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May 282013
 

My eldest son, Mike, might have had a chance to develop an understanding of rules, boundaries, consequences, and appropriate behaviors even though his father was an abusive man. Given the fact that he was raised in an abusive family environment, he was doomed from conception. No amount of love, expectations, good intentions, or pleading would alter his course.

Victor, Mike’s father, demonstrated how to be an effective abuser and remain under the legal  radar by practicing utter dominance over every member of my family (including my mother and father) using carefully chosen words and subsequent actions. Mike learned, early on, from his father’s example, how to convincingly blame other people for his own actions, and he continues this, to this day.

When my youngest son, Bob, was born, Mike had already settled into a set pattern of bad behaviors; Acting out in school, refusing to cooperate with me, and following the darker side of human behaviors, even at that early age. He was enamored of gang activities and their apparent “power,” as organized groups. He was diagnosed ADHD and prescribed Ritalin – a choice that I regret, to this day. Nobody clearly understood the long-term effects of prescribed medications on the physiology of children over long terms, and how a drug like Ritalin could actually have detrimental effects. And, this isn’t an explanation or excuse for Mike’s choices – it’s just an added component.

Mike began to take actions that were criminal and alarming. He actually self-branded himself with a wire coat hanger that he had formed into the symbol of a well-known gang, heated the wire, and imprinted it on his forearm at age 12. I have no idea when he did this – Victor worked second-shift and slept all day until he got up and got ready for work. His days off were in the middle of the week, so he wasn’t “present” during weekends and it was my “job” to try to keep the boys quiet while Victor was sleeping. Essentially, Victor was the “fun” parent in the eyes of our sons because he had little-to-nothing to do with actually interacting with our children except on his days off. I had my own dynamics during this time – I was utterly depressed, physically ill, and chronically exhausted because I experienced nothing outside of the walls of our home. I was isolated, abused by Victor, and abused by Mike on a surreptitious level.

As Bob entered into toddlerhood, Victor began focusing his abusive behaviors on Mike on a more consistent level. He would accuse Mike of “teaching” Bob how to lie, cheat, steal, act-out, and other unforgivable transgressions that I, apparently, hadn’t attended to. Victor would sit in front of Mike for hours upon hours (literally) belittling him and lecturing to him. If I defended Mike, in any capacity, I would be punished in one way or another – this would occur when Bob learned that he could accuse Mike of any action, factual or fictional, and I would speak up to tell Victor that Bob was not being truthful and had invented a scenario to see Mike suffer punishment. When I would defend Mike, his father would scream these words in my face in front of both children, “WHY do you undermine my authority?!” This, in turn, allowed for Mike to wreak vengeance upon Bob, physically and emotionally, in the form of abuse and torture.

I finally accepted the fact that I had been married to an abuser for nearly 15 years and that both of our children were suffering – Mike had begun engaging in self-mutilation (self-branding), criminal activities (shoplifting and breaking / entering), and violent rages in school. I made the difficult decision to leave the marriage and, at the suggestion of a Social Worker, allowed Victor to maintain physical custody of our sons with the assurance that he would soon tire of managing the children.

Fast-forward. I had divorced Victor and had relinquished physical custody of both of my sons – I didn’t have the resources to sustain a legal custody war and my second husband lived in another State. The Social Worker insisted that both sons would eventually find their ways back to me when Victor became tired of having his life governed by caring for them. This was true. Victor was very busy using online means to secure a conga-line of new targets and Mike was too much for him to manage, so he deposited Mike in a group home for disturbed children. Since I wasn’t there, I have no idea what really happened, but Victor accused Mike of molesting his brother, had him removed from the home, placed into a mental care facility, and then went on a whirlwind sexual romp with someone that he had “met,” online, leaving Bob in the care of a “friend” for a week. I did not know about this until after the fact as Victor refused to cooperate with me as per the Court Order – this is very common with abusive and sociopathic individuals.

Even though it was clear that Victor was unable to manage Mike, he refused to agree that Mike and Bob would be better off with me – this is also a typical and predicable tactic of an abusive sociopath to maintain control and harm (or, “pay back”) any target that manages to escape.

Finally, Mike made a choice to enter into the attic space of the apartment that his father rented and crawl to an adjacent apartment where a young girl was living with her parent, fell through the ceiling, and the apartment manager threatened to evict Victor and his ill-behaved brood. That was the point where I gained custody of Mike.

From that point on, I worked very hard to reach Mike. Through counseling, boundaries, consequences, rewards, and accountability, I spent tremendous energy trying to affect change in him. Victor’s early traiining still had a tremendous impact on Mike’s behaviors and choices – Mike insisted that he wanted to join the military and, at 17, begged me to sign his military contract. I had offered Mike every option to attend college or a trade school, and he was beyond adamant, so I signed. A month after I signed his contract to enter a branch of the military the U.S. declared war in the Middle East. When Mike learned the news of this, he became furious with me and accused me of sending him off to be killed in battle because I told him that he didn’t have any options to break the contract that we both has signed and that he had insisted, throughout all of the time that he had planned on entering the military, that he wanted to “shoot people and blow things up.” This, as I explained, was a consequence of signing a legal contract and entering any branch of the military: there is no way to predict how or what will occur and that the military wasn’t always a “safe” alternative to Real Life.

Despite my efforts to reach him, Mike continued to act-out, defy, commit crimes, and I eventually expelled him from my home after a series of bad choices after he had turned 18. At that time, all Mike needed to do was to apologize for his behaviors, engage in intensive counseling, and demonstrate that he understood the consequences of his actions to return home. Instead, he opted to live on the street in an attempt to punish me – to make me feel as badly as possible for his plight. During this time, his grandmother passed away and there was not acknowledgement of this event – she had been a staunch supporter of Mike’s through thick and thin, and he didn’t even attend her funeral.

Mike eventually graduated from the alternative high school that he attended – he had the ability to be mainstreamed, but he continued making choices that would have resulted in him being expelled and was, instead, warehoused in an “alternative” school environment which is, by all observations, simply a space to babysit students and insure that they “complete” their educations to boost regional statistics. I spoke to Mike the night before his graduation on the phone from the Recruiter’s Office where he had been sleeping on their sofa, at night, and told him that I would take him to his graduation ceremony, the next morning. This was a very painful event for me – Mike had, through his own actions, “robbed” me of every normal event and celebration during his childhood. His graduation should have been an event to celebrate with friends and family, and his choices caused it to be the most somber of all events that I have ever attended, including funerals for friends and family.

After his graduation, Mike went off to boot camp and I grieved in a way that I had never experienced prior to this. I had lost my son – my beautiful, intelligent, and witty son. What I had hoped for him to become had not come to fruition. Instead, this extraordinarily handsome young man had become a rage-filled, abusive, manipulative, and deceitful “Thing.” He had become a more adroit reproduction of his father, and there would never be another chance to reach and recover what I had so desperately wanted and envisioned as my offspring.

Custody of Bob, in the meantime, had been legally determined by a Family Court Judge who ruled that Mike had sexually assaulted Bob while he was left alone to “care” for his younger brother while their father was at work. The only evidence that I ever was privy to was a written report by a child psychologist who believed that Mike had, indeed, had sexual contact with his younger brother and was a danger to Bob, on every level. Nobody, aside from this psychological report, would ever speak to me about what had been alleged, and I still have no idea what happened, to this day. So, Bob had remained with his father throughout this time and his father had “allowed” him to determine when (or, even IF) Bob would have visitation with me. At no time did Victor ever ask for visitation with Mike, did not acknowledge Mike’s graduation even with a greeting card, nor did he attend Mike’s subsequent graduation from boot camp or, again, even acknowledge his accomplishment with a card of congratulations.

During his time in boot camp, Mike corresponded with me via letters that he wrote twice per week. In his letters, he conveyed a sense of remorse for his actions and how much he “valued” my efforts to teach him responsibility. His words were so convincing that I believed that he had turned a corner in his life and was prepared to embark upon redefining who he was and what his goals were. I could not have been more snowed if I had been in the center of an Iowan blizzard in February.

I had rented a car and driven to Georgia to attend Mike’s graduation from boot camp. It was planned that Mike would spend the next two-weeks of leave with me. As we approached the city where Victor lived, Mike used my cell phone to contact his father to arrange a visit. From what I gleaned from Mike’s end of the phone conversation, Victor had no interest in seeing his son before he was sent off for the next three years in the military – this, after Victor had instilled in his own son that only “real men” served in the military. Over, and over, Mike calle dhis father and literally begged to see him before he went off and Victor finally agreed to meet him at a mall for 45 minutes. Although Mike had “accomplished” everything that Victor had set forth in order for him to be a “valid” man, Mike still remained an annoyance to his father and something to be dismissed once he had outlived his usefulness to cause me to suffer. It was a grievous meeting and Mike was visibly damaged by the event.

When we finally got back to Mike’s (and, my) hometown, I paid for a hotel room for him, in advance, and had arranged for a “family” celebration for Mike with his step-family in attendance and the illusion that Mike had woven of his personal changes and views quickly unraveled.

Mike had developed a relationship with a young girl that he had sent all of his military income to in anticipation of marrying her. When he settled into his motel room and contacted her, she told him that it was over and that she’d found someone new. Without my knowing any of this, Mike then paid for a prostitute to stay with him and began sliding back into his hold habits of drug use and stupid decisions.

I received a call from the motel manager, since the room was in my name, and he conveyed that Mike had been the victim of a theft – all of his identification, his military orders, plane ticket to his unit, and everything else had been “stolen.” What it turned out to be was that Mike had actually disposed of all of this in the belief that it would prevent his inevitable deployment. When I questioned Mike about these events and hinted at my interpretations, he became accusatory, again, that I wanted him to be sent to the Middle East to be killed. I ended the conversation, left him in his hotel room, and returned to my own home, in tears. Once again, my expectations were dashed.

That night, I received a call from another girl that he had once dated that he had been threatened suicide and been taken to a mental health unit. It was, I believe, an final attempt to get some help but his motives were dual: avoid military service and to hurt everyone who had used, abused, abandoned, and dismissed him.

Throughout this whole series of events, Victor was still manipulating our sons and their views of themselves, and each other. He had interfered with my efforts to help Mike from three states away. He had prevented Bob from developing any sort of relationship with me by “allowing” Bob to “choose” whether or not he “wanted visitation” with me, and he had set the Bar Of Approval (to join the military to be a “real man.”) for Mike to jump over, only to snatch the prize away with a wave of his hand in utter dismissal and apathy for his own offspring’s well-being.

This very brief history of Mike, his choices, and consequences sets the tone of his subsequent relationship with Bob and his three disastrous marriages in which he physically abused his wives. It would take volumes to convey the details of how Mike became what he is, and how Bob’s Life’s Path was determined by a cycle of domestic violence, abuse, and genetic predisposition to sociopathy.

I broke contact with Mike, and Bob eventually came to live with me and is a traumatized victim of both his father Victor and his brother Mike. Bob still loves Mike and is trauma bonded to him. I’m doing my best to assist Bob in breaking this trauma bond to his abuser, but  it is a difficult road for him, and for me. Going “no contact” with Mike and Victor helped me to recover and to discover that I do not need to allow anyone to abuse me. It also allowed me to learn and grow as a human being, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually, because it is difficult to grow when we are being abused.

Breaking free of abusers and offenders is painful and difficult, but  it is the only road out of pain and grief.

 

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  14 Responses to “Breaking free of abuse By Blogger Truthspeak

  1. Thank you for this article, Truthspeak. The words of wisdom in here about breaking out of abusive relationships is so authentic when it is from someone who has “been there” and seen the consequences to the children and to themselves.

    It is NEVER OKAY to stay in a relationship with an abusive person. It doesn’t matter if the abuse is from a spouse or from a child that we loved and did our best to nurture. It is impossible to “fix” a relationship with an abusive spouse, the ONLY option is to GET OUT while you are alive. Susan Powell is a perfect example of someone who stayed too long. With men like Josh Powell, though, they will stalk and hurt you if you do try to leave so exceptional measures must be taken.

    It is UNBELIEVABLE to me that the court ordered visitation with this man who was strongly suspected of killing his wife. I hope the judge that was responsible for the death of those two children can not sleep at night for the rest of his life.

    The social worker who advised you to leave your sons with Victor that he would “tire” of them and they would come to you is also on the list of people I hope can never sleep at night as long as they live for such advice.

    I applaud you for going No Contact with your son Mike, and I pray for your son Bob that he can come to healing from the abuse from both his father and his brother. I am also glad that you are on the healing road and in recovery from the abuse you endured for way too long, as many of us have done, me included. It is ONLY when we recognize the abuse and get away from it that we can really start to heal. God bless.

  2. Truthspeak,

    What you and your children endured is incredible. Like the rest of us, you have suffered. I’m sorry for the abuse that you and your children experienced. We are the walking wounded. Peace to you.

  3. Bluejay, “walking wounded” we may have been but we can choose to be the “walking survivors” as well, but as long as we continue to allow abuse in our lives we will be the CONTINUALLY WOUNDED. It is only when we cut off contact with these people as much as possible that we can heal.

    People who share children with the offenders are sometimes not able to cut off 100% of contact with the offender as the court orders visitation, etc. but we can keep that contact too a BARE MINIMUM.

  4. Truthspeak,
    I’m so sorry you went through that.
    You’ve come through the biggest hurdle: denial. At least you are no longer in denial of the abuse. You see other people’s actions for what they are and that’s a huge step.

    Thank you for sharing the story of your journey. It does make it just a little bit easier when we let the truth out into the light. It takes some of the power away from the abuse. They say light is a disinfectant.

  5. Sky, I went through the same processes that we all did when realizing that we were involved with spaths or, at the very least, toxic people. Denial, false hope, enabling, etc….and, my situation is TYPICAL of what others out there are still living in. It’s a statistical fact hat 80% of all child abuse and neglect is experienced in what counselors term an “intact” family – both parents are present. There’s a reason for this fact: the children are simply tools of torment, and not viewed as human vessels for fragile souls.

    I made it out and I went from the fire into the frying pan because I did not take time to heal myself of my experiences. More on that, at another time.

    The cycle of DV&A is at epidemic proportions, and I truly don’t see any hope to even quell this pandemic. Getting the word out is fine, but it’s not good enough. Family Laws must be altered and amended, as well as “no fault” divorce – punitive damages MUST be awarded to survivors of abusers because it’s the ONLY thing that these people understand. Hitting someone in their wallet or purse seems to be the ONLY thing that gets their attention, even if it’s temporary.

  6. Truthy, I totally agree that the family courts and child protection agencies must be revamped and especially the courts in that Judges need to be EDUCATED about violence toward spouses and children.

    As you well know I am rabid toward child molesters….having known several personally….and in two of them I “knew” something was off with them, I didn’t like them, but I couldn’t put my finger on it, but I never suspected that they were pedophiles until after their arrests. One of the guys I knew I never suspected and I also liked him and his wife.

    It is the same with people who abuse their spouses, I know several men right now that I suspect are abusers behind closed doors.

    I get your point on the “No fault” divorce, but there are benefits to being able to get a NO fault divorce, not having to prove adultery etc. I think it is the COMMUNITY PROPERTY part that is at times unfair and there should be some kind of way that could be altered in cases where one spouse has ripped the other one off. I don’t see this as happening any time soon. At the time the community property laws were put into place it was a benefit to most women, especially those that stayed home to raise kids while he “made all the money” so a wife would not get a fair share if she stayed home, and the community property laws were enacted to help her. They didn’t help me because he LIED AND HID PROPERTY…and I got short shift, but I did collect child support for years that sort of made up for part of what I got ripped off on.

    Many women get no child support and must somehow survive with their children in utter poverty. But even that is better than being abused on a daily basis.

  7. Truthy,

    Thank you so much for sharing your heartbreaking story. I know it must have been hard for you to write. Sometimes when I attempt to put everything down in writing, it is like having to relive it all over again.

    Only through stories such as yours will the education, the understanding and the help come.

    I hope don’t mind me asking, and I only ask because I want to educate myself, you said you put Mike on Ritalin for his ADHD and wished you hadn’t, what are your reasons? I ask because my grandson has been on Adderall for almost 7 years. I KNOW it helps his hyperactivity, but I constantly wonder if it isn’t at the cost of something else. He can become angry and hard to get through to when he is like that, I wonder if it is the the meds. This is a constant question on my mind and would appreciate hearing your views. Both his parents are high in the spath traits, although at 12, I see so many genuine, empathetic, considerate, loving traits in him. Most of the “trouble” he gets into is due to impulsive behavior, speaking and acting BEFORE engaging his brain.

    Thanks again

    MiLo

    • MiLo, I am not in the medical or psych fields. Having typed that, research has reflected that children who were prescribed Ritalin (specifically) typically required subsequent treatment with antidepressants once they passed puberty.

      My personal belief is that these medications alter a child’s brain in such a way that they become 100% dependent upon pharmaceuticals in order to function. They may SEEM as if their hyperactivity is being managed, but we are just beginning to see the ramifications in the people who are approaching or are IN their 30’s from long-term use of these medications. Brain functions are permanently altered, IMHO. We simply do not know enough about HOW the brain functions and it is a very specific organ with endless nuances that human beings are tinkering with. My personal belief is that parents couldn’t be bothered with managing a normally inquisitive and active child and people opted to give their children drugs to keep them QUIET as a management technique.

      Scenario: two parents working full-time jobs don’t have the time, energy, or inclination to DEAL with a hyperactive and inquisitive child of 5, so they rush to the doctor and beg for help in the form of a chemical instead of sitting down with their child, playing games with them, reading to them, singing with them, and ENGAGING with them. Doctors have prescribed these drugs to children because they CAN – children on these drugs must maintain a constant update with the prescribing physician which translates into Office Visits which makes the following equation a fact: child + ADHD + drugs = Trip To Cancun.

      When I was a child, I was unruly and hyperactive. I was unable to focus and began to simply NOT care about completing homework assignments, projects, etc. I had been told, over and over, that I was a “problem child” and that I was “never going to amount to anything” BECAUSE I couldn’t control my own impulsivity. So, why bother? My grades were horrendous and I spent 3 summers in summer-school because I simply could not, and WOULD not focus. At some point in my junior year of high school, I became weary of being told what a pain in the azz I was and I began to sort out my own techniques of focusing, memorization, and so forth. And, no, it wasn’t easy, but I taught myself ways to manage, alone, and without the assistance of any other person.

      Adderal is some powerful stuff, MiLo, and for a 12 year old child to have been taking this medication for 7 years means that his parents put him on this drug at the age of 5. ALL 5 year old kids are SUPPOSED to be active, inquisitive, and pushing their boundaries, for crying out loud. “Impulsivity” can be a powerful teacher for a child with ADD/ADHD. I’m one of those people who does not learn unless I experience it, and sometimes, I miss the lesson, even then to this very day. But, we cannot “learn” unless we push the edge of that proverbial envelope. Sometimes, the lesson can be pretty painful and result in some serious consequences, but the consequences are the BEST teachers and there is no medication that can replace a consequence for impulsivity.

      Again, IMHO, there are very rare situations where pharmaceuticals are necessary for a child. For millennia, human being have experienced attention disorders, but they were NOT being infused with high-fructose corn syrup in the form of sodas, fast-foods, and overstimulation like they are, today. Energy drinks, audio-visual overstimulation, and general lack of understanding that a child is a soul and requires nurturing, not medicating all contributes to the over-diagnosis of ADD/ADHD as a means of management.

      In the late ’70’s, there was a hilarious parody of an advertisement for pharmaceuticals that went something like this, “Feeling tired, TAKE A PILL! Feeling hungry, TAKE A PILL!! Feeling angry, TAKE A PILL!!!” What’s sad is that is precisely the path that humanity has taken. Everything, including normal grief and grief response, is approached with pharmaceuticals.

      Sorry for the lengthy response, but I have a very strong opinion about medicating children, especially when we really have no more understanding of how and why the brain functions. The more that we learn about this subject, the more we realize that we don’t really “know” as much as we think we do.

      • Truthy and Milo,

        Truthy said: ” Having typed that, research has reflected that children who were prescribed Ritalin (specifically) typically required subsequent treatment with antidepressants once they passed puberty.”

        The fact that these children require anti-depressant meds after puberty doesn’t mean that ritalin CAUSED that depression, only that it is connected with the depression.

        My son Andrew is also not only ADHD and is ALSO depressed, and at times so deeply depressed that I despaired he would kill himself. Even ADHD kids that never had a ritalin tab have depression issues, or BI-POLAR, and frankly I am not convinced that Andrew is not somewhat bi-polar, with the ADHD it is very difficult to diagnose Bi-polar unless the swings from up to down are VERY wild or sudden or frequent.

        I only had Andrew on the drug for less than a week, so I don;’t believe that CAUSED his depression. (or bi-polar if that is the case too)

        The genetics of ADHD are fairly well known and there is at least 4 generations of it in my father’s family that I know of, Andrew being the 4th generation, me being the 3rd. There are various levels of it as well.

        ADHD and Bi-polar are frequently found in the same individual as well as personality disorders like “anti-social” (psychopathic) personality disorder.

        Truthy, looking at your story of Victor and your son Mike, I would say that both of them are high on the psychopathic trait list, and that Mike’s problems are somewhat genetic as well as environmental (he got the double whammy, genetics and environmental!) So it is my opinion that nothing you could have done, even if you had left Victor before Mike was born, that would have made much difference in Mike’s outcome, any more than I could have with Patrick.

        Genetics are stronger in some individuals than in others, and my father’s genetics helped create one of my half sibs (out of 4 of us) into a clone of his abusive self, as well as contributing to Patrick’s genetics. Patrick also had high P-traits on his father’s side as well.

        Research is going on right now to try to determine which genes contribute to anti-social behavior in individuals so that early interventions may be able to help these individuals. Dr. Liane Leedom is doing a project now on people who have psychopaths as parents and I participated in the first phase of the study. We are also seeking people who have psychopathic children and hope to get enough signed up to get a reasonable number for a study of those people.

        Of course the research is slow but it is ongoing so maybe in another generation they will know much more than they do now.

        In working with these kids who were very problematic in an inpatient as well as outpatient settings, frankly there wasn’t a lot of therapy that helped, even very intense therapy once these kids started acting out at 8-10, or even after puberty. with your description of Mike acting out very early, I think he had a large genetic input.

        There is also some indication that puberty and the hormones at that stage in development fuel the genetic turn on like it did with Patrick, but in HIND SIGHT I can see some early signs of problems in Patrick, not as much as Mike, but there none-the-less.

        I agree that many parents want to simply give the kid a pill to adjust the behavior issues and I also think many normal kids are medicated just for the parents or teachers, rather than parenting or teaching being done. For those children who are truly problematic, it takes a lot of therapy, parenting and teaching and many don’t get it soon enough or heavy enough. There is still lots to learn, but please be assured, you did not “cause” Mike’s problems by ritalin or by any failures on your part. Even if you had left early, there are chances that Mike would still be Mike as he is today.

        • ps..Truthy, Milo’s Grandson has many more problems than “just” hyperactivity, and she is raising him because his mother is an in and out of jail, living on the street Borderline Personality Disorder (at least) substance abuser etc and his sperm donor was also a prison inmate, so this child got the double whammy but Milo and her husband have had him since age 2 and have had him in therapy, working with the school etc. Grand is also very smart and makes all A’s but struggles with impulsivity Without Milo and her husband the child would most likely be in foster care or worse.

          Milo is No Contact with her daughter and recently Grand went no contact with his “egg donor” (you can’t call her a “mother” because she has never nurtured her children.)

          I have no doubt that her grandson had genetic problems, and maybe drugs while in his egg donor’s belly, and early neglect and abuse, so factor all those together, and he is doing REMARKABLY well with nurturing and caring PARENTS who are Grand!!!

          While he has some impulse control issues, over all he is developing a conscience and empathy and that’s gonna go a long way for him in this world, and that he is able to make the decision at 12 to cease contact with his egg donor is I think pretty good thinking for a kid that age. He is no longer fooled by her or trying to seek her “love” and attention.

          • Joyce, I remember MiLo’s situation and I cannot imagine how difficult it is for her.

            My feelings are that the majority of the children-now-adults that were placed on Ritalin were done so as a management technique. I remember when the State of Connecticut Teacher’s Union was attempting to push legislation that would have allowed preschool teachers to “diagnose” and medicate preschool children with Ritalin if the children presented inattentiveness, hyperactivity, and other “symptoms.” Luckily, professionals from the medical and mental health communities put the kiabosh on this outrageous notion before it ever even hit the State House & Senate.

            I do believe that there are individuals who benefit from medical treatment, certainly. But, given that MiLo’s grandson has two parents who exhibit high spath traits, he’s got an uphill battle, regardless of a diagnosis. And, I know that MiLo is doing everything humanly possible to help her grandson – she is doing everything that she can.

            And, I agree that Mike would have developed into what he is, regardless, just as his brother Bob would have. Even if genetic information weren’t a factor, the dynamics in which they were both raised would have guaranteed damage on every level. AND, since I believe that abusers are high in spath/ppath traits, it’s doom from conception.

            My concern is that prescriptions are being distributed to children and adults with the belief that these medications are going to somehow “cure” specific issues, and they just don’t. In some cases, these medications may help, but they aren’t the sole answer. In conjunction with the meds, I believe that strong and sensible counseling therapy should be required, as well as meeting with nutritionists and spiritual advisors.

            Of course, all of the good intentions and suggestions aren’t worth a fart in a Missouri windstorm if the parents choose medication as the ONLY facet of treatment. And, in many cases like Mike’s and Patrick’s, no amount of conscientious parenting will prevent the inevitable.

            In my situation, I chose to reproduce with an abusive sociopath. And, I have no business even thinking that the outcome could have somehow been prevented, whether Ritalin or counseling were a factor.

            When we want to produce strong and healthy livestock, we do extensive research of sires and dams to determine what match will produce the most desirable offspring. When I chose to marry the abusive exspath, no such thought was given to the union, the exspath’s family dynamics, etc. he exspath GAVE me the information that I needed to make a good decision (abusive family dynamics, estrangement from HIS direct and extended family), and YET……..and, yet, I believe that my love, support, and encouragement would help this “abandoned puppy” reach his true potential – if I just loved him enough, he’d be compelled to make changes and better himself. WOW………..what an ego I had, right? LOL

  8. Milo, I tried my son Andrew on Ritalin at age 7, and took him off of it as it made him a zombie….I tried the Feingold diet, which is rigid, no artificial colors or flavors, and many foods prohibited. I told Andrew that it was for his allergies, and believe it or not it cleaned up his allergy problem and prior to the diet he always had a SNOTTY nose, ugly stuff.

    Anyway, you can google the feingold diet and research is NOW, 36 YEARS LATER, validating that the diet does work. It takes about 8 weeks of a prohibited diet to get the toxins out of their system, then they must stay on the diet rigidly. I did see a BIG difference once when he drank a glass of koolaid at a neighbor’s house and it took him a month to slow down again. He is STILL ADHD but much easier to focus and calm down.

    The docs at the time told me I was crazy but I thought I’d give it a try and NOT tell Andrew what it was for and see how it worked. It apparently works well with some kids and not at all with others. as old as your grand is though you might want to tell him to get his cooperation.

    That diet is how I ended up with dairy goats because cow milk effects Andrew and he is a milk-a-holic.

    Adderal works differently than Ritalin does and I’ve seen it help kids a lot. If he would cooperate with the diet, maybe you could wean him off the adderal and see how he does.

    Andrew is a middle aged man now and mainstreamed, though still ADHD, and not perfect by a long shot, but he functions in society and has a good work ethic.

  9. Joyce, I am intrigued by the role that contemporary nutrition plays in human physiology, particularly children. In order for a parent or guardian to alter a child’s nutritional intake, they have to be of stern focus and discipline – they have to CARE enough to ignore the inconveniences of a strict regimen and make changes that will benefit everyone, especially their children.

    The inn where I briefly worked is owned by a young couple in their late 20’s to early 30’s. When I began working there, their son had just turned 3. This child was fed all manner of “easy” foods and beverages that were (IMHO) grossly inappropriate. This child was given cans of soda on an hourly basis – I never saw him drink anything else like water, or even cow’s milk. He was fed pies and cakes because they didn’t require his chef father to be distracted from his guests’ orders. The mother couldn’t be bothered to prepare anything for him, either – she was too busy being the Innkeeper.

    The little boy was basically ignored and staff members were expected to manage this child while the parents ran their bed and breakfast business. This child literally (no exaggeration) ran through the guest areas, pub, and dining room, screaming while guests were dining and wait staff tried desperately to avoid tripping over him. In the commercial kitchen, this 3-year-old also dashed around the ovens, grills, and deep fryers. He would delve into food supplies and either eat what was laying around OR he would begin throwing food across the kitchen.

    The last time I saw this little boy, he was standing on the outside second-storey landing to the innkeeper’s apartment, naked, screaming, and in the middle of December. After roughly ten minutes of this, the mother eventually located her screaming offspring and asked him, “What are you doing out here with no clothes on?” The child answered with a stream of screaming that would have cause me (as a guest at this very expensive inn) to pack my bags, demand a refund, and leave. The mother ushered this naked, freezing child into the apartment while calling for one of the staff members to come “Get him dressed,” and (apparently) occupy him until it was time for his “nap.” I was beyond feeling shocked. I was disgusted because these “parents” had produced this child and gave not a single WHIT about the fact that they weren’t raising him, even though he was living in the facility that was their sole source of business and income.

    Will this little boy have a chance to develop into a healthy and productive adult? I believe that caring parents or guardians MIGHT be able to help him. But, with parents who care no more about their own child than they would for a goldfish, this kid doesn’t have a chance. And………the whole point……….these people COULD be providing the very best of nutrition and environment for this child to develop, and they simply aren’t interested.

  10. Truthy, waaaaay too many kids in my opinion are “raised” by the TV and computers and video games not parents who are WAAAAY too busy making money to buy these toys to spend time with their kid.

    Many people actually do not know how to cook. I saw an ad on tv the other night for KFC chicken and it was to have a “family dinner” you picked up a box of that and all sat around the dining room table. That was a “homemade meal” WTF???

    When I was in the rural health care clinics and seeing patients for family medicine, I was shocked at the diets of many young mothers, the children were starved for nutrition before they were born. Sodas and junk food.

    It was a LOT OF WORK to keep andrew on that diet, I had to make everything from scratch pretty much. It was worth it though, and once I got the hang of it, he even went away to summer camp and I took his goat milk frozen, talked to the cook, and he ate fried egg sandwiches for a week 3 x a day. LOL but it worked and he cooperated. Of course now he is off the diet, and drinks cows milk, but he’s an adult and can do what he pleases.

    I cook 99% of everything we eat here now from scratch and search and find items that I don’t raise that are no salt, and the organic when I can find it. It is a lot of trouble, but I value nutrition highly so I do it and will as long as I am able.

    It really makes me feel good that the Feingold diet has been VALIDATED by research lately, as the docs in those days acted like Ii was using burned chicken feathers to treat his problem.

    They are also finding that there is a DIRECT genetic link in ADHD, and also that there are similar links in personality disorders and in aggression and violence, so some ADHD kids get the ADHD link + the violence link and without the impulse control to slow them down, the violence comes out. Many times these kids become offenders and end up in prison as a result.

    The question now becomes “if it is genetic, should they be given a pass for their behaviors like someone who hears voices from “god” telling them to kill?” The criminally insane are incarcerated not for punishment but for the safety of society and for their own safety.

    The difference between the “criminally insane” and the ADHD/violent offender is that the latter KNOWS RIGHT FROM WRONG, but chooses not to abide by it.

    If you factor in some substance abuse with the other genetic problems, you now have a very dangerous individual. Recent research also shows that these (mostly) men are quick to take offense and engage in violence as a result of the “offense.” Their “warrior” status is also somewhat geneticly determined. But DNA is NOT DESTINY, and we as a society can not allow violent men and women who cause injury and death to others to remain at large. Unfortunately, the way our criminal justice system (and I think that term is an oxymoron) 99% of all these offenders will be released from incarceration at some time in their lives.

    While they may not be as physically aggressive as old persons, they are still what they were when they were young, they don’t suddenly grow a conscience or moral compasses.

    Sociology has ruled the thinking, that environment, poverty, neglect etc cause people to become offenders, but the pendulum is swinging in the other direction now as DNA research and brain and other research is showing that Genetics plays a big part in violent behavior, which in western culture is not okay.

    In some cultures violence is the norm, for example the men who blew up the twin towers on 9/11, they thought they were doing RIGHT by what they did. So this old world is a big mess and our only option is to get as far away from people who are violent, parasitic, abusers, users, and others who have repeatedly broken the laws of our society.

    Trying to “love” and “support” these people who are unwilling or unable (it doesn’t matter which) to change for the better isn’t going to do a bit of good. I found out the hard way, and so did you, Truthy.At some point we must “throw in the towel” and give up and GET AWAY from these people.

    I realize that I had the genes for ADHD and other genes that were not “expressed” in me for violence and I passed them on to my son Patrick. His father also had controlling and abusive men in his family, though he was not abusive himself, he did have a mental illness and also allowed his controlling father to control him, so Patrick got “bad genes”: from all sides of his family. If I had known what I know now, Ii would never have had children.

    Many offenders have many short term relationships and produce children from many women. On an evolutionary scope this is “success” but unfortunately the women who are left to raise these offspring have a great deal to cope with. Even if they are good parents, or if the child is adopted out to a “good” family, the DNA may overpower the environment of even the best nurturing parent.

    With your son Mike, Truthy, there is probably NOTHING you could have done to have changed his outcome.

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