Thursday, September 29, 2011

Same old... same old!

So, looks like we are in a new routine and it is MUCH better than our old one thank goodness. Yes, we still have tantrums but they are caused by triggers and I see them coming a mile away. By drawing Sweet M* in and sitting next to him or holding him (like a baby) it seems like I am able to go through the emotions with him and bring him back to calm.

The neatest part is there are real signs of growth. Sweet M* now gives me spontaneous hugs for no reason. He has (on several occasions) been able to get in trouble like the other kids without getting stuck in a negative mode... you know for little things. Just a warning used to send him into crazy land.

And, a few days ago he went to his very first dentist appointment and he had to go with the dentist by himself. I sat in the waiting room. He did amazing!!! He had no cavities and he did everything they asked. I was most proud of him when he walked out and said, "Mom, guess what I knew that you would be here for me when I was done." No one else in that room knew why I had tears in my eyes... but that was the FIRST time I think he has ever trusted me to be there for him. The picture above was from that appointment :)

These are good days!

Monday, September 26, 2011

Mirroring Emotions and Fast Food Rules

Friday night was nice. Sweet M* had a little trouble playing but hubby was able to draw him in and calm him down and he finished the night really well.

Saturday was very pleasant and that included me dragging Sweet M* and Belle to a baby shower where they were the only kiddos there and to Belle's Nutcracker practice. So, win for me. Actually, total win because hubby and the big boys went to a baseball game so I had the littles with me all day and through bed with no incidences :)

Sunday was okay. The boys were in moods and were constantly bickering with each other. It was hard. But, it was normal sibling stuff so I was glad that Sweet M* was able to be talked to just like the other boys without sending him into a fit. Sunday night we went to church and all the kids did really well. Sweet M* really impressed me because the service is about an hour and a half long and it is hard to sit that long when your little. Sunday night however, the emotions ran too high. After church we went to my parents for a family dinner. It was a little later than we normally eat and it was 45 minutes past Sweet M*'s bedtime and he just couldn't take it anymore. He was engulfed in complete sadness at any little thing that did not go his way. We collected the kids and went home. I was able to draw him close and put him to bed, but I didn't feel like the mood was completely gone.

Today is Monday and the morning was off. Sweet M* was not following his normal morning rules. He was testing me in little ways. And, he tried reaching out to his brothers but they were annoyed from the night before and did not play with him. That is HARD. I get it... I know Sweet M* is a lot for the other kids. But, when he reaches out it is heart breaking to watch him get rejected. On the way to my mom's I just knew he was not doing well. I dropped him off and he didn't want a kiss or hug. He didn't ask to run and wave on the sidewalk as I drove away like he does every other day. I was sad.

But, I picked him up from school and he had earned two day tickets. I think he used his friends and school to escape his hard morning. He excitedly screamed good bye to EVERY friend he could see. Got in the car and it began. First the constant jabber, then if I tried to re-direct he acted like I was against him. He was crazy hyper when we got home and then he lost it when I tried to lay him down for a nap. He SCREAMED piercing screams and when I tried to hold him he kicked and tried to bite me. I held him and lovingly looked into his eyes. I reminded him that I loved him and no matter what he did it would not change the fact that I loved him. But, this fit lasted about an hour and it was exhausting. I did keep my cool the entire time (YAY! ME!). But, what really helped was towards the end I started mirroring his wimpers and cries... I tried to empathize the way you do with an infant. His screams mellowed out.

He started talking while he was crying about why he was upset, nonsense excuses for those big emotions really, but I repeated each one back to him in his same tone. I had learned this from the Harvey Karp books when my other kids were toddlers. It is called the fast food rule. Just like the drive through repeats your order YOU REPEAT YOUR KIDS WORDS. It totally worked. He slowly came back. Apologized and snuggled with me for a few minutes. Than he laid down for nap.

So, I am going to try and remember these for the next big meltdown. Maybe I can cut off the length of the next one by 15 or so minutes??

Friday, September 23, 2011

Having Fun this Friday Night!!

Thursday night ended well... and that was even with hubby gone all day on a business trip. I was even able to put Sweet M* to bed myself without any hassle. I do think the melatonin and the patch are really helping.

Today is Friday and it was a day that included a lot of changes in the normal schedule bc M*'s school was out but the big boys were still in. I had to work and M* went to my mom's with Belle. I was worried bc sometimes with that much change we are asking for a meltdown. But, to my surprise he had a great day.

It is very interesting but I feel like there is a bottom to his emotions. Before there wasn't. Any little upset could tailspin into a major raging violent fit. We have had ZERO violence except for with the sitter which I believe we could have avoided if she was better prepared.

So, tonight we have company and I am in a great mood. I have no doubt that it will be a Fun Friday night!!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

No Fear!

Tuesday's event really shook me up. I had a hard time sleeping and Wednesday morning I felt so stressed. But, I talked to a good friend who reminded me that Tuesday was caused by a trigger. I could have prevented it and will next time. And, that if Sweet M* really wanted to hurt the others he would have. It is getting rid of the fear that helps me. Realizing that I am in control of the situation. I just have to remember that even though my sweet boy looks so normal he can get scared and go into survival mode at any time if there is a trigger.

This occasion was caused by hubby and I being gone at bed time and bc we had not properly trained the sitter on what to do "if" he were to go into that state. My plan is I am going to teach her that Sweet M*'s scared and nervous looks like extreme hyper and silliness followed by complete disobedience. I will let her know that he will only get worse unless she brings him in confronts the emotion by verbalizing it for him and then sits with him until he comes back to his normal state (most likely after some crying). She will be prepared next time... as will any other sitter in the future.

It is so sad that M* still gets that scared of us leaving and not coming back. His fear of abandonment is so raw and real. I hope and pray that someday he will realize how much we love him.

To get back to Wed. though he had a great day. He must have tried so hard at school because he came home with two good day tickets. That means he was not talked to even once and he went above and beyond. I think he was trying to make up for the night before ;) He was a little sad all day. He knew he upset us and I think he was trying the woes me card. But, he had good behavior all night and went to bed just fine. Today is Thursday and so far so good :)

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

It had to happen

Today was one of those days that just SUCKS. Most of the day was fine but hubby and I thought we could get out for a date night. We left Belle with Nana because she was already there and the three boys stayed with our babysitter. I double checked Sweet M* talked about everything and I thought he was okay.

I was wrong. Turns out that right around dinner his switch flipped and he went into survival mode. He tried everything he could to get in trouble. Deliberately disobeying by continuing to jump up and down on the couch and trying to climb on the stairwell's. The sitter was having trouble controlling him in order to keep him safe. At dinner he accused her of serving the other two boys more pizza than him (not the case). Than he went into his crazy hyper laughter phase. He was chasing the older boys and trying to push them. Cuddlebear claims M* tried to push him down the stairs... given the mood he sounds like he was in I believe it. And, worst of all the sitter was cleaning up in the kitchen and the boys were on the couch (in plain sight) and the sitter says Cuddlebear was yelling "Stop M*" and she turned around to see M* sitting on top of a pillow that he put on Captain's head. Captain is 8... M* is 5. This SCARES me. I am trying to remember not to let fear play a part. But, Captain is my son. I am his momma too. I am supposed to protect him and I feel like it is so hard to do sometimes with M*. Once M* goes into survival mode all bets are off. We don't know what he is capable of.

This has not happened before and it was a fear I had. Right now the boys share a room. Now I am thinking that I may need to rearrange the kids sleeping arrangements. I feel like I am handling this all pretty well. But I can't lie- it shakes me up. I know that I can't ignore these behaviors. Safety cannot be compromised. But, it is just like with everything in this adoption world... I feel like I have to run the scenario 100 ways in my head to figure out what I should have done. I always try to blame myself for what goes wrong.

Maybe I can't leave M* with anyone but my mom? Maybe we should have been back before dinner? Maybe if I would have done something I could have prevented it. But, here is the thing. I have left M* with this sitter many times before. In fact she lives with us now and has been very helpful with the kids. And, I have left M* many times to go out on a date night and nothing like this occurred before. Well... not true. The first time we left for an over night trip M* choked Captain really bad. That was a little over a year ago though? So, it is really hard to say what I should and could have done bc REALLY I should not have to worry about him harming the other kids. But, the fact is that I do!

So, I am saddened by the reality that I think my fears can't be ignored. And, while I don't fear M*... I have to put up the cautionary boundaries to ensure all of the kids are always safe. So, I think M* is going to need his own room. And, I think we are sticking with the rule that he has to play where we can see him (recently we were allowing him and the big boys in the playroom together... I thought as long as Belle wasn't there they were okay). And, I think regardless of if I think he is okay... I don't think I can leave him (unless he is alone) with any other kids unless it is with my mom.

Crappy day :(

Monday, September 19, 2011

Still going strong...

Today is Monday and I was nervous bc Sweet M* seemed off as soon as he woke up. Nothing terrible... just emotions were running high and he was testing boundaries in little ways. He just seemed like he was on edge. My mom noticed it right away when I dropped him off this morning (she takes him to school bc it is too difficult for him to say good bye to me) as I drove away I couldn't help to wonder what the day might bring.

The time went by quickly and soon it was time to pick him up. But, to my surprise he was happy when he walked out (a very good sign). And, low and behold... TWO GOOD DAY TICKETS!!! This is great news bc that means he did not have a single incident at school today.

Nap time was a little off again (very hyper, trying to not look at me, laughing like a crazy person if he did). But, he laid down. He woke up off again. But, I tried my new method. I confronted the emotion and offered up ways to help. Reminded him about how glad I was that he was here. How he was the perfect boy for our family and how he makes everyone happy. He was still struggling as he tried to eat his snack and work on homework. So, I picked him up, gave him some kisses on the cheek and grabbed a book. I read in my most animated voice a Barney book and I got him to laugh. As I continued to read I could feel his body melt against mine. He was back. He said he felt much better jumped off my lap and went back to snack and homework. The rest of the night was great... even bed.

The End.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

2 Weeks since Clean Slate and Things are SO MUCH BETTER!

That is right! It has been two whole weeks since we took a deep breathe, decided to ditch everything we were doing and started again fresh. I cannot explain the difference in EVERYTHING with Sweet M*. Oh, my goodness. Two short weeks ago we could barely make it through each day. We were so stressed out, he was doing awful and I felt like we were one small straw away from completely losing it. And, now I feel like things couldn't be better. I am enjoying our life and Sweet M* is just flourishing.

I think learning that Sweet M* is operating in a survival state was one thing that really helped us. We are learning that when we see him sort of switch into that mode we have to watch how we treat him. Before I believe the consequences and talks just looked like another threat to him and so he would tailspin deeper into insanity. He would do things that made him appear to have no conscious because his brain literally thought he needed to fight to stay alive. But by changing things up and focusing on the unconditional love, drawing him closer when he is in that mode, talking very softly and using a recognizable language (same short phrases over and over) I can now draw him out of it. I can bring him back to a state where he is fully functional. I believe this understanding has had the greatest impact. I just see him differently and I know he can feel that I love him. This does take A LOT of patience though.

The other thing is we have been paying attention more to his nutrition. We limit sugar because it can be a trigger. He gets a high from it and than crashes. We also have been watching his water intake and have been using a little sea salt on his food in hopes that it will help his body absorb more water. He takes a multivitamin and some St. John's wort in the morning (liquid I slip in his water) and HTP (tryptophan supplement) to try and get him in a good mood and to keep him in a calmer state. At night like I mentioned we are using melatonin to help him fall asleep and I also think it helps him to sleep more sound.

I also think that the patch has had an effect. It is crazy but I feel like since Thursday (when we saw the patch doctor and he started wearing his prescribed patch) when Sweet M* has been told no, or told he needed to get back in control he has been able to do it. Before at the mention of no (or any other word meaning the same) M* would dive into this mood where a tantrum was immanent or he would just tantrum the second he realized he couldn't get what he wanted when he wanted it. The patch he wears is supposed to help with focus. And, I wonder if bc he can focus on the reason behind him not getting his way if he is able to rationalize it more than before? Whatever the reason it seems to be linked to the patch bc since Thursday it is the only thing that has changed.

The patch is interesting. It is not medicine, but instead it has to do with energy frequencies. It is definitely alternative I am just trying to go natural before I jump into the meds. I have been told by many people that some of the meds for ADHD and mood disorders have side effects and bc M* has not officially been diagnosed I don't feel like we should go there... yet. Not that I do not believe in medicine. I absolutely believe that meds can help... I just don't like it when I walk into a doctor's office and after talking for two minutes they hand me a prescription and label my kid. I guess I just don't like how heavily our society relies on meds and labels... and how quick doctors are to prescribe them. If in the end Sweet M* needs meds to be his best we will look into them and give it a try.

Lastly, I should mention that this was a weekend my parents watched Sweet M* again. I really think these breaks help so much. I was worried about attachment but my parents are so good they constantly remind him how lucky he is to have such great parents and siblings. I think he believes it more when he comes back home. I also think he needs that break from all of us. It is probably hard work trying to attach to a new family. At my parents he gets away from it for a few days. He also gets a ton of one on one time with people that are not completely exhausted. And, we get to refuel... give the much needed attention to the other three to make sure we don't feel so guilty and this way when he does come home we are all glad to be together.

Here is to hoping that we have figured out something that will lead us to the path of healing. This time when we cleaned the slate and started over we went into parenting our trauma boy with full disclosure. We have lowered our expectation, we expect set backs and we have a better grasp on what it means to be in it for the long haul. Our son is worth it and I hope and pray we continue to move towards healing his hurt heart.

Friday, September 16, 2011

A New Approach (anti-meds)

Thursday was interesting. On Wed. our pediatrician mentioned started Sweet M* on Ritalin. I am sort of anti meds... well maybe not anti but I like to try every other resource before I resort to something that has a long list of side effects. Recently my sister in law told me about a doctor that helps children with Autism, Apergers, OCD etc... After Wed.'s appointment I decided I wanted to see if he could help since his methods are more on the wellness/ homeopathic side.

They fit us in and yesterday we went. He spoke about energy in our cells and he ran some really interesting tests with M*. It is definitely a little cooky but it also had some validity to it. He (without me saying anything) knew that Sweet M*'s brain was running way to fast (5,000 when normal reading is 10). He knew that he could not focus, has trouble sleeping, has had parasite trouble before, suffers from anxiety and depression etc... It was really interesting.

So, in the end Sweet M* is wearing a patch on his back that is supposed to regulate some of these energy frequencies. I have a month's supply and I change the patch every Thursday and Sunday. He also has some patches that I placed on certain parts of his bed. I am not sure what to think but yesterday and today so far (it is morning) Sweet M* has been in a really good mood.

We also started using Melatonin ( a very low dose) to help regulate M*'s sleep. I forgot to mention that but it has been helping a lot. Upping water and sea salt intake for the minerals and to help his body absorb water better. Did you know that your brain is 85% water??? Even mild dehydration can cause problems.

I have noticed that the bringing Sweet M* closer every time I see that he is not regulated is very helpful. It is exhausting but we are pairing this approach with also allowing ourselves breaks (leaning heavy on our family for this one).

Thursday, September 15, 2011


Yesterday was a good day. Sweet M* came home with two good day tickets that he was very proud of and I was relieved that there was no more hitting or embarrassment etc... from getting in trouble the day prior. Phew!

But, because I was the one who had to put him down for nap we had a repeat where he woke up with wet pants after nap. The bed (again) was not wet. When I try to wash him off in the shower he freaks out and is deathly afraid of the shower head. It is really odd. I was very patient and empathetic. I showed him how to turn the shower on and that I was not doing that so there was no way water was going to get him. (Keep in mind he loves water and takes showers all of the time???). He said that he had a bad dream and he was scared but doesn't say anymore.

I just was very loving and warm towards him. Took it slow and sort of babied him and he finally came out of it and had a great night after that.

I think that some of us really get caught up in what the professionals have to say. At least I did. It is a scary scary world and I think they see a lot of hopeless cases. However, I am so lucky that I had an amazing friend who sent me some pages from one of the Beyond Consequences books. It really resonated with me and when we were looking into disruption/ re-homing our son this phrase helped us turn it all around.

It basically said that we don't need to fear our children. That they are acting in this survival mode. It may look like they are dangerous and incapable of love. But, as parents we might see things that the professionals don't... glimmers of our child's true self. That is the Sweet M* I am honing in on. That is my son. The rest I feel like is my trauma boy just trying to live through another day.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Monday and Tuesday

Monday went pretty well M* had a good day and he came home with 2 good day stickers from kindergarten. He got lost trying to make a number 3 which he normally can... but he just couldn't do it and he was trying. Hubby picked him up and he just sat silent with hubby for 20 minutes. Then he said he was ready to try again and he did and this time he was able to make his 3's. I met my sister in law so hubby had all 4 monsters and it seemed like bed time was fine.

Today the boys (Cuddle bear and M*) have been competitive and sort of going at it in the morning, but overall the mood was good. Unfortunately, Sweet M* hit a child at school today. This is bad bc this is the first time he has ever hurt a friend. The teacher said Sweet M* went up to the kid and asked if he wanted to be friends. The kid said no, and so Sweet M* hit him. We talked about it when he got home. We practiced ways he could handle the situation appropriately and I am trying (really hard) not to let fear in. I am praying this was a one time situation and that he will not repeat it. Only time will tell.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Back again!

Okay, so yesterday we were back on again. The morning went well. My cousin brought over her two boys to play and Sweet M* did well for the most part. He even allowed me to take him aside and correct a behavior a few times. He did have a tantrum towards the end but in his defense it was past nap time anyways and he was probably tired. He woke up in a good mood and made it through both an 1:15 minutes mass and family dinner at my mom's. Thank goodness.

I do need to work on Sweet M* and Cuddlebear's relationship though. These two both have controlling personalities, they can both be VERY emotional and hyper. But, the but heads and compete against each other like no one's business. So, I think I am going to turn to the library for some resources on how family's treat each other, being kind, sharing etc...

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Maybe rounding the corner?

Well yesterday morning I awoke to Sweet M* on hyper mode. I tried to ask him to sit next to me to see if he could calm down but that triggered the emotions and tears started streaming down his face. He was screaming so loud that I took him out back so that the other kids did not have to listen to it. I reminded him that we all loved him. He refused and said we don't... he said Jesus didn't love him either. It is so painful to listen to a child suffering through such trials.
Finally, hubby came out after about 20 minutes and told him "Don't worry... we got you... you are safe. You do not need to do this... we got you." And, he stopped... for some reason that phrase resonated and he was okay.
The rest of the day was back and forth with hyper activeness and extreme emotions. Tears flowed freely through the day. Nap was hard even for hubby. By the time it was nearing dinner hubby had a great idea. He thought we should go out on a date and get away.
Thank goodness I have an amazing brother and him and his wonderful girlfriend came to the rescue.
Hubby and I went out for sushi and the kids had new fresh grown ups to play with them. M* even went to bed okay for my brother. I am realizing more and more that to get through RAD us parents have to get away from it. It is so emotionally and physically draining it is a must.
We are hoping Dr. B will come next weekend. He has worked with RAD families for the past 13 years exclusively and total of 34 years in mental health. He will hopefully train hubby and I on how to deal with Sweet M*'s behaviors. We are also looking into some medication for his ADHD. I pray the two of these additions will help us move forward again. Lord knows we need a break.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Still down in the trenches...

This morning again Sweet M* was struggling. He' is having trouble in the morning before school. He stresses about not having enough time to do things in the am before needing to leave, and, he is concerned about what everyone else is doing. The concern here for him is that he feels like he is going to get the short end of the stick. For example if Belle asks to play on the computer he cries bc he wanted to do that (even though he was busy playing something else previously and never asked), and know she took that opportunity from him. When we try and explain that he still has an hour before school and we will set a timer for 10 minutes and they will take turns he just DOES NOT BELIEVE US.

It is the victim complex. He always believes (and really intrinsically believes) that we are going to screw him. He is not going to get (enter anything here). We try to serve his food first or hand him the first of whatever it is but it is so engrained inside him that we can't seem to help him shake it.

The hard day continued when I picked him up from school. Once again he was fine until it was time to nap. I saw it coming and scooped him up to draw him closer. He screamed and cried. Got extremely defiant and in to the mode where he has to say nasty things to push me away. I was calm... I continued to tell him I loved him and that he was safe. I told him I was strong enough for his pain and sadness and he could just go ahead and get it all out.

After screaming he started to weep and then fell asleep as I rocked him in the rocking chair. He woke up in a decent mood and was fine through dinner (although pretty high strung). And, then we left for church. My aunt and cousin had invited me to a healing mass and I wanted to bring Sweet M*. The service was long and M* was very defiant inside the church. I could tell he was uncomfortable and so the behaviors started. Acting like things were hurting him... they weren't, trying to kick the pew and wipe spit on the benches, trying to take off his shoes, kick the books and tear the pages in the books. Finally, after many attempts on my part I decided it was best if I took him outside. The second the doors closed behind us the flood gates were open and the tears poured out. He screamed and cried, kicked his shoes off tried blowing snot out of his nose so he could wipe it on me etc... But, again I was calm. I repeated that we loved him and that his whole family loved him, and that Jesus and GOD loved him too. After about 15 minutes he calmed down. I made a compromise and told him that if he could be respectful for the remaining time I would allow him to color in the car on the way home. He pulled himself together and made it through the remainder of church... even the blessing (although I had a lot of reassuring to do since some of the people lay down after receiving their blessing and he thought they died- YIKES!).

I hope that by being better servants and making church a higher priority Sweet M* will hear the words of our LORD and his little heart will once again be filled with LOVE instead of FEAR.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Minor Set Back

So, yesterday I picked Sweet M* up from school. I have not done this in awhile (since the aggressive behavior) bc hubby was doing everything with M until things settled down again. So, even though I have picked him up before this was a minor change. He was a little testy walking home and then after his snack when he knew that nap was next he started the disrespectful behavior. However, this time I swooped him up and told him I loved him and when he woke up from nap I would still be here.

I was feeding the emotional need and not the form he was using to communicate it. He flailed a little... tried to pull my hair but pretty quickly settled in and snuggled me. I kissed him and asked him to go lay down upstairs. I wasn't planning on taking him up bc he REALLY struggles with needing to say good night or good bye to me and when he gets in his bed it is always bad. But, he asked me if I would tuck him in. I first reminded him that I wasn't sure he could handle it (this is a way that helps him control himself... a RAD always thinks they are strong enough so I knew he would try and prove me wrong) and he assured me he could and we walked upstairs. Of course when I tucked him in he was extra hyper, and loud, he yelled at me as I left (just nonsense jibber jabber but in a disrespectful manner) and walked down stairs. But, he did not get out of bed to chase me down the stairs. He stayed put and shortly after was quiet. I was pretty proud of myself since I kept it all together and I did not let him get into rage mode.

But, he woke up early from nap and came downstairs. He sat down had a drink and than told me he was wet. He had peed all over himself and the chair. I told him it was okay and took him upstairs to wash him up. But, he went into a catatonic diss associative state the second he entered the shower. He was screaming staring at the shower head (which he is never afraid of) and I realized he would not look at me. I kept saying his name over and over and lightly put me hands on the tops of his shoulders. I told him I loved him and asked him what was wrong. He said he was scared but didn't know why.

After the shower he got dressed and then he started weeping. He said he had a bad dream that he could not live in our family anymore. I re-assured him that he was staying and that I loved him and he was safe. I got him a snack and he worked on some homework. He stayed in a somber mood for about an hour. And, than he finally came out of it.

However, this morning I feel some of the after math. He is extra hyper, asking for things he knows are off limits and testing boundaries. You can literally feel the heaviness of his emotions when he is like this. You just know something (anything) is going to set him off and it feels like you are walking on eggshells. Hopefully, some extra snuggles and love and reassurance tonight mixed with some boundaries to make him feel safe will knock this mood away.

For the count: Tuesday= good, Wed= good, Thurs= sadness/ bad dream/ pee & Fri= is off to a rough start but hopefully he can pull out of it and have a good weekend.

In case you have not had the chance to read this blog post and you are struggling after coming home please do. I received it from several friends this week and it really helped me.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

A much needed day of Joy!

Yes... Joy!
I can hardly believe it too but it is true. So, far the theory is good. I even completely stopped a tantrum coming on today (and it was big) with some extra love and sillyness. Man did it feel good. Some new rules hubby and I have given ourselves:

1) Get a Break... Parenting kids from hard places is no easy task and we deserve it. Guilt free!
2)Clean Slate... we are acting and even talking as if Sweet M* just joined the family. Day 3 and he is doing so well.
3) Only allow LOVE to shine through our eyes... view all behaviors as intense sadness and fear. It is what they really are about anyways.
4) Before school and after work/ before bed belongs 100% to the kids. Eyes on them, down playing with them the whole time.
5) Forget about the manipulative behaviors etc... If I have to "fake it til I make it" I need to grant him the same grace.
6) Constant reassurance, whispers of how M* was exactly the piece to our family that we were missing, we wouldn't be complete without him, we love him, we are never leaving him, he is safe etc... CONSTANT!!!
7) Remembering his emotional age.
8) Lower all expectations and expect regression
9) Do not shame him in anyway only build his self worth.

Alrighty... now some catch up photos of my handsome man...

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Sometimes you have to hit rock bottom...

I have not posted bc things went from bad to VERY VERY bad. I think all the therapy and bringing up the past and trauma coupled with starting kindergarten and coming out of the crazy summer with two vacations did us in. YUP... we did it to ourselves. In hindsight as I write this I can see it oh, so very clearly. But, when I was knee deep in it. I thought we had lost our minds.

You see dealing with violent rages is scary. Yes, I said it and it is TRUE! Aggression is not something we want to have problems with. Neither is defiance, disrespect and anger. But, for the past 6 weeks that is all I have been getting from my RAD son. We were at our lowest point people. And, sadly I thought that we had hit the bottom before. Yuck... I really hope this one was the REAL bottom. I pray that something changes and we get it right this time.

We thought we had made progress with some things like Nancy Thomas... but I think we hit a point and were not progressing. I think it is our fault. We got caught up in the loss of privileges and the strictness and so it stopped working. Than at our lowest of lows we had to re-evaluate everything.

Have you ever had to be that honest with yourself. Really examine and figure out why YOU are the problem. Well I did it and so did hubby and we realized that we needed to have a clean slate. We needed to act as if our Sweet M* just came into our family. But, this time with the knowledge of his past. This time we were prepared. And, this time we were going to draw him close every time we spotted defiance, anger, fear etc... We were going to look at those downward spirals as opportunities to correct his distorted views.

Crazy... yes. But, I am hoping that this will allow all of us to move forward. Today was day 1. But, it went well. It feels better to me and hubby and I can tell M likes it better too! I am going to post progress and failures (including rages) so I can follow our progress.

We also might use the services of Walter Buenning. He comes into the homes of families with RAD kids and trains them how to handle the different behaviors.

Here's to regaining hope!