The best advice that I have had as a foster parent of a child with RAD is "don't take it personally". At first I thought this was just bunk and was frustrated by the simplistic answer and yet now I run this phrase through my head daily. Our days can go from so much fun and laughter to silly conversations where he claims he doesn't care about anything.
The other day, we saw a commercial for Anthony Hopkins Wolfman movie. He thought it looked fantastic and thought we should all go see it. While I would agree that like all of Anthony Hopkins work it looks like a great movie, I don't think it looks appropriate for an 11 year old. So I said that this would not be on our viewing schedule to which he responded, "I will be seeing it."
"DS2, do we have to go through it again? The movie is R rated. We are not going to see R rated movies. (as you can tell this has been a common point of conversation)"
"Well, I will be seeing it. I didn't say that I would see it with you." He glared at me. "I get to choose my families and I will just choose a family who will let me."
I knew he didn't really mean it, but it surely doesn't make the words hurt any less. My biological kids sat there stunned. I took a breathe and replied, "You are right. You get to choose your families, but I hope that you wouldn't make the choice over something as silly as a movie. You may get to choose your families, but I have an obligation to be the best mother possible for you and I don't think an R rated movie that looks that scary is appropriate for an 11 year old."
He rolled his eyes.
These little power struggles can take such a toll on your psyche. I know that RAD makes it hard for him to attach to others, but hurtful words like that make it hard for the rest of us to attach. We think we are going along fine and becoming a family and then he expresses that none of it matters to him. It can be so frustrating and it is then that I hear that echo, "Don't take it personally."