Beyond heartbroken right now....

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by TargetPractice, Oct 10, 2016.

  1. TargetPractice

    TargetPractice Fakin' it 'til I make it!

    I kicked both my husband and my difficult teenage son out of my house today.

    We found out boy has been hitting his brother on the school bus; we thought the hitting was done, unfortunately he was just being sneakier about it. After the usual nightmare of trying to get it through his head that his actions were wrong, regardless of any perceived provocation (failed) I grounded him from recreational reading. Today I found him reading. Chores were not done, so I reminded him he's grounded and told him to get on his chores. After finding him dawdling for the third time in 5 minutes, he got an attitude. I sent husband to deal with him. Anyway, husband and I ended up in conflict and he physically attacked me, which he's never done before. I managed to lock him outside, and he eventually left.
    I decided that conflict over boy has too many negative ripples (this is the 2nd marriage that has ended for reasons involving boy and his problems). I called my parents to get him. He'll be staying there now. It was my last resort, my "I give up" option.
    My other kids told me they're glad boy won't be living with us anymore, that it will be just the three of us, and I have a counselor coming in a few days just in case.
    They also told me all the things he's been saying to them when I wasn't in earshot. It was all pretty awful, and all false. It's clear the boy hates me, and thinks I'm a bad person, and has felt that way for a very long time. I have to admit I'm even more upset that he had no intention of trying to improve, and I have wasted a decade of effort on him. I also miss my husband so much it hurts, and can't help but feel like none of this would have happened if it weren't for the boy. I have no intention of reaching out to boy, or continuing any effort to improve our relationship. I am done with him, for my own good. But.....I'm torn. I want my husband back, but my kids saw the whole thing, and even though it was almost 100% a one time thing, I don't want to teach them that's OK. Just so lost, I don't know what to do.
  2. recoveringenabler

    recoveringenabler Well-Known Member Staff Member

    TargetPractice, it's late and many members are not online now. I'm so very sorry for your struggles with your son and your husband. That's a lot of loss to deal with. I'm glad you have a counselor coming, I think you'll need a lot of support now, it will be helpful to talk to someone so you feel heard and can address what your options are and how you can stay safe.

    There's an article on the Parent Emeritus forum on detachment, it may help.......if your son has been diagnosed with mental illness, you may also try contacting NAMI, the National Alliance on Mental Illness, you can reach them online and they have chapters in many cities, they're a wonderful resource for parents as well as for difficult kids.

    Others will be along in the morning.......keep posting, it helps........I'm glad you're here, but I'm so sorry for what you're presently dealing with.....hang in there......sending hugs.
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  3. Sister's Keeper

    Sister's Keeper Active Member

    I am a terrible sleeper. You did the right thing. Violence is never, never a 1 time thing. In all honesty you should call the police for a restraining order. No form of violence from anyone should ever be tolerated. Adult or child.

    You are absolutely right about your kids. Allowing an abuser to stay in the house only models bad behavior and bad relationships to them. Please do get yourself and your children counseling. You have been through a lot and you all need it.

    I am sorry I don't have any advice regarding your Difficult Child. I think that if he is violent and threatening towards his siblings they should be separated.

    Am I correct to assume that your husband is not his bio father? Is his bio father involved? Can he take him?
  4. TargetPractice

    TargetPractice Fakin' it 'til I make it!

    That's right, husband is not their biological father. The biological father is involved but is actually a worse abuser than my husband. He also lives in a different school district (one boy has already attended and had problems; he prefers his current school), so boy would have to change schools. My parents live in the same district, so he can stay where he's at. He was happy to leave. So be it.

    I guess there's a fear thing involved too. I'm in my 30's and have literally never lived alone. I'm also a stay at home mom. I should be on disability for fibromyalgia and PTSD from my first marriage, but I have never been able to afford to obtain the proper medical paper trail. I have no insurance. Luckily my kids have state medicaid, so they're covered. I just kicked my only income out the door.
    But mostly I'm just so devastated that I lost my only friend.
  5. RN0441

    RN0441 100% better than I was but not at 100% yet


    So sorry to hear the situation you found yourself in. How stressful.

    Is this teenage boy your son or your husband's son? I am confused on this. Do you have any children with this husband?

    Others may not agree with me but if you have been with your husband for a long time and love him and this is the first time he has shown you this side of himself, I wouldn't throw in the towel just yet.

    Is it possible that you and husband can go for therapy - while not living together. Or he can go for anger management classes or something perhaps?

    I think anyone can be pushed over the edge at times and I don't know how violent he was with you or if it's something that can be sorted out but I hate to see families break up. Just my two cents.
  6. TargetPractice

    TargetPractice Fakin' it 'til I make it!

    I don't have any children with this husband, they are all from my first marriage. Most of the actual conflict between us has been surrounding teen boy. Neither one of us wants to give up over kid-conflict, and feel like we might be able to work on things with the boy staying with my parents for now. We've been together 8 years (not long in the grand scheme of things, but long for us) and consider each other our best friend. This is the first and only sign of violence or any kind of abuse I've ever seen from him. I've invited him to see the counselor with me in a few days. We'll see how it goes from there. Thanks for the kind thoughts and support
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  7. recoveringenabler

    recoveringenabler Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I'm glad you and your husband are seeing the counselor together......if he is willing, then if it were me, I would give him that one chance....there is never an excuse for violence and abuse, however, it this is the first time, perhaps immediate therapy can help you both to heal.

    Difficult children can send us over the edge......not to excuse the abuse at all, but in some ways, I can understand how ugly it can get having gone through years with my own daughter and her shenanigans. It never got abusive, however, the remarkable stress of all of it, was really often more than I could bear.

    Wishing all of you the very best, I hope you can work it out.
  8. Malika

    Malika Well-Known Member

    Forgive me but I do not understand why you are not giving up on your husband but are giving up on your son. Why? No judgement, exactly, but why would it be this way round?
  9. ksm

    ksm Well-Known Member

    It sounds like the other children aren't safe around the Difficult Child?..

  10. RN0441

    RN0441 100% better than I was but not at 100% yet

    Our Difficult Child is ours together but OMG if it were not my husband's own flesh and blood.....I just don't know.

    I don't think our marriage could survive it. I think our strong love for our son has brought us closer. It has been hell though I'll tell you that.
  11. Wiped Out

    Wiped Out Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Sending supportive hugs your way and praying for healing.
  12. ForeverSpring

    ForeverSpring Well-Known Member

    I can't help but find it worrisome that your husband assaulted you for ANY reason. If he did it once he is capable of doing it again and IF IT WERE ME, I'm not sure I'd sluff it of and nt be angry, hurt and concerned.

    Also, I did step parenting a different way than you and it worked well with all my kids, especially my difficult son. My second husband was not their father and we did not use him in a father role. Me and my ex handled the discipline. My hubby, now of 21 years, was more my husband and their friend. I picked him, they did not, and he was not their father of the kids I raised with first husband.

    It turned out that my kids from my first marriage now like him very much, but he is only the father to the two children we raised together.

    How old is your son? Did he experience lots of chaos in his first three years? Not judging eother. Just curious and maybe trying to help.
    Last edited: Oct 11, 2016
  13. Sister's Keeper

    Sister's Keeper Active Member

    I agree with this, the child would have to leave if I couldn't keep my other children safe, but my line in the sand is violence.

    Too many years as a nurse seeing women abused and eventually killed by their abusers.

    It shows a lack of control. Many, many people have been in very volatile situations and have never resorted to violence.

    Personally, I would be pressing charges.
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  14. TargetPractice

    TargetPractice Fakin' it 'til I make it!

    @Wiped Out, thank you for the kind thoughts, those hugs really do help.

    @Malika, fair question, no offense taken :). Unfortunately difficult child has a 10 year history of violence towards his siblings and others, he is diagnosed with childhood onset conduct disorder and has not responded to therapy. His first incident: at the age of 4 I had to stop him from shaking his then-infant sister because he was mad I was making her a bottle instead of putting on a video he wanted to watch. Currently, he has been attacking his brother on the school bus, I believe due to jealousy (younger boy is a star student, very well behaved; difficult boy, well, isn't). In between.....too many to count. Attacks on people, animal abuse, property damage, theft, manipulation and more. He has yet to show any remorse or acknowledge that his violent actions are inappropriate. Our eventual goal is to bring him back in, but all of us, including his siblings need a break, and to feel safe. We all need space to lick our wounds and heal.
    To be fair to husband, he admits what he did, he shows genuine remorse, and is willing to give counseling a try. If I can give my child 10 years of second chances, I can give my husband one second chance.

    @ksm, that was a major factor in my decision to send boy to my parents. Not only is he physically abusive to his brother and sister, he is also an "angel" of drama and toxicity. He has been telling them stories about how I supposedly hate all of them, that every time he gets in trouble I "beat him up" (we don't use physical discipline at all), that I'm a bad person and everything I say is a lie (views he gets from his father, he's practically a clone, they even use the same manipulation tactics). He also tells them each lies about the other, driving wedges there, too. So he is also actively attempting to damage other relationships in our family as well.

    @SomewhereOutThere, unfortunately the biological father has his own serious issues, and prefers to spy and stalk rather than communicate directly. He does not acknowledge that boy has behavior problems, and believes that I somehow manipulated all the educated professionals (one of whom I never actually met) who had a hand in my son's diagnoses. As much as I would like to parent cooperatively, it is impossible with that man.
    While I have never attempted to put my husband in a father-supplanting role, I have always insisted that he be shown respect as an adult and co-head of the household; as my partner, his instructions are as valid as any that come from me. More an extension of my parental authority than anything else. So far, we have avoided the whole "you're not my real dad, I don't have to listen to you" problem. The kids love him, and even difficult boy responds better to him than he does to me, oddly enough.
    Boy is 14, and his first 8 years were rough. They actually still are. The psychologist believes that his adjustment disorder is being repeatedly triggered by the drastic difference between my home (structure, routines, consequences and expectations) and his father's home (no supervision, parentalization, no consistency) every time they have visitation, at minimum once a week.

    Now, the touchy issue: First, I understand that everyone who has responded here is coming from a place of kindness, concern, experience, and/or desire to help, and I appreciate all of you. I value the opinions of everyone here, and have nothing but respect, gratitude and love for everyone here.

    Believe me, I am very angry and hurt by what my husband did, and I know that my choice to proceed cautiously with counseling is not a popular one. I have reservations too, having been down the abuse road with my kids' father. I do feel that a person who has never shown any kind of violent or abusive tendency in the past can make a mistake once, especially under exceptional stress, without that defining who and what they are. I wouldn't want to be defined by a mistake I made once, and I try not to do that to anyone, much less someone I care about.
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  15. recoveringenabler

    recoveringenabler Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Thanks for offering us some insight. You've obviously given this a lot of careful, thoughtful consideration.

    In the final analysis, you are the only one who can make any kind of decision, none of us are in your shoes or can possibly know what you know..... we bring our own feelings, experiences and perceptions to our posts, but as you mentioned, we do it with care and for the most part, kindness and concern.

    Whatever your choices are, we respect them and won't judge you......we're all doing the best we can with what we know....

    Wishing you peace of mind.......
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  16. Malika

    Malika Well-Known Member

    Well, I certainly understand the feeling of coming to the end of a tether with a difficult child, the feeling that something has to change, that other people must take over (if only for a time), that one cannot cope.

    As to your husband, when you say he "physically attacked" you, what does that mean? That he beat you up in some terrible way? Or that he gave you a slap? If it's the latter... well, yes, personally I think that is the kind of thing you can forgive, especially if he's really sorry. People make mistakes, people do things in the heat of the moment that are not "them", that they are subsequently ashamed of... hello to the human race.

    It is just that your child is... when all is said and done, a child. So one has to forgive and help more. But I am sure you know all that.
    Last edited: Oct 12, 2016
  17. TargetPractice

    TargetPractice Fakin' it 'til I make it!

    @Malika, looking back, I was not clear on the level of physicality in the incident with my husband. It was indeed very mild, grab and shove sort of situation, definitely "heat of the moment". I was not actually injured in any way, mostly scared, shocked and (emotionally) hurt.

    As for my son, this is one of the hardest decisions I have ever made, and it was ultimately the damage he is doing to his siblings that tipped the scales. As much as I want to help him, there is only so much I can do when he is not yet ready or willing to try to help himself as well. He will still be getting help, but at a distance that protects his younger siblings from further abuse from him, and allows all of us, including difficult son, to heal and work on ourselves. We are all very sad that it came to this, but we hope it's short term. In the meantime, we are focusing on making our household peaceful, cooperative and respectful so that when he returns, its to the best home and family we can be for him.
  18. RN0441

    RN0441 100% better than I was but not at 100% yet

    I think you are doing the right thing all the way around. It's great that you are able to place him with another family member for the time being. His progress should determine when he is able to come home. Don't rush it.

    As my therapist told me about my son, you love him unconditionally but your relationship has conditions. Certain behaviors will not be tolerated under any circumstances.

    For us, its our son's drug use. I don't like it, don't want to be around it. Love him or not. Period.

    And that's okay.
  19. TargetPractice

    TargetPractice Fakin' it 'til I make it!

    Your therapist said it better than I've been able to, RN0441, and absolutely nailed it. Thank you for sharing that, and for your supportive thoughts and words :)