Yesterday we were on the road all day. Headed to the airport, caught a flight, flew to a city almost 3 hours from our destination, drove almost 3 hours to said destination, got our son settled in a residential treatment facility and checked him in with the owners (wonderful people 🙂 Very special people. I don’t know how they take care of so many of these RADishes. I haven’t been able to handle the one very well. ), drove back almost 3 hours, caught a very tight flight, drove home, noshed on some hot wings from Zaxby’s and turned in. Extremely long day and my body is testifying to that this morning. I am very physically and emotionally spent and for a variety of reasons.
Here is what is different about this morning. It’s quiet. There is no white noise machine running to keep my son from hearing me so I can shower and get dressed in the morning without his running a muck. It is hard to imagine unless you have a child with RAD but simple things like taking a shower, using the bathroom or just leaving the room are not things you can do on a daily basis without due diligence and planning. I have to get up 2 hours prior to his waking if I want a shower or really accomplish anything without him by my side. To nonchalantly live my life without carefully planning would mean to open up our family to theft, destruction of property, the abuse of our younger child and all sorts of chaos, daily.
So here is what has changed for us, so far:
No white noise machine running.
Younger child can talk rather than whisper while getting ready in the morning an doesn’t have to worry about making too much noise and stirring him up.
I slept 30 minutes longer than I usually do and probably could have made it an hour.
I don’t have to escort anyone around the house. There is freedom to roam. For all of us!
I don’t have to be in the room with anyone all the time.
I don’t have to check pockets, back packs or shoes.
I don’t have to worry about being baited into constant arguments over anything and everything first thing in the morning when I am barely awake.
I don’t have to worry about that in the afternoon either.
My butter knives and anything with a point can go back into the utensil drawers.
I can sleep in at least once on the weekend.
I can sleep deeply knowing that no one is going to be ripped off, have their property destroyed or hurt in the middle of the night.
Our younger child will have to learn to function in a home not on lock down and also learn independence skills she is behind on because of the way we had to live.
I will have to get a good paying job. RTCs’ are not cheap. I have no illusions. I am fully aware life is not going to be all sunshine and lollipops. We have a long road ahead of us.
So I have stepped into a whole new world. He will be back in a year but I am not sure that he will stay. Honestly I am not optimistic or expecting that he will. If we can’t function as a family he will go into another RTC or appropriate boarding facility. We won’t live this way again. We are done. I will no longer be abused, nor will I allow anyone in this house to. I am firm about that and I understand this is the not the end of the struggle. But it is a step in the right direction. My family is going to have some time and space to heal from a situation that has been filled with trauma for 9+ years that most people can’t fathom or honestly even begin to understand. People should try to understand. They will encounter these people in their lifetime and won’t know what hit them when they do. We don’t think human beings, especially children, are capable of such behaviors, but history attests to the contrary. The world is full of damaged people that will go around damaging others unless people become more aware and draw a line in the sand.
So if you are curious and want to understand what Reactive Attachment Disorder is below is excellent video. You very likely know some adults that have Reactive Attachment Disorder and are not even aware of it.