Saturday, July 14, 2012

Since When Is Your Anger MY Symptom?

She’s making me angry!

He’s pissing me of!

They are making me feel bad!

Nope! Not allowed! Rephrase that please. Nobody can MAKE you feel ANYTHING, we are each responsible for our own emotions. - Therapy, Group-home, and Residential Treatment Center 101.

That we are each responsible for not only our own actions, but our emotions as well is a concept that had been drilled into my head for YEARS, in some of the very same settings that parents of traumatized (RAD) children turn to (supposedly) get their children the help they need.

Now, I feel angry when… because for g-d’s sake it is mine to own, you can’t say I never learned anything in exile.

So, when HE makes me angry, I know it is not HIM, it is ME choosing to feel anger about the situation…HE is not MAKING me feel ANYTHING, no other person has that kind of power over my emotional state. That is something that I, (with MUCH brainwashing by the therapeutic community) have come to accept as a fundamental truth.

I feel angry…

I feel scared…

I feel overwhelmed.

I feel depressed.

And if I don’t like it, I am the only person responsible for changing it.

(And sometimes I CHOSE to feel angry, scared, depressed, and pissed off. Sometimes I CHOSE to stew in it…FOR DAYS…WEEKS…YEARS)


Point taken…I got it.

So imagine my surprise and disbelief when I noticed this little gem in the list of signs and symptoms that YOUR CHILD may have RAD:

· “Parents appear hostile and angry.”

Whoa, whoa, Back. The. Fnck. Up!

Either I have been lied to by the very same professional / expert types who use these lists or something is amiss.

Maybe I misunderstood- maybe it is only traumatized children (or those diagnosed with RAD) who are responsible for their own emotions and actions?

Maybe “Parents appear hostile and angry,” should be added to the symptoms of ADHD, because there times when I have been really pissed off by my child’s behavior, and I am sure that I have “appeared angry and hostile” and silly me. I thought that meant I needed to work on MY coping skills. I can’t imagine how much better I would have felt if I had just realized, that it was about her, and my feelings were a symptom of HER diagnosis…not anything to do with me or MY parenting.

How about adding “Parents appear hostile and angry” to the list of symptoms of cerebral palsy (CP) /brain injury? During the two years I lugged my baby around to specialist after specialist only to be told that, I just did not have enough experience with “normal children” to know whether or not some something was just not “right” with my child. And while I spent hours and hours on the phone and writing letters fighting with the insurance company fighting to get therapy for a child that was going to just miraculously “catch up” I am positive I “appeared angry and hostile.” Clearly it was the CP, not me.

Or Autism, giftedness…

And here is where I call, Bull Shit.

Listing a parent’s feelings and behavior as a feature of their child’s diagnosis, is not only unprofessional…it is unfair.

Those of us who have survived childhood trauma have enough to deal with without being held responsible for the emotional health and actions of the adults around us.


Thoughts? Do you think this would be so readily accepted with other child hood afflictions?

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