Monday, June 29, 2015

Triangulation, RAD Post #2

Triangulation: to pit people against each other

   For a time we had an MT (Mobile Therapist) come out to our home weekly to provide behavior therapy for Braden. 
  One day Miss D the MT, handed Braden a blank sheet of paper and a pen. She then instructed him to draw a picture of his family. I watched intently as Braden drew a large stick figure, which I assumed was Dad. Beside the first person, he drew another figure of similar size and stature. From then on he drew each figure a bit smaller than the previous one. When he got to the edge of his paper he had only drawn 6 figures. I was about to tell him he had forgotten to draw himself when he added another person lying on the floor across the bottom of his paper. 
  When he was finished drawing his family, Miss D told him he should give each person a face. Braden was the picture of concentration as he drew eyes, a mouth and a nose on each stick figure. They were all smiling with the exception of the person lying on the floor, that one had a very angry look on it's face.
  My immediate thought was, "Is that how Braden feels? Like we don't love him?" I felt sick at heart and was ready to give him a hug, when Miss D asked Braden if she could write everyone's name above their head. He nodded so she proceeded, the first was dad as I had assumed but the second person was Braden, not me as I had thought. He gave the children's name in order and the person on the floor was none other than mom!
   Miss D got Braden involved in another activity and deciphered the drawing for me.
   "I have my client's to draw their family because without fail, they will draw it how they perceive it. Braden views himself as equal with dad and his sibling's are beneath him. What is especially troubling is that he depicted you, his mom as someone who is of no consequence and has less value than anyone else in the family.
  To say I was dumbfounded is an understatement. I was also hurt, angry and confused. 
  "Are you and Dean on the same page regarding Braden?" Miss D asked. When I really thought about it, we weren't. Braden reserved his worst behavior for me because I was his primary caregiver.  When Dean came home from work a sort of transformation came over Braden. His behavior still left a lot to be desired but it wasn't anything like what I experienced during the day. I never felt that Dean didn't believe me but I knew it was hard for him to envision exactly what I was talking about
  Miss D told me in no uncertain terms that Dean and I had to be on the same page or Braden would not heal. When I told Dean what all had transpired, he had a talk with Braden. "From now on mom and I are a team, if you give mom a hard time, I will take care of the problem when I get home from work." From that day on, Dean received the treatment Braden had formerly reserved just for me.
   Braden became very angry when he realized Dean and I wouldn't make a decision without first checking in with the other parent. If Braden told me that Dean said he may play in the sand box, I would text Dean and clarify things before giving him permission and vice versa. This greatly hindered Braden's ability to get permission from one parent to do something like ride his bike when the other parent had told him he is not allowed to because he refused to stay within his "biking boundaries" earlier in the day.

All children with RAD are masters at manipulation and triangulation, it is what kept them alive before they were in a safe home. 

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