Middle son and I had a fantastic weekend, after a horrible Saturday morning.
Saturday seemed to be going well. Then he went from zero to Hulk in under sixty seconds, and I found my son beating on me, again. He had done it the day before. I don’t mean a lost-it-in-the-heat-of-the-moment flail. I mean purposefully hitting me and then moving quickly away, to come back and hit me again when I was busy with something or turned around. My kidneys were sore from the day before, when he had found an opportunity to do it while I was sitting on the floor. He would use his elbows, feet, knees.
I snapped. I wrapped him in a blanket and I held him restrained on a bed. I screamed at him that he would not hit me, would never hit me, and should be ashamed to hit me. I told him that he hits myself and his brother often and that it is mean, that he knows it is not allowed, and I am going to stop taking his things away when he does it. I told him there would be worse punishments than that from now on. I told him I don’t have to treat him like my son. I can treat him as badly as he treats me, and if he wants me to cook the food he likes and put in the movies he wants, he can act like he deserves it. I told him he is not immune to spankings, if nothing else convinces him to be nice to others I can do it the old fashioned way.
He was firmly in fight or flight, though to be fair he did not try to bite me as he has done in the past. So he fell asleep, immediately after I let him go and told him he can choose to come out and apologize and keep his hands to himself, or he can stay in the bed until he makes that aforementioned choice.
I sat next to him until he woke up fifteen minutes later, reading a book on ODD. A little late for that, right? So he wakes up, perfectly calm. I know his fight or flight chemicals are exhausted, for the rest of the day, per the time of morning it was.
So we talked about it. I told him people are going to be that angry and more when he hits them. I told him many people will hit him back, that living this way will not make for a happy life, and that this cycle of hitting will never end, as he can see from how it plays out with his brother. I told him I don’t want to live this way, that I left it behind long ago, and does he think I feel like giving him the things he wants when he acts like this? He was very logical. He seemed thoughtful. I apologized for screaming. I told him I did not have a right to intimidate him, that I was angry, and I behaved badly with my anger. He accepted that.
I also told him the next time he hits he will be restrained in exactly the same way. Every time. He asked for time outs, instead, and I pointed out to him that refusing to take his time outs had led to this problem, that I cannot trust him to take them when he is angry and so when he hits he will be forcibly calmed by deep pressure (wrapping). Luckily he is still small enough for me to do this.
The rest of the weekend was fantastic. He did lose it twice or thrice more, and when he raised his hands to hit I scooped him up and wrapped him. Once I held him upside down until he could not stop laughing and that did the trick. I don’t know how tickling is not working, anymore. That was a sure thing for months. Each time he was wrapped he calmed in half the time as the previous incident, and though he did loudly protest, he did eventually stop the noise and get let go within fifteen minutes the first time, and did not scream again.
The other changes are:
using Kidpointz online
playing with him for a good chunk of each day (yes, the house is much messier)
reading books on anger and bullying
The daycare teacher pulled me aside on Monday and explained to me that he was not doing better there, he was actually now the class bully. That was the last straw, nothing would make my mind up faster than that.
Tuesday I called the doctor. His meds are being tapered off and replaced with another, and the pediatric psychiatrist will be seeing us for the first time, two weeks from now.
I need therapy. This has been very depressing. His PTSD triggers my PTSD. His ODD triggers my PTSD, and his ADHD triggers my PTSD. Our lives would be a lot simpler without all these abbreviations. I have been fantasizing that buying a house with a huge amount of yard to run around in would cure him. That is my first indication that I need help, trying to solve my problems with unrealistic dreams. I am calling the therapist tomorrow. I will have to take time off of work to see her, she only does mornings. I don’t know what else to do. Mortgage calculators will not fix this, nor will they magically up my income.