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Personality development as an adult w/RAD in childhood

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Personality development as an adult w/RAD in childhood

Postby dartarro21 » Thu Jun 22, 2017 12:52 am

I have recently realized that I am codependent stemming from unresolved issues from my childhood. I was raised by a single mom with a detached parenting style and undiagnosed borderline personality. During my early years, it was more her inability to emotionally connect with me and possibly some postpartum depression as she isolated herself from most family members for my first year. I bounced around also with my aunt who was paranoid schizophrenic and saw/heard demons. My mom would leave me for 1-2 weeks at a time with my aunt to play in an orchestra in Mexico, and my aunt, who could not have children, thought of me as her daughter and there was often a power struggle there. My father wasn't in the picture because he found out of my aunt's scheme for my mom to seduce him and have a child to create an attachment with his family (and likely his money).

Anyway, the whole thing was very bizarre and confusing for me, and by the time my mom married my stepdad when I was 8, I had developed what I recently learned was RAD. I was shy and nearly mute, withdrawn, wouldn't connect with anyone and couldn't identify my emotions due to stuffing them away from the anger and reactivity of my female caregivers. I had started to strongly rebel and abuse neighborhood cats. As I got older, more of my mom's borderline tendencies started to come out and she became more authoritarian, which I think is why I started rebelling ("now you care?") I couldn't make eye contact and often wished to disappear. As I child I loved to climb up into the linen closet to hide away. Once at age 3 or 4 I purposefully locked myself in the bathroom and pretended I couldn't get out so my mom and uncle had to come "rescue" me. Sometimes I would hide under a table and wait for people to worry and get ready to call the cops because I desired to be seen and cared for.

Thankfully, my step-dad became an earthly savior figure, and spent the next 3-4 years being patient with me and trying to make me feel safe, heard, and listened to. I did come a lot out of my shell and by age 12 the rebelliousness had mostly disappeared. I realized at age 19 that my upbringing was abnormal, and that I come across as aloof, but had always felt I was pretty normal and well-adjusted considering (which is still true, and i am so thankful for my step-dad).

I just recently put a relationship on hold after realized I have codependent behaviors and attachment issues, and was enabling a substance abuser with my time and money. All this to say, I am trying to figure out how you go about re-developing your core personality when you have learned to be passive and easy-to-please to keep others happy? Is there some sort of therapy to help with this? I have part of my core personality figured out - I know deep down I am bubbly, silly, extroverted, social, and fun-loving and I still enjoy being this, but it takes a lot of effort to draw it out of me because I am so reserved, and I lack the confidence I know I used to have before the age of 5 (all the pictures of curly-haired, silly little me just scream “badass” & “bring it on!”).
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Re: Personality development as an adult w/RAD in childhood

Postby WhatsHappening » Sun Jun 25, 2017 10:47 pm

I'm 18 and I recognise a lot of myself in you. I started seeking for help about a year ago and so far I discovered a lot about myself and my RAD. My therapist adviced me to look into the following 2 therapies: 'Mentalization Based Treatment' (to better understand both yourself and those around you which will increase your confidence) and 'Dynamic Interpesonal Therapy' in which will be focused on the way someone relates themselves to the world around them and in particular to other people.
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Re: Personality development as an adult w/RAD in childhood

Postby shapeshifting » Fri Sep 15, 2017 11:36 am

dartarro21 wrote:I have recently realized that I am codependent stemming from unresolved issues from my childhood. I was raised by a single mom with a detached parenting style and undiagnosed borderline personality. During my early years, it was more her inability to emotionally connect with me and possibly some postpartum depression as she isolated herself from most family members for my first year. I bounced around also with my aunt who was paranoid schizophrenic and saw/heard demons. My mom would leave me for 1-2 weeks at a time with my aunt to play in an orchestra in Mexico, and my aunt, who could not have children, thought of me as her daughter and there was often a power struggle there. My father wasn't in the picture because he found out of my aunt's scheme for my mom to seduce him and have a child to create an attachment with his family (and likely his money).

Anyway, the whole thing was very bizarre and confusing for me, and by the time my mom married my stepdad when I was 8, I had developed what I recently learned was RAD. I was shy and nearly mute, withdrawn, wouldn't connect with anyone and couldn't identify my emotions due to stuffing them away from the anger and reactivity of my female caregivers. I had started to strongly rebel and abuse neighborhood cats. As I got older, more of my mom's borderline tendencies started to come out and she became more authoritarian, which I think is why I started rebelling ("now you care?") I couldn't make eye contact and often wished to disappear. As I child I loved to climb up into the linen closet to hide away. Once at age 3 or 4 I purposefully locked myself in the bathroom and pretended I couldn't get out so my mom and uncle had to come "rescue" me. Sometimes I would hide under a table and wait for people to worry and get ready to call the cops because I desired to be seen and cared for.

Thankfully, my step-dad became an earthly savior figure, and spent the next 3-4 years being patient with me and trying to make me feel safe, heard, and listened to. I did come a lot out of my shell and by age 12 the rebelliousness had mostly disappeared. I realized at age 19 that my upbringing was abnormal, and that I come across as aloof, but had always felt I was pretty normal and well-adjusted considering (which is still true, and i am so thankful for my step-dad).

I just recently put a relationship on hold after realized I have codependent behaviors and attachment issues, and was enabling a substance abuser with my time and money. All this to say, I am trying to figure out how you go about re-developing your core personality when you have learned to be passive and easy-to-please to keep others happy? Is there some sort of therapy to help with this? I have part of my core personality figured out - I know deep down I am bubbly, silly, extroverted, social, and fun-loving and I still enjoy being this, but it takes a lot of effort to draw it out of me because I am so reserved, and I lack the confidence I know I used to have before the age of 5 (all the pictures of curly-haired, silly little me just scream “badass” & “bring it on!”).


I feel allllll of this, holy $#%^, WOW.
Pretty sure I had RAD as a kid, also serious ADD. Adults with RAD mostly grow into a borderline personality disorder themselves, as attachment issues are at the root of RAD and it's the same for BPD. However, all of this can be boiled down to having c-ptsd or complex ptsd.
I have a rad-ass, bad-ass therapist who does DBT (dialectical behavior therapy) with me and sends me articles and links on how to continue my own healing.
It is very hard to uncover the core self, but as you can see, it CAN be done. I am starting to recover my core self too but it is all very scary and unfamiliar and sometimes it is easier for me to retreat inside myself or inside whatever mask I use for whomever i'm interacting with.
I have been meditating on this idea of codependency pretty heavily for the past few days and as of yesterday, I told my therapist that I think I am codependent. What a heavy realization! Having that word associated with me is difficult, i'm not going to lie, but it makes a lot more sense now when I think about my relationships and the patterns of dependency found all throughout.
we've got a long road ahead of us but it is nice to know that I am not alone. My backstory differs from yours quite a bit as my mom was abusing drugs and then I was raised by a cousin of mine who meant well but was very detached and abusive in many ways. Here we are!!!! Trekking forward anyway & determined to come to terms with things of the past that were out of our control.
Good luck to you!!! Thanks for sharing this
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