Sunday, July 19, 2009

My call to Lindy. I hear you. I am listening.

Dear Lindy,

Considering your lengthy post, I thought I would write an entire blog just for you. I could feel the desperation, the anger and the frustration in your voice. I, if no one else understands what trials your child is putting your family through at this very troubling hour. I can totally understand the futile and fruitless "Love him more" speeches that I am sure you receive daily.

Your post touched me because I was the exact same way when I was his age. You mentioned in your post that he wants too "Kill someone" that's his goal. Is it? Does a 12 year old understand the implications of death as you and I do? Probably not. I surely didn't understand or know about the horrible nightmares that I would have for years as I felt the warm blood of an animal running down the sides of my hand after a particularly bad rage. I wonder, Lindy if your son isn't trying to communicate with you the only way that he knows how.

To tell you everything is going to be ok, is of course bull crap. Your son, as destructive as he is and how EVIL he seems is still a very hurt, confused child. The sentence you wrote struck me as odd. "His goal is to kill someone." Did he say this to you? Or is that an educated assumption on your part? We have to nail that down first.

My parents did the same thing. They locked their doors at night because they thought that based upon my actions I would KILL them. I wouldn't. Even as a child with R.A.D. I knew what the limits were. I knew that while I hated my adopted family (And they hated me at times) their deaths wouldn't fit into my plans of manipulation and shock value tactics. As I read more about your son, my non clinical mind says this is a shock tactic. Even dangerous and physically threatening, it's still a tactic that the R.A.D. child will use.

They want your attention and a RAD Child will get it one way or another. Killing, stealing, abusing, fire starting, lying, cheating. Whatever we find that will scare you and start a pre-emptive confrontation that ultimately, the R.A.D. child will control. In some ways I loved the fact that my family both hated and feared me. I was in control of the situation 100 percent. This allowed me total freedom (Or at least I thought) to continue acting out. And of course, as we know acting out is about emotional expression.

I know that right now, you are afraid, you are pissed and you want to give in. You can't. That child, no matter how damaged he is, he is still a child. He still has a chance at a somewhat normal life. You are the instrument that is keeping him alive and without you, his chances of survival drop tremendously. You are quite literally his savior.

Underneath all of that anger is simply a child that doesn't know how to verbalize and vocalize his experiences in a way that you can understand. What you do understand, however is violence and fear. That's his way of reaching out. (I know, that sounds really messed up). The more that you react to this the more he controls. Considering the frustration non verbally expressed in your post to me, it sounds like he has really worked your family over. I know how hard this is for you and your family. I know.

What I am about to say may make you angry, maybe not. You CANNOT give up. If you give up, or you react negatively to him, he wins. I hear all the time "I would NEVER give up on my child" but I know that we ALL question our dedication to something. Don't give up.

If your child is physically in danger of hurting you, your children, animals you must, of course seek intervention. You must draw the line and injury/death is of course one line he must not be able to cross. Dare I say it, but if the police need to be involved, use them. His life, your life, your children's lives or another's life must be considered first.

My good friend Lisa Amos and I agree that RAD kids are hurt animals. Have you ever tried to approach an angry cat? They may love you but if your in their way they will fight to the death to keep themselves safe. That's a perfect definition of a R.A.D. kid. Your child is hurt, angry, confused and feels alone in a see of people and may be suffering from "Motel Syndrome". Email me about "Motel Syndrome". It's a very interesting concept.

I don't know much about the rest of your story, so really that's all the advice I can give you. Based on your post, I can feel how much you love your son. These trying times are probably the worst you have ever experienced and I also know how angry you are. I always like to say "Stay the course" I know that sometimes you have no clue where that course is headed.

Either way, your child no matter how crazy and maniacal he may act is still a hurt human being that needs you. The choice of adopting him is on your shoulders and I know the weight right now is overpowering. No matter what happens, I PROMISE you, one day he will thank you for being as strong as you are right now.

It may not come for years and during those years he may curse your existence. The day however, he sits down with you, looks into your weathered eyes and says "I was a terrible son, but you saved my life...Thank you" will be worth everything you are going through now.

Remember! Keep yourself, your family and the community around you safe. If you feel that your child is an immediate danger, seek intervention.

Sincerely with love and regards,
Michael
http://www.rad-online.org

2 comments:

Lindy said...

Yes, my son has calmly told me on more than one occasion he wants to kill me. I am not talking about things said while angry or raging.I am talking about while sitting calmly. If we were planning on giving up on our son we would not have finalized his adoption,nor would we be visiting him 2x/week,+ family counseling +intervention meetings with the staff + psychiatrist appointments etc. I think you misinterpreted my despair for anger.I understand perfectly why my son is so angry. He has a right to be angry. It isn't the rage, it is the calmness when he says he wants to kill all moms. It is when he is calm and he tels me he wants to kill me. The only emotion he feels is anger. He has told me it makes him strong. How do we help him past that? Enough to function in society. He has tried to push or trip me down stairs mult. times- and hit me with objects and has come after me with a cleaver. He tends to escalate the most the calmer I am.
We have found nothing that deescalates him. That is what I mean by getting in his head. We need to find a place to start from.
He does not want to come home. He hates where he is, but he hates(is terrified of) family more.
How do we parent a child who honestly wants to kill-his words, spoken many times under different settings?
I think I am actually begging here.
I know I am rambling again.
If I am frustrated, it is with our own inability to help our son. It is with others who either tell us to give up or tell us we cause his problems.I also get frustrated when a professional looks at his angelic face and refuses to believe he has homicidal ideations. That isn't going to help him. We have to see him as he is as well as who he can become.
It wasn't us who broke him. We are only trying to help him pick up the pieces of his life. We cannot do it for him.
Mostly we feel despair.
We have no intention of giving up.
Thanks for listening.

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Betty

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