For me, that little bit of thanks equates to RAD relief. And everybody needs to be appreciated.
The RAD Relief We All Need Is To Be Appreciated
Please forgive me. For almost two years I have been posting to my blog once or twice a week, without fail. Two weeks ago, I missed posting. Last week I missed again. Please don’t see this as a pattern of things to come. It absolutely is not. I was out of the country, spending time with my young friends in the Republic of Georgia (the former Soviet state). If you have friended me on my personal Facebook page, you already know that. (If you haven’t, I almost always accept friend requests from RAD parents, RAD kids, and RAD families. Send me a friend request, here: https://www.facebook.com/john.m.simmons2) Our family sponsors an organization in Georgia that assists Georgian orphans as they transition from institutions on to higher education and on to life on their own. That time away from my family; that time away from you, was RAD relief, for me. That isn’t to say that none of my young friends in Georgia suffer from attachment disorders. Due to their traumatic histories, some of them do. And just like my own kids, I love them just the same.
When the community rages against us, when our reputations are damaged or destroyed, when we are chastised for doing good, when no good deed goes unpunished, our negative feelings are overwhelming. It is at that point that we need RAD relief.
For me, one of the greatest stressors of working with children in my own family, who suffer from Reactive Attachment Disorder, is the lack of appreciation. To me, turning our lives over to serve children with attachment disorders is the picture next to the dictionary definition of the old phrase: “No good deed goes un-punished.” As our children use the survival skills they began developing during the first moments of their lives, it often leads to them betraying us with lies to schools, neighbors, congregation members and even the authorities. We experience days filled with advocating for children who often fight against us. We have almost come to accept their lack of appreciation from our children. But then, when the community rages against us, when our reputations are damaged or destroyed, when we are chastised for doing good, when no good deed goes unpunished, our negative feelings are overwhelming. It is at that point that we need RAD relief.
Once I took inventory and realized that the perks really didn’t mean that much to me, I could continue on in the thankless job of parenting children with Reactive Attachment Disorder. But I would need to find RAD relief in another place.
Chances are, when we have children in our families who suffer from Reactive Attachment Disorder, it is because we are people who like to do something more than we are expected, or required to do. We are people who like to help other people. But helping people with the unorthodox peculiarities tied to Reactive Attachment Disorder brings on something that we are unaccustomed to when it comes to serving. Of course we don’t serve others for the pat on the back, but honestly… for me… it was a nice perk. When I was punished for good deeds, it really made me take stock of why I did good things. Once I took inventory and realized that the perks really didn’t mean that much to me, I could continue on in the thankless job of parenting children with Reactive Attachment Disorder. But I would need to find RAD relief in another place.
A few of them honor me with the greatest title ever given; Dad. For me, that little bit of thanks equates to RAD relief. And everybody needs to be appreciated.
For me, RAD relief is getting some appreciation for doing good, in some place other than in my own home. That is why I love going to visit my kids in Georgia. You see, as these kids age out of the system, they have no hope; no chance. Our family organization, Program Chance, helps these kids to transition. In every sense, it gives them a chance. And that’s where I get my perks. The government appreciates us. The other organizations who help these children thank us. And the kids love us. I get 18 year old kids throwing their arms around me, thanking me for what I consider meager assistance and they consider being everything. They tell me that they now believe in themselves because no one has ever told them that they were important, before. They tell me I motivate them. They call me Mr. John. Some of them call me friend. And a few of them honor me with the greatest title ever given; Dad. For me, that little bit of thanks equates to RAD relief. And everybody needs to be appreciated.
When I get appreciation for something I do, it allows be to go back to a thankless job with a light heart: It gives me RAD relief.
I could say the same for my blog. The few hours a week I dedicate to writing and responding to comments is an opportunity to serve in a place where I am appreciated. If I can share a few words of experience that helps another family, if I can be a bright spark on a dark day, if I can only help other RAD parents to understand that they are not alone and that I “get it,” I am happy to help. But really, it’s all for me. When I read the comments, when I get an occasional email, when I get appreciation for something I do, it allows be to go back to a thankless job with a light heart: It gives me RAD relief.
So, if I could give you something to help you, it would be to help you find a place where you can spend a few minutes a week doing something where you can be appreciated. Grab your RAD kids, buy a dozen carnations and hand them out at the local retirement home. Drop off your kids’ coats from last year to the family down the street who really needs them. Take your kids and ladle out soup at the local homeless shelter. I don’t know what works for your family. But you’ll figure it out! Life and service have not become thankless; you just need to fish in additional ponds. And THAT will give you RAD relief. Thank you for your comments, your pats on the back and your words of encouragement. Thank you for the RAD relief you give to me.
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. 🙂 Oh, and in case you’re interested, I almost always accept Friend Requests from other RAD Parents. Due to the way Facebook and the blog are set up, in the blog, on comments, I can tag you in them if we’re friends, but the program won’t let me tag you if we’re not. Here’s the link to my personal page: https://www.facebook.com/john.m.simmons2
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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