Attachment Disorders: A Brief Background

IMG_2390Dealing with RAD, DSED, and ODD feels like drowning on every day that ends in Y.

Let me preface this by saying: I know Miss Thang (MT) has been through alot in her 14 years of life and things that went on prior to us adopting her are not her fault. So before people come and try to bash me for the honesty policy I have set forth, have several seats (on nails if needed), go research what happens to families dealing with this and then come re-read what I am about to put down because it’s about to get real.

I will not tell all of her history, but I think it is right before throwing all the mess at you, that you have a firm understanding of some of her history. MT was born to a 15-year-old mother out of country. She was placed in an orphanage at 1.5 years old and selected for adoption by another family shortly after. She came to America at three and lived with them until she was six…almost seven.

This means that in seven years of life, we are her fourth home (and her last).

Now, seven years into this, my home feels like a war-zone most days. The lying is non-stop, to the point that we can’t believe anything. The manipulation of others into thinking she is the complete opposite of what we say is regular and the fight for control is constant.

Kids with attachment disorders tend to desire control in any way possible, and whoever the main parent is normally gets dragged through the mud dealing with it. I am that main parent.


This chart from shows some of the things attachment disorder children and parents struggle with. Though MT does not fit all the categories on this chart (she is not violent), her behaviors fit in many of these bubbles. 

Tuesday was a therapy day. She is at a stage where if she does not become active in the therapy, she is refusing to get better. At this point she has not participated, to a level acceptable to her therapist or us. I am only a 397.35 month old, and most days I do not feel equipped enough or mature enough to deal with all of it. However, Rhino and myself keep reading, researching, and connecting with other parents to let them know they are not as crazy as they seem to parents who don’t deal with this.

Every disorder has a reality. So here you will get the reality of what RAD is in our home. We take it day-by-day. Hell, sometimes hour-by-hour. Yet, in everything, our only desire is that MT learn to communicate openly, be honest and develop a sense of herself and not what she thinks others want her to be. So to therapy weekly we will go, and you guys will get the comedy and the tears of it. It gets hard holding it all in.

For more information on Reactive Attachment Disorder, I highly recommend looking at the Institute For Attachment’s blog. Sometimes I feel they must have a hidden camera in my house when they describe the children. You can find it here: Institute For Attachment Blog.

I am currently in Indianapolis and will be filling you in on my adventures during the Focus Forward Fellowship, hosted by the Military Family Research Institute of Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis. I was selected as one of 17 women nationally to participate, so I am away from the family and getting my enrichment on with military-affiliated women!

Until then XOXO,