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#31 of 36 Old 05-20-2008, 08:51 AM
 
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Bigeyes, you are NOT alone. Have you considered joining any message groups for those parenting RADs on Yahoo? One in particular I've found helpful is called RAD101.

Trust me, you are NOT alone and you are NOT a bad person.

What I've learned is that my relationship to my SS became worse when he realized I wasn't leaving. It also got worse the more his bio-mom flaked out on him. He takes every negative he feels for her out on me. And I'm here, physically present, to take it. And there is NO way a normal person without a whole lot of self-control, patience, knowledge and, most importantly, TRAINING can take being the target of such hostility for any period of time without responding in a normal, emotional manner. It's the nature of the beast (humans that is). When others around us exhibit extreme enthusiasm, it's contagious. When those around us are gloomy, depressed, miserable, we feel ourselves being dragged down. The goal is to put the brakes on our own responsiveness and NOT react to their negativity in a negative fashion. Soooooooo easy to type it, nearly impossible to implement - nearly, but not totally.

Have you read "Beyond Consequences, Logic and Control"? If not, I strongly encourage you to purchase it. Or even check out the website: http://www.beyondconsequences.com/

Join the RAD groups and you will learn that there are many of us on the front lines who are struggling with this. It's a place where you can feel very safe expressing the negativity you're feeling and I don't think you'll EVER doubt yourself as a person or parent again when reading how others feel in regards to their own RADdish kids.

Another site you may find helpful is called Rad Wars. It's very emotional, but it absolutely portrays one woman's pain of trying to raise two RAD kids. Here's the link to that site: http://www.radwars.org/index.html

Wife to one amazing man, unschooly mama to 2 boys daily (8/99 and 6/06), mom to 4 boys (6/94 and 2/00) and countless exchange students, praying to someday homebirth a daughter...
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#32 of 36 Old 05-20-2008, 02:10 PM
 
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Thank you! The first time I expressed what I was feeling about dealing with her here on MDC someone told me I should pack up my things and leave my family because I was a terrible abusive person who didn't deserve kids. It's so ironic that people think I'm a control freak when the thing that drives me nuts is the way she has to try to control everyone in this household.

I hate having to constantly question her behavior and see stealing, lying, and manipulation. I liked it much better when I had 1 'normal' child who did normal things and I didn't have to question everything. How lucky can I be that the things I dislike the most in people, lying, phoniness and manipulation, are what I got in a stepchild?

I've never felt so stuck. In my life I've never been in a situation that I couldn't walk out of, and now I've married someone with a devil-child I've promised to help raise, and all I want to do is leave. I honestly don't know if I would have committed to this if I had known all of this before now.

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#33 of 36 Old 05-20-2008, 04:26 PM
 
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You are not alone. My Dss does not have RAD and sometimes I think he is a devil child, too. He takes everything out on Dh and me. It seems to me sometimes that the things I like least in people, I also got in a step child: lying, manipulation, disrespectfulness, violent threats and acts...But I remind myself that I am the adult and he is the child. That my being calm is the best thing for him and that Dh needs and adores him.

It feels harder to you because it is harder to be a stepmom than a mom. I am both, so I know. You didn't create the original problem but are left with the mess to clean up that others left behind. In this case a hurt and acting out child. I sometimes have resentment that Dh and I are dealing with situations, emotional and physical, that his ex created in/with his child. Don't feel so bad. Take care of yourself and have good boundaries with your dsd. Having negative feelings and thoughts is a human thing to do. don't beat yourself up about it.
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#34 of 36 Old 05-20-2008, 08:28 PM
 
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Just had a meeting with a social worker connected to her LD testing who says we qualify for all kinds of services, yet to be explained to me. So I will be getting some kind of a break soon.

It's hard for me being both mom and stepmom, because I see the difference between how I feel about both of them and it's so easy to get along with 1 while it's so impossible to even have a conversation with the other without feeling like I would find it easier to not have anything to compare.

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#35 of 36 Old 05-21-2008, 08:23 AM
 
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Originally Posted by bigeyes View Post
The first time I expressed what I was feeling about dealing with her here on MDC someone told me I should pack up my things and leave my family because I was a terrible abusive person who didn't deserve kids.
First, I am SO sorry that happened. Not shocked or amazed, just disgusted and sorry. Second, it's kind of a 'normal' reaction coming from someone who has never been dealt the hand of living with a RAD. Nobody can truly understand until they have been in the trenches and lived through the lies, stealing, manipulation, lack of common sense, etc. Six years ago, I'd have probably said the same thing to you because it's extraordinarily difficult to wrap your mind around the life we lead when living with the disorder our SKids have. I know you wish (as do I, as do all the families with RAD kids) that we could just deal with "normal" stuff - Normal kid stealing (once or twice with a consequence and they learn their lesson), normal kid lying (showing them that telling the truth is the FAR better choice and them believing it! and no "crazy" lying!), normal kid manipulations that EVERYONE can see through, etc. There is nothing normal about a RAD child. They very literally have brain damage. They are operating 100% out of their limbic system. They know exactly how to appear as the victim and create sympathy in strangers while showing the mom figure in their life all of their anger and hatred. It's a twisted place to live and we do it daily. There is nothing normal about the situation, so it cannot be judged as such.

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I hate having to constantly question her behavior and see stealing, lying, and manipulation. I liked it much better when I had 1 'normal' child who did normal things and I didn't have to question everything. How lucky can I be that the things I dislike the most in people, lying, phoniness and manipulation, are what I got in a stepchild?
I have to second this with all my heart!!! Their traits are so undesireable, so hard to accept. I've realized my intense dislike of my step-son really comes from seeing these very things over and over and over and over. I spent years feeling so deeply ashamed and embarassed and humiliated for being associated with him because his behaviors were so terrible (my SS acts out in school settings unless he has 1-on-1 supervision the whole time). I felt like a child being shamed for something that was out of my control. Over time, I think there's only so much shame a person can take before they begin to feel hatred at the one who is 'causing' the shame if that makes sense. I guess I figure I could only feel so much embarassment before having to step back and say, "His choices are NOT a reflection on me" even though, as a parent, we very much view our kids' actions as a direct extension of ourselves. Unfortunately, I didn't realize that before the anger and hatred kicked in. I blamed him for the way I was feeling, for the way I believed I was being made to feel. Since then, I've found myself able to separate his choices and actions from me - unfortunately for him, in order to do that, i had to withdraw all the good, too - I cannot feel undying love & affection for someone while viewing their actions as a personal affront to me. Okay, I know I'm rambling, sorry

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Originally Posted by bigeyes View Post
I've never felt so stuck. In my life I've never been in a situation that I couldn't walk out of, and now I've married someone with a devil-child I've promised to help raise, and all I want to do is leave. I honestly don't know if I would have committed to this if I had known all of this before now.
I agree with this 100%, too. I love my husband. We have a child together whom we both love and adore. I would LOVE LOVE LOVE to leave, to get away from the RAD child and go back to single parenthood where my home was filled with laughter, love and joy. But I'm not sure in any way that it would truly be best for our baby.

For now, I just live for the weekends when my RAD goes to his BM's house. Even though he cannot heal, he cannot form a genuine bond, he cannot hope to overcome the brain damage as long as he is still subjected to the un-bonded BM every single weekend, I realize there is nothing I can do about it unless we win the lottery and can afford to hire the best attorneys and the best specialists to not only testify to the damage she has done (is doing), but to also get him (and the whole family) into therapy. We need help. We are not getting it. We are barely surviving.

And, again, you are not alone!!

Wife to one amazing man, unschooly mama to 2 boys daily (8/99 and 6/06), mom to 4 boys (6/94 and 2/00) and countless exchange students, praying to someday homebirth a daughter...
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#36 of 36 Old 05-21-2008, 01:53 PM
 
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Originally Posted by capagrl View Post
Over time, I think there's only so much shame a person can take before they begin to feel hatred at the one who is 'causing' the shame if that makes sense. I guess I figure I could only feel so much embarassment before having to step back and say, "His choices are NOT a reflection on me" even though, as a parent, we very much view our kids' actions as a direct extension of ourselves. Unfortunately, I didn't realize that before the anger and hatred kicked in. I blamed him for the way I was feeling, for the way I believed I was being made to feel. Since then, I've found myself able to separate his choices and actions from me - unfortunately for him, in order to do that, i had to withdraw all the good, too - I cannot feel undying love & affection for someone while viewing their actions as a personal affront to me. Okay, I know I'm rambling, sorry
That is it exactly. You start to feel such disgust and dislike for them, and then all you feel is disgust with yourself for feeling that way about a 'helpless child.' It's a horrible place to be.

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Originally Posted by capagrl View Post
I agree with this 100%, too. I love my husband. We have a child together whom we both love and adore. I would LOVE LOVE LOVE to leave, to get away from the RAD child and go back to single parenthood where my home was filled with laughter, love and joy. But I'm not sure in any way that it would truly be best for our baby.

For now, I just live for the weekends when my RAD goes to his BM's house. Even though he cannot heal, he cannot form a genuine bond, he cannot hope to overcome the brain damage as long as he is still subjected to the un-bonded BM every single weekend, I realize there is nothing I can do about it unless we win the lottery and can afford to hire the best attorneys and the best specialists to not only testify to the damage she has done (is doing), but to also get him (and the whole family) into therapy. We need help. We are not getting it. We are barely surviving.

And, again, you are not alone!!
Yeah. That sums it up perfectly. You don't know what is worse, staying while you feel like everyone is being destroyed, or giving up and just continuing the cycle of abandonment for them while you throw away your marriage. It's a terrible trap with no obvious solution.

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