Maybe a Dumb Question...but Mother Abuse??

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by DaisyFace, Aug 27, 2009.

  1. DaisyFace

    DaisyFace Love me...Love me not

    Hello everyone--

    I feel like this is a really dumb question....and frankly, a little bit embarassing--so I am very glad to have some anonymity here....

    So here it goes....

    difficult child had her second appointment with the new psychiatrist today. And once again, I am getting that vibe that the doctor suspects that husband and I are abusing this child.

    On the ride home, difficult child confirmed my suspicions because she told me that the doctor asked a lot of questions about whether her Dad has a bad temper and whether difficult child's parents are a lot different than other parents and stuff like that. And difficult child said that she told the doctor that for some reason, the first thing that new docs suspect when she meets them is that she must be acting out and having rages because of parental abuse--and as far as difficult child is concerned, her parents are pretty much just like all of her friend's parents.

    The doctor explained to difficult child that the reason new docs probably suspect abuse (and I am paraphrasing here) is because difficult child's Mom (meaning me) presents as a person who lives in an abusive family....

    Now luckily, difficult child did not say these things as directly as I've presented them here. She was talking about her session in kind of a rambling, o yeah and we talked about this....and o yeah I told her about that....and doctor suggested I do this...etc

    So when I realized what difficult child said that doctor suspected, she couldn't tell that I was struck by that statement....

    And, if the doctor feels that I act like a person who lives in an abusive home....well, the doctor is exactly right.

    Except that difficult child is the abuser....not my husband.

    Is that really possible? Can I really be the victim of "Mother Abuse"?

    It might be true.

    The person that I fear most in all this world is my daughter....Not so much for what she might do to me (that I think I can handle), but for what she might do to my son....for what she has already done to my son....and for what she continues to try to do to my son.

    Is there something wrong with me?

    Am I a bad parent because my family is living this way--me constantly in fear for my son and constantly feling that I have to protect him from his sister?

    Should I tell the doctor that I feel this way? Would that make things even worse?


    I am really embarassed about this whole thing...

  2. AnnieO

    AnnieO Shooting from the Hip

    DF, been there done that have that ripped up T Shirt.

    Docs never want to think it's the kid that's abusive. But it definitely can be. I used to be extremely afraid of Onyxx. She's grown up a bit and figured out the reasons. She still has a temper but she is working very hard on it.

    YOU ARE NOT A BAD PARENT. You're stuck in between the Scylla and Charybdis - a rock and a hard place.

    TELL THE doctor! Explain your side. The doctor cannot help difficult child if he doesn't know. It might be helpful to have your son in, and husband, too. SEPARATELY. The doctor needs info to make any recommendations.

    Domestic violence is just that. The perpetrator can be male, female, adult or child. If you feel abused, get yourself some counseling too. It can't hurt.

    In the meantime... [[[[[[[[[[HUGS]]]]]]]]]]. You need them. I'm with ya.
  3. Shari

    Shari IsItFridayYet?

    Ditto what Step said.

    Mother Abuse abounds around here. Go over to PE and ask how many mom's there have some form of PTSD from living with their difficult child's. I'm guessing you'll get a response in the 90% range.

    My big difficult child has been gone for 2 years. It took a full year for me to miss anything about him. Now, I openly miss him, but just as soon as he comes home, the hackles go up again.

    Many, many hugs.
  4. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    Yes, you can be a victim of it. First, though, don't take it personal about the tdocs/psychiatrists questioning your child about things like this. That is typical and part of their job and as long as your child isn't saying you are, you are ok and actually, it can serve to help if the therapist ever needs to write a letter or something because they can/will say that they explored that question and saw no evidence. Now, as far as your own family, I think it's worth thinnkuing about. I know my family is terribly dysfunctional and I had to either stop communication with them or monitor their communication with difficult child. There are several books written about adult children of parents with issues.
  5. JJJ

    JJJ Active Member

    Yes, I also had the many of the signs of an abuse victim. My daughter was the abuser. She wouldn't have abused me if I would have let her hurt/kill her brother.

    Tell the therapist. But be sure to tell him how you keep your son safe.
  6. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    Of COURSE there is Mother (Parental) Abuse!!! We are part of the family, and when another member abuses us it is just that - ABUSE.

    Wiz would not have hurt me as much if I had given him free rein to abuse Jessie. Heck, he wouldn't even have done the few things he did to thank you if I had just "left him alone" about his abuse of Jessie.

    I very much have PTSD from Wiz, and have gotten help at our local Domestic Violence shelter.

    Write a letter to go into the Parent Report about this.

    Next time you see the doctor tell him openly about this. Give him a copy of the Parent Report and the letter where you explain the abuse difficult child has put you through and how you are keeping the family safe. Put the info in writing, have it NOTARIZED, and then send a copy to the doctor to be put in the file for the kids.

    You MUST MUST MUST have a WRITTEN safety plan. The kids need to know what to do and what you will do if the situation becomes abusive or unsafe. For us it included door and window alarms, Having Jess lock herself and thank you in my room and calling 911, and many other things.

    If we hadn't made a safety plan then DHS could have (and were chomping at the bit to do so) taken Jessie and thank you away from us. They would not have taken Wiz because they didn't want to pay to have him stay with anyone - and he would NOT be safe with ANY family (he proved this by getting kicked out of the Youth Shelter - that he loved being at- in less than 36 hours!). It would cost DHS a LOT less to place both pcs than to take difficult child in for even 1/4 of the time.

    So a written safety plan (and rehearsals - pref when difficult child is NOT HOME!!!) is crucial. I let Wiz know we were doing things to keep us all safe when he went off "the deep end" as he called it. But I did NOT go into specifics with him because he would have cut the phone line and/or destroyed the locks, phones, etc... You should probably have a phone and charger in the kids' room, or a room they can get itno and lock, and also have a cell phone with a power cord hidden. It doesn't NEED minutes. ALL cell phones that turn on are able to call 911. On many of them holding down the #1 button will call automatically, or at least the older models used to). If it has minutes you may get the bill run up high, so putting an old phone in their is a better bet.

    I was truly shocked that at many domestic violence shelters they do not ahve any programs for teens. I think programs for teen boys and for teen girls could be incredibly helpful. Esp if we could help the kids break that cycle and not pick abusers for their partners.

    Now that you know at parent abuse (called elder abuse if the parent is elderly) is a real thing and a real problem, you need to go and fine some help and support for YOU. It really IS OK to talk about this. You CAN find help. STart with an intake appointment at the local Domesti Violence Prevention Office. Or ask your doctor.

    I am sorry you are dealing with htis on top of everything else.

  7. DaisyFace

    DaisyFace Love me...Love me not

    "She wouldn't have abused me if I would have let her hurt/kill her brother." --JJJ

    "Wiz would not have hurt me as much if I had given him free rein to abuse Jessie. Heck, he wouldn't even have done the few things he did to thank you if I had just "left him alone" about his abuse of Jessie." --SusieStar


    This is EXACTLY how it is.

    She is after me because I am not letting her hurt or kill her brother.

    Thank you all for not making me feel stupid. I just can't believe my family is living like this and it really does feel like I have failed in some way. How did it ever come to this?

    I will have to think about this very carefully and when my head feels a bit clearer I will write things down so I can communicate this to the doctor in a way that makes sense...

  8. Wiped Out

    Wiped Out Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Mother abuse, most definitely. It's so interesting to me because if husband ever did anything like what difficult child has done to me I wouldn't still be living here. Hugs to you.
  9. Christy

    Christy New Member

    I've often thought the same thing. If my difficult child was my husband rather than my son, people would encourage me to leave him and never look back.
  10. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    Of course we didn't laugh or make you feel small for talking about this. It is a HUGE problem that most of us face on a daily basis. It went on for YEARS with Wiz. YEARS. Finally he just could not live here ever again. He is now 19 and has THANKED me for not letting him hurt his siblings. He rubs my sore hand and kisses it "better" if he sees I am hurting. He really beat himself up at first over the hand damage. Well, at first after he realized how horrible his behavior had been and how it hurt everyone he knows.

    You DO have to think carefully and make concrete plans. If he does X then he looses Y. If he argues then he loses Z and Y. If he shows ANY violence the police/sheriff will be called via 911. Period. If he hurts anyone, he must leave the home and go into some sort of foster care or Youth Shelter.

    Do whatever you need to do to keep everyone safe. If you know someone see if they will store an overnight bag for you, Just In Case. In case he gets so mad that it is too dangerous to have all of you around and you havve to make a run for it.

    Do NOT give difficult child advance warning other than a big poster with the things you want him to do nad the consequences for not complying with those rules.Maybe we should let the kids decidce
  11. Stella

    Stella New Member

    Yes, it's funny how the professionals never see children as the abusers!!!
    I agree that you should tell the psychiatrist what you suspect he's thinking and set him straight if only for your own peace of mind. ((Hugs))
  12. graceupongrace

    graceupongrace New Member


    It's not a dumb question at all. It's a real problem.

    Unfortunately, most DV organizations are not equipped to address this (voice of experience here). :faint: Is it so unthinkable that they can't believe it would happen?!

    As you can see, many of us have been there done that. I don't have many answers, just lots of empathy and understanding (((hugs))).
  13. busywend

    busywend Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Ex-abused mom here. Not physically - but that was threatened many times.

    It is real. It is difficult for others to understand. I would not mention it unless you are sure the therapist will get it.

    I often said if difficult child were my husband I would have divorced her in a heart beat. No way would I choose to live through the stress and abuse she has put into my life.
  14. DaisyFace

    DaisyFace Love me...Love me not

    I am NOT sure that therapist will "get it". I fear that I will come across as crazy and paranoid....and then where will that get us?

  15. wakeupcall

    wakeupcall Well-Known Member

    Luckily, my son's therapist is the one who first mentioned "mother abuse". He abuses me. He's a tad less physical than he used to, really I guess he's alot better. He no longer kicks me or throws things at me, it's more verbal now.'s horrible. I don't even like him much, though I love him dearly. Yesterday, the third day of school, was awful prior to him getting on the bus. This morning was no better. The bus comes at 8:30 and he was in the shower at 8:26. He made it, but I quit talking to him, period, 30min. before. I just canNOT start my days off like this every day. It ruins my whole day and I know he forgets about it in about 7 minutes. Abuse is abuse. I, too would have left my h years ago if he treated me this way. I wish someone could tell me when difficult child will see the light. I told him he would never have a wife, a roommate, nor a job, because no one will tolerate it. Do you think he cares?

    I would give anything to be able to tell you what to do to lessen the abuse, but I'm not the best example. He continues......and he's been abusing me for 13 years, he'll be fourteen in Oct. I guess he could live elsewhere, but ya know, that would hurt me more. Did any of us EVER think we'd be in this boat?