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Isolation: A painful and difficult problem

April 12, 2017

Isolation is one of the most painful and difficult problems related to raising a child with ACE (Adverse Childhood Experiences) or RAD (Reactive Attachment Disorder). Since many of these children confine their angry outbursts and disrespectful spewing to their adoptive moms (and dads), parents can often feel isolated from friends, church goers and even extended family. The superficial and charming smiles and behavior will often fool well meaning adults who not only find the child endearing but begin to question the adoptive parents methods, intentions and heart for their child. These adults who have been convinced by the child’s “apparent sweetness” have often themselves been victims of unhealthy attachment during their own important first few years of life. They are drawn in by the sadness or vacant look deep in the child’s eyes. Sadly Dads are sometimes convinced by the child that Mom is the problem and they are just of victim of her imbalanced and harsh parenting and there can be some truth to this as the dysregulated child wears the mom out. When parents feel their usual supports outside the home slipping away, the isolation can be crushing. This adds to the feeling of failure for the adoptive parents and until remedied with appropriate treatment, makes the child feel even more powerful. Of course we don’t blame the child for trying to fool adults into believing they are a little prince or princess since this was a coping strategy back in the day when they were not kept safe and nurtured appropriately by birth parents or orphanage workers. Healing Hearts Camps run by Nancy Thomas (attachment.org) are one way to reverse isolation. When families struggling with the same isolation come together and feel accepted an environment for healing is created. The breaks you get from the kids are pretty nice too !!

BH Counseling Center

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