Monday, November 21, 2011

Secondary PTSD

Our son has been back "home" for two weeks now.  The only time we have heard from him is when he demanded money this weekend.  He was disrespectful and just plain nasty.  

It's a very long story, but the bank wouldn't release his money to him because he was a minor when I set up the account.  It listed me as the guardian, so he had to have my consent to withdraw anything.  I sent him an e-mail allowing him to do so, but I told him that he would not be getting a substantial amount of money that my grandfather gave him for graduation.  That check was made out to me and son because my grandfather gets it.  The money was intended for his education, which he chose not to continue.  I am honoring the integrity of what my grandfather wants done.  I received the following e-mail in response.  This is word for word what he wrote. I have not changed a thing.

"if it was there since i was eight like you said then why do I have no money in there??? doesnt make sense and way to be a complete ass yourself....i really dont get you .... i was ur son, was i not good enough, the drama. all the shit that happened in your house made me a stronger person.
first. you need to grow up yourself,
second. you need to make things right with all the people you have screwed over and then u might be a little happier.
and third, you need to take a look at your mind and all that goes through it, i dont understand you, why is everthing that comes out of your mouth or an email always hurtful or a way to punch back? Its not right for an adult to do that ....
furthurmore, I am glad you are out of my life, you never seemed to be in it in the first place, and dont f around with me anymore, the rumors, the bullshit needs to stop im not your sevenyear old pet anymore!!!!!

Peace love and hopefully a little happiness to you:)"

Yes, that last line is his too.  

Now, you probably don't have an emotional reaction to this e-mail but I sure do.  This is called Secondary PTSD, but I disagree.

You often hear of PTSD in military vets, and rightfully so.  They have lived through unspeakable horrors, and seen things I don't even want to think about.

PTSD is often diagnosed in kids who have been abused and/or neglected as well.  Because of the abuse  and neglect, the children have been traumatized.  PTSD stands for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.  The diagnosis is made when someone has been in a traumatic event, or ongoing events, such as the war vets.  However, people who live in abusive situations also get the diagnosis because they have lived in continual trauma.

Parents who parent these children often get a diagnosis of Secondary PTSD because they live with children who are recreating the trauma they endured in their birth home.  And here's where I disagree with the diagnosis.  I lived, and continue to live in trauma.  I have been physically and emotionally abused by my child.  Some people wonder how a child can emotionally abuse an adult.  Trust me, it is possible.

For years I lived in fear.  When my son raged, windows were shattered with crow bars, banisters were ripped from the floor, holes were kicked in walls and the list goes on.  I lived with violence.  I was called names and things you would never say to another human being.  Examples are in the e-mail listed above.  What child speaks to a parent like that and thinks it is OK?  And trust me, this is mild compared to many words that have been hurtled my way through the years.  

These are the spewings of a mentally unstable person, who is off his medication.  When my phone rings and I see his number, my stomach clenches.  When I see his name on an e-mail, my stomach clenches, when I am home alone, I am truly afraid.  If you re-read the e-mail, you can see how crazy it is.  It is so scattered with no rhyme or reason to what he's saying and things that are irrelevant to the "conversation" and just flat out lies.

My son has a history of extremely violent outbursts around Thanksgiving time.  He has spent at least three Thanksgivings in jail. I'd have to check the records to be sure of the exact amount.  Two years ago he threw his foster father (court ordered placement) across the room.  The man hit his head on a windowsill and wound up with 11 stitches in his head.  This is why I'm afraid!!!  I know what this "child" is capable of.  I have seen it first hand.  I am waiting for the blow up to come this week and I wonder how damage to my home or vehicles or even myself will play into things.  

In many respects, I am a battered woman, although the battering came at the hands of my child, so many people dismiss my feelings.  There is nothing secondary about my fear.  There is nothing secondary about what I have seen and been subjected to over the years.  

I will not respond to this e-mail or phone calls for several reasons.  

1) I don't have the energy.
2) As I have blogged about previously, you can't argue with crazy.

I am working with my friend, Charly, who has wonderful information on how essential oils can change the brain and help to relieve the symptoms I have.  I will have more about that after I receive my shipment and start using them.  

I cannot continue to live in this insanity, but right now I don't know a way out.  I can't walk away from my home to get away from him, but I can work to change my responses to his craziness, or choose not to respond.  

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