We discussed what needed to be different this time, if the results from this RAD resolution might be different from RAD resolutions in the past.
It’s Not Just Resolving. It’s “Resolution”
This year, I hope my good intentions take me somewhere other than where the old cliché says that good intentions lead to. But for my results to be different than other years, something beyond my New Year’s RAD resolution needs to be different. I remembered that because so far we have had a holiday season like yours. Reactive Attachment Disorder is pretty predictable in that sense. We have been aching for the holidays to end. Of course there have been good moments. Moments. As opposed to hours; as opposed to days. As opposed to… well, you get it. You’re no newcomer to a life involved with Reactive Attachment Disorder. In one of our good moments, my daughter came to me and apologized for some of her behaviors earlier in the day. Then she promised to do better. I thanked her for her words, but told her I wanted more than words, this time. When she asked me what I meant, I talked about how many times she had made a RAD resolution like that. The promises are pretty consistent. So are the results in that there are very few (again, fairly typical for Reactive Attachment Disorder). Then we spent a half-hour talking about things that needed to be different this time, if the results from this RAD resolution had a chance to be different from RAD resolutions in the past.
I wanted this year to be different and I wanted it enough to make some changes in my RAD resolution.
So, as I thought about selecting my RAD resolution for this year, my own voice echoed in my head: “What makes this RAD resolution different from any other one I have made?” I hate it when I have to explain and buttress my promises almost as much as my daughter does. I wasn’t happy with me forcing myself to be accountable. (And perhaps I write because, as E.L. Doctorow said: “Writing is a socially acceptable form of schizophrenia.”) Still, I wanted a change in results. I wanted this year to be different and I wanted it enough to make some changes in my RAD resolution.
For me, RAD resolution has become an incredible tool for me to improve myself and my own life.
I think that is the key for my RAD resolution for this year. Resolution. Not resolution as in “I resolve,” but resolution as in… zooming in to see things more clearly. In a former life I did a lot of engineering in a company that my brothers and I started. CAD (Computer Aided Design) allowed us to increase the size of devices and parts we engineered to see small details as though they were very, very large. When we ran into unforeseen problems, the first thing we did was to “blow up” the design on the screen to see the small inadvertent things that were making a surprisingly big challenge. Many times, when looking at things bigger than they really were, the answers came quickly and the solutions were relatively clear. For me, RAD resolution has become an incredible tool for me to improve myself and my own life.
This year I’m going to try to focus less on being frustrated with the failures of my children and I’ll use them to examine myself and my own behaviors. That’s my RAD resolution.
To me, the behaviors of my children who suffer from Reactive Attachment Disorder are a higher resolution of my own difficulties and behaviors. I can look at them, as a “zoom in” on me. I don’t break rules just to prove I can. I don’t thumb my nose at authority simply to assert my ability to be in control. Those are behaviors more akin to my children who have Reactive Attachment Disorder. Even so, there are times I break rules. And like my children acting under the challenge of Reactive Attachment Disorder, sometimes I get away with it. But when I listen to myself talking to my children, saying things like; “When you make bad choices, bad things happen,” I need to apply those words to myself. I mean, I’m not going to cut my arm with the chance of bleeding to death, while trying to convince myself that it can’t happen to me. Still, when I’m doing 85 in a 75 and I see red and blues behind me, I can’t be surprised when my next insurance bill comes. This year I’m going to try to focus less on being frustrated with the failures of my children and I’ll use them to examine myself and my own behaviors. That’s my RAD resolution.
Reactive Attachment Disorder has been, by far, the greatest challenge our family has ever faced. There have also been incredible lessons we have learned from these difficulties. So I resolve to continue to learn from Reactive Attachment Disorder. I resolve to become stronger by overcoming challenges. I resolve to use each difficulty I see in my children to be a chance to examine myself under a microscope. When I look back on 2016, I want to be able to say that I used my challenges to turn myself into a better person; because in the end, I only have two choices. I can use Reactive Attachment Disorder to turn me into a better person, or, I can allow this relentless and ruthless disorder to break me.
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