Thank you for sharing!Pin on PinterestShare on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterEmail this to someoneShare on Google+Share on StumbleUpon

I just yelled at my kid. In his face. To get his attention. Barely an eye blink reaction. Why is this so sad? Because I don’t yell at my kids. Ever. If I raise my voice it gets their attention. As far as I know he wasn’t yelled at before he came to us at 15 months. This is not a traumatic reality for him. So I yelled at M out of the blue to get his attention. Shake him. Didn’t phase him. One.bit. Was it wrong? I don’t think so. There is such a thing as righteous anger. And that’s what I feel. Trying to reach deep into his soul and find a human being inside. I.am.mad. I don’t show it with my temper or stomping or slamming doors. I wanted to see if there was an inkling of life inside this child.

I wanted to see why I’m sensing that his therapist truly can’t help him. That scares me. She’s the best. She’s salvaged our family from the rubble of B. She’s helped S to heal, with us doing the hard, everyday work. She asked me over and over again in our session what solid, practical things M is doing that shows he’s working. I just kept saying it’s not as oppressive as it is sometimes. I couldn’t give her one consistent area in his life that showed change. I said it felt like we connected in moments. Moments. A second here. A minute there. Nothing real or tangible. She didn’t say there was no hope because she’s a Christian as am I and there has to be hope or I will give up.

This weekend in our family life is not about him. I will NOT let this graduation be about M. It is Joshua’s day and our family’s celebration of a young man who has worked hard and loves the Lord. It is MY day because I have “officially” homeschooled him for 13 years but have been teaching him from birth. Four years ago with Rachel these two took it from us. It was still a joyous day but it was marred by worry and bad attention from my RADishes. There was no moment to breathe and relax and just be NORMAL.

I’m laying it all out here. My goal has always been to be transparent. Here you have it. You may judge me because I yelled. You may judge me for feeling hopeless. You may judge me because my younger two have taken so much from our family and I haven’t been able to stop it. You may judge me for not believing God can transform M. I do still believe that. I just don’t think it will be in our home with me as his mother. I think it is totally in his control.You may judge me because I’m airing family problems.

I’m tired. Weary. Heartbroken. I can’t play these word manipulation games anymore and argue with his lies. He refuses to believe that what he lives by is a lie. I can’t face the presence of evil in my home anymore.

I believe that what RAD kids steal from us is hope. And joy. I told M that. I’m sure it’s not therapeutic but it is true. Last night and today I’ve enjoyed family, celebrating Tim, planning my scrapbook room. Things that bring me joy. It’s like a tease of what could be one day down the road. We’re coming to the end of our active parenting stage. When we are totally responsible for the care and upbringing of our children. M and S are finishing 6th grade and somehow I will find a way for them to graduate from high school. I’m committed to that.

I told M I  would never give up on him but that his life was in his own hands. That I have a plan. And I do. Job Corps is a possibility for him when he turns 16 if something doesn’t change. That’s in 4 years. At this point, unless my health or life circumstances demand it, I will not put him in public school. I will continue to provide caretaking love. And somehow along the way I hope I can “feel” better about all this. Renew my determination to want more and better for M. I want to do more than just survive. I’m just not sure it is possible.

photo credit

Thank you for sharing!Pin on PinterestShare on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterEmail this to someoneShare on Google+Share on StumbleUpon


  1. Stink! I’m right there with you and feeling just about as worn out and helpless and bordering on hopeless as you are. Trauma sucks!!

  2. Your honest words are a comfort to me because it could be me saying the exact same things. Why does this have to be so hard!!! Thank you for sharing so we all know we are not alone in this very difficult road.

  3. No judgement here.

    I understand that you are burned out and used up.

    I pray that God will give you strength and that the hope for M will once again ignite and he will make a decided change.


  4. Oh, sweetie. (((hugs))) No one will be as hard on you as you are on yourself. You are doing the best you can, and if you think that the rest of us don’t lose it and yell at times too, then we haven’t been transparent enough. Praying for you, Marty, and praying for your boy. I’m so sorry you are going thru this right now.

  5. Hugs to you Marty. I feel your pain. I will help that they don’t steal the upcoming excitment from you and your family. Praying for you. love ya.

  6. I completely understand. No judgement. You are a GREAT mom!!!!!

  7. My oh my do I ever understand!! Parenting RAD kids is so traumatizing to the rest of the family…at least that’s my take. 🙂
    Exhaustion and frustration are the twins who frequent my days.
    I pray strength for you as you continue to faithfully walk this road.

  8. Absolutely NO judgment here! If I had a dollar for every time I yelled, I’d be one worldly rich person. You are one incredibly wonderful mother. Lots of hugs.

  9. Marty,

    I would like to write a post about you and another friend of mine, sharing excerpts from this post. I want to share your stories for 2 reasons …

    … to help other to see the realities of RAD (and not just my story that I also share transparently)

    … to ask my readers to pray for you and your family.

    I was going to send you a copy of what I would like to post, but couldn’t find an email address on your blog. But, what I want to share is just some direct quotes (excerpts) from this post.

    Please pop me an email or comment back to me on my blog.



    [email protected]

  10. Marty,
    I’m here from Mama D’s blog. I understand completely and did the exact same thing to my S the other day. Then I called our SW to say I just don’t think this is going to work. There’s NOTHING there in her face, in her actions, choices, words. ‘RAD steals hope’ exactly as you say and in our house scares the other children AND mom.
    One son is sleeping in my room, another outside in the hall.
    I’m scared.
    I’m scared because I think this can be all there is. Ever.
    My SW and I decided to give it one more go before we finalize the adoption.
    How do you pour, pour, convince, convince and try to nurture when it is simply not wanted. Not wanted. Period.
    I don’t know.
    The books all say, ‘what do you expect?? It’s RAD???’ But we keep trying to find one little tiny piece of humanity in our kids. Just one little tiny piece.
    I guess all we have is hope that they can find it too, maybe not living with us, maybe when they’re older and truly out on their own??????
    Sorry for the ramble, just want you to know I understand your frustration as there are precious few who do 🙂

  11. Marty —

    Thank you SOOO much for your post. I am relatively new to the bloggy world but have found SO much support as I wade through RADish fields, too. Fortunately, my adopted son is graduating on Saturday (I pushed, pulled, and yelled to get him there…because he was totally self-sabotaging it) and then on to the military he will go. My heart breaks for him — he will never have deep connections and relationships and I know that somewhere I will have grandchildren that I may never meet. My heart grieves for my younger children who have suffered because of a choice we made to open our hearts and home 4 years ago. And now, as we prepare to attend graduation, my heart grieves that it isn’t a day of joy and celebration for him but rather a day of “we survived”. Bless you for your transparency…It makes me stronger knowing that I am not alone in my journey.

  12. I have been reading your blog from archives to current entries. I am not an adoptive mom, nor are my daughters special needs. I don’t know what it’s like for you and I won’t pretend to. But as the mother of an infant who’s biological father is (by my belief/definition) a sociopath who has unknown number of children- I know of 4 older then my daughter and one due in January. Anyways I just wanted to thank you for not giving up.

  13. Thank you for sharing this. We are also going through a hard time. I need to know that I am no alone in this.
    Thanks again.

  14. Thank you for sharing this. We are also going through a hard time. I need to know that I am no alone in this.
    Thanks again.

Speak Your Mind