We are a group of parents who have children who have been diagnosed with Reactive Attachment Disorder.
This can happen to a child for a variety of reasons. Raising these children is very challenging. We think that reading about other's challenges is very helpful and encouraging. So we created this blog so we can write things we go through without infringing upon our children's privacy. For this reason we will not use our children's names or our own. We hope you find this blog helpful

Thursday, May 13, 2010

I don't know what to say anymore

I don't know what to say about all of this anymore. I don't know what to do or where to turn most days. I have a fantasy of healing that I know probably will not happen. I do everything I can here and it is never enough to facilitate any real change. I allow myself the false belief that a certain behavior is over. But then it all comes back again. The reality is that this is never over and it likely never will be. My son may be able to go a few weeks without hitting someone after a week of hitting every day. I will probably always allow myself to believe that things are better, because if I don't hold on to that belief there is no reason to get up and continue trying. But I have to look at things realistically too. My son will hit me and never think twice about it. He will hurt his siblings and go about his day like it didn't happen. He will rage over a piece of paper printing off a computer and someone getting to close to it (afraid they will tear his paper). We will get knocked across the room, punched in the face, kicked in the back, bit as hard as he can, and cussed out like I never imagined from my own child. He will just continue to get bigger and I will likely get hurt one day because he is too big for me to contain any longer. My children will be traumatized and my marriage forever damaged. Life is not like we imagined it to be and is not fun. Maybe at some point I will stop trying but not yet. Right now I still have some fight left in me, but it is fading. I just know that for me to stop trying means a woman may get beat someday or a child abused by him when he is an adult and is still functioning like this. For the people in the future I will not give up. If this were just about me, well I am tired. But thankfully it is about more than just me so we continue to fight. We continue with therapy and therapeutic parenting. We continue to explore options that eventually may lead us to residential placement. We pray for a break and for something to work for us. We pray to be eligible for that service that can really help him. And some days we simply pray for our sanity and to get through one more day!!!!!

Monday, May 10, 2010

Birthday, mother's day and spring - OH MY

My son wheels is having a birthday soon. He will be ten. (for the record my oldest son curly will be 17 and my bil will be 30 something on that very same day) His cousin is a year younger, but they are in the same grade in a very small school. They also go to church together and of course are together after school every day as I am her babysitter. So my sister and I decided that since the actual birthday of my son was shared with two others and was on the busiest week of our year (banquets, concerts, recitals, etc all happen that week!) and her daughter's birthday was a few weeks before my son's. We would combine thier parties. So we picked a Saturday in between the two birthdays when we were all available. I got two cakes, one girly and one boyish and two sets of paper plates, two table clothes etc.
Well, a few issues.
1. DS may be turning ten and may be in the third grade and is smart as a whip when it comes to academics, but emotionally he is closer to four. His social skills stink. The kids are all nice to him because he is in a wheelchair and they laugh off his attempts to boss him around and such. However, in the three and half years he has been here, he has only been invited to one birthday party. He has never been invited on a sleepover or a play date.
2. My neice had been living in another town until March when they moved back here, so she did not have a lot of friends and it's baseball/softball season so a lot of kids are busy.
3. We did not realize the day we picked was the day before mothers day. That meant that a lot of kids were busy with family things and that would be one more trigger.

So OK, we had the party. One boy and one girl showed up. The girl was excited to play with my neice. The boy had to be coaxed out of the car by his mom. I could tell he did not want to be there, but he was a good sport once his mom had a talk with him. He did end up leaving early though for a baseball game. My teenagers went shopping on thier own (the oldest drives now) and took thier sister and thier other neice shopping with them. They got ds the things he really wanted that I would not have gotten him. Namely, toy guns. OK. One shoots little foam disks, but those will all be lost quickly. The other two just make noise. The last one was a water gun that he won't be able to operate with his one good hand.
I - being the theraputic mom that I am, had noticed he was starting to show some empathy and starting to engage in pretend play with his teddy bear. He was also starting to put clothes on it. I found a lady who makes soft dolls including custom ones for disabled children. so I got him a doll just like him. It has glasses, and his coloring and his disability and even a wheelchair. I also got it extra clothes in his favorite colors and even a jedi costume. I spent too much on it.
He opened it and shoved it aside. I figured that he did have a friend there so maybe that was it. At home he put the jedi costume on the teddy bear and also took the glasses and wheelchair from the doll and gave them to his teddy bear. He informed me he hated the doll. He only liked the plug and play video game that was also in the bag that he assumed was from dad. OK so this is when I have a non theraputic moment. I buy all gifts and put mine and dh's name on them. Dh has nothing to do with gift shopping and has not for years. So I tell ds that the doll is from dh and the game is from me. I check on him a little while later and he has the doll and the teddy bear with him, both wearing clothes now and he tells me he loves the doll, but that the game (which his is playing) "sucks", though he keeps playing it. In fact sneaks out of bed to play it. Though I am tempted to take the "sucky" game away, I figure I have already had my non-theraputic moment of the day so I ignore the suck remarks, even though he knows I don't like that word.

So we survived the party and I have leftover cake for lunch today, LOL.

On to Mother's day. He did make me something at school, but gave it to my sister who gave it to me. It's clay so I am waiting to see how long it lasts. It's in a place of honor on the coffee table. He informed me that I was not getting anything on Mothers day. I told him that was OK cause I had wonderful kids I love. So dd goes all out on mother's day. She is ten and a total mama's girl. The teen boys, well, one asked me to help him order me a shirt from a company whose shirts I love. http://www.wildolivetees.com/
But, he didn't remember until Friday. So the shirt is not here yet, but I will love it when it comes, they have very soft shirts with verses on them.
Teen son number two loves that I love Toms shoes. I didn't know they were "in" I just knew they are comfy and they give one pair of shoes away to a child a in need for every pair they sell. http://www.toms.com/ I like that idea. Anyway, he informed me that I was to choose a color and order the shoes and he would have dh move the money to my account. So I have shoes coming too. DD gave me breakfast in bed and a pretty necklace that has a heart and says mom. Dh has promised me the pictures I asked for of all four kids together, but has not managed to get them all together long enough to do the picture. LOL Anyway, in the afternoon wheels informs me that I am not his real mother. I offered to help him write a letter to his firt mom, even though we can't send it. (she passes away some years ago) He said to write and tell her that he loves her and misses her and she is the best mom ever. (she abandoned him at birth, but theraputic mom is back in control so I just empathize with him and how he must miss her)
Anyway, I am glad it's over. We still have his real birthday to contend with. And the end of the year always sends him into a downward spiral. I can tell when the teachers start talking about the end of the year and next year and summer vacation because his behavior nosedives. I am hoping that this year won't be as bad as past years, but I am afraid to get my hopes up too high. I know my friend Suburban mom also dealt with a birthday and of course mother's day this past week, so she will be writing her experiences soon. I think being honest with each other about the pain and how we can't always be "theraputic" mom, helps a lot.
With love and therapy!
Country mom.