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

Monday, September 5, 2011

A breakthrough... small, but huge!

My daughters don't do well with change. Not at all. So this upcoming move 2 states away seems to be really stressing them out. They have both been acting out in ways we haven't seen in quite a while. But there have been incredible breakthroughs as well. Last week my oldest was in group at the treatment center when she volunteered she starts trouble with her step mother because she's there. She admitted (all on her own, with no coaxing by staff) that she's really pissed at her bio-mom (and I think 'pissed' is too soft a word for how she really feels, but it's the one she used) but since bio-mom isn't around, she takes it out on step-mom because she is the only mother figure that is available.

While this isn't news to us (we've been telling people this for many years), for her to have expressed it is HUGE! It tells us that whatever we've been doing is working. That the way she has been looking at things is different. I mean, we've noticed it - her behavior has improved in general, her attitude has improved in general (we still have huge outbursts of drama, but it's not constant like it used to be) - but we've never actually heard her express her anger for her bio-mom.

We've always known it was there though. All you had to do was mention her bio-moms name and the tears would start. So perhaps this breakthrough will propel her on towards more healing? Sometimes it seems to be just the opposite though - each breakthrough brings with it yet more intense drama. But that's understandable, and we can work though all of that as long as we know we're heading in the right direction. I don't think she's quite ready to sit down and write her bio-mom a letter yet, but I think someday she's going to have to do that. Even if she never mails it (and we wouldn't know where to send it anyway), she needs to get all of that crap out of her. Much like you need to clean your cars oil pan to get all the gunk out so it runs smoother.

This treatment center and it's staff have been such a Godsend for us - I pray they have something similar in the Seattle area....

1 comment:

  1. We had a breakthrough when our RAD was talking to the family therapist she would never talk about herself but if the therapist asks something about her Sister's behavior she will tell the truth. The therapist asked her if anyone is mean to her. She said her Sister is because she hits her (hits her back in defense is more like it but that's beside the point) and the therapist said, "Why do you think people hit." and she said, "People hit and hurt people because it makes them happy." We had always thought she enjoyed hurting people but that was the first confirmation. It must be so horrible to be so damaged that it feels good to hurt people and make them hurt as much as you. I don't think my Daughter feels anger too much towards her Mother. She has a very low IQ and has always been in a foster or adoptive home so was never abused or neglected. Hers is more a brain based RAD from FASD as opposed to a situational RAD from neglect or abuse.