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#9094 - 01/27/10 06:00 PM Re: RAD or Fledgling Psychopaths? [Re: Dianne E.]
RADgrad Offline
member

Registered: 01/15/10
Posts: 15
Dianne, I am saddened for you that your childhood was so bleak. It appears that you have been able to put everything in perspective, against some considerable odds, and been strengthened by the adversity you faced. I hope the same for your brother.

As far as blocked memories, some psychologists try to recover repressed memories, yet another controversial area that has, however, gained credence by our U.S. judicial system.

As you allude, many fostered children have a problem with lying. Part of their lying also shields them from realising what they themselves have done, and that compounds the fantasy stories. The fostered children will often create a really bad guy, to make him or her look far worse than anything the children have done. Once the stories are created and proliferated, they take on a life of their own, and way into adulthood these stories become more and more real to them. Lots of comparatively privileged people lie, for one reason or another, and many outwardly functional people are even compulsive liars who might even be rewarded at their jobs for lying particularly well, but in my mind, this is not the sign of a completely well person.

I am straying from the subject, sorry...

Anyway, I am glad you have freed yourself from your past, as much as is possible.

Best thoughts,
RADgrad

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#9095 - 01/27/10 07:35 PM Re: RAD or Fledgling Psychopaths? [Re: ]
RADgrad Offline
member

Registered: 01/15/10
Posts: 15
Jan, I have reached out a couple of times to clinicians who have written articles, and once even got back an answer that indicated an interest, but for the most part, especially since I have no credentials, my views are not worth the time to review. Face to face with clinicians, their outrage at my suggestions has been palpable. They have gotten downright threatening with me. I am confident that my hypothesis will be proven someday, but it will happen without me.

My opinion of RAD is predicated on it being caused by preverbal PTSD, akin to human torture - nothing like merely disjointed nurturing. Any other attachment disorder is beyond the scope ofwhat I am addressing. I am not looking at attachment disorders that are caused by confused nurturing. Those disorders might well exist, but I am not prepared to discuss them, and nor do I believe that PTSD-caused RAD is the only attachment disorder on earth. However, brain-damaging PTSD-caused RAD is the only attachment disorder that I have studied. I would argue that PTSD-caused RAD is NOT "...just a style of attaching...," but will not dispute that some might suffer ill effects from confused nurturing. I do not disagree with your view, but I do believe strongly that under certain circumstances, messing in a big way with PRIMAL attachment can cause a psychopath to emerge.

Thank you for your offer to put me in touch with adult survivors of RAD. My views do not go over well with them, either, and discussions can get very heated and emotional. I'd just as soon steer clear...

I truly do not know anything about my daughter's heritage, but her condition is far more prevalent among children who have been separated at a preverbal stage, and quite rare among children who have not been separated. In developed countries, it could be argued that governments routinely intervene with already-disfunctional families, so this would presumably explain that the children are believed to have inherited those dysfunctions. But in undeveloped countries, perfectly normal parents with no psychoses or addictions are often forced to part with their children, many thousands succumbing to promises that their children will have a better life if they are given up into adoption. Why is is that so many of these children are also RAD psychopaths? While most separated children do fine, I will guestimate that 20% are seriously out of whack, and a percentage of those are psychopaths - not due to inherited disorders or to moderate indifference.

I will google the Adaptive Gene by Dr Grant T Harris, thank you for this reference.

You state that your partner's child is different from my daughter because he chooses his behaviors based on the circumstances. Your partner's son's behaviors actually seem very much in line with those of my daughter. I have done a poor job of explaining, but my daughter does precisely the same. Depending on her use for someone, she could be the most sweet and compassionate darling, charming people's socks off, cultivating an entourage of defenders who would fiercely champion her. But she is not capable of feeling anything back. All the people in her life are no more than chess pieces.

I spent quite a bit of money sending her to nice summer camps, mostly so that the two of us could get a break from oneanother, and she would have a marvelous time, bonding instantly with all the counselors and some of the girls, but only if the girls had home lives that she coveted. After telling all her local friends that I was forcing her into a hateful summer camp, she wanted no part of coming home afterward. My daughter did succeed being accepted into other people's homes a couple of times. Her conduit into the home was sometimes a girlfriend, and at other times, a boyfriend. She would learn either how her conduit attached to the family, and about any strife between her conduit and the rest of the family. Then she would methodically cause a deterioration of affiliations between the conduit and the family, and eventually take the place of the family-beloved conduit entirely, after fostering alienation between her conduit and the family. But once her goal was achieved, then she would wreak havoc with a very surprised family, and ultimately be ushered out of the home.

I am not surprised that many attachment sites are disclaiming any successes from neurofeedback, because it flies in the face of the other therapies being offered. What the disputing clinicians are not admitting, is that NO therapy has been statistically successful for PTSD-caused RAD. (I make no claims about treating other attachment disorders, if they exist.) I do believe that some kind of neural therapy might someday be successful for PTSD-caused RAD sufferers, but only if it can generate the growth of the stunted brain.

Like you, I tried as hard as I could to keep my reactions in check, and did comparatively well, for the most part. However, under constant provocation, I did crack. When I was most in control, I would try to look amused, and think of preposterous tasks for my daughter to perform as penance for her lying and thieving. No other child would have put up with the senseless tasks, but messing with the rules of the task would keep her amused for hours, days, weeks, and even months. I am remembering one senseless task, where she would need to walk in a circle around 4 connected rooms, and count up each time she saw me. The rules became ridiculously complicated, to address each of the ways that she tried to get my attention while playing the game. For instance, she would sometimes not increment the number after several rounds, just to see if I were paying attention, so I let her do this several times, and then told her she would have to start way back at the beginning. What normal child would have put up with this stupid requirement, hour after hour, day after day??? But at least I knew where she was and what she was doing.

After reading that these kids will naturally target the mother figure, I decided to give her something to target, something to keep her busy full-time, and this was an oddly effective way of diminishing her otherwise much more destructive behaviors. If I could get her to focus on really stupid contrived games with me, she seemed to have less energy to wreak havoc with anyone else. Again, I canNOT imagine a normal child ever, ever being drawn into such stupid games, but she could not stop herself from being drawn in. I turned the tables by playing games with her, instead of her being the only one to play games while everyone else around her was being earnest. Sounds really cruel on my part, but cruelty was not my aim - my only goal was to exhaust my daughter, in order to keep everyone else relatively safe.

The games I contrived took a toll on me, however, since this is nothing I would normally do, and the games did drive me out of my mind. Now that she has severed ties, the games are over, and what a relief.

We recently attended a family reunion, and there was some explaining as to my daughter's absence, but it is not that unusual for someone of her age to have claimed independence, so this is all I offered by way of an explanation. For the first time, mingling with family and friends was uncomplicated.

Best thoughts,
RADgrad

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#9096 - 01/27/10 07:40 PM Re: RAD or Fledgling Psychopaths? [Re: ]
RADgrad Offline
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Registered: 01/15/10
Posts: 15
Jan and Diane, my daughter basically relived the same day over and over again, never progressing, maturing, or being creative. By her living the same day month after month, year after year, she made sure that the rest of us who had to live with her, also did not progress in our relationship with her. However, even her younger friends soon outgrew her, and she had to seek friends who were ever younger than she. I imagine that if these children truly do not dream, they do not progress...?

Best thoughts,
RADgrad

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#9097 - 01/27/10 07:45 PM Re: RAD or Fledgling Psychopaths? [Re: Damaskrose]
RADgrad Offline
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Registered: 01/15/10
Posts: 15
Hello, Damaskrose. It seems that you and I have been living much the same life with our adopted children...! I'll think of what I can write back to you, but you have pretty much said it all already.

Til a little later,
RADgrad

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#9098 - 01/28/10 06:22 AM Re: RAD or Fledgling Psychopaths? [Re: RADgrad]
Jan
Unregistered


Hi RAD grad

It makes you wonder why professionals choose to research what they do. Surely itís people like us who have such intimate experience can advise them of areas we would like answers to and that will hopefully open up avenues for Ďtreatmentí or even some help or support for the victims. We could tell them what we would hope to gain for ourselves from research. It feels as though much of the research is done for the professional qualification at the end of it or even the worse possible reasonÖ.ego. It may just be that funding is only available for certain things so they have to fit their theories around that.

Whether we are right or wrong with our theories, the only way to prove or disprove them is through research, I think itís just as important to disprove something as to prove it. I find it out of order that anyone should be outraged when you approach them with a situation you have thoughts on. When people get defensive itís a sure sign they are feeling vulnerable. Maybe you came up with a smarter theory than the professionals you approached? I can see why they wouldnít want the Ďlittle peopleí like us coming up with hypotheses that may be very plausible. Did you get any further with the person who expressed an interest?

I suppose when you think about it, your theory, if proved right might make all the previous research redundant OR the wrong conclusions. That would explain defensiveness.

I think I understand what you are saying more clearly now. My reference to AD being s Ďstyle of attachmentí I see as being at the low end of the scale and able to be helped.
I think there is every possibility that your idea is right that some irreversible damage may be done before, during and straight after birth. What I donít understand is why would it make such evil people as psychopathsÖ.could it just as easily produce people with a Ďcouldnít less attitudeí and donít do any harm to anyone? Or people of low emotional intelligence that are easy going maybe to the point of irresponsibility but again only harmful to themselves.

Perhaps there should be different words to describe all the different presentations as we are using ones that already exist and applied to a specific group of symptoms.
It would be so difficult to find out which children have a propensity to severe damage and which ones are resilient and that comes full circle to the question, would their psychopathic tendencies be triggered at some other point in their lives if they were born less resilient into a 'normal' family life?
This is my chicken and egg conundrum. If you were looking at out situation for instance, what would you say could be the cause of the kid from hell being a fledgling psychopath? He was planned, wanted and nurtured from the second he was born and he did the rejecting almost immediately. My partner canít think of anything that would even make the pregnancy stressful let alone damaging.
As I said all we know is his mother has a personality disorder and also my partnerís brother and a couple of aunts on his fatherís side of the family. So we see at as the Ďhighly heritableí version. This is where different names would be useful.
Then that brings me to the other issue I grapple with, are a % of people just born with that Ďpersonalityí style just as a % are born with another disability or any other thing?
It seems the same % of births apply to Autism and many other things. The figure I have come across many times is 1 or 2% across the board.

I found Dr Harrisí work interesting to explain that sort of thinking.

Oh how I hear what you are saying!!! How these kids can come across as being little angels and what terrible parents they have to be so critical of them Ö.amazes me. The kid would do the same, go to the neighbours at mealtimes saying we were not allowing him to eat that day and he was hungry so they would set a place at the table for him. Once when I was criticised by a neighbour I soon put her right and she was shocked to learn the truth because he had appeared so credible. As if he would put up with not having food on a regular basis!!! He was very well fed and would still help himself to anything he could steal from the cupboards. You wouldnít believe the number of times I found empty packets put back in the cupboard then he would deny all knowledge. Whole cake, whole packets of biscuits and even a huge bag of peanuts that I bought for a party, 2 litres of fizzy drink (5 litres is a UK gallon). Iím surprised he never threw up at the quantities he ate when he gorged.

I recognise the scenarios, the kid would get sent home on a regular basis once he had got past the honeymoon stage. He would get sent home for being spiteful to younger kids, lying, being destructive and goodness knows what else as the nighbours didnít like to tell us but I never understood why they didn't. He would run in the house, go to his room to hide in case they came to speak to us then later casually saunter back to their house as though nothing had happened. Talk about a thick skin!
One furious neighbout came round to see us as she saw him through the window doing damage in her garden and she wanted to confront him. We dragged him from his room and he looked her in the eye and denied what she witnessed, he even blamed the little girl next door. He would not accept she watched him, he lied, denied and got angry. He just shrugged, said a quick sarcastic Ďsorryí and walked off.
A few days later he knocks on this womanís door and asks to come in and have coffee and muffins with herÖ..All those days sat in his room after being told to reflect on what he did were a waste of time. He learned how to try her out again and do a better job next time. Punishment insensitive.

I learned how to play games too! It was the only way to keep him under some sort of control. I had to engineer getting the results I wanted from any given situation by being creative. I didnít mind in the least that he hated me, it kept him occupied some of the time and I could predict his possible actions and found it amusing when he did what I predicted. It is a bit wearing having to be 10 steps ahead the whole time but you canít really expect others to take over as they can be so easily duped.

Going back to therapy, when people have strokes they often lose a part of the brain function and the brain can sometimes learn to do tasks by opening up new pathways or utilising other pathways. Maybe itís never too late to repair some brain damage, maybe repair is the wrong word, it could be that the brain can be triggered into using other connections. That takes a willingness on the part of the patient to want to improve their functioning but psychopaths donít want to improve their functioning in the same way and the ones who do not come to the attention of the judicial system will not get any sort of diagnosis or chance of therpy.
That is why children need to be identified as psychopathic at a very young age, firstly because parents will be able to present their child to a professional and also if there is a chance of improving brain function then surely a young malleable brain stands more chance of change?

Itís too late for people like us because the kids have gone from our lives and the next lot of parents will go through the same as we did. I agree with you that the only reason for pursuing these issues is the hope that we can make someone listen so it doesnít repeat generation after generation.
These kids are the partners and parents of the next generation and so it goes on. I canít see that my partnerís kid will bring children up in any normal way and heaven knows what they will be like if they inherit his personality! When I say personality, he hasnít got one in the usual sense, he is like a movie screen and the images you see displayed are an act, an amalgamation of observing other people. His Ďpersonalityí is a negative, empty one. As psychopaths have many sexual relationships and are irresponsible, having lots of children is more likely. If you look at this in the light of Dr Harrisí work it becomes more obvious about the heritability factor.

Thanks for having such a healthy debate. I hope you donít feel Iím just challenging what you say. I think itís vital we question everything and are able to look at the other arguments and hypotheses to move anything forward. Who knows who is right? It could well be you, me or any other Ďlittle personí but unless someone listens it will never be considered by professionals. We need to keep these debates going! That is where our strength lies that we can debate and discuss so openly without ridicule because we are not professionals as in qualification, we are professional in experience.

Regards
Jan

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#9106 - 01/29/10 05:21 AM Re: RAD or Fledgling Psychopaths? [Re: Shelley]
Jan
Unregistered



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#9128 - 02/01/10 07:47 PM Re: RAD or Fledgling Psychopaths? [Re: ]
Sahmera Offline
member

Registered: 02/01/10
Posts: 15
Hi New to Group
Like others I feel forced by my daughters violent/calculating/narcissistic/rad behaviors that after her menses quadrupled her tantrums and intensity. We adopted her at age eight, she is now 11 years old. She has been charged but not arrested for battery against me and my partner. She is a victim of abuse/physical/verbal/sexual. She seems stuck in the same patterned behavior since she was removed from her mother.

Annually she runs away, hits peers in our home, steals (cell phones/money/paper), she has stolen from stores with no repercussions after taking her and stolen items back, weird fascination with animals,likes to ruin floors by urinating on them, wipe feces in showers, continues to have enuresis issues, bites others, performs the predatory stance,etc. She likes to up the anti when no response is provided. We have attempted RAD therapy but the closer we got to her or the thought of getting closer to her she struck us with her fists repeatedly using the bed as a spring to jump me.

She telegraphs things before she does them such as poisoning. She talked about poisoning after hospital stay then put one or more of her medicines in my partners coffee. She told me one day I'm going to kill my partner and your going to watch. She asked what would happen if she threw the car out of gear while driving. She is in the hospital as I write. She has broken into neighbors house and stole money. We have been fortunate to have one good year out of four where there was no physical aggression. She has no remorse unless she thinks it might destroy her chance of getting something later.

When I stopped providing a privileged life of dance,etc. dolls, etc. she turned on both of us but also the year the menses came. She experienced great loss the year we adopted her (2009) her long time counselor left for a better job, her school of four years and great network was gone, she got adopted, etc. I struggle with hope and despair. Her mother and grandmother are not the most upstanding citizens. Her father has never been known, he was a john. She has RAD, bi polar, intermittent explosive, sensory integration issues, adhd, mood disorder nos, disruptive behavior, and whatever else I missed. I thought she was misdiagnosed and had her tested for autism but that was ruled out.

She recently went on a tirade because she couldn't find something. She tore off the doors, repeatedly struck at me, repeatedly attempted to bite and strike my partner, attempted to kick through doorways breaking door frames. She didn't see anything wrong because she was mad. She also threatened to report child abuse. She didn't seem out of control but actually very controlled and accurate in what she set out to destroy. I told her she won and I quit. After almost four years and threats to others and our lives. She recently has telegraphed she wants to drive a car, I can't do this anymore with her. It is a sick and twisted game in her mind that she plays all by herself. She has been out to destroy everything I have so she can have me all to herself because she says that's all she wants not two parents but one and I'm the one she picked. She won't stop until she gets to what she wants no matter who gets hurt in the end because after all she is getting what she wants no one stands in her way. She will cry if she gets hurt but will feel justified when hurting others.
Thanks

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#9130 - 02/02/10 03:04 AM Re: RAD or Fledgling Psychopaths? [Re: Sahmera]
Jan
Unregistered


Hello Sahmera

Your daughter sounds like one of the most difficult and challenging children we have heard about at such a young age. Were you warned of the challenge you were taking on before the adoption?
There are so many issues in your relatively short post so if we start with your family dynamics. How is your partner handling the situation between the two of you and with your daughter? . How is your partner handling the situation between the two of you and with your daughter? You mention Ďpeersí in your home, are you referring to your other children or other adopted children?

When was she diagnosed with the various disorders, before or after the adoption? I always find it very confusing when children are given a cocktail of disorders as it doesnít give you a starting point to try to find either therapy or medication to help. Some conditions canít be helped this way so ways of coping have to be found as with autism which seems like the one condition she hasnít been diagnosed with.
What concerns me about multiple diagnoses is it can be done to cover every possible condition that may be covered for medical insurance purposes. It could be that one condition has clusters of behaviours that overlap with others.
Can you tell us more about the history of her diagnoses and any recommended treatment?

I have to say that here in the UK RAD is rarely diagnosed and reserved for the clearest cases rather than being used to explain other unidentified problems, but your daughter does seem to have the right circumstances to be considered for this diagnosis but may well have other conditions as well. Has she been screened for Foetal Alcohol Syndrome or Foetal Alcohol Effect? If you information about her motherís pregnancy it might help you find out if anything could have caused her harm, maybe drug taking? I have often wondered about testosterone overload in the uterus and if it causes more aggressive children.
As you have arrived at a forum for victims of psychopathy can you tell us what made your search under this topic, is it because you suspect she may have the sort of Conduct Disorder that leads to psychopathy?

Anyone in your circumstances needs to look after themselves first and try to take a step back to assess the way to find a way forward. This girl might think if she gets rid of those around you then she will have you to herself and that is worrying. My partnerís kid (like all kids doing this) wanted rid of me in the belief that he would then have his father back under his control. Iím sure he thought he would then only have one person to manipulate.

Being realistic, have you considered relinquishing your daughter back into the system. I have heard that adoption can be undone in exceptional circumstances and I would think you qualify for that! You obviously havenít had any training to deal with a child like this and you have other people to look after and protect. It may sound harsh but she is one person but there are others to consider. Do you feel you would be seen as a failure if you told anyone you want this girl out of your home? Do you feel you can allow yourself to tell people you want this?

Itís not your fault you canít cope with her and itís not going to get any better, in fact the older she gets will bring more problems.
Maybe you know the solution you want and that you are testing peopleís reactions by telling us what you are going through? I certainly would be the first to say you have tried your best but this situation is too much for you to handle, itís time to end it.
I say that because I know we couldnít have done more for my partnerís kid and it just got worse and he was destroying all three of us, now he has gone two of us have survived.

Iím sure Iím not the only one here who would say this is far beyond nearly every personsí capabilities, as you already know the professionals canít offer any help or solutions so how do ordinary people like us cope?

Please feel free to write as much as you like because often just getting things out of your head allows you to see things from another perspective. If your best friend told you what you have told usÖ.what would you tell her?

Regards
Jan

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#9152 - 02/03/10 05:24 PM Re: RAD or Fledgling Psychopaths? [Re: ]
RADgrad Offline
member

Registered: 01/15/10
Posts: 15
Hello, Jan, still here, although it may seem as if I have fallen off a cliff (strange expression if you think about it...).

After Sahmera's description of life with an adopted daughter, my breath is taken away... I thought I had it bad??

You ask why professionals discount those of us who actually live with psychopaths. Wish I knew. But these professionals certainly do not curry my cooperation by discarding my concerns and arbitratily expected me to march in time. Scarily, when we with children do not cooperate with clinicians, it is all too easy for them to pick up the phone and report us for some kind of child endangerment. Professional control freaks are another category of predator, and the laws protect and foster them, but that's a whole other can of worms. And you are so right that their hackles are really raised by a non-professional suggesting a radically different hypothesis.

No, I was not successful in pursuing more of a conversation with the clinician who emailed me back, agreeing that maternal separation might lead to the attachment syndromes that were proven erroneously blamed on maternal cocaine usage.

You ask why pre-verbal brain damage would result necessarily in evilness, in psychopathy. It seems to have a lot to do with where the damage is done, and for some reason, pre-verbal PTSD brain damage is focused on the cortex and cerebellum, which are areas of the brain believed to be related to the management of consequence and conscience. The intelligence is NOT affected. Those of us here do not have to think very hard to imagine an intelligent being with no conscience.

I have thought quite a bit about how a personality develops when a sense of consequence is blotted out. It starts with a philosophical question and ends with tangibly disasterous outcomes. A sense of consequence is one of the most basic sophistications that separate us humans from animals. (Animals are not evil, but if they had human intelligence, they might well be evil in comparison to humans who generally have a highly developed sense of consequence.) A sense of consequence is one of the most basic building blocks for trust. Trust becomes love. Trust and love become conscience. Strip away conscience, love, trust and consequence, and what do we have? - something a heckuva lot worse than non-PTSD attachment disorder.

Once stunted, the cortex and cerebellum do not grow. Period. The amygdala, or animal brain/reptile brain/survival brain, on the other hand, becomes highly attuned. Humans still possess an amygdala, though most of us have little use for it any more. With the amygdala constantly on the ready, as it is in non-domesticated animals (moreso than domesticated animals), the afflicted human is always in fight-or-flight mode. Animal pups who are play-fighting with other pups are really practicing as predators and prey, imprinting survival mechanisms. A human who constantly creates situations which put him or her in peril, is practicing what the amygdala convinces the brain it needs in order to stay in peak survival training. I truly believe that my daughter was trying to hurt and also get hurt all the time, as part of her survival instinct, her need to practice for the constant danger that possessed her brain. Kill or be killed. It was all a constant drill a perpetual challenge to confirm to herself that she was in danger, even if she had to deliberately create the danger just to validate herself. There are others who must be better at putting this into words.

You mention the resilience of some children over others, where some children are more affected than others by torture-level trauma. This is very much the case. In adult trauma, some adults in the exact same circumstances do not suffer PTSD, while others become utterly incapacitated by it. This is because the brain is a physical entity, and physical healing properties will differ, just as a flesh wound will heal differently for people who are physically variant.

Just as you write, the brain is indeed often resilient enough to make new pathways after a stroke or other damage to the brain. And it is true that women's brains allow them to re-path more successfully after a stroke than do men. But a fully grown brain is different from a pre-verbal brain. Unless the stunting of the cortex and cerebellum is somehow reversed while in pre-verbal human development, there is no way known to generate the growth of those two parts of the brain at a later stage in life.

This question that you pose: "If you were looking at out situation for instance, what would you say could be the cause of the kid from hell being a fledgling psychopath? He was planned, wanted and nurtured from the second he was born and he did the rejecting almost immediately. My partner canít think of anything that would even make the pregnancy stressful let alone damaging." -- I have no explanation for this. But my hypothesis does not discount other paths for resulting psychopathies. I suppose it is possible for a cortex or cerebellum to be stunted without trauma, just as anything else on a human body. Maybe other members of the child's family have brain atrophies that are somewhat similar, but you know I am just making wild guesses here.

I do not believe that personality differences are magic. I don't believe that they materialise out of thin air, even if they are independent of actual experiences. If identical twins who live an identical life are markedly different, I believe that the twins have physically neurological differences which can account for the personality disparaties.

What is still inexplicable to me is how these children seem so uniform in behavior. They are irresistable to strangers, who act as pawns to protect these monsters. They refine triangulation to an art. We are all dehumanised to them, mere tools or prey. Even when we know beyond all doubt that these kids are lying, we get that dark, lifeless stare when we confront them with the evidence, and it never changes. They will repeat the same bizarre behaviors, sometimes altering a single isolated variable, just to test and compare the outcome, and then do the same over and over again. They actually desire to be discovered by some for the very same behaviors they want to be hidden from others. The list goes on and on. Do they have international conventions while we are sleeping to sync up all of their quirks???

You really struck me with this one: "He learned how to try her out again and do a better job next time." YES!! Other children dress and re-dress dolls, or play hide and seek over and over again -- but these psycho-kids' toys are us adults! Normal children may have no remorse when a doll is left undressed, and the doll does not punish the child, but waits patiently for the child to play with the doll later, or just leave the doll unnoticed. That's the way the psychopathic child sees us adults, as mere toys that exist only for their form of play. They hone their lies and manipulations on the same adult, no matter what that adult may do to tolerate their lies or fend them off. We adults are not permitted to choose what kind of toys we are, nor when we can quit the game.

Like you, I learned to play the games as a game aggressor, which infuriated my daughter. Like you, I found my daughter to be eminently predictable. She is really very programmed and programmable. But evenso, not improvable. It frustrated me that I could predict and funnel her behaviors enough to enrage her and foil her, but not to get her to drop the evilness for more than a few seconds at a time. In tiny slivers of time, she could see her mistake and the futility of it all, BUT IT DID NOT LAST.

It horrifies me that these children will have their own children. I have not witnessed such a development myself and hesitate to even make any presumptions. But I do hold my breath a lot.

I love that you are challenging me, and jumping into debate with me, Jan!! In all other cases, such a debate would have been long over, yet you and I are still bouncing ideas off oneanother. I could be very wrong in my ramblings, but it is so nice to just be listened to so considerately.......

Have a very nice rest-of-the-week!
RADgrad

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#9154 - 02/04/10 06:30 AM Re: RAD or Fledgling Psychopaths? [Re: RADgrad]
RADgrad Offline
member

Registered: 01/15/10
Posts: 15
Hello, Damaskrose.

Just as you are estranged from your adoptive daughter, so are we. My thoughts were so mixed and confused when she left, worrying if she had really left or if and how she might return...worrying what to say to inquisitive, often unsympathetic, family and friends...worrying whether she might try to litigate in court...worrying about all forms of revenge...worrying that she might try to contact family and friends. But so far things have been rather quiet. We were recently robbed, largely of my jewelry (I feel the loss most of our family heirlooms), and am certain my daughter was connected to the robbery since it was not a forced entry. But compared to what our lives were like when she was living with us, even a robbery seems like nothing of consequence. A robbery, if that is the only fallout, is a small price to pay for freedom.

The family and friends that I so feared informing of her independence actually seemed to forget her instantly. They did their usual gushy inquiries when she didn't appear with us at events and gatherings, and they didn't instantly accept my simple explanation that she had emancipated herself from us, so I found myself going into some further details. What surprised me is that this was the end of it, especially after all the previous oohing and ahing over her, all the syrupy attention she always got, all the gushing concern over her welfare. They were all under her spell for so long, but the long-running spell evaporated almost instantly.

I agree with you that social workers don't seem to "get it," even the ones who supposedly specialise in adoptions. I always had to remind myself that these particular social workers were actually on the front line of an adoption enterprise, and even government adoptions are oddly enterprising, financially motived. These social workers are supposed to facilitate adoptions and keep costs down. They will be discouraged from advertising that RAD even exists, or the extent towhich it affects anyone, and will certainly not be willing to pay for never-ending therapy, unless there is a robust funding incentive.

You ask how it might be possible to know in advance if a child is afflicted with RAD. All children are so cute, so needy, so irresistable, most especially RAD-afflicted children. I think even if I were warned, I wouldn't have heeded the warnings, assuming that I was gifted enough to compensate for any challenges that a child posed. How wrong I was.

It's more than a shame that you were not supported, that you were not given any respite. Yet you are head and shoulders above the parents and caretakers who respond to these children in violence, especially when these children trigger responses in us that we never even knew we had.

Not all manipulative people aim to channel eruptions and violence around them, but these kids definitely do this. I can only imagine that they are answering to a neurologically hard-wired instinct that requires them to constantly be in an artificial, even self-created survival mode. The minute they feel safe, they methodically ruin it, with an almost surgical approach. There is something wrong with SAFETY.

When she left us, my daughter burned through a dozen welcoming homes; she accepted the invitations of people she had cultivated to protect and nurture her while she was living with The Witch (me), but the minute she moved in with them, she horribly abused their hospitality, and immediately got thrown out into the street with less and less of her belongings, sometimes only lasting at a home for a mere weekend. As is typical with a RAD-sufferer, she tried the same behaviors over and over again in other homes, on the belief that she should be tolerated. I paraphrase Albert Einstein: Insanity is doing the same thing over and over, expecting a different result. But I would add to that for RADs - RAD sufferers are safety-aversive - part of their psyches want them to get away with their behaviors, but there is a strong aspect of their psyches that require they be punished and threatened for their behaviors, and they will not stop when they achieve their goals for permissiveness. Their ultimate goal is to achieve danger. This is what makes RAD sufferers so very threatening, in my view.

You write that your calmness caused your daughter to become angry, even psychopathic. In my experience, my daughter hated calmness in me, too, and would go to extremes to unsettle me, most often using my relationships with others to engineer them against me. Calmness is safety. Safety must be destroyed. It seemed very sophisticated for her, even as a toddler, to enlist my friends and family to do the actual destroying, but strangely, her triangulation methods remained quite consistent over the years, not developing. And after my daughter left home, she turned on the very people who assisted her most.

I do hope life is calmer for you now that you are free. It takes a while for the churning of separation, and for the scarring memories to let go of us. But the first time in years, I get up early, looking forward to each day, savoring my happiness. There is still a little tingle of worry everyday, but it is in a separate compartment. I hope the best for you, too!

Best thoughts,
RADgrad

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