Totally RAD

Sydney - Chandler, Arizona
Entered on February 6, 2009
Age Group: Under 18
Themes: setbacks

Totally RAD

“This is the song that never ends. It goes on and on my friends. Someone started singing it not knowing what it was, and they’ll continue singing it forever just because….”

This childhood song has always been a favorite of mine but it would dig deeper into me if it had been sung this way, this is the story that never ends. It goes on and on my friends. Someone started reading it not knowing what it was, and they’ll continue reading it forever Just because…. I believe in a never ending story. This is because I live it day in and day out, 365 days a year. I live with my 10 year old brother who has RAD. This stands for Reactive Attachment Disorder. Many and most people have never heard of this disorder and some even refuse to believe it. These children typically fail to develop a conscience and form relationships; they keep themselves emotionally separated from everyone else. The reality of this disorder can be dangerous and terrifying for me and my mom and dad. It’s exactly like a Steven King novel, every sentence you read, every page you turn, and every word your eyes fall on has indescribable fear for my life at points oozing from it. To understand how frightening this disorder can be you must know some about it.

Nancy Thomas who quotes Magid and McKelvy says, “If a child, who cannot attach and trust another person in the first three years of their life, they cannot develop an attachment to the rest of mankind. The unattached child literally does not have a stake in humanity.” They do not think or feel like a normal person. As adults they could commit terrible crimes and live without guilt. It starts as an infant and when the child is exposed to harmful situations it can cause physical and mental damage to the child. Bonding and trust starts during the pregnancy and continues on forever. When Neglect, Physical or emotional abuse, frequent separations and deaths occur to the already damaged child their risk of the disorder increases. The bond and any trust that was created vanishes and the child goes into a different mental state. They are not physically damaged but mentally. This is detrimental to everyone.

Recently you may have heard of the young boy who shot his father multiple times and then the friend in St. Johns, Arizona. Most everyone I know believes that what a scandalous lie it is and the child is more than innocent. After living through the hell of the other side to some of these children I believe that the child was more than capable of committing the murders. I am certainly not saying the he is guilty, but I would be very interested to see the background the child grew up in. As I had said before my brother does indeed have this disorder. Now that we see eye to eye on the basics of the disorder I can give you the understanding to my never ending story.

My brother was adopted from the Marshall Islands, at the age of one. He was severely neglected and his living conditions were extremely poor. He slept on a cement floor, and had very little to eat. He was deathly ill with pneumonia. He had lice infestations on the back of his head and also had scabies, which is when a parasitic mite nests underneath your layers of skin causing you to itch wildly. Then it leaves the open sores to get infected. My parents adopted him anyway when I was five hoping to save his life. Luckily he was able to heal physically after coming home to the states, after receiving much medical attention. By the age of three, our family knew there was something terribly wrong with him mentally and emotionally. As he was growing up he was not responsive to any bonding or affectionate moments.

He is now ten and a few years back diagnosed with RAD. Although most of these kids are outwardly aggressive, my brother is passive aggressive. Meaning when he is angry or frustrated at something he vents a different way. Sadly, most of the time this means urinating on himself and other objects, sometimes in my own personal stuff to get even with me. This is better though because he used to smear his feces on his walls, furniture, and floor in his room about a year ago. We are very grateful for the improvement. He is not incapable of controlling himself. He’s been taken to see many doctors. He just makes these choices. He is also very destructive. A month ago he was in need of prescription glasses and within the next day he had broken them in half. On purpose, he says “it was his teachers fault because she made him bored and so he broke them.” He blames anything and everything he does on someone else. He is also a compulsive liar. With out any need to be lying at all he does it out of habit. Recently he has been masterminding the demise of my mother and me, but not my father. He says this is because we see “the real him” as he calls it. Anyone who see’s or knows of the “real him” has to die in his mind.

If you should ever talk to him or associate with him you would think he was the most absolute wonderful child. He’s very charming and enjoys as he calls it “tricking people” especially the adults. He can be very sweet, helpful, and polite but it is all a ploy. If he becomes angry or frustrated at something in any other place other than my home you will not see any indication of it anywhere in his deceiving smile. He waits till he comes home, and then passive aggression kicks in.

I am not ashamed of this aspect of my life, he is my brother, and it is very hard to say I truly love him and often times I can wish awful things. He has pushed my family into spiraling chaos and also to the brink of letting go. My brother scares me terribly and it’s unpredictable of what he will do next. My parents feel he is escalating with his stealing, lying, and threats to kill. He is almost as big as me now, I fear he will one day overpower me and hurt me. It will only get worse as he gets older and we’ve tried every kind of therapy and medication we can think of. We are running out of options. For our safety because he doesn’t sleep at night, he has an alarm on the outside of his door and on his window because he has jumped from his second story window onto the cinder block wall and roamed the neighbor hood. Since I share the upstairs with him I too have an alarm on my door, but mine is on the inside of my door if he ever tries to get in. This alarm is not to lock him in but if he ever should come out we would know about it.

My parents are just as worried about me as they are him and I too have been taken to therapy for different reasons than him. There is no doubt in my mind that one day he will try to hurt me and he knows what weapon. He says he will do it when he is older and he will have his friends help him. I am extremely sacred of him and he is ten. He hides under a mask for the rest of the world, except me. This story seems to never end and maybe one day it will, but being in the core of the storm I can’t see the light.

I believe in the never ending story.