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

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Warning: Parents may appear hostile

Understandably, a recent story about a mom feeding her son hot sauce on the Dr Phil show has garnered quite a bit of attention, much of it negative. If you look at the comments on Facebook or other sites, both parents and non-parents (who frequently tend to be the most critical of other peoples parenting) are up in arms about what a horrible mother this woman is. And while I can't condone what she did, my first reaction when reading about that story was "that poor woman". I posted the article to a RAD support group and the reactions were all similar to mine. Nobody condoned the actions, but almost every comment was along the lines of "I can totally relate to that poor womans frustration".

For starters, the child was adopted, which put him at risk right there for some level of RAD. Given the mothers' statements such as "When [he] gets a cold shower, I am at the end of my rope" and "Nothing's gotten the results that I want.", I can 100% sympathize with where she's coming from.

Few things are more frustrating than knowing your child needs help and not only not being able to get it for them, but then having to try and deal with it all on your own. Before I began really studying RAD and how it affects the brain, I frequently felt the same way. Well-meaning people would give all sorts of advice, swearing up and down that it would solve the problems, but it never did. Nothing conventional that we tried made much difference at all (and when it did, it was short-lived). So yeah, I've felt this mothers' frustration, I know where she's coming from, and apparently so do many of the other RAD parents I've spoken with.

The help IS out there. But very few people/agencies are willing to give it up easily. I know from personal experience how hard it is to get people to recognize that there are bigger issues going on that your child needs help with. I knew for years that my RAD was depressed and the root cause of almost all of her problems were due to her mother. But it really did take years of pushing before anybody really listened. I had to kick and scream and flood peoples email boxes, I had to take time off work and demand face to face meetings, I had to push through all the bureaucracy and resistance to get her the help I knew she needed. And I had to do all this while dealing with the frustration that nothing I was doing was working and my RADs behavior wasn't changing. It felt like I was being attacked from both sides when all I wanted to do what help my RAD get better.

"Parents appear hostile" --- us RAD parents might as well make t-shirts with that on em. Because at times we do. We appear hostile towards our children, we appear hostile towards the agencies that think they are helping us. We appear hostile towards the entire world at times because we have to. We can't sit back and wait for help to come to us because it won't.

Let's hope this poor woman can now get the help she needs to deal with her sons issues before her frustration pushes her over the edge and it's not just hot sauce next time.

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