I’m on a scrapbooking retreat this weekend but I wanted to share a post I wrote last year about this time. I was at a crossroads, wondering if 11 years of parenting my RAD son even really mattered. To you trauma mamas who parent this kind of child day in and day out, I want to encourage you. My son has changed a lot this past year. More than I ever expected. Healing is possible.
Can’t seem to shake the sense of all not being well in my world. Because it’s not. And hasn’t been for 11 years. Since the adoption.
Our normal is not normal.
It’s not normal to wonder if there is any sign of conscience in my son. He can fake it with the best. He doesn’t rage. He can be polite when he wants. But I look at him as if he’s a perfect stranger. And I feel bad.
Because I am who I am somehow it feels like it’s my fault. I should try harder. And feel more empathy and compassion. I should be able to look beyond the exterior to the wounded child.
The truth is I really wonder sometimes if he’s wounded. I get all that in utero stuff and the first few months bonding stuff. But we got him at 15 months. Yes, I KNOW there are kids adopted at birth with serious RAD. I get it that B kept our home from being safe for four years until she left. I get it that it took 6 more years for his secrets to come out.
I just don’t know what to do with IT.
Nothing changes. He can sit for days in his room. Treats me like I’m punishing him whenI send him out to play. Talks in a monotone. Argues that he IS working day and night.
And I fear. Terrible, overwhelming fears of what will happen when he turns 18. Will he be okay? Will he abandon his kids? Will he ever marry? Can he hold a job?
God, hear my desperate cry. I don’t know what else to do. I don’t know how to love him any better. Any harder. Any more.
I don’t know how to play this game and not let him win. Because if he wins we all lose. Winning to him is getting what he wants. What he wants is not healthy or satisfying or fulfilling or lasting.
I don’t know where else to go. Tim and I don’t even talk about it because, really, what are the options? The only thing to do different is put him in public school. Save my sanity and the constant trampling of my heart. Me withdraw from his pain. Not allow him in to wreak the devastation that B caused.
I believe hope is the answer. I believe God is the only way. I just don’t know what else is required and needed of me.
I can’t fix my son. That reality rips my heart apart.
I can’t count on him being the prodigal sheep when he wanders because I’m not sure if we’ve ever meant anything to him. I don’t know if he has any single sincere emotion or belief that there is good in the world.
My only hope is Jesus.
What is HIS hope? If he has none, what does his life look like?
I understand letting your child go, believing and hoping you instilled values and memories and sense of family when they are adults. My daughter is marrying soon. My oldest son is going to college. I struggle through the letting go process.
But my youngest son is a child. Do I let go now? Or do I cling to hope and muddle through and pray and trust? Is this normal God’s normal? Is this God’s will? I can’t even go there because all I see are clouds and uncertainty with no peace.
After 11 years have I lost all compassion, insight, wisdom? Am I so traumatized and beaten down that I can’t even see the path, much less the way to go? I truly don’t know. So I’m back to:
All is not well in my world.