Attacked By The Babies I Love
I recently spent 3 days in jail for domestic violence because of the scratches left on my son while I defended myself against him and his older brother. There have been multiple physical confrontations between the older son and myself. There have also been several with his father, my husband.
During this last incident though, I was attempting to put my 10 y.o. son to bed. Since he would not go on his own, I picked him up to place him on his bed and as soon as I put him down, he began punching me in the head and his older brother ran up behind me, egging him on, punching me and screaming, "Come on, let's beat her ass."
I reached up and grabbed the 10 y.o. and pushed him down on the bed and held him there so that he couldn't hit me any longer and his brother continued, until I was able to get my arm up and swing it around to block and keep him from punching me any more. As I exited the room the 10 y.o. jumped on my back and the older one started hitting me again before I reached the hall.
I was arrested because there were marks left on a minor child (my fingernails are 1-1 1/2" long), and I only had bruising starting from the punches, even though he admitted to the police that he was the aggressor and that I did not hit either of them back. Please help me see what I could have done differently, how I can prevent this and how to deal with it.
Response from Dr. DeFoore
Hello Lisa, and thanks for asking for help here. Wow...things have really gotten out of hand in your home. In that exact incident that you described, you may have only done what you needed to do, but that's not the real issue here. Things should never have gotten to this point, where children are attacking their mother.
I'm sure you and your husband are good people, but the two of you are responsible for creating an environment where this kind of thing can happen. Your sons would not behave like this unless there was an atmosphere of aggression and violence in your home. If they loved and respected you, they would not consider attacking you.
You might not want to hear this, but the police did the right thing by holding you accountable for what happened. When parents and children get into physical confrontations, it's always the parent's responsibility--maybe not for the specific incident, but for letting the situation get that bad.
You and your husband need some anger management help and counseling, the sooner the better. Best case would be for you to find some affordable anger management help or counseling in your area. Whether you do that or not, here are some things you can do right here on this web site that might help you to create a loving safe home environment for you and your children:
1) Write a detailed account of all of the abuse and mistreatment you received as a child. Don't hold back or leave anything out. Try to describe every detail. This is for no one's eyes but yours, so don't worry about that. The benefit is how it will help you to revisit these memories from your present position.
2) Use the journaling and imagery healing processes you will find on this page to heal emotionally from the abuse.
4) Moment by moment, day by day, every time you think of your sons, think of their positive aspects--what you like, admire, and love about him. Use this to extend the benefit of the positive journaling process described in the link above. Then, when you can say it like you mean it, sit down with each of them and tell them these things you appreciate about them face-to-face.
And here's what I want you to do regarding your son--read the following page, and follow all of the recommendations that apply to your situation:
Child Anger Management.
Believe in yourself, Lisa. You can do this, if you set your mind to it. You get to choose, moment by moment, what kind of person you're going to be, and these exercises will help you make the right choices. You're a good mom, and you love your children. Your anger (and your husband's) is getting in the way of your love.
Never, ever give up on yourself.
My very best to you,
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