The difference between respect and fear

Last night, I had a long conversation with my youngest daughter, Madison, who is a RAD sufferer.  These kinds of talks are difficult because her reasoning is very different from my own and from most other peoples.

Recently, she's been talking alot about the way gang members relate to one another.  Of course, my ears have perked up but I'm careful how I will engage in such a conversation.  However, last night, she laid it all out on the table for me.   She shared that her goal in relating to any other person is to get them to fear her.  To her, this means respect.

When someone doesn't fear her, they don't respect her.  She feels disrespected if someone feels equal to her.  She constantly feels the need to prove that she is stronger than everyone around her.  She is 5'2.  I am 5'7, her older sister is 5'10, her dad is 6'2.  This is a big, no pun intended, problem for her.  Since I've known her, when she was 7 and about 4 ft tall, she has tried to prove that she is bigger and stronger than me.  And her dad (who is the strongest guy I know, being a weight-lifter for 20 years now).

I tried to help her understand that fear and respect are two different things.  She is not interested in hearing my explanation.  Whatever I say, she says something to counter.  Doesn't seem to matter that it makes no actual sense. She won't back down.  I finally just had to end the conversation, which made me sad.  I wanted to connect with her.  We had been connecting I think, that is why she brought up the fear thing.  It made her uncomfortable and she needed to put some distance there again.

Pray that I will still be able to connect with her and show her love in a way that she can receive it. It is hard to show her love in a way she understands because she only seems able to accept it when it comes from someone who shows her that they are weaker than she is.


  1. I've had this conversation with her too...she does not make any sense.

  2. No, but then she just doesn't make sense in general. Hard for us to wrap our logical brains around isn't it.

  3. Hmmm... just keep loving her with kindnss and keep praying. You DO affect her, even if she doesn't show it now.


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