That lost post really seemed to chew at people. It was very, very tough to write. To have to dig through those bloody and terrible days was very difficult. I wrote that post because I layed in my bed all night long listening to those screams. I didn't get a wink of sleep.
Lisa asked me to write a bit about what it was like to have R.A.D. that's a long story, so I will do my best to keep it as short as possible. I wanted to thank Lisa for posting my story on her page.
My life with R.A.D.
Reactive Attachment Disorder for me was the total emotional disconnect from the rest of the world. My life, even as a child was studded with physical, sexual and emotional abuse that lasted through my teens. That damage still exists today in many forms, but for this blogs sake, I will keep it to my early childhood.
I didn't feel connected to the world. I didn't care about the world and I didn't care about anyone else either. The first animal I killed was in response to my adoptive sister (Who left for Greece in college) departure was slamming her cat into a wall, killing it immediately. I would spend hours building lego castles, (Which I loved to do) and then immediately destroy them with a terrible violence. Both of these acts travels to the core of what Reactive Attachment Disorder for ME was. It was the perception of loss. That was the theme of my life and what it meant.
I had no reason to get close to anyone because in the end, they would be taken from me. While other children played outside, I sliced my arms open to make sure I was bleeding red. I felt like the devil. With one animal already killed, a suicide attempt and the constant need to destroy left me feeling like the devil himself, literally. This was around the age of 11.
The therapists told me I would be this way forever and that I would never change. Bear in mind, gentle readers that R.A.D. wasn't even a diagnosis yet.
I felt that the world around me wasn't mine. The family that was "given" to me I had to reason to connect with. I didn't know them, I didn't share their beliefs and I surely didn't understand why they would love the devil. In my mind, they were just as bad as I was. No one wants a devil. I did my best to push them away from me. I killed their animals, I tried to burn their house down twice and I did every in my power to make them hate me. My adoptive mother said (And this will sting, just as it did me) "If we knew how much trouble you were going to be, we wouldn't have adopted you". That's how bad it was. My parents were so afraid of me, they locked their doors at night.
By the time I was 12 I was already in a hospital for severe depression and suicidal ideation. I wanted to die. To live in a world at such a young age not able to connect to anyone was too much. Something, however happened in this hospital in Kentucky. I met other troubled children like myself and I for the first time in my life, these children wanted to know me, including the girls in the unit! Finally, I found other children that accepted my bad behavior as nothing more worse then they had done themselves. I had found a common bond with these people.
After two weeks in the hospital, I was discharged, and once again I lost my friends. Another loss that was an actual one, not a perceived one. I spiraled out of control. The death's continued, and I started experimenting with inhalants and drugs to alleviate my pain.
Being so different from other kids, looking much different then other children (I am bi-racial), not having alot of money I was ruthlessly beaten and spit on many, many times in school. The teachers took sexual advantage of me of me. (The female teachers) and by that time, I was no longer a human being. I was a punching bag and a sexual device for horny older women. My transformation was complete. I no longer lived as sweet Michael with the beautiful smile and full of hugs (Which was one of the pretexts of my adoption) but some "bad kid" with no future whatsoever.
I had learned my worth. I also knew that if I killed an animal, started a fire, lied, cheated, stole or slept with teacher I would get the attention that I needed. I was able to express my unspeakable pain through acts that would get attention, no matter what the attention was.
For many R.A.D. sufferer's it's not that they (myself included) that we particularly enjoy what we do/did. It's our ONLY way to communicate with those around us the pain, the happiness that we feel. I never connected with ANYONE. I had no way to verbalize and vocalize my feelings and even if I did why would anyone care what I had to say? I burned every bridge with my family that I had left (or so I thought).
I was a very, very lonely child. I was so different, many nights I just sat in my room burning something, getting high on paint thinner or crying myself to sleep. I had no way to communicate my sadness and my family was so angry and frustrated with me, they wanted nothing to do with me anymore My sister to this day hates me to this day with a passion that I can only describe as "unfettered". All of this for a 13 year old child was alot. There was no rhyme or reason to the violence, drug abuse, sexual abuse and the killing in my mind at the time.
It was just something that I did and I didn't understand why. I was angry and I didn't know why. I just wanted it to stop and if it meant my death, that's what it meant. I still remember the nights of looking in the mirror and seeing the devil himself.
That emotional disconnect allowed me (in my mind) to act in ways that most children wouldn't dare. That was the hook. I could kill, get high and destroy because I was already dead. I was put on this earth to destroy and be a sexual device for teachers and I simply accepted that fact. The rest, is of course shattered history.
I hope that this post gives Lisa and all of my readers a bit more insight into a fraction of what I went through as a child. I am sure over the coming days I will talk more about Cathargic Reaction, Suicide Attempts and other issues that deal with R.A.D. but this is enough for now.