PTSD and RAD From a Kid’s Point of View

Hi Hi!!!

My name is Molly. I’m going to tell you the story of my life. I hope you won’t get mad at me cause my life has really been bad. I’m scared and no one helped me when I needed it.

I’m going to tell you all I can remember. My life began with a mommy who wanted to love me, but somehow, she couldn’t. I don’t know what I did wrong, but she hit me and made me cry. I cried and cried and cried some more, until I couldn’t cry any longer.

I don’t know why this stranger came and took me away from my mommy. She seemed like a nice person, but I just wanted my mommy. This lady changed my clothes and gave me something to eat-it was yucky. I didn’t like it.

The next thing I remember was being placed in a thing that kept me from moving and wiggling too much. Then I heard a big noise and where I was placed started to move. I was so scared. Where was my mommy?

Photo by Quintin Gellar on

The noise stopped and the strange lady took me out of the thing holding me. She made soft sounds that I didn’t understand. She took me into her arms and started walking. I kind a relaxed a bit, but not for long.

Another lady I didn’t know reached out for me. Who were these people? This new lady took me inside a building. I want to go back to my mommy! No one understands! I cried again, but I could not seem to get these strangers to understand I just wanted to be with my mommy.

After several days, I started to think of this new lady as Mommy #2. She’d hold me, talk soft words to me and changed my clothes and fed me-still yucky, but I’m getting used to it.

I don’t know how long I spent with Mommy #2, but it wasn’t but a few days. All of a sudden Mommy #2 put me in what she called a car seat and got into the noise maker she called a car. She turned the thing on and I remembered the last time I was in one of those things. I started crying again. Did this mean I did something wrong?

Yep! I must have because when the car stopped, another strange lady came and took me out of the car seat. Mommy #2 gave the lady some kind of package and then hugged me. Mommy #2 got in the car thing and then she was gone.

At that point I wished I could cry, but I knew it wouldn’t help me. No one seemed to understand what my cries meant. I didn’t know what expect next so I decided I would wait to see what happened next.

This strange new person said she was Mommy. Well, she wasn’t Mommy #1 or #2. So was she Mommy #3? Then she shows me to a strange fellow and says “this is Daddy.” What is a daddy? I really didn’t have a clue.

Dad and child

Every so often a strange lady would visit the place and ask Mommy #3 and Daddy how was “Molly” doing? At that time, I didn’t know my name, so I had no clue she was talking about me. They would say, Molly is doing okay. But, at another visit, they said Molly has not smiled or laughed like she should.

After that visit, Mommy #3 took me away. I guess I must have done something bad, but I don’t know what. Was it a bad thing not to smile or laugh? She took me to a place where other little kids were. People in white clothes seemed to want to poke things at me or in my backside. That hurt!

Now I don’t know what’s going to happen next. The people in white clothes tell Mommy #3 I may have a thing called Autism or ADHD. I didn’t like those ugly words, they made me feel different. I hated the ADHD pills.

Mommy #3 and Daddy started to treat me differently. I didn’t think they liked me, so I decided I didn’t like them either. I wanted no part of them. I didn’t plan to be a brat, but I guess I was.

I liked meeting new people at the park or at a thing called church. When I was old enough, I went to a thing called preschool. I loved it, but I didn’t want to do the things that these old people called teachers wanted me to.

Mommy #3 and Daddy could not figure out why I behaved like I did. They took me to what they called a child psychologist. They told this person what I was doing and agreed to allow me to be given some tests. After the tests, the psych person told my ‘parents” that I had PTSD and possibly Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD). I did not have Autism or ADHD – Yay! I was so glad, no more pills.

This confused my parents. How could Molly have those things? I wish I could tell them. It all started with Mommy #1 and it just went from bad to worse with each change of caretakers.

I really wanted to tell them, but big people don’t know what kids feel. Kids learn very quickly that those big people don’t want to know what went on in a kid’s life before they were adopted.

I’ve heard that other adopted kids have even more reasons to have PTSD. They’ve been treated in ugly ways, left abandoned in odd places or almost killed by people that should have loved them.

My wish for everyone who experiences PTSD and RAD is that you will find a family that will understand your needs and will love you. I hope this for me too.

Love, Molly

My Adoption Life – Heart and Hands

(For families with RAD kids and are struggling, there are resources that you might not be aware of. I’d love to help you. My email is

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Ann Lamphere, MSW

One response to “PTSD and RAD From a Kid’s Point of View”

  1. Having read this I thought it was rather informative. I appreciate you finding the time and energy to put this information together. I once again find myself spending a lot of time both reading and commenting. But so what, it was still worthwhile!

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