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Manipulation - Where Did I Go Wrong


“RAD- Master of manipulators, so much that the people that are closest to you don’t even see the truth.”

RAD kids can turn on and off the tears when they need to, the lies, the feel bad for me comments “like nobody understands me”, they will use and say anything they can to make whoever they are in front of feel bad for them and make their person/target look awful and feel crazy and they are good at it! When you confront a RAD child to tell them they are wrong or that you don’t believe their lies, it is a trigger for them, they turn off the sweet act and spiral out of control.

Walking on eggshells around my RAD child every single day is hard and exhausting.

Their manipulation starts with them trying to separate the household they are living in. Usually, the caregiver would be their person/target, in our house that’s me, the mom. They try to get the other parent {Dad} against their “person/target” {Mom} so that the target feels crazy, alone, and so many other awful emotions. Most targets end up with depression, anxiety, suicidal thoughts and end up with PTSD. If you feel any of these, I’m telling you it does get better with help. I didn’t even realize it was happening, I had never heard of RAD before so why I would ever think my own child would get pleasure out of emotionally hurting me?!

The more I have researched the more I start to feel like myself again. When you go through years of mental trauma you start to believe the things that are being said are true, “you’re a bad mom, you’re crazy, you’re overreacting, this is your fault, you’re doing this wrong, you could be doing this better, or you could be doing more. The truth is, it’s not you. The people that are saying these statements don’t see what you experience. They only see what the RAD child wants them to see. The more attention these people give to the RAD child and the more they blame the target the better the RAD child feels. It’s like a security blanket, it makes them feel in control knowing they are the direct cause of their persons pain all while getting sympathy. It is very sad and a very scary trait to have.

Even after our daughter’s diagnosis I have had very little validation about what life has been like the last 9 years. Very few have researched the disorder and very few have acknowledged that they were wrong or even sorry for not believing there were issues before.

Those are the people that I have come to realize will never want to be opened minded. They are the same people that tell you you’re doing it wrong but have no advice on what to do instead. They are energy sucking and its time to focus on what is important. Getting my RAD child, the help she needs all while giving my other three children and husband the love and support they need.

I have also been very fortunate that I do have an amazing support system after diagnosis that truly can see what has been happening all this time. I have an amazing husband that see what this disorder has done to our family and is doing his best to fix it, amazing supportive parents and family that have really stepped up in ways I couldn’t even imagine, a few wonderful friends that are always there to talk to and the absolute best team of doctors and therapists. It is so important that your doctors and therapists specialize or can at least identify what RAD is and what it looks like. Most are not on your side.

Find your people, hang in their Mama, you’re not alone!

-RAD Mama

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