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

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Apology? Don't hold your breath....

OK so I get it.  I really do.  Few people really like to admit their mistakes, but we do.  If we cause an accident, we apologize, fix it, and move on.  So what drives a RAD to not only not apologize but take things so personally?  I honestly don't know if this is a RAD trait or not, but I wouldn't be surprised to find it is.  The other day, on the morning we were to go camping for the night so we would be in a good place to watch fireworks for the 4th of July (San Francisco is usually too foggy to bother so we decided to head down the coast to Carmel for the night) and we had just spent the day prior doing some deep housecleaning.  We were finishing up so we could get out, and ODD and RAD were returning things to where they belong when RAD dropped a 40 year old piece of handcarved Bavarian art and it broke.  It's fixable, but that isn't the point.  When my wife saw it, she didn't yell or criticize, but she was understandably upset.  Ask yourself, what would you do if you dropped something valuable and it broke?  Personally, I would pick up the pieces, give it to the person it belonged to, apologize, and offer to find a way to get it fixed if possible.  RAD? Not so.  Rather, she got huffy and and developed a bit of an attitude over it.  When it became obvious that no apology was going to be forthcoming, wife told RAD to leave the room, saying she didn't want to see her right then.  RAD somehow in her head turned this into an affront on her and stood in the hallway with her arms crossed and all pi**ed off as if somebody had actually broken something of hers!

Personally, I think she was mad at herself, and perhaps she can really only experience one emotion at a time?  She certainly does see things very simply at times.  But she didn't seem to see any reason to apologize since it was an accident (isn't that the best time to apologize?).  Or perhaps she felt justified in not apologizing it, after all it's not her REAL mom, who she has abandonment issues with.  But the fact that she became almost defiant over this is something I just can't grasp.  What was going on in her head that caused her to react this way?  I wish I had all the answers (or even a couple of them!)

1 comment:

  1. Our RAD never apologizes willingly for "accidents" either. Our behavorist had us institute a "no accident policy" in our house. There are no accidents - if someone does something to hurt someone else then an apology must be given and double restitution is in effect (so like in your case - your daughter would have to give your wife 2 pieces of Art that she either worked for or paid for) -- All priveledges are taken until the apology and restitution takes place. Whether or not it was an accident is never brought into the picture in our house. It sounds harsh - but has had good results.