The harsh truth....

timer lady

Queen of Hearts
It's been an ugly few weeks with kt emotionally. She really has been tesing us & our commitment to her. (hate Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD))

As I was speaking with a nurse from the home health organization this past evening I couldn't ever hear her as kt's meltdown was huge & very loud.

Off the phone, I turned to kt & told her to knock it off; she's already had her one tantrum allowed daily - that tank is empty.

Typical Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD) kid reply - "why don't you just get rid of us. Find someone else to adopt her & wm."

I told kt that I'd heard that so many times that it's getting boring. I then asked kt if she realized why she's here with us versus home with bio mom. I then went on to explain in a very unemotional & toneless voice the cycle of abuse. kt kept telling me that I cannot tell her things like that & that this was mean. Again I kept it emotionless & repeated that I could tell her this & this is the truth. husband & I have (& will continue if she & wm will allow it) worked our butts off to stop this cycle with her generation.

Was this the right thing to do? Don't know; don't care? Is the the reality of my daughter's life - darned right. Is kt going to continue to choose reactive & angry behaviors or is she going to be able to stop, think & make safe & sane choices.

So anonther ktbug drama. You can see it daily - generally around 3 in the afternoon. :hammer:


Active Member
Sorry, it's been so hard lately, Linda. You've certainly had your plate full.

I'm willing to bet lots of us here get some variations of the "Why don't you just get rid of us?" remark. (difficult child can't wait until he's old enough to move to Alaska). I'm sure it hits very close to home when dealing with Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD) kids but I have to think it's some normal teen/difficult child frustration. I don't get it on a daily basis though--that must be very wearing.


I feel for you. I have at one time or another gotten something similiar to this from one or another of all the kids. I guess the one that took me off guard was easy child when she started to say something and stopped. I told her to speak her mind. She said that maybe she should go live with her father was what she wanted to say but didn't cause she didn't really want me to do it so she didn't want to make it an option. (As if I would really consider it and she knows that after the battle to keep her when he tried to take her a couple years ago.)

I guess what I am getting at is we all get it even with the easy child's some but I would not want to have the daily routine (which we had a lot of the the difficult children) again.

I will try and think some happy thoughts around 3 for you.



Active Member
Linda, you have a daughter with a lot of problems, including Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD). She is already insecure, feeling that life is rocky and she is holding on precariously at times.

And then you go and get sick. While it was really bad, she wouldn't have felt safe to express her fears because to do so in her mind could have made them more likely to come true.

But now you are out of danger - still ill, but out of danger. Now the worst of the crisis is over, she can stop trying to be strong, and allow herself to fall apart a bit. She is probably also angry at the fears in herself that you brought to the surface by getting sick - angry at the uncertainty she feels, the dear that you might go away permanently.

Even easy child kids get like this - I saw it with easy child when I first became ill, and I wasn't as sick as you were. And yet easy child was scared i was dying but nobody was willing to be honest with her about it. Then she was afraid that even thinking that might make it happen. Then she was angry because she didn't want to lose me, angry at me for getting sick and not being able to do the usual things with hr; angry at the changes this brought to her life; then angry with herself for being so selfish (in her own eyes).

I'm now seeing it with a friend of mine who recently became very ill, diagnosis still unknown. But cancer was seriously on the cards for a while, whispered about behind closed doors. Now she's clearly not got cancer and seems to be recovering slowly, her daughter has stopped being quiet and considerate; now she's throwing tantrums, raging at her mother and getting very demanding. And she is another easy child.

Your kt has been doing really well lately, improving no end in the Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD) department as well. Which means her attachment to you is strengthening. Then you go and get drastically ill and it has really rocked kt's boat. The way she is behaving now is actually a measure of her love for you and her attachment to you now. She is maybe scared at how much she feels she depends on you being around, and is scared by it. She needs constant reassurance that you WILL get better, you WILL be around for a long time. She may even need to hear it from a doctor, since parents have been known to lie to their kids at such times.

I grew up with a mother who could have died at almost any moment. She had severe asthma and there were a number of times I woke in the middle of the night to smell the ether my mother's arm was being swabbed with, before getting a shot of adrenalin. If I went out to investigate I was harshly spoken to and told to go back to bed, it was none of my business. About half the time, when I got up in the morning my mother would be gone, back in hospital again, and in a time when children were not permitted to go into those hospital wards, even during visiting hours. I remember being taken to the hospital for visiting hours (because there was nobody at home to mind me, anyway) and sometimes grudgingly allowed in by the nursing staff, for just a minute or two, then having to sit outside alone while the adults in the family visited my mother.
During these times I had to "be good" and "help the family" in ways that my mother had taught me - I had to follow her routine and get my father's breakfast for him each morning (soft-boiled eggs, toast, tea) at exactly the right time (it was like something from "Around the World in Eighty Days") and each afternoon, begin dinner preparations so we could get the evening meal served up as soon as possible after everyone else came home, so the hospital visit could happen again. The hospital was an hour's drive away.
I had too much to do, other people also were worried but not showing it, so I had to be strong as well. I had to find other ways to express it, ways that didn't involve letting others be upset by my distress.

I don't remember falling apart when the danger was past and my mother was home again, but I desperately wanted to fall apart.

And I was a easy child.

I think kt is still reacting to your health crisis. The danger is now past, and all the adrenalin and everything else is now coming home to roost. She now feels safer and is allowing hr feelings to show. Maybe if you can sit and talk about how she really feels - it might help. Don't focus on her behaviour at the moment - just talk to her about her fears.



Active Member
Hi! Gotta "ditto" Marg on that one! My sister is still seeking a diagnosis for her "MS like symptoms" and my nephew (who's a easy child) gets nasty, rude, demanding and basically obnoxious every time she has a relapse.

Hold her close, talk to her and let her see that you're very slowly starting to feel a tiny bit better every day. She's probably very frightened, and nervous that you're not going to be there all the time.

Much hope for better days...

Hound dog

Nana's are Beautiful
I think Marg hit it on the nose and said it better than I could. I've seen it repeatedly with Nichole thruout my illness. See some of the same with the other two, just not to the same degree.

It doesn't hurt kt to hear the truth every now and again.

I hope she begins to feel more secure soon.



Ironically, I've seen this more with easy child than with difficult child. Their world has changed and they are powerless and the unknown is scary. I really think the reason I haven't seen it so much with difficult child is because I've been home so much...right where she wants me.

Sometimes hearing the cold, hard truth is what is needed.



Active Member
I, also, think you did the right thing. I think the truth, can not hurt someone, unless used in a vindicative way. I think kt needs to see the truth in the cycle of abuse, so that she can start to see things objectively, and take responsibility, rather than the world being about her central, most immediate needs.

My difficult child, who has huge abandonment/anxiety issues with his own father, gets really rageful when there is an impending visit with his dad. I have started just calling him on it every time it happens. "WOW, M, you are really feeling anxious about your Dad right now, huh?" Lately it seems to have stopped his cycle in it's path. Suddenly he is forced to be aware of his real angst and where his real discomfort is coming from, rather than projecting it onto me or his video game, or whatever..............

Take is your recovery going? And.....oh lordy......there is nothing worse than a difficult child meltdown when you are the phone!!!! :mad:


Well-Known Member
Just for the sake of being different, lol, if she is on that
tangent at 3 PM each day then maybe she is like my difficult child. Maybe
her medications are not compensating for the strain of facing that many
hours in the day and maybe she needs the 1/2 an Ativan at 2:30
to ward off the anxiety cycle that has been established. My difficult child
doesn't have Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD) but he makes it through satisfactorily until
about 2 or so. He needs some help then. Maybe she does to? DDD

Wiped Out

Well-Known Member
Staff member
Sorry things have been so rough with-kt. DDD might be right about the medications. I think what you said to kt was fine. Sometimes that honesty is needed. Many gentle hugs.

timer lady

Queen of Hearts
Triple D, you may be right about the medications; we have been using her PRN medications on a more regular basis.

Marg, I know that kt is struggling (wm is as well from a distance) with my being sick. In home therapist is coming twice a week for both of them - I am working to be realistic yet positive about what is going on.

kt is aware of the confusion, fear & depression I'm feeling right now. Of late, I've maybe been a little too honest with my emotions with kt. It's hard for a Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD) kid with PTSD to see a parent hurt or "weak". It's hard to see a parent start crying for "just because".

In the meantime, my little "talk" with kt seemed to have turned her behaviors around for a couple of days. :thumb:

I'm proud of both of my children; they are both trying to the best of their abilities. kt, being here, is under a great deal more pressure.

Having said that - mental health CM is setting up a 10 days in a shelter bed (respite situation) for kt to get her a break. She will be going back to Residential Treatment Center (RTC) once a bed opens (not in the treatment area like before). CM, therapist & husband explained to kt, while I was in the hospital, this will be the first time a kid goes to this kind of setting & can honestly say "I'm here because of my mom. This isn't my fault." And it will be true. :smile: She knows this isn't a punishment & is looking forward to getting away.

I appreciate the cyber shoulder, ladies. There are days & then there are others. I expect today to one of those others. :wink:


Active Member
I think respite for kt will be good. it will also give you a chance to rest and not worry so much about her. And you're right, because she's there seeing it all the time, it's much harder for her.

I have a sister who is very vulnerable. As a child she was the one who was often sick, sometimes dangerously. She was frail, she missed a lot of school, she had some brain damage from a dangerously high fever. Major learning problems, memory problems but still very bright.

When my father became dangerously ill with TB, he was airlifted to Sydney. My mother flew down also, she stayed with this sister who took it on herself to drive my mother in to the hospital to see my father.

Dad wasn't expected to live. His lung had collapsed. The prospect of surgery on such a sick man was that it would be a death sentence, but nothing else was working. My sister had to hold herself together for our mother's sake. Mum was ill too, at the time, needing constant medical care and home visits. My sister's marriage had been shaky for years and this didn't help. But she held herself together, she was amazingly strong. She talked to us at the hospital the day Dad had his surgery - she said she'd been crying a lot (we all had) and that it felt wrong to begin grieving our father while he was still alive. She carried a huge burden on behalf of the rest of us and we were all very grateful. We could also see the toll it was taking on her.

Dad came through the surgery but his lung didn't reinflate. He had to have another surgery - it had never happened before, we were told.
he survived the next surgery but was never well again. When the time came for him to be discharged back home, Dad couldn't cope emotionally - he had expected to die, and now was alive - he had been grieving for himself. All this is normal, but seeing it all was hard to handle. My sister did amazingly, but when our parents were flown home, she came unstuck. Not as badly as we had expected, but we had to rally round a bit to hold her together, to reassure her she had done a wonderful job supporting our parents.

Something that worked for us - we reminded her of all she'd been through even as a very young child. She had survived against the odds, numerous times. And now our father had survived impossible odds. He had been our inspiration; so had she. All her life she had felt herself to be the weakling, now she had found strength inside herself she had not realised was there. Every ordeal successfully overcome has been another strengthening treatment for her.

In her turn kt, too, has a lot of strength. This is hard on her, especially seeing so much of it (which is unavoidable) but this is all strengthening her, too. She is learning, through seeing you, just what she is capable of herself. She is also learning HOW to cope. It's being forced on her (by life) which she is fighting against (this is natural) but the eventual outcome will be the knowledge of inner strength to see her through unknown future problems.

In my family we now use my surname as a battle cry. Thanks to our father. If someone's having a tough time, we remind them, "Don't forget you are a ____!"

Even those not genetically related, such as my brother in law who has no other family but us - the term applies to him too, because he has been part of our family for so long, it rubs off.

If, through this, you can give kt some sense of her own strength, this will be a positive she can hold on to and own now, as a talisman for the future. It is also a form of belonging which she probably also needs right now.

Hugs to you all.



Active Member
I think it's great that kt's team is flexible enough to take this step in these circumstances. It shows a lot of understanding.


I definitely think you did the best thing. I am sending prayers and positive light to kt that her choices in the future align with her best interests.