The verge of collapse

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Gavin’s arrived home a little while ago.  He had a good time and has been on his best behavior since yesterday morning. 

You may remember that huge tantrum he threw because he overheard part of a conversation between Lizze and myself. This took place Friday afternoon and after the tantrum he threw, we weren’t going to let him go to Grangmas this weekend. 

Having said that, and at the risk of sounding like a bad parent, not allowing him to go was more of a punishment for us.


We’re at the point where we need him to out of the house as often as possible. Sending him, regardless of his behavior has become the lesser of two evils.

However, this means that we can’t use not going to Grandma’s house as a punishment for his behavior.

Luckily, Gavin was well behaved Saturday morning and so as far as he’s concerned, we were rewarding his good choices by allowing him to go.

Living with a child that has RAD is beyond exhaustive and almost impossible to describe.  It’s so much easier to believe that Gavin is a victim in all of this than it is to realize that he’s not. 

Speaking for myself,  it’s exhausting trying to help people understand just how serious this is and just how far gone Lizze and I both are.  It’s not easily understood that my family is on the verge of collapse.

Gavin thrives on the chaos he creates in the house.  That same chaos is destroying the rest of us, especially Lizze. 

In all the years I’ve known her, I’ve never seen her like this.  She simply can’t take anymore of what Gavin is doing.  I’m new to this whole RAD thing,  but I know that the mother is typically the target.  I don’t understand why that is because Lizze has done nothing but sacrifice for him and love him unconditionally. 

Why is it that he targets her?

Rob Gorski

Full time, work from home single Dad to my 3 amazing boys. Oh...and creator fo this blog. :-)
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I wonder if he somehow holds Lizze responsible for the terrible thing that happened to him in the past? In his mind she might be the adult protector who let him down. Does he have the capacity to understand that none of this was her fault?


@Nan I think that @anansison explained this very well below.


@lostandtired  @Nan  @anansison 
The reason I bring this us is that my siblings and I are products of an upbringing not unlike Gavin's early years. Lucky for me I was the youngest and did not suffer too many ill effects, but my brother (who is now in his 50's) most certainly did. I believe that he did, and does, suffer from RAD but 30 years ago this would not have been diagnosed. After years and years of therapy it did eventually come out that he held a huge resentment towards our mother DESPITE the fact that she was blameless in the situation. (Not unlike Lizze in Gavin's situation).
Yes of course it could also be that Gavin is targeting Lizze because he loves her and sees you as the 'enforcer' – but there could also be a whole lot more going on there as well.
At any rate, no matter what caused Gavin's RAD the fact remains that the poor kid needs a whole lot of help, as do you all. As always you're in my prayers.


Many kids with RAD target the person they care about the most, which is most often the mother.  The reasons may vary based on a variety of factors, but in the end it appears that the overall theme is that the mom (or whomever the child considers to be the primary parent) is the one they feel free to do whatever without being hurt.  She's always going to be there for him, so he doesn't have to try to pretend or maintain anything because her love and acceptance won't change.  While he does care about you Rob, he primary appears to see you as the "Enforcer of Rules and Punishments" while Lizzie is the "Sponge" that he knows he can give her anything but she will still love him.  So (in his mind) he doesn't have to be nice to her or can focus his frustrations and anger towards her and still receive her love.  It's another way of gaining control that he does not see nor understand the effects it truly has on others.


@anansison thank you thank you thank you. You have such a fantastic way of explaining this to us. Thank you very much.


@Nic Stephens thank you. 🙂

Nic Stephens

Totally get how you feel. I know this doesn't help much, well at all. Just sometimes knowing you aren't the only who looks forward to your kids going out (and the fact that it doesn't make you a bad parent, just a tired at your wits end parent) can be good to hear. Take care. Nic x