Thursday, June 23, 2011

If I were a Robot, would it be easier?

Being a woman who wears her heart on her sleeve, you never really have to guess where I'm at. I've been called "transparent" many times and I've considered that a compliment. There are times when I wish I was harder to read... that I could keep my feelings closer to my "vest". I especially wish this with my youngest daughter. It is so difficult to not take her "rejection" personally. Nancy Thomas lists 23 symptoms to tell if a child has Reactive Attachment Disorder. #23 pretty much sums it up.

23) Parents appear hostile and angry. This is very sad, and people that don’t have RAD kids don’t understand this. The more the parent loves the child, the more pain the child dishes out to get them to stop. The child had his heart broken as an infant, and he believes that love hurts. They do whatever they can not to be loved – they don’t use the parents love to grow emotionally strong. Parents are basically abused in their own home.

As a mom to a child who has RAD, my love is received as pain. I really struggle with how to counter that. How do you show someone love when it causes that person pain based on their own brokenness? Her goal is to keep distance between us to protect herself. Believe me she is very good at it. I try to parent her in the ways suggested by RAD therapists and experts. At the same time it is very difficult to muster up the energy to even want to be with someone who you already know is going to do everything in their power to make sure you don't get close to them. I am not a Robot. I have feelings too. I went into adoption with the idea that there was a child out there somewhere in the world that needed someone to love them. That hungered for a mother's hug and love. Someone who would now know that there was someone, actually an entire family, in the world that wanted THEM and LOVED THEM. I admit that it was rooted in my own childhood desire to have someone in the world who loved me just as I was. That desire grew into wanting to give that love that I longed for to another child who felt that same emptiness and loss.

I still know that I am a warrior and that God is using all of this for our good. My question is simply, how do I show love to her without causing her pain... without her needing to do everything in her power to keep distance between us. How many times can I say "I love you no matter what." before she believes me. I do get frustrated but I keep going back to her to show her that I still love her. Yes, being pushed away hurts but even though it hurts I will always keep coming back to love her more. The roots of my love for her come from a place of my childhood pain and now her childhood pain is hurting both of us, but as the mother I have to love her through both of our pain.

It's not easy.

There are no guarantees that this will have a happy ending for us. I just want her to see me as her mom or at least I want her to feel love, period. Then there are days when I just want to get through that day without reacting to her pushing me away.

If I was a Robot it would be easier.
Robots do not have feelings to get hurt, but then again Robots also don't feel LOVE either.

"Three things will last forever--faith, hope, and love--
and the greatest of these is love."
 ~1Corinthians 13:13 NLT

It is my faith in and my greatest hope that LOVE will indeed last forever between she and I. 


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