Dormant Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD) Reactive Attachment Disorder... encouragement welcome!!!

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by TheyAreLegallyAdultsNow, Nov 11, 2009.

  1. About 7 months after adoption at age 6, our 21 daughter-difficult child was diagnosed in 1995 as having Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD). There was little-to-no information readily available for parents aside from what the state provided adoption counselor said (which was tremendously helpful considering!!!!)

    First three years with daughter-difficult child after adoption were hell on wheels!!!

    We learned the kind of parenting she required and she truly flourished to the point we truly thought she had "outgrown" the condition.

    We recognize (only in hindsight) that the last 2 years of rebellion since returning from one semester at an out-of-state college were actually symptoms that her Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD) was rearing its ugly head. It appears the age-appropriate act of detaching from her loving family has stirred up stuff.

    Since August, daughter-difficult child has been using the court system to make false claims of abuse against her father and me.

    Our "Christian friends" are believing daughter-difficult child's outlandish lies and have broken relationship with us. ( :sad-very: guess they were never really friends to begin with!!!)

    daughter-difficult child had been "triangulating" her younger bio half-brother since she returned from college, our DS-difficult child age 18. He's clueless but steadfastly on her side.

    We're heartbroken, but grateful that every "professional" (judge, attorney, psychologist, social worker, counselor, police officer etc) we have encountered recognizes that we have been wonderful parents to the kids adopted out of the foster system. The kids had been bouncing around in "the system" for the years before they were placed into our loving home.

    Any encouragement from people who are on the victory side of this painful journey and can offer advice would be greatly appreciated.
  2. Nomad

    Nomad Guest

    I am so sorry; I have NOT taken this sounds horrible.

    My experience...hearing from many professionals on the subject, is almost ALL adopted children suffer from attachment and abandonment issues.

    My own personal thoughts, having a bio child and an adopted child, is that it might be worse in homes where there is an adopted child and a bio child.

    Totally agree that your friends who do not trust you are not really your friends. AT the very least, they should remain neutral in all of this.

    Sadly, we hear stories all the time about unexpected and surprising abuses in the home, so her accusations should be taken seriously by you. But once you have honestly done this, with the help of a trained therapist, you are free to move forward and shake this off.

    Google and listen to the lyrics of the song Does Anybody Hear Her by Casting Crowns. Sometimes adopted children are convinced that they are worthless and they can't find love from their adopting parents. It's bizarre, because they confuse real unfortunate situations with fabricated ones. Then they can't find comfort within themselves or anywhere else. Like you have noticed, judgment is all around us and ironically the best place for that comfort really starts from a loving God and loving parents.
    Lasted edited by : Nov 12, 2009
  3. moonglow

    moonglow New Member

    Wow..I a so so sorry. This must all be very heartbreaking. My sister adopted three children..all three had Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD) though she didn't find this out until later. They are all adults now..the youngest just turned 18 last spring and my sister gave him a letter of notice that he had to leaven the house in 30 thirty days. She did this because there is some law now that if someone is in your home for more then three days...somethings like that, they are considered to have legal rights to stay there. This happened to her boyfriend..he had a house he was renting and a friend needed a place to stay for awhile...lost his job and home. So being a nice guy he allowed his friend to stay...this friend was no friend at all though. He being a lazy bum..even moved his girlfriend in with him. Wasn't looking for work..just hoarded off of Buck..that is my sister's boyfriend (actually they are engaged now to be married).

    So when Buck tried to call the police to force this guy out as he was refusing to leave, they told him about this law! Its crazy. So Buck had to give this guy thirty days notice to move out..and the guy stayed the whole thirty days too!

    So my sister had to give notice to her youngest like that. He had been becoming increasingly verbally abusive..never helped around the house or did his chores. Was getting more and more threatening towards her. She is only five one and he was much taller then her. He was flunking out of school..doing nothing to find a job..just being a very mean and nasty bum! After what she went through with her two older Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD) children...she had enough and wasn't going to put up with anymore.

    He had lied and told the school she beat him up! They didn't believe him of marks, no bruising. All three of them have claimed severe abuse by her and her late husband. None of it was true. What was true was they all had been severely abused and neglected by their bio-mom's and in foster homes they had been in. :( Tiffany was the worse. She falsely accused my sister's late husband of sexually abusing her...had called CPS about it in fact. All because when he came home from work one day he found her in the house making out with a boy. This was back when she was younger and still in school.

    Tony was already severely depressed and suffering health sister and him were divorced but he had two of the kids due to their horrible fighting among themselves. He couldn't handle their extreme behavioral problems. At that time neither one of them realized how bad it really was. That night, he drove out in the country and shot himself in the head. :(

    Frankly I still blame Tiffany for that. She has done other terrible things since then...we also found out when she was younger she molested Kenny..the youngest one. We didn't find out about this until a few years ago..too many years had passed to press charges though. She is not allowed to be around him without supervision even though he is old enough to protect himself now. Due to the sexual abuse, Kenny is now dealing with some severe sexually perverted behaviors himself too. Which I won't post on here..its just too graphic and nasty.

    On the Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD) sites I have read, these children did not bond with a parent when they were babies. They have not developed a conscious...they really don't care who they hurt..they have no guilt. There reasoning for what they do makes no sense. The only way I can deal with especially Tiffany is I see her as insane. Insane people do insane, irrational, stupid and terrible things sometimes.

    I know it was not her fault she was abused and neglected as a baby and toddler and I know it wasn't her fault she was sexually abused in the foster homes. I realize this damaged her beyond any help outside of a miracle from God.

    My advise to you is to get her out of the house as soon as possible! Before she does so much damage to your family and your son, that it can't be repaired. I would pray ..and I mean pray hard that the Lord put a hedge of protection around your family and your son and her too!

    I am sorry your Christian friends didn't understand...I am a Christian myself. I realize many have been raised their whole lives as Christians and have never had to deal with such things. Shoot anyone regardless of their beliefs, struggles to understand these kids. Unless they have experienced it first hand, they have no clue what is going on.

    Don't just kick her out. My sister never kicked any of them they all obviously needed a great deal of help. She talked to their therapist and other mental health support people and started them off in apartments set up for people like them that needed extra help making it on their own. Their case workers checked on them constantly too.

    Of course Tif got herself kicked out of that place for harassing the others living in the apartment building..was even homeless for awhile living in her car but she didn't care. She was not allowed to go back home due to what she did to Kenny who didn't tell anyone until she was out of there where he felt safe enough to talk about it. She lost her car eventually for unpaid tickets and even went to jail several times for that. Still didn't care.

    Eventually my sister helped her get on disability. She, like the other two, are now diagnosis with bipolar.

    There is more..alot more..too much to write. But I think you get the idea. I wish, oh how I wish there was an answer for these kids...a cure..a therapy that works but last time I checked none of the therapies out there work. We can only hope and pray the hard knocks life give them will eventually sink in that they cannot make the world work how they want it too...but they have to conform to it in order to survive and be happy.

  4. katya02

    katya02 Solace

    Welcome, and I'm so sorry to hear of your situation. I don't know about being on the victory side of anything - we seem to go one step forward and three steps back these days - but I and many others here have been on, are still on, the painful journey. I don't think that anyone who hasn't been down this road can really understand.

    When you are accused of abuse by a child you love and have devoted your life to, you do find out who your real friends are. People are quick to judge, even those who should know better. We have also lost friends and relationships due to behaviors and accusations from our difficult child.

    At least you're aware of the triangulation your daughter engages in; most kids with Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD) are masters at it and they expertly manipulate the adults around them. Forewarned is forearmed. You can refuse to have any private conversations with your difficult child; insist that every interaction be with witnesses, so that words and actions can't as easily be twisted and misrepresented. Is your older difficult child at home? If she's not in college, is she working? Is your son still at home? These things will affect how you can approach your interactions with your older difficult child.

    I hope you and your husband can hold onto each other, and perhaps get some couples' counseling to help you through this, validate your position, and help you map out a strategy for coping with both of your kids. Last year we found a family counselor tremendously helpful when we had to make some tough decisions about our difficult child and write up a contract with conditions for him living at home. An objective, experienced counselor can be like gold.

    So sorry this is happening; it's heartbreaking. But you know the good things you've done for your kids, and you know that without your care and love they would be in a bad place today. You can hold onto the fact that you did right by them and gave them the best chance you could. Hugs.
  5. cakewalk

    cakewalk Member

    No victory here, either. But, each day does get more tolerable, believe it or not.

    I have no knowledge of Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD). I can only relate to difficult child's behavior and the feelings you feel because of it. Our difficult child has done the same stuff and, we too, have been shunned and judged. We've experienced the heartbreak (and still do).

    I offer no advice... if I knew what to do, I'd be doing it! :confused:

    As I've heard from many on this board, focus on yourself and all the good in your life (because there is a lot of good, too). Hopefully, she'll figure it out somewhere down the road.
  6. Thanks all!

    All your encouragement and sharing of your experiences has been tremendously helpful!!! There is comfort in knowing we are not the only family going through this kind of ordeal...

    I wouldn't for an instant wish any of it on anyone though!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    We're 4th months into this garbage, and both difficult child's continue to collaborate, with each other, and want nothing to do with us.

    ...Silly hopeful us!

    We continue to hope for restoration of relationships!!!

    Depending on the pain level of the day...
    ...some days we want restoration quicker than others! ( ;))

    Understanding the 7 stages of Grief has been helpful. When the pain of grief gets too deep... I remind myself we are greiving the loss of relationships of our children who are very dear to us. Thankfully we are not grieving loss of life (halleluia) and as long as we all have breath we can have hope for restoration of family relationships this side of eternity!!!!!!

    ... We love them!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    One of the "professionals" we've encountered in addressing our daughter's false claims against us said as a professional she sees this kind of thing all the time! That professional said it may take years... it might take until our difficult child's have kids of their own before they desire to have a relationship with us again.

    ...Before we ever met that professional, I was aware our kids may need to have rebellious teens of their own before they can better understand us. I pray it doesn't take that long.

    Last we are aware, difficult child's live separately from each other, with their friends' parents, (my guess is they are not financially contributing to their eating and living expenses. They have each developed tremendous entitlement issues since daughter-difficult child's return from college!) I'm grateful that the spirits of "Division and Rebellion" have moved out of our home... yet we miss our kids! The house is more peaceful than it has been since daughter-difficult child returned from college 2 years ago.

    daughter-difficult child and DS-difficult child have had little to no contact with daughter-Bio (out of state... sucessful). daughter-Bio always initiates contact by reaching out to them...

    daughter-difficult child Dropped daughter-Bio (out of state) from all her cyber-connections the same day daughter-difficult child made false acusations and took legal action against us.

    Curious huh!?!

    I continue to be amazed at how we have been presented with various factoids about difficult children' lies, deceptions and their personal misbehavior. interesting thing is no one is deliberately tattling to us about them... and we're not snooping. Information comes pouring in from a variety of sources... primarily from strangers we don't even personally know. By this, it is clear that God is letting us know that He is concerned about our difficult children, and their decisions... The Lord is addressing their hearts.

    We are grateful that our entire family (aside from our beloved difficult child-adoptees) and many of our long term friends (Christian and otherwise) are standing by us in this. God has brought old friends we haven't seen in years across our path... we are so grateful for His goodness!!!

    It seems the people who have chosen to break relationship with us are the ones who became our "close Christian Friends" less than 10 years ago. They have no knowledge or experience of daughter-difficult child's behavior during "the early years." Thinking about it... their philosophy has been that living the wild life is a young adult's God-given right... at the parent's expense. Hey! Now that I think of it... most of their "adult" children are far from living bright and shiny sucessful lives. That perspective helps!

    One of those "friends less than 10 years" couples told us they "still love" us and "are praying for" us... they "don't want to discuss anything," they've "already heard (daughter-difficult child)'s side and don't want to be put in the middle."

    ...We're praying for all of them... and trying as best as we know to walk with love and forgiveness in our hearts for those "friends" and their families by whom we are feeling tremendously betrayed.

    We had the tangible reality of 10 truly beautiful years (the middle years) of a truly close loving relationship the whole family had with daughter-difficult child!!! Those years it seems (in hindsight) her Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD) was in remission.

    We're hopeful it will go in remission again...

    We continue to hold out hope for healing and relationship restoration...

    We're holding tightly to God's promises... trying our best to follow His direction... and trying to repent quickly when "feelings of unforgiveness" try to mess with our concrete decision to extend forgiveness to all who have hurt us. Unforgiveness can be an emotion... Forgiveness is not an emotion! Forgiveness is a decision!!!!! We have made the decision to forgive and daily we're steadliy doing our best to walk it out.

    Hope hurts, I never realized how painful hope could be... but for today... I'm going to do it anyway!
  7. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    My son, 32 now, came to us from Hong Kong at age six. He always acted a bit detached, but was delightful to raise...BRILLIANT, sweet, never caused us a day of grief. We thought we'd dodged that Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD).

    Forget it. Four years ago he met and married a woman of Chinese heritage and after a minor family scuffle he hasn't seen us again nor responded to anyone's contact. We believe he has finally become comfortable in his skin as he has always been keenly aware of and interested in his heritage. He taught himself Mandarin and has been to China three times. He took HER parents on many trips with them. Isn't that nice? We don't matter anymore. Not that we want anything from him, but it hurts to know he thinks so well of them and doesn't even send us Christmas cards.

    Oddly enough *he* became a very fundamentalist Christian when he met her too and we believe part of his disengagement is that...because we have different religious beliefs and he is now *married* to the church. Ugh. He is making so much money...I cringe thinking of how much he is giving to the church he goes to, which is almost cult-like (example: Christians who are in a denomination do not count as Christians to him).

    We never had Christian friends and didn't lose any friends over this, but we sure cried a lot. We loved him with all our hearts, and still do, but I doubt we'll ever see him again so we did what we had to do...moved on without him. We can't let his decision dominate the rest of our lives. I try to live by the Serenity prayer...(((Hugs)))