Dean took Tristan and Kiana ice skating yesterday while Joseph, Lia and I took long naps. One of the affects of FASD is poor motor skills and Joseph would have spent most of the time falling and hurting himself, which is why he stayed home. We had plans last night as well and I knew Joseph would enjoy his evening so much more if he got a good nap in.
At least part of the apathy I am feeling has to do with the DVD I watched on Saturday. It is called The Boarder and most of you who live in the "RAD World" will be familiar with the title. Jolene Adams, the director said: "My intention for "The Boarder" is that it serve to shine a light in one of the darkest corners of human behavior. You can read more about it here.
I found myself holding my breathe during some of the scene's I knew what would happen next.... I had experienced it. I saw the fake smile, the manipulation, lying and satisfaction the child received when he succeeded in getting someone on his side. I saw the adoptive mom being bullied, tormented and beaten. When she turned for help no one believed her..... I cried for the pain of that mom and her son.....a pain I am so familiar with. Braden isn't as violent as Carl in "The Boarder" but I have no doubt that if he would have been left go until he was a young teen, he would be just like Carl. It is frightening to think about.
RAD is among the most misunderstood psychiatric disorders simply because it is so unbelievable. It is so counter intuitive to our beliefs about human behavior. Those diagnosed with this disorder appear perfectly "normal" to everyone outside the home.
The first stumbling block for outsiders looking in on the situation is the child's cheerfulness, his excellent manners and most of all his charm. Children with RAD can turn on the charm at a moment's notice and unless you saw first hand the damage this child can do, you would be hard pressed to believe the stories his family could share.
Second we tend to think a young child, or even an older one cannot possibly be so skilled in being two faced. Surely he will trip up sometimes? I have lost count of the times I have been told children do not have the ability to manipulate adults into believing they (the child) is someone they aren't. Oh yes they can! Other wise those of us who parent these children wouldn't lead such secluded lives, in an attempt to limit situations for the child to fool others. Every time a child with RAD succeeds in his efforts to hurt mom and dad his illness becomes more firmly embedded.
And if per chance the first two things don't trip you up the third reason will: Why would a child want to act like this? Why rage against his parents and cuddle up to a stranger at the store? Why smear things on the walls because he is angry? Why steal/sneak food after living in your home for years? Why??? Because they truly believe they will die if they let themselves get close to you. They are determined, whatever the cause to prove they are unlovable and don't need you to parent them. They will be perfectly fine on their own, thank you very much. Never mind that they cannot read, write or spell and are only 8 years old! That isn't important, it is more important that they never give an inch in allowing you access to their heart. If perchance you do get a peek inside their wounded heart, they will act out tenfold, just to make it clear to you that they resent your very presence in their life. You are a threat to their safety.
So, if you doubt RAD is as bad as your friend, neighbor, sister or daughter claims, watch The Boarder. I can testify that every single thing they share is 100% true and actually does happen over and over in the homes of those parents who are trying to help their troubled child. Sometimes they succeed but far to often they fail. When they fail they don't need condemnation, they need your love and support.