Monday, October 18, 2010

His Own Perspective

This weekend I had some very insightful conversations with my son. Thankfully, as he gets older, he’s better able to explain what he’s experiencing and feeling.

There’s one conversation I wanted to share with you (with his permission) that maybe will help you understand what your own child may be feeling.

He shared with me how scared he feels when he goes into a rage. He explained that in his normal state he wouldn’t be strong enough to punch a hole in the wall, but he recognized that in a rage, he could, because he gets super strong. It’s that super strength that scares him. He shared that sometimes he goes into a rage and after it’s all over, he looks around at all the damaged he’s caused and feels frightened by it.

In this fright he runs to his bed and curls up. As my son continued to speak, his eyes teared up, he explained that he becomes overwhelmed with the feeling that someone is going to come into his room and kill him.

Yikes! This is certainly a reason to despise timeouts. On several occasions, I’ve heard his mood shift during a timeout in his room from violent anger to intense anxiety, screaming that he’s scared in his room, that he’s afraid that someone is going to get him. I only wish I had another option for keeping us all safe in a rage. But this explanation helps make sense of his reaction to timeouts.

Another reason for sharing this with you is to help my son. He wanted to know if anyone has experienced this. If you have or your child has, let me know and I’ll share your response with him.

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By the way, my son does not participate on this blog. He just knows that his mom is sharing our life anonymously with other parents on the internet, in order to help him and our family.


  1. My daughter does not do timeouts either in her room. That only served to make her more hositle and angry and volitle. Twice she tried to throw herself out of her bedroom window and that is when I gave up on bedroom timeouts, regardless of what her therapist was saying. She is still young only 7 and does not discuss her feelings that well so i'm not really sure how she feels in the moment but I do know she gets the super strength you speak of. It had gotten to the point that we were unable to protect her or our other children during her rages and with our P/Drs advice finally gave into getting a retraint chair. It actually isn't as scary as it sounds or as scary as what you google. Hers is purple and can adjust with her for many years. I'm not sure what its really made of but it feels like a really hard rubber and the straps are very soft. We keep the chair in our bedroom. When she is in a rage she is a chore to get in it a times but when she is calm she will tell you she likes the chair as opposed to hurting her sisters or her toys. Our insurance covered most the cost under the Durable medical equipment program. I know its probably not everyones cup of tea but it works for our family and it keeps my daughter safe and alive.
    Hugs to you

  2. I have definitely seen my daughter experience fear over her own rages, most notably when she came at me with a knife at age 6 (right before she started medication). It was almost like she was sleepwalking. I never really felt in danger--the hardest part was watching her "wake up" and start sobbing because she was so terrified of herself when she realized what she was trying to do. For months after, she would get very upset whenever she thought of that incident.

  3. I've experienced the same thing. It's kind like losing time, losing control. There's no way of stopping it, you can feel the control slipping away and no matter how hard you try to grab it, you just can't hold on enough. I trashed my room when I first got here, it was terrible. I broke almost everything. After I thought for sure the would want to get rid of me, call my social worker up and tell her I'm too crazy or too much to handle. But they didn't, they were patient and understood. Sometimes I get scared that my dad's going to find me or that they're going to send me back, they keep saying they won't. I believe my foster brother when he says it.

  4. Thanks for sharing! I have to say your comments really touched my heart, I couldn't help but tear up reading about all of your experiences.

    Lily- I bet it must have been terrifying seeing your daughter trying to go out the window, I can't imagine that! I can see why you would give up on timeouts. As for the chair, I've never heard of this type of thing. Was this something your therapist showed you? I'm glad to hear it's working for you and your daughter. I have no idea how you get her into the chair when she's upset, that must take some serious skill, I can't even get my son into his room with the door shut without getting hurt.

    Anon- Your story was heart breaking. I hope that memory fades for her over the years. I often wonder if my own son will remember his own scary moments in the future or if they'll get lost in all that he's been through. Sometimes it's hard to believe that we've seen such things with our children.

    Hayden- You touched on something that my son has mentioned, the feeling like control is slipping away and even if you try, you can't stop it. I'm so glad that you found a safe loving home and that you have such a great connection with your foster brother. I know you've been through so much, I pray you get some of your childhood back.

  5. It is something our therapist showed us in a therapy equipment catalog. Actually it is easier getting her in the chair than it was dragging her to her room cause the chair is mobile and i can bring the chair to the room she is in if neccessary.