A rose by any other name…

Smells as sweet… isn’t that how the saying goes?  Or RAD by any other name, still stinks like hell?

With all this arguing over semantics, names, what do you call it, is it a spectrum, changing the DSMV, it doesn’t exist, it rarely exists, I want to stand up and shout to the world of “experts” and opinionated others “SHUT UP! COME LIVE MY LIFE AND THEN TELL ME IT DOESN’T EXIST!!!”  I imagine if you are reading this blog, then you can relate.

And this, my friends, is why we are wallowing in quicksand, in my opinion.  While the powers that be argue over names, we are stuck in the mire trying desperately to find qualified professionals to treat and diagnose our kids, to find supports for ourselves to get us through the worst of the times, and to educate prospective adoptive parents (if you have time for that, few of us do) and speak out against the “it’s rare or doesn’t exist” crowd so that more adoptive parents don’t get bamboozled into the pit we are currently stuck in.  Education, knowledge, awareness, understanding, these are our friends.

It feels like a personal affront when some big PhD yadda yadda multi-degreed person stand up and says “I know all about this and it’s so rare it basically doesn’t exist” and you look at your child and go, “Really?  So I got “the one”?  Damn, I should have played the lottery instead.”  Keep in mind that these blowhards talk to hear themselves talk.  They write books to make money.  They don’t care about us, they don’t care about our kids, they only care about having an opinion and being “right” even if they are right only in their own mind.  “Don’t pay them no never mind,” as Grandma used to say.  (My husband’s Grandma was a little more to the point:  “No one values the opinion of an asshole.”)

My long-winded point is this:  they have no dogs in the fight.  Ignore the nay-sayers.  Ignore the ones who argue just to argue.  (Or ship your kids off to them for a few weeks, I’ve offered that a few times, amazingly, they’ve never answered….)  Instead focus your energy on finding those that understand, those that support.  The rest of them?  Just noise, like that annoying cricket in your bedroom at night when you’re trying to sleep.

Keep on keepin’ on, you can do this, you got this.



5 comments on “A rose by any other name…

  1. Because every single doctor, researcher and peer-reviewed medical journal is WRONG?

    Because you (and your fellow self-proclaimed trauma mamas) know better than ALL the doctors? Really?

    (Sure, some doctors are awful and incompetent. But ALL doctors? All therapists?? Statistically unlikely — to put it mildly).

    At a bare minimum, the RAD “symptoms” you claim contradict each other — a kid CANNOT simultaneously manipulate AND be unable to connect cause/effect. It’s impossible. An ability to manipulate is CONTINGENT upon an ability to do something (cause) in order to precipitate a desired outcome (effect).

    Rather a lot of the other “symptoms” can be explained by other factors — a kid obsessed with blood/gore? Might just be a Stephen King fan. A kid who isn’t “cuddly” on parents terms? Might simply be an UN-tactile kid*.

    This business of self-proclaimed trauma mamas making unreasonable, irrational demands of others (family, friends, schools), insisting ALL licensed Heath practitioners are wrong (not just a few bad eggs, but ALL OF THEM ALWAYS unless they share your views) and that your (the trauma mamas) approach is the ONE TRUE WAY (despite zero evidence; actually trauma mamas kids are invariably WORSE in every way) gets people’s hackles up. For good reason! It makes no sense to give let alone take advice from the mommy with the holy terror kid who never ever gets better!

    * I was! And I was raised by my biological parents, not traumatized and never abused! I simply did NOT like to snuggle and would shove away, hard, any grownup who tried to snuggle me against my will! My body, my call!


    • Here’s where you are misinformed. It’s not “Every single doctor, researcher, and peer-reviewed medical journal”. Oh my gosh. You apparently haven’t done much research. The actual statistics are that more doctors, therapists and researchers believe in early brain trauma affecting relationships for a lifetime, they see and can actually now start to measure the results of a traumatized brain vs. a normal brain. It’s not the “majority” that get into the books, it’s politics, like anything else. I agree that not all kids are touchy-feely. But you certainly have a hard-on for “trauma mommas”, makes me wonder what skeletons are in YOUR closet. Nobody is saying a kid not cuddly on parents’ terms have rad. In fact, was that mentioned somewhere in my blog? Anywhere? Or that ALL therapists are wrong? I had to laugh, because do you know how many therapists read this blog and contribute? No? Didn’t think so…. So you are just throwing these assumptions and making up your own statistics instead of looking at the real statistics (you want the real facts? article coming soon, baby). As far as the “one true way”? What is that, exactly? I have no idea what it is. I am a trauma momma. Several times over. What works with one kid does not work with another, even within my own family. So… one true way? Please enlighten us, darlin’. I”ve offered this before, and I will offer again – if you think you have all the answers, and you would like to “fix” the kids for us, I have a long list of parents who have volunteered to let you live with the kids for awhile. You fix’em, we’ll be grateful, and we’ll proclaim your genius to the world. Or, you’ll be a wretched crying wreck within a week and have night terrors for years and need therapy for the rest of your life after waking up to a child trying to kill you. Yes, that sweet, angelic little brown eyed angel wants you dead. Not because his adoptive parents are so “fucked up”, but because the trauma in his brain sees that attachment to a parental figure as a threat to his very existence and so he must eliminate the threat. But, good luck to ya!

      And yes, you were raised by your biological parents, never abused or traumatized. So you know all about being beaten, starved, sold for sex as a child… you know what that feels like. You can SO relate to what these kids go through, can’t you? *SMH*


  2. Katie,
    I would be fascinated to know your take on the famous ACE (adverse Childhood experiences) study or Harvards research into early childhood development and the effects of stress and trauma on brain development, both showing a significant lifelong impact of abuse/negelect on a child. The fact that it is included in the DSM would indicate that not EVERY expert out there claims it doesn’t exist. Sure some children are more “cuddly” than others, but that’s not what we are talking about here. And the “symptoms” you refer to aren’t actually official reactive attachment symptoms but rather some common characteristics seen in children who struggle with attachment. All children are different and have different levels of resiliency which the ACE study found to be key in overcoming childhood trauma. There is no one way to parent ANY child, and every “trauma mama” I’ve met parents differently. Just as “normal” parents share things that have worked for them with each other so do these parents.


  3. As a struggling mom of more than one “attachment challenged” child, along with a few other alphabet letters, some I agree with, others not so much, I applaud you for speaking out frankly and with humor. Black humor sometimes but hey I am queen in that department also. How else to survive. I actually feel bad when we have a day that sort of resembles other families days. Why? I don’t know? Maybe it makes me feel like I must be exaggerating the other days or maybe I AM crazy or it is my fault because I do it wrong when my 7 year old lies, steals, or beats me up cause I disagreed with her on clothing choice and didn’t have 2 hours to let her make up her mind so we could get to her therapist on time and not miss the appointment. Ha Ha. Some of my professionals have been extremely helpful and listened to me. Some not so much. And being a Foster mom along with adoptive, I get beat up all the time cause I do this for the $ and don’t know anything and get shrugged off by the Psych hospital, therapist and others. It is “real” and for good reason. The perimeters of RAD need to be widened in the mental health circles. It is brain damage due to many issues and it WILL look different in each and every child. Thanks again. I love your words.


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