forgive and forget? how?

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by Liahona, Apr 25, 2011.

  1. Liahona

    Liahona Guest

    Hi, a bit of history. difficult child 1 has tried to kill his siblings in the past. I'm talking about years ago. But, I can't seem to let go of what he did. What has brought this all to the forefront is a homeschooling lesson. I homeschool difficult child 2. I used to homeschool difficult child 1 and during one of the lessons with difficult child 1 he tried to scaled difficult child 2 who was then 18 months old. See, long time ago. Last week difficult child 2 came to the same lesson. I put off teaching it for a week just because of the memories. I also can not relax when difficult child 1 is in the same room with the other kids. I am hypervigilant and I'm not sure its necessary anymore. There is always a part of my mind that counters with 'what if it is necessary and you don't?'
  2. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Welcome to the board, but sorry you have to be here.
    We don't have much background on difficult child 1. How did he try to kill your other child? Are you sure it was an actual attempt to kill him and has he been violent since then toward people or animals?
    I don't think anyone here can or would want to tell you what to do, in case our advice was wrong. However, if it were me, I would probably never leave difficult child 1 alone with any of the kids or any pets if you have any. I mean, you just can't know for sure. in my opinion better to be safe than sorry.
  3. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Hi Liahona,
    so sorry it's bringing back such horrid memories.
    Maybe PTSD? There are particular techniques for that, which others can weigh in on here.
    It sounds like your difficult child 1 is doing better now and is a bit calmer. If there haven't been any violent outbursts toward the other kids in the past few yrs, I would say you could relax and work on healing. That doesn't mean you shouldn't be vigilant, just in case.
    Maybe you can try some little experiments, actually giving difficult child 1 responsibility for a younger sibling while you watch. For example, "Please go pour a glass of OJ for your brother and hand it to him nicely."
    IOW, force interaction in a routine, positive way, under your watch. After you've done that many, many times, then you can feel safe going to the bathroom, for ex.
    Don't know if that helps or not.
  4. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    I aam so sorry that you are goin g through all of this. I went through it for a very long time also. As soon as my daughter became able to move around on her own (rolling over and over, not even crawling yet) my son decided she was "evil" and all women were "evil" and "demons". This lasted for years and years. By the time Jess was walking (1 yr old) we had learned that the two of them could not be alone in a room together or else she would be bruised and/or bleeding. This was NOT due to being clumsy - she was the most athleticly inclined graceful child I have ever seen.

    When he was 12 we learned that he would sneak into her room at night and try to strangle her - learned because the CAT insisted I follow her into Jessie's room one night and I found Wiz in the act. It had been going on for quite some time - Jess just hid it because Wiz told her he would kill thank you if she told.

    We then put him in a psychiatric hospital for 4 months. It helped a lot, for a while. Then he started hurting me and I had to insist he leave our home - mostly because he was hurting me to get through me to Jess and because I refuse to be anyone's battered woman. Not even my son's. Now, 5 yrs later we have a pretty good relationship though not terribly close - he still is living with my parents, where he went when hecouldn't live here and couldn't follow the directions at the youth shelter.

    So how did I move past the anger and other not fun feelings and start to trust Wiz? I went to the local DV center and got help. Domestic violence includes sibling abuse and parent abuse, not just spousal and child abuse. The DV center had not treated any other parents for this at that time. They admitted this and said that we would work through the problems together - and they were amazing. The therapist was one of the best I have known in spite of only having a few years of working as a therapist under her belt. The therapy was also FREE - as much as I needed, as long as it took.

    You NEED help with this. I also took medications to help - prozac and xanax. They were an important piece of the puzzle of my healing.

    PLEASE go to the DV center or call to make an intake appointment. If you just stop in you likely will have to make an appointment for intake. I waited until the intake meeting to tell them what I needed help with.

    It won't pass with-o a lot of help, but this is totally normal, in my opinion.

  5. Liahona

    Liahona Guest

    Thanks guys. difficult child 1 would do something like hit a much younger sibling in the soft spot and ask "is he going to die now?" with a huge smile on his face. He has done that to several siblings sometimes with rocks. There has also been a rope around the neck. Out and out physically attacking me because I was holding a new sibling. The scalding incident. Pulling a knife on me because he is mad at me. Hours on hours of rages. These kind of attacks and the rages have stopped . He does get aggressive with the other kids. It comes in the form of intimidation or threat of violence or taking toys from them or trying to play but he gets to rough. He does do small acts of kindness towards his sibs while I'm watching. (Mama thought of and Mama directed.) He hasn't tried to kill anyone in years. He still isn't safe with them, but its not at the same level it was before. I just can't seem to bring down my level of vigilance to match him. I feel that I'm over reacting. Sometimes the 'punishment doesn't fit the crime' because I can't let go of the past.

    I would love to go to therapy and I do need it. I just e-mailed the domestic violence shelter here to ask them about it.
  6. HaoZi

    HaoZi Guest

    I think I see why your radar is still way up. You're worried that he's just getting you to relax so can get in some damage, has not truly learned empathy but is currently learning how to mimic it. You're spending all your time waiting for the other shoe drop and wondering how far and how hard it will fall. Am I anywhere near the mark here? You know he's not safe, that's Mommy instinct at work. Listen to it! But it also sounds like you're not getting any "Mommy time" to relax and unwind, and you need it. Is there any way you could get some respite?
  7. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    Given that he is still not safe with his sibs, this must be terribly hard for you. I was able to have my difficult child totally out of the house as I healed because he simply couldn't live with us as he was much larger and stronger than I was and my husband was not home much. I do think that you need to find a way to have some alone time as often as possible plus time with the other kids with-o him.

    I am glad you reached out to the DV center. It is a terrible thing when you must figure out how to recover from the severe crisis of a violent child while he is still in the home and is still not really safe around the other kids. Go easy on yourself - you may be feeling the fear of him for quite a while and really it may be your instincts telling you something is really wrong. My son did a LOT of awful things at night after we were asleep. Is there any chance your son is doing things to the other kids after you are asleep? They may not tell you because he has threatened them, etc...

    Why do the docs think he wanted to hurt the other kids so much? Has he gotten any real treatment for that, meaning medications, therapy, etc...?
  8. TeDo

    TeDo Guest

    Kudos for following Star's advice. You need to take care of yourself for you to be any good to anyone else. I have to admit, I would be as hypervigilant as you. I don't know that I would ever trust difficult child again if he did something like that. My difficult child tried to attack easy child/difficult child with a knife while I ran to the grocery store for a gallon of milk. Good thing there was a door between the two (my poor door has MANY scars from the attack). In our case, the medication difficult child was on caused him to become psychotic so nothing like this has happened since we stopped the medication IMMEDIATELY following this incident. Nothing like this had ever happened before he started the medication so my guard is not up anymore now that he's back to normal. I don't know what I would do if I were in your shoes. All I can say is .....

    many {{{{HUGS}}}} to you. Keep us posted.
  9. My opinion is that people can't "forgive and forget". You can learn to forgive harm done to you, but you cannot and should not ever "forget" or else it (whatever it is) just happens again, one way or another. In this particular situation, I don't think you're "over reacting" -- you have children depending upon you for their safety. He may not rage like he did and attack you, but it's all still there inside -- he's still capable of it. I remember when my son would rage for what seemed like forever. Hasn't done it for years, what with the medications and some increased level of maturity, but I know that there is still a well of something deep inside of him that can still be tapped.

    I don't know what support systems you have in place, what your husband thinks, or what your son's doctor(s) think of his aggression level and whether it is safe to have him near the other children. I hope you and your husband talk are talking to the docs about this -- a few other perspectives by people who actually know the individuals involved are great reality checks. Good luck to you....