We know it’s hard. You are a parent or professional trying to lift the wings of a child overcoming early trauma. And in that process, perhaps your own wings have been dragging. Perhaps they are now broken.
When you began this journey, you went in with enthusiasm and so much to give. A full heart. You did have a lot to give and were the hope that a child so desperately needs. Yet, you were not given the resources you need to keep that giving and hope strong. As we continue to tell parents and professionals in this field, you cannot give to children overcoming early trauma unless you have support systems who can help keep you going. Kids with reactive attachment disorder (RAD) will take all you’ve got. You will need reserves and help to sustain yourself.
It is not time to give up. You are likely the only hope for this child. No matter how much he tells or shows you otherwise, this child needs you to keep going. Each time a person walks out of this child’s life, her belief that she is unworthy is only confirmed. He will push even harder against “the next person”. It’s highly unlikely that “the next person” will have the strength to stay. And so the cycle continues.
There is hope. We see it every single day here at the Institute for Attachment and Child Development. We’ve seen a child finally let out the tears he’d held inside for so many years—tears that no child needs to hide from the people who love him most.
We’ve seen the tears of relief stream down the face of his parents.
We’ve seen the joy of a family united for the first time.
This is what keeps us researching and persisting.
When you question your abilities, remember the following. It’s okay to cry. You can do it. You are the difference for this child because you’ve made that commitment.
No, it’s not going to be easy but it’s time to get the help you need to make it happen. You cannot do it alone. If you’re a parent, you need professionals who truly understand the dynamics of children with RAD to help. If you’re the professional, you need good training and education to help the child and his family. This child is not going through a “stage”. It’s not the child’s fault that she was neglected or abused at a vulnerable age. But it’s not your fault either.
Lift your head, reach out, speak up. Demand assistance. Be relentless in your determination to find people who truly understand and can help you in this life-changing, awe-inspiring, gut-wrenching journey. In the words of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., “If you can’t fly then run, if you can’t run then walk, if you can’t walk then crawl, but whatever you do you have to keep moving forward.”
We’re always looking for therapeutic treatment parent candidates. Learn about a “day in the life” of an IACD parent.