Summer is coming and I normally see this as a good excuse for wearing dresses everyday, however this year I’m not sure I can brave it. My body is covered in bruises from our eldest boy, they are a reminder of the pain my boys go through on a daily basis.
The bruises come from when he can’t control himself, it usually starts small, he lies on the floor screaming, I try to smooth him and acknowledge his pain, sometimes it ends there sometimes he just can’t control what he’s doing. He starts doing these ear piercing, life draining, screams and kicking and punching wildly. If possible I give him space and sit close by, but usually I need to move him to prevent injury to him or his brother, this is a dangerous move! Most of the time it ends up with me holding him like a baby while he crys, possibly through shame of the injury / damage he has done, the state of the room is a reminder but by this time it can be impossible to move him without restarting the screams, we can only move this time when he is ready.
It is hard to see him in pain, but it is also hard seeing the risk he is placing me and his brother in (he doesn’t usually do it when daddy is home). He can’t see what he is doing as he is so focused on getting any emotion out in any way he can. We are yet to find a trigger as they can start from nowhere we can see, once he told me he screamed and hit me because he couldn’t remember his sister’s name.
More recently we have seen a change in his violent outbursts, he has started to ask me if certain things hurt i.e. hair pulling or hitting, if I say yes he then does it harder. We have also started to find marks on him from where he has hurt himself, a few days ago I came into his room to find him hitting the floor, he told me he was hitting it as I had been hitting him in his dreams, it broke my heart.
My precious boy can be so caring and attentive at times, but he can also really scare me.
We had been telling the social workers that things were getting difficult and I don’t think they believed us, then during a recent visit Tom just started attacking me without any prompting mid sentence, he was hitting and clawing at my face with his hands around my neck. The social worker was shocked. They promised us some support form CAMHS, that was a few weeks ago, we’re waiting, hoping.
So far the advice we have been given is to not hide the bruises and ensure he understands we are in control. I can not keep the bruises on show as I can not deal with all the questions from those around us and see the heartbreak on his face, I will let him see them but only for a short time and where he has space / time to react, I know this is not what they want us to do but I just don’t feel it’s right for us to do more at present. As to asserting our control, I find this difficult, we encourage him to have some control and choice around things in the house and he seems to thrive on that, but we always ensure he knows we need to keep him safe and we are in charge of him, we have struggled taking the control away from him and are desperate for a more structured plan as we don’t feel this is right for our boy, so again we are not doing as adviced.
Over the last few days I have found Twitter and The Adoption Social really helpful in letting me know I am not alone and it has given me the confidence that I need to push for what’s right for my son, also to finish this post which has taken about 20 drafts!