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So many times as a therapeutic parent (my distinction not social services) the trials outweigh the triumphs. Yet there is one recent moment that I want to remember in all its’ glory. At dinner the other night S made the comment that she had lost brain cells that day. Of course, Tim jokingly said she better watch it, she didn’t have many to lose! She looked at him and my first thought was she was going to get mad. But she smiled and said, Daddy. She then got up and went to him and put her arms around his neck and laughed with him. Huge. This is so huge. She took a joke at her expense, reacted appropriately and then got some reassuring physical touch, initiated by her. I was so proud of her I cried, not in front of her, but later when I told her therapist. My therapist’s response! Praise God! My sentiments exactly!

On the other end of the spectrum we have M. Since I separated the two of them S has flourished and M has gotten worse. I did it to enforce boundaries, not knowing how much it would help S get better. So we fight a spiritual battle with M. In devotions yesterday he filled in the blank of “In God’s design I am _______.” M’s response? In God’s design, I have a plan for my life. We looked at him and I said, son that’s exactly the problem. You have a plan for your life. Not, God has a plan for your life, but YOU have a plan for your life. There is no God response from M. Our therapist K told him today that I have done all I can to help him. He’s asking everybody, God, family, anybody but him, to do the work. She told him to stop talking and DO something with a servant’s heart. He is empty and feels unlovable because he’s never done anything for anyone besides himself. Until he takes the first step to DO something for someone he will never feel lovable. It is truly heartbreaking and pathetic at the same time. He has been through the least amount of trauma of my two at home yet S wants the relationship with me and M just continues to push me away and blame me at the same time.

I let S come with me to visit my mom tonight and we picked up Wendy’s frosties for a treat. She was practically giddy with joy spending the time with me. She cuddled up to me and rearranged my mom’s drawers and cleaned them out. She was little Becky Homemaker. Her energy level is so positive and wanting desperately to please. The transformation is amazing. This from the child that two months ago stayed with K because she didn’t want to be a Walden. K believes she has made the last shift and won’t be going backwards. I’m sure we will have plenty of stumbles in puberty but she is “getting it.” I rejoice over S and cry over M. Would the world fall apart if they ever did well at the same time? I’m not sure I’ll ever know the answer to that.

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  1. GB's Mom says:

    I am thrilled for you and S. I will keep M in my prayers.

  2. just a thought – and take it with a grain of salt because there is no way I could possibly know all the nuances of your family and your life just by reading your blog – but what if you didn’t mention religion in your therapeutic approach?

    With Sissy, i don’t go there. It’s hard, REALLY hard because my faith is SO important to me. But having grown up with a hyper-religious parent that has mental health issues, religion became one more abuse I endured.

    So i take the opposite approach with Sissy – I do strictly a secular therapeutic approach. all the while I lie in wait for the God moments when i can say “AHA! Sissy, THIS is how a relationship with God can help you …” and when I do that, it is very fruitful and eye opening for her.

    I also am very anxious about the proclivity of persons with Sissy’s diagnoses to become hyper-religious in their psychoses and at the same time I know that her almost MR diagnosis of nonverbal and abstract concepts makes “God” a very challenging idea for her.

    like I said, you know your family best. That’s just how we approach it with Sissy.

  3. new rad mom says:

    Kudos to you and congrats on the HUGE breakthrough with S! Little moments like that propel us forward and keep us moving on!

    For M. Having him move with a giving heart is hard. Not that this will help but here is what we did with our kids (before we knew what RAD truly was).

    Our family is very giving. We help everyone we can and give the shirt off our backs. For Christmas we have a tradition. We load a ton of our friends and kids up in a sleigh attached to a truck, full costumes for everyone and deliver on Christmas Eve presents to needy kids using money we have collected from people. My kids get a kick out of this and without even realizing it their hearts get full on the love and giving.

    Option 2 (when Christmas is no far away): Volunteer at a local church that does Supers on Saturdays. The kids actually get to go out to the community and deliver food to needy families. It is another way we give without forcing them to get the concept. They end up getting something out of it without our prompting.

    Option 3: We something nice for someone sick. We try to pick a person the kids would know and maybe even like.

    This may not work for you but it was a good start for us to get our children thinking about people other than themselves. Our RAD is very selfish and we constantly look for ways to re-train his brain.

    I will keep your family in my prayers.

  4. Stacey says:

    I’m so glad that S is coming around and wanting to make the steps to get healed. We will continue to pray the M will come around and believe that God has a plan for his life.
    It has to be wonderful to have her around to enjoy what a mother daughter relationship is suppose to be.

  5. J. says:

    wow S, way to go and way to go for the Mama who has helped her get there.

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