Amazing Parents

Sometimes it\’s AMAZING. Sometimes it\’s just A MAZE.

The Piece That We Call Love

What a whirlwind of emotions and events. Levels and layers of knowledge and understanding. It has taken me a long, long time to get to where I am today. But as I sit here, proudly, I know at least I’m here. Once and for all. Here I am.

8 years ago a little baby came into my home, during a time in my life’s path when I was not looking for a baby. Let alone a baby full of fear and rage and also, somewhere, love. The latter was hidden beneath a veil, or maybe spread across a rickety suspension bridge. No matter where it was hiding, it was still hiding. I don’t even think the baby could find that piece of himself. That piece that we call love.

It took a long time of being confused….yes, I know I say that a lot, about being confused….but I was. So confused I thought I would go crazy. I honestly didn’t know what to do with this baby. Nobody else did either. He would cry all day, sometimes for up to 8 hours at a time. The pediatrician assured me there was nothing medically wrong. They said it must be emotional. They said to hold him more. Rock him more. Read, sing, talk to him more. But the older he got, the harder it was to talk to him, let alone sing to, rock, or hold him. He wouldn’t look at me directly when I talked to him. He wouldn’t let me pick him up or hug him. I’d say, “I love you, sweetie,” and he would pick up a book and throw it in my face.

Eventually, the crying turned into full blown rages. He would literally rip his bedroom furniture apart, piece by piece and throw it at us down the stairs. He would carve hate messages into the plaster of his walls. If left outside to “play” he would instead injure our pets, make them whimper and whine. My heart was breaking, a little bit more every day.

I sought out professional help. Of course I did. But the “help” we received was insufficient. What I realize now is that the majority of therapists, even so-called AT’s, aren’t trained to HEAL these children, but only to DEAL with their behaviors. It’s like taking cold medicine for a cough. The cough goes away for a few hours, but the phlegm just builds up inside your lungs and eventually it either comes out anyway, or it kills you. I was sick of taking attachment cold medicines. I wanted the cure.

After several attempts at therapy designed to treat RAD, I resorted to self-help methods. I joined an on-line support group. Basically a Yahoo list serve for parents of children with Reactive Attachment Disorder. That group gave me advice that I tried to follow. They said to make him do chores or to have him “strong sit”. But these were just cold medicines. When a friend of mine from that group offered me something else, I was ambivalent, at best. I wanted the cure, but I wasn’t sure this was it.

I don’t know why, but I took it anyway. I began reading and doing yet more research. What I learned was that these kids aren’t motivated by anger, but instead by fear. By fear. Think of that for a while. These kids are motivated by fear. How could I punish that? How could anyone? I couldn’t. For the same reason I couldn’t worship a God who created Hell. It’s just not logical. What point would it serve? I didn’t want my kid to fear me. I wanted him to love me and I wanted that love for me to motivate him to obey me.

When I first went to the Post Institute website I definitely had mixed emotions. Like I said, I was ambivalent. I neither felt excited nor did I feel that it was wrong. I just tried it. And right away it worked. I mean, within the very week we had no more broken furniture or shattered windows. Within a month we had no more tantrums whatsoever. Within 6 months we had a kid who did chores and who wanted to please me. By the next year, we had a boy who came to me at bedtime to hug me and tell me he loved me. The first time that happened, I literally cried. My boy loved me. And he was using me to regulate himself before bed. How beautiful is that?

I would say that things are not perfect. I mean, he will always be a little “off” I think. But we started with a monster. A tiny, freaked out, scared to death, monster. Today we have a boy who is whole. We even found that piece of him.  The piece that we call love.

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January 28, 2008 - Posted by | Uncategorized

2 Comments »

  1. It’s always wonderful to be reminded that we can change and heal — all of us. I’m so happy for you and for Tyler. I’m glad he found the love he needed so much.

    Comment by Susan Kuchinskas | January 29, 2008 | Reply

  2. This made me really really happy to read. It was hard to stick to the program I know but you really are reaping the benefits. I hope you can use this and other venues to encourage and uplift other parents who are in similar situations!

    Comment by danny | February 4, 2008 | Reply


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