About My Journey
MY OLDEST DAUGHTER HAS R.A.D
I am 35 years old, married, with four beautiful children. I also own a small family business where I help people learn to have a healthy lifestyle. I like to keep myself busy and I love to help people, with that I tend to overextend myself.
When I first met my husband, I knew he was the one for me at first sight. I got that butterfly feeling, the something is different with this one feeling. He still gives me those same butterflies and I feel like God made us perfectly for each other, we balance each other.
My husband is almost 10 years older than me. Our oldest two children are not my biological children although I love them no different than the two, we now have together.
When we first got together, I was 25 with no parenting experience. Our oldest daughter was five and our oldest son was just turning three. Their Bio-mom was in and out of their lives for the first year we were together and eventually was court ordered to have supervised visitations. She decided to not use her time and completely cut all contact with our children.
From what we know their biological mother was not very attentive in those first developmental years. My husband would tell stories about how she would leave the kids alone to go next door and drink with the neighbors and many other stories of that same effect.
Our oldest daughter always had a problem with not listening and seemed to struggle with rules but at 5 we wrote it off as her being young and not having any structure in her early years with the bio. We tried to correct her behavior but nothing we did worked, it just got worse and worse and sometimes even violent. When her dad was around it wasn’t as bad. I thought maybe she was testing me, trying to act out to see if I would leave too. It seemed like the more I would show her that I love her unconditionally and I wasn’t leaving the worse she would act for me.
Does she not want me to be in her life? Am I doing something wrong? Our oldest son had the same bio mom, and he didn’t act like this? Am I a bad mom? These were the questions running through my head all the time.
My husband saw some of her behavior, but he thought I was being over dramatic most of the time. She would yell, kick, throw things, bite, and hit, at one point she kicked me in the face so hard she knocked my glasses off my face. As she got older it only got worse and worse, she started stealing and lying and being hateful to her siblings.
We first took her into her doctor to try to get some answers on why this would be happening at age 7. My husband thought it could just be that she has ADHD and needed to be evaluated for that. We took her to her primary doctor who suggested we see a psychologist, since she was so young her doctor at the time didn’t feel comfortable with giving her a diagnosis of any kind.
Her psychologist was the best in the area and known for working with young children, we felt hopeful! He did diagnose her with ADHD but also with oppositional defiant disorder. Through therapy and medication, he was confident we would be able to get this behavior under control. It did seem to get better for a little while but would always turn right back around for the worse. He would change up the doses and tell us to stay the course. She was always well behaved in his office and her teachers would just always say how sweet she was.
I FELT CRAZY!! Why am I the only one that sees how bad it is???!!! This cycle continued for years…
Until she eventually broke my wrist and under her doctor’s recommendation was admitted into a behavioral facility that would evaluate her around the clock for an entire week.
There is where she was diagnosed with reactive attachment disorder (RAD). My husband could finally see what I was seeing for that last 10 years…
I am her person.