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Update 11/27--- covert physical abuse towards 5 year old


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#1 myohmy

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Posted 04 October 2011 - 08:47 AM

I havent posted in a while and I have deleted a lot of my posts because I feared that my DH could find my posts. I wish I hadnt.

Try to make this short. Husband is bipolar, unmedicated. Stable for the most part but still impossible to live with. Periods of overt and covert abuse, his version of the honeymoon period, same old stuff in a 6 year cycle. Except this time I got myself into a counselor and I am getting stronger and making strides to leave. I have "left" several times and always went back. This time I am getting the professional help I need.

So my current serious issue is that I have a 5 year old son. The most amazing child ever. My husband has a history of being very rough with him, but lately, 3 times in the last week he has done some "covert" physical abuse. unless I am just reading too much into it. This stuff has happened in the past, but with it occurring 3 times in the last week my momma bear alarm is violently going off.

This week, son gets up from couch, husband playfully pushes him, son goes flying into the toy box. crying, runs to me, bruised up face. 2nd incident. son was giving husband a notebook and ended up be too rough giving it too him and hit husand in face. didnt hurt him, but about 6 minutes later husband whipped the notebook right at my son and it hit his hand and made a scratch, son screams and cries and runs to me. Later in the day son asks my mother why his daddy is so mean to him :( This brings us to last night. Both are playing around and when they are done he again pushes son and he goes flying back and hits the head REALLY hard. At this point I freak out and tell him to knock the asparagus off. I tell him that its not cute or funny and he is too rough with him. After each incident my son gets the big hug and apology. The problem is that these incidents happen throughout the years, starting around 2 or 3. there was a big injury and a busted lip from one of these "pushings"

Is this typical father behavior or is this a more insidious form of child abuse. Please help me with this before I go out of my mind. I have a therapy appointment on friday, I cant wait that long.

Edited by myohmy, 27 November 2011 - 09:57 PM.


#2 Kokoca

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Posted 04 October 2011 - 09:15 AM

This is not normal daddy behaviour.

Rough housing is normal especially with boys. But it has to be adjusted to a level that the child is able to handle. Any decent man will know that. Yes, sometimes accidents happen but accidents, for the most part, can be prevented by playing at an appropriate level.

Rough housing with a 2 or 3 year old is pretty rare. I think most men are going to be extremely gentle with kids that small. Play, especially that young, that causes an injury is far too much. Random pushes into toy boxes is not appropriate. Throwing things at your kids and hurting them is not appropriate. Ever.
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#3 PrudenceB

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Posted 04 October 2011 - 04:52 PM

After each incident my son gets the big hug and apology. May I ask from whom?


there was a big injury and a busted lip from one of these "pushings"

Is this typical father behavior or is this a more insidious form of child abuse. What do you think? The child is 5 years old and maybe 3 feet tall?. your H, I assume is not a person who is under 4 feet tall? Sound like an even match to you?

Ask anyone around here if you don't know me. I don't blow things up or magnify things. I get a lot of crap for that approach sometimes. I think men are men and are not women. I think children are better off not being babied or made to play on playgrounds made of rubber. Children in my opinion should fall and learn the consequences of their actions and have an age appropriate understanding of risk and reward. I am OLD school. I recognize boy play as very important.

What you are describing is not the natural order of learning. You are describing a child who is just forming his core knowledge of safety and danger pitted up against an oponent he can not physcially master at this point, and can not psychologically reconcile yet. That in my book is something to be VERY careful about.

have you looked into the NAMI support groups? The education classes (family to family) can help you a lot also with a bipolar H. Untreated Bi polar people don't exactly have a strong grip on maturity, reality or perspective...but you know that already...so...what can you do about getting the child to change the way he approaches the father? That's his best defense against internal trauma right now...let him have some control back...teach him how ..



#4 grammie

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Posted 04 October 2011 - 06:25 PM

This is not normal. Grown ups don't push kids - Grown up shouldn't even push other grown ups. It's immature behavior.

I know accidents happen - but they don't happen this often. I was never in the habit of pushing my daughter, but I know if I had accidentally ever pushed my daughter hard enough to cause injury then i would have felt terrible and would never ever push her again. Your husband has pushed your son hard enough to cause a busted lip, and pushed him hard enough to cause a bruised face from the toy box and caused him to hit his head hard. Those sound like some pretty hard 'playful' pushes. Does he not learn from those incidents or does he just not care? The incident with the notebook was simply immature. Was he trying to get even with his son for hitting him in the face with the notebook? :unsure: :wacko:

#5 thebewilderness

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Posted 04 October 2011 - 08:51 PM

It is a form of bullying. Tripping, pushing, skimming, accidentally on purpose whacking. Usually seen between peers.
Yes it is abuse, plain and simple.

#6 myohmy

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Posted 05 October 2011 - 08:18 AM

This is not normal daddy behaviour. Thank you. My gut was telling me this as well.

Rough housing is normal especially with boys. But it has to be adjusted to a level that the child is able to handle. Any decent man will know that. Yes, sometimes accidents happen but accidents, for the most part, can be prevented by playing at an appropriate level. Accidents never seem to happen when they are playing/rough housing "normally"

Rough housing with a 2 or 3 year old is pretty rare. I think most men are going to be extremely gentle with kids that small. Play, especially that young, that causes an injury is far too much. Random pushes into toy boxes is not appropriate. Throwing things at your kids and hurting them is not appropriate. Ever. My husband has ALWAYS rough housed with my son, even at a VERY young age. I begged him to stop when he was just a little baby, his response was that he was a boy...my rebuttal was that he is still a BABY. I have begun to realize that my husband tries entirely too hard to "boy him up" and goes overboard in an unhealthy manner. When he was 2, he pushed him while my son was up on his knees on the floor, that push sent his face straight into the hardwood floor and that is when he split his lip. The pushing stopped after that for a while because I flipped out on husband. Thank you for your feedback, it helps me validate myself and my feelings and instincts. these days I am working on not needing validation, but when it comes to my child I want to be sure I act and re-act properly



#7 myohmy

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Posted 05 October 2011 - 08:36 AM

I wish I could figure out how to quote correctly

Pru-here are our quotes.

After each incident my son gets the big hug and apology. May I ask from whom? He gets the apology and hug from my husband. After the injury occurs he comes running to me.


there was a big injury and a busted lip from one of these "pushings"

Is this typical father behavior or is this a more insidious form of child abuse. What do you think? The child is 5 years old and maybe 3 feet tall?. your H, I assume is not a person who is under 4 feet tall? Sound like an even match to you? My instinct is that this is child abuse. I know it is. My husband is a very large, strong man. While my 5 year old is a pretty big, tough dude, he is no match for an adult of any size:(

Ask anyone around here if you don't know me. I don't blow things up or magnify things. I get a lot of crap for that approach sometimes. I think men are men and are not women. I think children are better off not being babied or made to play on playgrounds made of rubber. Children in my opinion should fall and learn the consequences of their actions and have an age appropriate understanding of risk and reward. I am OLD school. I recognize boy play as very important. I agree with this completely. While I am the nervous nelly sort-of mom, I also put my fears aside and allow my son to experience consequences of unsafe play. I dont catch him when he falls from his bike and I let him "hurt" himself at times of his own rough play.

What you are describing is not the natural order of learning. You are describing a child who is just forming his core knowledge of safety and danger pitted up against an oponent he can not physcially master at this point, and can not psychologically reconcile yet. That in my book is something to be VERY careful about. I will have to read and reread this statement. I get what you are saying, I need to figure out my part as his mother in this and how I should handle it with my son.

have you looked into the NAMI support groups? The education classes (family to family) can help you a lot also with a bipolar H. Untreated Bi polar people don't exactly have a strong grip on maturity, reality or perspective...but you know that already...so...what can you do about getting the child to change the way he approaches the father? That's his best defense against internal trauma right now...let him have some control back...teach him how .. I have heard of NAMI but havent ventured into any support groups other than seeing a therapist after my husbands manic episode in early 2009. I think I need help with teaching and showing my son about the way he approaches his dad. At this point, as witnessed last night, he now fears him in certain situations. obviously its the direct result of my husbands behavior this past week. I dont know what is appropriate to say to him and what is appropriate to tell him at 5 years old. How do I show my son to have control? I am an extremely mindful and purposeful parent and know how to handle most sensitive situations with him, but this one has me in inner turmoil.

#8 myohmy

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Posted 05 October 2011 - 08:39 AM

This is not normal. Grown ups don't push kids - Grown up shouldn't even push other grown ups. It's immature behavior.

I know accidents happen - but they don't happen this often. I was never in the habit of pushing my daughter, but I know if I had accidentally ever pushed my daughter hard enough to cause injury then i would have felt terrible and would never ever push her again. Your husband has pushed your son hard enough to cause a busted lip, and pushed him hard enough to cause a bruised face from the toy box and caused him to hit his head hard. Those sound like some pretty hard 'playful' pushes. Does he not learn from those incidents or does he just not care? The incident with the notebook was simply immature. Was he trying to get even with his son for hitting him in the face with the notebook? :unsure: :wacko:



I think that he just doesnt care and he thinks he is being funny. and YES he was trying to get even about the notebook. Stuff like that has happened in the past, such as my son pulling on my husbands shirt stretching it out and then DH turning around and doing the same to my son, asking him how he likes it. My alarm goes off for each of these things :(

#9 myohmy

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Posted 05 October 2011 - 08:40 AM

It is a form of bullying. Tripping, pushing, skimming, accidentally on purpose whacking. Usually seen between peers.
Yes it is abuse, plain and simple.



This is something that I expect DH to do to me, not our child. It breaks my heart.

#10 myohmy

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Posted 05 October 2011 - 08:54 AM

Soo sorry for all these posts. I dont have much time during the day to post so I am doing this in one shot...lol

So we come to last night. DH got back really late from work and grabbed his dinner and sat on the couch. Me and son were finishing up a project for his class and he was excited daddy was home and ran over to him with a sticker sheet and slapped him in the face with it. DH responded a little loudly, which is fine, but immediately my son threw his hands over his ears and started sobbing and screaming and calling out for me. He grabbed at my legs and between sobs told me he wanted to go to his room. I was so confused how to handle it, in the meantime DH was demanding an apology. DS just wanted to get away from him. I tried to calm him a little but there was nothing calming him, he wanted to get away from DH. I brought him into his room and let him calm for a minute, I went outside to get a breath of air and then hear my son screaming for me. I calmly went in and DH was in the room with him and son was hyperventilating and crying for me. He clawed his way to me and hung onto me for dear life and every time DH started to talk and demand his apology the hands went over his ears. I put my son down and he hid behind me begging me to leave the room. I brought him into the kitchen and DH followed asking for a hug. DS gave him a hug but I watched DS body language....while DH was holding him, DS was stiff, legs straight down and he feet and toes were wriggling. I know my husband was hurt but I also know the DS was terrified.

Im even more confused to what is going on. But what I am getting is 1. that my son looks to me for escape, I am his safe place. He gets enough attention and love from me that I cant understand or figure out if his reactions are from me and his desire to be "saved" by me or if it is true terror and the true need for me. It doesnt make sense.

Later on after he had calmed and we read a few stories I asked him some probing questions. I asked him why he got so upset and why he reacted the way he did. He told me flat out he was scared of daddy and he makes him sad. I asked him what makes him sad and he told me when daddy makes fun of him when he cries (which DH does) he has started teasing him more and more lately. So clearly my husbands recent behavior is taking a toll on him. I have repeatedly begged DH to stop, but he doesn't. Its just like his abusive ways with me, only know its being laid upon my child. I need to do something about this before it damages my child.

I really need help with this.

ETA: For the record, we dont spank

Edited by myohmy, 05 October 2011 - 09:02 AM.





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