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

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

little things that add up

Had to drop off my daughters lunch at her school today.  One of her teachers saw me and asked "rough morning?" and chuckled.  Because he gets it.  And it WAS a rough morning, but for all little things.  Little things that don't mean a lot by themselves.. annoyances such as a library card that disappears and then reappears magically, things that supposedly get used but the user can't tell you where all the pieces are, just little stuff.  But the problem is that when you add up all the little things, it paints a picture of somebody who is still playing games and, as hard as it is to accept, isn't ready to cooperate honestly. 

As the parent of a RAD, this isn't uncommon.  It's nothing we haven't dealt with for years (and years, and years, and...).  give a little, lose a little.  Slowly we ARE gaining ground, but slowly is definitely the key word here.  And we're running out of time.  We're going camping next week, and the oldest daughter doesn't want to go.  She's never been a big fan of camping and we have always tried to accommodate her, knowing that if she doesn't want to be there, and doesn't HAVE to be there, it's more pleasant when she's NOT there.  This isn't to say we don't enjoy spending time with her - if I had my way, I'd love for her to come - I love spending time with her.. but I already know how it will turn out.. she'll be miserable and that makes everybody miserable (we're already going to get enough misery from her sister).

So my sister graciously agreed to allow her to stay there for the week.  Which is pretty awesome, especially since she is already having guests over that week.  But at least with her we know she's safe and in a warm, loving environment.  So that has been the carrot. 

But ogres don't like carrots.. and when the oldest daughter gets in these moods, that's what she reminds me of.. A big, grumpy ogre.  Rather than be honest, she would rather continue to play her games and miss out on going to her Aunts house.  And it's not like she'd get in trouble either - we already know what is going on - it's not like she is hiding some shocking news that is going to piss us off.  But we can't ignore the game either.  Well.. I suppose we could.. we could let her have her way.  But the real world doesn't reward games like that - not if you're going to work for somebody.  Not if you're going to rent a place to live.. pretty much nobody you deal with is going to let you get away with those games for long.  So why should we teach her it's ok? 

Besides, if we can't trust her with a library card, how are we supposed to trust her with her diabetes?  Especially just a couple of weeks after finding 4 syringes filled with insulin that she was hiding from us and injecting herself with randomly?  I can't, in good conscious, just drop her at my sisters with all that going on - my sister has enough to deal with already without having to follow her around 24/7 to try and keep her safe.

Of course it's OUR fault.  WE are the ones who smother her.  WE are the ones who don't let her do anything.  WE are forcing her to do things she doesn't want to do (i.e. go camping).  Again we're back to the lack of cause and effect thinking common among RADs.  It just doesn't exist (at least not at levels found in neuro-typical children).  And no matter how far along I thing we've gotten.  No matter how much progress I think we've made.  We are, time and time again, reminded that some things are just too deep to fix easily....

Thursday, July 12, 2012

I can do it - but don't want you to know...

Well, it looks like the transition to the general HS will be delayed.  Am I disappointed? Yes.. Surprised? Not at all.  It has always been the pattern.  When there is something good to be gained, my daughter works hard for it.  Then, when it's almost a sure thing and she has done so well, she sabotages it.    We aren't sure whether this latest round will be enough to keep the transition from moving forward since there is still time to pull it together, but my daughter has definitely told me she is anxious about the move and hopes this "puts off" her transition (her words, not mine).

The thing is, there is something that needs to be done.  That "thing" needs to be done within certain parameters as set forth by doctors and social workers, with minimal interference from parents and teachers.  Only then can we move on to "freedom".  We already *know* she can do that "thing" - she has proven it to me several times.  But, when she doesn't do it within the guidelines, we can't be sure of her safety, hence the restriction (the guidelines were put in place after some near fatal mistakes she made - we don't just put them there arbitrarily as some have though).  A restriction which we're all hoping we can dump sooner than later - all she needs to do is do the "thing" within the guidelines.

But she refuses.  So we have to keep starting over from square one.  Being in square one may or may not prevent her from transitioning, but it's certainly going to make the transition much harder on her than it needs to be.

She's a teenager.  I get it.. she wants to do things her way.  I certainly did.  But if somebody had told me "you need to do A and show us so we can move on and you can have your freedom with it", I sure as heck would have done it and said "look, here it is now leave me alone".  But not her.  She would rather do it, and hide it from us.  Make sense?  It does to her... yeah, I don't get it either.