difficult child is hitting me. How do I get help?

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by Christy, Mar 11, 2008.

  1. Christy

    Christy New Member

    HI everyone,

    I used to post here every once in awhile and was a frequent poster on the primary page a few years back. My difficult child has huge anger issues and has aways been violent when enraged. We have tried almost every medication. with less then adequate results. The best we have managed is a decent month here or there and then things stop working. I have a question and wanted to ask the experts, those who have been there done that, so to speak.

    As difficult child grows, restraining him is becoming increasingly difficult. It has now become a wrestling match and I am really afraid someone is going to get hurt.

    If we do not restrain him when he is enraged, he will come at us kicking or hitting. He picked up a kitchen stool once and attempted to throw it at me. He head butted me and gave me a black eye on another occasion. If you walk away from him, he will damage property and break things.

    Ideally, we would like to prevent the issues leading up to this, but it happens instantly. Today, I asked him to sit down and eat lunch. he immediately began screaming, knocked over a chair and came at me with his fist raised.

    Anyway, the question I am trying to get an answer to is this...

    What can I do when he is out of control and dangerous?

    Once I called an ambulance, he had calmed by the time they got there but we went down to the emergency room anyway. While we were waiting to be seen, he had several more screaming episodes and the nurse came in and told us he was scaring other patients and to keep him quiet! Of course it was the weekend so thy got the p'doctor on call and he suggested upping serequel which did not help.

    Do I call the police when he is hiitng and kicking me? I hate the idea of putting on a show for the neighbors and I am afraid that by the time the officer would get to the house things will have calmed down and they won't do anything. What will they do?

    If my husband was violent towards me, everyone would urge me to leave him and not look back. If you kid is hitting you, do you just have to put up with it? What if I hurt him while trying to get him under control. is this child abuse?

    I called CPS to ask them what I should do and they directed me to the mental health association. We are having counselors come to meet with us so I guess that's a start but my question still remains.

    What do I do in the moment when my son is violent and out of control? Anyone else ever been driving while having objects hurled at them from the back of the van? I love this little guy more than anything but I've had it!

    If you're still reading this long, ranting post, thanks for listening and I'd love any advice or insight you can offer.

  2. SRL

    SRL Active Member

    If he's becoming enraged and violent, work still needs to be done to get his medications adjusted and possibly to put other interventions in place. Did you notice improvement with each of the medications and/or have you noticed side effects? If you can't get those adjusted to reduce the violence, then it's a good idea to check out an inpatient or day treatment program to get that in check.
  3. Christy

    Christy New Member

    Thanks SRL for your advice. We have been adjusting his medications., sometimes weekly. He has been on a whole list of things. I have a call in to the p'doctor but in the 5 years since he came to live with us, we have never achieved much success. I think we are at the stage where we need inpatient help. I am going to discuss this with his doctor.

  4. sandman3

    sandman3 New Member

    I would also recommend an inpatient program. My difficult child 2 just came home from one and it has done a whole lot for us as a family and learning to control him. Not to mention, I felt safer with docs and nurses monitoring him during all the medication "tweaking". Good luck to you!
  5. Do what ever it takes to keep yourself safe. Lock yourself in the bathroom, walk out, whatever. Better he trash the house than trash you! Call the police from a safe place.(easier said then done) I had contacted the police before a violent episode, stated the potential situation. When I had to call, they knew what they were walking into,de-escalated the situation, spoke sternly to the boy about potential consequences, etc. The officers were very good with him, compassionate yet authoritative. I only had to call once!
  6. Steely

    Steely Active Member

    Definitely would have him admitted inpatient, and see if they can adjust his medications. If he is bi-polar than he needs to be on a mood stabilizer, sometimes 2. It sounds like the Geodone is not working, and may need to be d/c for another - but this is something I would only have a hospital suggest, and do.

    (And yes, I have been driving while having small object pelted at me - wow - how did you know?:tongue:)

    Many hugs.............I hope you will keep coming back here for support, these folks know a ton about kiddos like yours and mine.
  7. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    It souds like it is time to go inpatient. The violence MUST be addressed. Make the hospital treat him, weekend or not. OThers here will have suggestions to help with that maze.

    The neighbors cannot be part of your focus now. Your child is in trouble, YOU are in danger. Call the police!!! He is already seriously hurting you. How much more serious physical damage do you want to tolerate? Calling the police, even if he is calm by the time they get there, sends a message that you will not tolerate this.

    Go to the Domestic Violence shelter and ask for help. This is FAMILY VIOLENCE, exactly what they are there to help with. I got loads of support from ours, esp AFTER my son was sent to live with my parents. The counsellors there really understood.

    Right now you are a battered woman. How would you suggest someone else handle it? That is what you need to do.


  8. peg2

    peg2 Member

    You must take your child to the hospital, he needs to be admitted inpatient. No violence is acceptable. It is your!!!!!!home, he needs help that you can not provide. They will admit him, don't let your child protective services scare you,tell them you won't take him home; he is a danger to you and those around you. A child can not get away with that.
    Good luck, you must do the right thing for him.
  9. slsh

    slsh member since 1999


    I'm so sorry you're dealing with this.

    Restraints became near-impossible around 9. In fact, thank you's therapist told me that I shouldn't do it alone anymore at that point due to safety issues - mine and thank you's. He recommended calling 911 - I laughed - we were already having to call them probably every other month. We did have an encounter with DCFS after a restraint- thank you got a rug burn from his successful efforts to kick out the cold air return. The investigation worked out okay for us, but it definitely is a realistic concern.

    I would call 911 for assistance and transport. You need to not worry about putting on a show for the neighbors - you need to make sure everyone is safe. Hindsight being 20/20, I wish I had gotten a cell phone many years before I did - we did the hitting/kicking/throwing things while I was driving. I guess the good news is I can laugh about it now, especially the time he grabbed my glasses and turned them into a modern art sculpture. I actually had to stop the van, schlep to a total stranger's house and have them call 911 that time. But really, it was a dangerous situation to be driving with a raging thank you.

    While it would be great to find *the* right medication combo that would address the violence, my experience is that it can be very elusive. In the meantime, you have to think in terms of safety. Some areas have crisis teams that can come out to the house in an emergency. We don't, which is why thank you has 20+ admissions to date. You need to talk to psychiatrist and therapist about a concrete safety plan and what to do when difficult child is raging.

    I would also recommend doing away with anything in your home that can cause damage/injury. I know that sounds nuts, but for years my criteria when purchasing stuff was "will it put a hole in the wall and how much will it hurt when I get hit with it?".

    I hear you about living with the violence, truly. I had more than my share of discussions with police and ER staff over it. In no other situation is the victim expected to take the abuser home and tuck him into bed. It's a little bizarre. on the other hand, it certainly does make us redouble our efforts to find appropriate treatments.

    Hang in there!
  10. Wiped Out

    Wiped Out Well-Known Member Staff Member

    The others have given good advice. I'm sorry you are living with violence, I know how awful that is. Gentle hugs.
  11. witzend

    witzend Well-Known Member

    I think that at that age I would engage his school, doctors, therapist, psychiatrist, and any other social type worker that he engages with. They are mandated reporters, and it takes the onus off of you to find yourself in a dangerous situation and having to call the police without ever having revealed a word of this to anyone beforehand.

    You may have to call the police at some point, if he doesn't stop. You need to be as prepared as possible for this eventuality, because in all likelihood the police will try to laugh you down, and it will only make him more powerful. You might as well not call if you aren't prepared for the sneers you might meet from someone who feels you should be able to protect yourself from and control your own 9 year old. We know how bad it can be. Do your best to do your best for yourself and for your son.
  12. emma123

    emma123 New Member

  13. Christy

    Christy New Member

    Thanks Everyone!

    You have offered some great advice and while I don't wish this situation on anyone, I take comfort in the fact that others are experiencing similar situations.

    I have done some research, called CPS, local police, mental heath association, domestic violence hotline, etc... and have gotton hooked up with some help.

    I had an intake meeting with the mental health folks who are researching some services and the posibility of finding a respite provider-fingers are so crossed!

    We qualified for a program thru MHA called family preservation. Two counselors are coming to talk to us tonight and set up some inhome visits for the next 8 weeks.

    I learned that in Maryland, there is a number you can call, 211 and they will send a mobile crisis unit to the home in violent situations and will help evaluate the need for hospitalization or other action.

    Still waiting for a callback from the psychiatrist but if situation does not improve I will push for hospitiization while medications are adjusted.