Sunday, November 14, 2010


I'm anxiously awaiting Jon's arrival home from work.  I almost always look forward to seeing him, but sometimes I NEED him to come home and hold me while I sob.  He truly is my knight in shining armor.  It's unbelievably common for RAD to cause big marriage problems.  There are numerous reasons, for sure.  But there's one that's interesting which is that a lot of RAD kids show most of their RAD behaviors to their Moms only.  They put on a big fat act for their Dads and keep their anger for their Moms.  Most RAD anger is for Moms.

I believe that's because at the heart of RAD is a hurt child, a fetus, an infant, a toddler.  No matter how progressive we become in this world it will always be the case that a child begins as part of their Mom.  Which means it lies at the very first cell of who we become that our Mothers will provide for us, care for us, rock us, love us, nurture us, protect us, sympathize for us and empathize with us, fight for us, and flight with us.  We "are" our Moms.  So when something traumatic happens to a child (that plays a part in the future of RAD) it is beyond their control that they believe it's because their Mom screwed them over.  Their Mom didn't provide, care, rock, love, nurture, protect, sympathize and empathize, fight for, or fly with.  Their Mom failed them.  And the only reason is because THEY aren't worthy of their Mom's said duties.  Or, well, that's what is ingrained in them anyway.

Fortunately(????) for Jon and I a portion of Zane's experiences was his dad (I use lower-case this time, cause this guy lost the privilege of the upper-case, but like my own mom) disappearing.  This is fortunate only because Zane doesn't really hide any of his behaviors from Jon.  He's just as insecure with a Dad's love as he is with a Mom's.  Why does this matter?  Well, because this is a very lonely life.  That doesn't even begin to sum it up.  Zane occasionally acts out in front of others, indeed.  But, he doesn't bring out his RAD behaviors.  He saves those for us.  Cause we're the ones he wants to trust so badly.  But, because he doesn't hide this from Jon I do have a partner here.  Someone who really understands what it's like.  Adequately expressed here, we need others that we can speak with and who get us.  This little community I've found online isn't much, but it is growing as I get to read other blogs and "meet" other people.  But, it's nothing like having someone come home and know what you mean when you say what you've experienced.

That's why I'm looking so forward to ORLANDO!!!  This was a big decision for me to make.  It's a super financial commitment that I'm still not quite sure how we'll pay for, but thanks to some absolutely beautiful and wonderful readers, I've been awarded a scholarship for my room and board and meals.  Which means I have to get there and back, that's it!  I don't drink so I don't have to find alcohol money and as much as some time in the spa sounds great that's just not on my plate right now.

I'm a little nervous about probably being the only biological RAD Mom there but I also look forward to sharing information and experiences with everyone.  I'm not even sure if I'll pack real clothes.  I *might* just hang out in pajama-esque pants the whole time.  I might not even brush my hair.  I told Jon the other night while discussing my concern that I look forward to being with other Moms who know what revenge pee is.  :-)  Cause I really do.  I look forward to not feeling alone for a few days.  I look forward to meeting other Moms who probably spend a lot of time crying until their whole face is swollen as well.  I look forward to meeting others who know the turbulence of our life.

Until then, though, I'll be seeking out some support in my physical life.  I've been on the search for attachment therapists who are covered by our insurance and so far, no luck.  There's even a RAD specialist RIGHT HERE in our town.  But, nope...  Not covered.  I'll be calling tomorrow to see if he makes arrangements for families who aren't covered.  I feel like things have been escalating here and that we could do some powerful healing with all of this, but as much as I've learned I still feel like I don't know diddly.  It's funny...  We've spent 4 years in therapy with Zane and because we weren't treating the right cause we've made no progress.  Now we know.  We actually know.  And, it just so happens to be a non-covered illness because it's not life-threatening.  Bologna!  I'm completely against this Obamacare thing, because I think it was poorly created, but I'm 100% for legitimate Universal Healthcare for this very reason.  When someone needs care and there is a provider who can help access should be granted to that help.  And, I get it... we can pay out of pocket, certainly.  But... healthcare's not set up that way, so it's really an unfair argument.

I digress...  What I mean is that I've got to get more community here that understands us and our lives.  I LOVE LOVE LOVE my friends, indeed.  But I don't have anyone I can call and say, "Come spend the day with us, please.  We need the company."  And that's what I'm looking for.  For all of us.  Jon's in need, too.  Of a RAD Dad.  I haven't found any.  Maybe I should go looking....  And then he can come home and hold me and hear me and understand me.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010


I'm currently handling things.  You know those times when you can only say you're "dealing with things" because you feel like you're sludging through quicksand wearing swimming flippers and your bikini bottoms are on backward when you have no business wearing a bikini in the first place?

That perfectly describes the past few weeks for me and my relationship with Zane.  It has been hell.  I've been so angry that I've lost all touch with what I'm supposed to be doing.  I begrudgingly cuddle him every night and read him stories.  I do the things for him that I'm supposed to do but I'm just going through the motions.  All along I'm mad at him and I'm on the edge of a cliff that doesn't even hang over water, for goodness sakes.  And when I'm not actively mad at him, but I'm back in the place of compassion and understanding I'm mad at God for doing this to us.

I've been known to cry out to God pleading for an answer to my big, fat, overwhelming, omnipresent


I've yet to get a real answer, but when I back away from the ledge and I come back to reality and I stop feeling so damn sorry for myself I recognize some answers to the why.


A lot of parents would see him as a bad kid and add to the damage with brutality.  Jon and I are willing, if not eager, to learn what we can about how to best help him.  We're open to nearly anything that will heal his heart and we're really determined to never give up.  We definitely have our days of fear that we'll be visiting our adult Zane in jail, but most of our days are ones with faith that he is going to be nurtured and loved through this and he will find a way to be healthfully loving and loved.  We currently play this for him nightly, both while we cuddle him and for the rest of the night, on repeat.  We reinforce the positive statements by saying them to him along with the lady.  Because we really do believe in him.  We just fear some of the possibilities.

I have a really, really troubled background.  My parents have failed me across the board in numerous ways and Jon is downright amazed at how "healthy" I am, given where I come from.  Frankly, if Zane hadn't started presenting symptoms of RAD years before we knew what it was I don't know how invested I would be in putting an absolute, 100% end to the legacy of abusive and neglectful women in my family.  But, because I've watched Zane hurt and I've seen him struggle -and reach out for what hes most afraid of even though he usually fights it as soon as he gets it- I know, firsthand, how much having someone's unconditional love can heal that.  And the love I have for Zane is immeasurable.  I have experienced immense pain by being his Mom.  Things I could never explain to you, because the layers of the actions are just too complicated to write down.  And, I don't love him because of that.  I don't love him in spite of it.  I love him because I see what's really going on.  He's SCARED TO BE LOVED.  A crazy concept to most, but it is exactly that and the more I push to remind myself of that the more I can offer him in terms of absolute, unconditional love.

This has allowed me to see my own behaviors that directly related to my lack of attachment with my Mom.  Thankfully, things never progressed or whatnot to the degree of RAD, but I had a very different first few years than Zane.  Regardless, however, I've seen how easily I can detach when I'm getting close and I see how I can be cold and feel entitled and be afraid of those closest to us.  I see how I can push people away who are here to help, because I'm quite certain that the more they get to know about our family the more they will be repulsed.  And, it's all in my head, as it is in Zane's.  As Christine has said before... raising kids with trauma will force you to deal with ANY shit you have been holding onto yourself.  She knows what she's talking about, cause it sure does!  I appreciate the opportunity God has given me to see my own shit and to deal with it.  It may cause big anxiety sometimes and it may be extremely uncomfortable but I don't want 20 more years to pass and be in a separate place from my own feelings.  I don't want to be miserable with myself and not even know why because I never spent the time to figure it out.  I don't want to be stagnant.

So, sure.. there are some extravagant "why"s that have been answered, but when my heart is feeling like it's dying inside it's easy to fall in the trap of believing I'm doing it all wrong and I'm not helping him and I'm not a good Therapeutic Parent and I should just go away and he'd be better off.  But, alas... that's me dealing with my own shit and that's my traumatized heart dying and providing room for my healthy heart to grow.  Growth hurts.

So, during these past few weeks because I've allowed myself to lose sight of the positives in our lives and the change that is happening in our house I've not been doing what I should be doing.  I've only been able to really help Zane out of his big feelings a few times and I've yelled more than I'd like to admit.  I AM SUPPOSED TO whisper and I am supposed to reach out to my support and I am supposed to watch my therapeutic parenting videos and I am supposed to keep all of these tools and all of this hope at the very front of my mind.  I haven't been and you know what?  It's not okay, but it is okay to carry on forward and not dwell on it any longer.

So, I've decided to give it another go at the Attachment Challenge!!!  I'm excited, of course.  I know I need to get back into the groove of doing what I need to do every day (okay, well... during my period, I'm kind of forgiven, but I'm still aiming high) and I'm hoping that bringing this back up will help me do that.

And this, friends, is how I've moved from "dealing" to "handling".  I put my hands back in the game and I'm not going to sit back and give the cards to everyone else.  I'm getting back in the driver's seat and giving it another go.  This time, though, I have no intentions of documenting it every day.  I've got lots of pants to make in the evenings, anyway.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Don't you tell me I'm lucky

I got back from the grocery a little bit ago.  While in the checkout line I saw Zane's classroom best friend's step-Mom.  We said our "hi"s and she said she hadn't seen us around, so I informed her that we started home schooling last month.  She said, "I wish I could do that, you're lucky!"  I said, "Why can't you?"  She said, "I have to work."  I said, "I'm lighting the torch under the NEW feminist movement so stay home if that's what you feel you should do and the economy will catch up."  She said, "I wish my bills agreed with that, you're so lucky."

I shook my head and it was my turn to cash out so I did my stuff and we said bye.

I wish this was a rare occurance.  But, it's not. At all.  I hear it all the time, even before we were home schooling, but just because I choose to be home with my kids.  And you know what?  I'm pissed off.

So, this is kind of a rant-ish post, k?

Firstly, I'm not lucky.  I haven't bought a new pair of underwear in 2 friggin years.  True fact.  And every time I need to buy razor blades for shaving I cringe at the $9 JUST TO SHAVE MY LEGS!  We're hardly swimming in money.  Don't get me wrong, we're also not impoverished by any means, but what I'm getting at is that we choose this.  Consciously and intentionally.  A couple of months ago things were rough enough that I was looking for a PT job and I was looking hard.  I decided, instead, to throw my heart and soul behind Rumptastic!! so I didn't lose focus.

Now, I'm pretty open, like I've talked about before.  I'd be happy to share with you all exactly my husband's salary, but his work kinda' frowns on it.  So, I can't.  But, in the few circles that I have shared it (usually making my point as to why people need to quit assuming stay home Moms are in wealthy families) I A.L.W.A.Y.S. get a "Wow!"  And, it's always a "Wow" that means... on *that* salary you make it work with a mortgage, 2 kids, 3 pets, and ZERO credit card debt (which is now no longer true as we did put something on them for the first time ever, but it's for Rumptastic!!, not for our every day living)!?!?

Yes, yes we do.

How??  Well, I get a new purse when mine breaks, not when it's no longer in style.  We buy a lot of stuff used (and this month-everything!) and this is more for the environmental impact, but it sure does help out in the wallet division!  I make food more than buying food.  Ya' know... I buy ingredients then make meals, I don't buy meals in a box or meals in an envelope.  When we need things for the house (like a toilet) we go to ReStore, again more for the environmental impact but a big saver as well.  I don't "go to the hair dresser" but even if I did we'd definitely go somewhere like Great Clips.  We don't have cable tv(although we mostly don't want to watch it anyway, what we do like we can get on Hulu).

Does this mean we go without?  No way, Jose!  Our bedrooms are all filled with things we need/want/use/used to use, as are our living rooms, but we haven't been able to afford putting siding on our house or doing the landscaping in either of our yards.  It's all a balancing act.  What we can do now vs. what we can't and what we need to do now vs. what we don't.  It's funny when we really take a look around we realize how much we really have!  We moved into an apartment together 5 years ago (this month) with next to nothing.  No couches or living room furniture, no real bed for Zane, no bed for us (although it was at Jon's parents' house we didn't get it for several months), and we ate on the floor, cross-legged, and with Zane usually on one of our laps.  For entertainment we'd put some music on the laptop and dance around the living room or we'd all do family yoga or we'd go for a walk or we'd play in the big field next to our place.

We've never "gone without" even when we really were, because we chose to not go without.  We chose to live well under whatever circumstances we were in.  We've been very blessed with people around us getting rid of furniture for free or very cheap and having wonderful people in our lives who have helped us along the way, even giving us nearly new carpet!  We were blessed when Jon initially got his job, because prior to that we were both waiting tables.  We are very blessed, indeed and I don't intend to downplay that at all.    But, we NEVER chose to be lucky.

I worked for a couple of years after moving here and it was good fun and boy were we doing well financially. No worries for us.  But, we realized that the kids NEEDED me at home.  Zane was having big problems in school and Stori was colicky at day care.  Jon and I were both exhausted and even though we'd looked at our budget many times before and saw NO WAY of it working, we decided it was what we needed to do.  So, I quit my job.  At the time, Jon made about 60% of our income while I made 40% that's a HUGE loss.  But, it was even more of a gain.

Because zoning in on our kids while they're young and 100% dependent on us is more important *to us* than all of the other things in the world that we can get in 10, 15, or 20 years.  Home improvements will never go away, nor will the supply of brand news cars, big, fancy tvs, or Blu-Ray players.  But our childrens' youthfulness will.

I walk into other people's homes and often I feel envy.  I see their things and I feel inadequate or less-than.  I feel like I know who I will and will not invite to my home based solely on their environment.  Because I don't want judgment held against me for being "poor", because I'm not poor.  I'm just not invested in my things right now.  One day, I'll have time and energy, and money, and interest in that but right now, I simply don't.

Not because I'm a better Mom than you.  Not because you're a better Mom than me.  Because we're different, that's all.  There's nothing wrong with it at all, so please... Working Moms stop acting like we (stay home Moms) look down on you for working!  WE DON'T! I think it's great that we women DO have a choice in the matter.  But, I do get really, really offended when you look at us and tell us we're lucky while assuming that we are living the same way as you, but are doing it on one income.  I guarantee you we are not.  We are choosing this.  You are choosing that.  We're happy to help pick your kids up from school or watch them while you work late.  We really are.  Just, please, PLEASE stop belittling our choices and giving the power in what we do to our spouse's imaginary income.


AND...  if you really do want to say home but really feel like you can't or that it'd be too hard, talk to us and trust us.  Every stay home Mom that I know has made a big financial sacrifice to come home with her kids.  Every. one. of. them.  I know there are plenty out there who didn't, but if I have a pretty large network of Mommas and every one of them did, then you're definitely not alone.

This all comes back to feminism, which I used to really, really not like.  Economics 101:  A society's standard of living adjusts to what the people in the society deem appropriate.  True story.

Prior to the feminist movement it was standard issue for a man to work and a woman to stay home and care for her family.  Thus, the economy supported that.  Home prices were valued proportionally to one-income families.  So were groceries.  Car prices.  The whole works.  Because that is how our society worked.  Then, women said... screw you men, we want to work!  So they started working.  Now, our economy supports a society that has two-income families.  Viola!  It took a bit of time for the economy to catch up to the women working and that's why the housing boom was possible.  Suddenly there was so much money that inflation hadn't yet caught up.  Now, it's up to speed and people who live in homes where there are two working adults live "average" lives.

If you really want to stay home, do it.  The money WILL come.  The economy WILL catch up.  And, really.. given the current state of affairs, now might just be a great time for us to revolutionize the American economy anyway.  It's fluctuating and trying to straighten out; it's coming out of a very deep recession.  There are people out of work already.  Now, rather than debting ourselves with all the out-of-work chaos, we CAN transform as it rebuilds itself.  It's true, I promise!  IF YOU WANT to be at home and it is what your soul calls out to you then do it.  You WILL figure it out and you WILL be okay and you CAN join us.

If you don't, then please stop telling us you want to and just own your stance.  Please.  I own my faded carpet.  Please own your new car.  Please.

Stop telling us we're lucky.  We're only making different choices than you.

And there's NOTHING wrong with that if we can all own. our. choices.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

You get what you ask for

it's up to you whether or not you'll accept it and what value you put on it.

The other day, in preparation for this cleanse I asked my Visionary Moms for any advice they had for me.  Again, this is my first time and I know at least one of them had done a cleanse before.  She said to make sure I have a solid reason why I'm doing it and stick with it, because when it gets hard I have to have that reason to fall back on.  My thought reaction to this, "Eh, it won't be that hard and I'm doing it cause...well, why not."  and I left it at that.

So, tonight after dinner (lentil soup) the kids wanted to have some oatmeal as well.  When I was mixing up that delicious honey and cinnamon with the warm gooeyness of oatmeal I lost my drive and ate a bit.  Then, I had the leftover crackers on the table (half eaten and a little gooey from Stori).  Then, I had a cookie.  And another cookie.  Then I said, well... that didn't work!

And you know what?  I'm not upset with myself, or angry, or sad, or disappointed, or negatively self-fulfilled.  I recognize it for what it was.  Something that I can't say I was fully driven to do.  Something I wasn't dedicated to.  Something that just plain and simply didn't happen right now.

I also have an awesome week of meals planned out that I'm so stoked to try, 'cause they're almost all new to me, woot!  But, I'm just not following the rules of the cleanse.

Sorry to disappoint, I know you were REALLY looking forward to seeing pictures of my poo. :-P

Fall Cleanse Day 1

I've heard a lot of people doing "cleanses" either by barely eating anything or taking lots of supplements, or eating only a strict cleansing regimen diet, or by ingesting nothing other than lemon and cayenne water, or...  Ya know, lots of cleanses.  Frankly, I've been intrigued since the first I heard of it.  My whole life ebb and flows, it's the way I work.  I do then I rest, I buy things then I purge them, I clean a lot then I don't, and on and on.  So it only makes sense for me to do sporadic cleanses, yes?

So, I signed up to do this cleanse for the fall a couple of weeks ago and today it begins.  The past several days I've been on the brink of downright panic over having no cookies, no breads, no pastas, no BACON.  But, last night as my mind and my heart were preparing during slumber I dreamt of being done with my first day ad having found it was easy and felt good.  I'm crossing my fingers it goes that well.  :-)

I'm not going to tell you all of Hannah's secrets or instructions, because that's her information that she puts lots of hard work into and if you want to play, you ought to head over and sign up to play with us.  But, because this is my first-ever cleanse I do want to share a bit.  I intend to start my days before anyone else here in this casa and journal a bit about how it's going.  Because I'm not certain what all to expect, physically.  I'll be taking pictures of my face today, midway, and last day.  I'll also be taking pictures of my poo.  Mmhmm, I will be.  I probably won't share any of my pictures here though, so not to worry.  The only reason I might is if there's such an obvious and resounding difference in my skin or my beaming-full-happiness-and-joy level or if my poo takes an incredible journey toward beautiful poo.  I think I might share what I'm eating, too, and my take on it all.  I've spent an entire week looking up recipes of new things to try and by golly-cleansing or not-I think I've found some YUMMY stuff to eat!  xx <--that's me crossing my fingers.  Food is my vice, after all, and if I'm not enjoying it then there's just no point in life at all. :-P

I think the toughest thing will be seeing how the kiddos react to the meals.  I do have plans to offer them each meal I make for myself and Jon, but won't be forcing them into it.  If they find they're not satisfied then they'll have something different and that's okay.  Although, this isn't one of those crazy insane cleanses I mentioned above and so it's perfectly healthy and fulfilling for all of us to eat I can definitely see the kids getting tired of the different, sometimes weird, but mostly just different food.  Hopefully they'll be good sports about it, otherwise I'll be doing LOTS of cooking.  :-/

Anyway, I'm off now to start my day and I'm looking forward to experiencing this week of honoring my body with GOOD food.