I wrote my story, But, He Spit in My Coffee, with your family and friends in mind. I wrote it for your child’s therapist, teacher, and daycare worker. Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD) is a complex and nuanced disorder that is unlike any other common childhood illness. And the system is broken in ways that are hard to fathom unless you are forced to try to navigate it yourself. Our lives are literally unbelievable, which is why we are not believed – and why we struggle to put together the support system we so desperately need.
This is why I wrote my story in a way that would enable the reader to experience for themselves the nuances of a family in crisis and to see for themselves the dysfunctions for the system that is failing our families. This, I believe, is how we change hearts and minds.
Here are 5 reasons why But, He Spit in My Coffee is perfect for anyone in your life who just doesn’t “get it.”
It reads like a novel
Unlike traditional memoirs, this book reads like commercial fiction and gives people who do not have personal experience with RAD an immersive experience. It is written in the popular first-person, present-tense format which puts the reader in the story and allows them to feel like they are experiencing the story in real-time.
This book is well-written, engrossing and memorable. I couldn’t put it down. It gripped me from start to finish.
My son gave his permission
Some of the first and loudest criticism of RAD parents telling our stories is about invasion of privacy[i] which can immediately shut down the conversation. However, I received permission from my son before publishing and he has benefited financially from it. I tell readers this in the FAQs of the book which serves to reassure readers and preempt this criticism, keeping the focus on the issue of the broken mental health and child welfare systems.
It’s realistic, but not gratuitous
The book is non-fiction and the events are true, but it does not cover every detail of our lives. Remembering the target audience does not have personal experience with RAD, it is important to show the range of RAD symptoms and problems, but the book also needs to be readable. Those readers are not going to slog through a book that is too heavy or unnecessarily gratuitous. This balance means that, for example, describing 3 tantrums is enough for the reader to “get it,” even though we endured 300.
This is an important read for those who have out of control kids but also for those who don’t… It makes us less likely to blame the parents without knowing what we are talking about.
It’s professionally produced
Many of our friends and family, and especially service providers are looking for reasons to dismiss the RAD resources we provide to them. According to Writer’s Digest But, He Spit in my Coffee is “exemplary and of professional quality” in terms of cover design, voice and writing style, structure, and pacing[ii] which sets it apart from many other Indie books. In addition, there is a professionally narrated version of the book available through Audible.
It’s not preachy
Because the book is written like a novel, you won’t find commentary throughout the story. Instead, the reader is left to come to their own conclusions as they “live” the story through the pages of the book. With a complex and highly controversial topic such as this one, this approach can be far more palatable. It also has the effect of “showing” instead of arguing the points to the reader. At the end of the book I do reflect on the events that happened in a short epilogue and include afterwords from highly qualified mental health professionals.
Here’s where you can find the book: Paperback, e-book, audiobook
Book Discussion Guide for anyone who works with RAD kids and their families
[i] Please know that there are some legal issues to consider under Invasion of Privacy when you publish information about your children (even if they are minors and even if you change identifying details). It is important to consult with an attorney, as I did, before publishing.
[ii] Judge, 30th Annual Writer’s Digest Self-Published Book Awards