Sunday, October 25, 2009

Remember Anonymous?

Well her name is a mother on other sites. She followed me from another blog I read about January, a 7 yr old that has Schizophrenia. This a mother has posted about me on other sites saying some rude things. Their readers came here so I posted a there. They refuse to publish it b/c it contradicts their theory that all attachment therapy is the horrible and radical kind that makes the news. I thought I would share with you here what it was.

a mother, you were not banned. I asked that you reveal who you are and not use anonymous. I felt I was respectful to you given your concerns for my children. I tried to address every worry you had. I am sorry you feel I attacked you in any way or that you were not welcome.

I assure you, we are on the same page with radical AT approaches and theories. We do not hold our children in a restraint unless they are violently attacking us, period. They must be a danger to themselves or another and a simple slap or other minor infraction does not mean a danger to anyone. We do not do ANY kind of compression holds in therapy. Therapy consists of my child laying in my lap. I encourage my children to speak their minds, make their own decisions, and have an opinion. I respect their choices, good or bad. For us, it’s all about unconditional love for them. We will love them regardless of their behavior and emotions. Mine couldn’t feel, they were numb. They are now healing, slowly and becoming healthy, happy people that can tell we love them and accept it as the truth. There is no brainwashing or boot camp going on here. I know others have found that helpful. I assure you the parents I know of have tried everything else first.

You all talked about the little boy that “played doctor” and his parents went overboard. You do not know what happened and are adding your own personal experience to it. Playing doctor is completely normal. His mother is well aware of this. She did not share the details of what happened so I will not. I will share that I have a children that had predatory behavior on other children. Predatory being the fact there were threats, promises, and power used to violate my children. My other children were terrified to tell. It has taken years for them to recover and I spent many nights wondering if I did the right thing keeping her here with them. I don’t know many other mothers that would try so hard to keep their family together. I’m not sure it would be right for many other families when a sibling sexually abuses their siblings repeatedly. We had to take incredible steps to keep them safe and we have managed to do just that. We also had enormous support from our therapist to be compassionate and enforce a safety plan. No holding anyone down or forcing them to comply. We supported our children that were victims, we listened, we helped them be more in control of their own bodies, we taught them to stand up for themselves b/c they deserve to be safe. We worked with our other child to feel worthy of a healthy relationship, take responsibility for her actions, we took away her power over the other children, and showed her we would love her no matter her behavior and feelings.

I am more than happy to answer any questions you may have. I try very hard to understand your point of view and the fact you are reading horror stories about this treatment. Those people deserve to go to prison for abusing their children. We do not do those things. One of my children has told me numerous times that she feels out of control when she is raging and she feels safe when I hold her. She has told my other children that it doesn’t hurt and they do not need to worry about her when she is in a hold. Of course this is not at the time of the hold b/c she is thrashing violently trying to hurt me or herself. AT in our lives is gentle and loving. Restraints suck. I avoid them at all costs. They are a necessary part of our lives to keep a couple of my children in our home safely. There is no anger used or rage forced. Only 3 of my children have ever needed to be held, the other 6 have NEVER acted in a way that I worried. Several of them are emotionally disturbed and have attachment issues. They do not attack so they are not held.

The name of my blog, Finishing off my Family, was supposed to be funny. I began it when we were looking for what we felt would be the final members. I had no idea that I would have children with such severe mental illnesses and my life would be in jeopardy today. Kinda ironic that my son has murderous thoughts due to his “real” illness, Schizo-Affective Disorder.


Lexie said...

If "anonymous" would get her head out of her ass and actually do some research aside form the biased websites from people who have never parented attachment disordered children she would see that attachment therapy isn't what those bogus websites make it out to be by using extreme examples like re-birthing which isn't even real attachment therapy and isn't endorsed or practiced. Sorry for the language I just get raving mad when a bunch of internet blog readers with no experience of parenting traumatized children suddenly become an expert on what to do with your attachment or traumatized child give me a break! If these people weren't so afraid they wouldn't hide behind anonymous aliases on the internet and they wouldn't be afraid to post your comment because if they realized that attachment therapy isn't abusive it would ruin their whole agenda of attachment therapy being abusive and destructive. I would take these people with a grain of salt because as far as I'm concerned they still have their heads in their asses and refuse to believe the truth minus a few extreme examples.

Sheri said...

Man, I love you! You always repsong with courtesy and kindness and truth. I on the other hand am Snarky and would like to say, "BITE ME"! :)

SanitySrchr said...


I understand 'Ann' has concerns regarding how you are raising your children, but quite frankly it's not for her to judge about. I understand it's natural to attempt to defend your parenting techniques, but you've spent a great deal of time trying to justify yourself to someone who is ignorant to your situation. I learned a long time ago that every person's situation is completely different and require different treatment techniques. Apparently 'Ann' has not learned this, and you do not have to justify yourself to her judgments.

I want you to take it to heart that you are doing an incredible job with your children; children who by most would've been completely shunned away from. Stay the course, and do not allow this person to continue to eat at you. Know that there are many, many people who support and love you!


Melissa said...

Oh Lord Tudu, how do you keep your cool? I just read the comments that a mother left on that other site. I have read your blog from start to finish and no where in it did I ever think you were abusing your children or making them worse.

My husband had rage issues when he was a child and his mother would tie him to a chair. That is abuse, but holding a child firmly so they do not hurt themselves and other is NOT abuse.

Keep on doing what you are doing and be confident that you ARE doing what is the absolute best for YOUR children.

gabbiz said...

Hi. I went in there and read about their views and checked out their links, and then I tried to post a comment. Guess we'll see if it gets accepted. Anyway, here it is (Hope I didn't misinterpret things, considering English isn't my native language):

This message is mainly for “a mother”.

As I understand it, Federici and his likes run some kind of sect, based on home made psychological theories of attachment disorders and how they can be cured by re-birth, among other things. I believe, just like you, that what these people do is equal to child abuse, and I who have studied psychology at a Swedish university, and have children myself, can’t see any logic in their theories.

But coming here and accusing Tudu, the adoptive mother who writes the blog Finishing Off My Family, of doing what Federici preaches, is right out offensive. What Tudu does that remotely resembles these “techniques” is holding children who are a danger to themselves or others. She holds them in her arms while sitting down, she doesn’t lie down on top of them, she doesn’t hurt them, she holds them so that they can’t injure anyone, while she talks to them and tries to calm them down and tell them that they are safe and loved.

Personally I only have two biological children, one baby and one 6-year-old, and they are easy, normal, healthy, well-behaved children. If I suddenly had children who started trying to hurt themselves or others, I think my first reaction would be just that, to hold them and talk to them. What else could I, or Tudu, do? Leave them to it, let them hurt someone? Throw them out of the house? Scream at them? Run away?

I do not understand how it can’t be possible to critisize a twisted theory that kills children, without attacking and harassing mothers who struggle to help damaged children in a safe, loving way. Holding a raging child can’t possibly be wrong only because some people choose to hold them in a way that’s harmful. Some people who practice this method force feed their children, should I stop feeding my children now? Please, separate violence from love here, holding can come in many different shapes. I read about your concerns for Tudu’s methods, and you based some of your concerns on your own experiences of your own, healthy and attached children. You must surely understand you have no idea what you’re talking about here until you experience, first hand, children who are as damaged, hurt and sometimes dangerous as Tudu’s children are.

FosterAbba said...

You know, I'd never thought of your blog title as anything other than the idea that you were looking to complete your family.

Now I'm looking at the title with a whole new light...grin.

Hang in there. Oh, and don't feed the trolls.

sarsmile said...

Tudu, if you ever get a chance would you write a post sometime on how attachment therapy works from your perspective? I am asking as someone who is considering adoption someday and has struggled to sort through all of the information out there - and as someone who very much respects your obvious commitment to doing what is best for your kids. This post does a nice job of clarifying what you don't do, but what do you do? What makes the therapy your kids receive different than 'normal' therapy? And given all of the scary stuff that has been done in the name of attachment, what do you look for to find a therapist who understands the real issues your kids have but who doesn't threaten their physical and mental health in the name of healing?

Book Lover said...


You are such a classy lady. Taking time to answer rude people who hide behind "anonymous" and make accusations about things they know nothing about. You are doing such a GREAT job with these kids. Anyone can tell that by reading your blog. Anyway, just unbelievable what people say and do. Blessings

Kim Chrisman

momma-o-minnie said...

I went to that site!
What a bunch of NUTS!
8 "survivors" in 2 years????
I wrote a comment suggesting to them suggesting that they themselves have RAD....
Good Heavens... It's a good thing that I don't know WHO they are...
Their ignorance is on the same lines as the KluKluxKlan!

atlasien said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
atlasien said...

I've read stories about abusive therapists and I'm horrified by them. I have actually been to the blog and I think it's important to include the perspectives of the people who have been abused by therapists.

But moving from those cases, to the idea that any restraint is abuse, or any parent who tries to address attachment disorders is de facto abusive... that's just sheer ignorance and hysteria.

I have also done restraints on my son in order to keep him from hurting himself, and hurting me. I'm glad I've read the horror stories about children who have died during restraint because they made me very careful... I've never held him with any pressure on his stomach and never obstructed his breathing in any way.

I wish I'd gotten some training about safe restraint beforehand. I tried EVERYTHING I could besides restraints and none of it worked when my son was in violent rage mode. When a child keeps hitting you and hitting, what else are supposed to do? Put a door between you will just enhance the rage and direct their anger against themselves. Hit them back, and you're escalating and abusing.

So far the worst is past. I used to have hold him down for half an hour at a time. Nowadays, when it happens about once a week, just a few minutes of restraint is enough.

The only thing I do differently form Tudu is that I don't talk to my son or make eye contact during restraint when he's raging and trying to bite or hit me. I used to, but our therapist advised us not to talk during the first stage of restraint, to just be quiet and let him rage, and wait to talk and give loving and reassuring words only when he was actually ready to hear them.

And my therapist isn't some kind of cult leader or extremist. He's just a regular guy with a doctorate in psychology that used to work in an RTC for children. The therapy he does with my son consists of weird, extreme things like... umm... playing anger management board games and teaching him relaxation and breathing techniques.

My son has never been diagnosed with an attachment disorder. I have never seen an attachment therapist. His rages are more about emotional volatility, and possibly bipolar disorder.

Restraint shouldn't be the first line response, but it's not a sign of failure either. Once I got over the idea that restraint was a failure of parenting, the idea that I was a bad mother because I had to resort to restraining my son, then I became a more effective parent and as a result, today my son does not have to be restrained very much.

There is no one-size-fits-all model to help children heal.

atlasien said...

Lastly, I am BEYOND disgusted that anyone would minimize childhood sexual abuse by calling it "playing doctor". Innocent exploration is pretty easy to tell apart from abuse. Victims of sexual abuse deserve to be taken seriously and listened to.

Lindy said...

I've read you for a while.
I just thought I would let you know I,too left a comment on that hateful site. Good Lord those people are nuts! Here's what I wrote btw

"I think, perhaps, no one here has ever raised a child that has been abused by others. I think,perhaps, you have never had a child (who you love and voluntarily adopted,knowing they could not love you in return-for perhaps a very long time) rage to such an extent their,or you safety was endangered. Have any of you tried to comfort a child having a flashback of being gang raped by adults? Have any of you ever tried to comfort a child convinced it was their fault their birth parents abandoned them for drugs. Have you ever raised a child who has permanent brain damage due to pre-natal alcohol exposure. A child who has no executive function. A child who cannot connect his behavior with consequence?
Have you ever had you child try and stab you, push you down the stairs, or kill your puppy?
Until you have parented a child who thinks any adult female who feeds her is her mother; who has had four families and has been separated from their siblings,you have no right to judge those who are. Instead of sitting in your living room judging the parents who have sacrificed their lives for the unwanted in our society,you might try praying to see them as God does. You might try offering support instead of judgment. You might want to thank the Lord he has called some of us to do the hard things,the thankless things to preserve some shred of humanity in these very hurt children. If there were not these very imperfect parents loving these children,we would have more Charles Manson's,more Ted Bundy's, more senseless acts of violence. The cycle of abuse and molestation and drugs and gangs would continue at an ever greater rate. But,perhaps these children are not really children at all to you.
Perhaps they are like the puppies at the pound;better to euthanize them rather than allow them to be adopted by people you don't approve of.
If you truely love children,especially hurt children,then post this comment. If this blog is only for your own self aggrandizement, then delete it.
Some day we will all face Christ.
Remember that."

These people are professional trolls. What a sad excuse for a life.

Annie said...

I was so eager to believe that she was just asking a question burning in her mind, and trying to be respectful. The fact that she didn't LISTEN to the response you gave suggests to me that her intentions are not so honest.
When there are legitimate concerns to raise (as may be the case for some extreme holding - I don't much about it so I won't say yes or no) then of course they should be raised! But if you're not going to listen to explanations, why ask a question?

Lexie said...

I love how they still continue to troll your blog and keep making new posts in reference to the comments that were made.

Anonymous said...

I'm another long time lurker at your site. My oldest sister was adopted into our family and came with many issues that today would be recognized as RAD, ODD, and the like. My memories of her rages at my mom are some of the most frightening of my childhood. And yet, of course, she's still the beloved sister who would do my hair when she was going out.

I admire you for keeping these children together. For hanging in there through all of the crap they put you through. And for being so amazingly polite regarding the bs that others are trying to spread about you.

Kath said...

What a loon she is. Silly woman, who clearly has way too much free time.

Arthur Becker-Weidman, PhD said...

Treatment grounded in attachment theory is a well respected treatment (see, for example the Association for the Treatment and Training in the Attachment of Children's White Paper regarding Coercion, their Parent Manual, and their Professional Practice Manual). Dyadic Developmental Psychotherapy, which is an attachment-based treatment is an effective, evidence-based, and empirically validated treatment for children with trauma and attachment disorders.

No reputable therapist who treats families with children such as yours would use coercion. The fact there there have been disreputable treatments provided by unlicensed persons should not reflect on those professionals who practice within the scope of their competency and professional ethics.

Nichole said...

This frustrates me to no end. You have enough to deal with in your life and have many children that depend on you. You don't have extra time to waste defending yourself to idiots. I've learned over the years that people that push your buttons do it for a reaction, they do it for attention. I've had a few nasty comments on my blog, but I only responded to the first one. Tudu you are wonderful and you provide so much love and care to your children when most would have given up. You should never feel like you have to defend yourself. Those people are not worth your time and IT'S NOT YOUR JOB TO EDUCATE THEM. You have your hands full already. If someone makes a comment attacking you if anything reference previous responses. Taking time to respond gives more energy to their negative attacks! Sorry for the rant!

marythemom said...

I'll say it again. Thank you for presenting "our" side respectfully and eloquently.

Mary in TX

Corey said...

Given that both of my children have been patients of Dr. Federici's and that I have known Dr. Federici for several years, let me say first that what the people on the stopchildtorture website say about him is just plain FALSE. They lie about him, they also lie about Heather Forbes, Dan Hughes, Dave Ziegler, Gregory Keck, etc. THEY DO NOT SUPPORT ANY TYPE OF "ATTACHMENT THERAPY." And that's fine. But you can't go around libeling people all over the internet because you disagree with how other people.. PROFESSIONALS.. who are active and respected in their field.. do things. None of the individuals I named support child abuse, none of them support re-birthing, which is well known to be ABUSIVE and INEFFECTIVE. The tactics used by this organization are inexcusable.. the fact that my family (and Tudus) have been chased around the internet and threatened and libeled and defamed is.. totally inexcusable. It is one thing to disagree with me, it is another to harass and threaten my family.
While I agree with Dr. Becker-Weidman that the Dyadic Developmental Approach is positive (Dan Hughes, for those of us that speak English), I disagree that it is the only answer. Just as "experts" once told parents that REBIRTHING was once the best thing for our children, the "experts" don't have all the answers, either. To call behavioral management approaches "coercive" (big bad negative connotation) just because you disagree with that approach doesn't make parents any less likely to use it.. particularly if parents find that it is effective for their child, and results in a SAFER home and less DESTRUCTION to property.

But hell, what do I know? I'm only a mom, right?

Ms. Heather said...

I don't like attachment therapy. The very term makes me ill, because of the negative conotations that come along with it. There are far too many quacks out there, and some who arn't quacks but whose approaches can be easily misused while the parent feels justified by screaming "RAD". But there are a lot of parents out there who have stuck through it when others haven't, and who have the support of great therapists who are working to help the children heal. Nobody who "knows" you simply from an online blog can determine which you are.

So, you may be a crazy, abusive, NAZI boot camp parent, and by all means, the above referenced website should take immediete action and contact DCFS demanding intervention. Oh, wait....didn't I read somewhere a few posts back that someone DID call DCFS?

If you hate attachment therapy fine--get out there and work on finding another solution. Sitting around flaming people on one board or another isn't going to make a difference--but hey, if it makes you feel better...