Update note to this post, January 4, 2016: PLEASE read through the incredible comments to this post. They keep coming in. PLEASE also be sure if you leave a most welcomed comment that you be sure to click the box in order to receive notifications of new comments!!!!
While I am nothing like ‘an expert’ in anything related to diagnostic categories commonly used – and accepted – in mainstream America today, at age 60, having been involved in my own healing from severe child abuse from birth (until I was age 18) for half of my lifetime, I am an expert on myself.
I just read this online page —
Reactive Attachment Disorder in Adults
I believe there are far more people with Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD) than any ‘professional’ would care to accept. While this might not be an ‘official diagnosis’ – for me it is an accurate one. True, I ‘have’ Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) – probably could add the ‘complex’ part to the front of that, for whatever purpose that serves – along with ‘depression’, ‘dissociation’ and all the etc. etc. that could be included.
But when push comes to shove and I am triggered in my life, it is the RAD that most accurately covers my experience. Nobody can talk me out of this awareness, no matter what their experience, education, research, (etc.) might be.
So I am writing this post just to support and encourage any severe infant-child abuse and neglect people who have come up with this ‘category’ for their self as being an accurate one. If you suspect this, in my opinion and experience, honor what you know enough to accept that you are right.
Everything else that is a part of my body and my experience of myself in my life can be included under the RAD umbrella.
When something in my life is a major trigger, and when ‘kindling’ begins (See: +MY MOSAIC OF REACTION TO BEING FACED WITH……..) it is true that what could be called my ‘Disorganized-Disoriented Insecure Attachment Disorder’ becomes activated in serious and pervasive ways.
But on the level of my experience when this happens about what is needed to diminish the difficulties all of the ‘damage’ (through Trauma Altered Development) my insanely abusive BPD mother caused me, it is the RAD awareness that helps me calm myself down.
Because of the intense triggering that being confronted with my despairing abused neighbor girl last Friday caused me (see recent posts), it is taking days for me to do this ‘calming myself down’. It is hard work. It is my life. I understand nearly all of it now – why I am this way, what happened to make me this way, what I react to and how, and what I can do to reestablish the best-state of peaceful calm that I can manage to find.
No, this is not fun. In fact, it really really sucks! But this body is all I have to get me through my life. The terrible traumatic stress of my severely abusive infancy and childhood did this to me. The complete lack of any safe and secure attachment with another person did this to me. The forced isolation during my 18 year childhood did this to me.
I KNOW now. I KNOW! And anyone who has searched the internet on this topic and has landed upon this post, congratulations! Trust yourself!!
NOTE to blog subscribers – please always click on a post title so that you can come directly to the blog to read – I am a queen of edits after a post is first published!
Thanks for reading!
Please click here to read or to Leave a Comment »
115 thoughts on “+ADULT REACTIVE ATTACHMENT DISORDER – THE GREAT UMBRELLA!”
[…] +ADULT REACTIVE ATTACHMENT DISORDER – THE GREAT UMBRELLA! […]
This post is so old now, but I just found it and it’s very timely for me.
I’m 43 and was just diagnosed with RAD. It’s been hard finding other adults who can relate.
I was given up for adoption when I was an infant when my parents marriage ended. My father found out about it and came and got me. Took me from New York to Chicago on the back of a motorcycle, before I was 1.
I was offered to my maternal grandparents who did not want me. Then to my paternal grandparents who cared for me for a few months until my Grandmother became ill.
Then I was sent off to my Aunt who was an alcoholic (at that time not in recovery). There my father came and went, and partied with my Aunt when in town.
By the time I was 3 I was sent off to live with my Mother who I had no relationship with at that time. She was in an abusive marriage and I saw a lot of things children should not see. Then one night we left in the middle of the night to escape that dreadful reality.
After that I lived with my Mom primarily the rest of my life and we moved very often.
I was never physically or sexually abused. I was however emotionally and verbally abused by my father, as well as have serious abandonment issues on both sides which is compounded by repeated abandonment on both sides.
To be honest, I also have to hand it to my step dad for being a constant influence since I was 5. Without him I have no doubt I’d be much worse off and even more maladjusted than I am now.
All my life I’ve had anger that I couldn’t deal with and didn’t know where it was coming from. I’ve lost friends, I’ve stopped talking to my dad. It’s all been very hard for me to navigate. I don’t feel love like other people do. The only exception is my children. I love them in that I’d throw myself in front of a train to save them kind of love. Don’t get me wrong, there are other people in my life that I love, I just don’t trust it to last.
I also have depression in my family have have been medicated for years for that.
Over the past year though my medication stopped working. That in combination with a super stressful job, raising teenagers, and an unfulfilling marriage left me feeling hopeless to the point of suicidal. Only living for my kids.
I did find good doctors thankfully, and at this point my meds are stabilized. I also found a great counselor. She diagnosed me with Rad during our first visit when I told her my life story. She also told me I’ve only gotten this far in life because I’m smart, and that a lot of people aren’t as lucky. I do think of myself as lucky, even with RAD. Some people had it so much worse than I did.
At the same time I still cry my eyes out for that little girl no one wanted. And even more so, I am her on the inside. Always. All the time.
I cry as I read your words, Jennifer. I cry for all of us who were born to suffer in these ways!! In ‘the old days’ such as those during which I wrote this post I would have felt more able to offer something to you that might be ‘helpful’. I am currently in a very difficult time of my own trauma-altered-developent life – I offer my caring, my empathy and compassion!! I hope as you read through the many comments to this post that you will find others whose stories inspire and support and affirm you. I also hope that these commenters are also receiving notification of this comment you have given us here.
This blog’s format, offered by WordPress (and the one I chose to use years ago) does not offer ‘searches” very well, but if you search using an engine such as google for ‘attachment’ – ‘insecure attachment – ‘trauma altered development’ – any combination of terms related to ‘our subject’ – AND begin your search with “stop the storm blog” on the front end I would hope you will find something else to read here – there are literally thousands of pages on ‘our subject’ – we are NOT alone!!
Thank you for finding us, and for writing here today! It sounds as though you are in good hands!! I would say that you have many many gifts within yourself that have helped you LIVE your life, not ‘just’ your intelligence!
I think if you dig around near the date of this post something might turn up that interests you
+THAT MESS – WAS NEVER MINE
June 2, 2012
maybe this one
+SOME WORDS ABOUT WHAT OUR ABUSERS COULD NOT TAKE AWAY FROM US
December 28, 2011
I hope to hear from you again, Jennifer, on these pages! All the very best to you and to those you love!!
I have followed this excellent blog for a couple years now. Reading a couple contributions I want to share the following.
I have been married to an incredible women for 18 years ( in Jan 2016!). It has been a roller coaster much of the 18 years. We have gone to therapists, counselors, and others in the mental health community. We have done long term and intensive care. She has been diagnosed with PTSD, Border line personality disorder, Bipolar…It took a friend who had just starting with RAD children t discover why my wife struggled with abandonment, lack of trust, broken friendship and the inability to connect. As she spoke to my wife, she started hearing patterns. She unofficially diagnosed my wife with Adult RAD when there was little to nothing on the internet about this disorder. After about 15 years it all made sense! She and I now know how to process events as they happen and afterwards. She struggles regularly. She still does not trust me and can say some unkind words. She has troubles with relationships and would identify with many behaviors on the list above. However, she has grown and experienced so much victory over the years. I know that she love me and cares for me even thought she does not always show it or say so. If you identify yourself as have adult RAD, yes we need to educate our friends, we need to blog and write in forums. This is a little known disorder and one very hard to find help for. There are many therapists for children but not adults. There are support groups for parents with RAD children but not the spouse. This is real terrible to live with, however, there is hope! You must be intentional, you must read and learn. If married, your spouse needs to be all in also.
Here are some links that helped us. Carrie O’Toole has several You Tube videos and has a ministry that gets it. She is a great resource.
Thank you so much for your comment!!!
alchemynow, you are welcome.
I found this site while googling RAD and was just wondering if anyone knows of any support groups for adults with this disorder. I have been living with this dire emptiness and absence of fulfilling relationships for 33 years of life. I now have a daughter of my own (whom i think the world of) but even with her I am unable to form lasting connections with her or guide her into a better way of living and feeling than the ones I was shown in the earliest stages of life. She deserves to have a better childhood than i was given and i deserve to feel joy and genuine care for her when she is around. I would very much like to break the cycle. If anyone has any successful experience to share about healing from this fragmentation of self and inability to bond, i would grow an extra ear just to hear more about it. Any guidance toward resources on RAD and the potential to heal in adulthood are appreciated. But most importantly, i would like to hear from those who have made successful personal progress through this mire.
Hi and thank you for writing here! Welcome!! I don’t personally know of any support groups for RAD adults. It is a controversial “tag” for adults – but in my thinking anyone THINKING that they are RAD adults – are.
I would start here:
here’s a short video – the famous ‘still face’ experiment – in proverbial nutshell It really does show very simply where things can go so wrong – so young – and with “ruptures” for which there are no “repairs” (as the developmental neuroscientists put it) – well, picture what that baby’s life would have been like (in this video)
Here is one of the most important articles on infants and mother attachment and brain building early in life – scroll thru multi-language abstract – especially get to the part with the diagram with the faces and arrows. THIS is where the “going so wrong” begins. This is a technical article, true, but this is exactly the kind of information we need to know — both for our own understanding for our self — and for how our “condition” can interrupt these processes for our offspring.
Click to access SchoreIMHJAttachment.pdf
there’s lots by this guy, Dr. Allan N. Schore (including some hefty books on amazon.com), such as
Click to access SchoreAttachHumDev.pdf
I suggest you begin with his online articles!
Also, highly recommend this book:
Parenting from the Inside Out 10th Anniversary edition: How a Deeper Self-Understanding Can Help You Raise Children…Dec 26, 2013
by Daniel J. Siegel MD and Mary Hartzell
ANYTHING you find online by Dr. Daniel Siegel is great – and he has a lot of books as well as youtube videos
Also take a look at the Centers for Disease Control’s Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE) info online (including this topic and youtube talks by Laura Porter)
begin with this link
ours is a very long and winding road — our troubles came to us through past generations — the ACE study info shows this very clearly
Not everyone with high ACE scores has RAD – ours is a very complicated situation involving Trauma Altered Development to our early physiology on MANY primary levels – as this reading I am suggesting will explain
As for LIVING with such a history of trauma as we have – and its consequences such as show up with RAD (“disorganized disoriented insecure attachment” is another great search term combo) — here are some related posts on this blog – though there are many hundreds of pages here on this topic
+ADULT REACTIVE ATTACHMENT DISORDER: LIVING WITH IT
March 13, 2013
+ADULT REACTIVE ATTACHMENT DISORDER AND CHOICES OF THE SOUL
March 11, 2013
+’ANGEL’ CHAPTER 33 – Reactive Attachment Disorder and Dissociation (long post)
+RESPECT: AN ASPECT OF HEALING THE CORE OF OUR ATTACHMENT WOUND
Well, I could find so many links here that might be of use to you — but one thing I know — you are on the right path in your journey to healing! Depending upon where you live and what kind of therapy you can access, I would suggest perhaps talking to someone who works with adoption of traumatized children to see if they offer any therapy programs for adults who SHOULD have been rescued and helped, protected and loved — and were NOT!!!
Please comment again anywhere on this blog you might wish to – and KEEP SEARCHING! I hope you find at least the first Schore article helpful, and Siegel’s book!!!! All the best to you in your great efforts toward healing and the truth!!! Linda – alchemynow
I’ve experienced much of this and recently…finally have gotten answers when my wife saw a counselor who pinpointed RAD. As I look at the checklists out there…I can check off most. She is brilliant, charming, all of the above, and great with our child…but there has always been this gap, this anger, the blow up and then acting like nothing happened, and sadly, with the charm came the affairs. I am at a turning point…still love my wife dearly and wondering if I can endure the unknown, the therapy, and her saying she doesn’t know what she wants, and sometimes I think it would be easier to leave…but in my heart…that’s not what I want. I would love to find a support group…is this it and I don’t know it…for those living with RAD spouses.
Glad to see your comment here. If RAD is involved you are all in a very complex situation with no clear, easy or simple answers.
This link will take you to my most recent post titled +GLOBAL RESPONSE TO LIFELONG EFFECTS OF EARLY TRAUMA IS GAINING STEAM – click on this active link — https://stopthestorm.wordpress.com/2014/11/24/global-response-to-lifelong-effects-of-early-trauma-is-gaining-steam/
Down at the bottom there you will see the link in the post to “Adverse Childhood Experiences International Questionnaire (ACE-IQ)” which takes you to this very important link: http://www.who.int/violence_injury_prevention/violence/activities/adverse_childhood_experiences/en/
At the bottom of that page there is a link: Questionnaire which opens a page here — http://www.who.int/violence_injury_prevention/violence/activities/adverse_childhood_experiences/questionnaire.pdf?ua=1
Now THIS is what might most help you now, and your wife. BOTH OF YOU can complete this questionnaire, and if you do so please come back here and comment again if you’d like to —
This blog is packed with information about how early severe trauma and abuse/neglect create insecure attachment disorders at the same time the stress from those horrific experiences LITERALLY alter physiological development in significant ways
I often recommend the article at this link — although it talks about the brain in ways we are not familiar with it is important to read it to begin to get an idea about what Trauma Altered Development does to the developing brain. HOWEVER, the stress-calm response system, immune system, attachment systems, etc. are ALSO very likely to have been changed along the same kinds of lines that Teicher’s article talks about in the last paragraphs:
+Dr. Teicher’s ARTICLE ON TRAUMA ALTERED DEVELOPMENT can be read here with link to the actual article in this post
Situations are certainly NOT hopeless even when they are difficult, but the right kind of information is necessary. Please take some time to look around this blog. Pay attention to the kinds of things that FEEL right to you!! I hope to hear from you again. You can comment at the end of any page you might read. Take a look at the comments at the tab “Your Page – Readers’ Responses” at the top of this blog — click here
and start scrolling!!! Knowledge is POWER! Don’t give up!
My husband told me he had RAD at a parenting seminar when they were going over the symptoms. He said, “that’s me!” And I said, “no it’s not!” He insisted. Several weeks later at another seminar – same thing. Only this time I had a while to think it over, plus we had been through some really tough spots, and I agreed. When the presenter (Dr Karyn Purvis) said you have to forgive all the people in your past who hurt you, he got up and left and would not return the next day.
Now he claims he never said that he has RAD and blames everything, all of his explosive anger, on me. (He even says now he has never heard of RAD.) He says the most irrational things. I never know when he will blow. Recently he said he didn’t love me and wanted a divorce and started to leave. Our 7yo son was crying, heartbroken, and begging him to stay. It made him irate. He said our son’s tears made him want to leave more. He would not let me comfort our son. The next day he acted like nothing had happened.
He believes things about me that just aren’t true, all traits of his mother. He is projecting her on me. Nothing I say changes this. (His RAD is because of her. She never wanted him or loved him and almost aborted him, but abortion was still illegal then and she was afraid she’d lose her job as a maternity nurse.) Everything got really bad years ago when his mother disowned him for no reason. He has begged her to be in his life. She came back briefly but was very cruel then left again and made up lies to put the blame on him. It’s five years later and things get so bad around here now. Can someone please tell me what I can do/say to help him? I have no clue but I am so tired of the emotional abuse. I love him dearly but I really need direction.
I have been married for 17 incredible years to a women who admits that she is a textbook case of someone with RAD. I would agree with her. Everything that I read in your letter, and from others, is so familiar. To answer your question, love him as you would someone with a broken leg, severely burned or with Alzheimer disease. We can not see the wound yet it exists.
I feel the frustration of chasing an elusive accusation when it keeps changing. I understand what it is like to have totally irrational conversations (arguments) with a grown, mature individual, who 30 minutes earlier, made a brilliant observation, was cheerful and very kind.
I have learned that not every situation is the same. Sometimes if I seek to reason things out clarity comes for my wife. Other times it magnifies the situation. Sometimes if I keep quiet it is wrong. Sometimes if I talk its wrong. I have been threatened with divorce, separation and told I was not loved. In my mind it all makes sense if I look at what is written about RAD. This is what helps me. What helps my wife is to show her unconditional love the best I can. As I understand, RAD is caused by abandonment and rejection. The behavior of the person with RAD is to test you and see if they can make you do the same thing, abandon and reject. It affirms to them their lack of worth and value and that you are like the rest of the folks who have abandoned them or rejected them.
Read, educate yourself, go to counseling yourself so you have a safe place to unload. I am an evangelical Christian so I have a strong support base of folks who are aware of the situation to a degree yet don’t judge. I am active and healthy. This is very important that, even though it causes problems sometimes, I try to maintain healthy choices.
I hope this helps, the biggest thing in all I have written is, I have chosen to love my wife. The good times are GREAT. I expect this will be a life long journey for us. I believe it is worth it. I choose to believe the grass is not greener on the other side and we all have dysfunction in our lives.
Someone like me. You just confirmed everything I thought I knew, and gave me the courage to be positive about. THANK YOU for posting this comment. Peace and love to you
I am sixty four years old. My mother was a sadistic sociopath.She targeted me in particular and it took me years to discover relaxation as an experience. For over twenty years I have researched and trained in releasing trauma and accompanying fear based beliefs. Many things work but I highly recommend the Healing Codes by Dr Lyodd,(sp) this combines the best elements of what I had to travel extensively and pay thirty thousand dollars to train in.It will help with pre verbal and body based trauma.
Thank you – I looked on amazon.com, think this is it
The Healing Code: 6 Minutes to Heal the Source of Your Health, Success, or Relationship Issue Paperback – September 10, 2013
by Alexander Loyd (Author), Ben Johnson (Contributor)
from this site on amazon:
“THE HEALING CODE is your kit for life. In 2001, Dr. Alexander Loyd discovered how to activate a physical function built into the body that removes the source of up to 95% of all illness and disease. The neuro-immune system can then do its job of healing whatever is wrong in the body. Dr. Loyd’s findings were validated by tests and by the thousands of people from all over the world who have used The Healing Code system to correct virtually any physical, emotional, or relational issue, as well as realize breakthroughs in career success.
His testing has also revealed that there is a “Universal Healing Code” that can help cure most issues for most people. In this book, you learn that Universal Healing Code, which takes only minutes to do. The book also includes:
The Seven Secrets of life, health, and prosperity
The 10-second Instant Impact technique for defusing daily stress
The Heart Issues Finder, the only test that identifies your source issues in a succinct personalized report.”
Hello, I am 42 yrs old. I hope this gets attention as My journey continues with full blown RAD. I was 2 and my folks were on their way to divorce. My mother was a herion attic and alcholic. By 3 they divorced, 3.5yrs old my mother threw a record directly at my face which stuck right in my forehead. I remember walking to my room where I looked into a mirror looking into my own eyes wondering if I was going to live. I pulled the record on my own as my mother simply turned around and went to her room and slammed the door.
The abuse did not stop, my father was my savior, he was only able to get me everyother weekend by law and mymother did not want me to love him more than her. He was berated often in a very hurtful nanner. I knew my father for who he was as he has given me special attention at times. I only bonded with my pops. I was 3-4 when he and I would read the bible together on our knees at the foot of the bed. My father was a stand up fella who served in the military, retired from fords, had no debt and loved his family.
I did not fare well through my younger yrs. My mother went through abusive realationships with other men and if it was not happening to me it was all right in front of me. I was choked, beat, broke over, given pot and alcohol in my single digits. Her boyfriends would hurt me till it blead. Her boyfriend, one in specific, would pay 13-16 yr olds to beat me up in my own front yard. The list goes on and on from all angles and type of abuse.
As I grew, I always felt that there was something wrong but never knew how to explain it. It is always dark and cold. I would lose control often, I realized I was diffrent but as a kid I did not want to except it. I still fight myself hard to fit in mentally. I never knew what to do, at age 3-4 my bedroom became my safe zone. Id rather be there, rocking and listening to wordless music as my life was just beging I was already in idealization mode. I knew something was missing I just could not put my finger on it. Why cant I be happy and social like everyone else.
I felt very numb to the world. I had not realized what I was missing till just 1yr ago. I cry more now then I ever did because my intellect caught up. I have been missing Joy and the ability to feel loved. These emotions NEVER resinated with me.
I struggled hard. I could not take starving andstereo type. I got a job at 11 for 2$ an hr washing dishes at a smallresturant, eating what people did not eat off their plates before washing the dish. All in effort to not starve. I used the little money to buy an outfit or 2 so that I could fit in as my mother would get me clothes from salvation army. I was sooo shammed. I grew to hate my mother and have no realationship to this day with her. I also saved my money to buy transportation. I bought a moped by 12, i was the only kid that had wheels that ran off gas.
Only once in ahwile would I group up with kids, most of my life has been in my room. I grew to realize I was safer being alone, more importantly, you were safer too. I never got into the tough guy gossip with male kids because I was to affraid Id have to defend myself by killing you. I stayed very far away from those people. I haveso much more detail about my thoughts, i dont have the patience to put it all out once.
All the symptoms exist in me. I feel the best way to avoid conflict is to just not be present. People do not understand me and it is so hurtful. My brain catches fire often from being overworked, i get min sleep, without medicine my nervs feel like a lvl 3 out of 10 anixiety 24-7. I sweat hard at night without the meds. I have this long time idealization that the world would love me for my good and that i could feel joy from it. Its never there and my idealization changes as to what i want to see and feel within the frame of thought. I am articulant, I triangulate everything! I am posessed by God and only feel that I am his soldier. I work so hard to be right by others. A far cry from what i was at 10-13. My will through God to live is stronger than my will to not want to live and I thank God everyday for this. There has been many times of doubt and I did not want this life. Why would anyone want to continue feeling like this.
I am very weak in one way and more powerful than anyone in others. I seek to control it, All my strengths have been converted to courage. My work lol, im a master plumber and I do not fail. I break records yr after yr only to be left with no joy of achieving it. I do not know how to fail when it comes to work.
This is my 1st ever post.
I have children, a beautiful wife who is resposible for finding me. I thank God everyday for this too.
I will fight to find what was lost for the rest of my life. I will not give up to be and to feel the same.
Hello Jason – Words utterly fail me except to thank you profoundly for your words here. I would like to re-post your comment as a main blog post so that people who subscribe to this blog will find it there. I know that many of them will care deeply about what you are saying and will understand much of what you say. Usually people will only find comments if they arrive at the specific post that is being replied to. I hope to hear back from you that this would be OK!!!! Linda – alchemynow
He has to accept he does not have to believe this is who is. Rather a behavioral conditioning from his past which led to Rad. I have it. My life at 3yr old is a horror story. I acted the exact same as him. My wife will tell you the same exact frustrations as you have with it. I’m 42 my wife is 45 and we have 8 children together. I did not find out till last year I had rad. I accepted, I now have been therapy once a week for 9 months. The help I get is tremendous as it is mirroring neurons and I finally am able to feel loved, reach out and feel some joy. Things since 3 I know I have not felt. Behavioral conditioning is key to accept and practice to be successful at relationships and ascertain these emotions in which we were robbed from. You have to forgive! But you do not have to allow them back into your life. Stop beating a dead horse by trying to think you must be present to those who hurt you. Your done. What matters is the family in your walls now. Change your circle, we don’t need to be rude about it. Then seek out a professional that deals with rad. Get help before it’s too late and the time for opportunities is gone! The discouraging feeling people with rad have is no empathy, joy and the ability to feel loved. We want to feel loved, experience joy and care normally for others. We don’t know how. In my case I was stabbed in the face by my mother when I was 3. Many more bad stories follow that event. I in turn never developed properly and was disconnected from my milinated sense. Bad parenting gone terribly wrong! My own physiology changed from the trauma. Hard to sleep, bed sweating, unknown irritations that cannot be controlled festering into its everybody else’s fault etc… my nervous system is overactive my metabolism is always fast I don’t gain much weight. My mind and body went into survival mode. The world is not a safe place for me and I need to get through it alone idea. Plz contact me to discuss further if interested. He can get through it! He can be awakened and feel who he really is, just as soon as he deals with what is thriving under his skin and in his mind. These feelings are unexplained as we do not understand them going through life, we need help. It is so annoying to us that it comes out of us as frustrated. Easy for others to just judge us as being assholes. It’s not who we are. When we get the right support, who we really are starts to come through. Because we start to feel the good.
Yes post where it could be read best!
AlchemyNow, Yes post where it could be read best!
I sure didn’t get a chance to write today! I would suggest for the time being until I can get back to writing — Google search the terms “stop the storm trauma altered development” and read some of those posts.
I also strongly recommend going to amazon.come to look for books by Dr. Daniel Siegel – especially Parenting from the Inside Out. He gives an excellent description of what attachment is and how attachment patterns form – both secure and insecure.
Post is here, please take a look!
+BRIEF REPLY TO COMMENT TO ADULT REACTIVE ATTACHMENT DISORDER POST
Hi, Thanks for the article! I’m married to a man with, most definitely, RAD. I know all about it because I adopted a child from Russia with RAD (previous marriage). So, I live with 2 RAD people in the house. Can you just imagine the fun? My question to you is how do I live with him and protect my children? He has improved MUCH since I met him with his ‘explosions’ and I recognize many of his triggers. He is able to now say that he is upset and doesn’t know why but he needs to be alone to work it out. HUGE STEP!!
His emotional roller coaster ride is making living with him so hard. He refuses to admit to me that he has RAD (although I think with everything we’ve gone through with my daughter he recognizes it in himself) and ABSOLUTELY refuses to get help. In vulnerable moments he says I’m the only therapist he needs.
And that is exactly the problem. I feel like a therapist – not a wife. I get NOTHING from him emotionally or intimately. Zero. Except when he swings to the lovey-dovey extreme after a meltdown. But then, I know not to trust it because it will soon be over. And even though he is nice, it’s still all about him.
I understand he can’t really control these things and that he had a rotten childhood and that he is 40 and has lived like this for a loooong time, but is there any hope??? What can I do? I’ve read all the books and if he were a child I have a plethora of things to try, but he’s not.
Hello bizeecat – Oh the things we don’t know when we choose our mates!! Is there a chance that YOU can seek out a therapist to assist you in working through the decision it seems to me that you have already made? Hope is not a nebulous factor in my thinking. In order for it to display its positive powers for changes people have to CHOOSE to use this power. It does not sound like your husband is making this choice. Perhaps – and even likely so – he can’t ‘do that’.
Long long ago – 30 years ago – when I was married I knew in my heart of hearts that the only way I could be in a permanent longterm relationship was for us to live separately. This would have allowed both of us time alone we needed to strengthen our own selves ON OUR OWN – because ultimately we DO have to work our own life course concerns out for our self.
Of course that was way too radical of a suggestion and hence there was no chance for the marriage to survive. While my husband had his own inner troubles to work out/with I know now that it was my own inner formations as a severe early trauma survivor that required this kind of space/distance/time apart – not my husband’s.
I have posted in the past month about some of the new videos on YouTube I listened to by Dr. Daniel Siegel — and in one of them he clearly states that RAD is NOT an insecure attachment disorder. That was news to me but it explains a lot. It is difficult enough to live with one of the identified insecure attachment disorders — but to be formed PHYSIOLOGICALLY in such a way that one’s attachment circuitry (as you know from your RAD child) never had a chance to form at all.
The research DOES show that often the best chance of healing does come through adult secure attachment relationships. They suggest therapy tho most people have no hope of accessing that kind of help. It is, in my thinking, nearly an impossible experience to hope for, wait for, or expect that a ‘love relationship’ can truly provide what is needed to help us heal (on SOME levels, never completely).
Because there are children involved it sounds to me that in spite of the costs to YOU the costs to the children in the home are probably too high a price to pay for the one RAD person to keep the entire family in chaotic trauma-drama upheaval. It is good for NOBODY – and certainly not for children. Of course I am not a professional of any sort – hence my wondering if you CAN access a therapist for your own assistance and support.
Your husband gets lovey dovey after a meltdown??!! Wow I don’t even get that. I’d take it! Mine still blames me FOREVER. He just pushes it deep down inside and pretends that nothing happened. But it is still there. A running tally of so-called “wrongs” I have committed. Just tonight he said “you choose to get upset.” I said, “then you chose to get upset at me the other night when you lost it.” Nope, he said I “made” him angry, I put him there. I said, “how about we both agree to be responsible for our OWN words, our OWN actions and our OWN anger?” He refused to look at me and then said no, I make him angry. How can you rationalize with someone like that? How is there hope? Please tell me how I am supposed to talk to him! :[ :[ :[ :[ :[ :[ :[ :[ :[
Wow! I’m hoping that even though you posted this a while ago, you will still see my reply! My husband was adopted at birth. We started going to counseling so he could “fix ” me. Therapist wanted to work one on one with him but didn’t really get into details. My husband refused and quit therapy. Our lives are miserable right now. We have been married for 13 years and have 5 kids with one on the way….I was able to talk with a friend last night who after listening told me it sounded like he had RAD. I had never heard of it….now I feel like I have answers to a question that I’ve been trying to understand for a very long time! Your post really hit me. I’m looking for support!
I hope you clicked to receive any followup replies to your comment when you posted this. If not, please just post another short one – and click that box! There are some who have written comments to this post who are still probably getting word of new postings such as yours.
I think one of the most important tools you can put in your toolkit are connected to this kind of info – the Center for Disease Control’s (CDC) Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE) study, its findings and what is happening with them – see this:
also this video and others like it:
this is a great website with LOTS of information:
also this very important site:
You can take your own ACE quiz – my guess you would never have been attracted to the man you are married to if YOUR early years had not been probably greatly troubled. You are NOT ALONE!!
PLEASE check out these links – and post back here any time!!! This is the state-of-the-art info for trauma healing!
this is important – http://www.papertigersmovie.com/ — info is here if you can find anyone interested in bringing a screening of this film to your area
Present this movie’s info to your local library and see if they will buy the $75 version for their collection – available here for them (not for public yet)
Thanks for your comment – post again!! All the best, Linda – alchemynow
This might seem ‘off topic’ for your posting – and I’m not going to go into detail here – but an educated hunch – check out anything you can find on “high functioning autism” – or what they no longer call Asperger’s but it is still in existence within the people who “have” this – a member of my immediate family is on the ASD spectrum – and in children this shows up EXACTLY as Reactive Attachment Disorder (along with a whole lot more). Let me know what you come up with – if you like….
thank you so much for this site! I have been absolutely out of control…my spouse is remodeling the house, and I have been so triggered, then triggered more by arguing with him, its been so painful. Now I have some understanding…I knew I was being triggered, but I didnt have enough of a framework or language for the impact of the threat to my stability. Thank you so much, you’ve helped me a lot and Ive only read two posts. Im off to read more!
Hello Sue and thank you for writing!! Those of us who know from the inside out the truth of what I post about have very hard and complicated lives due to the effects early abuse, neglect and trauma have had on us. It is only people like us that would find relief in learning about a topic that to nonsurvivors would seem to be so grim.
I have been feeling pretty dang bad these past months and this has motivated me to renew my own search for something that I can use to improve who I am in my life! Because I so thoroughly understand the depth and breadth of what I have always been dealing with (as it deals with me) I have been at a lost for HELP. I am going to follow this thread I have picked up regarding the work of Dr. Daniel Siegel so you will be reading posts about that. I have never yet recommended any “treaatment” of any kind for us but I may be moving in that direction – a fact that intrigues me greatly!
What Siegel knows is for EVERYONE on this planet!! We are at a time of change on the planet where so much harm has been done to people and to this planet some scientists have been working as hard as they can to locate a common thread across all scientific disciplines that can be applied to the salvation of our species – and our planet in many ways. Dr. Siegel is in the global LEAD in this direction.
I hope to hear from you again here, Sue!! All the best! Linda – alchemynow
I am living with someone who has this disoder we re both adults and i love him very much. How can i be a support for him.
Hello Vera – and apologies for the delay in my response to you!! Read everything you can find online AND trust your heart absolutely!! I am not sure that any “professional” recognizes this Reactive Attachment Disorder as continuing on from childhood into adulthood – but from my own experience it certainly DOES!!
Look at this book a friend recommends
And this new one of hers!
I don’t believe there is a way for someone to have this insecure attachment disorder that did not suffer great trauma in childhood. Therefore everything on this blog applies! Early trauma changes the way the young body develops in adaptation to that trauma. What we suffer from for the rest of our life is this changed physiology.
This material can seem very dense and hard to understand but read what you CAN! Your heart will know what this is saying, along with anything you can find online by Dr. Allan Schore
It is not just our brain that changes as these Teicher articles describe. Our nervous system, immune system — all of our body changed to keep us alive when were little. Post a comment anywhere you wish here and because I am now moved and have internet back as of today, I will respond to you more quickly!
I would also suggest that you too probably have an insecure attachment disorder of one degree or another. Changes are EXCELLENT that this is so. Understanding your own early trauma is very important, too! This is the best book for understanding how insecure attachments are formed in our early relationships
anything you find online by Dr. Seigel is excellent!!
LOVE is not always enough! I’ve been down that painful road several times. We must be willing to educate ourselves and be willing to TRUST our self and the self of our loved one — no matter what! This is all tough stuff – so take plenty of time to be in the beauty of the moment and to PLAY!!!! All the best!! alchemynow – Linda
Found this…what do u think?
I can’t tell if this woman was someone “famous?” I won’t read the entire article – too negative – but…. Perhaps the obit will shine some light into some dark places that have been dark too long. It wouldn’t be my tactic, but….
Overall I think they did a good thing!!
Found this link this am..
Thought of you
From that post: “I can permit myself to do what I need to do for an emotionally healthy life, even if that means becoming the adult to our mom’s child and setting boundaries and consequences. I can, if I must, consider myself an orphan of her disease. I can grieve the sadness that involves. But, just like a war orphan, I can heal from the grief and go on to live a happy, healthy life, despite my loss.”
I completely understand what this writer expresses. Then, for me, there was a whole other later – the layer of BPD Mother’s PSYCHOTIC abuse of me for 18 years. This did not leave me able to fully do what this author describes. There is too much damage within me to believe in any kind of magic that would suggest I can. I have tried. I continue to try. In the end I cannot outrun the damage Mother’s traumatic distress did to the way my body formed. I am very clear that who I am as a person is healthy inside this body that goes so out of whack from the physiological developmental changes that trauma created.
Meanwhile I am working to learn how better to endure the damage with patience.
Thank you for this link, Helen. It is helpful.
I’m still waiting..I may give up soon though. No room at our local women’s shelter.I don’t want to call around and ask for more help ( I’m too frightened). Now that I have to rely on others I honestly don’t believe they will help me- well they haven’t in the past, why now? Doors are closed when your family is filled with sociopaths. Asking them to help is akin to opening the door to a lion’s cage! I’m lost and empty. I don’t have friends as I don’t trust people…how the hell am I going to flee an abusive relationship without trust? I’m frozen and helpless..
I am so sorry to hear this sad news, that there is no room in the shelter because it is full of so many suffering people!
In the post I just wrote — +PATHS OF EMPATHY: WHOSE PROBLEM IS IT AND WHAT IS THE HEALTHY RESPONSE?
I have to acknowledge how helpless I am to help so, so many who need to be helped – and HEARD! Our society is so spiritually bankrupt! There is great, great need — and in your town alone there is obvious financial need to increasee the capacity of that shelter.
Those who need to pay attention to others’ needs are not doing their part. All of us need to care. WHERE ARE THE CARING ONES?
Oh, my hurts for your suffering, dear woman! I have no answers. (I run from computer to toilet with the results of the traumatic stress of my life that has worn out my very digestion.)
This is all so much for you to bear. I can only listen — and I AM listening and I DO care!
Thanks for reminding me to be true to myself. I know what I “know”. Those who negate my experience do so to make themselves feel better. That’s what got me in this state to begin with. Caregivers who took care of themselves first before taking care of me.
Yes – and the Collins material I linked to below describes important parts of that process – when caregivers do not have their own attachment system turned off (their own attachment needs met at the time) they cannot be adequate caregivers. Hope to hear from you as you progress through your studies! All the best!
Thank you for sharing… I have just begun searching to try to understand myself more clearly.
Like you and others, I believe the root problem is RAD even if that’s not the diagnosis. However, I have seen many counselors and no one has ever given me a diagnosis.
It’s confusing for sure. Yes, a lot of people in my life have been real jerks. But, I am the common denominator and refuse to accept that these broken relationships are entirely “their” fault. Therapy has gotten me no where with this question. I am quite chatty, witty, well-adjusted and fairly good looking. My therapists have never taken me very seriously. They don’t seem to understand that I know how to maneuver through this world in a way that seems like I am perfectly fine…. Not just that I know HOW to… that I have no choice… that I slip into that role of convincing everyone that I’m okay … and when I leave therapy, all I’ve done is chat about the past week’s events.
I don’t know HOW to get to the bottom of this. I ALWAYS have logical explanations for not bonding with people around me. Right now, I could list everyone in my surrounding bubble and tell you why I shouldn’t spend much time with them. Ranging from alcoholism to codependency to sheer lack of imagination, these reasons are true. However, surely there are some people somewhere that I deem worthy of a friendship?? How can I be such a judgmental freak?
Any way, I wouldn’t be going to therapy if I were as well-adjusted as my therapists seem to think that I am. How can they not see that? I don’t have money to spend because I need to chat.
I wasn’t always like this. I tried extremely hard to be likable, was co-dependent and idealized others. I would bend over backward for friendships.
Then, my father/grandfather died. I was raised by my grandparents since I was 9 weeks old. My mother left my father and my grandmother took me and my sister to her house to live.
They adopted me when I was around seven. So, when he died I had a break down and none of my “friends” stood by me through it. I hadn’t recognized until that point that my relationships were non-reciprocal. But, as I processed my mourning for years, I became painfully aware of the unhealthy relationships that I had considered my circle of friends.
So, after having gone through the years of mourning and severe isolation, I have come out the other side of it with a far more dismal view than ever before.
RAD seems to fit most of what I feel about my complex love and yet detachment from my grandparents and sisters. It seems to fit my dysfunctional relationships period.
I fantasize about having a family and closeness. I’m 45 years old and I don’t want to live the rest of my life this lonely.
Is there any way this can be treated?
WOW, BJ! Firstly, it is to your earliest relationships primarily before the age of one that a person has to look for the most important truths about the formation of our “attachment circuitry” in our body – nervous system and RIGHT BRAIN, especially. Can “this” be treated? Absolutely – yet still to a degree.
There is a LOT of information on this blog about insecure attachment disorders. You KNOW something is deeply not right within you – and trust this as you research – you will resonanate with what is true for you.
You can google search “infant attachment” with stop the storm and it will land you different places on this blog
also do the same using ‘Allan Schore attachment stop the storm’ – just to get you started
search ‘brain development attachment stop the storm’ also
and please add your comments wherever you land!!!! You are ON THE RIGHT TRACK and very very few therapists have a clue about this information. They are missing the boat with nearly ALL of their clients because of this lack.
Don’t give up! You will lean all kinds of new info and knowledge is power. All the best to you in your new investigation!!!!!!!
Also read this!
**Attachment Styles and Caregiving from Collins Article
with the list of articles here
+CAREGIVING IN ADULT ATTACHMENT RELATIONSHIPS
With dyslexia, words a often missing, copying from a board is very difficult. The sufferer also has difficulty with language comprehension because of the time consuming task of re- reading written material…obviously there is a working memory deficit ( common with dyslexia)
I’ve documenting every thought, every physiological reaction…I’ve been meditating.. clearing my mind. I’ve noticed a few things…I dissociate every six seconds. One alter blends into another alter. My writing patterns change, my facial affect changes. What clinicians and therapist diagnosis as ” dyslexia” is actually part of my DID! I wrote a email to my mother this morning ( very stressful activity to partake in)…and after the email was sent I realized that words were missing, some of the sentences and paragraphs were incoherent ” I help moving to another city..can’t I stay” The message was intended to say ” I need your helping moving to another city. If you can’t help I may have to stay”
You are such a brave and extraordinary soul, Helen!! I hope all plans are coming along in a very good way!! xx
More interaction with my borderline mother.I may have to cut her out of my life completely.I may have to extract the poison. Very controlling, very psychotic woman. ” This is how things are going to be done”. “You’re going to get your husband to sign this letter”.”What do you think I had to endure for the last 36 years”?” ARE U USING ME HELEN”?” Helen, I can’t listen to your lies about your childhood…why can’t you say nice things to me?” Tell me about how wonderfully dressed you were or the beautiful home you lived in”!!!!” I WANT TO GO TO THERAPY WITH YOU HELEN, YOU’RE GOING TO TELL THE THERAPIST WHAT YOU’RE TELLING ME..NO THERAPIST IS GOING TO BELIEVE I WAS THAT EVIL TO YOU”!!!
I stated to her… ” how you dressed me is irrelevant mother, that’s superficial; it’s how I was nurtured..you neglected and abused me”. She raged on the phone like a small child, ” I’ll pay for this for the rest of my life…there’s no forgiveness. You keep saying that this is intergenerational. What if you were born this way….YOU’RE DIFFICULT HELEN”!!!!!
I wasn’t picked out of a cabbage patch…..lol. I told my “mother”, ” you know we’re both raging at each other…see, one of us is insightful as to what is going on, the other is beyond reasoning and help”.She wants to force me into therapy with her ” to help her”…well if she wanted insight into herself she could have sought genuine help YEARS AGO 😉 To live and be exposed to this malignancy for over 19 years….I couldn’t be anyone else.I have borderline..
Hope you ditch her – ASAP!
..and the plans are: shelter, government housing, disability.Sad reality for this damaged soul.
Hi Helen! Good to hear update! I don’t think those plans sound a bit sad! Very practical!!! You never know what improvements you will experience once you are out of such a toxic and stressful/distressful situation!!!!!! Plans sound doable and – GREAT!!!!!!! xx
This foundation as been very comforting and insightful to trauma survivors.If you can, please look
This blog is a great support group. I do not know where to begin. I knew of RAD ten years ago and did read some blogs. At the time I was not ready to admit to myself that I have little feeling when I am suppose to be dramatic during a life challenge. During my life I have acted out in many ways to fill the black hole of emptiness. Does anyone know of a actual diagnostic tool and criteria list that can be used by a therapist to diagnosis RAD. Thank you. Cathy
Hello and welcome! As far as I know RAD is NOT an adult ‘diagnostic category’ of any kind. Increasing numbers of those of us who suffer from the insecure attachment disorder that can be called ‘disorganized’ – or as I prefer it, ‘disorganized-disoriented’ insecure attachment are identifying that we indeed DO have an adult version of RAD that is of itself only used in reference to children that fit those criteria.
It is important for all therapists to completely familiarize themselves with attachment theory and with the variety of very real insecure attachment disorders that stem from neglect, abuse and trauma in our earliest attachment relationships primarily birth to age one – followed by increasing traumas age one – 2 and beyond.
We have what I call ‘trauma altered development’. This is a very real alteration in the way our body, brain, nervous system, calm-stress response system and our immune system develops under conditions of toxic stress/distress during our earliest critical stages of development.
There is MUCH related information on this blog! You can use ‘stop the storm’ and any related search term in an online search to find specific posts here.
Searching ‘infant abuse’ and/or ‘child abuse’ with ‘attachment’ with ‘brain development’ in combinations will lead you to much related info online, as will a search for ‘adult RAD’.
I hope this helps! Keep up your searching! Knowledge gives us the power we need to understand ourselves in our lives.
Anything published by Dr. Allan Schore, Daniel Siegel, Martin Teicher is great! All the best! Linda – alchemynow
I believed i would be alone for the rest of my life. Friendships, partnerships never being reciprocal i refrained from them. Determined i would heal first, before ever again attempting any sort of relationship. I was wrong. Today in this blog i have met so many people who suffer the same symptoms as i do, it is almost like being normal. Although my oldest son would not agree to that, thinking only his ways are normal, putting an ultimatum to me, that i needed to be normal like that, or be excluded from his family. The totally destroying sadness has passed. I am still there. Through all the fear, the wanting to end it all, i am still here. The sadness will most likely return at times, but not as devastating as those first moments. It is also a relief. A letting go of all the stress trying to fake it all, what my heart could not feel. Alieniated, unseen, hidden. I am alone, but i am also with myself in deep compassionate relationship, where guilttripping does not exist. The innocence of a soul, never incarnated, a child never cared for.
Hello Gertrude — You have said so many vital things here – we all thank you! Yes – as you will read elsewhere on this blog — we were built by and for a different world than “normal.” This makes us different, and very unique, though I don’t believe our life will ever be easy.
I am wondering if your oldest son is married – and has children?
My oldest son seems to not have empathy in his makeup. Yes he is married and he is the one having children. And of course he wants to protect his children. From the moment the oldest was born, i asked myself, whether it was the responsible thing to do to be in their lives. So for years i consciously dissociated as best as i could at family dinners, always risking to be triggered into a traumastate.
A set up an instant support system on my laptop, just in case. Things were improving. You people know all out about failing relationships. or the incapacity of even having one. So after an abusive marriage, in which he was conceived. beaten when just in my womb for 3 months, full fistforce after years and the womens movement i decided to have more children.
It was the pregnancies that triggered my inuterotrauma’s. For years i have been telling several therapists about my symptoms. Though they spoke about dissociation, ptsd and attachment, noone mentioned this RAD disorder. I have built resilience in handling myself, living with it. But in the contact with intimate others it is like speaking a different language.
With strangers, in the outside world i automatically dissociate into this love, joy spreading woman. There have been times that the whole world greeted me as if i were family. She is the part men fall in love with. But always being triggered into a traumastate caught up with me and their incapacity to deal with it.
I am in a place of acceptance right now. For the first time i refused to go back into the cage of faking it for the sake of others. Rather the convenience of others. Possibly for the first time in my life i did not choose responsibility as a mother, but chose to stay loyal, compassionate and loving to this part, she who has never even been born, hidden deep within, needing my protection, my care, my nurture, my allowing her to be as she is.
I am letting the river of life carry me. I have no solutions as to what should happen regarding my place in the family. It is a complicated situation. Life caught up with me. My youngest son sired by a man, who at that time, did not want to be his father, has come back into his life, wants to add him to his family and wants nothing to do with me. Claiming my son is an adult and he should be able to handle that.
Maybe my son can. But i cannot. Too much unsafety, which will never stop being threatening and which would possibly destroy me. Moreover the man now claims he never said he did not want to be his father back then. Sadly i threw away his letter. Wanting to be done with the past, believing hypes one could start anew, i threw away many things, diairies, letters and such, i should have kept.
It felt that if i accepted that path there would only be death for me. As like now there is still HOPE. I have always believed healing is possible. But it is not a switch that can simply be turned on or off. Building resilience, new neuropathways takes a very long time. Discipline, having to forsake much in life, is at times just something one wants to throw in the garbage can. Am so glad to have found some people, speaking my language.
this could as well be written by me. I just learned about the term RAD. Describing all the symptoms no expert/professional therapist ever came up with the term. Like you it is a daytime job for me. I am now 62 years. My family, the one i single parented, recently exploded/blew up again.
I am tired of explaining/defending myself. My family, my children neglecting me just like i was inutero and from then on. They say they love me and i believe them. But recently my oldest son put an ultimatum to me to be normal and to make up with my youngest son.
I cannot explain there is no conflict between my youngest and me, that him making the choice to enter in a relationship with the man who sired him, but who stated not to want to be his father, but now wants to add him to his family, is a situation so unsafe, that i am just incapable of living that. cannot be comprehended by them.
Sometimes it feels like having Lepra. People avoiding the real you. Is that even the real you. They love the highfunctioning Soulwoman. But i always get triggered into a traumastate and thus i always get kicked to the curb, by all those supposedly loving me.
So i guess now i am a mother, grandmother without children/grandchildren. Somehow besides the deep sadness, there is also relief.
The terrible stress from attempting to keep the alieniating status quo, so i will be tolerated, so my intend that they would keep their mother in their lives, where mine never wanted to be, can be let go of. It is not a satisfactory solution. But possibly they are better of without me in their lives.
Somewhere googling i read how hard it is to live with adult people suffering from RAD, Any idea how hard it is living it?
The constant fight to heal a body geared for death from the age of 2, when all i wanted was to return to the spiritrealm is exhausting. The expense when not even having a proper income for supplements, just to survive, is a heavy burden to juggle. But my determination to find healing or to die in trying to find it is unwavering.
Any living system seeks homeostasis. So why would i not fall under that saying. Having been at it for almost 40 years now, it is taking a while. So if you have any good suggestions, on top of all that i am already doing, it would be welcome.
My belief that there must be purpose, a deeper meaning in all this has at times become distant, but never totally lost.
Wishing you well, balanced, tranquil.
More insight..parents were ordered into parenting classes, neighbors and former classmates aren’t surprised
The info at this link doesn’t mention your insight – but not surprising. Just sad beyond words
You are right about far more adults having RAD than realized. RAD was only officially accepted as a legitimate behavioral disorder since 1980s. Today there are over 800,000 children diagnosed with RAD. This number does not include the adults who were also RAD children prior to 1980s.
I’ll have a thesis published in two months. Check it out at
I believe you will find it informative and it will give you resources to get help if you haven’t already done that.
This is a great read! I have been married for 26 years to my husband who was recently diagnosed with residual symptoms of RAD and a schizoid personality disorder. When we received the diagnosis I was relieved, but i also experience days of hopelessness. I admire all of you who have the courage to admit you have this disorder, and I admire the encouragement you have for one another. Along with these personality disorders my husband also struggles with learning disabilities. I read many articles regarding RAD and SPD and the effects they have on relationships, especially marriages, but there are very few forums and support groups. I just want you to know that I also am very lonely, but feel honored that God has picked me to be my husbands wife.
I really believe that information heals – the RIGHT information, of course – but we have so much new information and access to it – it’s amazing!
Diana, love is precious!
by the way, you might find the info at these links I just posted today on adult attachment in relationships helpful!!
+WHEN WE CAN’T STOP NEEDING
Considering that only about half of our population got what we needed in safe and secure attachment relationships especially with our mother birth to age one — (later attachments also important, of course)
this means that the other half of us have some version of degrees of an insecure attachment disorder/patterns
my guess is that you being attracted to your hubby in the first place — you probably have one of your own! This is not a bad thing by itself, but what we need is information!
search/Google – any term related to attachment using ‘stop the storm’ and then your terms – and you might find more good stuff here!
Welcome welcome! And take time for YOURSELF!!! xo Hope to see you here again!
OOPS! I was sidetracked over here talking with you – and nearly blew up my foamy-coffee-machine-thingie!!
Made a account…( it’s Helen)
hum – where?? xo
did you start a blog?? !!!
No, I haven’t yet…I made an account so you and I could pass info back and forth.
Not sure how this works?? You mean other than email – or via this email address I can see here on my end – that’s probably what you mean – me = not very techy!!! lol
We’ll figure it out..lol Look at all my disorganized writing, I pity you…you have to try to sort out what I’ve said!! Can u tell that I’m not contained? What a mess…lol
lol!! I like it that all your writing is CONTAINED right here!!!! After 1st book is rolling off the epress – there will be more time to work with this all
meanwhile – we can write away – and contain right here!!
I never knew this disorder existed until last Friday. I have been deep in the midst of an affair with a married man..the 2nd one in the past 9 years of my second marriage. I had cheated on my 1st husband at least 4 times, with the last time being a full-blown affair (with a married man) that lasted 6 months. I left my 1st husband after it blew up in my face..he promised to leave his wife, but when it was discovered, he stayed with her. This time, it was ALSO discovered and the married man did the same thing, BUT told me it was only temporary and he still wanted to be with me..it was just going to take time. My husband discovered an email I sent to him yesterday and things got blown apart again. I told my husband about RAD and he said I most definitely show most of the traits.
I have been in and out of therapy my entire life — I’ll be 51 on Sunday. No one has ever diagnosed me with this! I had already made an appt to see one counselor I saw 3 years ago, but can’t get in until the end of October. I plan on showing her the info on this disorder and seeing if she can help me. I have 2 grown sons and rarely feel connected to them either…it’s like I just cannot understand love and empathy. My husband is beside himself with grief over my repeated cheating, but says he’ll be there for me through counseling. In my mind, all I want to do is run from him — but I know that’s probably not the most healthy. I know whats right and wrong, but continue to choose “wrong” because I feel unworthy of what’s “right”.
Oh, I understand what you are saying – !!
I am currently helping my daughter as she returns to work after having her second son – who is 8 weeks old – and am 1700 miles away from home – so am very ‘distracted’!! I apologize that I am not ‘with it’ here – I return home 9-26th – but do not want to leave comments hanging around in limbo until then!!!
If you Google search ‘stop the storm trauma altered development’ I hope you will be able to find other posts here that can help you!
I don’t believe it’s how we label ourselves that matters so much as it is discovering how the traumas, neglect and/or abuse of our earliest months and years of life so stressed our developing body-brain that our physiology took a different turn in response. We are DIFFERENT people who process ourselves in different ways in the world — and there is so much to learn about how this happens and what this means.
Another way to ‘name this’ is ‘disorganized-disoriented’ insecure attachment disorder – and I think a Google search for ‘stop the storm’ with these words will also bring you to lots of info.
Again, toward the end of the month I will be back home again – and more able to respond to comments. Please feel free to add your thoughts and feelings anywhere on the blog you end up!! Sounds like the ‘trauma drama’ aspects of how we end up living as adults are in full swing for you. Calming our LIFE down, and our SELF down (including our body) is VERY important!!!!! Looking forward to hearing from you again!!
It’s taken me 55 years to realize that I have this attachment disorder. I haven’t been in a relationship for 20 years and have no idea how to deal with this and the sadness it entails. I wish even one of the useless therapists I’ve wasted money and energy on over the years could have been on the ball enough to understand the results of a traumatic and violent childhood with no bonding. It does help to know others experience such things. After much spiritual work and not being able to establish relationships, it was through the show Intervention that I finally came to an accurate self-diagnosis. It is quite a relief to know that I am not alone in these feelings. Where does one go from here? I’ve ordered a couple of books, but would like someone to relate to, I hope I can do that here. Whenever I hear troubled people say, ‘my spouse,’ or ‘my children,’ I do not feel I can relate to them, they have managed something that seems impossible to me. I would like to have intimacy and love and hope that I will not be spending the next 20 years in sadness and isolation.
Good morning and hello! Welcome!! I apologize for the delay in my response – I have traveled 1700 miles to spend some time with my daughters and grandchildren. I hear exactly what you are saying, and while our journey is difficult (an understatement) we are really like miraculous works of art!! The more we learn, the more we can understand this fact. We are EXTRAORDINARY – and while we will never be ordinary, we can learn more and moe and more about how what happened to us changed our physiology — and about what this means!!
Take a look through these two links to start off:
I also believe that a Google search of work by Dr. Allan Schore and Dr. Daniel Siegel will be of great help. Any Google search for ‘stop the storm trauma altered development’ should bring up posts that can help.
Finally knowing the truth about ourselves allows us to begin to ask the right questions and find the right answers!
My deep deep sadness permeates my existence with every breath I take – but I will NOT let this fact stop me from applying efforts to find solutions. I also know that I will live alone the rest of my life (I turned 61 last week). I am making peace with the vital necessity – for myself – of having as uncomplicated life emotionally as I can create.
I often talk to God (as I understand Him) about why I am still on this earth – always being as open as I can to the fact that there must be important reasons for my being here – that I have important things to offer to others in this very complicated world.
Please comment again anywhere you find yourself reading on this blog! Thank you very much for your words – you inspire me!!!!! We have endured, survived — and bring to the palette of human existence our unique perspective on being alive!!!!! Welcome!! Linda – alchemynow
hi dear friend.i had d same issues too, would u liked to add me ?
Not sure what you mean ‘add me’ – but you can click on ‘follow’ on the front page of the blog if you would like. Otherwise, you are also added certainly to all of our hearts with BEST wishes!!!!!
You have been in a relationship with yourself. We just need to become much more compassionate with ourselves. I have children. My family just exploded recently again. Having them is not something to be jealous of. I felt neglected by them, they have no time. Which in my mind just equals they do not love me. They say they do love me and i believe them. They have never taken the trouble to gain any knowledge about my traumatic disorders or insight. Having no contact in a way is a relief. Stress has lifted from me, trying to fake being a mother/grandmother when not feeling it in my heart. Very complicated, impossible to explain to others. I have been alone all my life. Today that has changed, feeling i finally meet up with people who speak the same language and understand.
Wishing you well.
Fay8 read your post and totally relate. So much so I am replying which I hardly ever do. I could have written the exact same post only I am 49. Thanks for posting.
Glad to hear from yoiu – and THANKS! tough way to live…. I know!!!
im so happy that others are feeling the same way i am – im a 22 year old woman, and was starting to feel like i was losing my mind. im still confused and a little upset because i feel like therapy wont do anything for me..seeing as how my whole childhood was spent in a therapists room.. but im sure thats just my “r.a.d” talking. i just wont allow myself anything because my brain is constantly telling me that im right and everyone else is wrong. does anyone else feel that way? i wont even allow myself to enjoy the company of anyone anymore.. its really hard.
Hi! Your statement is interesting to me: “…my brain is constantly telling me that im right and everyone else is wrong.”
I sure experienced a lot of this in the early years of my ‘recovery’ – and after all those years I have learned that nearly all of the time I WAS RIGHT while ‘everyone else’ was wrong.
When early neglect, deprivation, abuse and trauma is chronic and severe enough – and when there are no stable and long term safe and secure attachment people in such a little one’s life, the ‘rules’ are changed during our development — and as you will read in lots of places on this blog our very brain and body are forced to develop differently from those who did not have the extreme traumas that we did.
I hope you find some of my ‘trauma altered development’ posts – you can even use those terms with ‘stop the storm’ in an online search and find this info.
Until the very basic and most important facts are widely known about how early trauma changes us from the inside out on the molecular, DNA level, the rest of the ‘self help’ info simply does not fit us correctly. That we know this in our core amazes me – because we ARE RIGHT!!!
Hope to hear from you again!!! Stick with it – and believe yourself!!! Eventually you will find the balance point where you can become more clear about what fits, what doesn’t, and WHY!!
I have tears in my eyes as I read this because this is so true of me. Being orphan twice before the age of six and being sexual abused. My story is fulled with physical, emotional, sexual abused through out my first eighteen years of life. Was placed in foster homes and never in the same place for very long.
I am a twin and been blessed with being able to be together through out our whole life. Even tho we experience some of the same things our personality are different. She is out going and seeks attention and I hide behind her and was the fixer upper. I never knew how different we really was till the age of fifty. I never could make friends and depended on her for security even if I felt what she did was wrong.
I seek to know all the rules so no one can hurt me and people won’t be disappointed in me. I too have two children and after being married for twenty something years I divorced because I was tired of being fake in our relationship . I never felt his love for me was there and being treated with little respect I had to either leave or end my life. I love my children and have work very hard to make their life as wonderful as possible. But like you I can’t feel their love for me. My mind tells me that they do but my heart debates if that really true.
I crave for love but so afraid of it. I too struggle to keep on living and wondering will this ever get easier. Why am I so unlovable. Reading your blog makes me feel that maybe I”m not so crazy but a product of my pass. I struggle with the Why’s in life, There is so much more to say but struggle how to express . I’m seeking therapy and my hope is to love the person I am.
Greetings Twin – It warms my heart to know you are visiting here today. Thank you for your comment.
We are affirming one another in what we have experienced, how those experiences changed our body and brain as we developed without safe and secure attachments, many of us without love of any kind, many with severe abuse — and affirming one another that we ARE different people as surely as if we were born and formed in one universe while non-traumatized people come from another one.
They will never be like we are — and we will never be like they are.
I think the most important steps we take are in becoming able to make these connections in our thoughts so we stop expecting the impossible from our self. I just recently even wrote a post about ‘self-love’ – perhaps you follow this blog and read this already —
+GIVING MYSELF PERMISSION TO QUIT LOOKING FOR MY SELF-LOVE DIAMOND
click here to read this one: https://stopthestorm.wordpress.com/2012/07/07/giving-myself-permission-to-quit-looking-for-my-self-love-diamond/
Learning not only WHO I am but equally importantly HOW I am in the world is finally calming me down in some ways that matter — so that I don’t TRY TRY TRY TRY…… to be BETTER — which always meant that I try to be like other people seem to be.
I hope to hear your words in other comments around the blog. The posts are listed in the months they were written in the archives at the side of the home page. You are doing GREAT!! You are ALIVE — and that’s a miracle!! All the best!!!!!
As a 33 year old mother of two biological children and one adopted I always understood, even from my own child hood years, that I was “different” from others in the way I felt (or did not feel) emotions ; safety, security, belonging, family, er sonar identity: all learned and mimicked but never “felt”.
I have been researching to find my place (I dislike diagnosis as I do not have an”illness” so much as I am a biproduct of dis function ). I went to therapy for years in my late teens and early twenties but found that the labels and drugs only made me feel all the more lost in myself and the world. This was one of many pages I found that spoke to me-I am different, but not alone. Knowing there are others like me makes me feel more human. I have learned to empathize and to mimick the expected responses to others around me, and perhaps it is more of a focus in my interactions as overcompensation for any real connection. I feel love for my children in the way I would protect them fiercely and without remorse. I feel love for my spouse as I respect him as a person, value him as an intelligent and (flawed) but good hearted man, and hold our vows in the highest regard: he thinks I am a deeply emotional woman who hides behind logic and sarcasm, no matter how many times I try to explain to him how he is not entirely right. Emotions are all the same initially : a mixture of fear and anger, when heightened it is terror and rage. I have learned thru years of self study how to organize these initial “emotions” appropriately to allow myself to properly respond and process the source of the “emotion”: it can be exhausting till you get the hang of it, as there is often no one who truly relates. I am thankful that others are willing to reach out and connect with our “unconnected” peers: we are not broken, we are rebuilt.
Bless you each in your personal journey; I hope you wish me the same.
Well, something just went bonkers here — and the reply I wrote to you vanished!!!
Yes, blessed journeys for us all!
I was mentioning the state-of-the-art research available for the finding at the PubMed database at
Also that 28 years ago without internet — along with the fact that so much of the research that pertains to what WE survivors NEED was not available when I was your age — I feel a little envious of how much you KNOW of the RIGHT STUFF!! Of course, that’s my marginal response – the BIG response is GLADNESS – and admiration that you and so many of this blog’s readers are so highly motivated and so brilliant in finding all the pieces that FIT –
And with PRIDE and CONFIDENCE and unquestioning trust in self – this thrills me at my old age of 61-next-month!!!
Thank you so much for visiting the blog, for reading, for commenting – ! Oh, before my first reply vanished I was going to use your word ‘sonar’!! I made it a long way with instinctual understanding of how to ‘comply’ to fit in – until I wore out!! I still believe the shock of the breast cancer and treatment 5 years ago, the along with some other powerful factors — simply erased for me what I learned to do to ‘get along’ since I was a little tiny girl. Now I FORGOT all that ‘superficial’ learning……
Anyway, I sure don’t feel too articulate right now — I so enjoy when other readers such as yourself pick up the ball here on these important topics and RUN with it! All the best!!!! Hope to hear from you again!! Linda – alchemynow
So much recognition in all people on this site are saying. I believed i would never meet anyone who would truely be capable of understanding me.
Thanks for your blog, I’m gaining some valuable insight. I happened upon this after years of trying to understand why I am the way I am. I have such a hard time relating to others and “fake it” all of the time. I really appreciate your description of these internal “seizures” which overwhelm me constantly. I find myself unable to process my thoughts, feelings and experience and struggle so much in relating to people.
Finding kinship in others with a similar experiences is comforting and such a relief!
I feel so glad you have found this blog and are gaining insight from my writings – and so very very sad that most most likely what happened to you when you were very young was so traumatic, harmful and just plain WRONG!!
If you click on the ‘home’ tab at the top of the blog you will find some of my current writings – which speak of my ongoing struggles – in perhaps a simplistic way I have found – especially after watching the Temple Grandin movie which I so highly recommend, that although I was not born autistic – the stress and distress and trauma during my developmental years created in me a body-nervous system-brain that is far more like an autistic one than an ‘ordinary’ one.
If you get the chance, please watch the movie, Temple Grandin. It might also open many doorways and windows into how our body operates.
Thank you so much for visiting, and for commenting!! We have such a rough road!!!!!! with love for us all – Linda – alchemynow
Hi. Jus saw your post. Im an adult with severe effects of childhood emotional abuse by my mother. Im unable to cope with life of lonelines, emptiness, hopelessnes and inability to bond. How do you cope and are you better now?
I am now at 60 on full social security disability for the lifelong consequences of those 18 years of terrible abuse. Getting breast cancer 5 years ago, fighting and surviving that seemed to exhaust whatever resources I had left. I have to live a very very quiet life. I just re-watched the movie, ‘Temple Grandin’ – and highly recommend it. Even though I do not have autism, many of the stress-related developmental changes I experienced due to such trauma from birth have created many very similar conditions in my body-brain-nervous system.
In that movie when Temple’s ‘attacks’ are shown, she externalized them. Mine are equally intense but on the inside. The lack of social connectedness that Temple has – people like me, probably you, experience that kind of remoteness and ‘strangeness’ of being a member of the human species, as well.
Some days I am much better than others. For no reason that I can track today, I feel very sad and very close to tears. No idea why – but know it is directly connected to that abuse.
I am very open with my children who all live a long ways from me – though I never abused them and we are close. I know I will never in this lifetime really know what feeling loved feels like, any more than Temple really could/can. I think we ‘act as if’ much of our lives. My soul feels very very tired now. I was thinking of that today. My soul is tired!!
I think I accept things about myself better now that I understand how the terrible stress of trauma affected how my body-brain developed. Google ‘stop the storm trauma altered development’ and many pages of this info should appear. Also with ‘stop the storm insecure attachment’ –
Thanks so much for stopping by and for commenting. Knowing we are not alone, that others know exactly what we know about suffering through a lifetime from the terrible trauma and abuse of our childhoods. Please drop a line at the end of any post you might find here. We are all doing the best that we can – tho there is NOTHING EASY or simple about our experiences in life. All the best! Linda – alchemynow
Lack of friendships, a rejecting family, an abusive relationship, never had any employment, disconnected, chronic insomnia, chronic anxiety, IBS, headaches, DID,constant raging……*Sigh*, my mother should have ended my pregnancy.My quality of life is EXTREMELY POOR!!My mother told me she was emotionally empty when she had us.She was detached, anxious, and just going through the motions of being human.I have unresolved RAD,everyday is a struggle.Christine,the loneliness and emptiness will never go away.
Oh do I understand what you are saying!! Such tragedy and I am so sorry for all of us! No doubt your mother suffered a very similar early life to what she dished out – I believe we can carve out a life in between what our BODY is doing to us!!!! It is the effect of what the deprivations and continual lack of love, safety, PLAY – well you well know — that created these changes in our physiology —
You will understand me when I mention the extreme conflict I felt 5 years ago about today when I received the diagnosis of advanced, aggressive breast cancer — I have 3 fantastic grown children who love me very much (and understand that due to the consequences of severe trauma in my early years I cannot FEEL their love tho I can feel love for THEM) – and I knew I would have to fight that battle to WANT to remain alive – it was a terrific struggle for me to fight that cancer – and thus far win – ’cause I will NEVER have the quality of life I DESERVED!!!
Every day is a struggle – and as I recognize what my body does – the anxiety, IBS, insomnia (tho I have found homeopathic aids that work pretty well – my inability to tolerate any noise, difficulty being in the presence of humans while being chronically lonely, etc. — I look always to try to stay connected with my essential self – I call my eternal soul – that was NEVER touched by the abuse — but also did not get to ‘grow into the world’ as I should have – (the remoteness, dissociation DID, feeling unreal, etc.
I am happy to hear your voice. You are NOT ALONE in this!!!! The chronic deed sadness is enough to probably knock most people flat on the ground so they’d never get back up – and yet here we are. We are STRONG! We are GOOD PEOPLE!!!!!!
My wife just learned of RAD. Because of her birth 50 years ago by a prison inmate, the foster care system that kept her moving and fianlly a stepmother who committeed suicide when my wife was about ten, she is a textbook case for this diagnosis. As a spouse it is difficult because you never know what will trigger and epidsode or how long it will last. Because I am the closest person to her I am usually the target of her anger and retaliation. I feel so bad for my wife because she normally realizes the truth and then has to deal with the guilt of displacing her anger towards me. We have been married 14 wonderful years. There are days I am very weary any suggestions for the spouse so we can stay healthy and support our loved ones?
Wow – how clear you speak – with love, compassion and devotion! Also with wisdom – !!
I can FEEL the reactivity now when it happens – many do not believe that adults can ‘have’ RAD – ha! Is very real.
I live alone. I cannot imagine living with a partner – if so, my guess is we would need a duplex!!
Personally, I need a LOT of time alone – I am very very busy on my insides all of the time – and I think absolute DOWN time is essential for us – none of the reactivity has anything to do with anyone else – but it is very hard not to spew it in somebody else’s direction when the reactivity is going on.
But there is no reason why a loving couple can’t learn learn learn about what is happening. A kind of kindling as I describe – is happening, a kind of body seizure, really….
(an example – in the body – at https://stopthestorm.wordpress.com/about-stop-the-stor/amygdala/)
In truth, personally again, I do not name the reactivity-kindling ANGER – even though it can appear to be exactly that – or at best, irritation (like hot water over a bad skin burn).
You can learn about yourself as far as how you allow your mate’s reactivity to involve you. All couples, I imagine (not having been in a relationship for 26 1/2 years myself), have irritable times. But being in a partnership is (to me) about supporting and loving one another – and by all means possible I would think partners would wish to learn how to be peaceful with one another.
There is a LOT written on this blog that applies –
see also: https://stopthestorm.wordpress.com/2012/04/29/survivors-of-bpd-mothers-our-deepest-need-for-peaceful-calm/
Thank you so much for your comments and for your visit here. Those of us who did not get to build a body from our earliest beginnings with peaceful calm at the center of our nervous system need to especially understand what this means – what it feels like inside our skin – how HOW we are affects others around us – how to truly find peaceful calm – so we even know what it feels like!
All the best to you both!! Do not allow yourself to be abused – certainly happens even when the intention of someone is nowhere near that aim!!!!
Thanks for you response. Marriage was not my wife’s first preference 14 years ago. Since our marriage it has been a long journey of counselors. Some had very close diagnosis others were way off. To add to the mis-diagnosis of some, the professional counselor or psychologist would start treatment and, after starting to open doors of healing, would leave to take a teaching position or move to another state…just reinforcing the rejection and abondonment issues all over again. If there are professionals reading this blog, please consider your patients before entering this field or making life altering (for the patient and family) decisions.
It is the commitment my wife and I have made to the Lord and to each other that keep us on this journey together. It’s not always pretty, the good times are great and the bad times are hard. However, it’s the hard times that shape us. Thanks for this blog that helps me interact and process.
There is nothing that can match commitment to provide the kind of staying power any relationship needs to remain vital, alive and wholesome! Hope to hear from you again as you read around the blog! Your points are great!!!!!
Hi – I just found and re-posted the info at this link – VERY IMPORTANT and I think may be of great interest and assistance to you two!!
+ATTACHMENT-CAREGIVING INTERACTIONS IN ADULT AND CHILD RELATIONSHIPS
Thanks! I am in the airport heading out of the country for a week on business. I look forward to reading the article when I return.
((hugs)) to Chip for being compassionate and ever so patient with his trauma altered wife..Chip, you’re wonderful, it’s hard to connect and grow with us ( Bpd sufferers),,congrats for being dedicated and strong in your dedication to the Lord and your commitment to your wife 🙂
Lol, I’m in my sanctuary!! Here it is! Right here with you Linda! I’m running a support group on Facebook and…..WOW, the manipulation, emotional immaturity and drama…sigh, so glad it’s only Facebook.Today I felt like a overwhelmed parent trying to discipline 200 screaming toddlers
I leave the predators for the night…going to abandon my flock for awhile
Nice to hear from you today, Helen! You see the bigger picture – love the analogy! That’s a LOT of screaming toddlers!!! A rest sounds like a most wonderful excursion!!! Have at it!! 🙂
For familydinners, when my adult children, grandchildren visited, i created a supportsystem on my laptop. Heartmath, brainwavemeditations,
Qi Gong, are systems that can help me regain my balance, when triggered into the traumastate. Anger, rage, freezeresponse etc. are not very efficient ways to make any progress in the disorder. The above methods are not very difficult to learn. To take responsibility for my triggered traumastate felt empowering. You are an adult. So hope you can support your wife with this. With my children it was not enough. My family recently exploded. Possibly they are better of then having me in their lives. Rhodiola, asghawanda, maca are good supplements/foods, to balance chronic stress. And do eat a very healthy diet. For the chronic stress wreaks havoc on the physical body.Heartmath may be good for you too. Learning to stay calm and coherent when she goes into the uncontrollable traumastate. Guilt is just a useless emotion, i feel. Compassion for that hurt part inside is what she deserves and needs. We got hurt. I always believed there was a divine purpose for this. And good things came from it too. Being a superempath is something i value about myself. Caring deeply about people like your wife is too. Wishing you the courage and strength to keep going.
Now that the light has gone on for me, finally, about how I am in my body in the world as a consequence of the kind of trauma you know, also — I am understanding the so-many ways that I process information of all kinds about being in a body in the world differently from ordinary. I find that I have to be as careful as I can be to avoid triggers and trauma drama. I am sorry for ALL your pain, dear woman. Nobody EVER deserved what happened to us!
My first sense is that for your children to recognize that there is some kind of difference between trauma-trigger RAD people and “not that way” people means to me that there must have been a whole lot that went right for your children — or they would not know this difference even exists. My tendency is ALWAYS to back off when there is any sign of conflict — to get a kind of “second sight” on things.
We cannot put the pressure on other people in our life to meet our needs for love. We might have a really hard time trusting that we are loved — but that is OUR burden. BELIEVE your children love you!!!! The doubt is not theirs, nor is it theirs to ever need to heal us. They are our CHILDREN – not our parents. I don’t mean to lecture in any way – I tell myself this as I tell you!!
I HIGHLY recommend the material at this link:
+CAREGIVING IN ADULT ATTACHMENT RELATIONSHIPS
This is the kind of material that saves my life!!
I hope to hear from you again, Gertrude! It is an honor to have you visiting, and thank you!!
I raised my children from a very high soullevel, with recurring bouts of deep suicidal depression. Only found out about PTSD when my youngest was already 4 years old. They want the soullevel woman and they are sick to death of the suicidal mother who sometimes exploded in uncontrollable rages. My mothering is done. They are all in a good place. They have a much better chance at life, then i ever did, yet i would never change my life for anyone elses. It is like a story i want to see to completion now. The lasting for ages deep suididal depressions have not visited me for quite a while now. So i am back at daily meditations, heartmath etc. Being in the freezemode there are many things i cannot do. My christmastree is still standing fully decorated in an upstairs room. Yet now that the deep sadness has gone, i almost feel at peace with myself. Almost because of recognizing the other part that is always there, hidden. But that is ok. It is so good to speak. Always feeling forced to hide, to fake some kind of adaptive normalcy.
I really like this: “It is like a story i want to see to completion now.” A wonderful way to put it, this discovery process, making it through our life!
When I look back on my adult life (I’m 62) it seems I have lived MANY entirely different and separate lives. Exhausting! I knew no other way to go but forward. Was I ever my “true self?”
That remark really hits home. Our true self! Is the self, the dissociation, that we have build to survive less our true self. Or me who often lives on a soullevel, not even incarnated, is that less true. Or even the traumatriggered lost part, is she less true.
It is like juggling, I have come to honor and value them all. They force me to go with the flow, a flow i cannot control. Inconvenient at times, But ultimately so far it has moved me forwards as if carried on a river steered by unseen hands. The uncontrollable rages i suffered in the past, that just seemed to take over, were terrible. For that was never the mother i wanted or intended to be. The extreme suicidal moments were no walk in the park either. But these last years, i am 62 now, i have had moments, when i thought i have almost got it. I am making the full transition into a functional human being. Then again something major happens in my life, that is simply beyond my capacity or willingness to deal with.
But recognizing the total devastation, knowing even trusting it will pass and i now got many tools to regain a sort of baseline, where i can handle ME, has build a resilience i have come to rely on. I cannot change others. Cannot chose for others whether they want me in their lives or not. But i notice after the last incident i am no longer willing to go back into the cage as to be more convenient for them.
A lot of it is just observing. Goals or intending certain things have never worked for me. Neither have affirmations. Learning that NLP advices to stay away from difficult people, who are not good role models, taught me to stay far away from NLP.
I wish i could find a way to access the hidden hurt part in a way i could help her make progress in becoming more safe, feeling more loved, at ease, etc. She isn’t as deeply hidden in a cave anymore, as she used to be. She feels close to the surface now. I can see the progress, But the interpretations of others, who cannot, tend to lock me into oudmoded attitudes from a long lost and dealt with past.
This child, who never belonged, was denied all right of existence, yet belongs to me. I have come to find any relationship is impossible when the other cannot acknowledge her, give her right of existence. Accepting how easily she gets hurt, confused, or triggered into trauma, in the past into rage. Knowing those emotions just to be symptoms and no expressing of any true self.
Just a matter of never having been socialized, never having learned to regulate one’s emotions. There are really bad people in this world. Yet it seems that i just continue to recreate the original denial of my conception/ birth etc. in every encounter, as if i am the worst criminal, when i am not being perfect.
I have studied enough of developmental neuroscience – much of the references are buried in the thousands of posts on this blog but read anything you google either with “stop the storm schore” or just google “attachment mother infant schore” or “attachment mother infant” to find related info — that in my studies I have learned now that it is through mother-infant interactions before the age of one that build either emotional regulation or dysregulation into the rapid forming right limbic social-emotional brain. We don’t “learn” the wiring in that brain region – mother’s download their own right brain into their infant. Just the ice berg’s tip….
Also google “stop the storm teicher article” and take a look through my scan of that article and my notes…..
If you would like.
Also – on soul. Our soul is our “true self” – but is supposed to “grow into the world” — which can’t happen “right” for those of us so abused from birth and before
By the time I was 15 this was my reality
*Age 15 – MY ‘VISION’ – ALONE NAKED IN THE WOODS SINGING
I am in the process of book writing – my own story – not done yet!!!
I listen to the NICABM teleseminars and one of them was Alan Schore. Have trouble getting into real studybooks the last few years. Will dive into your material the coming days. Success with writing your book. Thanks.
Wow! I loved reading your article – thanks so much for sharing. I am 65 and can so relate to your self-therapy, the PTSD and RAD. I also had a hideous childhood – but consider myself lucky that I was able to use my experiences to help others as I come to understand myself, more and more.
Love your name – Joy!! Thanks for the upbeat note – very much appreciated! I love spring! Am out gardening – my best therapy! I was able to create a wonderful native plant flower garden these past two days for an AIDS dear friend of mine – who also has heart troubles. I am so blessed with much unbounded energy when I can override my depression!! Now my friend can tend and enjoy – I so do not want to lose him – and I am hoping that having his much-wished for garden will help him bypass his often-depression, as well!
I seem to be able to find a kind of determination to MOVE FORWARD in good ways – a true gift – and sounds like you have this gift as well! As I write these words I am reminded of something I too often forget – that I am blessed with still being alive – while many from these kinds of terrible, terrible childhoods have disappeared into the next world so often so prematurely.
Blessings and joy to us all! thanks again! Linda – alchemynow