difficult child's meltdown on video

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by Nancy, Jan 27, 2009.

  1. Nancy

    Nancy Well-Known Member Staff Member

    For Christmas I got a gadget that allows me to transfer my old mini dv and Video 8 tapes to DVD. Today I came across one tape from 2002 that was unmarked. When I played it back I realized it was a video of difficult child having a meltdown. I remember the incident all too well, just one in hundreds we have been through, but for some reason I decided to tape it that day.

    It broke my heart watching my easy child crying because of the turmoil that difficult child caused that day. It brought back so many horrible memories and just reaffirmed that nothing has really changed over all these years.

    I did put this tape on DVD and I'm debating whether to give it to difficult child to watch.

  2. smallworld

    smallworld Moderator

    Nancy, I'm sorry it's so painful to watch that old tape. Do you think watching the DVD would be a "teachable moment" for your difficult child? If not, I'm not sure I would recommend having her watch it.
  3. Ropefree

    Ropefree Banned

    Ho! Take that to watch with a mental health professional and go into the emotional process you are having with them!
    What a fantastic revelation for parents and the study of families. it is one thing to go into get help and describe what a family are witnessing and suffering from and another to have the event recorded on film.
    How will the care of families with mental health issues in the home environment improve if the uncounted events of the same behavior are just hidden? I think the fact that you are emotionally impacted by revisiting one of those uncounted episodes is a valuable fact. This hurts you. It is a bit of hell itsself for your child to be caught in, yes, yes, we do know that...and it is emotionally impacting you and your whole family....
    Once upon a time the quirkes we accept today and are going to public schools and expected to find meaningful employment and are treated were hidden entirely and the families were left to cope with the feelings that are felt without any interest.
    Now the healing of mental illness has to include the fall out, like the emotional reaction you feel when watching an episode that after all that you have witnessed
    impacts you again.
    I think this is important. Weither useful to show your child...I would not venture to quess on that.I would be very careful making that desision in your shoes.
  4. hearts and roses

    hearts and roses Mind Reader

    I don't know about your difficult child, but mine always reacted in two different ways following meltdown/rage attack:

    1) unbelievable and complete remorse

    2) no recollection of what had just transpired over sometimes 36-48 hours or why.

    My feeling is that if your difficult child would benefit from viewing himself 6 years ago in the midst of a rage attack, then sure let him see it. But if it's just going to set him off OR, as in my difficult child's case, make her feel even more guilt and berate herself further, then I would not allow him to view it. What would be the point - pure humiliation just to get your point across?

    A third option would be to watch it with his counselor/therapist if he has one and then use the opportunity to discuss his behavior then and now. i.e., Has it changed at all? How has it changed? In what ways could similar rages be avoided? What are his triggers? Etc.

    Again, I don't know how your difficult child would react, but I would be very careful about showing something like that to my difficult child without a professional around to help her sort through all of ther emotions. My difficult child beats herself up more than anyone ever could and she would feel like she really was crazy. Good luck in whatever you decide.
  5. Star*

    Star* call 911........call 911


    I too have a video like that - and I'm not sure where it is anymore. In our particular video the psychiatrist that we were seeing at the time told me to record him. I did. I have a very nice video of my son shooting an arrow at me with a long bow, and having a 1 1/2 hour screaming meltdown. The dogs walking around with tails tucked and DF in the background asking God how HE expected anyone to endure any more of this.

    A year later I showed it to difficult child - and he sat there, embarrassed as he could be, then got up mid-movie and left saying that wasn't him, that I must have aggitated him to the point of him behaving like that.

    Showing the video to him only further served to upset myself. I wouldn't throw it away - but I would put it in a safedeposit box for someday when she is older and maybe matured and can accept the reality of what she did to her family and her sister.

    I'm sorry. I thought maybe if I found that tape and showed Dude what he was like it would help him, but it didn't. It just reminded me of what you already know - not much has changed in years.

  6. slsh

    slsh member since 1999

    Nancy - that must have been an unpleasant surprise. I'm so sorry. :(

    I don't think I would show difficult child, at least not now. Maybe never. I just cannot see any practical good that would come of it and actually think it might just precipitate something ugly. Just my 2 cents - if I had audiovisual documentation of thank you in all his glory, I think I would burn it at this point. It's done and over, the damage is done, and I guess I'm past hoping he'll ever show remorse or even understanding of it all.
  7. DaisyFace

    DaisyFace Love me...Love me not

    Hi Nancy--

    I vote for showing it to a therapist instead of difficult child. I don't see how any good can come of difficult child watching it--unless difficult child actually wants to know about her past and her childhood or something along those lines....perhaps when she is more muture and has her issues well under control.

  8. Nancy423

    Nancy423 do I have to be the mom?

    I have pictures of my difficult child in a rage - in the middle of trying to hit me. She saw them later on and asked about it. I told her about how I felt and we actually had a nice conversation about it. I would say that if you think your difficult child might learn from it, or you could have a good two way conversation about it, then show it. If not, I agree, showing it to the psychiatrist might be a useful tool so he sees what goes on at home.

    Sorry it brought up the fact that nothing seems to have changed....:(
  9. Nancy

    Nancy Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Yeah I guess Sue that in the back of my mind I keep hoping that she would see that and be sorry and change. I know, that's just so dumb. And I did almost just throw it away.

  10. Janna

    Janna New Member

    I have several videos of Dylan in rage mode. Honestly, when they come out, his anxiety, aggression, frustration - all goes into full blown crazy mode. He gets defensive, upset, angry - it's just bad. I've deleted them/burned them all.

    I'm sorry you found them. It's not dumb that you think she'd see them and be sorry and change. You hope for that. been there done that. But, the unfortunate reality is, her light bulb needs to flicker on. And, if it's still out - she isn't going to care. I've dealt with that with B for 17 years.
  11. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Nancy, Smallworld took the words right out of my keyboard. I would save it for a "teachable moment" for your difficult child, rather than just show him for the sake of showing him.
    It may also be useful to make a copy for one of your therapists.

    I can only imagine how painful that would be to watch.
  12. Nomad

    Nomad Guest

    I would save it. It is hard to say...but perhaps one day, one moment...it could provide insight for your difficult child. I just would not use it as a weapon of sorts. And like the others have also said, many times the mental health professionals involved with our difficult children do not have a good understanding of the depth of dysfunction involved. This might provide understanding at some point.
    Also...you might want to make a copy of it. Keep one for yourself and give one to difficult child. Explain, that if she would like to watch it, she is free to do so. You might want to use it as fodder for her to consider going or staying in therapy...sounds like she still has MUCH work that could be addressed (as is basically the case with- all our difficult children really). It's just that few/most/? don't really see it this way.
  13. bran155

    bran155 Guest

    Hi Nancy. I do not think it is dumb for you to want to see some remorse from her. You are human and you are hurt. I often told my daughter that I would tape her during one of her episodes so that she could see how horrible it is. I never actually did it. But I wish I did. I would want her to see it. The only thing with that is, I would hate for you to show her the video and not get the response you want from her. You might only end up even more hurt.

    In any event, I wouldn't throw it out. I would definitely show it to the therapist. I am so sorry that you are taking that trip down memory lane!!!

    You are in my thoughts, as always!!! Hang in there hun. :)
  14. compassion

    compassion Member

    The lack of remorse is a huge symtom of difficult child's illness. She ahs so many siades. Recently her therapist said, would I recognize you, difficult child after a 6 hour rage? Compassion
  15. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    I, too, understand the slight hope that it might be a mindboggling awakening for a difficult child. on the other hand, I don't think there is a snowballs chance in hades that it would have a positive effect. I would save it. Although I truly pray it does not happen...perhaps in the future she will have a difficult child and feel that she is the only one to have faced such extreme emotions. Then it might be a positive thing to show that it is bearable and that as a parent she must give her all.

    Hugs, my friend. Frankly I am glad that I do not have such a tape. DDD