Friday, January 14, 2011

Anger Reared its Ugly Head

Last night was very promising, my son and I went to the gym, then went out for some fun quality time. We had a great time together. But that all changed after coming home.

After my son finished his dinner, he realized that he forgot to sit next to me during dinner, then his mood drastically changed.

I tried to distract him by having him eat dessert next to me, but once we tried to get him up to bed, things started to escalate. He started hiding under furniture. I asked him what he was doing, he said, “I don’t know” in a very grumpy tone.

From there, things continued to escalate. It wasn’t long until he was screaming that he needed to hurt someone, then he started to kick me. He also ran to the kitchen drawer, but all he could find was a pie server to threaten me with. (All sharp stuff is locked up)

We then tried to encourage him to take a hot shower to help him calm down, but once upstairs he hit me with a toy, that’s where dad stepped in and took the role of keeping him in his room to keep the rest of us safe.

During this time my husband was beat up with flying objects and flying punches from my son. At one point, my son jumped onto my husband’s back, that isn’t easy being that he’s 6'3".

In the other room, his younger brothers were crying in their beds, scared from all the screaming and crashing noises they heard from the room next door. I stayed in the room with them to help them feel safe as we all cuddled under the blanket in one bed while I quietly read The Gingerbread man.

All I could think of was... to my little boys, is this experience any different than being raised in a home where a man is abusing his wife? What will this exposure do to them? Can I make them feel safe enough? My youngest is crying and my middle child has a tummy ache brought on from the anxiety he was feeling from his brother. My heart is breaking...

After it’s all over, my son finally takes that hot shower. Then when being put to bed he said he had a feeling like he needed to do something, but didn’t know what, that his feelings kept changing from happy, to sad, to angry. Then he drifted off to sleep.

We stayed upstairs until he was asleep to make sure everyone was safe. I never felt like I was unsafe, but I did recognize that if he was 16 instead of 10 years old, I would have been very scared.

Have you had these feelings? For those with older kids, do you ever feel unsafe during these rages?


  1. I felt unsafe with everyone of my daughter's rages from 14 until recently (She is 25)> She was bipolar and RAD. We brought many resources in to the house to try to keep her home. Eventually, we had a set up where if she got physical, first we called the police, who controlled her, then we called a person at DSS who issued a pick up order. That enabled the police to bring her to the hospital, where she was held for at least a 72 hour eval. That worked until she was 18 and DSS was no longer involved.

  2. I am so sorry you guys had a tough night! Those are always so hard especially coming off of such a good time. I pray that he remembers the good parts of the evening and the time spent with you instead of the raging afterwards! I can completely relate to the idea of being in an abusive relationship. In fact that is what we told our pdoc on our very first visit. If it was not our daughter, but a spouse that was behaving that way, we would have been gone long before. But because she is our daughter, we can not leave her. We WIlL NOT leave her! I have also feared what seeing this kind of abuse happening to their parents will do to our other children. The only thing I can say is to keep communication open with them and offer for them to see a counselor if and when you feel it appropriate. They will undoubtably have issues of their own to work through being the sibling of a bp kid. We joke that we are not saving for our children's college fund as much as for their therapy. I hope that you have a better night tonight! Hang in there.

  3. That was a tough night. I am so sorry! I can relate to everything you wrote. It's our youngest son with those same problems. Our oldest two are scared of him. The youngest is the size of a big 10 year old. Our 10 and 11 year old steer clear of him at all times. Even though the youngest is getting help and things are improving, the oldest are still waiting for the other shoe to drop.

    I think if the youngest was a teen I would be very fearful, too. They have incredible strength in rages.

    You did a great job with the younger two while Dad dealt with the struggling child. We tag team here every day.

    Hope today is better! These kids that have early onset illness don't understand. And it's so unfair it gets a stigma of "not being disciplined" or "the child is a brat" and the parents are judged and suffer, too. It seems so unfair at times.

  4. What you're family is experiencing is VERY different than children living in a home where there is an abusive relationship. You're sons rages are horrible and traumatic for everyone one when they are happening. But when it is over, all of your boys know that you and your husband love them and will be there to make sure everyone is safe. They all know that your older son is dealing with an illness, it is his brain, not him. That love and safety is the foundation for your family. The foundation in an abusive family is a very different thing.

    I know you worry about what happens when your son gets older, but he will get better. You have a team working with you now, your doctor and your therapist, and they will help you make sure everyone is safe. Do not hesitate to call them when this happens. It is a VERY appropriate use of a psychiatrist's on call system.

    My son is 12 now, and, while his moods are still difficult to deal with, we do not worry about safety anymore. And he and his brother are the best of friends.

    Hang in there....

  5. My son is big. He is 13 and over 6ft with shoes on. And he is strong. But his rages are very few and far between these days. Really they are basically non existent. When you get the meds right and put an AP in the mix I think you will see less of these outbreaks. I really don't know many stable bp kids/teens that aren't on an AP. What does your son's psychiatrist say to do in these situations?

  6. My heart goes out to you. My daughter is still not very big, and I can usually get her to calm down after a while, but I do fear these kind of problems in the future.


  7. I too worry about the trauma to my other children when they witness and especially experience the abuse doled out by their sibling. When there is not team work between the parents, but sarcasm, ridicule, blame, and shame, I wonder what impact that has on the dynamics of abuse and angst at play in the home. I commend you for your wonderful parenting. (((((hugs)))))))

  8. I am at a loss for words. We too, understand your family life.. although my son hasn't gotten that upset & violent, yet. I feel the same, I wonder what all this CHAOS does to my younger son, who has ASD. He's abused, yelled at, & hit on by our oldest, which is Severe ADHD, Bipolar, & ODD. My heart intercedes for you in prayer. Hope today is better for your little man.

  9. I feel for you. Luckily, recently my ex-husband moved a half a block away from me, so now, when my son rages, I tell my daughter to walk to her dad's house. But this is a very new thing, and I remember rocking my daughter as she cried herself to sleep, and just being terrified as to how this was going to affect her long term.

  10. I understand your concerns and I am sorry for your rough night. I know how disappointed it feels when after having spent some great quality time with my daughter she gets a trigger and rages. She is also 10 (or will be in a few days) and I worry about how we will contain her rages as she gets bigger if she doesn't get more stable.

  11. Thank you all for your comments and support, it helps a lot when things get tough. I will admit that it's hard for me to share some of these challenges, but to know that you too have experienced it, makes me feel better and encourages me.