Explaining scratches and bruises on you done by your child

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by ccaplinger, Jan 30, 2008.

  1. ccaplinger

    ccaplinger New Member

    I just found this message board a couple of days ago but haven't had time to post yet. Let me give you a brief introduction and then I have a question.

    My husband and I have adopted two boys from foster care. They are 14 and 15. Our oldest son is the one with behavioral problems including a diagnosis of ODD. He has been with us 5 1/2 years. Our younger son has attachment issues and can get angry but does not get violent.

    Here's my most recent issue:

    My son has been on a 10 day suspension for deviance (5th offense). Since I normally work during the day he has been home by himself or so I thought. Last week his girlfriend skipped school twice and spent the day at my house before being caught by her dad after the school called them. I confronted him when I found out about it on Friday. Of course he lied about it even though she admitted to her mother while I was on phone with her that she was here both days all day. He got angry at me and attacked me. He held me down on the floor for several minutes while I tried to fight him off. He attempted to choke me numerous times. The attack was so violent he even knocked out one of my contacts. Most of the attack was to my neck and chest. In fact my husband thought he might have broken my jaw. It is still sore but never showed visible bruises. He also bloodied my mouth causing some bruising. The most visible injury was to my right eye where he left a large bruise. (And of course he has some scratches on his face and arms. And yes a police report was filed and both officers believed that he had attacked me because all of our stories were consistent. My husband wasn't home at the time but my younger son was.)

    We had a meeting at the school district office yesterday to see if he would even be let back into school. The moment I stepped off the elevator the administrator somehow noticed my eye even though I had just put on makeup. I kind of shrugged it off but briefly explained it later during the meeting.

    Then again today an old friend of mine from high school (20 years ago) noticed the bruise under my eye when I stopped in at the pharmacy she works at to pick up a prescription for my husband. I have never had long conversations with her about my kids although I have told her they are adopted and she has met them. I explained that my son did it and has a very bad temper at times.

    How do you explain these bruises to people? Do you honestly tell them who did it, especially those who don't know the child or what his history is? Or do you just make up a story such as I ran into a door or a table?

    Additional comments: He has been in therapy for years. Although he hasn't been in a couple of months because his behavior had been getting better. His OSS was for defiance. This, and disrespect, is all he has had all year. In the past we have had fights and physical violence so he is getting better. It has been about two years since we have had to make a police report on him. And I have been investigated and charged (only by the state child services, not criminally) with child abuse. I had to sue the state before I could get the b*#%'s report overturned, which took a year and a half.
  2. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    I have not been through what you are going through, but my best friend was a battered wife. She used to make up stories but I don't think anybody believed them. However, making up a story DOES keep people at arm's length. My friend felt unsupported because nobody said anything or did anything, but she was sure they knew. And yes, most of them DID know. But how can you go up to someone and give them a hug, if they refuse to publicly admit what is really going on?

    Why be afraid of telling the truth? Being the victim of a beating is no shame. When it's your child - are you concerned people will think you're a bad parent, because your own child beat you up? Anyone who thinks that is very narrow-minded and short-sighted indeed, there are very few parents who think that parenting teens is a walk in the park, anybody could do it with no difficulty at all. And that's with PCs - ALL teens can be difficult. And your kids are difficult children.

    Now, if it were the other way around and it was your son covered in really bad bruises, and you not having a mark on you, then you would be talking to CPS by now.

    I think you did the right thing by telling the truth. It leaves you open to support and sympathy, instead of putting up barriers.

    I never knew my friend's husband, back when he was in her life she didn't encourage friendships from outside her (at the time) narrow circle. I suspect it was so people wouldn't know the truth. But from what I've heard since, from her as well as friends from that time, nobody blamed her in the slightest. And once she openly admitted to what had been going on, she opened the doors to communication again, to friendships and people being able to offer support instead of wringing their hands from a distance.

  3. daralex

    daralex Clinging onto my sanity

    hi!, welcome, and glad you found us!! I was the victim of abuse by my first husband (my daughters bio dad) i made up a story for EVERYTHING to escape the embarrasment. It doesn't matter who the perpetrator was - child, husband, friend, lover etc. It is NOT your fault and you have no reason to cover up for those that are abusers! your child needs therapy and you need intervention. i don't know how old your difficult child (gift from God ) is or what the background is. But this must stop! forgive the questions but how old? is he/she in therapy? Are you now fearful? You need to get difficult child the help he/she needs but you also need to be safe at the same time! forget what others think - no reason to cover for an abuser EVER! Most people unfortunately have experience with this and will relate on a certain level. This group has been awesome in that there is no judgement - we've all been ther done that! You should not be fearful in your own home. Help is what is important - not judgement by others. I am so sorry for what you are going through - not easy!!! It helps to make a profile so we can understand better what your situation is - but with limited info all I can say is that I feel your pain - literally!! Know you will find others here who feel the same. Sometimes that validation is helpful just knowing your not the only one - and you're not! You have found a "soft place to land" and a very supportive atmosphere. SOOOO sorry you are in the current situation you're in!! Keep strong and keep usposted!
  4. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Hi...welcome aboard!

    I am so sorry that you are dealing with this kind of violence from your oldest son. In my opinion it simply shouldnt be tolerated. If he has escalated to this degree of violence now it will be just a matter of time before he really hurts someone badly.

    Is he on any medications? Is he seen by a child or teen psychiatrist? If not, I would get him into one pronto. I would also not hesitate to call the police anytime he gets violent and have him taken to the ER for a psychiatric evaluation. If they wont hold him, then I would charge him with domestic violence. He has to learn he cant act this way because if he does this outside the home he will get arrested. No one else will put up with it.
  5. mom23gsfg

    mom23gsfg New Member

    im in the same boat as you are. i have carried bruises from my son and hid them well until recently when i couldnt hide it any more. the emotional part of it is what finally breaks you down. i understand what youre going through so if you need to talk or etc. im here.
  6. slsh

    slsh member since 1999

    Hi, welcome, and glad you found us!!

    Just because you're asked a question doesn't mean you have to answer it. I was always embarrassed about the marks thank you left on me and just brushed questions off. For me, it simply wasn't worth the emotional effort of explaining thank you because so very few people can even begin to grasp what it's like to have a violent mentally ill child. I am a bit paranoid, but on the rare occasion I was honest, I felt judged - what kind of a parent "tolerates" that kind of behavior? Toleration has nothing to do with it.

    I'm so sorry you're living with this degree of violence.

    Glad you found us.
  7. Fran

    Fran Former Site Owner

    What an awful feeling to be beaten up by your child. I'm sorry for you. I had a toddler that bit me so often that my arms looked battered. I was embarassed but that was a toddler.

    I suspect you have lived with violence so long that you don't realize you shouldn't.
    Call the police and file a complaint. No one should live being afraid of the people who sleep under your roof.

    The very next time he gets threatening, call 911. You know this is going to happen again and again until you are seriously injured or worse. Make a plan for your safety and that of your family. Acting as if it's an isolated incidence won't stop it. He is a bully and you have to stop it.