Monday, August 30, 2010

Random RADness

Last Friday, at therapy, Middle-One was ranting and raving about how mean I was and how I was on his case and expected so much from him (it's a good thing our AT knows both me and the disorder LOL).

AT asked for specific examples so Middle tells her that every day, when he comes in from school I meet him at the door and give him a hug... and expect for him to hug me... he was serious.

It really is hard to contain oneself at times, especially when accused of such horrendous acts!!! ;o)

Friday, August 27, 2010

A Mystery

It was a dark and stormy night... well, ok, it wasn't stormy. But this is the tropic south so it just as easily could have been.

I was awakened from a peaceful sleep by a sharp knock-knock-knock at my bedroom door. Rolling over, I glanced through one open eye, at the clock. 4:34.... ugh!!!


I heard Middle-One call back.


(who else could it be really?)

"Mommy the pantry light is burning."

I stumbled to the door, flipped the hook & eye lock and opened the door. Middle-one was standing in the hallway.


"Precious (the dog) was scratching at my door so I came to get the leash to tie her up and noticed that the light bulb was black"

"Ok... (thinking... thinking...) Ok... go back to bed. you're not supposed to be up tying the dog up anyway. (Ummmmmmmm... really?... Really???)"

Middle goes (a little too) obediently to his room and gets back in bed. I go to the kitchen to check on the light bulb. Yep, burned up alright. It's Cajun-blackened! I remove the bulb with he help of a cleaning rag. Thinking that I will have Mr. T examine it later, I slip quietly back into my room and place it on the bookcase.

Going back out into the hall I notice that the house smells like smoke. The pantry light fixture feels hot to touch. I worry that maybe the wiring in this old house is on fire (It is the middle of the night after all so my suspicious thoughts are still asleep). As I become more conscience, I notice a "smokey" smell throughout the house.

(Is it getting worse?)

I begin to examine every room, feeling walls, smelling, trying lights.

(seems ok, but what is that smell)

I walk through again, discerning that the smell is strongest in the kitchen and the hallway. I return to the pantry and with two open eyes I begin to really look...

(how did that box of matches get on the spice shelf?... and where are all the matches)

I start digging around the pantry.

(no matches. Where did they go?)

I look into the garbage can...

(Ebear's pill bottle?... he didn't finish these. Did he?)

I'm getting more confused. I retrieve the pill bottle and the nearly empty box of matches and add those to the light bulb.

Now I am fully awake and in sleuth mode. I'm seeking the clues because that's how we roll... Yeah, me and Nancy Drew, we tight dude!

There is a Febreeze can on the dining room table

(was that there a minute ago?)

I pick it up...

(Empty!?!?..... where did the Fabreeze go....)

Added the bottle to the growing pile of clues.

I have a suspect. I have the clues...I'm seeing a possible solution. But I don't think I really have the technology to prove it (got to refill the CSI kit). A confession is unlikely so a confrontation; useless.

It will remain a mystery... for now.

(I think it's time for coffee....)

Thursday, August 26, 2010


I do my best praying and praising while driving. In fact I may do my *only* praying and praising then. My children know that I often cry while I’m driving but they don’t always know what is taking place in my heart and mind. Recently, while driving in the van, feeling particularly bitter and resentful about Middle-One, and this disorder that fills our world, I cried out to the Lord…

Lord, why does he push us away. Why won’t he trust us? We just want a relationship with him, how hard can that be? He spouts bitterness and anger every waking minute but I have not harmed him, in fact I have done nothing but love him. He won’t talk or share anything about his life. He won’t ask or listen. Doesn’t he realize that he can’t keep the secrets? He is a child, we are his parents…Doesn’t he know that we can see into his life. He won’t open up and reveal his hopes, dreams, feelings or thoughts. He won’t spend time with us. He makes petty decisions for himself living in the illusion that he is in control.

It’s silly for a child to think he can take care of himself. He can’t go it alone… doesn’t he see all that we do for him?

We just want to care for him. To love him and bless him. His disobedience robs him of the blessings we plan. We just want to know him. To lead him and guide him.

We have always been here. No matter where he has gone or what he has done, we have been constant and faithful. Does that not count?

We have laid down our lives for this child. Why can’t he see that?

In my heart of hearts, I heard…

Tammy… why have you pushed me away. Why don’t you trust me? I just want a relationship with you, how hard can that be? Why don’t you talk to me or share things about your life? Why do you spout bitterness and anger every waking minute. I have not harmed you, in fact, I have done nothing but love you. You don’t talk to me or share yourself with me, you don’t ask or listen. Yet, you are my child, I am your FATHER…Do you not know that I can see into your life, into the depths of your heart? Do you think you can keep secrets from me? Why don’t you reveal your hopes, dreams, feelings and thoughts to me? You won’t spend time with me. You make petty decisions for yourself, living in the illusion that you are in control.

It is silly child, for you to believe you can care for yourself. You can’t go it alone. Don’t you see all that I do for you?

I just want to care for you… to love you, and to bless you but your disobedience robs you of the blessing I have planned. I want to know you and lead you and guide you.

I have always been here for you. No matter where you have gone or what you have done. I am constant and faithful. Does THAT not count?

I have laid down my life for you, my child. Why can’t you see that?

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Therapeutic Parenting Fun!

Parenting a child with attachment difficulties is challenging. It's walking on eggshell, weighing every word and ignoring all of the natural emotions and reaction they provoke in you... every waking minute!! It is tossing all the conventional parenting methods out the window and learning new skills that go against logic and reason.

Occasionally, however, there are moments of fun and humor.

Sometime when we all "join in" a behavior it can be uproariously fun. Sometime prescribing a behavior has been fun. There are times when we have total recall and say just the right thing and see a connect that actually make Mr. T and I high-five in celebration.

The most recent fun we have been having is with nurturing.

When Middle-One is looking for a fight and has that look in his eyes that screams disgust and distrust, we have been moving in and giving him lots of loving eye contact, soft reassuring words, physical contact (a quick touch or squeeze because he recoils).

It has him totally freaked out right now! He is trying for and expecting anger and getting nurturing and comfort. He doesn't have any idea what we are doing and it has him wild eyes and watchful.

This week he was trying very hard to make me angry. We were sitting in chairs facing each other and I reached out and tapped his knee. He "wiped" away my touch. I tapped him again and he "wiped" it away again. So I smiled, laughed, leaned in and began "tickling" him and telling him that I loved him and understood that it was scary to come back home but that it was ok and we were going to take care of him.

It just threw him off completely sitting back, with a baffled, uneasy look he asked.

"WHAT are you doing!?!"

LOL... I'm helping you to attach, dear son... and enjoying the process

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Back to school: Teacher/School Information on Reactive Attachment Disorder

This is going up a little bit later than I planned but it's still early enough to print and get into the hands of the educators.

There is a risk associated with sharing this information. If the school/educator is going to view this in a negative light and blame the parent, this can backfire on you. A dear Friend of mine had that happen and was subjected to a CPS investigation. She ended up pulling her little munchkin out of school (where he had conned and charmed the teachers so that they thought his parents were abusive). The parents were cleared but they now home school, sacrificing their sanity for their freedom.

That said just to warn you of what could happen. I still advocate educating the masses. Tell them! Scream it from the rooftops. Share share share!!!!! The only way the world will understand is if we speak.

These are links to some wonderful information.

This one helps to really understand where the child is coming from...

This article explains more about attachment...

This is the home page for the national Association for Treatment and Training in the Attachment of Children...

This site has great, printer-friendly (professional looking) articles. Specifically one entitled Oil & Water, that is a great resource for teachers.

Another site with teacher/school information

Try not to overwhelm a teacher. They are probably already buried in IEPs and behavior plans if they are taking on your precious cherub ;o) I would suggest asking them what they know about RAD first. Let them lead you. If they are open to learning, share a little more. If they say they don't have time, just offer one good article to be read or skimmed, at their convenience. Try to stick to the articles written professionally, rather than the mom-to-mom web sites. They are just going to be better received.

Happy School Year!!!

Monday, August 16, 2010

The Duck Song

I just HAD to share this... It's a RAD duck!!!!

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Random RADness

RAD kids triangulate. They pit parent against parent, parent against sibling, parent against neighbor (seeing a pattern here?)

On Wednesday Middle-One came home. On Thursday Middle-One began school. Never one to procrastinate and delay hard work, by Friday he had begun to pit parent against teacher.

I received a very concerned email from his sweet teacher. She had noticed that Middle squinted a lot and could not see the board. When she asked him about this he told her that he had glasses but not with him. I don't know what else might have been said but her email to me was a plea to understand how important it is for Middle to have his glasses at school with him and would I please make sure that he had the corrective eye ware he needed.

Hmmmmm... is there any reason why a caring mom would *not* let her child have the glasses he so needed?

The kicker?... He doesn't have glasses :o)

He does need them. He "loses" any pair of glasses that he gets and the last pair was lost (we think) last fall. We were never told that they were missing and no one made an effort to replace them or help keep Middle accountable for them.

Now that he is back home we have an eye appointment set for him with a plan to make sure he has the glasses he needs.

I tried not to be too defensive when I shared that with his teacher, after all, she hasn't realized yet that the harness just clicked locked and the roller coaster car just began it's ascent .

Bless her heart ;o) It's going to be a bumpy ride.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Asking questions....

One of my boys' main goals is *ASKING*. Our motto is; We ask for what we want and need.

However, asking someone for something requires trusting them. It requires being willing to hear and accept whatever answer they will give you. For a child with RAD this is very hard to do. To ask means risking that the person will take control and decide in a way that isn't what they are seeking. They lose control.

Often a child with Attachment Disorder will use manipulation to get what they want. Saying things like

"I sure am thirsty"

This makes most loving adults want to water the dehydrated little creature. Without the child having to trust.

We do get a lot of questions... usually questions for things that we have said "no" to already.

"Can I play a video game?"

"We don't play video games until after our school and chores are done"

" can I play a video game?"


"Why not......?"


(at bed time) "Can I iron my clothes?"

"It's bedtime."

"But, can I iron my clothes?"

"You can't iron your clothes in bed and it is bed time, you should have asked earlier when we told you to get your clothes ready"

"You want me to wear wrinkled clothes!!!!"


See... LOTS of questions. (and obviously very little listening) They just aren't the questions they are supposed to ask. Those questions, when they attempt to ask, sound like this...

"I was going to ask if I could get a water bottle from the fridge"


"I wondered if you have seen my pencil"

Did you see a question mark in there?... Yeah, me either.

A questions would go like this...

"Mom, may I get a water bottle from the fridge?"


"Mom, have you seen my pencil?"

Yep, I think we need to practice asking questions.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Meeting adjourned

The ISP is over.

Middle-One now lives at home again. We will have custody reinstated at the end of next month, in court.

Mr. T went to this meeting because I just couldn't be subjected to the bickery atmosphere of one of them again. Ironically he power dressed in a shirt and tie, went in there without our AT (she couldn't make it at the last minute) and didn't have a single problem with anyone. ....We could analyze that one to death.

We asked for...

Funding for continued therapy, an intensive (with out therapist) and help with tutoring and activities.

We got....

Funding for continued therapy, a possibility on the intensive but no guarantees, funding for extra curricular and tutoring, money for school clothes, vouchers for ALL of the boys. His SS and Medicaid cards, a letter to enroll him in school (ummm... starts tomorrow) and an open door to ask for anything else we think of.

Best part...The FCP is OUT OF OUR LIVES!!!!!!! No contact at all.

The flip side of that...No more safety net.

Four years ago Middle tried to kill Bright-Eyes in a violent rage. We thought he would never come home. He's home.

Tomorrow we will all begin a new season together. Only God knows what's in store. Now if I could just trust Him with my tomorrow like I want Middle to trust us.

Here we go, here we go, here we go....................

Monday, August 09, 2010

And on the bright side

Today was a long, difficult, frustrating day.

It felt like swimming in quicksand, or herding cats or catching clouds. I didn't see any progress for all of my effort... at least not until the day was over and I could look back at the big picture, with a calm mind.

It occured to me that even though Bright-Eyes was totally deregulated, he didn't run away. At one point, after a paticularly explosive moment, he was fuming and kneeling on the couch, glaring over the back of it and out the window. Using a technique that Christine (at talks about on her video; The Power Of Being Present,

I walked in and sat down next to Bright and didn't say a word.... after a few minutes I simply said "I know this is hard" then I shut my mouth and waited..................and waited....................and waited....................... then...his body language began to change................ then he lowered himself into a more relaxed position ............. then he turned around to sit on the couch next to me............. then he moved closer................................... THEN HE LEANED HIS HEAD AGAINST MY SHOULDER!!!!!!!!!!!

OH MY JELLY BEANS!!!! IT WORKED!!!!!!! He calmed down and began to to talk.

Now, he didn't remain calm (I'm all ready to write about a divine miraculous healing, but this wasn't it). He had some other episodes during the day and I forgot the joy of that moment... well...until now.

Then there was Middle... He was, most definatley, hypervigilant. He was, most certainly, full of questions and the need to control. He absolutely did stir up chaos and trouble, BUT.... he did all of his chores and his reading and journaling. He spent time, quietly, in his room while his brothers did their work. He even held it together when he wanted to watch TV or play a game and Bright was having some issues that kept Middle from being able to move on in his day. He almost lost it........ but he didn't....... HE DIDN'T!!!!!!!!!!!! He held it together. *rapturous awe*

And, last but not least, Ebear. Ebear was sick today. He didn't do his chores and he didn't do any school work. He spent the day in bed or on the floor. BUT every time he was in the room with me, he sought comfort from me... this child who used to lock himself in the bathroom when he felt nauseous, push us away when he was hurt and never tell us when he was sick, today, came and leaned against me. He laid his head in my lap, reached out his hand to me and sought hug after hug... WHY?.... because he didn't feel good and he just wanted to be close to his mom.


Man!... sounds like a good day.

A Day of Disregulation

It's not Middle-One!! It's Bright-Eyes.

From the moment he got up this morning and throughout the day, he has been opposed to every thing we ask and stand for.

I am done with the Therapeutic Parenting and at the point of just screaming randomly and pulling my hair out.

Tomorrow is another day

Sunday, August 08, 2010

Random RADness

Mr. T was taking the boys swimming. They had to do chores and get ready, which provided many opportunities for the self-sabotaging behaviors they so enjoy.

That's ok.. we decided they could go swimming no matter. It's good exercise, we need to use the Y membership... we both needed them to LEAVE US ALONE!!!!!!!!!!

As they are getting ready Ebear asked...

"Mom, does Middle need to keep using my other swimsuit? He has his here now and I would like mine back"

I looked up and noticed that Middle did indeed have on his brother's navy swim trunks instead of his signature Spiderman trunks.

"Middle, why are you wearing E's swim suit?"

He looks down with surprise...
"I didn't know...I thought these were mine"

"You know that he let you borrow them while your other clothes were at your foster home, but they are his. Go change into yours and give them back"

"But I can't wear the others!"

"Why not?"

"They have holes in them!"

"Really, I hadn't noticed when we went through your clothes... go get them and bring them to me"

(Ooooops... did I just trust him for a second alone?)

After expressing his anger and irritation he retreats to his room where he takes an amazingly long time to grab a pair of swim trunks off the shelf and come back to where I am waiting for him...

Everyone is waiting and we call out to him, he calls back.

"I'm coming, I have to find them"

Mr. T and I head for his room where we see him in the corner holding the swim trunks in both hands.

"Bring them here!"

He holds the trunks up displaying a fresh tear in the crotch
"See, I can't wear these like this"

... Thank goodness there are linings in swimsuits because he DID wear them just like that

Saturday, August 07, 2010

Got my Therapeutic on...Let the games begin!

I have been helped, aided, supported and ministered to by watching Christine's Therapeutic Parenting videos ( ). I feel refreshed and energized in this mission. If you haven't watched them yet skip over there, get yourself something to sip and take a look at some encouraging wisdom.

Here's what happened... Bright-Eyes was helping me in the kitchen, per my request, and Middle was mad because kitchen is his zone this week but his brother was helping me for the moment. So he verbally attacked Bright-Eyes. Bright did not handle it well and threw some words back and suddenly Middle was the victim of a mean and heartless brother (all together now..... Awwwwwwwwww).

"see how he treats me... I didn't do a thing and he is yelling at me"

"What?!?, that wasn't YOU who spoke harshly, to Bright-Eyes?"

"No! I didn't say a word!"

"Wow!!... it sounded just like you!... are you sure you didn't speak?"

"Yes, he just started yelling at me for no reason!"

"Oh MY!!!... someone, who sounds just like you spoke to your brother... do you know what this means?"

... Middle begins looking at me with that "She's grown a third eye" look...


I dropped what I was doing and placed my arms around Middle's shoulders...
"Someone, who sounds just like you, is in our house... we need to find them!!"

I led him to the dining room where Ebear was sitting waiting for breakfast...
"E, did you see someone in here who has your brothers voice?"

Looking a little confused, but playing along anyway...
"um, ... no ma'am"

Leading Middle to the Living room I asked Mr. T the same thing...
"No, no one in here"

We searched the house all the while I continued in a most exaggerated way, to convey my desire to keep him safe and protect him from the impostor even though I made him go into the rooms to look because that was the "gentleman like" thing to do ;o)

By the time we had finished Middle was giggling. I asked him what he thought might have happened.

"I don't know, I guess it was my evil twin"

"Well, I don't think you have a twin, so what do you really think might have happened?"

"I yelled at my brother"

"Hmmmm... I guess that would explain why he was yelling back at you"


... and we sat down and had breakfast (after he apologized to Bright)................... *look of amazement*

This morning when Middle-One began his controlling game playing, I was ready. I did NOT give him the fight he was seeking. We all ended up laughing at the crazy ridiculousness of his argument. Thanks Christine!