20th January 2021 at 10:55 pm #120141
As some of you will know I’m fairly newly separated from ex (son’s step dad) and we’ve had to move. Things were going fairly ok other than the odd outburst and upset but tonight my son has had the most horrendous rage. He’s pre teen. Started because he wanted to spend money on online gaming and I said no as he’s already spent a large amount of his Christmas gift cards. Anyway, he flew into a massive rage. He was shouting in my face and pointing his finger. Calling me a stupid woman, an idiot, a thief etc. He was actually frothing at the mouth. I remained calm and told him that wasn’t acceptable even though I wanted to lose it completely. It was awful because he reminded me of my ex. Just that he was coming in my face. I have removed his tech privileges and he’s calmed down and went to bed but it was full on world war three. I’m surprised the neighbours didn’t call the police.
He’s had so much to cope with due to my ex, his dad and a bereavement.
Has anyone else had this experience and how do you handle it? Especially when their behaviour is so triggering. I felt completely powerless, like I just wanted to run away from all of my responsibilities. It scared me also because he’s not a little boy now and it’s only be having to hold everything together, working full time, being good and bad guy etc xx
21st January 2021 at 6:13 am #120147CatjamParticipant
Hi, well done on finding the strength to walk away and to start a new life for you both. I am still with my husband but I have often been on the receiving end of one of the kids screaming and shouting at me. I think you did exactly the right thing, you dealt with him calmly and let him know that wouldn’t be tolerated.
Things are bound to be hard for the kids, they have lived through the abuse like we did and no matter how much we thought we had protected them from kids pick up everything.
Mine are all grown up now but I always tried to be fair as much as I could.
But 2 of my 3 needed counselling of some kind because they carried and still carry a lot of anger. It may be worth looking into something or finding someone you both trust that he can speak to about everything. My youngest is talking to my sister and I know she tells her things she would be worried about upsetting me with.
You are stronger than you think and you are an amazing person. Take care xx
21st January 2021 at 6:58 am #120151KIP.Participant
Hi, yes it’s horrific to be triggered by you own child. You did the right thing by staying calm and setting boundaries. Perhaps when you’re able and you’re both calm you could talk to him about just how unacceptable his behaviour is. About getting someone to talk to him. WA do a freedom programme for children and perhaps the school have a counsellor. The NSPCC have a helpline and I’ve heard other women on here praise it. There’s also the national domestic abuse helpline and your local women’s aid. Please talk to someone about this. Yes hormones and stress and teenage tantrums but that doesn’t excuse him frightening you. My son was 6ft tall when he raged at me. It is very triggering. I was even told to consider adding him to my exes restraining order but thankfully that didn’t happen. Do you have a family member that can support you with this, just in case it escalates. Kids will push our boundaries and often ignore what we say but outside influences can often get through to them. Try to make sure he doesn’t minimise his actions and accepts they were unacceptable and extremely hurtful. Start with his positives then add the bit about his behaviour. I told my son I’d lived with one abuser and I wouldn’t live with another or tolerate it again. If he’s even his dads behaviour he may simply think this is normal and acceptable x stay strong. By saying no to him you’re actually teaching him resilience for the real world where he will face rejection and disappointment and needs to learn the healthy way to deal with it x power to you x
21st January 2021 at 7:34 am #120152
Thanks for replies and advice. I really appreciate having people to talk to who understand.
I’m going to have a good talk with him today. I was so upset last night and completely drained. My ex reigned with an iron fist and so my son would never have behaved that way when he was home. When my son was raging last night he said my ex hit him. I asked to explain and he said ex had picked up a toy and hit it on the bed next to him. I asked if there’d been other times and he said he was hit all the time. My ex would “playfully” nip and slap the kids. I didn’t like it and would tell him not to do it. He would do it to me and it would hurt as he’s a big bloke. There’s clearly a lot my son needs to work through and I don’t think I’m going to be able to do all this alone xx
21st January 2021 at 9:04 am #120155KIP.Participant
It’s great that he’s opening up to you. It’s important that he has confidence in you to tell you these things. Even if you just listen but gently remind him that his experience with his father is no excuse to harm you and having been on the receiving end himself he knows how this feels, that you too have suffered and don’t take it out on those you love and to help each other through this next stage. Talk to your local women’s aid x it’s not all negative although it’s extremely painful.
21st January 2021 at 9:28 am #120156LifebeginsParticipant
It’s been a while since I posted on here but I could’ve written your post word for word so just wanted to say you’re not alone. I’m going through exactly the same thing right now and it’s just the worse.
Doing what you’re doing, trying to keep calm and not lose it but I think you used a good word to describe how it makes you feel, powerless. My son has never behaved in this way towards me ever until a few weeks ago after visiting his Dad and now I’m having it after every visit. I think his Dad is bad mouthing/smearing me and my son doesn’t know how to deal with it except blame me for our situation.
My son is having counselling which the school helped to arrange. Early days so will see how it goes. I’m also reading a book called The Explosive Child which is giving me some insight on how to deal with the rage.
I too am surprised the police haven’t been round given the shouting and swearing going on (from him). I did have a parent contact me yesterday to see if I was ok and needed any help as their child could hear him raging at me over the PlayStation. I’ve welcomed the suppose as unlike the situation with his Dad, I’m not going to keep this a secret; it just enables abusive behaviour.
I read that often children take their anger out on the parent that they know they can rely on and it’s ‘safe’ to do so as they will be there for them unconditionally. This resonates with my experience as with my ex, your either with him or against him, never mind the impact that this has on our child who must feel very torn.
I’m doing online relaxation yoga most days and talking to a family member which is helping me cope. I’m also being available to talk to my son when he needs to, calmly and rationally and without badmouthing his dad (that is really hard!!!).
It’s very hard setting boundaries especially in lockdown when we’re isolated but I agree with you and all the ladies it needs to be done. It’s very challenging though when your child is raging at you.
Really feel for you Hetty but you will get through this. It’s made me realise that I did the right thing getting out when I did before my son’s behaviour was negatively impacted forever. I’ve been assured that with the proper support, our children can relearn what is acceptable behaviour in a relationship despite what they’ve seen so far.
Keep strong and here if you need me. Really glad you posted as I’ve felt very alone with this xx
21st January 2021 at 1:08 pm #120159
I think I’ll have a look at that book too. I actually work with young people but when they’re your own it’s a completely different situation. I’ve been so emotionally exhausted I just want to go met into bed early and not have to deal with arguments over online gaming! I think it’s a combination of a lot of things and lockdown doesn’t help. He’s had too much online time when I’ve been working. He’s had a better day today. He started up a little this morning but I put my firm boundaries in place and he has accepted there won’t be online gaming today. He’s got on with his school work and I took him sledging for half an hour on my lunch break to get him out of the house.
More than anything I don’t want him to think that this is normal behaviour. Today I feel really upset that I’ve spent years of his life with an abuser. I know it’s so positive that he’s out now before more damage is done but I just feel so sad and fragile. I guess also thinking I’m doing this all alone.
It’s one emotional rollercoaster at the moment xx
21st January 2021 at 8:06 pm #120182
@Hetty, yes, hear you on this today, Ive been exactly the same. It is so exhausting. Don’t beat yourself up about it though (this is what I should say to me too!), you’re out, and that is THE most important thing. That is stopped then when you did that. You’re a hero and you will be in your son’s eyes when he’s old enough to learn the real story. Stay strong. Sledging! He will have loved you for that!! x
21st January 2021 at 2:26 pm #120162
So sorry you had that experience. Similar happening here too. Been surprised by the time lag. I think we all left around the same time so maybe it is just the “normal” time lag. Sending love and strength. No energy today, no words of wisdom. Just solidarity. xx
Hi @Lifebegins hope you’re ok
21st January 2021 at 3:34 pm #120164
21st January 2021 at 5:45 pm #120169EmpoweredhealingParticipant
Sorry you are going through this Hetty. It sounds like now that your son is in a healthier environment, he needs to adjust to loving boundaries. It’s pretty common for boys to have difficulty regulating their negative emotions such as disappointment or sadness. They don’t know how to feel those emotions without funneling them into anger and rage.
You aren’t alone. School counselors or his pediatrician may be able to refer to therapy. He needs someone to to show him how to feel his emotions and regulate them in a healthy way. He also deserves a great deal of compassion as it seems he was abused as well.
21st January 2021 at 8:03 pm #120181
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