1) The aggression and anger are manifesting only in my presence, now. This means that this portion of PTSD symptoms are under control, and this is purely a learned behaviour that can be addressed.
2) Propranolol treats PTSD symptoms. It keeps your adrenaline from increasing, thus preventing the acceleration of heartrate and preventing “flight or fight” panic attacks. The doctors who told me there was nothing to be done for my brain chemistry besides antianxiety and antidepressant medications were mistaken. I don’t have to dope up to tamp down my responses.
3) Skip the 123 Magic for aggression and violence from the children. Institute a daily and weekly reward system, and take away belongings when violence has been the chosen method of communication. Make them earn it back.
4) I need EMDR, as much as my child does, so my traumatic memories stop being traumatic and merely become memories, which will also help the stress chemicals in my brain. A world without triggers. What would that be like?
When I finally stopped beating my head against the wall in hindsight over my own stupidity for inadvertently showing tolerance for inappropriate behaviour, I got to work. My son has lost every single one of his Pokemon cards. He can have back five each day that is violence free. I am waiting for one of those days to happen. He is already doing better, but his impulses are not in alignment yet, though I can see him trying. Battered women often do not respond appropriately to violence. There should be a zero tolerance, but many like me end up negotiating it in degrees of pain or intensity or intent, even. Being accustomed to it often means that incidents are not responded to with the correct degree of shock. I usually go monotone and place a child in time out with a lack of facial expression. This might have helped me to avoid further beatings from a batterer, but it does not teach a child the severity of their bad choices regarding violent solutions. Guilt will not help me, now I know better, and I can try to correct my behaviour and to help with my child’s learning.
In an institutional setting, violent children have their every belonging confiscated, leaving them with a bare mattress. Their things are earned back, by demonstrating proper choices and behaviour. I cannot quite do this, as I have other children who play with things, too, but I sure can start with the most beloved items. The next things to be taken away will be anything else he wants to sleep with, as that is the surest way to estimate their value to him. Yes, he slept with his Pokemon cards. Every night, in a plastic ziplock bag. I also take anything used in a tantrum or violent episode. Throwing your Wii remote? No Wii. Throwing pillows at me? Don’t plead pillow fight when you are screaming insults in my direction, your pillow is gone.
The EMDR provider for adults is over a half hour away from me. I will call tomorrow to find out if they can take a new patient and accept my insurance. This is the same organization that provides restorative parenting classes, so it is good I get in touch with them, anyway. Then I am going to the community college and asking for an education and checking my finance options.
For any person reading this, who is in an abusive relationship, just leave. I am out now for nearly two years, and look at how it still consumes me. Do it for your unborn children, if you are childless, and for your children, if you have them. It’s never too late. Kick the guilt to the curb. You deserve an unencumbered life.