Crossposted from TraumaAdoption.org
Often the most overlooked people caught up in the typhoon of Reactive Attachment Disorder are the foster or adoptive parents. The fostadopt parent has done nothing but try and bring a child into their home with the intent of caring for and supporting that child. The fostadopt parent has had nothing to do with the child’s previous experiences which were often brutal and neglectful. These experiences have twisted the behaviours of the child into strange patterns that bear little resemblance to a normal child but have to do with the child’s survival mechanisms.
So what does this do the parent? Parents of the RAD child usually appear angry, rigid, emotionally distant, and rejecting. Friends and family may feel that the parent(s) overreact to the child’s behaviour. What they don’t know is that these parents almost never have a break from the child’s behaviours which can include:
- Aggression and violence
- Eating issues including stealing and hoarding food, food refusal, and gorging
- Emotional issues including superficial charm with strangers, the ability to read other’s emotions and push buttons, theatrical displays of emotion, and the incalbitly to give or receive affection
- These kids can display anti-social behaviours like stealing, pathological and nosensical lying, they can destroy things for no reason, and they can be cruel
- These children can show sexualised behaviours like seductiveness, they can act out with other children, they can engage in bestiality
- Often their conscience appears broken with the child denying and blaming others, they may avoid eye contact, they often can’t accept responsibility, they can show little remorse, they often will be verbally abusive
- RAD children sometimes display bizzare behaviours like peeing on things and peeing themselves, they will sometimes smear poop, eating non-edible things, talking to themselves, hitting themselves, they may not sleep well, they may show fascination with fire and blood.
- RAD kids are often sufferers of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and will present with dissociative behaviours, they will repress traumatic memories, they engage in self preservation activities in appropriately, they have trouble seeing cause and effect.
- Often there are problems maintaining friends and they will make poor peer relationship choices.
This goes on day in and day out 365 days of the year. Parents themselves experience trauma from their child and can start showing symptoms much like PTSD.
These parents find themselves feeling like rejecting the child. Sometimes there are abusive thoughts. Parents will find themselves feeling incompetant and inadequate. This can lead to depression. Finally, parents of Children of Trauma can feel like they are blamed and responsible by their child.