Tough Love for RAD - One Year Later

This is a follow-up to an article I wrote about the time when we came to the point that we had to tell our daughter to move out of our house. She had been out of school for two years, never held a job, and had a baby that was given up for adoption. Her refusal to abide by house rules or contribute to the running of the household in any real way led us to this point. Rhonda has RAD, and has been an extremely difficult child to raise from the start.

What happened when she moved out was that she took a few clothes and moved in with the parents of the father of her baby. This is a very low income family, and conditions were not good. Rhonda slept on a bare mattress in the kitchen. At the time they had no water, the house was not clean, no toilet paper, numerous people in and out of the home all the time. There was very little food. Rhonda got so sick that she ended up in emergency in the hospital. We visited her there, but resisted the temptation to take her back home.

After two weeks there, we found her a place in a home for troubled women run by a Christian lady we knew. She chose to accept this and moved in. The church paid her first month of rent for her, and after that she did get a job. In about two months she lost the job. There were problems in the home about her disregard for the rules and attitude. After four and a half months she decided she was tired of the restrictions and left, moving back into the house she was in before. She got another job, and lost it.

When the family was evicted Rhonda had to find another place to live. She moved into the home of a married friend. There were three or four guys also living there, one of them an ex-boyfriend, some without jobs. Rhonda got another job within easy walking distance from this house.

One day Rhonda went home on break to get something to eat, and had a seizure (the first ever). The friends called 911 and she was taken to ER. The first seizure lasted 20 minutes, while they were giving her one medication after another. As they were getting her ready to be taken to ICU she had another, which lasted 10 minutes. We were informed by her friends where she was, and I went to the hospital.

There she was, in ICU, with numerous tubes, heavily sedated, on a ventilator and restrained. I spent a lot of time there with her in the next three days, as did her boyfriend. This boyfriend was a real "nut case". He was concerned about the results of her pregnancy test.

They stopped the sedation, but she would not wake up completely. On the third day I went in with a mission to get her awake and engaged with the world. I burst in with a lot of energy, sat her up and read to her, talked to her, firmly on her part in getting better, and got her on the computer for stimulation. That evening she was moved to a regular room.

During this time there were many Christians praying for her recovery. God blessed her and she recovered completely, with no signs of any brain damage. She was released with a prescription for anti-seizure medication.

Just last week we helped her move into an apartment of her own. She is now, finally, taking some initiative in directing her life, managing her money (with a lot of guidance from us and her sister), and trying to keep her job. She cannot miss another day of work until June, three more months.

Rhonda does not drive, so her life is difficult in that way. Now she is finally really on her own, free to do whatever she wants, which has been the goal of her whole life. We will see what happens from here.

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Comments 3 comments

marellen 5 years ago

You were very brave with your tough love. I think most parents would have caved. Its heartbreaking to see your child go through this but it sounds like she is on the road to recovery. All you can do is pray that she has the courage to stay on the right track.


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