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Just learned about RAD. Fits me to a 't'. Now what???

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Just learned about RAD. Fits me to a 't'. Now what???

Postby pyrrhoofelis » Thu Jun 15, 2017 9:40 am

Just joined the forum, and this is my first post here. I don't know what to expect, but what the heck, eh? I'll try to be concise, but you might just prefer to skip to the tl;dr synopsis at the end. :wink:

Divorced 54-y.o. caucasian male, youngest of five boys, parents divorced at 3 y.o. (abusive, alcoholic father of whom I have no conscious memory), mother was depressive, prone to nervous breakdowns during which she would be emotionally manipulative and psychologically abusive, and distant the rest of the time. Just one quick example, at times she would threaten to either kill herself or herself and all of us if we didn't "behave."

My first (brief) memory is of abandonment at maybe 3~4 y.o., with my mother and brothers walking away and her yelling at me to either keep up or be left behind. I don't know what happened after that.

Next early memory is of sexual abuse at the hands of my eldest brother, now deceased (murdered). Etc. Fast forward a few decades, and I had a two-year-ish, loveless marriage. Not long after we got married I started regretting it, pushing her away and isolating myself.

Fast forward again, and a practically uncountable number of relationships that I ended after she started talking marriage. Present, am keeping a woman whom I admire and feel strongly attracted to at arm's length, for fear of a) attachment and b) hurting her when I (probably inevitably) leave her. Recently have started asking myself why tf do I keep doing this.

Figured it must have something to do with my f*cked up upbringing, and Google led me eventually to reading about RAD earlier today, which was like reading my autobiography (more or less).

So here I am. Now what?? I spent a year in Thailand as a novice Buddhist monk, and am at a crossroads, trying to decide whether to go back to monkhood or try to overcome (what I suspect to be) RAD and marry this very attractive, level-headed and intelligent woman even though the prospect simultaneously scares the crap out of me.

tl;dr: 54-y.o. dude suspects he has RAD, but wants to give marriage a second try. Prospects??
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Re: Just learned about RAD. Fits me to a 't'. Now what???

Postby Holodeck » Thu Jun 15, 2017 9:38 pm

Phew boy! Yeah I can understand where you're coming from, but web MDing your issues isn't typically the best way to fix things (in fact it can make it worse.) Seek out a cognitive behavioral psychologist. They should be able to give you good advice. If your (hopefully) future wife truly loves and understands you, she'll understand you need time to figure these things out before jumping into marriage.

Marriage is a big deal. Dating should be alright, until you're truly confident in taking that step.
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Re: Just learned about RAD. Fits me to a 't'. Now what???

Postby pyrrhoofelis » Fri Jun 16, 2017 12:13 am

Thanks for that! Yeah, I'm planning on visiting a shrink next week. I have another appointment next to the hospital today, so I'll go in and make an appointment. I had a couple of sessions with them last year for my chronic alcohol problem. I'm not really looking for a diagnosis here. Just looking for people with experience with RAD so that I can get familiarized with the condition. I know that I can't rely on my own diagnosis. Thanks again~~
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Re: Just learned about RAD. Fits me to a 't'. Now what???

Postby seabreezeblue » Fri Jun 16, 2017 8:50 am

well..

you've got a damn tough road in front of you - and luckily you've figured out why you find attachments so difficult to handle. So many people spend their entire lives not knowing - so you've got a lot of positive potential there.
Obviously noone here can say that you've got RAD, but given that you relate heavily to it, I think it would be really useful to run all of this past the psych you're seeing next week.

How do you do with other attachments? (have you got friends, keep in touch with relatives (if you have any decent/unabusive ones oc).. get on and emotionally bond with colleagues etc)..

I first wandered across RAD a couple of years ago when i was watching a documentary about Russian orphans that had spent their early lives unloved and neglected in an orphanage.. watching the way they interacted with their eventual adoptive parents was really eye opening for me.. because that's the way I act with people. I don't mean to - but most of the time when people try to get close, i back away.. it's too difficult to open up and trust that i'm good enough for them to actually care about.
over time i've got a lot better - though it's been massively difficult to allow (force) myself to connect with people.. I'm getting there, and now have a few people in my life that i consider to be friends, and i trust them.
But perhaps more to the point, i trust myself to make the right choices about who to trust - and that's what has allowed me to start really connecting with people and not shutting down.

I did smile at the Buddhist monk option.. hope you don't take that the wrong way but it made me laugh a little, because I actually wanted to be a nun when i was a kid. It seemed like a lovely option at the time - i could be solitary, and escape from a world that seemed so difficult for me to be present in.
Go get married, don't become a monk please. Just explain all of this to your future wife and let her know that you really want to make things work with her - and that you're scared, but want her to walk with you on your journey.

(I have complex PTSD btw, not an official diagnosis of RAD, but some of my symptoms have been very very close to those of RAD over the years)
Shine me a light up
and i'll run round the moon..
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Re: Just learned about RAD. Fits me to a 't'. Now what???

Postby pyrrhoofelis » Fri Jun 16, 2017 1:02 pm

Danke! Y'know, it's funny that you mentioned wanting to be a nun. Way back when I was still a Christian, I wanted to be a Trappist monk, like Thomas Merton. I'd planned to take a vow of silence because I felt that if I were able to go the rest of my life without having to speak to another person and spend the majority of that time in solitude, that would be heaven on earth. :lol:

I got my undergrad in Philosophy so that I could qualify for seminary, then progress to monkhood. Lost the faith getting the Philosophy degree, tho. Anyhoo, yeah, now I'm thinking that if I could get this person of interest on board with my personality problem, and if she's willing to work with me on it, then that'd be the way to go. I just panic and freeze up when it gets to the point of committing to an attachment. I've already done that with her, but she put up with it, and put up with me keeping her at arm's length for going on two years now. I'm thinking she may be a keeper.

Oh, and I went to make an appointment today, but the receptionist said nobody there speaks English. Strange, because last year I saw one doctor who said that the other doctor speaks English. I'm still in Asia, btw. Korea (South, the good one :wink: ) I speak Korean to an intermediate level, but I'm thinking counseling would require more nuanced expressions than I'm capable of. Anyway, I found some English-speaking psychs in Seoul, so I'm going to make an appointment with one of them instead.
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