1,2,3,4…… I Declare a RAD War- Part 3
by Kathryn Taylor
Three months have passed since I wrote part two of RAD-wars. I have been both unwilling and unable to write about anything. Waves of emotion have crashed on the shore of my heart. Life-threatening thoughts have eroded my foundations. Peace, safety, and joy have fled to the hills of my past. Everything I’ve written about, my perceptions on life, my spiritual beliefs, who I thought I was, who I thought my husband was, how I dealt with RAD and much more has not escaped the scrutiny of my heart and mind.
My goal in life has always been to be the best at everything. Wonder-Wife..... Marvelous-Mom..... Fantastic-Friend .... and Dynamic-Daughter. I always believed that if I were good enough, it would ensure that I was protected from rejection. Rejection is the most hideous of all hurts. Rejection is the core of every soul’s grief. After twenty-two years of marriage, my husband’s short act of rejection has reduced me to a frightened, scared~of~her~own~shadow, bulimic, atheistic, pessimistic, never-good-enough crybaby. For years, I have battled rejection from my childhood and my in-laws, then the rejection from my twin RADs, followed by the rejection from our friends and family because of RAD... But, when my husband crossed over the line from acceptance to rejection, it was more than I could bear. I felt only grief and anger. I hated them ALL for rejecting me. I hated God for allowing it all. I hated anyone around me whose life was better than mine. But, more than anything, I hated myself for not being good enough. I was terrified because I felt that I was now more sick than my own RAD kids. For the first time, I think I truly understood the nightmare in which my RAD children existed. I now was a fellow prisoner in the dungeon where they have resided all these years. This prison is a place where one becomes a captive of their own thoughts…
”People hurt me because I’m not good enough”
”I must make this person love me.... or I will die”
“If I cause myself physical pain, then my heart won’t hurt so bad”
“When I make a mistake, people will leave me”
“If I push people away, it won’t hurt as bad when they leave me”
“ If I leave...... then people can’t leave me”
“If I can’t get this person to love me, than no one else will either”
These are just some of the beliefs that create the walls of our prison. These beliefs are lies, but they are able to confine us, nonetheless. On top of all I was going through, our family was under an all out attack from RAD. The twins were in a tailspin because of what my marriage was going through. I was a wounded deer, and they, ravenous wolves going for the kill. They lunged at me with all the hate they could muster. They hated that my husband and I were focusing on our marriage. They hated not being the focus of our attention. The twins admitted that they had made a pact, a pact to never give in to us again because our problems scared them so terribly. And, they even made a pact to not speak to me, to be disrespectful and hateful, to defy any and all expectations. Their professed goal was to be so wretched that we would allow them to go back and live with their birth family, who still didn't want to take them in. They became violent and took their rebellion to a whole new level.
There was only one thread that kept me alive, and that thread was God’s Word, the Bible. No matter how mad at God I was, I firmly believed that the only absolute truth in this world was the Bible. I believed that the only way I could ever come through this part of my life was to figure out the truth from the lies. That was the only hope for our RAD children, as well. I have learned that no matter how absurd the lie is, if we want or need to believe it, we can find enough evidence to support it’s validity. Haven’t our very own children shown us that? I believed that if I were pretty enough and thoughtful enough, my husband wouldn’t leave me. Then, I’d meet someone prettier whose husband had left them. FEAR!! I thought if I sacrificed enough for my kids, they would heal. Then I would hear of another family who spent far more and went much farther, still to no avail. FEAR!! I thought when my kids had a breakthrough and were doing well, we were on our way out of the pit. Years later, they are every bit as sick. They may never get well. We cannot be perfect enough.
With that realization, I pulled into a shell. I was going for an extreme makeover. I would become hardened to pain. I would force myself to not care anymore. I would stay and do my duties, but not invest my heart. I tried and tried to no avail. I thought if I drank more, it would help me not care. Deep in my heart I knew the truth. I knew that I was fighting a loosing battle, living the great big lie that my RAD kids do. But on I went, looking perfect on the outside, rotting on the inside, saying all the right things, then having major melt downs as I struggled to kill who I no longer wanted to be. It hurt too bad. I did not want to be the one doing it right anymore. I did not want to be the glue that held this sad group of people into what appeared to be a family. I was a rat in a maze, running raggedly into dead ends, not even caring to find the reward anymore. What a terrible, terrible place to be, but I could not find a way out.