Like most parents of children who suffer from Reactive Attachment Disorder, My RAD attitude varies, depending on the circumstances of the day, week or month.
What’s my Rad-itude? Really, it Depends on the Day.
One of the comments on a recent blog article of mine mentioned that the writer couldn’t understand how I could be so upbeat about adoption after Reactive Attachment Disorder. She went on just a little about some of the difficulties that RAD had brought, just like I do… just like you do. I had to smile, though. Before the comment was over, my sister-by-circumstance admitted that even she had adopted again, after the ones who suffered from Reactive Attachment Disorder. It got me thinking about “Rad-itudes.” Like most parents of children who suffer from Reactive Attachment Disorder, My RAD attitude varies, depending on the circumstances of the day, week or month.
Usually, if I can force myself to refocus and spend even a tiny bit of time draining the swamp, my RAD attitude improves and some of the alligators go away on their own.
Still, there are some things we can do to improve our rad-itudes, at least, overall. In a former life, when I was a CEO, I had a plaque hanging on my office wall. It read: “Notice: The objective of all dedicated company employees should be to thoroughly analyze all problems prior to their occurrence, have answers for these problems, and move swiftly to solve these problems when called upon… …However… …When you are up to your @$$ in alligators, it is difficult to remind yourself that your initial objective was to drain the swamp.” And so it is with Reactive Attachment Disorder. I find that often my Rad-itude is the worst when I have spent all of my time shooting alligators. Usually, if I can force myself to refocus and spend even a tiny bit of time draining the swamp, my RAD attitude improves and some of the alligators go away on their own.
If your therapist isn’t constantly giving you additional tools that help to drain the swamp and improve your RAD attitude, I’m sorry, but you’re just in the infatuation stage. You haven’t found your soul-mate therapist, yet.
Friends, I, of all people, know how hard it is to find the right therapist to help children who suffer from Reactive Attachment Disorder. But let me tell you; nothing does more to drain the swamp than finding that special person who “gets” your kid and the behaviors in-tow. It is worth every bit of cost, time and effort to get the right therapist. That success will improve your life almost as much as finding your soul-mate; though finding the right therapist will be far more difficult. And if your therapist isn’t constantly giving you additional tools that help to drain the swamp and improve your RAD attitude, I’m sorry, but you’re just in the infatuation stage. You haven’t found your soul-mate therapist, yet. I really believe that the methods developed by Karyn Purvis and TCU are the best that there is, today. If you need a new therapist, here’s a link to some listed by state who have undergone training offered by Texas Christian University: http://child.tcu.edu/wp-content/uploads/2015/08/TBRI-Alumni-2015-Sheet11.pdf
The other half of our RAD attitude is based on who we can become. This is the part of our raditude that we can improve.
I like to think of our RAD attitude as being two parts. One is based on who we are. It pretty much is what it is. The other half of our RAD attitude is based on who we can become. This is the part of our raditude that we can improve. This is the part of dealing with Reactive Attachment Disorder that we can change. It isn’t the same for everyone. We don’t change in the same way. We don’t have the same talents or challenges. We don’t even have all the same beliefs. But we do know what works for us. We do understand, individually, the ways that we improve ourselves and our attitude; especially our RAD attitude.
With each trip to the fence, we are more tired. Our RAD attitude becomes just a little bit more cynical. And we wonder if we can ever again find the person we were before Reactive Attachment Disorder.
One of the things I like most about the community of parents who raise children who suffer from Reactive Attachment Disorder is that there is so little judgment between us. We all know how hard it is. When someone is more harsh as a parent than we might be, we know that each parent has to do what works for them. When we see families that decide they can no longer work with a child, we weep with the family, knowing how close we have been to that conclusion, ourselves. We all turn to science, at least to a certain degree, as we try to help our children. Some turn to religion, wondering how anyone could survive the challenges of Reactive Attachment Disorder without it. And others, often because of the harshness of Reactive Attachment Disorder, lose their faith. There is no judgment in this group. We all know how the other parents feel. We can always relate to what others do, because we have been there, before. Even if we haven’t crossed the fence, we have approached it, climbed to the top, and sat straddling the rail before climbing back down. With each trip to the fence, we are more tired. Our RAD attitude becomes just a little bit more cynical. And we wonder if we can ever again find the person we were before Reactive Attachment Disorder. Maybe we will, and maybe we won’t. Maybe we aren’t supposed to.
When I remember where my daughter came from, and compare her life, now, to the one that waited, the one her first mother lived, it is reason enough for me to keep a positive RAD attitude.
But we always need to remember that we know what works for us. We know what we need to do as individuals to improve our attitudes. And we must… we must find the strength to do it. One of the things that works for me is to not dwell on the ideal life my child might have had. In honesty, I mourned that loss a long time ago. I can’t bring back that loss so I can only deal with it. Even so, there was another loss… this one, a happy loss. The horrible life my child would have lived without me is gone. Her life will be one somewhere in between the hell where I found her, and what I dreamed her life might be. And for that, I am grateful. When I remember where my daughter came from, and compare her life, now, to the one that waited, the one her first mother lived, it is reason enough for me to keep a positive RAD attitude.
I love all of the family people who take the time to read my articles regardless of their beliefs. I especially appreciate those who take the time to participate in the comments. I know that many of the people who read my blog are not religious. I know there are others who are religious, but who are not Christian. With that, I will ask for your patience as I share something that might help others who share some of the views on God and religion that I do. “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’ And… “Everyone who has given up houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or property, for my sake, will receive a hundred times as much in return and will inherit eternal life.”
Please don’t feel like you need to ask, to share. 🙂 Few things make me happier than your belief that my writings might help someone else. I love to see the likes, the comments, and especially, the shares. 🙂
Often, readers receive as much help from other readers in the comments section as they do from the blog article, itself. Please be generous with your thoughts and experiences in the comments section. There are lots of people who need what you have to share. This is your chance to help them.
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