the post I didn't want to write
0 comment Thursday, June 5, 2014 |
I don't want to write this post, but I am going to.
I don't want to write it because I am ashamed of what happened.
I am going to write it because this is the sort of thing that happens in families, adopted families, and not many talk about it.
I think we should talk about it when things go spectacularly horrible.
This is the one night it went spectacularly horrible for us.
So, things had been pretty unrelenting. There was no end to Son's paranoia. He was turning moody/violent/abusive every hour or so, on every excuse, sometimes no excuse. He was horrible to live with. He ruined everything. But we all tried with him. Husband and I tried to see his hurt and love him, give him boundaries, be consistent, be kind. Daughter forgave him every single incident. We all lived as best we could within the family Son was twisting so badly out of shape.
I was trying to get us help. From the GP. From the School. From Mental Health charities. From Post Adoption Support. From Adoption UK. From various adoption charities. From various other charities. From fucking anyone and anyone I could find. I phoned, I e-mailed, I waited in for return calls, I talked and talked and talked and talked. And nothing.
One night, Husband and I were handling him well despite his nastiness. Try and talk and it, rather than try and hurt us, we were saying, we're here if you want to talk. We offered cuddles, and quiet time, and yet, didn't fuss over him, gave him space, carried on as matter-of-factly as we could.
It was not long before bedtime when he told me and Husband that he was going to kill us. I finally lost it. Told him to go to bed, then shouted at him to get to bed, that I didn't want to be around him saying things like that to us, that it was totally unacceptable.
That's when it kicked off. He hated us, he raged. He hit me, then spat at me. He was going to kill us, he was screaming.
Husband, who is more than twice the size of Son, told him to go ahead. Try and kill him then, see how far he got. And Son ran at him, but was of course overpowered every single time.
Reader, I have to tell you that at this time, I truly hated my Son. Watching him going at my Husband, I hated him. I was sick of giving him love and kindness and being spat at and hurt. I was sick of the pain he caused my Husband and Daughter, and grandparents, and the shit he was piling down into all our lives.
So I told him that he apologised right now, or he could get the hell out of this house and this family. He wanted to spit at us? He hated us? He wanted to kill us? Apologise right now, or get the hell out.
He chose to leave.
He walked right out the front door with no shoes on, no coat, out into a chilly dark night.
And I let him go. I told him not to come back until he was ready to apologise and I shut the front door on him. I hated him so much right then. Yet I felt suddenly calm. The idea of never seeing him again flooded me with a sense of relief.
Luckily, Husband was sane that night. He went straight out after our Son, who was hanging around on the front drive. He told Son to apologise and come back in. But he wouldn't.
So I told him that he was not coming back inside this house until he apologised, and Husband said he was going to stay outside with him all night, if That's what it took.
I went back inside. Sat on the sofa. I felt in shock, not just at what I had done, but at how much I never wanted him back in my house again. I hadn't realised that things had got that bad. I texted a couple of good trusted friends, not knowing quite what else to do, and they texted me back, grounded me, brought me back to myself a little.
It took a while, but eventually there was a knock on the door. Son stood there, shivering, teary, sorry. He told me he was sorry and we hugged. He went up to bed with Husband.
I couldn't rest. What had just happened? What sort of person was I now? How could Son carry on living here when I would have been happy to lose him that night? Was this the end?
I was shaking and cold, and yet also feeling oddly emotionally detached. For a moment back then, going to jail for sending him out of the house seemed preferable to living with him. I liked the idea of being in jail where he couldn't get at me anymore.
Even in my dissociative state, I knew that was bad.
This is the sort of traumatic horror-filled fucking incidents that adoptive families have because WE HAVE NO SUPPORT. We have to go grubbing around in the dark, trying to find something, anything, to help. We know our children are deeply traumatised, brain damaged, hurt little beings, and we take their abuse and anger and pain into our lives AND NO ONE HELPS US. What did CAMHS give us when our Son went through a period of wanting to kill himself? It took them a year to tell us they weren't going to give him any therapy. I've now found an adoption therapy package That's absolutely right for us as a family, but we'd have to travel half way across the country to attend the sessions, to the kids home town, during the week too, so kids out of school, husband taking unpaid days off, me letting my business clients down, and all that travelling, all that extra cost with petrol and overnight stays. GP wants to help, but can't find funding. Funding, funding, funding.
That's it. Nothing. No help. You have a nine year old boy who wants to die and take his family with him? Well you're on your own with that one, adoptive mum and dad!
On your own.
You've just chucked your nine year old Son out into the night for hitting and spitting at you and threatening to kill you. Now he's upstairs in bed.
You're on your own.
Now get the hell up those stairs and REPAIR. For God's sake repair or this whole family is going to burn.
I went up the stairs. I asked Son if we were friends. He said we were. I crawled into bed with him and we hugged, and did our silly little 'trust' games. And he talked about his birth dad. Some of it was manipulative bullshit (trying to get me to agree to buy him stuff), some of it was probably made up, but it was the first time that he had said anything bad about where he had come from and all this pain came out of him.
I said as little as I could, and tried to say the right thing when I spoke. About what had happened, I said to him that he had sworn at us, spat at us, hit and kicked us, told us he was going to kill us, and yet, he was still here. I told him he'd probably tried hard enough now to get kicked out, and maybe that was enough.
Since that night, nothing as bad has happened. In over five weeks since that incident, he has only sworn at me once, but he accepted the consequence well, even though he really didn't like it. He is letting me mother him again. He hasn't been screaming. He's dropped the verbal abuse. He hasn't trashed his room or broken anything. We've just come back from a few days holiday and he didn't try and sabotage it. It was a lovely holiday, for us all. Genuinely.
Perhaps it's fear. He's been frightened into dropping the abuse. Which is not good. Or perhaps he's faced his worst fear, being chucked out, and it wasn't so bad, and only now can he relax. I don't know.
Since that night I have gone to the GP for help for myself this time, and am really in a much better place. Not 'talking' help, I'm sick of talking, but chemicals. Pills. They're working. I like 'em! And only now can I see how low I had been brought. I thought I was coping. I wasn't. And I never went to get that bad again.

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