Category Archives: Bully

Middle Son

My middle child has probably had the most visibly rough time of it. He became his father’s favorite when he showed a willingness to engage in violence, a learned behaviour that it took four years for him to unlearn.

He has a touch of agoraphobia. He does not like to be out of the house more than two hours.

He has so much anxiety that he is always correcting everyone, arguing about the right way to say or do or even be this or that. He probably exhausts himself with it. I tell him every day to leave it alone but he has yet to learn how.

He is very discerning, he figured out the guy behind us is on drugs without hearing a word about it from me.

He is addicted to his Xbox, and cried today because his friend was not home and could not come over to play it with him.

He can’t eat dairy because it makes him angry. I keep him on medicine so that he doesn’t hurt other people with his initial angry impulses. It works well, but I have to constantly battle the insurance companies to get his prescription filled.

He would walk around sucking on lemons and eating raw onion when he was a baby. Not unusual in his father’s culture, but he gets a huge kick out of hearing about it now.

Today he began to throw a fit at the zoo (we had been there a long time) and he stopped himself. I think he has done this once before. I didn’t have to do much to calm him, I just reminded him that kids throwing fits get grounded and gave him a hug.

But sometimes when I remember that he collects glass sculptures, at eight years old, I feel a wonderment.

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Filed under Bully, Bullying, Child Abuse, Child Psychology, Domestic Abuse, Domestic Violence, Medication, ODD, PTSD, SIngle Parenting, Trauma, Uncategorized

The Remembering

The seasonal changes make you remember.

My son has been jumpy and irritable for a few weeks. Last week it was the anniversary of one of the worst beatings I had. Not because I broke a bone or required hospitalization, it was an unremarkable beating, as all mine were, in severity. It was a bad beating because I was stretched out fully over a bed trying to tuck sheets into corners when he started on me, right on my spine- a repetitive thing that left me feeling as I were hit by a truck for quite some time. It was the only beating I screamed through.

It was about five days before I could walk comfortably. I prefer to be kicked or hit on fleshy parts (luckily I was pretty overweight after having the babies and stayed that way all during breastfeeding). There are good reasons to be fat or to cut off all your hair when you are in an abusive relationship.

I don’t exactly remember after which beating it happened, my son’s rejection, but I think it was that one, because of the noise. Normally their father just got in a blow or two and walked off. This was an intentional and prolonged effort, and any kid awake could hear it. After my son tried to disassociate from me. He knew I could not keep him safe, after witnessing my inability to protect myself and seeing his father ridicule my pain. He refused my help putting him to bed, and he turned away from me when I offered to hug him. It really hurt. He did that for a day, tried to keep himself safe from his father by rejecting me. I knew what he was doing, but watching it was different from reading about it. It hurt so much I knew I had to leave. I didn’t want them to go through such psychological gymnastics in their toddlerhood. Just because he had stayed off of them for a few months did not mean he would never hit them again. They would never feel safe if they kept seeing him hurt me.

A week later he went insane and spent the night accusing me of having sexual relations with his own family members. Ridiculous stuff, things that could not possibly have happened. He was confused on timelines and could not remember when or where and he made up stories to fit his confusion and accused me of doing things I could not have done even were I so inclined.

This is what a decade of absolute loyalty and obedience will get you.

I spent the entire night patiently correcting him and reminding him that at that time this and that was happening and therefore he was mistaken and etc. By morning my temper was short, my children were up, and I had far more to do and could not spend any more time coddling his crazy. I told him in a loud voice that he ought to check with his family and leave me alone about it, because he was very wrong. In some other words, I am sure. Polite enough, but firm. He did not like firm women.

He got in one blow, on my back as I walked away, where I still had bruising. While I was holding the baby. He looked at the patio door- all glass to the outside walkway where anyone passing could see in, and he stopped.

What kind of coward beats a fat, quiet, breastfeeding woman on the back?

His mother saw the whole thing. She decided it was my fault- because I spoke to him above a whisper. This is a woman who watched me stand up for her every time her son abused her and yet walked away each time he took after me. I don’t understand her at all. I consistently pulled him off of her, even knowing he could turn on me. Shouldn’t she have returned the favor?

There was a lot more drama that day, and despite my efforts to avoid anything further I sustained some injuries later, nothing too serious.

We left in a police car, actually two.

Today my son turns to me as we walk into the school for a function and starts telling me about the police car he rode in five years ago, when he was three. He doesn’t remember being scared any longer, which was how he felt when he got out of the car and was reunited with me at the time. He remembers the hard plastic seats. He said they were comfortable. He obviously doesn’t quite remember accurately.

But he remembers, with no prompting from me whatsoever. Five years to the day.

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Filed under Bully, Bullying, Child Abuse, Child Psychology, Domestic Abuse, Domestic Violence, PTSD, SIngle Parenting, Uncategorized

A Few Days Later…

Our neighbors have forgiven us. We stayed inside since that night and we stayed out of sight so we could give our neighbor a break and some time to heal.

It was a good choice.

Her mother sat her down today and explained to her how little boys are and what her own brother did to her growing up and she came over and told me I should let the kids out to play.

I am so relieved. I can afford to move, but I can’t afford higher rent.

More importantly, I can’t afford the guilt I would feel if this girl was traumatized.

 

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My Life Does Not Seem Real

My Oldest Son has had three tests now. The 1 hour EEG showed abnormalities. The MRI was normal. I don’t have the results of the 24 hour EEG. I hate waiting for the doctor to meet with me. Why can’t people just type stuff up and shoot off an email?

The Baby has become unpleasant. She is five and somehow her cute strong will has become her rude abusive personality in recent months. We are working on it.

My Middle Child last week was playing with two kids when one pushed him to the ground and he lashed out with a foot and kicked the other (a girl) in the face from defensive posture. He kicked a girl who suffered from a concussion most of last year. He is under instruction not to hit anyone, and not to ever mess with her head because of the risk of injury! He and another witness say he was kicked before he did that, and the victim and another witness say he was not. The girl he kicked immediately gave him a hard kick in the balls. She is a teenager, he has just started second grade, so it was a decent kick that covered the entire area, not a little toddler kick like his sister has. He iced himself up and was okay after a while. Either way, he was forbidden to play with either child and he was grounded from his favorite things. So instead of playing with this girl he helped his friend play with her yesterday by filling up a water gun for him, as a sort of refill assistant. I saw him coming out of the house with the full gun but he seemed to be staying out of the fun as he was instructed, so I thought nothing of it.

Until the girl came running up drenched in water and told me it was toilet water. Some had gotten in her mouth and she had swallowed it. I told her I couldn’t imagine he would do that, he had to be lying and she was reassured. I got him home and he explained to me that he put some toilet water in the gun and I marched him back over and made him confess. The victim wants nothing to do with our family anymore. She asked me to keep my kids away from her and specifically my Middle Child- she never wants to see his face again.

I lost a babysitter, a friend of ours who went everywhere with us for two years, from the zoo to the pumpkin farm to wildlife rescue trips. She spent hours puking after the incident and worse, she feels victimized by my son. He punched her once in the spring, kicked her last week, and this. He is a lot better than he used to be, but none of this acceptable. He has been complaining about her for months, he says she targets him and pushes him down, kicks him, won’t let him play when all the kids are playing together. It bewildered me, I had seen none of it. I thought it was his skewed perception, his PTSD. I have tried to get him to talk to her about it, he would not. I have seen her be aggressive but not like what he describes.

So I don’t know if this is revenge or thoughtlessness. He seemed to think it would be funny. He did not seem to understand how offensive it was until he saw how angry I was. He has restrictions lasting a very long time, and we are respecting her wishes. Today is the next day, and we did not play outside. We did not park in our parking lot, we walked in from the street from the side so we would not have to cross her front door.

I don’t know what to do. I have to keep a seven year old away from his next door neighbor, when both are outside all the time normally. This is my hyper kid, who needs to run and be active all day. I can’t even trust him with a water gun. I have to cook and I have to clean and I can’t just let him play anymore but for a half hour an evening. I don’t know what to do. I liked it here, but I don’t want to distress this girl any longer. She is the victim, and I can’t keep her safe from my kid even when I am present. I think I have to move somewhere else. I cannot think of any other right thing to do.

My life has become a nightmare again. I am right back where I was a few years ago, when my kid was a danger to other people. I have to treat him like that and hope he can rise above it. It’s a horrible catch 22. I have to treat a kid like he is dangerous and then hope he doesn’t see himself as dangerous so that he can learn normal behaviour instead of living up to expectations of being dangerous.

I can’t stop crying. The only saving grace was that I had cleaned the toilet before we came outside. It’s a serious miracle that there was a bit of cleaner in the water instead of what it could have been. Still crying, though. Since yesterday.

 

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Aggressive Autistics

¨There are medicines available for aggressive autistics,¨ the child psychologist says to me. ¨my favorite is Abilify. I will write that down for you, right here..¨

I don´t want my son to be that kind of autistic. I want him to be like me instead.

I never had a problem with his diagnosis before. But I don´t know if I can do this. I already have a son like this-minus the autism. Two is too much for me.

I don´t want it to be like this.

 

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Filed under ASD, Asperger's, Autism, Bully, Bullying, Child Abuse, Child Psychology, Domestic Abuse, Domestic Violence, Medication, PTSD, SIngle Parenting, Trauma, Uncategorized

The Bad List

When the children and I first escaped, my father would watch the boys for me while my stepmother and I went to thrift stores to try to find winter coats or car seats or shoes for the children.

Each time I rejoined my boys they were not happy and neither was my father. I think I left them three times and then never again, after I watched my father slap my four year old on the head for touching a television remote that looked just like his own. I specifically asked my father not to hit my son after that. So he would grab him by the arm instead (I remember that from being a kid, and it hurt) and so we cut back on visits for a while.

Things are a little better since then. But maybe not.

My kids are bored and frustrated at my father´s house. Nothing there is interactive. There are no games to play, no one is allowed to watch a screen, and no one is allowed to be inside – because nothing inside is for touching. These are ADHD kids, they need to be involved in something or they are all over the place.

This last visit they got in trouble for pretty much everything they did outside. No peeling bark (of course I agree with that one), no moving rocks, no tearing down stumps, no looking for bugs under things, no picking flowers or leaves, etc. The only thing they were left with was sticks. Picking up sticks or breaking sticks. If my father had had those rules when I was a kid on that property I would have died. My brother and I tore up plants and broke rocks into shards and hacked down whatever we could. We made pets out of root clumps and found bugs and animals and chased them down.

My autistic son is not too good at following directions. If you let it get to you then you would just be perpetually angry at him. He cannot help it. He is a people pleaser, so if he is not doing what you tell him to do then most likely he has forgotten it or he has fixated on doing that thing and is unable to process redirection. He also cannot understand two-part directions, which really hinders him in the big world.

Anyway, a few years ago, about the time I quit visiting for a bit, my father and his wife drove over an hour to come and see me. Me, without the children present. They did this so they could tell me that I had to ¨do something¨ about my sons, who were obviously out of control. Well, they still sometimes are. They said they would never have a normal life if they don´t learn this or that. Mostly about impulse control and obedience.

I knew I had to ¨do something¨ already, and I had known it since they learned to walk. I couldn´t do much about it until we were free. They were my kids and I was already working with what was the beginning of my medical team when they had this talk with me.

Less than a year later my oldest was diagnosed with autism and his brother with PTSD and ADHD. Both were also diagnosed with ODD but I never bothered to tell my father that, because sometimes it is just a comorbid dx, a default before the real diagnosis comes in. When I told my father my son was autistic he refused to believe it. He insisted my son was normal and every kid must be autistic. I asked him then why he had made a special trip to tell me the year before that my sons needed help. He had no answer to that.

So he still does not get it.

We go up to his house for my birthday lunch and just before the meal begins he announces that my son is on his ¨bad list¨ for ripping apart a stump and not stopping when being told to. This is something my father has praised my sons for doing on previous occasions, he has had them destroy stumps for him because the ones that are falling apart are such a pain to get out of the ground. I am positive my son does not know which stumps he can do this to and which he cannot. Hell, I don´t know either. A stump is a stump, to me.

I told my father that he has to tell my son something more than once and he shot me a disgusted look. I had the strongest urge to spell out the word ¨autistic¨ to him, but I did not. I was just thinking ¨You and everybody else.¨ Life sucks often enough when you are autistic. The least his family could do would be to be patient and to attempt to teach rather than condemn him. Why is it easier for people to believe that children are naughty than it is to believe that their brain might work differently? Why is it easier to believe that a child would fish for anger rather than love and approval?

I was always on his bad list, too. My son has great company.

 

 

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Filed under ADHD, ASD, Asperger's, Autism, Bully, Bullying, Child Abuse, Child Psychology, Domestic Abuse, Domestic Violence, ODD, PTSD, SIngle Parenting, Trauma, Uncategorized

Abuse and Unhealthy Relationships

Yesterday when I picked up my daughter from daycare the preschool teacher pulled me aside. She wanted to tell me what had happened that day.

My daughter was coloring with her friend. She wanted to stop and go do something else. It was free time, where the children can choose from different stations and play with the available toys. Her friend went over to the trash can and held her half of their best friend´s necklace over it, the one she kept when she gave the other half to my daughter last fall.

She dangled the string and said ¨If you stop coloring I will throw this away…¨ While smiling.

The teachers didn´t understand what was going on. They asked the girl if she was going to throw her necklace away, if it were broken? and my daughter chimed in and explained it to them. I am glad she speaks up.

There is just no getting away from it. I see abuse everywhere, in everything. My daughter has just turned five and already she is involved in unhealthy patterns. She has had a propensity to be involved in cliques at her daycare and though it was super cute when she was two- it doesn´t look that way anymore.

Chances are pretty good that she engages in this sort of blackmail, too. She tries it with me, a few times a year. Such as the ¨If you don´t give me candy for breakfast, I will scream and scream!¨ whispered in my ear last fall.

I keep trying to teach them.

 

 

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Filed under Bully, Bullying, Child Abuse, Child Psychology, Domestic Abuse, Domestic Violence, PTSD, SIngle Parenting, Trauma, Uncategorized