feelings and he survived and there was no yelling and our day was not ruined and I did not get sucked into his vortex of shame and self loathing... It us huge progress for him

Acceptance with Joy said...

Been singing a little song to myself...

to the tune of Frere Jacques:

I don't like it
I don't like it
That's okay!
That's okay!
I can stand it anyway,
I can stand it anyway,
It's okay.
It's okay.

Just reminding myself the shenanigans don't have to effect me... I CAN STAND IT. I don't have to take the bait.

C. T. Oakes said...

I was dating Sarah when she got her son. And Christine, I can not tell you how much finding your blog and videos has help her. I watch them and read everything she sends me to try and understand how we can help her wonderful son. She was talking about one of your videos today and told me NOTHING has ever helped as much as that has. Your insights and advice have really made RAD understandable for us so that she, and I can keep smiling. Thank you and if we show up in Texas someday I am buying lunch.

Anonymous said...

Hi there,
I recently found your blog and got hooked bec of your dreadies (mine are 3 months old! yea me) and sense of humor. But that's not what I came here to tell you... I am not a parent but an ESL teacher working in China. And guess what. Things you've said here I can apply to my students, 16-17ys old. Most of them are superstars, but there are a few who've sucked me in and turned me into a potentially angry, frustrated, why-are-you-acting-like-that freako. I've definitely felt these things and have managed to hold it in, but have been at a loss for what to do in some situations. Just wanted you to know your advice is being used beyond parenting. I know it's not the same as parenting traumatized kids, but the principles can be applied.
And here's to all of you wonderful parents who are loving those hard, beautiful kids. You have the toughest, most needed job in the world.

Brent & Kel said...

I love this story. Keep 'em coming
-kelly mom to a beautiful RAD girl from China