I am so excited to announce that I have a podcast that just was posted. It’s about my experience with my Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD) child, Kara. There’s also going to be a second podcast about Wasatch Adoptions Second Chance for Kids adoption program that I have been the social worker since it’s inception, over 11 years.
I’m putting this information out so it will reach as many people as possible. RAD is such a strange phenomenon and very few professionals have seen cases of it. Those of us who have lived with a RAD child know how damaging to families their behaviors are.
If you get a chance to listen to the podcast, I’d love to hear from you. My email is email@example.com
Here’s a link to the podcast.it. Social Media Link:
Reactive Attachment Disorder or RAD, as those of us in the know call it, has been on my mind a lot lately. I’m working on a RAD course to instruct professionals how to treat families of RAD kids.
I’ve been reading articles and web pages till my head hurts. I’m surprised I’m not dreaming about kids with RAD behaviors. I think I’ve opened a can of worms, at least I feel something crawling around in my brain. LOL
One thing I did find out that I’m willing to bet none of you know. There are two attachment disorders and I’m not talking about the clinical diagnosis of “inhibited and Disinhibited.” I’m talking about RAD and AD or simply attachment disorder.
Differentiating between the two is a bit amusing. The AD has more symptoms than the RAD. Oh, anything and everything is dumped into the AD diagnosis. I think I counted over 100 behaviors that the “professionals” call AD.
RAD has much more stringent behaviors. These include unable to be comforted, lack of connection with caregivers. I saw a post from the Cleveland Clinic dated 2018 about RAD and I’m posting it below:
What is reactive attachment disorder (RAD)?
Reactive attachment disorder (RAD) is a condition in which an infant or young child does not form a secure, healthy emotional bond with his or her primary caretakers (parental figures).
Children with RAD often have trouble managing their emotions. They struggle to form meaningful connections with other people. Children with RAD rarely seek or show signs of comfort and may seem almost fearful of their caretakers, even in situations where the current parent figures seem quite loving and caring. These children are often irritable or sad, and may report feeling unsafe and/or alone.
Who is likely to have reactive attachment disorder (RAD)?
Reactive attachment disorder is most common among children between 9 months and 5 years who have experienced physical or emotional neglect or abuse. While not as common, older children can also have RAD since RAD sometimes can be misdiagnosed as other behavioral or emotional difficulties. Children may be more likely to develop RAD if they:
Have had many different foster care providers or spent time in an orphanage
Were taken away from primary caretakers after forming a healthy bond
Have had multiple traumatic losses early in life
If you want to see more of the RAD vs. AD diagnoses check out the Cleveland Clinic review of a 2018 report.
My child had RAD and there’s no doubt. She started out with trauma and just kept having traumatic things happen to her. There have been times when I felt that she was a magnet for bad things. Most of which probably weren’t her fault, they just kept happening. It started in Chittagong, Bangladesh, continued in Calcutta, India, was reinforced in Utah, and finally in Arizona.
She was never diagnosed with anything specific, but knowing her background once she felt safe enough to tell me her history, I can confirm that she has RAD. She still has RAD and she just turned legally 51; you have to know the judge in India gave her a birthday of February 16 (the day she went to court) and said she looked 10 Years old, so her birthday became February 16, 1970.
I always say her age as legally, because we know she had to be 3 or 4 years older when she came. It was a fluke of an adoption story. If you want to read the whole crazy story of my daughter’s adoption, you can read find it in my book “My Adoption Life: Living with a Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD) Child” on Amazon.
FYI: I’m doing a podcast that will be live on Tuesday. I’ll be making the announcement that day, when it will be available and where you can find it to listen to it.
As a parent of a RAD child, I’ve had a bit of experience with something I realized hasn’t been discussed very often with RAD parents. Systemic racism.
Parents who have adopted children from Asian, African, Haitian countries, as well as African American and Hispanic from foster care need to be aware that professionals may have unresolved issues with different races.
I have had my run ins with police and a judge. I even had one with a teacher. I just never realized how race could have been a subtle underlying issue. But, going back over my life with a daughter from India who was actually darker than most black children, I realized that I was just fine with my daughter’s color, but others probably not so much.
When my daughter was raped in the hospital after having given birth less than 12 hours previously, the police didn’t bother looking for the perpetrator, he investigated my child. My question has always been WHY!
My daughter was arrested for stealing $2.99 from a store. When we went to court, the judge attacked me. I fought back and didn’t accept his decision that I was at fault. I later learned that this particular judge blamed the parents of adopted children all the time.
Another time a teacher allowed a kid in her class to bully my daughter and this kid was calling her derogatory terms related to black children. I demanded a meeting with the kid’s parents. The dad showed up, all 6 foot three and very belligerent. I’m 5 feet tall, but my mother instinct took over and with a little bit of calling out his teaching his child bad behavior, he wilted like most bullies. The teacher paid no attention to the situation.
All of the above are what adoptive parents need to be on guard against. Parents of colored RAD kids probably experience the subtle racism more than parents with normal kids.
Parents of RAD kids, I could use your help. If you have experienced any racism from any professional, I would love to hear from you. I don’t need names, just info on the situation and the type of professional, i.e., teachers, police, therapists, or any other. You can message me on Facebook or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
That may sound like someone who has given up on their child. Those parents, like myself, have some reasons or concerns about raising these children to adulthood.
I’m not a violent person, but I could hardly contain myself because of my RAD daughter attacking me or another person I cared for. How could I expect anything else from my clients?
How do we reach these RAD kids and teach them right from wrong? This is a process that takes enormous patience. I think parents who work slowly but surely to reach the depth of the child’s issues are incredible. I couldn’t do it and most people who finally reach the point of understanding RAD are too exhausted to even try.
I’m not writing this blog to condemn any Parent of a RAD child. I’ve spent too many years trying to survive my child. I just want to give my RAD parents a different perspective.
The other day a woman wrote me an email describing how she is working with her RAD son. She described in detail what worked and what didn’t work with him. She said instead of lying about everything he is now just doing regular kid’s stuff lying.
Here’s is what she has been doing to reach where she is today:
“My strategy is based on TRUTH. Truth is a foundation you can build on. As I have told my son even if the truth sounds bad or nasty to you it is the place to start and I will never get mad at you for telling the truth. Lies will have consequences. ”
“Circling the wagons after every difficult moment. After we have had a blow up. Him or me…….and trust me I have blown up. Not a good parenting strategy. a human failing when faced with a no-win situation when the answer is not only visible but touchable and your son will not go near it. What I mean is after the blow up we go over it step by step. How he felt, why he felt, how I felt, why I felt, was what I asked him to do hard, painful, mean? Then talk about ways to work through this in the future that would benefit us both. A lot of circling the wagon is reminding everyone we start again. This does not change love. It does affect relationships.”
“Before an incident I have made sure that he knew expectations. He could give a verbatim of all expectations. He agreed nothing was hard or unreasonable. This did not stop him from doing it again, but he did it knowing it was because he chose to and he did not get out of it by not understanding or unclear expectations.”
“I am vigilant about in the moment lessons on how he relates to others, hurts others, what might hurt others and why. It’s because he just does not give it a thought. I am vigilant about the rules not changing. I will confront him.”
“He went from not being able to tell me why he did something to offering an answer. The only answer I did not accept was that he did not have one. He wanted me to believe he had a blank space in his head. I told him it was impossible.”
“I hold him to a higher standard than he will hold himself. (because he will hold to the lowest common denominator) because I see who he can be and I see the kid who he is becoming popping out. I let him know. I don’t think I let him know often enough. I am not perfect. I am just trying to be what he needs, not what he wants, which is someone to leave him be.”
“Why am I telling you this? Because what I read about RAD is a lot of no hope. I understand I have not lived the worst case, but I have spent my time in PTSD over it and had I listened to most of the commentary I would have lost a son and have no hope. I refuse to lose my son over this. I can see how families get destroyed.”
“I have listened to Nurtured Heart, etc. all with good points of care but no one takes the tough line and incorporates the immoveable boundaries that are for their physical and emotional safety because somehow that is unloving. It is unloving to allow them to believe the lies their heart is telling them, it is unloving to not expect them be responsible, it is unloving to not show them how to feel, how to respond, how to behave, how to think of others.”
“Every obstacle we have faced I employed strategies to overcome them. Most didn’t work, but I kept at it until something stuck. Some strategies that didn’t work, work now. Not all of the strategies were to change him……..a lot were to change me and how I thought.”
From my perspective, this is a long-term strategy and it isn’t for everyone. But she does make a good point, these RAD kids consider themselves unlovable and feel the only person they can trust is themselves.
The writer didn’t feel extraordinary, but I believe she is. I thank her for being someone who found a route to her child’s life and future.
A previous client of mine responded to my blog post. Here’s what she said, “Great resources. There are so few out there. And finding local help was never going to happen. We had no idea what RAD was and it ended up breaking our family. People don’t understand. I hope and pray that you can work toward helping professionals and families find the right programs and resources.”
Here’s what I relied to her: “Thank you. I’m getting ready to retire and I’m feeling the urge to get families and professionals to understand that the RAD diagnosis is real and that some social workers and judges unknowingly cause the kids’ trauma. I think I’m going to need an “army of people” to convince the public and lawmakers that there needs to be changes to protect the kids from the protectors. I can’t do much for international adoptions, but I’m thinking of doing a course for adopting families to try and prepare them for what to expect.
My client replied, “If you need help designing the course at all, that’s what I do for a living. Write courses for people by working with a SME. I would love to help.”
Since I haven’t written a course in about 20 years, I definitely will work with her. Hopefully we can get this course completed in the next month.
I would love anyone’s input about your experiences with RAD and any odd behaviors your children had. My email is: email@example.com. All info will be confidential.
Please see the previous blog to review the available resources.
Today I want to offer some programs that help parents with adopted RAD children. I’ve checked out some Face Book RAD groups. I hate to say it, but some of the groups have less than 5 members. I know the families must be hurting because there are so many of these small groups.
I’d really like to know how to reach all these groups and let them know they’re not alone. I’m pretty sure I’m not the only professional with a RAD kid. I think we should all get together and share our support information.
What I’ve found out is that there are child therapists telling families RAD does not exist. It is not a proper diagnosis!
Since I have had approximately 400-500 family clients who have a child diagnosed with RAD by a clinical psychologist or psychiatrist in the last 11 years, I think we need to inform professionals to get over their prejudices.
I am very proactive to get the correct diagnosis for our families’ children. As most parents know, ADHD is usually the child’s first diagnosis and the kid gets a drug to control it. Those drugs don’t usually work. Surprise, surprise!!
Until I can get my dream for RAD kids getting the correct diagnosis and help, I think getting parents of RAD kids on the same page and be super supportive of each other is really important.
Here is a list of parent groups, podcasts and a couple of blogs to begin with. If any of my readers have other contacts, podcasts or blogs, please let me know and I’ll develop a comprehensive list and try to update it regularly.
Reactive Attachment Disorder (that’s the group name)
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?
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.
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.
(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 firstname.lastname@example.org.)
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Isn’t that a dumb question? Has it happened to you? Cause it’s happened to me.
I can honestly say no one would ever diagnose me with PTSD and that is a problem. Why do I think this? For one thing my best friend of over 35 years was a Licensed Clinical Social Worker at the VA hospital counseling Vietnam veterans diagnosed with PTSD. She didn’t recognize my PTSD for what it was.
Talking to her a couple of years ago, I said, “I really think I have PTSD.” I had just had a short conversation with my daughter, Kara, who is in prison. We reviewed all that occurred with Kara and her criminal husband. My friend exclaimed “Of course you do!” I have PTSD!!!
I read this article this morning. “10 Symptoms of PTSD” by Amanda Gardner from Health.com
Updated March 13, 2021 (This is how current this information is.)
I’m going to comment on which ones of these 10 symptoms I have experienced since I adopted my daughter in 1980. If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, know that this is NOT YOUR FAULT. I cannot emphasize this enough. Also look at your child’s behaviors and know that they may have experienced major trauma and cannot express why or who did it to them.
PTSD signs and symptoms
The concept of Post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) has been with us for centuries but has had many names. It was “shell shock” and “battle fatigue” before it was PTSD and is now known to affect not just military veterans but anyone who has gone through an intense traumatic experience. In fact, about one in 11 people will have PTSD in their lifetime, according to the American Psychiatric Association.
While anxiety symptoms are a huge part of PTSD, they’re not the whole picture. People with PTSD often suffer from depression, negative thoughts, and impulsive or self-destructive behaviors as well. (These are some of the things our kids do.)
“With proper treatment, veterans and all Americans can lead happy, whole, healthy lives with PTSD,” says Emily Blair, manager of military and veterans’ policy at the National Alliance on Mental Illness. Here are the signs and symptoms to watch for.
Experiencing or witnessing a life-threatening event
PTSD can strike anyone who has gone through a life-threatening event. That means not just war, but sexual assault, natural disasters like earthquakes or hurricanes, mass shootings, motor vehicle accidents, and more. (The more is in the case of children who experience multiple placements or physical and mental abuse, or have orphanage abuse never disclosed to adopting families.)
“There has to be exposure to some sort of very extreme type of horrible event,” says Jack Nitschke, PhD, associate professor of psychiatry and psychology at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health. “Something has to happen in the external world.” (Exposure to long term mental or physical abuse can cause PTSD as well.)
Not everyone who has gone through trauma will develop PTSD.
Alternately, for some people, learning about violence or tragedy that happened to someone else–like the murder of a family member or friend–can lead to the disorder. (Trust me dealing with a Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD) child can cause PTSD because of their unusual, disruptive behaviors.)
Flashbacks and unwanted, intrusive memories are known as “re-experiencing symptoms,” which can make a trauma survivor feel like they are reliving the traumatic event. Smells, sights, and sounds–like a car backfiring, the whirring of a helicopter, or a news report–can all trigger flashbacks.
“Those [triggers] go to the deep part of your brain. Your instincts take over,” says Elspeth Cameron Ritchie, MD, MPH, a retired military psychiatrist. (Those of us living with long-term PTSD know the triggers well.)
Flashbacks are among the best-known symptoms of PTSD but nightmares–one of many reasons people with PTSD often have poor sleep–are actually more common. (I have those dreams frequently.)
Nightmares or upsetting dreams about the traumatic event are also considered re-experiencing symptoms, since they can make people with PTSD feel like they are back in the time and place of their trauma.
Nightmares and other re-experiencing symptoms can sometimes be triggered by a person’s own thoughts or certain words. (Since writing my book, I’ve had difficulties sleeping and dealing with life right now.)
Avoiding people, places, or things
Many people with PTSD go out of their way to avoid anything that reminds them of the original trauma or could be a trigger. For example, someone with PTSD might stop driving after a car accident or avoid watching movies about hurricanes if they’ve been through one. (I’ve had to quit speaking with my daughter because of my physical reactions that I cannot stop having.)
This avoidance can become broader than a specific person or setting, says Nitschke. “If someone has been a victim of sexual assault, not only do they avoid that person who might still be at their university, but they might avoid men altogether, avoid going to classes,” he says. “They become immobilized.”
In some cases, avoidance takes the form of emotional numbing. Some people with PTSD might refuse to think or talk about the trauma, instead finding distractions in activities or alcohol or drugs, according to the American Psychological Association. (I don’t drink or do drugs – I look for food of the sweet or salty kind.)
Being constantly on the lookout for threats
This PTSD symptom is called hypervigilance. “You’re scanning the environment all the time,” says Dr. Ritchie, or on high alert constantly.
That might mean always sitting with your back to the wall in restaurants or lecture halls so you can see everyone and everything taking place in front of you.
“They don’t want anyone sneaking behind them,” says Sonya Norman, PhD, director of the PTSD consultation program at the National Center for PTSD and psychiatry professor at the University of California San Diego. “They want to be ready to respond.” (I can honestly say this not one of my reactions.)
Like nightmares, this heightened awareness can contribute to sleep problems in people with PTSD. Falling asleep and staying asleep can be more difficult if any small noise or change wakes you up. (This has been my life for 40+ years.)
Getting startled easily
This symptom, sometimes called hyperarousal, is closely related to hypervigilance. People with PTSD often have an exaggerated reaction when they’re surprised or startled, especially if the intrusion–a sound, smell, noise, or sight–reminds them of the original trauma.
“Somebody comes up close behind you and you jump a mile,” Nitschke explains. “Before the trauma, you wouldn’t have. Hyperarousal can interfere with sleep and concentration, and it may also come out as outbursts of anger, he adds. (This one describes some behaviors the kids have.)
Startling easily is a distinctive feature of PTSD; it’s not such a prominent symptom of other anxiety-related disorders.
Depression or irritability
Since 2013, the diagnostic criteria for PTSD have included mood-related symptoms like, depression. anger, guilt, shame, and hopelessness about the future.
“These aren’t necessarily unique to PTSD, but I think there’s a change after the trauma,” says Norman. “Because of what they saw or what they did, or [because] they couldn’t save the day, they feel a lot of guilt. It’s very common to overestimate how much control they had and blame themselves.” (This describes most adoptive parents of RAD kids.)
Those emotions can lead to negative beliefs about yourself, like “It was my fault” or “If I hadn’t taken that one drink,” Nitschke says. (I always try to help my clients understand they are not at fault for their child’s behaviors. I recommend placing the blame on the ones who damaged their child before he or she was placed with them.)
Soldiers may feel prepared for some of what they experience in war, but no one is “prepared” for a trauma like sexual assault. “[Sexual assault survivors] often feel very vulnerable and ashamed,” says Dr. Ritchie. “They feel that they have contributed to it in some way.
(It’s important to be empathetic to a victim of sexual abuse. If a child has been in an orphanage where there are older children, that child, girl or boy, may have been subjected to sexual abuse.)
Not everyone with PTSD has chronic pain, and not everyone with chronic pain has PTSD, but the two conditions do overlap. Between 15% and 35% of people with chronic pain also have PTSD, according to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. (I have had chronic pain for a long time.)
“We don’t fully understand the relationship,” says Norman. “Having your stress level in ‘turbo’ nonstop might just wear down your body after a while.” The trauma itself can also cause pain: headaches from a brain injury, or back pain from a spinal injury, for example.
But even removing physical causes from the equation, there does seem to be a higher level of chronic pain in people with PTSD than without. “This suggests that there [may be] some common neurobiological pathways,” says Norman. “We don’t know for sure.”
In addition to pain, people with PTSD might experience other physical symptoms, like those of panic: Your heart races, you sweat, your blood pressure goes up, and your muscles are tense. (This happens to me all the time.)
Some people get dizzy, develop blurry vision, or hear ringing in their ears. It’s not that common, but some people with PTSD feel nauseous or even vomit in response to certain triggers, like a specific smell, says Norman.
Having PTSD is also linked with a higher risk of certain physical conditions down the line, including diabetes, heart disease (especially high blood pressure), and immune, digestive, and sleep disorders. (My blood pressure has spiked a bit with the completion of my book.)
Symptoms that last longer than a month
When these symptoms last only a few weeks after trauma, it’s usually called acute stress disorder or ASD. If the symptoms last more than a month, they’re more likely to be PTSD. In both cases, medical problems, as well as drug or alcohol abuse, must be ruled out as underlying causes of these symptoms.
ASD often comes before PTSD, but not always. Symptoms of PTSD can appear immediately following a traumatic event, or they can appear weeks, months, or even years afterward.
PTSD can also come and go. “In many people, you’ve got chronic symptoms that wax and wane,” says Dr. Ritchie. “In some people, they go away and in others they stay bad.”
Anyone with symptoms that last longer than a month should talk to a doctor or mental health professional about what they’re experiencing. Talk therapy, medications, or both can often help alleviate PTSD symptoms.
(I have to say talking about my PTSD has made it harder for me, but I can no longer say silent about my situation. I hope people with RAD kids will understand they are not alone and there is support for them, I’M ONE OF THOSE PEOPLE.)
Forty years ago I adopted a girl from India who came with an incredibly bad case of Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD). I have lived with her recurring trauma ever since. I have PTSD, but I haven’t let it rule my life. What I’ve done is turn my life around and become an advocate for every child whose first adoptive placement hasn’t worked out.
I have a Master’s degree in Social Work from the University of Utah:
25 years in adoptions
9 years adoption agency director
3 years college instructor
2 adoption books written
The last 11 years I have been the main social worker for Wasatch International Adoptions’ Second Chance for Kids program. We work with families of RAD kids to legally find new homes for them. I have taught college and adoption courses.
Activities I enjoy outside of work are genealogy studies, reading biographies, researching on the internet and writing.
Crisis memories can be difficult to revisit because of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. I often have my PTSD triggered after doing intake calls of clients who have children with Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD). I had a RAD kid and my life was turned upside down.
I have to write reports on the parents and their children. I almost always give myself a day between the intake calls and doing the reports. That day off helps me get settled and be able to finish the paperwork without too much stress. I have been doing this for 11 years.
Unless people know me well, no one ever really understands what has transpired with me and my daughter. Neither professionals nor adoptive parents with “normal” adopted children can understand what our RAD children do to us.
Writing this blog has helped me come face to face with all the issues of my RAD child. She was a victim of trauma before she came to me and then other trauma kept occurring after her arrival.
I’m attaching a previous post that I’ve used in my book “My Adoption Life” as an example of her on-going trauma issues.
INTRO TO “MY ADOPTION LIFE”
The phone call at 4:00am jarred me awake. It was a nurse calling to tell me my 12 year old adopted daughter, who had given birth to a baby girl the day before, had been raped in the hospital. How could this happen? Aren’t hospitals supposed to be safe places?
I raced to the hospital. The place was swarming with police. One of them explained what was known at this time, Kara was exhausted and sound asleep when an unknown person woke her up and threatened her with a knife; he then raped her and told her not to tell anyone or he’d come back and use the knife on her. She waited for about an hour, she thinks, and then called a nurse.
It was January 8, 1983. Kara had been in the United States since June 13, 1980. She was born in a small East Indian town close to Calcutta, India. I adopted her as a single woman. The only thing we knew at the time was that she had run away from home and landed in a Calcutta Jail because all the available orphanages were full.
A police officer took Kara and me to the Primary Children’s Hospital clear across town because she was under age 13, even though she was probably closer to 15, we had no idea when she was born. A volunteer from the Rape Crisis Center came to assist us with obtaining a rape kit. Once the kit was done, the police officer drove us back to the original hospital.
About three days later, the same police officer called me and confirmed that she had indeed been raped. He came out and interviewed her and me. He had his suspicions that Kara had known her attacker and had consensual sex with him. After giving birth less than 12 hours before, give me a break!!!!
To read the whole story, please check out my book. Right now it’s on sale for $.99 on Amazon. After March 15, 2021 it will go back up to $2.99. The paperback sells for $5.99.