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#9155 - 02/04/10 07:30 AM Re: RAD or Fledgling Psychopaths? [Re: RADgrad]
Jan
Unregistered


Hi RAD grad

I’m so pleased to hear from you. I was worried that you felt I was being too aggressive and you didn’t want to engage in any further discussions. I enjoy our debates as we can say things that we couldn’t say to others without the experiences we have. We can suggest theories and hypotheses from what we have observed, who is to say we are wrong? The only way to prove anything is to disprove what it isn’t so every aspect has to be considered.
I think you have considered so many possibilities that you must have hit on many things that are accurate. What I particularly like about our discussions is you support every one of your ‘arguments’ with factual information, you don’t fob me off with a vague proposition.

I don’t feel my situation was that bad when I read stories like yours’ Sahmera’s and Jenna and her husbands but it caused me a lot of distress so I can imagine what other consequences you all have to suffer. I know I won’t stop investigating this subject until I feel I have either come to a conclusion and there is a possibility of a solution or a ‘cure’ is found. The third option will be neither, in my lifetime.

I do wonder if some professionals are defensive because we have no training but do have knowledge that isn’t available to them and they need to find financial resources to gain that knowledge after many years of training. I have to ask myself what are their reasons are for researching the things they do, is it for a qualification or a desire to help people like us? We search for answers, we research looking for a cause, a reason and a possible solution, if not for ourselves because it’s too late for us to benefit directly but for the next generation of parents.

I have found the legal profession to be some of the most arrogant people I have come across. When I have witnessed the ‘law’ making errors of judgement and there is no appealing, it makes me so angry. At the moment, I have personal knowledge of 2 mothers asking the courts to do a ‘risk assessment’ on their (sexually) abusive ex partners who want unsupervised contact with the children and a judge takes the view that the mothers are just being uncooperative with court orders. One was told she ‘she was a whisker away from being sent to prison’…..for what?? Wanting to protect her children???? Both are having to fight to be heard and action brought to address their concerns.
I feel in one of these cases the judge is either condoning abuse or hasn’t a clue it exists….I rather favour the former! I have heard there are paedophiles within the judiciary.

Each time I read one of your posts I gain more insight into your information and it often seems like another way to say what I’m saying and when I question your thoughts it is also questioning myself so I hope you don’t feel I’m deliberately being oppositional? My belief is the truth is the truth so all questioning does is follow a path to find it. It’s like an unknown object hidden in a box, if that object is a gold ring then that is the ‘truth’ and no amount of questioning will change that but it will narrow down information to identify it. Even if I think it’s a piece of string and ask all the wrong questions it will still be the ‘truth’ ….it’s not a piece of string, it’s a ring.

As far as I’m concerned ….keep bouncing those ideas around! I could be just as wrong as the next person and I hope if it can be proved that I am then I will be wise enough to accept it.

OH these behaviours! Why don’t we make up our own checklist? I howled with laughter when I read ‘do they have international conventions while we are sleeping’. I often wondered if what they do is as physical as symptoms for a disorder where there are visible symptoms. The brain would definitely be the reason for that, if a certain type of damage makes a body function in a certain way then equally it could make patterns of behaviour.

These are precisely the things the professionals don’t get to know about. Stupid little things like chewing the ends of pencils until they are in shreds but when metal pen is substituted that also get chewed to destruction. Insisting on designer labels but putting the clothes over an unwashed body, he refused to shower or even wash till he stank and didn’t care when we commented but if we would dare say a word about his designer gear…all hell broke lose!
If there is a way of doing something…he deliberately did it the opposite way such as knife and fork in the opposite hands, trying to form words back to front when writing, getting into the car was even done in a peculiar way by getting in backwards and turning around to sit down. Asking a question when we had just given an answer. If we asked him to shut a door, he would open it. If asked to turn a tap off the rest of the taps in the house would be turned on. Same with a window.
Anything and everything, crazy meaningless things. Maybe for effect or attention I really don’t know.

It horrifies me too, that he will breed. The family( mother’s side) history isn’t conducive to child rearing. Even if he had a ‘normal’ child what sort of upbringing could he provide? Unfortunately these are the irresponsible types that do have lots of sexual encounters therefore more likely to breed.

I look forward to hearing more!

Regards
Jan

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#9159 - 02/05/10 07:14 PM Re: RAD or Fledgling Psychopaths? [Re: ]
RADgrad Offline
member

Registered: 01/15/10
Posts: 15
Jan, my gosh, I welcome your inquisitiveness!! In no way do I find your curiosity aggressive, except in a GOOD way. You want answers, and so do we all! If you want clarification from me, then I am challenged to reword and use better illustrations. If anything, you help me to strengthen my hypothesis. Between all our theories there must be a glimmer of a new direction, and if not, then at least this correspondence is very therapeutic. Just as you say, there are so few we can converse with in these terms, and most of our community of like-minded warriors are people over the internet that we will never meet. I sense that you and I do indeed agree, and that we are fervently seeking the right words and proofs.

It is clear that your experience with your partner's son was life-changing for you. It most certainly was for me. Like you, my experience has led me to seek answers. With my daughter out of my house and everyday life, it is finally possible to put a few thoughts logically together, instead of constantly having to be in battle mode. I agree with you that our research and debate will not help us, but may very possibly someday greatly assist those in the future.

The legal profession?? They are from another planet. One of my best friends became an attorney later in life, and since then, I do not know her. Besides the arrogance, the courts and law enforcement are corrupt, and all of them consider themselves to be above the law, while they consider us beneath the law, not worthy of the laws of due process. Anyone who disagrees with the court becomes an enemy of the court, and truth and justice are swept aside. For the 2 Moms with court issues that you reference, if they are in UK, then perhaps this site will lead them to support: http://www.the-real-picture-of-uk-social-services.i8.com/index.html . If they are in the US, then a good site is familyrights.us .

I'm glad you burst out laughing at my imagining international psycho conventions while the rest of us are sleeping! Only people like us, who have experienced the same, can even fathom such an odd little joke. If psychopaths are the way they are due to similar brain anomalies or damage, then this might explain why they have so many behaviors in common. The behavior checklists are the most compelling argument for the uniformly odd behaviors and I am sure we could add much to a checklist.

You mention ghastly hygiene. We experienced the same, and I have heard just this from other parents and caretakers.

Going back years, I noticed that my daughter would never open a door, even at the age of 4, and it occured to me that this might be dangerous for her someday, so I coached her to open the front door to our house so that she would know to get out if necessary. She was FURIOUS at being made to do this, but I would not relent. After that, whenever we left the house, I made sure she opened the door, and she did as I wished. But if we came to another closed door, even in our own home, she would not open it - unless she and I went through the same ritual of "training." Where was the sense in this?? This is not typical child's behavior, and this was only one of a billion inane circumstances.

Humans learn to GENERALISE, they learn to apply their knowledge to other situations by making general assumptions, such as understanding that door knobs all work basically the same way, and for the same reason and for the same function. For my daughter, she required that everything be isolated, and that rules be made specific to each door knob. In some other situations, this was how her mind worked, but in other situations, she just used this illogic to control me. She forced me, as it seemed your partner's son forced you, to be very, very specific and precise -- "I want you to turn off the tap, and not turn on any other taps, and then I want you to sit in the red chair with your hands folded and not move until I tell you to get in the car, and when I tell you to get in the car, you will do so immediately, and you will not cause me to speak to you about needing any corrections before or after we get in the car." If I was not specific enough, my daughter would punish me for allowing her to act or think independently, by doing something outrageous that I had not addressed or accounted for in my instructions. So while it looked like she was battling for independence, she actually craved being totally controlled, moreso than I could ever control her. What would a professional clinician say about this? Since they have no answer, we who ask the question must be mistaken about asking the question in the first place.

The odd, disjointed behaviors that did not involve adult manipulation, were just as weird. My daughter had about 20 Barbie dolls, and always wanted more. She never showed any interest in them once she got them. But one day, I noticed that one of the Barbie's heads was snapped off. Then I noticed another and another beheaded Barbie. The obvious concern is that this is acting out killing someone (and I don't discount this concern), but the other thought that occured to me is that my daughter could not understand why the head would not pop right back on, so she did the same thing again, and still could not believe the result. Then perhaps she did it again, just to enjoy her disbelief? And this is when I began to understand psychopathic serial killers... Whenever I read about serial killers, and their repetitive ritualistic actions, their recreation of the same murder over and over again, I see my daughter's behaviors. Yeah, just a little disconcerting.

On that eerie note, back atcha, Jan! What do you make of this??

Best,
RADgrad

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#9169 - 02/06/10 03:34 PM Re: RAD or Fledgling Psychopaths? [Re: RADgrad]
Jan
Unregistered


Hello RADgrad

I’m pleased and relieved that you didn’t think I was challenging for the wrong reasons. I thoroughly enjoy brainstorming and appreciate feedback even if I am way off the mark. It’s good to know someone can offer alternative options with supportive information.
Many parents find it hard to go too deeply into their problems as it is so painful. I haven’t got that problem and am willing to dig as deep as I can to make some sense of what I went through. I also like to be challenged as it does help organise the thought processes and decide whether I’m coming at the situation from a personal perspective and therefore not objective. You are right, we are both seeking the same end point and are bringing all the knowledge and experience we have to the party to get there. There are bound to be similarities and differences so it’s great to compare.

Yes again, you are right that this kid was a life changing experience for me. I have never experienced anything like it before so upfront and personal. I suppose I have had glimpses of other peoples’ similar problems but I wasn’t involved, so must have been one of those who thought …’I blame the parents’ when they witnessed a kid like ours doing what they do.
Since I left the 24/7 high alert situation I can reflect on what we went through and over time the rawness has healed a great deal. I can now laugh about a lot of the things we endured and came to accept as our way of life. With hindsight it was bizarre and I don’t know how we came to accept things as they were. I suppose we had no choice. Those who were aware of what was going on were as helpless as we were, the rest either didn’t see, didn’t care or were manipulated or in the case of the grandmother, in total denial.

Don’t get me started on the legal profession! One of my barristers (I don’t know what your equivalent is) told me that the courtroom is “pure theatre”. In other words the representation who is the stronger player/actor is successful. We even have the judge who looks as though he has rifled through the dressing up box, complete with wig, to spout jargon making ridiculous decisions about peoples lives without knowing the people involved. I have seen them get it wrong and we all have to walk away and accept it. It’s all about money too. The one whose money lasts longest stays till the end and gets the result they want. I won’t say justice, just they get what they want.
I have lost all respect and credibility in the judicial system, it’s a complete farce.
Thanks for those links, I’m going to spend some time looking at them as they will be very useful.

You have confirmed a few things that are helping me formulate a new checklist for childhood psychopathy. Hygiene! The kid never washed, he hated water, he stank, he pretended to shower. He smelt like a wet dog when he got warm. He didn’t care. He wet the bed most nights and still had to be frog marched to the shower even when we said his school mates would make fun of him, he didn’t care.

YES ….the list of instructions….if you didn’t go through the whole list he would miss out various stages because ‘ we didn’t tell him to do it’….well, I suppose he wa right we didn’t on that particular occasion as we had said it every day for a week we thought it might be taken as given it had to be done. Example….the school rule was no coloured T shirt under the white school shirt …so what did the kid do EVERY morning…put the dark T shirt on and we had to say every day ‘go and take it off, put a white one on’. By each Friday we would think the message had got through… NO …but as we didn’t tell him on the Friday morning he seemed to think he would get away with it. Of course Monday came round and off we went again as though last week never happened. It was the relentlessness of saying the same things every day until the list was a mile long, it was exhausting. We eventually put a list of rules on the notice-board to point to rather then go into battle. Gran saw it on one visit and we got a lecture about our cruelty…in front of kid from hell of course, so you can imagine how effective that tool became!

Tell me about the dead dolls!!!
The kid manically collected Lord of the Rings figures and at the end of each session with them, they would be laid out on the floor…all dead and killed with ‘weapons’ in them like a scene of carnage. It wad the same with his lego men, he didn’t know how to play, only fantasising death and murder. Maybe practice for the future?

Definitely more checklist items, the play/toy death/destruction, the constant repetition of bad/negative behaviours, the failure to learn from negative responses to their behaviour, the enjoyment of negative reactions to their behaviour rather than to anything positive, sabotaging anything good or nice to get negative or angry responses, making out they are doing what is expected then drawing attention to something bad, often asking for attention for it, as though they have allowed you to relax for two minutes then need to be jerked out of it. Maybe pleasure in controlling pleasure to pain?

The repetitive behaviours we had were opening all the windows throughout the house, leaving them off the catch to blow in the wind, them he would leave the house. Putting ALL the taps on throughout the house then going out. Toilet issues (some too disgusting to go into) never flushing despite what was in there as though it was left a s ‘gift’ for us to find. Wetting the bed but he never woke or got out of bed because of it, he would stay in it till he got up in the morning, he seemed to enjoy being in it. Asking the same stupid questions day after day as though he would get a different answer in the end. Tapping, scratching, nail biting, making noises, jumping behind me to startle me and smirking when he did it.
The list is endless and as one behaviour dropped off that weeks list it would be replaced by something else that was added. The old ones would come round again in time.

It winds me up even thinking about it, thank goodness I will never have to see, hear or smell him ever again!

You asked what I made of all the things these kids do but I really don’t know other that they practice their craft and maybe the childhood opportunities they use will be substituted with adult ones as they get older, such as people for the dolls. The windows are practicing gas-lighting maybe?

I will have to think more about this sort f behaviour and what it represents.

I look forward to hearing more from you as usual.

Regards
Jan


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#9182 - 02/08/10 10:42 AM Re: RAD or Fledgling Psychopaths? [Re: Dianne E.]
Maria09 Offline
member

Registered: 10/22/09
Posts: 4
Hi,
This is my first post, so I hope that I am posting it to the right place.

I have read through all the posts here, and I believe (hope) that I have finally found some people who will understand what is happening to me.

My 21 yo son was adopted by us when he was 5 years old, and quite quickly we adopted two more boys. The saying act in haste.........

Over the next few years two of the boys were diagnosed RAD, While the first boy Sam was not diagnosed, mainly because I never took him to a psychologist. From the day he came home he set situations up. First of all he endlessly spoke of how great his foster mother had been, all the great things she did for him. How she was so much better than the cow of a mother he now found himself with! He used to phone her asking if he could return. He didn´t seem to notice how she had no time for him, and was soooo pleased to be able to hand him over to me.

This boy argued about everything. He spent 15 years stealing, bullying, abusing the other children in the home. He talked endlessly in a sexual way, he never missed an opportunity to hurt a child at home or at school. He was lazy, selfish and opinionated. He took our possessions and used them as his own. He would always try to get other children to gang up on his brothers, and one of his favourite hobbies was to tell the most awful lies about us to others to gain their sympathy. As he got older he drank far too much, ran up dept without us knowing, stole credit cards etc etc,. Out of the home, around people who were important to him, ie those who had status, money or something else he wanted, he was, and still is, Mr nice. Quiet, thoughtful. Pleasant and good company. I can´t tell you how many times I´ve felt like being sick while watching his act.

One year ago following increasing aggression in the home, he was at last shown the door. He immediately got himself half the town running around after him. He has instigated a hate campain against me, his father and his siblings. We have heard how he had to ´escape from OUR violence by jumping from an upstairs window. How we used him as a slave....on and on and on. How does he get people to believe all this?????

On top of this my two RAD boys now 16 and 18 continue with their own strange ways. I read here that these kids stink! I can´t begin to tell you how filthy my two are. One continues to wet the bed every night. At 18 he will still get back into it, soaking from the night before. He has bad teath, and acts like he has rabies around water. They both do everything opposite to what is asked. They steal non-stop especially food. They both more or less ignore me unless they want something and the only time I get to see their eyes is when they are lying.

For years my husband and I have hardly dared to go out because of their behaviours. Even our families have distanced themselves because they cant stand the boys. The parents at the youngest boys school got up a petition to have him removed, only the head told them that as a state school, the kid had a right to be there. All this despite super human efforts to be calm with the kids. Take them on trips and days out. Show them kindness etc.etc. When once I said this to Sam he laughed in my face and said `Sucker´

I feel beyond sad: I am worn out. I feel stupid for getting myself into all of this. I am exhuasted and quite frankly, I hardly know what is happening anymore. My reality has been so distorted by all the boys lies for so long now I find myself doubting my own sanity.

I´m sorry this is so long. I know that all of you here have your own awful problems too. I wish people would get told about this before they adopt. Everyone is so concerned about the child being ok, being safe, not being abused but nobody wants to hear that sometimes its the kids that are being abusive. I dont want sympathy, I got myself into this, but just once, over all the years it would have helped if just one person really knew what it was like to live in my house.

Thank you for being here.

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#9184 - 02/08/10 04:07 PM Re: RAD or Fledgling Psychopaths? [Re: Maria09]
Jan
Unregistered


Hello Maria

You have posted in exactly the right place! Hello and welcome.

I can understand what you are saying and can probably read between the lines too. When I read posts like yours it takes me back to when I was in the place you are in now but I was fortunate that I only had to endure my partner’s kid until he was 14. I could never have lasted until he was 18 let alone 21. Having two more children with problems must be draining, do you get any respite care for them? I feel a prison sentence would be less onerous than bringing up three children with such severe problems.

Did you find puberty was another step in your oldest son’s aggressive behaviours or was it just a slow decline?

How did you go about getting a diagnosis for your two younger boys? Can you tell us more about the background of all three of them if you know anything at all. It’s incredible that adoption agencies are either ignorant or pressured to achieve targets that peoples lives are turned upside down.

I have to be honest and say the I’m a huge RAD sceptic, I know it exists but I have found lack of knowledge and not wanting to stigmatise children with an ‘adult’ disorder makes it a soft option in many cases.

I approached our problem from the perspective of RAD and it just didn’t fit but the child psychologist seemed to feel more comfortable allowing us to think this was the problem. We were told the kid had ‘attachment problems of the avoidant kind’…..well maybe he did but that was only one of the many symptoms of the real condition. It was only when she said that seeing him again or attempting any kind of therapy would make him worse did I realise what we were really dealing with.
It further confirmed what I thought when she said there was nothing she could do for him but she could continue seeing his father and me if we needed support. We declined for many reasons, the first being she should spend her time with children that could be helped and also the only support we needed was for him to be taken into a care system that could cope with him. That doesn't exist so no point thinking about it.

You are certainly not stupid for getting into this situation, there could have been many children placed in your care who would have thrived. It’s not your fault.

I do hope you feel you can come here and rant all you like and will get support. Sometimes just letting go helps relieve some of the stress. You are not crazy, years of crazy making behaviour makes you doubt your sanity but the fact you recognise you feel crazy shows you definitely are sane.
I recognise the ‘Uriah Heep’ behaviour tactic…how I hated that one! When I saw people falling for that I wanted to shout out ‘don’t fall for it, he’s taking you for a fool’ but I would have looked like the wicked witch who didn’t understand children. I used to fume inside while he got away with it. If you told people quietly after the event you would get the usual retort of ‘he’s only a child’…..yes he was…the child from hell!

Do you get any kind of support where you live? Is there anything available through the school system? I suppose the two younger ones are nearly finished their education?

I would like to hear more about your experiences and what you have been through trying to get help.

Your post wasn’t long enough to get it all down in one go so please write as much as you feel you need to. I’m sure there is so much more we would like to ask.

I will wait to hear more from you and I hope we can offer you the support you obviously need.

Take care of yourself and your husband, you must be a great team.

Regards
Jan

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#9199 - 02/09/10 06:58 AM Re: RAD or Fledgling Psychopaths? [Re: Maria09]
RADgrad Offline
member

Registered: 01/15/10
Posts: 15
Maria, you should get a gold medal... If you are sane enough to have found this bunch, then I congratulate you for having held on to your sanity after all the emotional abuse you have endured.

Your son claiming you kept him as a slave is all too familiar!! My daughter, too, claimed this, and was actually believed. According to her, she made all our meals, cleaned our house from top to bottom everyday (gosh, I so miss this - oh, wait -- it never happened), mowed the lawn, even washed the cars. In truth, this child never made so much as a sandwich for herself, and never lifted a finger around the house. She invested triple the effort in hiding the fact that she used a new roll of toilet paper rather than simply placing the new roll on the dispenser. The roll of toilet paper is not important, but her behavior is most indicative.

After she won the heart of another town resident with her tale of slavery, the woman offered a room in her home to my daughter in exchange for housekeeping. (Gee, being a slave can actually translate into a tool for bartering room and board -- oh, wait -- none of this is real.) The woman soon found out that my 18 year old daughter had no clue how to clean anything, and the woman had to teach her how to fill and empty a dishwasher, mop the kitchen floor, swab a toilet. But lo, my daughter would not clean afterward, although the woman was already paying her AND feeding her AND housing her AND believing her AND buying her clothes, jewelry and a computer. Well, the short ending to this senseless story is that this woman threw my daughter out of the house and told her to never return, but the reasons for the eviction had nothing to do with housekeeping.

I do keep trying to convince Jan that RAD is real and physical, proven by photographed brain scans, most often the result of tangible pre-verbally suffered torture. I think the biggest problem with the term RAD is that it trivialises the condition by its very name. Attachment is only ONE of the conditions that characterise RAD. Then again, we should not trivialise attachment. Attachment is a requisite in humans in order to be a functioning society. It's not just a soft and fuzzy kitten-like emotion with hearts and flowers; it is the fundamental societal necessity. Without it, humans are Caligulas.

The closest that RAD-sufferers have to any emotion is a compunction to control. These people have few developed emotions at all, and whatever emotions they have, encompass what should be normal emotion into a dissociated lump of aggression. Emotional attachment, affection and love are too complex for them, and in order for them to classify and process those feelings, they mash them all into aggressive sexuality and other forms of inappropriate control over others. Sadness, confusion and anger, attachment, affection and love - these all can be confusing to the most normal of us - but we do not channel everything into sexuality, food-gorging and deception.

I have often asked myself why all the behaviors have to be so inappropriate? I think it is because RAD sufferers have no way of channeling normal love and attention, but they still have an inner human need to be "special" to their caretakers. What better way to be noticed and evoke a personal, unique response, by committing acts that stun those closest to them, their own caretakers? This is the closest they come to attachment, yet it becomes a travesty.

I know that our pets also possess limited ability to process complex emotions, but they do not normal pee all over the house or deliberately displease us. Why is a human that is emotionally disabled by RAD so destructive as compared to our modestly minded pets? I will guess that there is another difference between humans and animals that it is characterised by an advanced need for humans to be loved and recognised as an individual, distinct from the group. But what if humans have that need, and yet cannot process the love and affection that the need requires? I know I risk sounding maudlin, braying on about love and affection, but we humans are surrounded by affection and recognition, and completely take it for granted, and don't believe we miss it if it disappears -- that's because we are normal and our brains are normal, and we can adjust accordingly. Deranged people cannot manage even the most ideal situations, and actually function more competently when conditions are egregiously adverse, when they can operate in survival mode (using their huge amygdala brain - humans have 3 brains within one), and, conversely, when we caretakers are deprived of our kind of control and forced to rely on survival mode, our weakest area of brain functioning. Therefore, RAD people feel more secure and in control when things are NOT working smoothly or normally, since their most advanced emotional regulation comes from their amygdala.

I believe you got excellent advice from the therapist who told you there was no help for RAD sufferers. The message has not gotten across to U.S. therapists, who still believe they can treat it, and who still blame the caretakers when the treatment fails.

When do you think the two boys you still have at home will emancipate themselves and move out? Jan and I can both assure you that our lives, independent from these children, improves exponentially day by day. As painful and impossible as it sounds, I personally encourage you to open the door and let these big kids out into the world, and to lock the door behind them, as hard-hearted as I sound. You have bled for these kids, and despite what your friends, neighbors and family think, I think you are marvelous.

Best thoughts,
RADgrad

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#9200 - 02/09/10 08:07 AM Re: RAD or Fledgling Psychopaths? [Re: RADgrad]
Maria09 Offline
member

Registered: 10/22/09
Posts: 4
Hi Jan and RADgrad,

Second time trying to post - hope it goes through this time!

Thanks for your replies. It´s so good to be able to speak with other people who understand the situation. Here is a little background info:

When we first met Sam he did come over as bossy and a bit full of himself, but we thought that he was just a little boy who had been through some tough stuff and was acting big because really he was scared. I didn´t warm to him right away, but I wasnt too worried; I thought that would come naturally as our relationship progressed. I feel sad now when I remember how happy and optimistic we were over having the chance to raise this child.

He was cruel to the other boys and girls in his care home but again this seemed like the behaviour of a distressed child, and although I guessed it may take years to help him, never once did I understand that this bullying child would just get bigger and sneakier as the years went by. I had no inkling that I would end up living with an abusive man.

At school he wanted all the pencils, all the paper. He didnt want to share. He thought he was better than all the other children (and most of the adults). He pushed and shoved and shouted to get his own way. His voice was heard above all the other childrens during class, and in the playground. If he didnt get his own way he hit, or smashed up the other childrens belongings. He sought out the one or two other children in his school who were bullies and he ganged up with them. He picked on anyone weaker or smaller. I was called to the school so often that I might just as well have gone in with him everyday.

Still, unbelievably, alarm bells were not ringing. He was a handful at home but was clearly a bright child and he could be delightful when he chose to be. I put in more effort, more time. I sought out activities that he would enjoy. Most of all I just hoped that he would come to understand that there was a calmer, kinder way of living. His dad was and still is one of the most calm and caring men I have ever known. I hoped it would rub off on our son. It didnt. He was hard work but at that point I was actually growing attached to him. He came swimming with me, and we took long walks. Sure, money was going missing, he had no friends, but it was early days wasn´t it?

When he was 8 yo we adopted two brothers of three and five. They again seemed like handfulls, but we had Sam and we had survived. He was getting no better, but he wasnt getting worse. We thought we could cope. social workers agreed that the two brothers were ´naughty´ but felt that there was nothing about them to suggest a conduct disorder of any kind. They did mention the 14 (yes 14) placements prior to us,but didnt seem too concerned. From the outset in our home these kids were beyond belief. They smashed windows, swore abuse, were doubly incontinent, made strange noises and seemed to manage on zero sleep. We phoned social services. They assured us that this was settling in behaviour, and would pass in time. They pointed out that we had managed with Sam, and we fell for this even though I was exhausted most of the time. But this time the warning signs were there: the day I looked out the window and they had piled up lots of snails and were jumping on them, howling with laughter. The lies that went on and on.They stole food, money, anything and everything. They had complete disregard for anyone or anything. Praise didnt work. Shouting didnt work. Distraction didnt work.Time out didnt work. Bribes didnt work. These kids ran riot 24/7, always accompanied by their loud never ending laughter. Meanwhile Sam seemed strangly pleased to have them around. In private, he encouraged and enjoyed their behaviour, especially its effect on me and their dad. He also bossed them around, and bullied them. Strangely, they would go along with him, and he was never targeted the way we were.

At school they ran in and out of the classrooms. They swore at staff and stole the other childrens food almost daily. They were both statemented and assessed as RAD, but that was it, help wise. Apart from once again to be dragged into school to take part in endless ´behavioural strategies´that never worked, nothing else was offered. My family deserted us, my inlaws did likewise. Friends struggled to cope and invitations at first got thin on the ground and then stopped altogether. They behaved just as bad at home and outside. When confronted they would just stand and stare at me, and then carry on as if nothing had happened.

Sam got gradually worse and worse. He learned to be good at hiding his nastiness. He learned to be a great liar. He learned to play one person against another. At home my purse was always locked up. Anything I valued greatly was at a friends for safe keeping. When he was 14 I caught him reading our wills ´to see if its worth my trouble to kill you´
He refused to help or cooperate in any way. He got drunk, he snarled and snapped at home but always made sure he was Mr Charming out side. He dropped out of school and has so far had many different unskilled jobs. Each one ends because his boss was nasty, or didnt understand him, or was unreasonable in some way. Yeah, right. When we threw him out he told me he was glad to be going, his childhood had been terrable, I was awful. Nothing, absolutely nothing was his fault.

The other two are still at home. They still behave as they did as toddlers! Nothing has really changed. You ask if they have finished their education. Frankly, they never really started it. They dont work, they hang around the house. Surprisingly they will do chores but mostly they are the most lazy people I have ever met. They are filthy, they wear filthy clothes. They still steal and lie all the time. They eat at the table with us in silence, which makes even this a horrible time in the house. They only communicate to ask for stuff. They play ball and other games way to young for them . They dont seem interested in joining the real world at all. No friends, no interests, nothing. I dont know what to do. Throw them out too? Sam has already told everyone who will listen that I want all the kids gone because I cant be bothered to be a mother.

Oh I have so much more to say, but I cant go on right now. If you´re still reading, then thank you for listening. I just dont know a way out of this situation right now. If you have any advice, I´d be really glad to hear it.

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#9244 - 02/11/10 10:53 AM Re: RAD or Fledgling Psychopaths? [Re: Maria09]
Maria09 Offline
member

Registered: 10/22/09
Posts: 4
Just a quick update, because I´m really stressed today.

18yo has just been frogmarched home by one of our neighbours - just been caught going through his workbag and money is missing. Not much, but that´s not the point. Of course he swears it wasnt him. Just admits to looking in the bag because he wanted to see what it contained.

I´m so, so tired of this. Just last evening I was reading through your kind replies. I asked my husband if he thought there was a possibility the younger boys had somehow morphed from RAD to psychopaths. He replied that J. (the 18yo) seemed to be getting a tiny bit better. I said I could,t see it. His behaviour hurt as much as Sam´s and we are both clear that Sam IS a psychopath. Now my husband is sooo upset. I don´t think he can cope with the thought that we have another Psychopath. What if we have three?

Its too much to think about right now. I wish I could send you some sound too because they are both playing cards and laughing right now. Laughing! You know, like the whole thing is in the past now. The only man in this house that I do love is drinking coffee in the kitchen, and staring out of the window - devastated by the behaviour of the boys he devoted so much time and care to, and they are practically throwing a party in the next room.

I want to cry, but really I´m trying hard to get mad instead. This isn´t fair, and I want to do something to make sure this never, ever happens to anyone else.

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#9246 - 02/12/10 04:29 AM Re: RAD or Fledgling Psychopaths? [Re: Maria09]
Jan
Unregistered


Hello Maria

I'm sorry to hear of your distress. I have been through a very similar situation myself when the neighbours come to visit you full of anger over something the kid did.

It puts a strain on relationships in general when you desperately need support. We were fortunate that a few people sympathised with us so did not fall out with us over some of the issues this kid caused. Some were even helpful in that they ignored the transgressions so as not to cause us further stress.

Please feel free to let rip here if it helps, we are here to listen even if we can't offer a practical solution but we will try and suggest a few things that may help.

Regards
Jan

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#9247 - 02/12/10 04:53 AM Re: RAD or Fledgling Psychopaths? [Re: RADgrad]
Jan
Unregistered


Hello RADgrad

I will start with your comment from your earlier post….I do keep trying to convince Jan that RAD is real and physical….and I do agree with you. I think we just get crossed wires over what we call these things. I know you have done lots of research and have information so it’s great that you share it.

There is one thing I have a problem with is the word ‘stress’ in PTSD in relation to psychopathic children. From what I have found is that these kids don’t suffer from any kind of stress and do not seem to even have a startle reflex. So maybe there would be a better name for the in utero damage or even a brand new name given to kids born with physical brain damage. I can accept that PTSD will happen to some children after birth in extreme circumstances but before birth it must be a different process. I still agree that genes can be damaged or switched on before birth so in the same way the brain can be damaged by hormones. Chemicals, toxins.
What I find difficult is why psychopathy causes children to behave in ways they choose to but they are always bad ways. Autistic children do not have empathy/understanding of others but don’t often behave in bad ways, it seems their behaviour is more neutral.

I’m pleased and relieved that you didn’t think I was challenging for the wrong reasons. I thoroughly enjoy brainstorming and appreciate feedback even if I am way off the mark. It’s good to know someone can offer alternative options with supportive information.
Many parents find it hard to go too deeply into their problems as it is so painful. I haven’t got that problem and am willing to dig as deep as I can to make some sense of what I went through. I also like to be challenged as it does help organise the thought processes and decide whether I’m coming at the situation from a personal perspective and therefore not objective. You are right, we are both seeking the same end point and are bringing all the knowledge and experience we have to the party to get there. There are bound to be similarities and differences so it’s great to compare.

Yes again, you are right that this kid was a life changing experience for me. I have never experienced anything like it before so upfront and personal. I suppose I have had glimpses of other peoples’ similar problems but I wasn’t involved, so must have been one of those who thought …’I blame the parents’ when they witnessed a kid like ours doing what they do.
Since I left the 24/7 high alert situation I can reflect on what we went through and over time the rawness has healed a great deal. I can now laugh about a lot of the things we endured and came to accept as our way of life. With hindsight it was bizarre and I don’t know how we came to accept things as they were. I suppose we had no choice. Those who were aware of what was going on were as helpless as we were, the rest either didn’t see, didn’t care or were manipulated or in the case of the grandmother, in total denial.

Don’t get me started on the legal profession! One of my barristers (I don’t know what your equivalent is) told me that the courtroom is “pure theatre”. In other words the representation who is the stronger player/actor is successful. We even have the judge who looks as though he has rifled through the dressing up box, complete with wig, to spout jargon making ridiculous decisions about peoples lives without knowing the people involved. I have seen them get it wrong and we all have to walk away and accept it. It’s all about money too. The one whose money lasts longest stays till the end and gets the result they want. I won’t say justice, just they get what they want.
I have lost all respect and credibility in the judicial system, it’s a complete farce.
Thanks for those links, I’m going to spend some time looking at them as they will be very useful.

You have confirmed a few things that are helping me formulate a new checklist for childhood psychopathy. Hygiene! The kid never washed, he hated water, he stank, he pretended to shower. He smelt like a wet dog when he got warm. He didn’t care. He wet the bed most nights and still had to be frog marched to the shower even when we said his school mates would make fun of him, he didn’t care.

YES ….the list of instructions….if you didn’t go through the whole list he would miss out various stages because ‘ we didn’t tell him to do it’….well, I suppose he wa right we didn’t on that particular occasion as we had said it every day for a week we thought it might be taken as given it had to be done. Example….the school rule was no coloured T shirt under the white school shirt …so what did the kid do EVERY morning…put the dark T shirt on and we had to say every day ‘go and take it off, put a white one on’. By each Friday we would think the message had got through… NO …but as we didn’t tell him on the Friday morning he seemed to think he would get away with it. Of course Monday came round and off we went again as though last week never happened. It was the relentlessness of saying the same things every day until the list was a mile long, it was exhausting. We eventually put a list of rules on the notice-board to point to rather then go into battle. Gran saw it on one visit and we got a lecture about our cruelty…in front of kid from hell of course, so you can imagine how effective that tool became!

Tell me about the dead dolls!!!
The kid manically collected Lord of the Rings figures and at the end of each session with them, they would be laid out on the floor…all dead and killed with ‘weapons’ in them like a scene of carnage. It wad the same with his lego men, he didn’t know how to play, only fantasising death and murder. Maybe practice for the future?

Definitely more checklist items, the play/toy death/destruction, the constant repetition of bad/negative behaviours, the failure to learn from negative responses to their behaviour, the enjoyment of negative reactions to their behaviour rather than to anything positive, sabotaging anything good or nice to get negative or angry responses, making out they are doing what is expected then drawing attention to something bad, often asking for attention for it, as though they have allowed you to relax for two minutes then need to be jerked out of it. Maybe pleasure in controlling pleasure to pain?

The repetitive behaviours we had were opening all the windows throughout the house, leaving them off the catch to blow in the wind, them he would leave the house. Putting ALL the taps on throughout the house then going out. Toilet issues (some too disgusting to go into) never flushing despite what was in there as though it was left a s ‘gift’ for us to find. Wetting the bed but he never woke or got out of bed because of it, he would stay in it till he got up in the morning, he seemed to enjoy being in it. Asking the same stupid questions day after day as though he would get a different answer in the end. Tapping, scratching, nail biting, making noises, jumping behind me to startle me and smirking when he did it.
The list is endless and as one behaviour dropped off that weeks list it would be replaced by something else that was added. The old ones would come round again in time.

It winds me up even thinking about it, thank goodness I will never have to see, hear or smell him ever again!

You asked what I made of all the things these kids do but I really don’t know other that they practice their craft and maybe the childhood opportunities they use will be substituted with adult ones as they get over, such as people for the dolls. The windows are practicing gas-lighting maybe?

If this post is a little disjointed it's because I started it ages ago and have added to it. I do long posts in Word first because I have 'lost' so many in th epast.

Have a good weekend
Regards
Jan

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