When school decided that my son was possibly being abused by me, his mum, the whole event unfolded into a melting pot of emotional doom and gloom. We had to wait a full day until a social worker was available to investigate the claim. A full day of stress and worry, I couldn’t breathe and I couldn’t eat, thinking about what might be going on with my son in school.
Thank goodness that sense was seen very quickly by the attending social worker and our son was sent home with us. However in the aftermath of this incident, there is one niggling statement that just does not leave my head.
“All teenagers do that, it’s normal behaviour”
I didn’t take the initial phone call which started this monster ball rolling, my husband did. The head of the student support centre, who assures me she has attachment related experience, was the person to utter these words. To which my husband intelligently replied.
“But he’s not a normal teenager is he?”
This seemingly innocent statement from school, is weighted with ignorance and misunderstanding. A sentence in which linger the eyes of judgment and the allegation of overreaction.
Still as I write this and think about the words even being uttered, I fume.
No one who understands how we constantly battle to encourage a trusting relationship with a child exposed to early life trauma, and who has problems forming trust based relationships, would ever utter such nonsense.
My son was caught trying to retrieve his phone for a late night on screen session. I got cross; he got cross, I grabbed him to stop him getting hold of his phone (he once snapped a DS in half in anger and has previously tried to smash his phone) he accidently fell. End of it.
Yes my reaction may not seem “normal” but I don’t live in a “normal” world compared to most.
When my son shows disregard for rules, an ability to be devious and sneaky, I worry. I worry about all the things he may do as he gets older that I won’t know about. I worry about how he plays us and those around him for his own benefit. I worry he will never trust anyone enough to be truly honest with them. I worry about him.
I worry about the future, will he get worse as he grows, am I losing him? I worry about the many feelings he may be concealing which he can’t show me. I worry he may one day hit me and I will not be able to defend myself.
And there it is, that trust thing, it goes two ways. Do I trust him? NO.
I know I need to, I know he needs to feel trusted, but I can’t not fully.
I’m hoping our DDP therapy is going to help resolve some of these issues, but who knows. Maybe I wont ever be able to fully trust him, maybe that’s a good thing because I can hopefully second guess his actions. From a flicker in his eye I will know that I’ve not been told the truth.
Are these feels normal, is this the way I should feel about my child?
Don’t ever tell me it’s normal because it just is not.
I thought it might be appropriate to re-share this film made by The Open Nest in relation to this post.
The Open Nest: The Lost Children Of Trauma. from marry waterson on Vimeo.