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Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Get Help Before You Break - Life With RAD

   B's therapist repeatedly told me, "Know your limits, you are not helping anyone if you crash emotionally or physically." That was excellent advice, but she wasn't able to tell me what to do when I had had enough.

  In most abusive situations, the "victim" is not stuck with the abuser. When your child has RAD, you are stuck. Some are physically abusive while other's like B, are emotionally abusive. When you are the parent charged with the responsibility to love and nurture this child it can feel like you are trapped. What makes it  worse is that everyone else views your abuser as a sweet and lovable child. When your child hates you and everyone else exclaims how sweet he is, it can mess with your mind. You begin viewing yourself as an awful person, defective in some way.

  I remember the day when I reached my breaking point with B. Up until that day there had been many times when I threatened to throw in towel, whatever that may have looked like but I knew it wasn't an option. I knew I would try again the next morning no matter how horrible the day may have been. 

   There were certainly times when I tried to think of ways to get out of the situation but I was always able to get my mind back on track. I always had the emotional stamina to try again, even if that stamina was hard to come by. But there came a time that I feared I would do something awful in a weak moment. B would push me to the edge, nudge me a bit further and then step back and smirk. I knew he was trying me out, how far could he push me before I cracked? Eventually I came to the place where I didn't trust myself anymore and let me tell you, that is an awful place to be. When you don't trust yourself and you have a child who is doing his very best to push you over the edge, and you and the child both know he is very nearly succeeding, you are in a dangerous place.

  I told Dean I need help, "Something has to give, it is either me or B, we can't both live here," I said. Over the years there were many times when I cried the same thing but a good nights rest usually gave me the boost I needed. This was different, Dean and I both knew it. "Are you just tired, or are you serious?" Dean asked. 

"This is my cry for help," I said, "I need help, something has to give or I am afraid I will do something awful." That was the conversation that led to placing B at TAP. I felt awful, like I was giving up on my child but I also knew I was circling a dangerous pit, the edge was slippery and at any time I could plunge over the edge.

  B's therapist was very understanding, she repeated the words that had helped us decide that something must be done, "If you crash, you will not be able to help anyone," She reminded me, "Your other children need you, Dean needs you." Those words brought the first layer of healing to my bleeding heart.

  Why do I share this? Because I know there are parents out there, reading this blog who are drawing near the point of no return, the place where something has to change. My cry is, "Don't wait until there is a crisis, get help for you and your child now." There are to many parents who waited, cracked and did things they never would have done before they reached the place where they acted out of pain.

Children with RAD push their parents so hard because they are afraid of love. If they allow themselves to love, they give the parent the opportunity to hurt them by rejecting that love. They were hurt once, they will not be hurt again. These children need our love and support, they are terrified and in a hard place themselves. I wrote this post because there is much information out there on how to love these hurting children but the truth is, there are some times when you have to choose between allowing this child to destroy you and your family and placing them in a treatment program or even finding them a new home.
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