Monday, January 2, 2012

Silent Reality

So I've had quite a few happy go lucky posts these last few days!

Today I will share one of our realities here in our home! Before we truly knew what was happening to my step-kids I knew something was going on by the way my step-son treated others. He seemed to be abusive in actions and words towards those he felt were inferior to him. Whether it be younger, smaller, or in his opinion not as smart. It wasn't constant, but enough that based on my past it raised red flags in my brain.

Let me just put it on record, CHILD ABUSE STINKS!

As we have learned the things that they faced when they were not with us, I realize now it was his way of treating others as he was being treated. That's what we teach them right, well not really, it's to treat others as you WANT to be treated, not how you ARE treated. Children may not always understand that they are being abused especially when these actions are made to feel normal by those the child loves.

Months later, after hours upon hours (probably totaling weeks straight by now) of counseling, we still fight this fight almost daily. He is the second youngest, and of my step-children he is the youngest. He doesn't understand that dynamic yet and the way he treats his siblings at times. We are working with him to give him additional privileges as he is working through his issues, but it is very hard for him. He takes is too far, and is still trying to work on identifying his own triggers as he is trying to trigger others.

This is one of our biggest sources of frustration with him. He gets downright verbally abusive to not only his siblings but also to us when he feels he is being short-changed or is not getting exactly what he wants. While this is a normal thing for children his age, he takes it to another level that I've never seen before!  Besides the fact that he is 11, so he does not think like we do as adults, he is still working on dealing with his extreme anger. When we try to talk with him, he at times has an altered sense of reality and what is happening. It is very difficult to take the situation down a level without him blowing up. His escalations and extremes are getting better as he's learning from his service providers.

What is truly a small issue to most, turns into a huge blow up where feelings are hurt and mean things are said and done. This keeps his siblings mad at him, although when he calms down he acts as though nothing happened and doesn't understand their avoidance of him. As his family, we all have a hard time moving on immediately as he does. He acts almost like nothing even happened.

It breaks my heart to see all this happening and voids built due to the way he has been treated by people who still profess to love him. How confusing this is to a child! In addition to this confusion, we have his older siblings who see us bending over backward to try to pacify him and calm him when he is behaving so erratically and being so nasty. They see this as us picking his side over theirs when they are typically only reacting to his antics. They too are just teens and cannot be expected to understand as an adult would. This makes consistency in consequences almost impossible.
I'll just throw in here that the youngest is now starting to hit and "talk back"(in his own baby way) as he is seeing these actions around him. This upsets me beyond words...

I beat child abuse once and I am determined to beat it this time with love and compassion. I am determined to help our children learn what being loved feels like.
There are no conditions to love. It's okay to make mistakes in life, but learn from them. When things go wrong, profanity and screaming are not okay. Throwing things does not make anything better when you're angry. Hurting others emotionally or physically is NEVER okay. When you treat others with love and respect they will most times return those sentiments to you. No person should EVER be hurt by another.

So this is one of our daily fights. Do we love him less? HECK NO! It's not easy, and it's not fair but it is our life right now. We will all be stronger having gone through this. One of our biggest talking points right now with the kids is that some day they will only have each other. I know it will get better and it will get easier. And still, this is my life, as I LOVE it!