Newbie to site- alone in my battle to help my 7yr old

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by ATaLOSS, Oct 25, 2009.

  1. ATaLOSS

    ATaLOSS Guest

    Hi there. I am brand new to this site- in fact I am lost with-regard to all the abbreviations/forum nomenclature. I registered on this website two weeks ago and have been so hesitant to jump in. Strange, because I have searched high and low for a support group with other parents and professionals who even have the slightest insight to my family's horrifying situation.

    I am a single mother with two boys - one 18 and away at college, and one 7 who now lives with his father 20 minutes away. I have my degree in Occupational Therapist (OT) and practiced for 9 yrs. I switched careers a yr and a half ago- partially due to the voluntary custody change and resultant 'flip' of child support for my 7 yr old. I pay child support and have no resentment of same. My point in telling you this is my background and knowledge of human development enabled me to recognize VERY early on that things were not quite right with my then 2 yr old.

    Temper tantrums were through the roof and the violence toward me had already begun. I was surrounded by people who insisted it was 'terrible twos' so I resigned myself to wait until his 3rd birthday to seek treatment/help. We didn't make it- 3 mos before his 3rd birthday, my son returned from a weekend visit with his dad with black, blue, and purple bruises on his butt from spankings. I knew right away this child had frustrated his dad with the behavior I was witnessing daily and his dad had no clue how to react other than beating the tar out of him. I took him to court, revoked visitation for two months, had the judge order him to take parenting classes, and started my search for help for my son. I went through two psychologists, a psychiatrist, and landed in the office of an excellent pediatric neurologist. He took one look at the scabs and scratches on my arms and face and said "I bet you are exhausted!" - I broke down and cried. He formally diagnosed my son with Intermittent Explosive Disorder (IED) but I saw his notes and spotted bipolar and conduct disorder. I believe my son was so young and his father is so NOT on board that the doctor didn't feel at ease offering up these other two diagnosis.

    Summary of tx: 5-6 visits with-neurologist. Many converstaions directed at father by MD: "It is nothing she is doing....and NOTHING she is NOT doing" - trying to convince my ex that his theory of me just not handling things right was not the case. ENT visit because my son was waking several times every night which was stumping his frontal lobe development by interfering with REM. Sx immediately to remove tonsils, adenoids, and place tubes in ears. All this in hopes that his condition was due to sleep and brain development interferences and that he may 'catch up' and the Intermittent Explosive Disorder (IED) would disappear over time. No luck - sleeps much better but no change in his behavior. This was 4 yrs ago. MD offered two solutions: Medication and/or changing environments, thus the custody change. Trileptal was administered over several months all the while I was literally getting beat up every night at the hands of my small child. I cannot even attempt to describe this sad and unbelievable situation. All of 2005 I lived with clumps of hair pulled out, bloody scratches and scabs, bruises, etc. These battles were sudden, unprovoked, and NOTHING I did could stop them from occurring. Time out, positive reinforcement, rewards and consequences, attempts to tap into any remorse or regret in this child, nothing helped. All I could do was "gently" restrain him so I could ward off the blows. My older son witnessed ALL of this, and being the 'man' of the house (as he liked to think) was helpless because I would not allow him to step in. I insisted he continue being the brother and never share in parental responsibilities. I will never know the true extent my older son suffered. He ended up on anti-anxiety medications because he developed a hyperchondriac condition - I am 100% confident this was a manifestation of his feeling helpless. That has all subsided now but my now 18 yr old is the ONLY person who witnessed just how serious this situation was/is.

    Oct '07: almost two years after MD told me to hide my steak knives and give custody to the father for my own safety, I relented. I tried to 'love' it out of my son and was unable to consider not having my child under my roof with me every day. Once I realized my sons' relationship was completely shattered, and I was having kitchen chairs swung at me, taking baseball bat blows to my back, and metal toys crashed across my face......I clearly saw I was failing at helping my child and my safety truly was at stake. He now lives with his father- the 'righteous "my son has no problems" and you just stink at being his mother' man who believes a strict, rigid environment is the answer. We do not get along and he is remarried now with two stepsons and my son living under his roof. He does not communicate with me in any positive way, and he and his wife 'inform' me of decisions 'they' make re:my son. I have developed a good open line of communication with his 2nd grade teacher and have shared my concerns with her to an extent. I spoke with her Friday because my son now has a buzz cut and reported to me it was a punishment from his father for getting 'bad marks' on his daily school planner. He also told me his dad is going to shave his head bald this weekend. He also has told me he is made fun of at school and has lost 2 friends because they said he looks ugly. I am mortified that this man is resorting to humiliation- sending our already socially handicapped son to school where he will strike out at other kids for lesser crimes than calling him ugly. WHAT is he thinking???? His teacher informed me he is becoming more and more impulsive at school and is having trouble with a child from another class in the mornings. This child has told his teacher he is "afraid" of my son because he tells him he's going to kill him, and he's going to hurt him. I have made an appointment with his neurologist whom we have not seen in 2 yrs. My ex does not know yet and I NEED to have him on board and willing to try new medications that I know are available. This is the battle I am facing now. I am seeing my son's condition seep out into society - something I knew would happen when I removed myself from the 'punching bag' role. I have feared this for a long time now and feel guilty and selfish - and helpless. His dad is obviously struggling for answers, evident by his militaristic humiliation tactics recently. He will NEVER admit he is failing though, especially to me.

    I have my son every Thursday evening and every other weekend. He tells me frequently he wants to stab me in the neck and watch me bleed, and he's going to be a cop when he grows up so he can shoot me in the head, he hates me......the list goes on. I have collected pictures he draws of monsters killing people, "I hate you mom" and "I'm going to kill you mom" notes he writes up when I say "no" to the tenth piece of candy he requests, etc.....

    I could go on and on - I have had nobody who understands or even comprehends to talk to (thus my novel here). I don;t know who out there can offer any advice or help to this complicated situation but I can tell you I long for anything from anyone who has 'been there' or is there right now. PLEASE reach out to me.... I am completely alone in this.
     
  2. JJJ

    JJJ Active Member

    Welcome.

    Hopefully the school can provide the bridge between your ex and you. Does your child have an IEP? If not, I would normally recommend that you request one but with the conflict between you and ex, maybe the teacher would be willing to make the referral? In any case, you should send the school a certified letter stating that you son has been diagnosis with X by Dr. Y and that it interferes with his ability to follow the school rules. This will provide him with some protection against suspension and expulsion.

    I'm glad you are taking your son's threats seriously. Many of us on this board have been injured by our children. You are no longer alone. :welcomehome:
     
  3. JJJ

    JJJ Active Member

  4. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Hi and welcome. Sorry things are so tough for you and your little one. It sounds like he is very sick.

    My very first reaction, which may or may not be right or fair, is that his father should not have custody of your son or any child. If it had been my son, after the black and blue beating I would have tried to have his rights terminated. Perhaps your son has been misdiagnosed...but you can't take him for another evaluation if Dad has custody and won't agree to it. I don't think a neurologist will be of much help. Behavioral issues are not his field. A neuropsychologist evaluation would be good. That is not to be confused with a neurologist. They are completely different. NeuroPsychs do intensive testing, up to ten hours. Many of us find them the best diagnosticians.

    Also, in my opinion, he'd do better in a day treatment or an Residential Treatment Center (RTC), even that young, than in the care of such a cruel man. It is only going to make him angrier and much worse. He is obviously not getting the right sort of parenting or treatment for whatever is wrong with him. CD is really a diagnosis. saved for much older kids. I'd really question that, as well as Intermittent Explosive Disorder (IED)...kind of in my opinion a throwaway diagnosis. He could have undiagnosed early onset bipolar or a form of high functioning autism, getting far worse because of his father's tactics. Or he could have both and his dad won't make them better or him better.

    I don't have much advice for you unless you are willing to take back custody. But I do wish you well and hope others have some suggestions. None of this is your fault. He likely inherited something and needs a different form of parenting than most kids. His father sounds sort of weird, maybe he has some psychiatric disorder and passed it along. medications can help tremendously...but he needs to see a Psychiatrist (I'd take him to a neuropsychologist first, then a good Child Psychiatrist). He is still young and there is still hope, but in my opinion he has to get away from his father. He is abusive.

    ((((Hugs)))) Hang in there. More people will come along. You aren't alone now.
     
    Last edited: Oct 25, 2009
  5. JJJ

    JJJ Active Member

    This isn't true. Dad could have primary physical and Mom could have retained joint legal which would allow her to seek medical care.
     
  6. ATaLOSS

    ATaLOSS Guest

    Thank you for responding. I do have medical tx rights but have to 'inform' of major surgeries, etc. My concern is if medications are prescribed, I won't have the daily cooperation from his father, who is in denial.

    I asked the MD about behavioral therapy and he said "it wouldn't help, it's a neurological condition". I get the feeling the docs are territorial about their fields. I ignored and took my son to a behavioral therapist about 1-1/2 ago. She sat and listened in awe and said he was "way beyond her scope". I agree with your recommendation to seek a neuropsychologist evaluation and will seek that out. Will be a battle with-my ex but I am willing to fight- I know my son needs this advocacy, no matter the cost.

    I have been hesitant to get my son on an IEP. I have gotten the impression (maybe wrongly so) that this would 'label' him and follow him for the rest of his schooling. This is a mute point now, however, if he is on the verge of making his own very loud statement by seriously hurting another child at school. I will speak to his teacher and counselor and become better educated and pursue how the school can help.

    If it was too young to diagnose Intermittent Explosive Disorder (IED) and or CD, I'm wondering what other possibilities there are? He gets hyperfocused for weeks/months at a time; had severe seperation anxiety; has shown cruelty to animals; picks the skin off his thumbs and index finger; says nobody likes/loves him; hits himself in the head on occassion; is very antisocial and slow to make friends (at first) but does have friends. He is also highly intelligent and curious about things and can be very loving. My favorite time is when he's falling asleep- that's the only time he will put his arms around my neck and tell me he loves me. Always fills my heart to a bursting point.

    Again, thank you so much - I know I've come to a great source of support~
     
  7. JJJ

    JJJ Active Member

    An IEP provides needed services. You WANT it to follow him as long as he needs it. It is a positive thing. Check out the Special Education Archives and the Special Education Forum on this board for some great guidance on getting started. Some school districts are great and other consistently violate state and federal law; you will need to know your rights.
     
  8. lmf64

    lmf64 New Member

    I agree. He needs a full neuro psychiatric evaluation. I am not a medical professional and cannot diagnose your child but see signs of Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) (either Aspergers or Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD)) and Bipolar in what you wrote. I also agree that dad is very likely making his behaviors worse. If you feel you can't handle him it may be time to check in treatment centers/day schools available.
     
  9. dadalm

    dadalm New Member

    Hi,

    I'm new here myself, however have been reading posts for the past couple of weeks trying to gain some insight on what to do.

    Your statement that he says he wants to stab you in the neck is the exact same phrase that difficult child 2 used on a peer that he was upset with at school. It only took me about 30 sec to figure out where he got it from. It was a scene that he saw in a video game. Is your son allowed to play or witness games at his dad's that have a violent nature? I let both difficult child's play these thinking that absolutly nothing bad was going to come from it and boy was I wrong. He was placed on home bound school for a month until he could have an evaluation. What he did was done out of anger because the other peer provoked him. I do not condone what he did, but I know that this is why he said that. And the statement that he used, the exact same thing that your son used, was taken from a video game.

    Not a day has gone by since then that I haven't kicked myself in the butt for letting it happen. Could have been easily avoided. I have now committed myself to doing everything possible to helping difficult child 2.

    I do understand how you feel. Guess the only difference I see after reading your post is that my difficult child doesn't normally act like this. Only when frustrated.

    He is doing some better. We have begun seeing therapist again and going back to psychiatrist in two weeks. We have been over what happened many times. He does understand that if it happens again, he is out of school for good.

    Hang in there. Do everything you can for him. You are not alone.
     
  10. whatamess

    whatamess New Member

    Hi,
    I also hear a touch of Asperger's or Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) in your second post. Bipolar comes to mind as well. CD and ODD can be a part of those diagnoses. I agree that an IEP and 'label' are not your child's enemy, hopefully they will help him if implemented appropriately.
     
  11. Christy

    Christy New Member

    Hello and welcome,

    I'm sorry your son is struggling and that you are in a difficult position with your ex being the custodial parent. I cannot believe that your doctor encouraged you to give custody of your son to your ex when he did not seems to have an understanding of his disability and special needs. My son has bipolar disorder and Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD)-not otherwise specified and has a history of violence and unsafe behaviors, there are times when we are certain that he is going to end up in a residential treatment program so I understand how you must have felt when you decided to have him live with your ex. However, I also know from experience that no amount of punishment is going to make a difference when my son is unstable and needs his medication adjusted. Would your ex and his wife be willing to meet with you to discuss a plan for helping your son?
     
  12. svengandhi

    svengandhi Well-Known Member

    in my humble opinion, if this child is Asperger's at all, it is comorbid with bipolar. I have never known or heard of a purely Aspie child being this violent and, being the mom of such a child, I have over the years come to know many such children. My oldest son attended a special HS geared to Aspies and there was not one only Aspie child who was violent.

    I guess what the doctor meant about benavior mod not working is that if it is BiPolar (BP) or schizo-affective or the like that b-mods can't/won't work till the underlying condition is treated with medications.

    As for the dad not cooperating with an IEP, in my state and since this is mostly governed by federal law, I would think in other states, the school district has the right to refer and to seek legal action against parents who don't cooperate. I know on this board we generally disapprove of the school district trying to force anything on us, but this might be that one case where the school district's authority can prevail. If the child becomes violent and is without an IEP, then he can be suspended, expelled, etc. but with an IEP, he might be able to get a referral to an Residential Treatment Center (RTC) or even a day program.

    Good luck to you and your older son.
     
  13. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    I agree that this doesn't sound at all like plain Aspergers. Sounds like there is mental illness here (mental illness isn't Aspergers...that's a neurological disorder that can cause frustration and some violence, but the "I'll stab you" bit is beyond Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD)).

    I do think the first step would be to get back custody. Nothing good is going on in that home. He is at the very least being verbally abused and humiliated. Do you feel he's also being physically abused?

    Your ex sounds like a nutjob. There are safer places for your son than with his father. He doesn't have to live with you, but in my opinion and from what you said he shouldn't ever live with his father. He sounds like a cruel, sick brute. Son will just lash out worse if he can't get treatment or take medication or be supported in therapy when with father and if his father sets him up in school to be teased by others. I can almost see him lashing out at some mean kid, maybe hurting the child, and getting expelled from regular school and hub thinking the next move is military school...which doesn't work for our differently wired kids...you have your hands full. Is there another, more understanding relative he can live with if you go to court and try to prove his father is abusing him? Because the haricut bit is a form of abuse.
     
  14. ATaLOSS

    ATaLOSS Guest

    With regard to the video games: this has been his hyperfocus for months on end and the only reason he's excited to come to my house- I do regulate the games but even the age-appropriate games have violence in one form or another. After reading your post, my plan is to get rid of all of the video games that have any violence in them - I'm not a 'book burner' but I've been uncomfortable with what I've seen and like you, have thought most of them are harmless. Thank you for your valuable input and stay tuned because I undoubtedly will be 'in for it' when he comes on Thursday and Halloween weekend. Have never hesitated to do what is right but anticipate a very violent reaction.

    I spoke with my siser at length tonight and she told me how valuable these forums are. She to has 2 difficult children and is proud that I have reached out. She has educated many docs through her research and relationships with folks just like you, so again, thank you- I know I'm in the right place.

    It may seem weak that I voluntarily gave custody to my child's father. At the time, I had only one professional on board and took his advice as bible passage. I waited, and prayed, and tried, and struggled....and no other answers come to me. His father had gone through parenting classes, etc and seemed genuinely concerned and involved. He has since changed faces, thus the "I can fix this" attitude. I have respectfully stood by, waiting, watching, and hoping he was right. Even if it meant he could hold it over my head and claim he was right that I was a terrible mother - if it meant my son was doing well, I'd take it a million times over. There is no room for pride in motherhood, as you all know. However, I have been paralyzed and seriously debilitated over the situation and have probably become complacent- awaking only to cry every other weekend to people who literally are speechless; well-meaning and concerned but not educated in complex issues such as mine.

    Regarding the advice to seek out an IEP and the state's assistance: tomorrow I will contact the agency for child health and welfare. I WILL get an advocate on board who will listen and fight along with me to get my son some help. My x can be forced to comply. This very uneducated man is about to learn that I entrusted my son to him, gave him the room he needed, but neither him, nor I can fix things. It is selfish and grandiose to think bullying, haircuts, etc can put a dent in this situation. I will not look back, with my son in juvenile det or jail and say I saw it coming. My son NEEDS me - and I need you.

    I am going to keep you all posted and I so hope you will continue checking in. I need the advice and validation. I am ignorant on how to navigate this forum, etc, but I will spend some time trying to figure it out.

    Thank you again, and please keep your knowledge and experience coming our way.
     
  15. totoro

    totoro Mom? What's a GFG?

    I am not going to sit and try and diagnosis your son. There are so many things that could or could not be going on. We can never know.

    But I just want to say first that I am amazed at what a wonderful Mom you are. Do not for one moment beat up on yourself or second guess any choices you have made. Not one of us can ever say we would have done any thing differently.
    You are trying to help your son who is suffering and obviously needs so much help.
    One other thing is that my Daughter K at one time used to beg me to kill her, she used to beg to die.
    I had bite marks and bruises all over me. So did my husband. I spent hours restraining her while she thrashed in a delusional state.
    We are still searching for answers and trying to help her. But with good Doctors and Therapist she has come so far. Her rages are much calmer and her violence is rare.
    I am telling you this because there is hope for all of our kids, I don't expect perfection but babysteps for my kid.
    I don't know about the custody answers but many other here are well versed as others have posted and more will.
    Keep coming here and keep up the fight, you are doing a great job!

    Welcome
     
  16. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    Welcome. You have already had such a long, rough road to travel. I am glad you found us (but sorry you need us) and I hope that we can offer some support and comfort on this journey.

    Have you considered having him admitted to a psychiatric hospital? As unstable as he seems to be, and as threatening, you should seriously think about having him admitted. It is scary, especially for us parents. Kids usually do very well, far better than the parents.

    The next time he is violent with you you should call a friend/relative to help you take him to the hospital. It is just too dangerous to do it by yourself. If you cannot get someone to help you transport him then call 911 and let them know you need them to help take a mentally ill child to the appropriate hospital.

    You will need to show the hospital that he is an immediate danger to himself or others.

    This also may be the BEST way to get dad on board. difficult child would be sent home with a discharge plan calling for therapy, psychiatry and neurology exams, etc...

    Refusing to follow the discharge plan could constitute medical neglect to a judge.

    I am NOT saying to hospitalize your son to get your ex in trouble. I truly believe that your son may hurt someone badly soon if he doesn't get help. Especially if he continues to be bullied at home (and likely abused).
     
  17. moonglow

    moonglow New Member

    Hi..my name is Julie...your story is mine many years ago...like many of us on here. I joined this board when my son was three or four..I think three...my current join date on here isn't correct...everything got lost some years ago and everyone had to start over again. Anyway, my son is now 13..and doing so well I rarely come over here anymore. I know what its like to have my arms covered in bruises and scratches and bite marks and to be sprayed in the face with a cleaning product, and nearly hit over the head with a brick or stabbed with a stick...and to have to hide all the knives...the whole nine yards. And to be told during a rage he wanted to cut my head off like a chicken..and wanted to go to hell and help the devil kill me and others. All those horrible things. :(

    My son though never had video games but when his dad got him on visitation he watched horror movies and thought Nate wasn't pay attention because he was playing with his toys. Well he was paying attention cause he would come home and repeat some of them too me in which I would call his dad and tell him to quit being stupid. Not that it helped any..:(

    Anyway I don't want to do a long post telling you my story when its so much like yours...I wanted to make a couple of suggestions:

    On the video games..with any child, especially a difficult child (gift from God)...you need to replace it with something else just as good. My son loves playing games online and on his DS. When he was your son's age, he played games on Nick and Disney websites. He plays pokemon alot where the pokemon battle each other. Maybe replace some of those games with these types. The people in them never fight each other...are in fact respectful towards each other. There is no blood or gore or anything gruesome..no cussing either. Boys gravitate towards fighting and battles just due to their make up...but it can be re-directed towards ways that don't cause them to dis-respect others or solve their problems through violence because that is what they learn on some video's.

    My concern is for him this will be very much like a punishment to him, something he is getting enough from his dad already. I suspect his anxiety is already sky high and having things change even for his own good, is only going to make that worse and make him feel worse. While I understand you need to get rid of those that promote violence towards others for sure..try to replace them with something fun but harmless. (ps..ALL kids, anyone, can have anxiety and it not be an anxiety disorder but just going through a difficult stressful time in their lives by the way)

    My son raged and attacked me and others because of his anxiety being out of control..and also due to being emotionally abused by his dad. He had extreme rage and was deeply hurt over how his dad treated him. He didn't have the words to express his feeling so he acted then out. I was taught how to restrain him so he was unable to hurt himself or me...sometimes that took pinning him to the ground with me holding his arms down and my legs over his so he couldn't kick me and he couldn't head butt me either. I have a bad back to so this wasn't easy to do but I had to do it so neither of us got hurt. Only one time did I leave finger mark bruises on his arm from restraining him and I let the school know what happened. I have been slapped and punched and spit in the face before too..its very hard to not react to that...at least it was for me. I would get so angry myself I really did want to hit him back...but of course I controlled that. I think your ex husband is reacting...I think he really doesn't know what to do. I doubt it has dawned on him that cutting his son's hair like that would cause other kids to make fun of him...too many times parents aren't in tune to how the clothes their kids wear or hair cuts or whatever will have a backlash for them at school. Whatever his reasoning is though for what he is doing..its going to make things worse.

    Around here buzz cuts aren't a big deal..especially for young kids and no one thinks a thing of them actually. I think your ex is just clueless as to what to do but really may be doing the best he knows how. Parenting classes do not teach us how to handle kids like this! So I image he is as lost as you are, as to what to do and simply reacts with emotions rather then thinking things through very well and it sounds like his pride has gotten in the way of good judgment too. Anxiety disorders can run in families and they can present in rages and sleep problems and all sorts of things.

    I had my son checked out for all sort of things too...you name it I did it. At one time he had a long list of diagnoses. It got so bad I was afraid to have him tested for anything else cause they kept finding something wrong with him..:( It was very depressing for sure.

    I got him early though...had him tested in preschool for a sensory integration disorder...he also had fine and gross motor delays. They did therapy on all of these through Early Ed here. He also had bad allergies...was sick alot. Got him allergy shots..had him on a special diet for several years as he tested as being allergic to milk, eggs, soy and yeast..red dye 40 really set him off! Horrible rages after having anything with that or yeast in it. No root beer for him and certainly no pop with caffeine in it. Later had him tested for a learning disability..another source of anxiety for him because he did have Learning Disability (LD) in reading and spelling. Ended up holding him back in first grade as he just was not reading. Got him and IEP for it and that helped SO much. Just two weeks ago they retested him on everything and his scores were so high they said he no longer has a learning disability! This is really, really huge for him! All that hard work paid off. ! :) A child struggling in school can act out too if they aren't getting the help they need.

    He also hasn't raged in years...the rages stopped I think when he was nine..what worked for us ..well frankly was spiritual warfare. I am a Christian. And after years of therapy...(he started going when he was three) all kinds of medication that never helped, behavior modification, reading about every book suggested on here...I was at my wits end. he was getting bigger and stronger and I didn't know how much longer I could keep him safe. Since his dad was out of the picture and had been for years (in prison) it was literally all up to me. I was scared to death he would have to go live in a mental hospital because I couldn't keep us both safe..:( So while I had been praying of course for years for God to help my son, my prayers were finally answered by someone that taught me how to do this and as silly as it all sounded, I was desperate enough to try anything. I studied it and I prayed and finally I just did it. (without my son knowing it though) And it worked!

    I won't say it would work for every child that has these type of problems because some really have chemical imbalance in the brain that have to be treated just like we treat any medical condition and they need medication and alot of professional support in place. My son at one time had a therapist, an attendant care worker, a crisis care worker for when he had one of his rages for me to call for help and a psychiatrist...the one that does his medications. Over time as he gradually got better, they started dropping these..so now he just has the therapist who most of the time says he doesn't even know what goals to set for Nate anymore cause he is doing so well..and the psychiatrist as he still takes buspar and Clonidine.

    Also no more allergy shots...they helped for awhile but then I think they just weren't. No more special diet anymore..I believe God healed his food allergies. Nate and I still struggle with airborne allergies of course but at least now I don't have to stand over the cooks in school to make sure they get his meal right! lol. (one time I did a surprise visit at his preschool and they had given him a huge plate of mac and cheese then the cook argued with me saying cheese didn't come from milk!) ugh!!!

    Take one thing at a time...there is hope.

    You should NOT feel guilty for turning him over to his dad...you are NOT a bad mom..ok? You are not superwoman and no one would ever expect you to just take a beating from him. Once I knew how to restrain my son the right way, so I didn't hurt him...you can bet I did! I had to get strong and tough and hang on for dear life and I was always worn out afterwards...but no way was I going to just take being abused by my own child either! It didn't help his dad put me down and bad talked me and women in general to Nate...then Nate had no respect for me...his dad made it much worse for me that way. He undermined my authority so my son thought he could be disrespectful and nasty to me too.

    One more thing...sorry this is so long but you need to tell us how you discipline him. A difficult child doesn't respond to discipline the same way most children do. If my son today talked to me like he did in the past I would be in his face telling him firmly and probably loudly that he is to never, ever talk to me that way..ever. And I would tell him what the conquenses would be..loss of getting on the computer, loss of playing his DS and maybe the loss of the TV. I have even had to go down stairs and unscrew the cable in the past because he would turn the TV back on! Of course he would rant and rave..I am going to kill myself..you hate me...all that usually stuff. In which I would respond with...do you need to go to the hospital? If you are really thinking of hurting yourself then you need to get help and go to the hospital.

    And I have called the police on him a couple of times too. The last time was three years ago in fact when he had a rare raving fit and was making threats though he didn't try to hurt me...but was threatening to hurt himself. That was last time and I think it showed him I wasn't messing around. My son tends too over react like many difficult child's on here and as their parents we have to be as tough, as bull headed and as strong as they are to get them through this. But we have to also know when to back off and let them cool down even if we are ready to explode at them ourselves! And know when to be tender and when they finally break down and cry, just hold them.

    It isn't easy but the rewards can be great!
     
  18. GoingNorth

    GoingNorth Crazy Cat Lady

    While I am glad you feel your methods helped, I do want to remind you that this is a widely religiously diverse forum.

    Not all of us are Christians, nor do we all follow mainstream religions no matter what (if any) group we belong to.

    In general, we try to avoid discussions of either religion or politics. Both topics are just too divisive.

    I wish you the best of luck with your situation.
     
  19. cfa3

    cfa3 New Member

    AtaLoss:

    I hope you are continuing to come here. You made a great choice in summoning the courage to post here. I relate to a lot of what you describe and you need to know you are NOT alone. Every time I feel alone or start to believe I am, I pop in here and remind myself that I am not alone. My son, 10, still not even sure of a clear diagnosis, also violent, also had to put knives and all projectiles away, also live and lived with scabbing bite marks, bruises so bad I had to wait til they healed to go out or where clothing to cover them, etc etc, sometimes still feel so traumatized by it all. Definitely dont think you need to explain why your ex has custody or justify that to this board or anyone. You did what you felt right at that time. Survival is important! Its so tempting to want to be pefect in this battle, to choose the best doctors, to do the best things and say the right things and use all the helpful methods....I think sometimes the truth is that as long as we are doing our best, that isnt so bad. You have been through so much.

    I do feel that your ex may not be a good person for your already troubled son to be with. I dont know beyond that what to say or suggest in that area. Perhaps its final and you can only do what you can the days he is with you. I would definitely NOT be afraid of a psychiatric childrens hospital. I am not in favor of insitutionalization at all or a fan of institutions and restrictive settings, but in cases of extreme violence and mental illness, I dont think it matters so much any more what I believe, safety and helping someone come first. I dont know the legal ins and outs of what would happen if you had to do that on one of his visits to you. In my state, a child can be Baker acted and removed to a psychiatric facility if he is a danger Occupational Therapist (OT) himself or others. I had to call the police once 2 weeks ago and the police took one look at my bleeding arms and other injuries and took my son to the hospital. He stayed 2 nites. It wasnt a bad thing. Im just letting you know.

    I dont have much to offer, Im up to my own ears in my own problems, but everyone here is SO nice and kind and wonderful, it truly is a haven here. Do what you can, dont drive yourself over the edge, dont guilt yourself, and move on from today would be my advice. Each day is a new day, each time your with your son is a new opportunity to do your best, and try and see what avenues are open to get him some good help. And by the way, get an IEP!! Seriously, dont worry in my opinion about a label following him - with an IEP he will have new legal protections and services that you cannot access otherwise! Just my opinion. Best of luck, youre not alone, feel free to private message me any time. Im just another mom who can relate! :)
     
  20. ATaLOSS

    ATaLOSS Guest

    Moonglow - I am glad to hear things are so much better for you all now. That gives me hope in light of the fact your situation was so similar to mine. Thank you for sharing your story - I am wide open to trying everything and think I have something to gain from everyone here who opens up and shares, advises, empathizes, encourages, etc. I understand/respect the parameters GoingNorth describes here in this forum so suffice it to say I spend a great deal of quiet time practicing my beliefs and believe it can be very powerful.

    As far as the disciplining.... I give him a warning that I am going to take away something - usually his PSP, PS2, or computer games, or if he's going to have a friend spend the night, I threaten to cancel. When I follow through, say if it's his PSP, he'll say "I don't care, I have my PS2!" That's when the PS2 gets revoked. So he'll say "I don't care, I have the computer!" And that's when the computer gets unplugged and I take the cord. Sometimes it's all 3 at once and depending on the circumstances it will be for the night, or the entire weekend, or several weekends. That's when he'll start in with his threats. I stick to the length of time I've given him and bear with his consequences. I will forgive him IF he apologizes but I still stick with the punishment. Life would be much easier if I gave in but I do not. I pick my battles, for instance if it's a Fri night and I want him to take a shower or bath and he resists, I'll tell him he can do it in the a.m. - then the a.m. comes and it's usually a fight but I don't back down. I have given him chances to 'earn' priveleges back on occassion. I do this because I want him to feel positive consequences for positive efforts. I also do not wait until he's 'earnig' things back, but praise and reward him out of the blue when he's being cooperative.

    Susiestar - there have been so many times I could have and maybe should have done what you recommend. To tell you the truth I've never even thought of it- I see how that could force alot of positive things for my son. In my first post, I mentioned my older son as being the only one who has truly seen the extent of the rages. My parents understand, mom moreso than dad, and they have been close by. I know I can call on them and a slue of other friends close by that know the situation. For the most part, I have been hesitant to be an 'alarmist'. When I took my ex to court over the 'spankings' and had pictures to show, his attorney called my son a brat and depicted me as a 'pushover' mother. They claimed my son had sensitive skin and was being reasonably disciplined. I was sick over it- but the judge did rule for supervised visits for a short time and 'parenting' classes. That's when I sought help for him. I mentioned my older son because he often asks if I think his brother is being treated 'okay' at his dad's. We talk to the little one and he does not share anything out of the ordinary. I can tell you however, ex bad talks me and my son used to repeat things to me for a while until he started telling me "my dad gets mad at me when I tell you what he says". I have repeatedly told him he is allowed to tell me ANYTHING, ANYTIME he wants and he will never get in trouble with me. I've told him we both love him very much and that's all that matters and it's never okay for us to say bad things about each other. If/when he does share, I'll have to be careful what I do with the information, so as not to incriminate my son. He has told me recently, " I hate you just like my dad hates you!". I do believe that any parent who trashes their child's other parent to the child is abusing that child. Absolutely, hands down, it should never take place. I have emailed his father and stated this loud and clear. Other than this verbage, I do not know exactly what takes place although his wife is present and my son says she is 'nice' to him. Helpless feeling.

    Because I have him only every Thurs and every other weekend, there have been fewer physical occurances, but they still happen. These days, it's mostly the scary threats and hateful talk toward me. I will consider the hospital next time he gets physically violent though. I do fear for him and other kids, especially as he gets more comfortable lashing out verbally at school- and his teacher did say he is getting more and more impulsive.

    Totoro - thank you so very much for your kind words. I am experiencing and witnessing a lot of strength from mothers like you who are reaching out and sharing their stories. You do give me hope for my son and I am encouraged to hear things are better with K. I hope I can be a source of strength for others and will be able to share successs, even babysteps, one day as you have done with me.

    Today, I got online several times intermittently at work - (kept getting pulled away from my easy child) - Man...... it is overwhelming how many sites and agencies there are! I went from one site to another trying to identify where to start. I think I'll call the psychiatrist that referred us to the neurologist and ask him for a referral to a neuropsychologist. The county , city, and state have so many agencies, I probably should just call and ask who I need to talk to about meeting with an advocate. I'm not going to wait for time to do it tomorrow, I'll make the time.

    Again - thank you for all your input!
     
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