Saturday, September 29, 2012


I'm not feeling particularly eloquent at the moment, but that probably has to do with going to bed at one-thirty and waking up at five.  I'm not even sure that I have a whole lot to say that I haven't already said.  But I somehow feel compelled to write what's on my heart in the hopes that it might help someone understand our situation.  Or maybe...might help someone understand their own situation with a traumatized child...before it's too late.

We're beginning to realize that we've never truly known our son, not for the entire six years that he's been with us.  He isn't the child we've thought him to be:  the one with the sense of humor that matches ours entirely, with interests in the same sports, the same taste in music, the same clothing styles, the same opinions, the same strong-held Christian beliefs.

We're beginning to see that that child never really existed at all.

He was a facade.

Mr. J has spent his entire six years with us pretending to be what he thought we wanted him to be.  Pretending to be the "perfect" child for us.  In his eyes, a miniature Mom and Dad.  If he played the part well, he knew we would leave him alone.  We wouldn't try to "fix" him like we did his sister, we wouldn't put him in more therapy or try to parent him differently.  He would get all the benefits of happy family life without ever having to talk about who he really is or about how he really feels.  Without ever having to acknowledge that he isn't perfect or that he struggles or that he isn't what he desperately wants to be: "normal".

And if he was good enough, he would never have to be corrected or disciplined or be made to feel as if he wasn't solely in control of himself and everything to do with his life. 

Perfectly in control, perfectly poised, he played his part so convincingly that after that first hectic six months with us, we only ever saw glimpses of the sickness that lay beneath the surface. 

A perfectly crafted surface.

A surface that, as his body is beginning to swarm with the new hormones of adolescence, he can't hold together anymore.

The facade is gone.

He held it together for six whole days this time.  Sure, there were times when we could see the anger boiling in his eyes, but he held it in check for six days.  That's a record for the past few months, but we all knew it wasn't going to last.  Last night, Mr. J went off again.  About power.  About having no control over what we will or won't give him, when he thinks he deserves whatever he wants because he's been mostly "good" for six days.

Control.  Calculated control.  He got angry before dinner, yet chose to push it down so he could enjoy family movie night, pizza and ice cream.  As soon as it was over, he let it all out.  On purpose.  Calculated and controlled.  The police arrived as he was trying yet again to break his window out, and they got to his room just in time to hear him threaten to kick me in the stomach so he could kill our baby.

I don't think our family can take much more of this. 

Sobbing six-year-old, hugging a cat on her bed, not understanding why her big brother is screaming again.  Nothing happened!  Why is he so angry?

Wide-eyed ten-year old that's still too fresh in her own healing to comprehend what's going on, but reaches out to hug her Mama when she sees the tears coming.

Sweet four-year-old that misses his big brother and keeps calling for Mama and Daddy from his bed, scared to be without us, hearing the rage from the other room.

Oblivious one-year-old, innocently repeating "Bubba! Bubba!" as his brother screams and pounds and swears and threatens.

Precious tiny baby boy, little miracle, receiving a death threat before he even lays soft gray eyes on the world.  Is his world even safe?

We have to protect them. 
We have to protect our family. 
And we have to protect Mr. J from himself.

We can't do this anymore.

Please pray that we find the direction God wants for us, that it becomes painfully clear, and that doors are supernaturally opened for us to get our son and our family the help and the respite that is needed.  We know that God is in this and that He has been from the beginning.  He will not abandon us now.


  1. thanks for being authentic and allowing me to see just a glimpse of the pain, heartache, and hope your family is experiencing. I'm praying!

  2. Prayers for you and your precious family. This is so hard to read because I worry that we may be seeing a facade.... but hope and pray that it is the genuine thing. There is a place in Idaho that takes children like this... I don't think finances is a huge factor on whether they can take the child or not. I can't remember the name of the place, but email me if you want the info.

  3. Thank you so much for sharing your story and your honest feelings. Although I am not faced with a situation even remotely like this, it still helps me personally and professionally on MANY levels!!

  4. Reading this make my heart break for you and your family. It also makes my stomach hurt because you are descibing my home and my son as well...and knowing that we are facing the onset of puberty soon is frightening. Thank you so much for sharing your story. It helps so much to know we are not alone.

  5. Praying for you today. Don't know what your current circumstances are, but praying that today will be a day of peace in your home.

  6. Would love an update on the progress of your son. We have lived a very similar situation. We adopted our son at the age of 8' at 13 we had to place him in a RTC for everyone's safety. Those who haven't lived it can't understand. My heart hurts for him, and for us. We are relying on God to heal his mind, heart and spirit. And continued healing for our family. I will keep your family in prayer.

    1. He has been home coming up on two years now! We've had only a handful of emotional outbursts, but nothing violent or terribly threatening. He is participating in therapy every week, and can acknowledge that he has "issues" to work through. Things are not perfect...he struggles with integrity, compulsive lying, understanding how his actions/words make others feel, allowing mom and dad to be in charge of things, etc. but is doing really well overall. He's a likable and funny young man. I've taken a break from blogging about my two RAD kids because I don't want to "air their dirty laundry" while they're both trying so hard to do life. I'm very proud of them both!