Friday, July 30, 2010

Family Reactive Attachment Dance


Yesterday I was working on a better understanding of working with the issues of Reactive Attachment Disorder in our little family with special needs.
;This morning Dash and I went to walk around the block in the rain. We had a little pained issue yesterday of a parent rejecting Dove and only accepting Dash as a playmate for her son. Now Dove had done nothing evil or wrong. She and the kids play "momma...and baby dash and baby 'b'." Well the grandma instead of speaking with me told the boy of the issue she had that Dove was hugging him too much. Now Dove truly is innocent of ANY misconduct. It is simply the appearance of a 13 yr old acting like a 6-8 yr old. That's my girl and the grandma knows that she is special needs. I will make efforts to speak with her today.


Made me think to look over the RAD issues for the kids. I did a post over here at A Life Restored blog on the RAD issues in adulthood. Living with this in my own self has been a devastating issue for me when it comes to feeling safe in this world.


safety
sense of self
affiliation
mission
competency


These steps to self esteem are as vital in the human development as breathing. It is living verses existing. RAD leaves the unattached or under attached human broken. Unable to live life to their full potential. Having looked at this issue for all of my little family every individual shows evidence of a bit of RAD is in each of our lives. This leaves me to ponder how many many of us have attachment wounds from our childhoods. If then we fail to acknowledge the effects that we have within the core family unit we might find ourselves blaming, getting angry and frustrated with each other. "whats his problem?" when the problem is the dance between us. The reactions we are having toward each other stymies the proper or effective response.


This morning it was amazing the difference that a bit more understanding gave to me. When my kids are say...chattering nonsensically it can get on my nerves sometime. The old norm was to feel bad for the kid thinking that I need to muster some greater patience. Then after worn by it I would become agitated and annoyed resulting in a shorter temper and stress. When the thing that works best is to just openly verbally acknowledge to him that the insecurity is causing his behavior. Then to help him feel more secure and stop the chatter by calling it what it is and giving them insight. Comforting the sense of a loss of or fear of a loss  of attachment.


Today I spent 2 hours walking in the rain and giving him all the supportive loving attention I could muster. Sitting on the bench in the rain wrapped up in blankets he regressed and was a little boy comforted in his mothers arms caressed within my smiles.


When we came home the chatter chatter chatter began and I could feel the stress mounting as I put the ridiculous expectations of supper human patience upon myself. It finally dawned on me well...I turned to reason. Understanding is the beginning of knowledge. So I gave Dash understanding.


"are you feeling insecure" I asked him.
"yes".  He replied. "
"I can tell because your chattering. I want you to know that we will work through the issues son. Right now I can feel stress building and I need to ask you to let me have some time to my own thoughts and stop chattering.
Your safe I love you."

He stopped chattering, and after a few minutes got into a scuffle with Dove. The insecurity was then turned into inappropriate anger at his sister. We spoke about how each of them feel and identified the root of the hard feelings. Kids need open conversation.


Now if both kids were real strong in the INTENSE ANGER/loss I would not have it so easy.  My husband tends to be this way though and it has been very hard to understand. My low esteem over esteeming him has lead me to the crazies at times. Understanding however reveled that we are just really polar in our attachment responses. Now I think to varying degrees most folks experience these things. Some who have had adoption, or abandonment issues are more so. 
I think that in many ways that this is the
generational stuff 
 or at least a part of it that the scriptures speak of. 
It is also of course made more intense by the traumas of youth/life.
Adoptions and or abuse just intensify it.
Perhaps you might find it interesting the interplay of cause and effect. It is pulled up and forced out as the folks interact. An intense anger/ loss person can easily make a anxious/ambivalent person knee jerk. Plays both ways. This is why it is so important to pull that old log out of our own eye if we are trying to pull splinters out of an others eye. Vision is clearer when understanding begins knowledge and wisdom soon prevails.


Intense anger and loss now all of this is to varying degrees and circumstances it is generational.
Dad, me  =Critical of others
Dash  =Sensitive to blame
Dad (much improved over the years)  =Lack of empathy
Dad,Me =Views others as untrustworthy
Dad, Me =Views others as undependable
Dad, me Dove and Dash =Views self as unlovable or "too good" for others
Dad, me, kids ?   =Relationships feel either threatening to one's sense of control,not worth the effort, or both
Dad,Dash, Me, Dove  =Compulsive self-reliance
Dad, Me,  Dove  =Passive withdrawal
Dad   =Low levels of perceived support small
Work alone part, both Dad and I = often preferring to work alone
Dad,Me  =Work may provide a good excuse to avoid personal relations
Dad and me, kids ?=Fear of closeness in relationships
Dad, Dove =Avoidance of intimacy
Dad  =Unlikely to idealize the love relationship
Dad, Dash =Tendency toward Introjective depression (self critical)
ANXIOUS/AMBIVALENT
Me, Dash, Dove  =Compulsive Care giving
Me =Feel over involved and under appreciated
Me, Dove =Rapid relationship breakups
Me, Dove   =Idealizing of others
Me, Dove  =Strong desire for partner to reciprocate in relationship
Me, Dash   =Desire for extensive contact and declarations of affections
Me, Dove   =Over invests his/her emotions in a relationship
Me   =Perceives relationships as imbalanced
Me, Dove  =Relationship is idealized
Me, Dove   =Preoccupation with relationship
Me, Dove  =Dependence on relationship
Me, Dove  =Heavy reliance on partner
Me   =Views partner as desirable but unpredictable (sometimes available, sometimes not)
Me   =Perceives others as difficult to understand
Me, Dove, Dash   =Relationship is primary method by which one can experience a sense of security
Me, Dad   =Unlikely to view others as altruistic(Unselfish concern for the welfare of others; selflessness.)
Me, Dove   =Sensitive to rejection
Me, Dove   =Discomfort with anger
Me at one time, DOVE big time, Dash   =Extreme emotions
nope was long ago though=Jealous
Me   =Possessive
Me once long ago   =Views self as unlovable
Me   =Suicide attempts
Me   =Mood swings
Me, Dove   =Tendency toward analytic depression (dependent depression)
  All of these things have greatly improved many have now vanished over many many years of working the process through recovery. So free from so much over the years hard won. We can go and change RAD is not an unrecoverable condition. It is a place to start healing from the wounds of life.

Hope you find this helpful in your own lives as I have in my role here as Mother of two special needs kids. A mother who herself has her own special needs.

3 comments:

Susie said...

How brave and strong you are to work so hard for your child!

Annette said...

I LOVE YOU !!
Our world is one family better cause of your awesome family! and yes, I have to confess I do have separation anxiety when my Mom is gone away on a trip for very long or if for some reason I dont see John sometime during the day, I call it "Love separation " and I went through it and still am with my brother's passing. Thank for sharing and as for the grandma, I know you'll handle her with class but boy O boy I couldnt, I got all teed off at her just reading that part, tell Miss. Dove if she lived closer to me she could hug me all she wanted to, cause I LOVE HUGS from sweet children, like her and her brother..now if Miss Dove was to be mean to that other child, Ol' granny would have a problem with that one too and that one is understandable, maybe something has happened to the grandma to have her feel this way???? One never knows, uh?

HUGS =) to all
Annette

Denise said...

Praying and loving you.

Older women likewise teach the younger women...

• how to love their husbands
• how to love their children
• how to be self-controlled
• how to be pure
• how to be keepers at home
• how to be kind and submissive (not subservient) to their own husbands. (See Titus 2:3-5)

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