On a good day, parenting will test the integrity of your character. On a bad day, parenting will test your will to live. Parenting children with trauma histories will cause you to test the integrity of everything and everyone you thought you knew, for the rest of your life.
~J. Skrobisz

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

It really isn't RADs, except it is

Just picked up AB from school, not 30 minutes after the first morning bell. I had no idea he wasn't feeling well, he gave me no indication, no verbal warning, no fever, no green coloring, nothing. And yet he had diarrhea and vomiting. Poor baby!

Sissy on the other hand, complained about a sour tummy two minutes after inhaling her cereal. Literally siphoned it down like she was starving and then "mom, I don't feel good." And of course, the RAD mommy radar goes off. right. you have a math test today. you just inhaled your food. you're fine kid So I gave her some tums and sent her off.

Now I'm wondering, did I make the right choice?

And this is the insanity that goes through my mind every day. 90% of Sissy's physical complaints are invalid, RADsing behaviors. If I err only 10% of the time because I always assume it's a manipulation than I'm still getting an A as a parent, right? *nod your head so I don't feel like such a schmuck, please*

The thing is, with Sissy, I can't ever tell. I remember once she had a fever of 103 before I believed that she wasn't well because I'd been snowed so many, many times before. (ugh - don't even get me started on the time I actually took her to THE DOCTOR and she was FINE. FINE!!!! AUGH!!! still makes me mad that she could be THAT convincing in her ruse.) But when she complains about her tummy being sour and her brother comes home with a stomach flu, I second guess my cynicism ... but only for 2 seconds.

The natural consequence for lying and manipulating so many times to your parents about being ill is you get to go to school being ill once in awhile. And maybe even embarrassed by yakking in front of your peers. After all, I sent AB off having no clue he was sick and he's not angry at me for my faux pas. Why then does it make me all bothered that I may have done the same for Sissy? Because she actually said she wasn't well and I didn't believe her. And why should I when just last Tuesday she screamed she would kill herself just because she knew such a comment would get her dad and me out of bed?

You see? It's RADs because she lies so much I can't believe her when she really is sick (or suicidal for that matter!) It takes vomiting in the school halls for me to be convinced. If we took data on our RAD kids, we'd probably find that there is a greater incidence of school hallway vomiting amongst RAD kids than nonRADishes and the statistical data could be written to indicate that this phenomenon is a RAD thing. It really isn't a RADs issue, except it is because RAD moms frequently send sick kids to school because we have to call their bluff all the time.

Here's another example of something that isn't clinically a RADs issue, except it is.


OMG. Sissy is so disgustingly filthy! Pigpen from Peanuts has nothing on this child. She would live in squalor and think nothing of it, wouldn't even recognize that she was a stinking, disgusting mess. Would probably deny it and blame someone else for the roaches, lice, odor and piles of garbage. Has indeed done such a thing before. (In fact, off point, yesterday morning she blamed a rogue deodorant thief for snatching it. Said to her, "Sissy, who steals deodorant?!? You haven't even looked for it!!!" It was in her hygiene bin exactly where it should have been. She just didn't want to stick her hand in the bin to grasp it. *shaking head*)

I digress.

Last year she got a brand new, beautiful jacket from her grandmother for Christmas. It looked so pretty on her, it was puffy, it was soft, it screamed "SISSY!" By March it had to be thrown away because it was THAT disgusting. Scrubbing it, washing it multiple times, presoaking it in half a bottle of stain remover ... nothing worked. It was ruined. RUINED!!! HOW does someone ruin a brand new coat that quickly with so much filth, grime and stench? I just don't understand it. It boggles my mind.

This morning, 23'F outside, Sissy was putting on her new coat that I gave her two weeks ago. Unzipped she was headed for the front door. "Sissy. Stop. Zip." *grunting, whining, etc.* As she stood there I got a good look at that coat and was appalled. It is disgusting already. I was so taken aback I couldn't even speak. How. HOW!?! What the heck does she do? HOW does she do it? WHEN does she make it so filthy?!?! I just don't understand. I've had my jacket for more than a year and it still looks brand new. AB's new coat looks new. WG's used coat is in better repair. I don't get it. I just don't get it!!!

Being disgustingly dirty without care isn't really a RADs thing, except it is. I can't count how many times I've picked Sissy up from school and she's had food all over her face, chin, in her hair, all down her shirt, on her sleeves - ruined shirts that had to be thrown in the trash rather than attempting to wash them. I wonder sometimes if people look at my daughter and think she is mentally retarded by her appearance and then I say to myself, mentally retarded children are better cared for than this!!! Even THEY don't look this disgusting!!! Told Sissy last night, "My dear, tonight you must make sure you wash ALL parts of your body with SOAP. Do you know why I'm saying this?"

"I stink"

OK. If the kid KNOWS she stinks, what is going on here?!? God in heaven help me, she hasn't even started her period yet. Lord, that is going to be hellish.

These aren't technically RADs things, except they are. What are your nonRAD behaviors that are dead ringers for RAD behaviors? Tell me your RAD kid is a stinking, filthy mess too so I don't feel so bad. Tell me all of your my-kid-was-in-the-ER-with-a-double-ear-infection-and-strept-before-I-believed-him stories too. Tell me something because today it's all making me a little lulu in the brain.


Kerrie said...

I had a cold moment the other night because I realized that OF COURSE Princess will never tell me anything, because she knows I won't believe her. But, OF COURSE I wouldn't believe her, because everything that comes out of her mouth that doesn't sound like "I want candy" is at least a partial lie. EVERYTHING! Even if it SOUNDS true.

So where does that leave us, exactly?

Lisa said...

You are not crazy. My RAD 16 yo son is a stinky mess all the time. I will make him use soap (if we "surprise" him while he's in the shower, he's always washing his thigh with the bar of soap - over and over and over - misses the rest of his parts apparently). He has done similar things with his winter coats (we live in MI so we need winter coats from Nov-Apr for sure) - his twist though is that he breaks the zippers out of every darn one as welll. He tears his shoes apart, his winter boots, bites holes in his sleeves, picks holes in his socks and jeans (yes, JEANS) - he's a disaster. I buy all of his clothes at the Salvation Army now and they're considered disposable. I have done this for the past 4 years - but wish I had started about 10 years earlier because it would have saved me alot of ranting and stress. He usually looks homeless. He picks his nose until it bleeds and then wipes it on his pillow - guess what he gets for every birthday and Christmas? A new pillow!! He picks apart his comforter (literally at the seams) so we got a few new ones at garage sales last summer for him to destroy this winter. I know I have to keep replacing and providing for him at least until 18 (only 16 mos to go!!), which used to just tick me off considering how destructive he is - but I'm coming to terms with it since I just learned to put it back on him. I say things like, "Guess who's getting a new deoderant in his Christmas stocking this year?" when I find his Speedstick crumbled all over the floor or "I think someone needs a new pair of socks for Christmas!!" in a sing-song voice when I throw away the 3rd pair in 2 days. I occassionally remind him that he'd get funner gifts - like games, books, things he WANTS if he didn't keep destroying everything. I know he can control it.

As far as Sissy and her monthly friend - it is probably going to be a nightmare for you. My 17 dd is RAD (never knew it - she is THAT good of a liar) and she used to hide her stained underwear in the weirdest places. She was so disgusting and it made me nuts. I wish I could tell you it improved due to her healing and attachment, but I think it's because I made her get an Implanon and her periods are very few and far between and light now.

Good luck you uncrazy lady!

marythemom said...

Happens to us ALL the time. I have one RAD who has seen the nurse 16 times in the last 17 weeks of school, stomach aches, head aches, toothaches... random. The doctor says it's stress, nothing wrong with her.

At the same time I worried that we would be arrested for neglect when we had to bring our son (RAD) in for peeing blood. He'd been doing it for weeks, luckily he was honest and admitted he'd only told us about it the night before.

The "RAD stink" is a very real thing. My daughter reeks when she's unregulated. She's been sent home from school repeatedly. Deodorant doesn't make a dent.

Early on, before she finally attached, our daughter looks just like your Sissy. Food dripping off her chin, crumbs everywhere, mysterious stains (not so mysterious, but smelly and disgusting stains), she was pretty much always disgusting... and always clueless. She had no idea. She couldn't feel it. She'd shut down her physical sensations as well as her emotional ones.

Hugs and prayers,

Mary in TX

Mama Drama Times Two said...

I have also erred on the side of sending sick kids to school as it is sooooo hard to tell sometimes. The hygeine thing is the hygeine thing. I throw Bobby's socks away after a few wearings cuz they are black on the bottom (and he won't wear black socks!!!) We buy a lot of clothes from SALS BOUTIQUE (Salvation Army) for hardly any money so I don't feel bad when stuff has to get tossed quickly (or get turned into paint and cleaning rags. Oy: the period thing. isn't there a new seasonal birth control pill so you only get your period once every few months????

Anonymous said...

You are not crazy . . . Nope, not at all. My Dd still can get more dirt, stains and spots on her clothing than I can imagine (and I have 3 other children--two of them boys.) And she doesnt' have a clue how she did it, or when, or what most of the time. Best thing I have found is making HER responsible to treat and scrub . . . Oxy-Magic spray is my best friend. And even though my Dd's RAD issues aren't big in her life any more . . . and her clothing IS cleaner, I still know what you are talking about. At almost 11, she gets as dirty when she eats as the 5 year old does often. Food on her fingers . . . I don't know how she does it either . . .

Anonymous said...

Sissy needs to be neutered or put on birth control as soon as humanly possible. The writing is on the wall and only you have the power to prevent the endless cycle of her fucked up genes being passed on to future offspring.

kisekileia said...

On a semi-positive note, the dirtier she is, the less likely anyone is to want to do things that would get her pregnant...