Sunday, January 23, 2011

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.


GB's Mom said...

I wonder if it would help Hope... She is only 5, but her 43 lbs golds a tremendous amount of pain. Thank J for sharing.

Perspective RAD said...

That's so good. We have a punching bag outside, and are having to deal with more anger and memories. Add hormones on top of that.

Essie the Accidental Mommy said...

That's a neat thing to do. I like that you make sure to do it away from J's room.
I cannot get Genea to do anything like that. She will pull out the wango tango any time, but if I tell her to cut loose and go ahead and be mad, she cannot. Also, her things to be mad about are bizzare and difficult to guess or anticipate.
Ah, I really need to hit those 3 pages of therapists in the phone book again to try again......

BT said...

The layers. Ohhhh, the layers. We recently peeled one back, and it has not been fun or pretty. And I continue to have difficulty remembering, right in the midst of the regression, that it bodes further improvement if I (we) can just get through the regression.

P had trouble expressing anger for years ("I'm not angry!"), but then something clicked and he now has no trouble. We punch pillows, bed mattresses, and couch cushions. Also the punching bag at the Y.