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Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Adult RAD

We've been posting about RAD on our personal blogs for a while now. For those of you who did not meet us until attachinghearts.blogspot.com...we're making earlier posts easier to locate by including them here.


Reactive Attachment Disorder...if left unaddressed....can leave a person with a lifelong inability to form healthy, deep, and meaningful relationships. Adults suffering with this disorder keep those whom they cannot control at a distance, manipulate, perceive themselves to be victims in situations, seem to have justifications for everything, operate passive aggressively, and appear to be addicted to drama. They set up "straw dog" situations which place others in positions that validate what they "knew to be true" all along..."I'm, on my own. The only one I can rely on is myself. I can only trust Me." Really these individuals are lonely and frightened....although it takes looking past their "tough-pull myself up by my bootstraps-take me or leave me" exteriors...and into their hearts. Lifelong patterns of dysfunction have taken hold and the mazes their lives have become....serve as traps of their own making. Often, they feel as if something is wrong but don't connect the dots with the fact that they themselves are the root cause of their own misery. They are in danger of alienating those close to them...and continuing their never ending ride on the "victim" cycle. The most difficult aspect for intimates to deal with is the non-reciprocal nature of their "love" which does not translate to love at all....but instead screams of control issues. Heartbreaking but true, these wounded adults begin life as wounded children.

Usually, children with RAD are usually fiercely independent. Because they have not been able to rely on the adults around them to meet their needs...they develop coping mechanisms which cause them to rely on nobody but themselves. RAD pops up in many children who are neglected, abandoned, or institutionalized...in children who have either themselves had an illness where they were separated from a primary caregiver...or who have sickly caregivers who "tune out." Many times children of depressed, overwhelmed, disengaged, drug addicted. or alcoholic parents show signs of struggling with RAD...as well as children who are raised with multiple caregivers (nannies, childcare etc.)

These children have a need to maintain control of their environments and their relationships. They are either loud, have no edit button, and poor impulse control...doing and saying whatever comes to mind... or are methodical and conniving...always jockeying for position, the last word, and the upper hand. They are often times charming, chatty, friendly and seemingly well adjusted as far as the outside world is concerned. Only those intimate with the suffering child...know that they are living a lie. Intimates see the manipulations and battles...sometimes subtle and barely perceivable.... for maintaining control. The key word is SUPERFICIAL. In a nutshell, a child with RAD cannot rely on the adults around him/her to provide security because that feels too unsafe...therefore they keep those adults and sadly, everyone else at a distance. Deep down....they are crying for rest. They are exhausted.

As we've travelled this road over the past 8 years...we've learned so much. It is our desire that the Lord use our experiences in the lives of others if He sees fit. Our biggest heartache is this...if a person does not bond in a healthy way to a caregiver or others...they will not only have difficulty maintaining relationships.... but difficulty accepting the love of and bonding with their Heavenly Father. Please know that with us...there is an understanding ear to listen, a shoulder to cry on, and no judgment. For those of you who are dealing with RAD and feel all alone...please be reassured that you are not. There is hope. There is a light at the end of the tunnel. It takes truth, time, commitment, consistency, transparency, persistence, repentance, selflessness, and supernatural love. If you are a parent of a child with RAD you may never, never give up...even on those days when you feel like doing so. If you are dealing with an adult with RAD...you have the option of either counting the cost, setting boundaries, and attempting to go deeper...or not. It will be determined by the role you are willing to play and the role you will be allowed to play.

To see a child blossom is one thing. To see her blossom...knowing the work which went into planting the seed...watching it wither...planting another...watering...trusting a root system would grow...tearing it out months later because the tender shoot was being strangled by weeds...beginning again...another seed....more water....this time in more fertile soil...healthier, deeper, stronger roots...a little pruning...food...SONlight...protection from the cold...dead leaves....dead leaves with no appearance of life at all...not a single hint of life...only to have the shoots spring forth with new growth when least expected....then overflowing blooms....and even butterflies fluttering by! Now, that's....... quite another thing.

12 comments:

Brenda said...

So good. So wise.

Worshipper1962L said...

Wow, the Lord told me tonight that my 16 yr old daughter had RAD, I just couldn't believe it. I have raised many a foster child with RAD, some have tormented my pets, and killed my pets. But, my biological daughter has RAD, I just can't believe it? But, after reading the list above, she literally has nearly every sign and symptom of RAD, even for the ADULT RAD, she has nearly all the signs and symptoms, I just cried and wailed to the Lord. My Christian husband had been caught molesting my daughters, and admitted guilt and was incarcarated for 7 years and deported to Guatemala, where he was a native. My daughter, was molested my numerous people, and has now suffered so much damage. I know when she was 20 months old, is when I found out her Dad was molesting her older sister, and one by one, the Lord revealed all 3 of my daughter's were molested by him. Now, I am left to pick up the pieces. The depression was sooooooooooo deeeeeeeeeeeeeep, I can't even tell you people, I used to cry 10 times daily. My oldest daughter took over as the parent, while I was in severe depression for 2 years, unfortunately, my babies were only 20 months old, and 4 years old, and 11 yrs old. The most damaged child ended up being the 20 month baby, that I now realize has RAD. I am still in shock, just such unbelief, it is soooooooooo difficult to raise a RAD child, much less on your own. I still can't believe that the Lord waited all these years to reveal this to me, perhaps I wouldn't have believed Him, if He would have told me sooner. I just have always known something serious is wrong inside my daughter. She trusts NO ONE AT ALL, PERIOD. Herself, that's it, she has nearly every sign and symptom above. Now, please pray for me to help her heal, I can't do this without God's help.

Anonymous said...

When our "RAD Kid" was diagnosed just after adoption in 1995 we had tremendously few resources.

The Lord led us along an awesome path and we had 10 beautiful years together until the age-appropriate act of detaching from our loving family sent her into a vicious tailspin.

What if any resources can you recommend for parents of adult children with RAD diagnosis?

The truly ignorant (...well intentioned... just remarkably ignorant) people who have surrounded our adoptees in "rescue" mode are actually hurting the now adult "kids" so much more than they are helping.

Anonymous said...

I have adult RAD. I have known for many years that something was wrong with me. I have gone to many forms of therapy and 12 step groups, read many self help books and done everything I could think of to define the problem and fix it. About a year ago, I finally admitted that I had RAD. I was devastated! I am making progress slowly, far too slow for me, but as rapidly as I can handle. Extreme anxiety seems my default setting. I want to be healthy, to heal and have close healthy relationships. I have been grieving a lot, my losses because of this disorder. However, I am very grateful for the progress I have made through all the effort I have put out all these years. I do have hope for the future. I am a youthful 67 years old, and am hoping for a lot of years in which to live a more healthy and productive life.

Anonymous said...

Wow I wish that more people would post more info abt this RAD. Just discovered mine now at 34. I had to scrape my jaw off the flaw I was so stunned. It was like they were talking about me??? I want and need to meet more people with it so to help me understand and relate and then how to make it all better... Can Anyone direct me to a blog or web site? Tx

Anonymous said...

My husband has a hard time showing emotion towards me. Always has. He doesn't hug or kiss or hold my hand or things like that especially in public - but we hav been married 16 years and I know he loves me. He had a very hard childhood being born to a mother with a meth addiction and being bounced around from one type of home (drugs and alcohol) to another his grandparents or aunts and uncles (very religious required him to attend christian school) - his mom died of an over dose and his father drowned when my husband was 14 - anyway in discussing this w a friend she told me he could possibly have rad - can any of u give me any advice or does this sound correct? Thanku all.

Simply Moms said...

This RAD road is a difficult one to walk. My suggestion to anyone dealing with it in any capacity is to tell someone. When we isolate...we feel isolated. Everyone needs a helping hand. Nobody can thrive on their own.

Do as much research as humanly possible. Be transparent (use wisdom) and you will find that others will be attracted to your transparency and then they will come forward with their own stories.

We are Christians...so it is our belief that RAD in our lives has passed through the throne room and that the Lord is not surprised by it. He is doing a good work. He is faithful to complete it.

Pray.

Love others and yourself in truth.

<3 Dawn

NeedHelpWithMyHusband said...

My husband and I have been together 4 years, married 3 and friends for 5 years before we became a couple. He was abandoned in a foreign country at approx 2 years old (he was found wandering the streets and placed in an orphanage but never found out who/where his biological parents are) and was adopted by an American family shortly after. He was abused in the orphanage and then again in his adoptive home. His adoptive parents signed him over to the state at the age of 14 when he was having behavior problems and running away since they 'could no longer handle him'. He was placed in a group home for boys and from there got early acceptance to college at 17 where he stayed for 2 years. He then got out on his own and through his first 'real' job he met his ex wife and her family. They had a beautiful baby girl but 7 years ago she cheated and left him and kept his daughter from him since he and I have been an item. He also had another girlfriend in between our relationship and theirs but she was also unfaithful and left him. She wasn't happy with him moving on. In his first 32 years he has known nothing but abandonment from women. It has been a long and at times, hard 4 years. He get jealous easily, check my emails and so forth, but I have never given him a reason to suspect anything. I don't know how to handle this. All I know is I continue to love him through it. How do I make him realize that I'm here to stay, I'm not the other women who have been in his life. I want us to have a strong, happy, healthy marriage and family. We have these at times, but when people start talking about things they hear about, his wheels start turning and he gets suspicious of me. I work in a restaurant and he hates it. What can I do to help him and show him the light?

Anonymous said...

Dear Need Help with my Husband:
I was married to a RAD guy for 22 years. I thought I could "love" him into loving me and wanting a family. WRONG!! These folks need professional help. RAD is a deep seated issue that only a qualified therapist can address with your husband. And he has to want to get better. My husband didn't want to recognize his illness, he never did anything about it, and finally after being ignored and emotionally abused for 22 years, I have had enough. My ex also has a drinking problem, probably related to RAD. Bottom line, these folks have to want to get better. You cannot love it into them. Good luck and prayers to you. You cannot "help" him and show him the light. It will not work. Believe me, I tried everything. Listening, caring, loving, trying to be understanding, none of it works.
And do not fool yourself that you are "better" or "different" from all other women who have tried to heal these broken souls. Take good care of yourself and read up more on Adult RAD.
Good luck to you.

Simply Moms said...

^ I would add that the Lord is able to break into every wounded heart. As believers...we must never tire of pointing our loved ones to the Lord and praying unceasingly on their behalf. And always...if you are in a dangerous situation...find a way to be safe. <3 Dawn

Anonymous said...

I too was married to a RAD guy for 22 years. I second Anonymous's comment from Feb 6th. There is no way you can "love" these folks enough to make them better. Prayer for them along with their own desire to own their recovery from RAD is what is truly needed. I also thought I was "different" from the other women he was with before. He began heavy drinking and then refused to have kids even though he agreed to them before the marriage. It was a nightmare roller coaster ride. Now we are getting divorced, and he is exhibiting some narcissistic traits as well. I have read that RAD can bring out the worst in people when they feel they have been "abandoned" by their loved ones. However, with the help of a great Christian therapist, I have come to realize my ex needs God's help to get better. I cannot own his recovery, he has to. Trying to rescue these folks or blame yourself for their problems is no good. I had to set strong personal boundaries as well, as he is a control freak and thinks he can manipulate anyone.
Good luck to you, and God bless.

A said...

My husband of 18 months has adult RAD he had a trouble to put it nicely childhood and fits almost all the symptoms of child RAD as well as the adult version. I have known for about 6 months now and every 4 to 6 weeks we have a "big fight" which results in him trying to "push " me out of our relationship. The past couple times I have realized the situation and managed to buffer it to not upset my anxiety. He refuses to go to therapy however I started back tp therapy about 6 wks ago. I love him to pieces just struggle with his issues sometimes.