Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Chaos And Redemption

Most people have heard of the push pull relationship, if one can even call it a relationship, that many parents have with their child with RAD. They pull you close, push you away, pull you close, then push you even harder, it's a never ending cycle.

Those who suffer from RAD, are terrified of bonding with anyone because in their minds a bond means opening the door for abuse, abandonment and even death. At the same time deep within themselves, so deep they most likely aren't aware of it's presence, is a desire to be loved. That desire causes them to reach out for love but as soon as they receive it, their terror pops up and they push the giver as far away as possible. Then there is the aspect of manipulation... they know their parents are trying to build a relationship with them so they will "offer" their affection as a means to attain something they want. This type of relationship wears a parent out in a hurry.

While we are no longer on the "Raddercoaster" as some call the roller coaster of emotions that go with RAD, we are on a similar ride but this one is even more complex if that is possible.

This ride is parenting a child with FASD alongside a child with an autoimmune syndrome that attacks the brain. Sometimes I get whiplash from the back and forth and round and round. The hard part is knowing if the child's actions are due to fear i.e. separation anxiety, control - because they are scared of a relationship, since getting close to mom means it is going to hurt so much more when she dies, brain inflammation which makes a child feel ornery and out of control or is it just typical childhood behavior? Each and every different scenario requires a different mode of treatment. Many times the child is either unable to tell you what is wrong, refuses to do so because he is out of sorts or sometimes he truly doesn't know. So before you can go about figuring out what the problem is, you have to decide if the child has the ability to tell you what is wrong and if so, are they telling the truth or intentionally leading you down bunny trails to throw you off.

Then there are days when you have two or more acting out at the same time and while you are trying to make sense of it all, they begin feeding off of each other and the child who was telling the truth about what is going on is suddenly triggered by the lying and screaming coming from another child, so he proceeds to join in the chaos. 

There are days when I don't know if I am coming or going. I call Dean and say, "So and so is doing xyz and I have no idea why. What do you think is going on?" Amazingly he often has an answer to my dilemma or at the very least some insight into what is going on. The children know if they are successfully snowing mom and she calls dad, the game is over because dad can usually see through their antics. 

What complicates matters is I can tolerate only so much before my brain begins shutting down. My children can sense when this is happening and it sends them into hysterics because they realize mom is no longer able to handle the junk they are throwing at her. This triggers their abandonment issues, which in turn kicks up the the fight or flight response. Our two middle children may either run or rage, you never know but you can count on them to choose to respond the same way if they are both melting down at the same time. We either have two runners or two screamers,  sometimes it feels like the walls vibrate with the noise.... maybe the foundation is cracking? :)

This is all fresh in my mind because yesterday was one of those days. We were all a mess, mom was tired, the two middle children were totally dysregulated, Lia was tired, big brother was fed up with the whole mess and dad was working a bit late. It is almost funny now but at the time it was anything but. The three little's and mom went to bed early and we all awoke in a better frame of mind. Now we get to go for therapy this afternoon, which is sure to bring up lovely issues which are in a class all their own. 

As I was pondering all this and feeling like a failure, this amazing post came up in my newsfeed: God's Amazing Grace For Parents and I realized my problem, I am trying to excel at this whole parenting thing and end up falling on my nose more times than not. Where did I get the idea that I can do this? I can't, but with God in me I can and so can you!

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