Should I keep appointment with Community Policeofficer

(41 Posts)
HaggisandTatties Sun 08-Apr-12 15:05:07

I am 42 single mum for 10 years to my 13year old son. His father dips in and out of his life every couple of years and there isnt a relationship there. My son always got that male influence via my father - who is now seriously ill and has been for past 4 months, so he has lost that very important influence. My son is a lovely boy but this year his temper has been rearing its head. Three weeks ago when we were rowing he came running at me and pushed me hard against the kitchen worktop. He was so angry - even later when calmed down he kept justifying why he done that. I was heartbroken. Yesterday when in the car with him an argument started and my son started screaming and ranting at me telling me how much he has hated me for a long time, how much my whole family hates me and that he doesnt want to live with me now. He was being so cruel in the things he was screaming at me and then he slapped me on the back of the head.

Wow this is very hard to type all this

I was in total shock. Got home with him and let things calm down. Never in my entire life have I felt like the way I did yesterday. I was so devastated I wanted to die - I wanted to run away. I decided I was going to go and packed a bag and called a friend in Inverness asking to come up and stay - she asked no questions as obvious I was very upset, and told me to come up. When i went in to speak to my son he totally broke down - never saw him that way before. He cried so hard for over an hour begging forgiveness. I cancelled my trip and we talked. I explained though that the fact he has hit me now twice in 3 weeks tells me there is a big problem. Much to his disgust I telephoned my local police station and have an appointment to take him down Tuesday at 6pm for a chat with a community Police officer - its a team that deal with teenagers and can help guide them back on the right path. I am not taking him there to get into any sort of trouble - but I think a male police officer taking words of wisdom to my son will help so much as he has absolutely NO male influence at all now in his life.

Can I add that my son is not a little boy - he is nearly 6ft in height and weighs 14stone.

Please can you tell me what you think - I am so distressed and dont know if this will make things worse?

TheLastHairyBunnyHop Sun 08-Apr-12 15:11:02

Christ, you poor, poor thing sad.

I can only give you dispassionate advice, as I don't have a son of 13 (just girls). Perhaps someone more experienced will disagree with me. But I think it's very important that you DO keep this appointment. He has to know that he is not allowed to abuse you in this way - and I use that word because that is what he is drifting into. He's given himself "permission" to hit you now, and he needs a good shock to stop him. He has to know that this will not be tolerated and that you will not keep it a secret. If you can stop it now, you may well be doing a service not only to yourself, but to other young women in the future, and to him as well.

HaggisandTatties Sun 08-Apr-12 15:16:31

Bunnyhop thank you so much for replying - you have written quite clearly what I have been unsuccessfully trying to say.

I am so tired and worn out with this as I have told nobody about this - I dont want to tell anybody about it - I am so ashamed of what he has done.

HappyCamel Sun 08-Apr-12 15:17:43

I think keeping the appointment will help him see that his behaviour is unacceptable, that he needs help and that you mean what you say. It could be the best thing you ever do for him, teaching him respect and getting him skilled help when he needs it most.

It must be so hard for you but you must have seen threads on here about husbands and partners who don't control their temper and think begging forgiveness is enough. If they'd had help right at the beginning of that behaviour their whole lives and those of their family could have been much happier.

HaggisandTatties Sun 08-Apr-12 15:20:01

HappyCamel I have just joined the site but yes I agree with your point wholeheartedly re the begging of forgiveness and thats now made this even more serious as this does need to be stopped.

I am feeling a huge sense of relief talking about this - thank you

ghosteditor Sun 08-Apr-12 15:24:09

Sorry to hear you're having a hard time OP. I don't speak from experience but my instinct is to say that you must definitely keep the appointment. Your son must see that there are serious consequences to his behaviour, and if the PCO does his job properly, your son should benefit from having someone else to talk to. Teens do indeed get angry but there's no excuse for hitting a family member.

I hope you can work something out soon.

insancerre Sun 08-Apr-12 15:24:22

yes, keep the appointment. They will be able to point you in the right direction for the support and help you both obviously need.
DD has counselling at high school for some issues that she has been dealing with- there is help out there

HappyCamel Sun 08-Apr-12 15:24:31

Good, I think he needs to see it isn't all about him, how he feels angry or he feels sorry. It's about how his victim feels and how that doesn't go away just because he wants it to.

You'll find lots of support here. We're a helpful bunch but we can be a bit blunt!

GinPalace Sun 08-Apr-12 15:27:57

I think what is important is that you stick to what you say you are going to do. If you have told him it is happening, it must... he needs to know you don't tolerate the behaviour and however you choose to deal with it is what will happen i.e you dictate the consequences not him.

However, it is very hard to predict who will make the 'penny drop' or have an influence on his thinking. I remember from being young that my parents would occasionally get someone to talk to me to have a certain chat... but often it was the random chat with the lovely old lady at the bus stop which actually got me thinking and influenced the choices I made.

He may despise the CPO, or appear to at the time, or it may help - who knows. You must stick to what you say though but also give him the ability to be forgiven and make a better choice next time - don't rub his nose in it.

It could be helpful to come up with a long term plan to - to expand his horizons and get him to meet more people who will be a positive influence, this could also be an opportunity to find an outlet for his energy/testosterone/grief - maybe join a sport club with a self discipline ethos like martial arts, or something which demands consideration of others like a team sport like rowing etc?

GinPalace Sun 08-Apr-12 15:30:40

Also - his substitute Dad is seriously ill (and I am really sorry to hear of this happening to you - hope you have someone giving you hugs over all this - what a hard time) - he maybe handling his worry/grief/anger over that very badly - can you talk about this with him - get some help with that too?

HaggisandTatties Sun 08-Apr-12 15:32:51

I am really overwhelmed by the responses from you all. Its just such a huge relief to talk about it.

I am now, without a doubt, going to keep this appointment.

HaggisandTatties Sun 08-Apr-12 15:38:47

GinPalace

My father is now bedbound and been in hospital since December - he is only 64 and the medication he is on has left him totally confused as well - its like we have already lost him as I dont recognise him anymore - its horrible.

On top of that, puberty has arrived in our house massively and I dont have any males to speak to about this - I am constantly googling "Puberty"!!

And to make me sound more pathetic - no I dont have anyone to give me a hug! I keep most things to myself - but what I would do for a big cuddle off someone.!!

insancerre Sun 08-Apr-12 15:40:06

haggis, what is the pastoral care like at Ds's school? It is fantastic at DD's school- they have pastoral haeads of year as well as academic ones and the school nurse has an office and will see anyone. If you could talk to somebody at the school I am sure they will be able to help your DS

HaggisandTatties Sun 08-Apr-12 16:01:11

insancerre, My son just started high school in August and tbh I dont know what the pastoral care is like - I havent thought about that either. I will see what happens on Tuesday after speaking to the Community Officer and will post up an update.

I am going to go for a very long hot bath. I was still up cleaning my kitchen at 4am this morning - I pulled everything out of all the cupboards - was the workings of a mad woman and I have never been like that before.

At least I have a clean organised kitchen now smile

GinPalace Sun 08-Apr-12 16:04:58

You and your ds are really going through the mill aren't you!!?? I would give you a hooge hug!

So, he is at one of the most sensitive ages there is for emotional see-sawing, he is hitting puberty and his closest male relative has effectively gone. sad for him and you with the weight of it all on your shoulders too.

I think some creative thinking to help him out should be going along with the discipline aspects of not tolerating his aggression.

Is there any club he might like to join? What are his friends' Dads like? Is there any avenue for widening his horizons?

thanks

ToothbrushThief Sun 08-Apr-12 16:14:07

A friend's son did this. It got worse and worse. She hid it from everyone. She had a young daughter and was terrified he would hurt her in the rages but he always picked on his mother.

She was advised by 'some teenage advisory service' (sorry can't remember who) that if he did this as an adult, he'd have a criminal record. She was advised to call the police the next time it happened so he'd get treated as a juvenile. She didn't. It happened again. Repeat

Eventually she called them and he spent a night in the police cell. It never happened again. He is now a lovely man and has a good relationship with his mother.

A shockingly upsetting event for them both but necessary.

Rezolution Sun 08-Apr-12 16:20:10

Haggis Keep the appointment because if you don't he will see it as a sign of weakness. You need to show strength and a bit of back-up goes a long way brew thanks

flow4 Sun 08-Apr-12 18:26:55

Haggis, I have been in a similar situation. It is devastating. I have had similar instincts to run away, and weep uncontrollably, etc... I called 999 on my son a couple of weeks ago because he lost his temper and was very frightening: he smashed things up, threw things at me, kicked a door off its hinges, broke a window and waved a knife around. There have been two previous occasions in the past couple of years when he has been physically threatening to me and I have called 999... On those occasions I decided not to have him arrested, but this time I did. You probably don't need the full, gory details, but there are a couple of things I did not realise that I think it is useful to know:

- The police who attended were very kind to me and very clear that it was domestic abuse. They also said it was much more common than you might guess, especially with single mothers and sons. In fact, while they were still with me taking my statement, another similar call came through on the police radio. I found it reassuring (that's not quite the right word but it's the best I can find) to know that there are other women having the same sorts of experiences. It is definitely taboo, so that's not something you'd necessarily find out yourself, especially if you're a private person.

- The worst bit was after he was interviewed, bailed and released. The police assumed I would have him back. At the time I did not feel safe to do this, and I was taken totally by surprise that they just assumed it. I had not thought what the alternative would be at all - I had not thought past his arrest. I pointed out that as things stood, I was a victim of a crime he had admitted, and that if he was an adult they would not even be suggesting that I should have him back in the house. There is a problem because there is not enough social services provision for teenage boys. BUT if you find yourself in this situation (I hope you don't) I would say that you need to think about your safety as well as his. If you ever have your son arrested for being violent towards you, do NOT have him back unless or until you are certain he will not be violent again. There are always other options. It sounds desperate, but basically, it IS desperate, because mothers don't call the police on their children unless they are desperate sad

- I worried terribly about 'giving' my son a criminal record. However, the outcome is that he has been given a 'final warning' - the step before a formal caution - so he effectively has a second chance. I don't know what the system is in Scotland, but I bet it is similar, or even better, because the English system is generally more punitive for young people.

- The youth offending team (YOT) is now involved, and various additional support and intervention is available, that wasn't before, and that I think we really need. We had a very useful 2 hour session with a specialist police officer. We are being offered mediation. My son has been referred for a drugs assessment. My younger son may be able to get counselling or at least some kind of informal support... Last but definitely not least (as far as I am concerned) it is such a relief to be able to talk openly to people (the YOT team) about what has been going on with my son.

- The best thing about it is that my son has been making a real effort to behave better. He ran away to avoid being arrested, and I then refused him access to our home until I had been able to talk to him and be sure he wasn't still feeling angry and violent, so he slept on people's sofas for 4 nights. He really didn't like it, and he realised how close he had come to being homeless. Most importantly, he seems to have realised that (as he put it himself) "If someone was treating me the way I have been treating you, I wouldn't want to live with them either".

It isn't all roses; it isn't any kind of 'miracle cure'; he has still done some horrible things in the last couple of weeks and I am still feeling stressed/ill about it all... BUT by involving the police (a) I now have a bit of support, and (b) I have drawn a very clear line and told my son I will NOT tolerate any violence ever again. I have decided in my own head that I will throw him out if he is ever violent towards me or his brother again. I am weighing up risks, and it is hugely stressful because on the one hand, I don't want to do that because obviously it will be hard and horrible for him if I do, but on the other hand, I can't continue to live as I had been living, and it's not fair on my younger son, and it is better for him in the long run (I believe) if he grows up learning that violence and intimidation towards other people are not ever acceptable.

Keep that appointment. Good luck.

GinPalace Sun 08-Apr-12 21:25:36

Flow4 it is generous of you to share your hard story and hope things improve for you and your family soon. thanks

Brightspark1 Sun 08-Apr-12 22:45:56

I am in same situation, DD has mental health problems, and has lashed out at me on several occasions, banging my head against wall etc she is six inches taller than me and heavier, so I have been powerless against her. The last time it happened ,the social worker happened to ring in the middle of it all and rang the police. She was arrested but not charged as they have a local policy of using restorative justice, a mixture of community service and discussion about the effect of what she did. This avoids her getting a record which would scupper any chance of turning her life around. I will be posting on how it goes. She was terribly upset and remorseful, but then she always has been but it didn't stop it happening again and again. She is now in care and I miss her terribly, but she seems calmer and happier. She has actually applied to college for next year instead of refusing to think about it, they say she is polite and well behaved, and she is... With everyone else. Hopefully this will be the wake up call she needs.
Keep the appointment, he obviously needs help and support to manage his anger.
P.S. I know what you mean about the cleaning, every cupboard has been turned out, walls have been replanted ( though DD had scrawled Fuck you on various walls and carpets) it has been my way of coping, very out of character!
Hang in there and accept all the help you're offered. I can only offer my support and empathy, no answers.

flow4 Sun 08-Apr-12 23:28:39

Thanks GinPalace, though I'm not sure if anyone should listen to me: it has all gone a bit pear-shaped this evening sad
(Details here if you want to know)

HaggisandTatties Mon 09-Apr-12 11:32:51

Flow4 I am so sorry to hear whats happened to you. Its just heartbreaking. I was really touched by your previous post and was obvious how emotional this all is. I have just read your latest post on the other thread and I am truly sorry this has happened. I hope you are getting lots of support.

Reading through all the replies here really has reinforced how important it is to take my son to the police station tomorrow - there is no doubts now. He has been as good as gold (of course he has!!) and I still havent told anybody whats happened. I dont want to BUT he thinks I have told my family - I wanted him to feel ashamed at his actions..................and felt if he thought it was just between him and I it would be easier for him to deal with the shame and to forget it quicker and I dont want that - that doesnt make sense but it does to me!!

This website has been invaluable to me - this is the worst time of my parenting life I have ever experienced and I cant thank you all enough for helping me

flow4 Mon 09-Apr-12 13:26:40

Brightspark and Haggis, if you have any more urges for house-working frenzy, could you come and do my house, please?! I have had the opposite reaction to all the stress and chaos at home, and I am so tired I can barely make a cup of tea, so my place is now a complete mess confused

AwkwardMaryHadAnEasterLamb Mon 09-Apr-12 13:32:17

I just wanted to try to give you some comfort...my brother was like your son..but not twice...many times...he is 43 now and has a great job and a lovely nature, friends and a fiancee...he's not violent at all...he had a touch teenage-hood. He ha a great Dad so it's not always down to that....take care, you're doing the right thing.

Brightspark1 Mon 09-Apr-12 16:41:30

Please let us know how the appointment goes. If you haven't told anyone what has been happening, it leaves you coping with this alone with no support which it sounds as if you badly need at the moment. It is very hard to share things like this in real life, I find it very difficult as I feel so ashamed and responsible for letting things get out of hand and not getting help sooner. I have been very careful who I tell, I have shared DD's MH problems, but very few people know about the violence, the few I have told have been amazingly supportive and non judgemental. Even though (or maybe because ) we are a two parent family, I have found support or just a shoulder to cry on invaluable. Is there no one to hold your hand and give you a hug?

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