I took a chance yesterday in posting about my son. I knew I was doing that when I hit the publish button. I can’t say I regret posting about the issues we are having (and it is WE not just him) but it is hard getting flamed on what I wrote. Maybe there is a line in being authentic. Maybe this was best left to a private journal. I don’t know though- and it is too late to take it out of the universe.
What I do know is that by telling this story I had many people contact me. Most were supportive. Many could relate in one way or another having experienced similar issues with a child, friend, or family member. Some had suggestions and pointed to some therapies that might be helpful. Many gave me stories of success.
I found my blog posted on some site I never heard of with people flaming me and calling me a bad mother. I know these people don’t know me as many of you reading this don’t know me- so you don’t really know if I am a bad mother or not. I am honest and I am definitely not perfect. I am flawed and many times i am at a loss for answers. Maybe I am a bad mother- but I love my kids and i want to help them. For the few that flamed me there were many who were supportive. Why do the flames hurt so much? I don’t want to second guess my writing but i suppose any writer will do that from time to time. I have wanted to be open in my writing bc there are so many people who hide behind the fear that putting truth out there makes them a bad human. I am only human and I am not perfect.
My child has issues that is a fact and unless you have lived with the issues it is hard to relate to them. I want to get help for him and for us. I am glad that someone reminded me about attachment disorders and I began looking at that. I am glad someone pointed me to neurofeedback, I am glad that a few moms who have been dealing with serious child issues opened up to me and we made a connection of support, my church is looking into starting a parent support group. The book below was recommended to me and I have purchased it and look forward to reading about it. These are all good things that come out of my sharing something that is very hard to discuss.
I sat down to talk with my son last night. I encouraged him to open up. I explained my feelings and my hopes for him. I have done this many times and I feel that if I keep saying these things maybe some will stick. I told him I wrote about our struggles. I read him some of the post. I think maybe for the first time hearing my words that i wrote down he realized that his dad and i aren’t just pissed off parents we are genuinely frustrated because we are at a loss on how to help him. I think he understood we are hurt and scared. He was not upset at all that I posted this and I told him lots of people want to help. I am not sure he wants help-yet. It is hard for him to talk and be open but he did a little last night. What will change the behaviors? I am not sure but what I do know is that doors were opened yesterday that can help us learn to deal with the issues and to cope better.
It takes a village they say and in creating a village of support I believe that hope is restored. Yesterday I had little hope and was feeling alone and isolated. Today I have renewed hope for my son and our family. Maybe many people would never write such an open blog about their struggles and their sons struggles but for me it felt like something i was supposed to do. It hurts being called a bad mother and crazy and psycho – but I know where my words came from. They are from the heart and the longing to help guide a troubled child to become a caring and capable adult. Maybe that is flawed love – but it is love. Thanks for reading…
10 thoughts on “Taking Chances”
Anne – I wish I could give you a hug. It’s easy for others to judge & write those flames because they are not, nor have they, walked in your shoes. Before I had kids (& when mine were little), I was guilty of thinking things like “oh, if that were my kid, I’d…” “she should do this/that…” ” I would never…” – then, I realized, every situation is different. The personalities involved make things even more different. I realized that I really don’t know how I would act/think in anyone else’s situation. Those flames would not be there if more people could be sympathetic and not judgmental. I’m going to guess that there are some out there (even if it is just one) that read your blog, who is going through a very similar situation, and was comforted & encouraged to know they are not alone and they are not a horrible mom.
To all those who flamed you – get a life! Anne is a wonderful & loving mother and her family is truly blessed to have her as Mom.
Tune out the haters. They don’t know. You know. And the rest of us care. Nothing else matters.
Thank you Tom:)
Anne don’t listen to people who spew hatred. You wrote beautifully and honestly about your son. Those people need to walk a mile in your shoes. You love your son and you are struggling because you want what’s best for him. Hang in there and ignore the FB nuts
Thank you Eileen:)
Bless you and bless all in your family! Years ago these kinds of situations were always hush, hushed up ! Having a sibling with problems it can play havoc in a family…we all have been affected by the dynamics. I applaud you in your openness, and your genuine effort each day to move on with the hopes of ” things” getting better on so many plains… It takes enormous energy and tireless , relentless effort ! Surround yourself with positive energy…forge ahead with knowledge like you are..do not let the ” flamers ” add negatives in your life..little do they understand. Capture each little baby steps you can..I pray that your son will be able to make progress in little ways that will make big differences..
Hopefully you are finding lots of great resources on your son. Let me look down the road from you, keeping in mind I don’t know the specifics of your family.
At 14, a RAD child is hard to reach. As you know with the sexualization, they are close to adulthood. Your RAD seems relatively well-behaved other than the issue over porn. Because of this, you can rest assured that he feels he has control over the household and the rest of his world (teachers, therapists). He will feel that everyone has been basically successfully managed and he is running things to his preferences, otherwise you would have a real war on your hands.
An unreached RAD has absolutely no interest in bonding with you. He will listen patiently to your attempts to talk things over, because he knows this makes you feel like you are actively parenting, and it keeps the status quo going. But it will bounce off completely. There will be no internalization. You can do this as many times as you please and it will be talking to a wall. All he will be concerned about is how to work around you.
If you do take your RAD to a therapist who understands RAD and can’t be manipulated, chances are strong you will have a huge fight to get him back for a second visit. It is extremely hard to force a 14 year old to do something they are passionately set against.
You may, because of his age, find that the graceful thing to do is accept that you have a child who does not have any bonds to you or the family, but who needs a home until he can manage on his own, without fighting this fight to reach him when he is so grown. You have done him a great, great service by doing this for him all these years and you should be tremendously proud of it. It may be much easier for you to accept that he wants to consume porn and simply ask that it not be allowed to affect the family in any other way (no using other people’s devices or leaving things up where other kids can run across it). Chances are he’d be happy to comply with this. If this is the only real source of conflict you have with him right now, you may find huge peace of mind in simply letting that go until he’s of age to live independently.
Just some thoughts in hopes you may find them helpful in some small way. Hope you are having a restful weekend.
And one more thing … most parents don’t realize that their love is conditioned on having a reciprocal bond with the child. It is very hard to love a child who does not and may never love you even slightly, who may only feel resentful of you, no matter what you have done for that child. It is really, really hard to look at that directly and accept the situation. It’s much harder than what most parents are ever called on to do.
You don’t have to love a child who can’t bond with you, but you’ve been giving him tremendous kindness by allowing him to live inside a healthy family and not a war-torn orphanage. You can continue to perform this tremendous act of grace that’s so much more than most people will be able to understand or imagine. Then you can let “Ozzie” off the hook, as he never asked to born into such extreme conditions that he could not bond with anyone, and you can let yourself completely off the hook for not feeling what you think a parent ought to feel. This is a lot of grace you might be able to give yourself and him.