The holidays are over for another year, thank God. Christmas has always been a hard time for me since my daughter arrived from India. There have been times when I wish she could have joined in the fun and not be such a brat. I received a Christmas card and an email from her this year. As usual, my PTSD tried to kick in.
I’ve written some of her story in the past. I thought I’d give a little more insight as to what our life was like. She was a difficult child from day one.
We never quite knew what triggered her except she refused to listen to any of our requests to do something or when we told he “No” she couldn’t do what she wanted to do. Her ability to retreat inside herself was so frustrating. She could stay in a catatonic state for up to an hour or more if she felt threatened.
One day after she’d been with me a couple of years, I looked at her from the right angle and said to myself, “If I didn’t know better, I’d say she is pregnant!” A trip to our doctor confirmed it. When he said she was almost six months along, I about fainted.
When they told me, they sent me out of the room so they could ask her who was the father? She told them she didn’t know. They were clueless on children like Kara. She could have had sex with any number of boys. I can hear it now, why was I so in the dark about her behaviors?
She was very good at hiding what she was doing. I had a rule, no one in the house before I came home from work. She later confessed she always did and made sure they left before I was home.
She often played with a girl that lived in our neighborhood and would spend time with her and other kids, mostly boys. I didn’t know this at the time, but the girls were both having sex with the boys.
What would you do as a parent? Do you honestly think it wouldn’t have happened if I’d been able to be a stay-at-home parent? I don’t think so. She was much closer to 14 than the 10 the judge in India said she was when she arrived. In two years, she’d have been closer to 16. Even if I’d been able to be home with her, it could still have happened.
My daughter had Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD) before it became an official diagnosis. The final three months before the baby arrived, we became very close. We had some really fun times and I finally felt she was attaching to me.
We had decided to place the baby for adoption because I knew Kara didn’t have the parenting skills to take care of a baby and I had to work full time. I knew I wasn’t equipped to parent the baby any more than she was.
All was looking good when she gave birth to a baby girl in early January. I expected the hospital to find her a room on the maternity ward, at least that was the plan. In reality, they decided to place her on a surgical ward away from the crying babies, so she wouldn’t feel badly about deciding to place her baby.
I stayed with her until I was kicked out of the hospital at 10:00 PM. I crashed after being awake since 4:00 AM the night before. At 3:00 AM, I received a call from the hospital. My daughter had just been raped in her hospital room.
All the crazy thoughts ran through my mind. “How could this happen? I thought hospitals were safe places.” Obviously, not! With her away from the maternity ward, she was left vulnerable because no one kept check on her.
All the trust and bonding we had been doing prior were all now lost. She had to blame someone and I was target number one. This was something I couldn’t overcome. Her RAD became more intense and let to many outbursts that I kept trying to calm down.
I lost my job because I had to take her to therapy, school, you name it. She had to give a deposition in front of two hospital lawyers who blamed her for inviting the rapist (they called him her boyfriend) to the hospital for sex, after having given birth less than 12 hours before, as I said then, I say now “Give me a break, no woman I know, would ever want sex after just giving birth!”
The hospital finally gave up and awarded her less than $200,000. We couldn’t even touch it. No matter that our house payment was two payments behind and we were living on food stamps. The judge didn’t care, nobody seemed to understand her trauma or mine for that matter.
When our attorney wouldn’t fight for us so we could survive, I lost my temper and wrote a letter to the judge explaining our situation. Our attorney almost had apoplexy. It seems, the judge let him have it for “allowing me to write him.” We did get the money released and into a trust fund. My parents received some funds because they helped us survive. The trustee considered me unworthy of any money. Oh well, both of us survived.
I finally got a good job and we sold our house and moved into an apartment. The next thing I know, she’s sluffing school to be with a cute blond boy. A few weeks later, I realized she was pregnant again. She convinced him that they would get her money when she got married. That didn’t happen, thank God for a trustee.
Kara’s new husband turned out to be a career criminal. Kara often had to go to the trustee to pay for new rental units so they had a place to live, since her husband was always getting them kicked out of their apartments.
I lost track of how many moves they made. The trustee also paid for the birth of each child, there were four – three boys and a girl. Everyone is grown up. The boys have been jailed for petty crimes and the girl is the only one who is making something of her life.
The trustee finally had had it. She bought them a three-bedroom mobile home, paid six-months’ rent on the space and cleaned out the rest of the money in the trust.
For the rest of the story, please check out my blog on Murder and My Adoption Life.
Thanks for reading my blog. Please email me at email@example.com if you have questions about adoption and/or Reactive Attachment Disorder.
N. Ann Lamphere, MSW