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

But It’s Not A Real Gun

My son had five minutes left to play outside last night and he chose to spend it with a SuperSoaker. He came bursting out of the house and opened fire on his friends. I walked out towards the common area of the complex and noticed a police car parked in the lot.

I told my son to go put the gun down in the house or put it at his feet and I would retrieve it.
He wanted to know why and I told him because the police were on the property and he is never to have a gun of any kind in front of the police. Not even a stick he is aiming.

He argued with me.

But I can’t compromise on this. He has to develop a habit of taking the safest road and also show respect for the badge. This is a line he cannot afford to think of crossing.

This gun is bright orange, and he argues quite rightly that the police can tell it is fake. It helps that it is oversized. But color is not an indicator any longer.

Have you seen firearms wrapped in cartoon or brightly colored duct tape? I have. That is a clever and scary adaptation. I got the pics in my Facebook feed years ago and I was so shaken that I refused to share them with non-LE. Not the sort of thing you want to blow up into a trend.

The burden is always on the officer to discern threat, yes, but we have a responsibility to appear non-threatening, too. Why they don’t teach these things in school I will never understand.

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Filed under ADHD, Domestic Violence, SIngle Parenting, Trauma, Uncategorized

Three Kids

I picked up my Oldest Son from daycare today, the sides of his glasses taped up. They had broken, he said, and he insisted he was not messing with them. I hope he doesn’t break another pair, this is his second in a month and the new ones will be ready next week. Later as we are walking home I lean down and I tell him “I think you were messing with your glasses, else how did they break on both sides?” He looks at me and says “Oh no, Mommy, I taped the other side JUST IN CASE!” What can I say to that?

Last night my Middle Child came into my bedroom late, well after he had been put to bed. I started to scold him, reminding him he was already in trouble for sneaking down to use the Xbox a few nights before instead of sleeping, when he pulled his hand away from his face, covered in blood. I got up quick and I went to him and he smiled at me with a gap in his mouth “I lost a tooth, Mom!” So I had him wash with cold water and scolded him with humor for pulling the teeth from his mouth instead of sleeping.

Today the neighbor asked my Youngest Child if she wanted to play with her toddler son and she looked at the ground and said very softly “I am grounded.” The neighbor asks her why she is grounded and she becomes embarrassed and tells her to ask her mom (me). Later the neighbor asks and I have to explain that my daughter a few days ago stole another neighbor’s toddler and brought her up to her room during dinner. They hatched a plan to hide her in her room so they could play after bedtime. The mother of this little girl was on the phone with 911 when I found the child.

Never a dull week, day, hour. Never.

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Helping Teela Hart’s Survivors

I know people have wondered about it: the way that one of my dearest friends passed out of this world in silence almost a year ago now – without a word from me about it on my blog. I have gnawed a hole in one cheek over her death and the subsequent silence that has […]

via Teela Hart’s Survivors. — Americana Injustica

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Filed under Child Abuse, Child Psychology, Domestic Abuse, Domestic Violence, PTSD, Trauma, Uncategorized

Sensory Divergences

My Oldest Son is autistic (you might already know that). By far my favorite symptom of his sensory processing disorder is his observation that seeing very endearing and adorable images makes his teeth go warm and soft.

Today he saw a lot of baby pandas in a magazine. Last time it was puppies in a calendar.

Some of us feel warm inside when we see such things. I think I have heard it described as heart melting or something similar. It is so cute that he has it in his teeth!

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When Your Issues Clash

I hate video. I can watch movies, sometimes. Tension can bother me, suspense might bother me, and sometimes I just cannot sit still. I never watch them. Apologies to all those on my reading list here who put up videos. I read whatever you say about them, but I don’t watch them.

I can be triggered by videos as much as I can by real life. Loud noises, violence, aggression, sudden movements. In real life I am often triggered by my own children. They squabble, they scream, they run here and there, they jump up and down. It’s not like I lose it, but I can feel myself close to an edge. I have to calm them, remove them from the situation, distract them, or turn away when they are using the trampoline.

I have read a lot of books and articles on children. PTSD kids, trauma kids, autistic kids, ODD kids, ADHD kids. However, when I come across videos when researching an issue I just skip them. Because video.

Which is not so bright of me, I think.

Who should I be learning about kids from? Doctors? Yes. Doctors are good sources of information but it is just as important that I learn about children from children. Normally this is through children who have grown up and can vividly recall what it was like to be traumatized/developing autistic/angry/distracted. There is precious little out there from this last source. But that is changing.

I have known about and read about Amythest Schaber for years. But I have not been able to watch her videos, despite the fact that she has a pleasant voice and face. I just would rather read than listen because of my issues.

But I hit upon a solution for videos lately. I have been trying to keep abreast of Standing Rock events and live streaming video has been more informative on that issue than news articles. I put on the video and then I don’t watch it. I look away at pictures or something not moving and I go back and forth to manage the stimulation.

So after learning this trick this week (I know, seems simple to you but I have had this aversion…) I put on some videos by Amythest Schaber and found that what I term a regression she is calling autistic burnout. I had no idea that they could be the same thing.

The psychologist and I had begun crafting a plan to try to keep this year’s regression from happening to Oldest Son. We were going to treat it as a sort of breakdown, and were going to try to limit his overload and provide more one on one time and engage him in identifying and treating his feelings in the months leading up to his typical regression time. After listening to Amythest’s take on it I know now to add sensory diet into that plan. I am certain we will come up with more in the next few weeks, after the New Year it will become more critical. So we were on the right track but I ought to have more access to information now that I have the correct terminology.

So this is an example of how my own issues have limited my parenting. I think the date on that video was 2014. I ought to have watched it back then.

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One Less Appointment

My Oldest Son has been seeing a physical therapist for four years. A child psychologist for three years, a skills therapist for four years (with a year off when there was no provider), and a child psychiatrist for two years. He also had social skills education at school for two years and a social group run by a psychologist with other autistic kids for over two years.

Yesterday the skills therapist released him as a client. He said the difference between my son of two years ago and my son today is night and day, and Oldest Son no longer requires his services.

We had brought the frequency of appointments down from twice monthly to once a month. So though I still have a lot of appointments per week, I get to drop one per month.

I wish I learned that quickly.

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