Monday, March 8, 2010

Bleeding with a Broken Heart

I asked my son to brush his teeth, he refuses, so I hold him by the hand and take him to his bathroom, then BAM! I’m hit hard in the face by my son head-butting me, a common move he uses when he becomes resistant. I’m hit hard and scream out in pain. It feels like my teeth have been chipped and my tongue is bleeding. My husband rushes over to handle my son, who’s going into a rage, while my 7 year old son has locked himself into the bathroom to protect himself from his brother. My youngest son, 5 years old, is in his room crying that he’s scared. After wiping the blood from my mouth I take my two younger boys and close ourselves into their room where I read and sing to them to help them feel safe, even though we can all hear our son’s screams from outside our room.

This was a very tough evening. I’d been hurt before, but he’s never drawn blood. Something about seeing my own blood, caused by my son’s actions was very disturbing to me. I felt very angry and very sad, my heart was broken.

What makes matters worse is that this moment didn’t become a “teachable moment”, where my son learned a lesson about how wrong it is to hurt others. Instead, we all go into survival mode, waiting for the storm to pass, while we work to protect the other kids. After our son has recovered from the rage, you don’t want to “lecture him”, because that would just ignite his fire again. We’ve been taught to give the timeout, then once it’s over, move on and move forward. Later on, if you address what he’s done, it’s like talking to a different kid. This now relaxed kid feels bad for what had happened, would never want to hurt me, but even he knows that he can’t promise that in his next rage, he wouldn’t do it all over again.

7 comments:

  1. I feel so guilty that often I feel like I wish I could send my son away. To protect my other kids, from harm and from learning bad behaviors. I just feel like I can't do this anymore sometimes. I think you are doing a wonderful job at handling this with your other children.

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  2. i have the same difficulties 2...
    ive had black eyes, been 2 casualty thought id broken a bone in my foot, thought id damaged my hip from bein pushed over, hair pulled out, bruised an battered. had 2 call the police when hubbie was in hospital...
    horrendous times
    i can always put my hands over my heart and say i have never retaliated or hurt back.
    its a horrible illness not the child......

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  3. Anonymous- I am so sorry you have suffered like this. It is even difficult for me now to process the feelings I have about the violent rages I have endured. It feels wrong to the core of your soul, yet you know it isn't the child's fault.

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  4. We are in this ball game. The story in this blog is identical to our son who is nine with a mood disorder. The Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde hit's it all. It's so hard to watch a child you love and gave birth to go through all this. Especially when he makes in known he wishes he were dead.
    I have cerebral Palsy which makes it hard to take care of him in his rages. I have been so blessed to have many friends and family I can call.

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    1. I understand your comment about being so hard watching your own child wanting to be dead, it's almost surreal! I’m so glad you have support to get through this!

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  5. My sister has just been diagnosed with depression and also has fits of rage. My mother is having difficulty dealing with it and so does my other sister. I feel like everything is up to me. Sometimes i feel like i can't go on. Thankfully, i discovered your blog and i think you're doing something very inspiring. Thank you.

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    1. Thank you so much for writing. It sounds like you have a lot on your shoulders. I can understand how hard it must be for you. Do you have support in place for you? Such as a support group, a counselor or friend who listens well? If not, I highly recommend you pursue that, having support has given me so much strength and it helps take the load off my shoulders. Hang in there my friend, this is tough stuff, don't ever take so much on that it hurts yourself, please ask for help if you need it.

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