The Child's Point of View

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It is often the case that parent's of children with Reactive Attachment Disorder feel anger toward their child. They blame the child for the pain they are now living through. It is hard to see Reactive Attachment Disorder as an illness. We see the behavior, not the ill child. We need to start looking beyond the behavior to the hurt child inside. In order to help my son heal, it was necessary for me to first understand why his behavior was so nightmarish. I did this through massive research and support. To remain angry and hateful toward him just made the situation worse.

We often feel like we didn't ask for this, they didn't tell us this child was sick and this is often so. We must come to terms with our feelings, acknowledge them and talk about them with others who understand but ultimately, we need to deal with them in a healthy way and move on.

When it comes down to it, we can either make excuses or do the hard work of healing. The way we see our child has a huge effect on how we approach the healing process. If we see him as a monster who is making our life miserable then we both lose. I often thought that if it were me, if I were sick like my son, I would have hoped that at least one grownup person would have worked hard to bring me back to health. I had to put myself in my son's place and stop feeling sorry for myself.

Trying to work toward healing without the tools for healing is not wise. You must advocate for your child - get the diagnosis, get the right therapist, use the therapeutic parenting techniques, have him screened for other disorders, see if he needs medication - otherwise, you will live this life of pain for many years. Its up to you. It is up to the parent to change the situation, not the child. No, we didn't ask for this but this is what has happened.

I feel these articles may help many start seeing the hurt child behind all of the atrocious behaviors.

Please Hear What I Am Not Saying

Don't be fooled by me.
Don't be fooled by the face I wear
For I wear a mask -
A mask that I'm afraid to take off.
Pretending is an art that's second nature with me..
But don't be fooled.

I give you the impression that I'm secure.
That all is sunny and unruffled with me, within as well as without.
That confidence is my name and coolness is my game.
That the water's calm and I'm in command.
And that I need no one.
But don't believe me.......Please.

My surface may seem smooth, but my surface is my mask.
Beneath swells the real me in confusion - in fear - alone - in pain.
But I hide this; I don't want anybody to know it.
I panic at the thought of my weakness; fears and pain being exposed.
That's why I frantically create a mask to hide behind.

I need help....help that is followed by caring from people who care enough to help me.
It's the only thing that can liberate me. From myself; from my own self-built prison walls.
From the barriers I so painstakingly erect.
It's the only thing that will assure me of what I can't assure myself - that I'm really worth something.
But I don't tell you this. I don't dare. I'm afraid to.
I'm afraid you'll think less of me and that you'll laugh. And your laugh would hurt me.
I'm afraid that deep-down I'm nothing, that I'm just no good. And that you'll see this and reject me.

So I play my game, my desperate game, with a mask of assurance without.
And a trembling child within.

I dislike hiding. Honestly.
I dislike the superficial game I'm playing, the superficial, phony game.
I'd really like to be genuine and spontaneous...and me.
But you've got to help me.
You've got to hold out your hand even when that's the last thing I seem to want or need.
Only you can wipe away from my eyes the emptiness and pain I try not to feel.
Only you can help me.
Each time you're kind, and gentle, and encouraging.
Each time you try to understand because you really care my heart begins to grow wings.
Very small wings; very feeble wings. But wings.

With your sensitivity and sympathy, and your power of understanding, you can breathe life into me.
I want you to know that.
I want you to know how important you are to me.
How you can be the creator of the person that is me if you choose to.
Please choose to.
You alone can break down the wall from behind which I tremble. You alone can remove my mask.
You alone can release me from my shadow world of panic and uncertainty - from my lonely prison.
So do not pass me by. Please do not pass me by.
It will not be easy for you.

A long conviction of worthlessness and anger builds strong walls.
The nearer you approach to me the blinder I may strike back. It's irrational. Sometimes I'm irrational.
I fight against the very thing I cry out for.
But I am told that love, caring, and kindness are stronger than strong walls; in this lies my hope.
My only hope.
Please try to beat down those walls with firm hands, but with gentle hands, for a child is very sensitive.

Who am I, you may wonder. I am someone you know very well.
For I am every man you meet. And I am every woman you meet.

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