The Boy Who Cried Abuse
My son has reactive attachment disorder and constantly makes up elaborate lies about being abused. But then he actually was.
Illustrations by Skye Ali
When I heard a yelp followed by sickening thuds, I rushed to the bottom of the stairs where I found my four-year-old, Brandon, sprawled on the tile floor sobbing. My nine-year-old, Devon, stood watching from the top of the stairs as I ran my hands frantically over Brandon’s body checking for injuries. My other kids rushed to tell me they’d seen Devon sneak up behind Brandon and, with one big shove, send him hurtling through the air. As they spoke, Devon began shrieking, “They’re lying on me! I didn’t do it.” I knew with icy certainty that he had.
My husband and I adopted Devon (whose name has been changed here for his protection) and his sister Kayla out of foster care when he was four and she was three. At the time, we had two other sons, Sam, who was ten, and Amias, three. Brandon, our youngest, wasn’t born yet. Even though Devon’s behavior was concerning – throwing tantrums, hoarding food, urinating in odd places, and lying – we were confident that with the …
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