I have spent the past few years coming to terms with my roll in life. Or at least where my life is today. It is the same open minded, optimistic, hope in life that keeps me going with the same spirit I had ten years ago when I met my youngest children for the first time.
I knew the implications of the choices I made to become a mother again, right at the same time my biological children were leaving the nest. Sometimes we beat the odds and other times we face a road that only makes us stronger. When I chose to adopt siblings from foster care, I did not think I would eventually be diagnosed with "Post Traumatic Adoption" but, I have been. I did not believe I would find myself parenting a 15 year old, line of sight child but, I am. I did not even imagine my marriage would end in triangulation but, it has. Even still however, I somehow keep finding that spark to move on with.
Like any other trauma in life, recover is a cycle of feelings and time. It is also a choice. I am actually still in the middle of it all, with a 15 and 11 year old to finish raising. They will likely be emotionally 18 when they are about 26 so, I imagine the road ahead will still be very long. I have been through every phase of the Grief Cycle. And, just as our children have their grief we as parents have our own--when the reality does not match the original dreams.
I nearly gave up. A million times.
I might give up again.
I may give up in the end.
Right now, however I am still in the game and moving through the grief cycle one day at a time. I have spent my years on forum sites, built my own website once--we had a thousand members, and some good people online. It was my only life for awhile there. A way to reach out and find anyone else who might understand what it was like to be the mother of a child with Reactive Attachment Disorder. It is easy to be Angry with the world and can feel like a miracle to find someone else who Really Understands.
I recently read a blog from another RAD Mother, Overcoming Myself . She calls Us Sisters, and I can relate.
The best advice I can share at this point, is to stay strong and understand the cycle of grief. Work past it all, find hope and see the little things that are improvements in our children. Do not ignore the red-flags. With a RAD Child respond instantly and move on. Do not isolate! Do not think you can find everything online, with computer friends. Bring real people into your life. The more humans in the room, the less issues our children will create. Empower yourself it is the very best example we can show our children.
It is time for us to collaborate and create a compressive understanding about the realities we have faced and overcome. Mental health, services and funding will continue to be a topic of conversation and things always change we can choose to stay invisible or use our experience and education to help cause some change.
One stage of grief is Acceptance. It is easier to be in the acceptance part of the cycle and more productive. As Rad Mother's, As Sisters, Anger is natural and part of grief. Acceptance is challenging to maintain but a far less stressful place to be.
We are sisters in more ways than facing life parenting a child with Reactive Attachment Disorder. We are also the same mothers who chose to adopt our children and that is the same spirit inside that will lead us to overcome and cause change.
I am reviving APN... Except I have changed the A from Adoptive to "A". APN, is now "A Parents Network"
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