Educating the world about Reactive Attachment Disorder through experience, hope, humor and love.
(Warning: nothing here should be taken as medical advice)

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Isolation and lonliness

Parenting a child with special needs can sometimes be a lonely and isolating job, especially when that child has traits that tend to alienate others. People with non-special needs children rarely understand (or even seem to WANT to understand) what we go through, and so they don't really make the best people to go to when you're having a problem at home, which for those of us with children of trauma is pretty much all the time! So with nobody really to talk to, it's not uncommon for parents to feel like they're doing this all on their own.

Even parents who don't suffer from any mental or emotional issues of their own feel this from time to time. But if the parent has any problems of their own, it can double those feelings of isolation. Myself for example, I have been diagnosed with PTSD, Major Depression, and mild Bi-Polar issues, so when it hits, it REALLY hits. This morning for example, all I wanted to do was crawl into bed with my RAD and just hold her - not get up for work, not do much of anything really. But as adults, we can't just shut down, and especially us Trauma-Mommas/RAD-Dads - we know more than anybody that life isn't going to wait for us to feel better so we soldier on. Which brings me to the point of this whole rambling mess. If you're parenting a child of trauma, you need to not try to go it alone. Find out if there is a support group in your area (surprisingly, there aren't ANY support groups for RAD parents in San Francisco? We have to travel down the peninsula once a month) and get involved. If there aren't any, perhaps consider starting one if you're in an urban area where it's likely there are other parents like you. Lastly, consider stopping by the Attachment Disorder Support Group online. It's not just a bunch of parents whining about their problems, but a group of people that "get it", and it's frequently my first stop online in the mornings. It's other parents who have either lived it, or are living it, and there is no shortage of great advice, helpful hints, compassion and, possibly most importantly, lots and lots of humor. Really, where else can you discuss things such as children who eat strange things or can't remember to add their own clothes when doing laundry, or even who do their laundry in the microwave without getting strange looks? Certainly not the PTA!!

So if you haven't checked them out, do yourself a favor and swing by. It can't cure your child, but they may just save your sanity.

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