Monday, January 31, 2011

Monday Funnies

These were posted on a forum for RAD a few years ago.  We were in the throes of full blown RAD at the time and we all needed to find something funny to laugh about. When you're a RAD mom you start getting a sick sense of humor. You laugh to keep from crying.
Enjoy and I'm betting you can add some to the mix. :)
You know you're a RAD Mom when...

you suspect that the cat is limping because your child hurt his paw.

you panic when someone says your daughter is in the other room with a


you're cleaning up poop that you've found under the bed (and it's not

a pet's poop!)

you hear a child cry in the same room as your child, and you wonder

what your child did to that child.

your child goes up to strangers to ask them to buy her something

because Mom won't buy it for her. (Mom knows that she really doesn't

even want it and will destroy it anyway.)

you get upset when people give her things that you know she will just

destroy in a few minutes.

your child says she's hungry five minutes after she's eaten and makes

others believe that you're refusing to feed her.

you suspect your child of stealing whenever you can't find something

(and you're almost always right).

you don't believe the first answer your child gives you. You'll get

quite a few answers and may never get the truth from your child.

you cringe when someone (who does not know your child well) says that

you have a such a sweet child.

And you tuck your child into bed, turn on the alarm to their room and turn in yourself, locking your bedroom door behind you..............

You know you're a RAD mom when you take one child to be tested for STD after

molestation by another one and find yourself thinking, there one more task

off my to do list.....

you know you're a RAD mom when the threat of a snow day sets you into


you know you're a RAD mom when you know all the locks, alarms and security

devices and where to find them in your area

You know you're a RAD mom when you have 4 different phone numbers to get in

touch with the therapist and have the police on speed dial!

you know you're a RAD mom when you automatically check under your child's window in search or urine or feces

you know you're a RAD mom when you've contacted the fire dept to find out what locks you can LEGALLY put on your child's windows

you know you're a RAD mom when you purposely cut down a tree because it's too close to your child's windows

you know you're a RAD mom you your child's timeline is 4x as long as yours - and you're 3x older!

You know you're a RAD mom when you know all the psychiatrists in your city

and a 30 mile radius and which ones take medicaid........

You know the names of most psychotropic drugs

You know you're a RAD mom when your money is being spent on replacing things

your child has broken, medications, shelters, attorneys, RTC's

You know you're a RAD mom when you dread holidays and birthdays........

You know you're a RAD mom when:

*Every adult at your child's school knows him by his name and hug.

When you look at your bookcase and it's filled with books on attachment,

trauma, adoption along with other books on various learning disabilities and

a copy of Wright's Law and you have yet another book on trauma waiting in

the wings to be read!

When your friends ask you what you've been reading and you rattle off the

name of some research article and you're actually excited talking about it!

You find a pile of caramels vomited under her bed and don't even gag.

Your kid can projectile vomit on you from 6 feet away.

Your 5 y/o can take an entire door frame off in 10 minutes or less with her bare hands. 100+ nails

Your 7 y/o will stand looking at you and pee right on the carpet instead of walking 5 ft to use the bathroom.

Your 5 y/o kid looks like their head is going to spin around on their shoulders at any moment and you can calmly say, "it looks like you're having a big feeling, honey, would you like for me to help you with that".

Feel free to add your own. :D

Love the added funnies in the comments. Hilarious!

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Things That Work For Us

You can click here to see the therapies we were doing in 2008. This post also talks about The Learning Breakthrough Program, explains pink love and other things.

Now we are doing:
Anger Work
Therapeutic Parenting (as in Dan Hughes, Nancy Thomas, Foster Cline, Love and Logic, Beyond Consequences, Deborah Hage, Katherine Leslie, Karyn Purvis, etc.) Yes, I use all of them and more.  An arsenal is required for RAD.
Bi-Lateral Stimulation
Helping her regulate (this means I have to be regulated myself. :))
Mini-Tramp - click here
Guided Imagery plays on a CD every night recorded in my voice (Bellaruth Naperstak - Invisible Heroes - Survivors of Trauma and How They Heal) Priceless!  Here is a script that we have used.
Weekly therapy with a great Attachment Therapist.

You can find a post from 2008 that covers pink love, consequences, severity, and wanting to get better by clicking here.

J's Tool Box (She has all of her tools written on colorful index cards.  She can pull one out whenever she needs it.)
Asking for help
Hitting on Angry Pillow
Baby Time (J asked me again this week if I would still give her baby time when she's 30.  My reply, "of course I will, honey.")  Trauma Mama was hysterically funny in her post about this.  I may have to save and read this when J is 30. :) Sarah was especially eloquent here.
Pink Love
Go to my room.
Blow up the imaginary black balloon with all her yuckies.
Choo-choo breathing (Inhale then on the exhale slowly making a soft choo, choo train sound until all breath is gone.)
Talk to Miss. Kristy.
Have a pretend fit. (How do you have a fit? Click here)
Write about my feelings.
Talk about my feelings.
Calm down
Talk to Mom.

Just in case you're wondering, trying to dysregulate your RAD kid never works out well. :)

For some reason the search button on my blog isn't working and I'm a dork so I don't do tags.  So people....I did not take 6 hours to look up all the links for nothing.  So please click on them. Pretty please.

This stuff works if you work it. That's a choice.  I have to make it every day. Some days I don't make the choice.  Those days suck.

Please share the things that work for your family.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Before and After

This message is all about hope.  Hope for all kids with RAD and their parents.  It's really easy to get bogged down in day-to-day life and we forget how much progress our kids have made. 

Human nature makes me forget how far J has come.  I do forget all the progress she has made and I shouldn't because she is nothing short of a miracle.  She has worked very hard on her life and I'm so proud of her.  I try to look back periodically to remember from where we come. You can click Here for an example.

Before J (5 y/o) came home our first AT's had the previous foster mom to fill out a R AD-Q created by L!z Rand*lph.

The previous foster mom rated J a 5 on a scale of 1-5 (5 being the worst) on all of the below:
  • Child acts overly cute and charming to get what they want.
  • Child has trouble making eye contact.
  • Child is overly friendly with strangers.
  • Child pushes me away or becomes stiff when I try to hug him/her unless they want something from me.
  • Child argues for long periods of time often about ridiculous things.
  • Child has tremendous need to have control over everything, becoming very upset if they don't get their way.
  • Child acts amazingly innocent or pretends that things aren't that bad when they are caught.
  • Child does very dangerous things ignoring how they may be hurt while doing them.
  • Child deliberately breaks or ruins things.
  • Child doesn't seem to feel age appropriate guilt for their actions (seems to lack a conscience for their actions.)
  • Child teases, hurts or is cruel to other children
  • Child seems unable to stop themselves from doing things impulsively.
  • Child steals or shows up with things that belong to others with unusual or suspicious reasons for how they got them.
  • Child demands things instead of asking for them.
  • Child doesn't seem to learn from their mistakes and misbehavior (no matter what consequence I give the child continues the behavior.
  • Child attempts to get sympathy from others by telling them that I neglect/abuse them.
  • Child "shakes off" pain when they are hurt refusing to let anyone comfort them.
  • Child likes to sneaks things without permission even though they could have them if they had asked.
  • Child is a pathological liar (lies when it would be easier to tell the truth or lies about obvious or ridiculous things.
  • Child is very bossy with adults and other children.
  • Child hoards or sneaks food or has other unusual eating habits (eating paper, raw flour, dirt, etc.)
  • Child cannot keep friends for more than a week.
  • Child throws temper tantrums (screaming fits, throwing things, hits or kicks walls) that last two hours or longer.
  • Child chatters non-stop, asks repeated questions about things that make no sense, mutters or has other oddities in their speech.
  • Child is accident prone (gets hurt a lot) or complains a lot about every little ache and pain (needs constant band aids)
  • Child teases, hurts or is cruel to animals.
  • Child has set fires or is pre-occupied with fire.
  • Child prefers to watch violent cartoons and/or TV shows or horror movies (regardless whether you allow them to do this.)
  • Child was abused/neglected, suffered severe chronic pain, had more than one change in caregiver, was separated from mother for more than two days, or was in an orphanage in the first two years of their life.
There was no honeymoon period.  Radtastic behaviors started the first day home.  I was the 28th mom by the time she was 5.... why bother with a honeymoon?  Let's just hurry up and get this over cause I know you're not going to keep me.

Honestly, after she had been here two weeks I would have rated her a 100 on each of them.  RAD on crack. I was overwhelmed and drowning.  The 3rd week in I was so sick and lost my voice.  Totally stressed out!  By the fourth week I was going to work (sick or not) just to escape home. I am sure she was ready to escape me too!

She also had some things not on the list.  Projectile puker (she could hit me from 6' away - that's talent!), self-mutilator, destroying shredding all new clothes, refusing to eat for days on end, could not handle any praise (see previous post), removed the molding around her door with her bare hands, tried to kill me on multiple occasions, if I gave her anything sweet she would eat it in front of me then puke it up under her bed, on the rare occasion when she would eat what I cooked she'd put her head in her plate and eat, she would not feel anything on her body (as in if there were food or snot on her face) scream "owie" if I barely touched her hand, hypervigilant on crack, etc.  I'm sure I've forgotten things and I'm glad of it.

Lying is still on the list but it's more normal, as in she's afraid she'll get in trouble....not the crazy lying.  I've heard lying is the last thing to go.  Believe it.  She can still be bossy with people she doesn't know because she hasn't built up trust with them. She still loves to be in control but doesn't have to have screaming temper tantrums when she doesn't get her way.  She deals with it even though she might not like it.  She can still act amazingly innocent over stuff if she thinks she can get away with it.  Big deal.  When I call her on it usually we both start laughing because neither one of us can believe I'd fall for it.  I can leave and come home and not get punished for leaving (most of the time).  If she gets mad/frustrated she still has a hard time verbalizing it but eventually she will get there if I choose to help her. The other behaviors have faded away.  It has happened over time, years in fact, ... not overnight.  I have thrown everything except the kitchen sink at RAD.  Some things worked better than others but I think they all had their purpose.

We still have days where it's challenging but it is N.O.T.H.I.N.G. like it used to be. No sirree bob!

She is a joy to be around and she has a conscience.  She is thoughtful, kind and funny.  She can "get" a joke, tell a joke, has a smile that lights up a room and loves sarcastic humor. She is my daughter.

Do I do my RAD Mom job perfectly?  Absolutely not.  I've made lots of mistakes.  She's gotten better in spite of my mistakes and failures.  I am over the moon proud of her!

So yes... there is hope.  There is always hope.

J and I just read this post together and she wanted to tell you something.  Here's a message from J in her own words:

All I can tell you is to keep your hope.  Don't let RAD win by giving up hope.  RAD really means your kid is terrified.  We have our reasons for being scared of love because we've been moved too many times and thrown in the trash, hurt, starved, bugs crawled on us, we had no one to protect us, no one held or rocked us and made us feel safe. Believe your kid can get better. I did so they can too. Give them a really big help tool box so they can get better.  To all parents and RAD kids: get with it already!



Friday, January 28, 2011


Does your kid blow out if you tell them you love them, think they're cute, etc.?

When J first moved home if you paid her the slightest unconditional compliment you might as well give the day up because it was going to be ugly.  Her self-esteem was in the toilet.  She didn't even have a little bit.  I would give her an unconditional positive and her brain would say, "I'm crap, I'm a horrible kid, that woman is a liar and she can't be trusted, can't she see I'm a piece of dirt, etc."

I've told this story before but shortly after J came home (she was 5) I quickly figured out that she couldn't handle unconditional praise so I didn't do it.  Unfortunately for us she needed a haircut soon and you can't just go around tell people not to tell your kid that they are cute.  So...I took her to get a haircut.  The hair stylist, not knowing, gushed over J. "Oh look how beautiful you are! How cute you are. blah, blah, blah."  I was trying to rush us out of there so I didn't get my hair cut cause I knew that hell was about to arrive.  We made it to the car just as it landed.  The back of my truck was all but destroyed.  The seats were ripped up, the console was decimated, things were thrown at the back of my head all the way home. etc.  Fun times.  Internally she thought she was a piece of crap therefore she had to "show" me that she was.  Total sabotage.  It happened everywhere until I had to start going to a grocery store 30 minutes away just to avoid people praising and hugging J. 

Let me back up and explain conditional praise/unconditional praise.  Unconditional praise is not based on anything they have done to earn it.  As in:

You're adorable.
You're beautiful.
You're such a great kid.
I love you.
You're cute.

Conditional praise is based on something they have done to earn it.
Good job folding the clothes.
Good job tying your shoes.
Good job matching your clothes.

J couldn't even stand the "good job" so I would have to say things like:
I noticed you tied your shoes.
I noticed you wiped the table well.
Nice folding.

I gave her lots of little jobs so that I could give her conditional praise but ONLY if she really did a good job.  If it wasn't a really good job and I told her it was, she thought I was a total Liar McLiar pants and blow out because she knew it wasn't a good job.  And she would test me on that just to make sure I was paying attention over and over and over.  This built her self-esteem at the same time. 

Nice job playing fair.
I noticed you colored inside the lines. (This didn't happen very often as with most RAD kids.)
I like the way you matched your clothes.
I like the way you carried your plate to the kitchen.
That was a funny comment.
I noticed you remembered to take out the trash.

Then later we worked up to the L word not about her though....
I love the way you colored inside the lines.
I love that you did your dishes without being asked.
I love that you made up my bed as a gift to me.

We worked up from these phrases until she could stand unconditional praise.  Now she loves it but it's because now she believes she's cute, funny, thoughtful, sweet, etc.  Her insides match her outsides if you will.  Now she will beam if you give her an unconditional positive.  This did NOT happen overnight.  It took years.  Because it's still ingrained in me to do unconditional positives so I still do them.  But....the important thing is that now there are no more blowouts from a random stranger, teacher, grandparent, or ME telling her she's beautiful cause now she knows it's true.

Don't get me wrong...there are still days that she has a hard time accepting praise but these are the days where she is stuck and I can move back (when I have my therapeutic panties on) into lots of conditional positives until she can hear them.  Thankfully those are few and far between now. Most days she oozes love, confidence and thoughtfulness.  I love that about her!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Random in it's Randomness

Every day I'm trying to find joy.  The thing that brings me the most personal joy is photography.  It can also bring me a lot of frustration but it's fun frustration if that makes any sense.  It's the thing that feeds "me".  I have to have something that feeds me.  Face's easy to get drained and lost in just living life and particularly parenting RAD.  The more joy I put back in the better mother I think I am.  Most importantly I'm not going to allow anyone else to steal my joy.  That includes J most of the time.  I was going to take Christine's dare and find joy with J today.  We didn't manage it until bedtime but we finally did it by playing Trouble.  We both truly enjoy playing it and it's something we can do together.  Usually it's a sure fire way to get both of us out of the doldrums.  There aren't many days that we don't make time to play a game. 

We also still do gratitude lists at dinner.  The lists are sometimes quite comical but they are always genuine.  And...they also bring us happiness to think about the things we're grateful for.

Tonight our dinner was on the gratitude list.  We made PW's Sour Cream Enchiladas.  Holy heck those things are divine!

I'm starting to get really excited about Orlando.  I'm also starting to get really nervous.  I'm an introvert by nature so large groups of people make my anxiety level go sky high.  Fortunately for me there will be a few others with the same problem so I'm guessing we can all go hide together when we're overwhelmed.  :)  Orlando will get me out of my comfort zone and I guess that's a good thing.

I've been trying to read the blogs of everyone that is going so that I have some idea "who" they are.  I'm having trouble keeping up with aliases and real names, locations and family dynamics.  Staying pretty lost but I'm giving it my best shot. 

What do you do to find joy for yourself?

Did you know Diana over at Gold to Refine is doing a retreat for Trauma Mama's?  Go here to check it out.

I'm ready for Spring.  This has been the coldest and snowiest winter I've ever known.  I have no idea how you folks up north do it.  Seriously.

Week 3 of being cola free.  Oh how I miss you....

I Hear You Screaming

More things we love....

Opposite Day.
RAD = ODD (oppositional defiant) Right?  Of course it does.  Well it does for us anyway.

On the days that I have my therapeutic panties on, yesterday not being one of them, I can totally rock Opposite Day.  You know those days..... Those glorious days where RAD always does the opposite of w.h.a.t.e.v.e.r. you say.  These are those really fun days called Opposite Day.  It takes some practice but it can actually become fun sometimes and the looks you get are priceless.

Sometimes I announce that it's Opposite Day and tell J that that I want her to do the opposite of everything I say.  I keep score and check it at the end of the day. 
I tell her to walk slow when I want her to walk fast.
I tell her to stomp when I want her to walk softly.
I tell her not to do her chores.
I tell her to throw a fit.

At the end of the day the winner gets a treat or an extra game of Trouble or whatever....

Now when we were in the throes of RAD I could NEVER announce Opposite Day.  I'd just spring it on her with a straight face.  The looks were priceless!  The ODD was over the top so of course she was going to do the exact opposite of what I said.  Because her life depended on it.  She HAD to stay in control.

Dinner was breakfast.
Breakfast became dinner.
Whatever you do J do NOT eat fast.  Eat as slowly as possible.
Do NOT take a bath. 
Run go throw a great big fit....I'll wait here for you.
Or.... before I was about to ask her to do something that I knew she wasn't going to like I would say,
"I going to tell you something that you will hate so get it in your head right now how big a fit you want to have before I tell you.  (Give her just a second to think.) Now I want you to go brush your teeth but don't forget to have that fit first." 9 times out of 10 this totally stamps out the fit. Score!
Blah, blah, blah... you get the idea.

It keeps her thinking.  It makes her think I am C.R.A.Z.Y.  (She's right.) I got what I wanted.  She stayed in control.  Win/win.  Gotta love it.

Does this come naturally?  Heck fire no!  It takes practice and going against everything you know to be good and right.  But it works.  Most of the time anyway.... :)

Opposite Day can go hand in hand with Prescribing the Problem.  I'm guessing that you're going to start screaming right about now.  It's OK....embrace the screaming.  :)

Most of the time our kids will do things that will drive you to drinking or eating or screaming or whatever.....
Take the power out of it and say "way to go                  , why don't you run to your room (bathroom, outside, assigned spot, etc.) and keep picking, cussing, yelling, throwing a fit, or whatever it is that appalls you.
It really helps when you can keep a straight/cheerful face and not one of "oh dear lord I think I'm about to puke". 

Be prepared to be stared at as if you have 3 heads.  It will happen.

I had to think about the shocking, gross things that she loved to do to get a reaction out of me and practice in the mirror before I could do it with her.  Seriously.  We had some over the top stuff here most of which she cannot remember anymore and I would love to sear from my brain. 

The theory is that once you take the power out of the disgusting, shocking or annoying behavior they don't want to do it anymore.  That theory has proven to be correct for us.  Feel free to decide if it works for your kid.

What works for one kid might not work for another.  What works today might not work tomorrow.

Sarah at The Many Stars That Guide Us wrote a stellar post about what works for them here.

If you have things that have worked for your family....please chime in....I'm all ears and always looking for new ideas.  Oh yeah....if you feel the need to scream in the comments....feel free to do that too.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Things I Love...

After emailing with friend of mine that also happens to be an amazing RAD mom (she's not a blogger, yet,  or I would totally hook you up with her) it made me realize it's been quite a while since I've talked about things that have helped us.  We're tried many things in a holistic approach over the years.  These are things that we love....

A double dose of Omega's.  I don't know about your kid, but mine was not thrilled about taking two huge horse pills every day.  We found Barlean's Omega Swirls.  For the love of all that is holy buy some then hope and pray your kid hates it so you can keep it all for yourself.  It is unbelievably delicious.  I could take the whole bottle in one sitting.  We've used the Strawberry/Banana Swirl but now they have several other flavors.  If they are half as good as Strawberry/Banana you cannot go wrong.  The Chocolate/Raspberry for women is calling my name so I may just have to try it. There is even a vegan swirl.
Here's a link.

Did you know that there have been significant studies that suggest that high doses of Omega's will help regulate bi-polar?  The doseages that I have seen for adults have been around 8000mg a day so I would think half of that for a child.  Did you also know that it has been known to significantly help ADD and ADHD?

Niacin is something we also do.  You've probably heard Christine talk about Niacin. (If not, click here and here and here and here (are you getting the drift that Christine really loves Niacin?). It helps.  It really does.  Non-Flushing of course.  Joy has talked about it here.  There's another blog that I read and she posted about Niacin and forgetting to buy some. J at Stellar Parenting posted here. I can't remember whose blog that was on.  If it's you please send me the link so I can put it in here.  In fact, anyone that has blogged about your experience with Niacin please send me the link so I can put it in here.  Pretty please.

Yes, I know that Niacin is not a proper noun and doesn't have to be capitalized but it's so important in our family that I think it deserves the respect of a capital letter.

It's also used for depression and schizophrenia. 

Reiki, Reiki, Reiki.  I've blogged about it a LOT but it is amazing.  No, it is not religious.  J is attuned to do Reiki as well and her Reiki is very strong.  She can totally turn herself around in the blink of an eye if she chooses to do Reiki on herself.  Reiki is excellent for many things but it is especially helpful for mental illness.  Plus it's calming and soothing.  Can't go wrong with that.  You can search my blog for all the posts mentioning Reiki.  There are many.  We are so blessed that Kristy saw the changes with J after Reiki that she agreed to get attuned as well.  She has seen many changes in clients in her practice by using Reiki.

Would you please share the things that have worked in your radish patch?

Monday, January 24, 2011

Fear of Blogging

As many of you have probably heard through the blog land grapevine, I've been through a really rough time lately. That is true. I have been. You have no idea how much your love and support has meant to me during this time, too.

I realize most of you don't know what happened or why I've been gone for so long. For about a million reasons, I'm not ready to share my whole story yet. I'm not ready to share most of it, actually. What I will share, though, is that K is no longer living with us. It's just J & I now. Please believe me when I tell you that the things we've been through in connection with this have been the HARDEST thing I've ever had to deal with. Be patient and gentle with me. I'm still very fragile and I'm still trying to work through all the ins and outs of it myself. I'll eventually share more details as I'm ready and able, but for now, I just wanted you all to know that much. I won't be answering any questions at this time regarding the hows or whys of what all has happened, so please don't ask. My heart is still broken and the grief is still overwhelming and at times paralyzing.  (Yes...I am rubbing, tapping, etc.)  I can't blog about what I haven't processed.  The pain is too raw right now and honestly is like a physical pain.  However, I can't stay away from blogging any longer. I miss all of you too much! I need this community! We need each other. So even though I'm terrified to put even this much information "out there", I'm facing my fears and doing it anyway.   Eventually I'm going to pull myself out of this deep, dark hole.

J was really abused by K.  She's had a really hard time too.  Thankfully she's doing much better now and she's trying really hard to help me.  I'm so grateful for her and proud for the sweet, kind person she's become.

I'm trying to get back to commenting on everyone's blogs.  Slowly but surely I am getting there.

She spent the night with Papa and Monya this weekend.  My Mom called this morning to tell me how wonderful she was and what a joy it was to have her and spend time with her.  (This has not been the case in the past.) This is two weekends in a row and even when she has come home she has been able to still be a joy instead of blowing out because she had too much fun.  We've been working toward this for a really long time so this is a huge event.  My Mom also said that people around them in church stopped them to comment on what a little lady she is.  They are correct!

She was very tired last night, as she always is when she spends the night away from home, but she was able to say that she was tired and asked to go to bed early.  She was asleep at 6 PM and slept until 8 this morning.  A late start to school but that's OK.

Thank you so much, Diana, for all of your help and encouragement.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Never Enough

Because I can never, ever watch this video enough.....Ever. Ever. Ever. Ever. Ever.

If you've never read anything about adoption or foster care or if you've read everything under the still need to watch this video. Then watch it again.

It always keeps me mindful of what my daughter has been through. I have to watch it over, over and over.

I owe her that.

Multiple Transitions - A Child's Point of View About Adoption and Foster Care

When I ask myself "why" I watch the video. When I wonder why we're not past certain things....I watch the video. Our first AT's made me watch the video (with them in the room). They wanted me to find compassion for my child because I was STRUGGLING.  Why weren't we farther along?  Why was everything so very hard?  Why couldn't she be better already?  Why were there so.many.negative behaviors?  How much more could I stand?

I didn't get it that day but I thought about the video and I watched it several times over the next several days.  It finally started sinking in.  I finally got it and I was able to have compassion and empathy.  Finally.
I am such a slow learner sometimes.  Now that I've got it I can't ever forget.

The Yuck

RAD requires that you keep peeling a layer off the onion.  Just when you think you've got it all down pat they remember more stuff or are ready to process more things that happened early in their life.  Now that we've peeled so many layers of the onion (hurt) J is able to remember and process more events.  This sounds horrible but it is healing and that is the GOAL.  J has a reason and a right to be really mad about things that happened to her.  (In case you're new here I'm J's 28th mom and she has had a huge amount of trauma in her life). So we keep on doing anger work regularly so that it places that anger where it's meant to go and not at me.   **More on being mad at me in a minute....

There are varying degrees and opinions about directed anger work but for J it really works.  Like really fast.  She wants me to do it with her and I'm totally OK with that.  First we work to get her legs bent and using her whole body as she directs her anger with her fists at her Yucky Pillow which is really a body pillow that I put across my bed.  I never, ever do it in her room as I don't want her to think that negative energy is hanging around.  After the anger work I dramatically fluff out her pillow to get the yuckies and anger out of it.  Yes, we do talking about big feelings too but sometimes you just have to hit something to get the mad out. 

Now that she's better, I encourage her to think of her own phrases that she wants to hit on.  In the beginning, I had to help her come up with her phrases.  She's sitting here and I'm asking her what she wants me to tell you that she does anger work on.  These are her phrases:

I hate RAD.
I hate it when RAD tricks me and keeps me from having fun.
I hate RAD makes me think I'm dirty.
I hate that H sent me that horse to remind me of bad stuff.
I'm hate social workers.  They broke my boundaries.
I hate the social workers moved me too much.
I'm mad at the people that didn't take care of me. 
I'm mad at the people that hurt me.
I hate RAD makes me feel bad about myself.
I hate RAD makes me feel ashamed.

She usually only does 3 phrases at a time but hits many times on each of those 3 yelling her chosen phrases as loud as she can.  Then I comfort her with hugs.  She's attached so she can enjoy getting a lot of comfort.  When she was in the beginnings of attachment it was just a few seconds of comfort.  Usually after she gets it out she is instantly in a different (better) frame of mind.  I used to have to encourage her to do anger work.  Now if something is bothering her she asks to do anger work which huge folks.  Huge!  I don't judge her for what she hits on. ** Even if she needs to hit on being mad at me.  It's all good.  I'd much rather her be hitting the Anger Pillow because she's mad at me than actually hitting me.  BTDT - got the t-shirt.  Anger work also helps her differentiate "who" she's really mad at.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Modeling Mistakes

Kristy is having me model making mistakes in front of J.  RAD makes our kids think they have to be in charge all the time as they have been taught they have to meet their own needs instead of relying on us.  So they have to be right perfectionists all.the.time. which is highly annoying to a Type A perfectionist personality (me).  Not to mention I wanted to prove that I could indeed meet all of her needs so that she could trust me.

When she first came home I was corrected on a minute by minute basis about every. stinking. little. thing.  I spent so much time in the past, double checking myself all.the.time. so she couldn't go "you didn't do it right" or "you forgot to do blah, blah,blah."  Even though I would correct her and say "no, I've got it na na boo boo."  Having to do the opposite is incredibly difficult.

Now I'm working on purposely making mistakes (so that I can practice for the times that I legitimately make mistakes). Then modeling, "oh thanks for noticing I made a mistake! I love hate to make mistakes. It makes me human."   I "know" I make mistakes I just have a really, really, really hard time admitting it. Ugh.  I'm going to have to have a LOT of practice.  I know this is going to be a learning and growing experience for me (can you hear my fingernails scratching as I claw to hang onto old ways?).  Maybe there is hope for Ms. Type A.  The jury is still out.

This is so very hard and I suck at it.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

You Knew It.....

Sorry to bore you to death, I can hear the snores from here (some of y'all need to get some Bre*the R*ght strips. :D).....and some of you are rolling your eyes "as in heavenly heck would she shut up already"....but you knew this one was coming.....

Tapping is the same as psychological reversals in that both are in the field of Kinesiology which is also in the Thought Field Therapy family. 

Our Tapping Sequence at the moment is:

I deserve love - I deserve a family (or whatever positive affirmations you want to use. Use what is closest to what they can handle.  If they are in the beginnings of attachment you might want to say "I deserve a little bit of love".  Adjust to meet your/their needs.)

Using all fingers
Over eye
Beside eye
Under eye
Under nose
Under lip
Under collar bones
Tarzan spot
Cross arms on ribs
Under ribs
Sides of thighs
Outside of pinky
Inside ring finger
Inside middle finger
Inside point finger
Inside thumb
Gamut spot (this is the spot between the bones on your hand from the pinky finger and ring finger)
Bridge Sequence:
While still rubbing gamut spot:
Breathe in slowly and breathe out slowly
Close eyes - open eyes
Roll eyes up and to the left then to right. (You'll have to hold your finger out and let them follow it because they won't be able to roll their eyes correctly.)
Hum 5 bars (we hum a few bars of Jesus Loves Me)
Count to 5 out loud
Hum 5 bars
Count to 5 out loud

Repeat tapping but do not do the bridge sequence again.

Here are some great videos from B r a d Yates. net on using tapping on children on anger, fear, sadness, abandonment, releasing guilt and shame, and a great one for us trauma parents on relaxing.  He uses different tapping points but it's the same idea.  Tapping really helps.  For some (adults and children) it works immediately like for J's best friend, Kara.  For others like J and I, it's progressive and it works but may take a period of time.  Sometimes it takes a week and some are a few weeks but it does work.  It takes commitment but it's worth it.  My dear friend, Christine, also has some great video links in this post.

Once you get the hang of it, the routine of Shaking, Rubbing (psychological reversal), and Tapping takes maybe 3 minutes total each time.  Low commitment of time, free, and high payoffs.  I'll take it.  You have nothing to lose and everything to gain. It works on people of any age including babies.  If you have trouble getting the hang of it, email me and we can Sk*pe and we'll go through it together.

Here's J again in an old video (1/09) to show you our tapping routine on good decisions: Click here for Y o u tube.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Rubbing to Release Personal Beliefs

I had a lesson a few weeks ago.  I had completely forgotten how important it is to do Rubbing before Tapping.  Kristy gave us a reminder and we've actively been trying to remedy the situation.  Rubbing is a psychological reversal.  Our kids desperately need to reverse their personal beliefs but they also need to know that it is OK to accept that it's part of them.  Some of them are even unconscious beliefs so by paring them with a positive belief it can totally change things up. We do this 3 or 4 times a day, breakfast, lunch, dinner and bedtime so that it's easy for me to remember.

You have to change global personal beliefs before changing the little stuff.  Our kids have really low self-esteem even though many of them try to cover it up with bravado.  Changing this is important.  Once this starts changing they feel safer sharing other things with us.

Start by finding your Sore spots.  They are usually below the collar bone but closer to your arm pits.  As you press lightly you'll find spots on each side of your body that are slightly tender to touch.  This is where you will rub in a circular motion.  You do 3 beliefs followed with a positive affirmation at the end of each.

Such as:
Even though I believed people in the past who taught me that I wasn't lovable I'm a totally great kid.
Even though I push my Mom away because I think I don't deserve love I'm a totally great kid.
Even though I'm scared my Mom won't love me if she sees all my yuckies I'm a totally great kid.

Even though I'm afraid to know or show my sadness because I'm afraid I won't recover I'm a totally great kid.
Even though I don't feel like I deserve happiness I'm a totally great kid.
Even though I don't feel like I deserve a family I'm a totally great kid.

Even though bad things happened to me I’m a totally great kid.
Even though there are things I’m scared to face I’m a totally great kid.
Even though I’m terrified for someone to know all of me I’m a totally great kid.

Maybe even a "Even though I'm scared to love my mom I'm a totally great kid."

Mine are:
Even though I think I'm not good enough I'm a totally great person.
Even though I feel like I'm failing I'm a totally great person.
Even though I let others push my buttons I'm a totally great person.

Here is a video J did on rubbing for fear in January 2009: Click here
Here is a video J did today on rubbing to change beliefs: Click here
As you can tell, my little girl is growing up.  WAAAAHHHHHH!!!!  She has grown 4" since this past August!  No wonder I can't keep her in clothes.

Do what you think your kid believes about themselves.  Change it up to meet your/their needs.  Their beginnings warped their personal beliefs.  Help them change that.  You can do it!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Shake Your Bootay

Taken on Christmas Night

OK....most of y'all aren't old enough to remember that song but it always runs through my head before we do the Shake, Rub (psychological reversal), Tap, Anger exercises.

I've had recent experiences that have reminded me that I need to remember to do the Wet Dog Shake for trauma.  Since I'm having to do it everyone else may as well have to do it too.  That means J.  So we start our day with Power Sitting (remember it's especially powerful to do while looking at your child) then the Wet Dog Shake, followed by Rubbing to straighten out our personal beliefs and finally the ever helpful Tapping.

After animals get really scared they do the Shake to get rid of the trauma of whatever just scared them.  It completes the trauma cycle and therefore the next time that it happens it is not as severe a memory.  Yes.  It really works.  My child had many traumas occur including boat loads when she was pre-verbal.  During the pre-verbal years she may not be able to remember the event cognitively but her body STILL remembers and STILL needs to process those traumas.  Shaking works wonders for that.

How it works:
We both stand really still with our eyes closed and I'll take her through whatever might have ocurred using a low, calm, soothing voice while acknowledging that it (whatever) was a very scary event.  (As soon as I'm through verbally walking J through her trauma I take a second to remember one of my own either one from childhood or more recent events. Sometimes it's even remembering a particularly bad tantrum that occurred.) Then open our eyes and shake it baby shake it.  We usually start with shaking one leg and foot, do the other leg, then shake them both together (kinda like a Charleston), then the bootay shake (this will be very hard for s*xually abused children so don't be surprised), then the body, then the arms, then the head.  Then you're done and it took all of about 40 seconds.  Big trauma release and it is f.r.e.e.  Start with a relatively easy trauma which means it could be just something that scared them in the last few days.  See how it goes.  Don't forget the "I'm afraid Mom is going to leave and never come back."  This is a huge fear that lasts for years.

Personally I had to do it about getting in the car.  All the recent events made me really scared to get in the car.  Now I can do it and not get that icky feeling every time we have to go somewhere. 

J has had to shake f.o.r.e.v.e.r. (and we're still not done) on social workers.  They totally crossed her boundaries and scared the living crap out of her.  I get it.  When you've been moved 28 times it is over the top scary when they pop back in your life.  We're also doing it on the abuse, the moves, the bugs, the scary people with masks, the car, people that didn't protect her and on and on and on.....

We use the same trauma for about a week before moving to the next trauma we're going to work on.  Most of the time we'll do it 3 or 4 times a day.  Heck, for 40 seconds or less it's a wonderful investment.  The events become less and less scary each time she shakes and she spends less time in the Amygdala (fight or flight, controlling emotions) part of her brain.  This goes for me too.

Here's a video from J to show you how it's done! Y*ut*be Video  Can y'all believe J has grown so much???  I'm astonished.

Our kids have had lots of traumas, give'em a release.  Set them free from it. It doesn't hurt to set yourself free too. :)  You'll be glad you did.  If they're averse to the idea try doing the Hokey Pokey instead. :)

Just FYI....there is no religion or dogma attached to Shaking, Rubbing, or Tapping.  It runs with the Thought Field Therapy principals.

In case you want to read more about it look at Trauma Through A Child's Eyes by Peter Levine & Maggie Kline

I haven't been blogging because my freedom of speech was taken away.  I finally decided to say "screw'em".  So I'm back to commenting (I've been faithfully reading just not commenting and blogging.  Hopefully I won't regret it.