Hi, I'm not sure if I am ok to be here and post or not but it's worth a try. The very short version of the background is this: I was married to my ex husband for 4 years, he was (is) an abusive alcoholic. Our difficult child was 3 when I finally managed to get his father out of our house. For the 1st 3 years of difficult child's life he witnessed his father emotionally and physically abusing me. When he finally went for my son I got him out to make us all safe. Since his departure (3 years ago) he has married and had a son with the woman he was having an affair with and she has tried eradicating difficult child from ex's life, which coupled with ex's alcoholism means difficult child only sees his father for between 1-2 hours a week. ( a quick visit to a drive-thru or to hire video games then home again is standard). difficult child's father swears every other word, threatens other drivers while out in his car and is generally volatile and aggressive. difficult child loves his father sooo much, despite all this and often writes false stories about the time they spend together in stories in school. He was always a little difficult as a toddler, nothing that seemed out of the ordinary for a 2/3 yr old boy though. But since ex left his behaviour has become too hard to handle..to the point that my easy child has expressed she feels she is being driven out by him and may go and live with her father (different). difficult child's behaviour is pulling us apart. He is very aggressive towards myself and easy child, throws the biggest, loudest and most destructive tantrums frequently. He constantly tells us both to shut up, f*** off, calls us stupid and says he is the boss. (His father did tell him that he was the man of the house when he left & may well still be doing that). He throws things at us, has punched me in the face, kicked us both repeatedly, etc etc..you get the picture. He ignores me when I ask him to do anything, won't dress himself anymore, screams if we don't run around after him giving him things he demands, etc. If I threaten to take toys off him or send him to his room , etc he screams that he doesn't care then pulls the house apart trying to retrieve said toys or batters his bedroom door with anything he can find trying to get out. All of this generally starts 1st thing when he wakes and shouts demands for things immediately. It heightens when easy child gets home from school, following her around refusing to let her do her homework or eat her dinner in peace as he kicks her and takes things off her. It's a real struggle to get him to bed and he generally spends up to 3 hours coming up and down the stairs asking for things and refusing to sleep. He has only slept thru the night 4/5 times in 6 & a half years, calling me up and down the stairs all thru the night. That was the bad side but there is a good side...difficult child is a perfect pupil. Every teacher he has had since age 2 has adored him, called him a role model for other pupils and used him to keep the naughty kids at bay in class. He is on the governments gifted register for his abilities, particularly his literary abilities (reading at age 11 when he was 4). He has a very, very loving nature when not throwing a massive strop, makes me laugh and wows me with his intelligence and curiosity regarding such issues as mortality, history, life after death, saintly people and suchlike. His behaviour is definitely worse when easy child is around and I wonder if he is envious of her very close and regular relationship with her father. It seems to us that he treats me just as his father treated me, scarily similar to be honest despite every attempt to help him, nurture him and draw all that negativity from the past out of our lives. Oh, I've gone on for too long I'm sorry I have just been so stressed and had no-one to talk to about this as I am taking it all very personally and am so embarrassed about it. Basically I am too scared to take him to the doctors because I don't know how it will be handled and if that just emphasises my failure. I have tried every form of discipline Jo Frost and every other child psychologist recommends in every book and tv programme I can find. He simply flips between charming and full of rage all day and night and I spend more and more time crying than even when dealing with his father's abuse before him. I think I just needed to get that out and now go read the other posts and try to establish what I am missing in all this. How did I raise my easy child and yet struggle consistently with difficult child...? Thankyou for taking the time to read my ramble (if you made it this far, lol) any suggestions or thoughts would be gratefully received. Zeph.