Guest post by Terrie, RAD mom
Today I remember all the dads – adoptive, foster, step and birth – for whom Father’s Day is literally not a special day at all because they love a child with reactive attachment disorder. These children see their parents as an extreme threat because they love and nurture them.
While they are at work, their wives will be beaten and verbally abused. Urine and feces will be smeared on walls, furniture and even in their personal drawers. They’ll be unable to help, but take the phone calls from their desperate wives. When these dads return to their destroyed home, they will look into the face of their child and see no remorse, affection, or empathy – only rage.
They will spend Father’s Day, as every day, trying to protect their wives, other children, and pets. They’ll desperately try to be everywhere their RAD child is to keep everyone safe. After thinking they locked up everything that can be used as a weapon, they may still be struck in the face full force with a log. They will hold their partner in their arms while they sob inconsolably. While their child charms the world, they utter the words: I am afraid of my child.
Happy Father’s Day to all the forgotten dads who beg for help to keep their family safe, yet help never comes. The dads who call the police numerous times a week for help. These dad who can’t help but wonder, will my child be the next school shooter? The dads vilified by state agencies and governments when their child does one of the many manifestations of their diagnosis: lying about being abused or not being fed, abusing siblings, or maiming and killing family pets.
This Father’s Day I think of the dads whom family and friends have walked away from. With a child who charms the outside world, these dads aren’t believed when they talk about how dangerous their child is. These dads have brain damaged children, denied love and neglected early in life, who rage and try to punish all who love them now. There’s no help for these dads because our society does little to provide mental health treatment for these children. Insurance companies refuse to pay for treatment.
God bless the dads who are able to put in a full day’s work then come home to the extra jobs of parenting a child with reactive attachment disorder. The dads, who on a good day with no violent disasters to deal with, just want to sit and relax. Instead they have to clean out their recliners after their child make messes, defiantly destroying property to push their parents away. These children thrive on these moments of chaos.
God bless every one of the thousands of dads who suffer every day in silence. I hear you. I celebrate your sacrifices, and you and your families’ safety are in my prayers every single day!
— Terrie, RAD parentLet's connect!
I live in Charlotte, NC with my family and am working on a memoir about raising my adopted son, Devon.