The Cycle

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by New Leaf, Nov 20, 2019.

  1. New Leaf

    New Leaf Well-Known Member

    Hello all,
    The rage is so overpowering that it replaces all else. The mechanics of this I’ve read is that they are operating in the reactionary portion of the brain, it has overpowered and shut down all reasoning. I understand the why of it, but can’t and won’t deal with the possibility that in this state, he may seriously harm himself or any one of us.
    I don’t know Busy, I would like to think that with the right therapy and care, my grandson could rise above. It’s so hard factoring in his awful past, being 15, using pot daily, hanging out with the wrong crowd. I was pretty lost at 15. Not violent, but searching for answers in all the wrong places. He has a chance to change. I hope he wants better for himself.

    At this time, he is dangerous. To himself and others. I can’t have that in my home.

    Thank you RN. It is a horrible decision to have to make, but his behaviors are what drove it.
    It is terrifying. My son is very mellow. The most I have seen from him is a bad mood, and he would retreat to his room, then apologize for being a jerk the next day. He spoiled me! I don’t even watch violent shows, never had the taste for them.

    Thank you Lil. I had to choose peace in my home for my sake and also for my two grands. How can they heal being in constant fear of the next episode? He groomed them as victims and was trying to do the same with me.

    I have not seen her Lil. She called wanting to use a chainsaw. I didn’t have one and that is the last I heard from her. Hopefully no news is good news?
    Correct. He is aping the male figures in his life.
    I am hoping it will be a turning point. It took a long time to learn these behaviors and will take a lot of effort to learn differently.
    I hope so too, but truthfully, I am leery. He is smart and knows how to “work” people for his benefit.
    There is a lot of research about brain development and theories on behaviors stemming from trauma and attachment issues even from within the womb. I am trying to learn as much as I can because it helps me process the grief of it all.
    It is what it is. I can learn as much as humanly possible but that does not take away from the behaviors occurring in my home. I am trying to find ways to deal with the culmination of neglect and abandonment. This is not a normal situation by any means.

    They each have their own way of processing and acting out. I feel that I am facing these extreme behaviors because therapy is peeling back layers of buried experiences. They are not held back with fear that they will be punished by uncles or grandparents. They have to learn whole new ways to express themselves. If they are flashing back to trauma experienced at two or three years old, that is how they present, as toddlers. It is very, very complicated, yet in a way simple? That they would reenact the terror with the mindset of the little child that witnessed it? Regression and aggression, fright, fight or flight. All of my grandchildren are filled with so much hurt and pain. It is frustrating. I can’t turn back the clock and fix it, but I can try to get them the help they need to process it and learn that there is a better life for them.

    Oh Busy, thank you so much, I am not that wonderful! There are days when I am lamenting my chance to just be a cookie making grandma. But, I feel this is life choosing me for this responsibility. If I lived close to my Mom, I would take care of her. Who knows why we end up where we are? What does God want me to learn this time?

    Thank you MissLulu. I miss my grandson, but not his behaviors. He was out of control and spinning down the rabbit hole rapidly. Full of himself, behaving like a tyrant. Can’t have that.
    The chaos may have felt comfortable to him, that is all he knew. My younger grandson mused that they all wanted a better life than what they were living and his brothers version of that was to be able to do whatever he wanted. Not go to counseling and deal with issues. While younger grand misses his brother, I think he does know that it was a safety issue. It was not a good situation for the other two. They were being lorded over by their brother.
    Thank you Blindsided. All that you wrote of is true. But, these behaviors are a manifestation of what he grew up with. Not to excuse the behaviors, but to understand as Copa said a child mimics what is displayed to them. It will take a lot of therapy to unravel the tapestry of it. Then they all shall have to choose their paths.

    I do too, Blindsided. I have read that these kids feel deep shame for their behaviors. It is a maelstrom of emotion going on inside a traumatized child. I have read up on CPTSD, the c meaning chronic. Long lasting unrelenting trauma and the effects on a developing brain, the constant release of stress hormones, etc. It is eye opening.

    Thank you JayPee. I see my younger grands going through the emotional roller coaster of missing brother, relief that our home is more peaceful, guilt that they feel that way. It will be a task to process it all. These kids have lived a lifetime of extremes. It will be a long road to recovery. All I can offer them is love, hopefully stability and help. I have to hope that my eldest grandson will eventually understand why he had to leave our home. I have to give him over to God and hope and pray he will choose a better path.
    Thank you all for your comfort and guidance
  2. BusynMember

    BusynMember Well-Known Member

    Leafy, I think you are doing a great job. Your grandson can decide to get help and heal. It is so frustrating when they don't make that choice so I hope he does. I pray that he does.

    Leafy, I spent over a decade trying to figure out why. I know early trauma can affect the brain. But what always puzzled me is how Kay's damage made her violent and mean and self sabotaging while others, such as Pelzer, dealt with his trauma in a way that helped himself and others. His path was difficult but he made the best choices somebody can when processing so many long term demons. Why did Kay not do things like David did? That is what used to stump me and drive me close to insanity. It did not have to be like this for Kay. She was not alone in her fight (Pelzer was). So why didn't she join the military and get therapy and try to do her best instead of using drugs and breaking the law and acting hateful? Traumatized people have choices too.

    Your grandson is still young. Hopefully as he matures he does decide to heal. He can. Anyone can. All it takes is desire and the right kind of help. I hope he does not reject help as Kay did and still does. He can very well decide to do it better.

    Attachment Disorder is sooooooo difficult. That was one of David Pelzer's diagnoses. There is no across the charts agreement on how to help attachment disorder, but many people do heal from it.

    Leafy, you clearly are a wonderful person doing all you can. I, like you, wonder why it is hard. I ponder if God wants us to learn lessons from our hard choices. I don't believe anything happens just because it does. I always feel God is behind it and that He ultimately has my back. I know not everyone has this perspective. No matter what our perspective is, this is hard.

  3. ChickPea

    ChickPea Active Member

    Jeaaaaaaase. This hit me hard. Makes me want to give ya a hug. And myself. And all of us that are feeling this kind of way.

    Yes. It's a tough read, but also a victorious one, as he has accomplished life so far and lived beyond --or regardless of-- his circumstances.

    I've been hearing this more. About trauma in our DNA.

    My husband and I discussed this today. If we are concerned about eating chickens (or animals) that are stressed because it "leaks into their muscles, etc." - then it's not completely unfathomable to think that significant trauma might affect us more deeply than just an emotional level, possibly a cellular one, or our DNA as the article I was reading claimed it does. That it can carry on to subsequent generations.

    Who knows.

    And why can some people move beyond trauma and have a functional adulthood, and some can't?
    Why can some people eat cake and not gain weight, and others eat a banana and immediately expand? (Joking, but kind of not.)
  4. BusynMember

    BusynMember Well-Known Member

    I don't know that I believe that trauma from ancestors passes on. This is but one more psychological new theory that nobody can prove. But maybe. Still....maybe some eat less cake and that's why the predisposition to be overweight does not happen?? I have no clue.

    I do think a lot of our behavior is due to our inborn personality. Explains to me why Kay is not like any of us although she grew up with us.

    I do know she can do better. She just won't.

    Prayers and much love and empathy.
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  5. Tanya M

    Tanya M Living with an attitude of gratitude Staff Member

    Oh Leafy what an ordeal for you to have to go through.

    I think you did the only thing you could and that was to have him removed from your home. I remember when my son was removed from our home because he was a threat to us and our property. He gave me a look that sounds very similar to the look your grandson gave you. At that time, I was terrified of my son as he had grown much taller than me. It's the worst feeling to be afraid of a child that you love.

    I would like to think the social worker would think it to be in the best interest of the other two for your grandson to not live under your roof.

    I know these kids have had a really rough start to life but that is not the end of their stories. Regardless of what they have been exposed to or any bad behaviors they have learned, they still get to make a choice each day. It is my hope that your grandson will come to see that you are not the enemy and that you only want to help him. I hope the other two will also know and understand this. What a truly special gift you are offering them.

    I have a family member that took her 3 grands and raised them. They have had issues over the years but the kids came to have a deep respect for my sister and brother in law.

    You are doing the very best you can and that is all you can do.

    Sending you prayers and hugs!!
  6. New Leaf

    New Leaf Well-Known Member

    Hi all
    He can decide. I don’t think he would have done so living in my home. It was too easy for him to continue off the rails.
    I hope so too, Busy. I am educating myself on childhood trauma and how it affects brain growth. Unfortunately, my grandson feels that violence is the answer. He is a bully. For now. Hopefully he will turn around.
    Me too Busy. After the first initial shock of circumstances wears off, I ask myself what lesson I am supposed to learn. The answer was that I should not feel such fear in my own home.

    Who knows why things are the way they are? It is too soon to tell what my grandson will decide. Hopefully he will realize that pot and violence is not the answer.

    It is the worst feeling Tanya. Looking back, it all played out slowly, like domestic violence. The bully does not show true colors at the beginning. My grandson went from refusing to help around the house, to bullying his siblings, then slowly turning his anger towards me. That look was painful to witness, but, it is also indicative of my grandsons refusal to accept responsibility for his poor choices.
    I hope she realizes the safety issue. My grandson has qualified for intense therapeutic services. That will follow him. His prior therapist told me it might take years for my grandson to reckon with his trauma and how he was becoming an abuser himself. I stand by my rationalizing that nether I or his siblings should be subjected to his bullying while he tried to figure things out.

    Thank you Tanya. For now, the house is eerily peaceful compared to a week ago, Sister has stated that she is glad he is gone. Brother misses the company, but not the craziness attached. He expressed several times after episodes that he is tired of being bullied by his brother. Only time will tell how my two grands will process their trauma, what this new dynamic of older brother not being around will mean. I think that they feel relieved, as do I, that the dark cloud has lifted.

    Thank you for sharing that Tanya. I see a shift in attitude already. It may be too soon to tell, but I do think my two grands are grateful that I stood up for them, and our home.

    Thank you Tanya!
    I got word yesterday that a paternal aunt has taken my grandson into her home. She is much younger than I, has two children and a boyfriend. I hope that a male presence will stabilize my grandson and that he will see that there are better choices for him than to replay the chaos of his upbringing.
    The theory of keeping siblings together to avoid further traumatizing children works in some cases, but not all. I do believe that the two brothers together, for now, are a toxic mix. The cycle of violence was perpetuated in their relationship, with older brother thinking his siblings had to serve his purpose and needs. He took on the role of his father and grandfather. When brother stood up for himself, the violence escalated. Not a good situation at all. I feel that my younger grands now have a chance to find themselves in a peaceful setting. They do not have to worry about when the next episode will happen.
    I hope my eldest grandson will be able to understand his role in being removed from my home. I hope that he will calm down in his aunts home and behave. Only time will tell. I will keep praying for all of my grands to process and heal.
    Thank you all for your wisdom and grace.
    Have a Happy Thanksgiving!
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  7. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    You did the right thing, New Leaf, I believe.
    This makes sense, doesn't it? He was running amok. Given how he was socialized he will need an "alpha" to curb him. I hope he falls into place, and with that and his therapist, finds the calm in himself to settle.

    I'm always glad when you check in New Leaf. Please take care of yourself.
    Last edited: Nov 27, 2019
  8. RN0441

    RN0441 100% better than I was but not at 100% yet

    That is wonderful news Leafy!!

    Things sometimes happen the way they are supposed to.

    I do hope we hear some good news from this change.

    Hugs and have a blessed Thanksgiving.
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  9. New Leaf

    New Leaf Well-Known Member

    Hi all
    Me too Copa. I spent a lot of time today reading articles about sibling abuse. Not rivalry, which is described as a natural occurrence vying for attention. Sibling abuse is steps above rivalry, domineering, controlling and victimizing a younger child. It is domestic violence, not much written about as the old “boys will be boys” or “brothers and sisters always fight” mindset usually prevails. As one who was constantly bullied by my older sister and brother, I well know the pain of it. I was the one told to “just ignore it”. This could not be ignored.

    Running amok for sure. At our initial family conference paternal grandmother kept repeating that there are “no men in her house” which I know meant that there are no male figures around to control this boys explosive temper. I talked to him about that several times, that he would have to learn to self regulate, to be peaceable in my home. Of course what a strange idea for a child who has been victimized himself by screaming fights, abuse and violence. He took on a dominant role, exclaiming that he was the oldest, so his siblings should listen to him. Not a healthy relationship if you ask me. I do hope and pray that he will find better ways, will accept that violence and bullying is not the answer. It will be a journey with his siblings to see their reaction to this new dynamic. I hope it means that they will be able to open up and heal. I hope it means the same for him.

    Thank you Copa. Your words of wisdom and kindness have always helped me so much.

    I think so too, RN. Maybe I was a pathway to another solution? Who knows. I am not sure what CWS will do, as they are adamant about keeping siblings together. Only time will tell. I have their guardian ad litum to thank for agreeing that this is a safety issue for all of my grands and removing the eldest was the smart thing to do. I leave the rest in Gods hands.
    Have a wonderful Thanksgiving all. Holidays can be hard on all of us. May we find peace and cherish joyful moments.
    ((( Hugs)))
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  10. New Leaf

    New Leaf Well-Known Member

    Just a short update. Eldest grandson is living with his paternal aunty and uncle. I have had long conversations with aunty and she seems to be a solid soul. She is not sure how long he will stay, that depends on his behaviors as she has young ones of her own. He is receiving more intense therapy in their home so I am hoping that will break through his tough exterior to the root of his issues. I see him as a traumatized child acting out and covering over the hurt with a wall of bravado. Learned from what he has been subjected to throughout his life. He has an opportunity to change, hopefully he takes it.
    His uncle is telling him that if he doesn’t tow the line, the next stop is the boys home. I hope he listens and learns.
    My daughter (Tornado, grands biological mother) was recently picked up on a bench warrant and is in jail. Now, the social worker has access to her and will see if she wants services. The goal would still be reunification. That does not sit right with me. It would take some time for her to get clean, stay clean, then there is that chance for relapse. I would hate to see my grands going down that road again.
    It’s off to work for me and trying to focus on not spinning wheels over what may or may not be.
    One day at a time.
    Hugs to all, stay safe and warm!
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  11. RN0441

    RN0441 100% better than I was but not at 100% yet

    So glad your grandson is with family. I do hope that he takes this opportunity to turn it around!

    I also hope that Tornado takes this time to get sober and WANT TO stay sober so that as you said, SOMEDAY when the time is right, she can be reunited with her children.

    Someone at bible study said to just keep thinking how it SHOULD be over and over in your head and that may make it so.

    I don't know if it works but it's a nice thought isn't it?
  12. New Leaf

    New Leaf Well-Known Member

    Hi RN,
    Thank you, that is a nice thought. I often tell my kids and grands to speak positive to the universe and good things will come. My daughter was not offered services in her prior jail time, she slipped between the cracks, due to awaiting sentencing. Then was set free on probation. The rehabs on island were full. So she fulfilled her prophecy of the same old, same old. I was just thinking about how everything happens for a reason. Now with CWS involvement, maybe the SW can urge her to get help, and if she agrees, make it happen. One can hope that she will turn around.
    I like that better, RN, hoping that a miracle will happen.
  13. Albatross

    Albatross Well-Known Member

    It’s always good to see you checking in, Leafy. I am so happy about the latest news with eldest grandson. I think you not only did what was necessary to protect the younger ones, you also did Eldest a real favor because Uncle’s words about the boys home carry more that Eldest has seen that it wasn’t an empty threat. I am so hoping they all find their way. How are the younger ones doing?
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  14. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    Dear New Leaf

    I'm glad too when you are able to check in. I'm also glad grandson is getting intensive services, and the opportunity to be with family. And for a time Tornado will be safer while locked up.

    We are powerless, New Leaf. No matter the love, the want, the care--there is so much we don't control, even in our own lives, let alone they lives of those we love.

    I have been thinking about how much we carry, not just the woundedness of our own life stories, but inter-generationally the woundedness of our ancestors. And where you are, in your family there's been real trauma and exploitation not too far removed from the present. We bear that too. Our kids do. And your grandchildren. And so much of it is buried. We act it out and repeat it, symbolically reenacting through violence and victimization the long-buried laments of our people. I hope your grandson comes to understand part of that, that he has real power and responsibility and voice to use constructively for himself, his family and people.

    But we are all of us so very wounded. It's so hard to not turn it against others and ourselves. All of this you know. You don't me to tell you. I guess I'm speaking up for myself. I seldom think about any of this. That's a mistake.

    Take care, New Leaf. You're never far from my heart.
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  15. Triedntrue

    Triedntrue Well-Known Member

    Leafy you deserve peace in your home and your grandson needs to understand boundaries. Not just him but the other two problem got the message as well and it will hopefully give them incentive to take the opportunity you are giving them. I pray that everything works out for all of you.
  16. BusynMember

    BusynMember Well-Known Member

    I am so happy you don't have to worry about your grandson for now. Sounds as if he is getting good help! That's great!
    Now it's time for you to relax and heal. You can. We all can if we want to.

    So please take time relaxing and knowing that for now this moment is good and that you have been a rock for your loved ones.

    God bless you and all yours!!
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  17. New Leaf

    New Leaf Well-Known Member

    Hello all
    I hope they find their way too. The younger ones are making progress. An eerie peace has settled over the house after months of daily fights, angst and swearing battles. Sad to say, but it is true that the boys trigger each other into re-enactments of the violence and chaos they were raised with. Eldest is testing the waters at his aunts house, but hopefully with more intense in home therapy he can decide which path to forge. It is easy for him with his body size to choose domination and control. I know that covers over the pain he feels deep down.
    Interestingly enough, I was just reading about genetic memory of indigenous and marginalized people. That those wounds are passed down. There is a stand going on up at Mauna Kea where Hawaiian elders are protecting that sacred site from construction of a huge telescope. Also on the north side of Oahu where huge wind turbines are being built too close to homes and schools. So, Hawaiians, colonized and dispossessed of their homelands, once stripped of their culture, language, even their names, are still fighting for their sacred places, even as I write this. How does a young Hawaiian sit at school and take in the history and culture of the very people who overthrew his island kingdom? It wasn’t until the seventies that the truth of it was exposed. So, yes there is that in the mix as well, the continued injustice and indecency of using this culture to sell the beauty of this place.

    There is so much to think about. The more I read, the more I realize how little I know. I don’t know who is saving who, my grands have forced me to look at my own buried hurts and grief as I try to understand the mechanism of their behaviors. To be kind and gentle even in the face of their acting out. To switch from a consequence laden structure to finding positives and recognition of their need to build trust and self esteem, attachment. It is not an easy journey, but I am learning.

    Thank you Copa, you take care as well. You will never know how much your kindness and wisdom has helped me sort through dark times. You are in my heart as well.

    TNT, we all deserve peace in our homes. My eldest took the role to assert himself the only way he knew how, what was modeled to him as the “alpha” male. It does not help that he is self medicating with pot and vaping. He is going to have to process years of trauma. He was not getting better in my home, rather reinforcing the chaos he knew, because he could. There was no way I could go up against his aggression. Neither his brother or sister. It is sad that he had to leave, but there was no other alternative. The dynamics between my grands was unhealthy, the eldest bullying the younger, asserting that they should listen to him because he was older. How I wish it wasn’t so. It is not the end of the story. I hope and pray he is able to sort through his issues and strive to reach his potential.
    Much love to all, thank you so much.
  18. JMom

    JMom Active Member


    Thank you for sharing. Breathe deep!! You have really been handed a lot.the grands are lucky to have you. It seems like you made the best choice to protect the younger grands.

    It's tragic what those babies have been through. Just duck your head, I'll be praying for God to give you continued strength and confidence in your decision.

  19. Beta

    Beta Active Member

    Leafy, I have been reading through all of the posts over the last couple of weeks and I too think you did what was right and best for all. What a terrible thing your grandkids have been through but I am awed by your willingness to give up convenience and "me time" to care for them. For the first time probably in their young lives, they have a chance to see a different way, a different kind of life, and I hope they each find it. May God's strength and grace uphold you and give you wisdom in the moment-by-moment needs.
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