Have You Heard of RAD?

IMG_2303Have you heard of RAD? Reactive Attachment Disorder? You can research it and you can read some of my previous blogs for a better understanding, but unless you have first-hand experience with it, you will never fully understand.

Today is the day after Valentine’s Day and also the day after a terrible tragedy in Florida.  There was a school shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. Today more information is surfacing regarding the shooter.  However, yesterday some of my friends were already talking.  It is sad to say, but many of my friends, the parents of kids with RAD were asking what we always ask when there is a tragedy of this type, “Was he adopted? Was he the victim of early neglect or trauma? Was he at-risk?” Today we find out that yes, in fact, he was. Yesterday there were reports that he was “a little off, quirky, weird, & possibly depressed.” One report I read said he had an autism diagnosis.  Many of the kids that are diagnosed with RAD were initially diagnosed with Autism.  Even doctors know there is something “a little off” and since they can’t quite put their finger on it, they go with Autism.

I’m not a doctor or a psychiatrist and I don’t know that the shooter from yesterday sincerely had RAD, but there are quite a few of us parents speculating. I have been receiving messages all morning as we support each other and also as we grieve for this boy’s family in addition to the families of all the victims.  We RAD parents are also grateful that his adoptive parents are already gone & we hope that maybe, just maybe this tragedy will bring attention to the mental health crisis in America.

This shooter was obviously disturbed and his mental health crisis didn’t just happen yesterday.  It happened his whole life.  I don’t know in his case, but I do know in many cases that help is a short-term fix, always falls back into the hands of parents and that most services conclude at age 18. Mental health facilities for adolescents are shutting down at alarming rates and when these schools/treatment facilities close, the teen is placed back with the parent that already admitted that they couldn’t handle the mental health situation in the first place. Desperate parents call the police when their child is raging and if removed from the home at all, the child is placed in a DAS Program – Diversion and Acute Stabilization Program. This program lasts for a maximum of 30 days and then what? The child goes home or into a Residential Treatment Facility.  Of course, the RTFs don’t have available beds at all times.  I’ve known of families taking their disturbed child out of a psychiatric hospital home as they wait months for a bed to be available. Then, of course, if the child behaves as the RTF deems appropriate, the child is returned home and may once again, struggle with family rules or boundaries and the cycle continues.  Well-meaning people suggest that the disturbed child shouldn’t stay in the home as it is a dangerous situation, yet there truly are very few options. ( Read Post Nowhere to Go for more information.)

So, today as my friends and I continue to fight the good fight with our kids, and as we fight the battle with the mental health system to get services, we know that the shooter was not alone. He may have acted alone in the events of yesterday but he is not alone.  I know people who are attempting to raise kids just like him right now. Please pray for these folks in the trenches.

Advertisements

1 Comment

Filed under Uncategorized

This is Us….Really

This_is_usThe television show This is Us played after the Super Bowl last night.  A night we’ve all been waiting for.  Not the Super Bowl, but the show. Spoiler alert: Jack died. We knew he would, but we just didn’t know exactly how.  (Isn’t that true to life…we will all die, we just don’t know when or how.) I don’t usually stay up past eleven, but for this show, I had to.  I actually wanted to get it over with.  These teenagers were about to lose their father and I wanted to get it over with. As you may have seen, a young, vibrant, healthy father died of a widow maker heart attack. Sometimes these things happen.  I know, because it happened to me.

I was 16 when my father died of a heart attack and the show This is Us portrayed the gamut of emotions that those teens faced pretty true to life. I’ve wondered about my last words spoken, I’ve mourned my father not knowing my husband, and I’ve talked to a tree to tell my father my troubles. Yep, I’ve done it all and though those characters were fictional last night, the pain they emoted is real for many. I cried along with them….but not as much as I expected I would. I’ve relived the moments that I shared with them and I’m sure I’ll relive more as next week’s episode promises funeral scenes, but I didn’t actually relate as well with them as I expected. You see, their grief is new & raw, mine has been with me for 38 years. Time really does heal, but it never erases. I found myself watching the show and then comforting myself that the “Jack” character wasn’t really gone, he’ll be reappearing in flashbacks for months. In real life, that is not the case, or is it? Actually, the thing I remember most about the night my dad died was not wanting to close my eyes because when I did, I was afraid that I wouldn’t remember what he looked like. What if he vanished from my mind and my memory? How can I preserve the images?  Well, Kate (the daughter on the show), even if you lose that videotape of him, he will remain. My dad was only a part of my life for 16 years but he, too, reappears in flashback scenes. A saying he used, a smirk, even someone jumping to the front of the line at the grocery store will make me think of him. I didn’t forget, I won’t forget, so that fear is gone. Thank God.

This is Us.  This is many of us. This is some of us, yet to come. I don’t know exactly how Kate, Kevin, and Randall are going to cope with it, but I now know how I did. I can do all things through him who gives me strength. –Philippians 4:13 

 But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.        –2 Corinthians 12:9

8 Comments

Filed under family, Inspirational, Life, Scriptures, Uncategorized

Fools, Eejits & Gobdaws!

IMG_2837

Fool.  An important word.  It’s so important that the King James Version of the Bible says it almost 70 times!  Proverbs is a book that gives a lot of information on fools.  It has fool mentioned 42 times in 41 verses.  Fools despise wisdom and instruction, spread slander, and the heart of a fool proclaims foolishness. So, as I read about fools, I recognize that sometimes I am thinking of myself and sometimes I am thinking of others around me.  Come on, you know, you have fools in your circle too! We can definitely all learn from fools and from our own foolish ways.

Last week, I spoke too quickly and became a fool (A quick-tempered man acts foolishly. Prov 14:17) and I blurted out and called my son a name when he was acting foolishly. The minute I said it I regretted it.  I not only hurt my child, but I disappointed myself by using a name that is often classified as a swear word.  This would give my child fuel to throw up in my face for decades to come! I hate it when I slip like that! After discussing my error with my husband, he suggested I increase my vocabulary and try to find a new name to blurt out in anger.  He suggested “chucklehead.”  Chucklehead sounded way too kind for that situation, but I will employ it and store it in my memory bank for the future. While I was thinking of my regret and other chooses, I came across two new words used by a British author. Her vocabulary includes the words, “eejit” and “gobdaw.”  Love those!  Though not found in our American dictionaries, I did locate definitions for them.

eejit  –  noun – /ˈiːdʒɪt/ -a way of saying idiot which represents the way it is pronounced by some people.

gobdaw – noun – informal – A foolish or pretentious person.

Those two choices sound so much better than the one I had previously chosen. I personally have heard lots of fool synonyms over the years. Bonehead, dipstick, knucklehead, and bubble brain to name a few. So, there is no shortage of ways to call a fool a fool and though I spent this time researching it, I could actually be a little less foolish by learning less about fools and more about wisdom, (but I don’t think those words would be nearly as entertaining!)

So, if you ever need to avoid the same “foolish” mistake that I made, feast your eyes on the list below. Choose one and go with it.  Or be prudent and remember that the word wisdom is used in the Bible 181 times.  Maybe I should spend a little more time researching that!!!! disegno-floreale-con-bordi-arricciati_318-45888

idiot, ass, blockhead, dunce, dolt, ignoramus, imbecile, cretin, dullard, simpleton, moron, clod; nitwit, halfwit, dope, ninny, nincompoop, chump, dimwit, dingbat, dipstick, goober, coot, goon, dumbo, dummy, ditz, dumdum, fathead, butthead, numbskull, numbnuts, dunderhead, thickhead, airhead, flake, lamebrain, mouth-breather, zombie, nerd, peabrain, birdbrain, scissorbill, jughead, jerk, donkey, twit, goat, dork, twerp, lamer, schmuck, bozo, boob, turkey, schlep, chowderhead, dumbhead, goofball, goof, goofus, doofus, hoser, galoot, lummox, knuckle-dragger, klutz, putz, schlemiel, sap, meatball, dumb cluck, mook;

disegno-floreale-con-bordi-arricciati_318-45888

Proverbs 26:1-12 (NIV)

1 Like snow in summer or rain in harvest,

    honor is not fitting for a fool.

2 Like a fluttering sparrow or a darting swallow,

    an undeserved curse does not come to rest.

3 A whip for the horse, a bridle for the donkey,

    and a rod for the backs of fools!

4 Do not answer a fool according to his folly,

    or you yourself will be just like him.

5 Answer a fool according to his folly,

    or he will be wise in his own eyes.

6 Sending a message by the hands of a fool

    is like cutting off one’s feet or drinking poison.

7 Like the useless legs of one who is lame

    is a proverb in the mouth of a fool.

8 Like tying a stone in a sling

    is the giving of honor to a fool.

9 Like a thornbush in a drunkard’s hand

    is a proverb in the mouth of a fool.

10 Like an archer who wounds at random

    is one who hires a fool or any passer-by.

11 As a dog returns to its vomit,

    so fools repeat their folly.

12 Do you see a person wise in their own eyes?

    There is more hope for a fool than for them.

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Parenting, Scriptures, Trauma-mama, Uncategorized

Fear!

pexels-photo-326642.jpeg

It starts as almost a butterfly in your stomach and unless you acknowledge it and deal with it, it will overtake you. Sometimes you think it is just a bit of anxiety or nervousness but then you realize the beast that it is.  FEAR!

Every day he starts with a little disobedience, a little lie, a bit of a bad attitude.  No biggy, but compounded over time you realize that your annoyance turns into something much greater.  You stop being concerned about being disrespected.  You stop worrying that you haven’t taught him enough. You have moved way beyond trying to discipline, you’ve been at that for years.  You realize that you have done your part and now you live in a constant state of fear.  OR, you could if you allowed yourself.

Every now and then, you will be tempted to allow yourself to feel the full weight of the real fear that is there.  You project what the future may look like.  He will start stealing from others and not just from family. He will start lying to authorities and not just his parents. He will misplace his trust in someone who doesn’t love him as he disregards the wisdom of those who do. He may join a gang, experiment with drugs, dabble in pornography. Oh, given his history, any of these may be his reality.  BUT WAIT!  You’ve done all you can.  You can’t allow yourself to go there!

You truly may have done all you can, but what you can’t do, God can. You are not limited by your own abilities, you have a creator and he knows your child intimately.  He already knows the plans he has for her and for you. You are not to fear. I have heard that the Bible says “Fear Not” 365 times, one for each day of the year.  I have found that that isn’t entirely accurate, but how many times should He tell us to “fear not?”  He’s God.  We should listen the first time.

So, dear friend, listen when someone tells you to “fear not.” It really is a waste of an emotion. It accomplishes nothing and it hurts you even more than it hurts your child. Remember, you’ve been afraid before and you will probably be afraid again in the future.  There’s no sense staying there now.

decorative-line-clipart-clipart-panda-free-clipart-images-ezxo3g-clipart
For God has not given us a spirit of fear,

but of power and of love and of a sound mind.           

                   2 Timothy 1:7 

Leave a comment

Filed under Adoptive, Scriptures, Trauma-mama, Uncategorized

“Be A Finisher!”

IMG_2826

It is so frustrating for me when I ask the kids to clean the kitchen and I return to find that they put most of the dishes in the dishwasher or that they did everything but wipe off the crumbs from the table. I often find clothes folded, but not put away, rooms vacuumed but the vacuum remaining in the center of the room, an envelope addressed with the recipient’s name, but the address is pending.  Wait!  Are we still talking about my kids?  Probably not!  Some of the above happen to be my doing….or more correctly my un-doing or perhaps, my “not quite done”s.

A friend and I were talking a while ago about our jobs and tasks around the home and she reminded me that another friend of ours says, “Be A Finisher.”  Finish a task completely. I started to see that this was a message that my kids needed to hear and understand months ago, but only recently have I noticed how much I need to implement this practice.

I am not a finisher.  I’m one heck of a starter, but I am not a finisher.  I find this in projects like crafts and home improvements, but also with my day to day life. I brush my teeth but set the toothbrush on the sink instead of putting it in the cupboard. I make my toast, but don’t put the toaster away. I butter my bread, put the knife in the sink, but not in the dishwasher. “What is so hard about completing these tasks?” I ask my children daily. This morning, after coaching myself to be a finisher, I found out where the difficulty lies. The task never finishes.

Today, I wrote a letter.  I know for some of you this would be the hard part, but for me, brightly colored envelopes and stationery are right in front of me and I’m ready to begin! I wrote the letter and put it in the envelope. I put the recipient’s name on it and set it on the counter. (Be a finisher!) I got out the address book, wrote the address, left the address book on the counter. (Be a finisher!) I put the address book back in the basket where it belongs, but the basket was on the table and not on the shelf where it belongs. (Be a finisher!) I put the basket on the shelf where I saw that some books were on the floor that should’ve been on the shelf. (Be a finisher!) I put the books away and the task was completed or so I thought. The drawer where I got the stamp was open. (Be a finisher!) I shut the drawer. The scissors that belong in the drawer are on the counter. (Be a finisher!) I put the scissors in the drawer and the address labels in that junk drawer got all jumbled up and the drawer wouldn’t close. (Be a finisher!) I straightened the labels and thought, “I should write a blog post about this.” (Be a finisher!) I wrote a blog post. (Be a finisher!)

Finished.

images-3

3 I thank my God every time I remember you. 4 In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy 5 because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now, 6 being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.     –Phil 1:3-6

Leave a comment

Filed under family, Inspirational, Scriptures, Uncategorized

Party Mix

IMG_2506My Aunt Nancy used to bring “Nuts & Bolts” to our holiday parties.  As a kid, I loved picking through the mix and choosing the cereals that were my favorite in order.  I still ate all that was in the mix, but I prioritized them and ate them in a specific order.  There is a slight chance that by the time I got to the mixed nuts and pretzels, I just pitched what was left on my napkin into the garbage, but who knows?

There are many recipes for the delightful tradition, but instead of using garlic cloves, paprika, cayenne pepper and even fresh rosemary as some of these recipes recommend, I have simplified and made the following my own.

Party Mix

1 Stick of margaine

1 1/4 tsp  Seasoned Salt

4 1/2 tsp Worcestershire Sauce

6 C Crispix Cereal

1 C Pretzel sticks broken in pieces

1 C Cheerios

1 C Salted Peanuts

Melt butter in microwave, add season salt and Worcestershire and mix well.  Pour over dry cereal, nuts and pretzels in microwave safe bowl.  Microwave on High for 2 minutes, stir, microwave on high another 2 minutes, stir, Microwave on High for 1 minute more and pour onto paper towels. Enjoy.

May use different cereals or different amounts of different ingredients to equal 9 Cups of dry mix.  (It’s a great way to use up leftover plain cereals!)

 

 

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

A Simple “Good Morning”

bell_ringerWe woke and headed out to the frigid temperatures to man the kettle and ring the bells for the Salvation Army.  An annual event for our family continues to bless us with good cheer.  We intentionally greet each person entering the store and we smile and say “Good Morning” and “Merry Christmas.”  Everyone returns a cordial nod and most put donations in our kettle.

Today I “trained” some 11-year-old girls on the importance of greeting each individual and offering them a Hershey’s kiss whether they donated or not.  I explained to them that our purpose for being there was two-fold.  One, to collect donations for our community and two, to share the joy and spread the love by simply speaking, greeting and smiling.  We definitely accomplished both.

How we treat people in our lives is very important.  God loves us and he wants us to love each other.  This morning our group of bell-ringers served God by loving his children. It is my hope that people felt a little better after sharing a smile. I encourage you all to make eye contact and greet those people outside of stores whether you choose to donate or not, just as I encouraged the girls today to greet each person respectfully whether they gave or not.  The gift may not be monetary, it may be the gift of a smile or just a few moments of kindness.  Today individuals shared smiles, jokes, and cash and all were much appreciated.

Then, when you enter the store, share the smile with the clerks and fellow customers, go home and share the kindness with your family and continue to do so with everyone you meet.

disegno-floreale-con-bordi-arricciati_318-45888

If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. 

— 1 Corinthians 13:2New International Version (NIV)

 

1 Comment

Filed under Inspirational, Scriptures, Uncategorized