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Thread: Child of Rage

  1. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Britt View Post
    Ditto these observations, Heymom and Learnin.

    BobC - Thank you for posting the link. I just watched the full documentary. Kinda speechless. A lot to think about. I have a niece with reactive attachment disorder, so am somewhat familiar with it, but she isn't at the level of severity of the child in the film.
    And yet, even Beth was successfully treated and has had a career, has children, etc. At the end of the documentary, when Dr. Magid asks her again about how she used to hurt her brother, you can see that she "gets it" and feels emotional pain ON BEHALF OF HER BROTHER. That is empathy. She feels bad that she used to hurt him. She can remember what she did and is ashamed and guilty that she took her own pain out on him. She cries, not out of self-pity, but what looks to be true pity for her brother's plight.

    We can hope that Burke also got that treatment and that it was successful. Now, granted, Beth Thomas did not kill her brother. I do not know what rehabilitation would look like when a child had actually killed. If the child were to develop a conscience, would he or she be consumed with guilt to the point of possible suicide? Or would there be some way of placing the event in a different context, so the person could go on with his or her life, while knowing that a horrible act had taken place?

    I hope your niece is getting proper treatment. I know that some number of orphans from Russia and Eastern European orphanages end up having RAD.
    "We're not necessarily doubting that God will do the best for us; we are wondering how painful the best will turn out to be." - C.S. Lewis

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  2. #26
    BobC is offline Poster of the EON - Fabulous Inimitable Transcript and Book Reviewer
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    Yeah that girl was the extreme but I saw kids like her many times. It is hard to explain if you haven't, but it's something you just sort of feel when they are around.

    We had one boy named Jesse who came into our program when he was in the 6th grade. He was still allowed to go to public school, but had to stay at our cottage because his parents couldn't handle him. I couldn't imagine "not being able to handle him" because Jesse looked like he should have been in the 4th grade--he was very small for his age and always well mannered until the day I got "the call" as it came to be called.

    Jesse was at school and i was at the cottage doing paper work and suddenly the phone rang. It was Jesse's principal. The principal told me, and I do quote, "Come and pick up Jesse immediately or the police will." I rushed over to the school and there was Jesse following around his teacher with a pair of scissors, giggling. The teacher kept trying to get away from him and he just kept following her. Jesse calmed down when he saw me, and I took the scissors from him. I never found out what prompted this crazy scenario, but I took him back to the cottage and told him he couldn't leave his room. I made him strip to his underwear because that's what we did with kids who were runaway risks.

    The next thing you know I hear noises coming from the kitchen. Jesse went into a drawer, grabbed a knife and started slashing his own arm with it. I ran in, grabbed the knife but he just ran and grabbed whatever he could find to try to harm himself. Here i was running around like an idiot, disarming this kid, and he was giggling the whole time. Needless to say it was very creepy. I had no time to call for backup and the kid was not showing any signs of stopping, so I ended up restraining him which is always the last resort.

    Now, I can bench 300 lbs but this tiny kid was extremely difficult to restrain. He got very sweaty and it was hard to get a grip on him, and he was twisting and thrashing like you wouldn't believe--the whole time giggling. What went through my head at the time was that this experience made me understand how people used to feel that people could be possessed by demons. It was that bad. He was willing to break his own arms to get away.

    Eventually someone came to the cottage and saw me restraining Jesse, and got me some help. I eventually learned that Jesse had been molested for years by a family member and nobody in his family helped him. Jesse had intense rage but couldn't articulate it. But that one time-whatever set him off--caused it all to come boiling out.

    Jesse came around in time and did well. But he learned early in life that nobody was protecting him, he had no parental love or protection, so he became damaged goods. He had no remorse about anything at first, but eventually learned to feel bad when he acted out. he was reachable. But some kids are not.

  3. #27
    BobC is offline Poster of the EON - Fabulous Inimitable Transcript and Book Reviewer
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    Heymom--I don't think you're understanding how these kids are. Gaining the ability to feel remorse does not make them normal kids. They often pretend to feel remorse because they learn that that is expected of them. These children often try to commit suicide but it has nothing to do with guilt--it has to do with pent up fear and shame and hostility. No parent is perfect, but the vast majority provide a stable environment and the kid is able to develop normally.

    Emotionally disturbed kids never experience that stability and therefore their personalities form in ways that allow them to survive. They have no empathy for anybody because their whole focus has been survival--which is something normal kids needn't even worry about. ED kids are cruel, manipulative, and extremely self-centered. You cannot trust them. If they are suddenly thrust into a normal foster family or treatment center, they don't believe adults when they are nice to them. They think it's an act. Why? Because they learned from an early age that you please an adult with sex, and if you didn't cooperate, you might be killed.

    So that young, innocent mind is busy veering off on paths most normal people couldn't imagine. You have to squash these kids with extreme discipline and structure since they've never had that. Some come around, most do not. If you don't get to them by the 2nd or 3rd grade, your chances for success are slim. I would not trust that girl in this film as far as I could throw her. She could be faking the tears and I would never leave her alone with a sibling or pet. No way.

    I don't have the answers, but I certainly understand the psychology.

  4. #28

    Default Cause of RAD?

    Well, is the only cause of this disorder sexual or physical abuse? I don't have any background in child psychology so I don't know. How would the youngster we think whacked his sister over the head with a golf club have become psychologically disturbed to this extent?

    There was obviously major disfunction in the hellhole - bedwetting, feces smearing, etc. We know Burke did both those things, and we know he hit her once before. But I have never read anything that suggests he had been abused. I've always read that he regressed (and JB) when Patsy got sick and was on chemo for a year. The house had to be full of fear during that time, thus disturbing the kids profuondly, but could that have caused psychosis?

    The poor child in the video abused herself after she was initially abused - this is another way that JB's private parts could have gotten that way. She was still asking adults to wipe her in the bathroom at 6 years old - that's also disturbing. Fits in with an obsession with her privates.

  5. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by heymom View Post
    Oh my, I can take no credit at all, Elle. I felt while I was working with those kids, that actually, they helped me more than I ever helped them. They were very special. All I ever got from them was love and appreciation. I actually wasn't strong enough to do that work long-term. It was heart-breaking and at the same time, heart-enlarging. When one of the very beloved little boys died (one of the most handicapped, from abuse as a baby) it was the end for me. I felt like a coward but I just couldn't handle it any more. I didn't want my sadness to affect the rest of the kids in the house.
    Oh what a sad story of this poor little handicapped boy. How can anyone hurt a child as helpless as this? I understand why you had to leave, heymom. At least you gave it a good try.
    elle: The RST can't handle the truth!
    Just my opinion.

  6. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by wombat View Post
    Well, is the only cause of this disorder sexual or physical abuse? I don't have any background in child psychology so I don't know. How would the youngster we think whacked his sister over the head with a golf club have become psychologically disturbed to this extent?

    There was obviously major disfunction in the hellhole - bedwetting, feces smearing, etc. We know Burke did both those things, and we know he hit her once before. But I have never read anything that suggests he had been abused. I've always read that he regressed (and JB) when Patsy got sick and was on chemo for a year. The house had to be full of fear during that time, thus disturbing the kids profuondly, but could that have caused psychosis?

    The poor child in the video abused herself after she was initially abused - this is another way that JB's private parts could have gotten that way. She was still asking adults to wipe her in the bathroom at 6 years old - that's also disturbing. Fits in with an obsession with her privates.
    I think neglect also can cause reactive attachment disorder. Kids who are adopted from Russian or Eastern European orphanages often have it. They have been neglected and never learn to trust others or form attachments to other people. Maybe Burke was neglected when Patsy got sick. Or maybe he was neglected even before that.

    I also think that some people may just be born this way. I have never seen any research into the genetic connections of sociopathy, and maybe I am way off base.

    Remember that story, maybe it was in the Bonita papers, about how Nedra was exclaiming over the size of Burke's penis when he was just a baby? That is not normal and may indeed, speak of sexual abuse. IF that is true.
    "We're not necessarily doubting that God will do the best for us; we are wondering how painful the best will turn out to be." - C.S. Lewis

    MY OPINIONS - DO NOT COPY THEM ANYWHERE ELSE ON THE INTERNET!

  7. #31
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    JB did NOT harm herself or cause her own vaginal injuries.
    This is my Constitutionally protected OPINION. Please do not copy or take it anywhere else.

  8. #32

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    Quote Originally Posted by DeeDee View Post
    JB did NOT harm herself or cause her own vaginal injuries.
    No, I don't think that she caused the injuries herself at all, but maybe she became fixated on her vaginal area because of abuse. It's not common that a six year old would ask anyone around her to help her wipe.

  9. #33

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    Quote Originally Posted by heymom View Post
    I hope your niece is getting proper treatment. I know that some number of orphans from Russia and Eastern European orphanages end up having RAD.
    She was adopted from an orphanage in Korea at about 18 months of age. She is in her twenties now. My brother and sister-in-law were amazing parents, and she had the best child psychiatrists and they sent her to the best programs in the country to deal with her issues. I won't go into details about those but it was basically a variety of criminal, antisocial behavior her entire life. She also self-harmed and pulled her hair out.

    However, she never killed anyone (as far as I know) and didn't abuse her siblings or pets. She DID, however, abuse her child (whom she had as a teenager) and he was removed from her care by the state and is in a good home now (brother and sister-in-law have partial custody). The psychiatrists warned her family from day one that she would likely never bond with them or anyone, but they have never given up. Sadly, even with all of the specialized care, medication and superhuman family support she received, she was not "cured" (not even close). So what BobC says rings true for me. This girl's lifestyle is still criminal - in and out of jail, arrests for everything from burglary to prostitution, living with gangs and on the street. It's so sad and hopeless.

    It is my understanding that the neglect and lack of normal human contact during such a critical stage of development actually cause negative changes in the brain that are irreversible... or something like that (sorry, not a medical person and don't know the medical specifics).

    Quote Originally Posted by heymom View Post
    I think neglect also can cause reactive attachment disorder. Kids who are adopted from Russian or Eastern European orphanages often have it. They have been neglected and never learn to trust others or form attachments to other people.
    Exactly. As I said, no amount of therapy, medication, family support or love made any difference.

    Quote Originally Posted by heymom View Post
    Maybe Burke was neglected when Patsy got sick. Or maybe he was neglected even before that.
    I was thinking this as well. Plus, his father seems like a cold, distant non-parent. BR may have been, for all intents and purposes, "orphaned."

    Quote Originally Posted by heymom View Post
    I also think that some people may just be born this way. I have never seen any research into the genetic connections of sociopathy, and maybe I am way off base.
    I don't think you're off base. I've read that this is the more recent thinking/theory about sociopathy and psychopathy - that there is (or can be) a genetic component. Personally I think that for some people it can be a genetic predisposition plus the "right" triggering circumstances that result in creation of a sociopath/psychopath. But mostly, I blame abuse and neglect.

  10. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by BobC View Post
    Heymom--I don't think you're understanding how these kids are. Gaining the ability to feel remorse does not make them normal kids. They often pretend to feel remorse because they learn that that is expected of them. These children often try to commit suicide but it has nothing to do with guilt--it has to do with pent up fear and shame and hostility. No parent is perfect, but the vast majority provide a stable environment and the kid is able to develop normally.

    Emotionally disturbed kids never experience that stability and therefore their personalities form in ways that allow them to survive. They have no empathy for anybody because their whole focus has been survival--which is something normal kids needn't even worry about. ED kids are cruel, manipulative, and extremely self-centered. You cannot trust them. If they are suddenly thrust into a normal foster family or treatment center, they don't believe adults when they are nice to them. They think it's an act. Why? Because they learned from an early age that you please an adult with sex, and if you didn't cooperate, you might be killed.

    So that young, innocent mind is busy veering off on paths most normal people couldn't imagine. You have to squash these kids with extreme discipline and structure since they've never had that. Some come around, most do not. If you don't get to them by the 2nd or 3rd grade, your chances for success are slim. I would not trust that girl in this film as far as I could throw her. She could be faking the tears and I would never leave her alone with a sibling or pet. No way.

    I don't have the answers, but I certainly understand the psychology.
    Bob,

    I'm beginning to think it has been good for you to release this for peace of mind yourself. At the moment I am thanking my wonderful older brothers and sisters no longer here for all the kindness shown to me while growing up. Once again I didn't realize how the other half of the world lived when
    I was growing up, in spite of WWII. I don't know about anyone else here,
    but when I read Britt's post this morning, I was stunned!
    elle: The RST can't handle the truth!
    Just my opinion.

  11. #35

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    I keep thinking about JR's throwaway comment about getting medication for himself from Burke's psychiatrist, like a couple years after JB's killing. (You get more information from the Rs when they forget to lie.) I've always thought something must be up with that - Burke was in theray for a long time, not with a social worker/child therapist but with a medical doctor, and that medical doctor prescribed sedative meds to a person who was not his primary patient.

  12. #36
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    Britt,

    Thank you for having the courage to post this. I hope you are feeling all the better for having released this information. I truly am at a loss for words.
    elle: The RST can't handle the truth!
    Just my opinion.



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