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Not coping with my DS. Lost.(12 Posts)
My DS is 8. He is diagnosed ADHD with other issues yet to be fully diagnosed. I think it's just ADHD my self but we will see. I adore my child but I am not coping. I am awaiting some help with him but there is a waiting list. I don't have the money right now to pay for more professional help privately for another month or so and I am dreading the next month.
He has a good life, not perfect but I can hand on heart say he gets a lot of attention, fun, exercise, lots of time with both his parents. Structure probably needs work but mostly we do the right things as is in the literature about how to deal with ADHD etc. I am a happy warm mum most of the time, but lately my self esteem is on the floor, I am worried I am tipping into depression from the rejection I feel from him. Right now my eyes are swollen from crying myself to sleep and since I woke. I feel like an utter failure, a bad mother and I feel lost.
His behaviour is breaking us. We keep getting back on the horse and trying harder and aiming higher with him but then end up like today. I had written three paragraphs here about what he did last night, the lead up etc (ie: he has recently scalded me with hot coffee in a rage over my not purchasing him shoes that didn't fit him). Last night after a full hour of bringing the house down with his rage, he ran downstairs and took a 5 litre bottle of water and poured it all over the floors. I did not react well. We had to use an entire basket of towels to stop the water from destroying our wood floors. The source of his meltown, slightly later bedtime I guess? Because nothing about the day was stressful, he lives a good life of fresh air, fun, baking during the evening, had a nice dinner, watched a christmas movie, story at bedtime etc. Where it comes from? I don't know. it's like a sudden darkness, I feel my chest tightening when I hear the first signs, a slammed door, a book thrown. I cried for two hours after last nights episode because I gave him a real shock with my reaction. In the past I've shouted at him and been rough with him trying to restrain him and regretted it and felt like shit but also feeling like what the hell else can I do? How else do I stop him hurting himself or others. I occasionally smacked him too but I fundamentally don't agree with that and it was when I was pushed so far so we have since worked hard at taking over from each other etc to avoid that ever happening again. Doesn't make it right but I have had to try and be compassionate with my own mistakes because it gets me no where.... But last night was so awful, after what he did with the water I took him out of the room and he smacked me across the face hard, I started proper bawling then and shouting at him. I carried him up the stairs he was kicking and screaming and I threw him on to his bed and then held him down, not gently, to try and stop him from physically assaulting me again. he was spitting at me and trying to break free. I am pregnant and hormonal and DH was trying to stop the water downstairs, and I had to keep holding him down but then he started to almost hyperventilate he was so upset. I feel so bad. He was shaking and gasping then and I just realised how far up the creek we are, we don't know what we are doing... I wanted to get into the car and just drive as far away as possible. When he calmed down he put a note under my door that I scared him and he is sad.
I'm ashamed. I am worn down. I also wouldn't so much as hurt a hair on my other children's heads, yet I do this with my DS. i am not rising to the challenge of his special needs. I don't understand ADHD. I have to wait weeks to meet someone who can help me. I feel like a failure. I feel he has rejected me since he was two. I am sick of struggling. I am sick of perfectly nice days being ruined by drama and roaring and everyone bawling crying going to sleep. Yet on so many other levels, he is the most loving and sensitive child. I feel lost lost lost lost.
Judge away because I am my own worst judge. I feel like he would be better with a different mother.
Bad days happen. You sound at the end of your tether though so you need to get whatever support you can.
I'm not sure why, given your pregnancy, it was your dh who was mopping the water whilst you were trying to get a kicking, screaming, hitting child into his room. If dh isn't good with ds in these situations is there anything that would help him to cope better in terms of more information on ADHD or a chat with GP or paediatrician? Is there anyone who can give you time off at all? Sometimes family members will step up but I know that often they don't understand.
Are there any parent support groups in the area that you could go to, if only to let off steam?
Poltergoose, who posts on here regularly, swears by the "Explosive Child" and book in terms of dealing with children who have meltdowns and violent outbursts. Hopefully she'll chip in with some advice.
There will be people with more comparable experiences along soon but please don't judge yourself as a bad mother. You clearly care for your children but have been left under pressure with inadequate support. My experience is limited but there is not much you can do if your child is having a major meltdown apart from trying to keep them and everyone else safe. I think other posters on MN have been through similar and been able to head off some problems before they escalate but only by looking at what happens at times when it's not actually happening ifyswim and then preparing for future flashpoints.
Please try to take care of yourself both physically and mentally. It may be worth ringing up and pressurising for an earlier appointment whenever these sorts of incidents happen.
Thank you for the kind and helpful reply. DH is my rock, he had managed almost the entire tantrum prior to that, which doesn't say a lot for me losing it so quickly. As I was taking him from the wet room he was telling me to leave him, the rest happened in the space of a minute and DH needed to stop the water going under the rugs etc. If he had his way he would manage all tantrums himself, as he is concerned that I am pregnant etc. The reality of it is chaotic and both of us trying to keep on top of a constantly moving whirlwind and try to do the right thing, stay calm, stay focussed, try to understand he can't control this etc.
DS came in during the night and cuddled me and kissed me like nothing happened. Ugh, it is such a frustrating and cruel situation. I will follow your tips, I am going to get that book.
Sounds to me like you all love and care for each other but are struggling. Sorry if I seemed to be viewing your dh as unhelpful. Some posters have dh's who struggling to cope with meltdowns so I wondered if this was the case. Glad it isn't and that you feel you are in this together.
I'm sure you won't get a flaming on this board Cartooner. We've all been there.
Was it CAMHS/CYPS that diagnosed your DS with ADHD? Can you go back to them and ask for help with his violence? My DS had over a year of therapy from CAMHS to help with violence in the home. After that, we engaged a private counsellor. In my area there's a charity which provides counselling/therapy for troubled DCs for a donation of whatever you can afford. It might be worth googling your area in case there's something similar.
I would say it's really worth addressing the anger/violence/tantrums now if you can. It will all be driven by anxiety I expect, so if you can get to the root of the anxiety, that will help. He's only going to get bigger and will get harder to control - my 14yo is 8 inches taller than me, which means physically restraining him has been impossible for years.
"The Explosive Child" is a very good book.
It's all a learning experience - so do review what happened yesterday and agree with your DH what you will do next time something like this happens. Sounds like pinning him down on the bed made things worse. When things have got bad, I have locked myself in my bedroom (for my own safety) and just let DS get on with it. Once he's calmed down, I've applied natural consequences i.e. if you make a mess, you tidy it up; if you break something, you pay for a replacement.
I'm sure other people will be on soon, with other suggestions. But don't get downhearted. Every day is a new day.
Thank you for the lovely reply. I had a private diagnosis so now I have to go the public route to get access to camhs, I'm following that up today. There's very little in my area besides unfortunately (not UK).
I just purchased the Explosive Child book on my lunch break. That's a start. I appreciate your words, it's hard when I do so well, keep a lid on my frustrations, pour my heart and soul into trying to do the best for him and then in the space of a few minutes feel like I've undone it all! DH had him last night helping mop up the water and the little size of him his PJs were getting wet and he was shaking he was so upset and I was worried he'd run and slip on the water so I actually took him away initially because I felt sorry for him in that moment, but then he hit me...and I saw red. This book hopefully will give me some clarity on what is going on with him. Thanks .
You sound fantastic PolterGoose, the type of mum I aspire to become. Let's hope I can get there... It's good to hear from someone further down the road too. Our Dr thinks he may have mild high functioning autism too, and it's in our family. Thank you for the ideas to follow up. I appreciate it. I'm glad I found this space.
Sorry, Polter, I didn't mean to put you under pressure, but you're very active on these boards and give such helpful, positive advice that I was sure you'd be along to help
Thank you for the advice yesterday. It turned out to be a better day. he didn't seem to recall any of it, he was in great form, he wanted a Christmas story and we planned out some baking for the weekend and fell asleep no problem. I felt a bit better after that. I'm already listening to the audiobook of the explosive child.
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