Thursday, March 21, 2013

The Child of Rage

I know this post is going to seem really out of the blue.  Believe me... this news was the same for me too.  I'm still trying to get my thoughts together, so please bear with me.

Where to begin...

The day therapy school that V has been attending has made some very big strides in curbing some of her behaviors.  We have seen (on average) a happier child.  We have seen her think about making a bad decision and stopping herself 2 out of 4 times.  We have seen her stop wetting the bed, and be so proud of herself that she is now sleeping in undies.  But unfortunately...  I can not tell you this has been a magic fix.  I can speak very highly of this therapy center, and recommend them to anyone who is struggling with creating positive behaviors with their child.  But I do have to tell you now, that we were told this morning that the center is not equipped to handle her behaviors, and they feel that we need to find another place for her to be.

You might be blown away by this.  I was, because at our last meeting we were talking about graduating her, and how well she has been doing.  But, she has begun to strip in the time out room, and defecate on the floor.  She then takes her feces and rubs them all over her body.   She has done this at least once a day every day since last Friday.  They thought it was an extinction burst, and that it would be the final acting out that she would do, but they feel now that it is more a psychological reason than just a behavior.  She is so methodical in it.  She also went to see the Wizard of Oz with her daddy this past weekend, and has begun to act out the movie, changing voices to be different characters, and just completely "going off the deep end".  When they try to hold the back of her pants to keep her from stripping, she will then bite, scratch, and hit their arms over the 1/2 door.  It is not a good situation at all.

They feel that V is a "textbook RAD case".  For those of my readers unfamiliar with RAD (Reactive Attachment Disorder), I'll give you my brief understanding of it.  It is so very important for a child to develop a bond with their mother in the weeks after birth.  This bond is imperative because it teaches the child how to love, how to trust, and how to be loved.  Children who do not develop this bond can not truly love, can not truly trust, and are so difficult to be loved.  I know.  You are thinking who couldn't love a child.  I think you can understand how very hard it is when they lie straight faced, when they can not seem to stop themselves from hurting themselves and others, when they have no grasp of empathy, when they cause such havoc in your home, that you begin to dread being in the same space as them.  You can not trust them alone, even though they are 5 and you think you can leave them to play in the living room while you cook dinner, they will begin to harass the animals or even hurt their siblings.  I am exhausted.  M is exhausted.  She can't be left alone.  It is even difficult to be alone with other adults, b/c the child will lie that the adult is hurting her(or other awful things), and can try to get the adult in trouble. 

I am ashamed to admit it, but that is sometimes how I feel about V.  Please don't misconstrue my words.  I love that child with all my heart.  I will NEVER give up on her, and will be her advocate in every way possible.  I have tried so hard, but I can not bond with her, or get her to bond with me.  Because of the RAD.  She is such a difficult child. 

I haven't explained it very well.  I'm so close to the situation that it is so hard for me.  I can give you the links to a movie that will help you to understand.  My V is no where near as violent as the movie accurately portrays this child.  But she has the potential to be because of the RAD.  She does hurt others on a regular basis, but I haven't seen her try to kill anyone.  The movie was originally released by HBO, and it is called Child of Rage.  I recommend that you watch the documentary of actual footage with the little girl before watching the movie, so that you can understand just how accurately it is portrayed. I warn you if you are a very empathetic person this movie does not portray, but does touch upon child abuse/neglect, and the ramifications of it.  I cried when I watched it many years ago, and when I watched it again last night.  So if you can not handle seeing this, don't watch.  But if you want to understand my V better, then by all means watch it.  I think it is good that everyone in the world be educated to what child abuse can do.  The mental and emotional scars are so much deeper than the bruises or broken bones ever go.  The full movie is in 9 parts, and you will have to click the next video to keep watching it on Youtube. 

Child of Rage Documentary (27 mins)

Child of Rage Movie (90 mins)

I am now tasked with trying to get V back into public school for the remainder of the year, even though I know that is not the best place for her.  There is no where else for her to go.  I thought of asking a friend of ours to watch her and we would pay her for the remainder of the school year, but the friend has a very young baby, and I do not trust V around babies.  I have the help of the therapy school, and they are trying to help me get her into the local psych program at our local hospital.  They believe it may be time to medicate, which is something I have tried to avoid.  I know, it works for many children.  I don't fault anyone for deciding to use it.  I just know that the long term effects of many of these drugs on the market now are not known, and I hate to condemn her future due to this.  My heart is very heavy today.

We are trying to get her enrolled in a school that specializes in children on the spectrum disorder.  I was told they specialize in any diagnoses that ends in a D, and autism.  ADD, ADHD, ODD, etc, so they should be able to handle V.  I hope and pray they can. She will not be accepted to this school until September at the earliest.  But I hope to secure next year.

I have to confess to you that I naively believed she may grow out of this.  I am understanding now that it will take a lot for her to grow out of it.  I am understanding that she has a very long road ahead of her, and needs all of the love and support that she can get her hands on.  When I watched the above videos last night, it was all so clear to me.  I never in my wildest dreams imagined that neglect could be worse for a child to recover from than abuse.  I was honestly angrier with my sister when her boyfriend bruised DQ's bottom, than when I would walk in and find V sitting in a nasty high chair that I knew she had been confined to for hours.  Not saying I wasn't angry about that, but I didn't realize back then what that would do to V.  I do now.  In my understanding, I will now say, if you are reading this, and you have a young baby that cries all the time and is difficult to bond with, or if you just don't want to be a parent at this point in your life, and you ignore this child, please please please do the right thing for the baby.  Please either get the help you need to help this colicky infant, or please find someone who will raise this infant for you.  The baby deserves to know how to love, how to be loved, and how to trust.  Please don't ever let this happen to your child.  It is in my opinion almost worse than physical abuse.  I know it might be hard to believe, but it is the bare truth.

If you don't know where to turn, contact me by leaving a comment on this blog with your e-mail.  I will try to help you find help.  I know it is hard to find, it has been hard for me to find.  But it would have been so much better had my sister found help for her children at an early age, than make the decisions she made. I hate for this to happen to any child.

 Aunt TT


  1. I am ready to cry just reading this. From knowing you and the children, my heart breaks as I know it won't get easier and go away. You are amazing though. Please know that. I still believe there can be a good ending some day. Love, your friend in Canada who wishes she could come hug you right now.

  2. I watched that movie years and years ago, but I didn't know that it was a real story. I just watched the documentary.....all I can say is WOW. It's a shame that people can be so unkind and hurtful to an innocent child, and that they do this to them. I hope with everything I've got that |"V" doesn't have that, however, if she does, there is so much that they can do for her! Did you google where Beth is now? She's a neonatal nurse. She is doing so much good for these babies, and she has come out the other side a better person because her adoptive parents were patient and caring and never gave up....see the connection? :0)