She is growing so much and so fast and in some wonderful ways. I am aware of the pushes and pulls that are more "normal" than "RAD" much of the time. She still struggles with trusting us to know what is best and her need to control and dominate almost every situation still surfaces. And the DRAMA and "forgetting" how to do things is still a big issue. Her need for attention (any attention) is still high and she doesn't seem to distinguish between positive and negative attention. There are still days she is so dysregulated that she cannot function but there are many more days when she can pull it back together. Her sense of herself as a "good person" has grown but she still has doubts. She will ask me if I like her or if I think other people like her and she truly cares to hear the answer (although I don't think she always believes that she is quite likable.) When she loses it, there are more genuine emotions and feelings expressed and the fact that she can articulate them is HUGE. Managing those emotions and feelings is tough for her but we are so much farther than we were a year ago. It is possible to see that she is actively WORKING to counter her RAD and be a more typical kid. She asks questions like "do I do this because I have RAD?" or "If I didn't have RAD would I do this differently?" and she will say "I wish the RAD would go away already!" at times when she recognizes the struggle. Her attachment to me is secure (anxiously) and is growing towards C. although she views C. as a threat and competition for my attention.
All in all she is doing so very well. I have been trying to write my usual birthday letter to her but am at a loss for the right words to convey all that I see and feel. My guess is it will appear here whenever I do finish it and hopefully before she turns 11! When I think about where we have been with her and how far she has come I can't help but be a very proud mama.