Wednesday, January 24, 2007

The Synopsis

My son, Josh, has a rage problem. Two years ago this spring I had him arrested for hitting me, pushing me, and pulling my hair in front of my mother-in-law. It started as an altercation that took place between he and Jess while I was at work. My mother-in-law told me about it when I got there to pick the kids up after work. At the time, Robert was in Dayton.

My mother-in-law told me Josh was choking Jess and wouldn't listen to her when she tried to intervene. When I told Josh to go outside and wait for his dad to get home, that he was upsetting his grandmother, he refused to go. I grabbed his arm to lead him to the door, and that's when he started pushing me and pulling my hair.

We went through family counseling, a "diversion" program where he went to anger management, community service, and a host of other programs designed as intervention. Things went well for awhile.

Over this past summer, things got worse. He started hitting the younger two, who are both much smaller than him. Jess started going to her boyfriend's family's house more and more to get away from him. Finally, Jess' boyfriend made her tell us what was going on. John had tried to defend Jess, but being much smaller than Josh, he wasn't much help. This stuff always happened when Robert was at work. Josh never tries this stuff around his dad.

But when it's just Jess, Jo and I, we spend our time tiptoeing around Josh to keep him from having a flare up.

Today it exploded. I think he must have been up all night on the cel phone with his girlfriend. In the past we've caught him (via our phone bill) talking until the wee hours of the morning with her on school nights. We've taken the phone and made him earn it back. He was always very angry from sleep deprivation on these occasions.

So today Jess tried to get him up for school, and he started yelling at her. Then I tried to get him up. He started yelling at me.

I went up to his room because he said if he had any clean clothes, maybe he could get ready. I had done laundry all weekend, including hanging up his clothes, so I was trying to figure out where his clothes were.

He told me to get out of his f*cking room. I informed him that the house and everything in it was ours. He got up in my face, and I warned him not to start this again. He said, "this is my room and my stuff, get out!" I was by his dresser, and I said, "Who do you think bought you this stuff? It's ours! Dad and I worked for it, if we take everything you have away from you, it's our choice." Angry, I knocked his cds off his dresser.

At that point, Josh lunged at me and shoved me, knocking my glasses off. He stepped on them and broke them. Then he grabbed my arm, twisting it behind me, shoving me against his dresser. He then turned around and started throwing tubs around the room. They are plastic see-through tubs with Jo's toys in them that we were putting in the attic.

I went downstairs and he followed me, calling me crazy and psycho (for knocking his cds off his dresser.) He got up in my face and was saying, "hit me, hit me, hit me." over and over. I went in to the kitchen, and he shoved me against the fridge. I shoved him away from me, and he lunged at me, knocking me in to the fridge again. I smacked him, saying, "Don't you ever hit me like that! I am your mom! Stop it!"

At that point, he went over the top, grabbing me by my throat. He took his thumbs and pushed them in to my throat, trying to crush my windpipe. I could barely get any air. Then he shoved my head in to our oven, which is built in to the wall, about at my height. Glass went everywhere, but I didn't get cut.

By this time, we were by the stove. I had bit him, kicked at him, and tried to knee him to try to get him off of me. He hit my head again and again against the hood above the stove. I was sure I wouldn't be able to last much longer with his hands cutting off my air like that. I reached for a pan that was sitting by the stove and smacked him in the face with it. He finally let go of me, and I collapsed.

I don't know which of the other kids called 9-1-1. I didn't even know anyone had called. Josh was still raging at me when he went out the door to board the bus. Although standing at the door was a police officer.

They arrested Josh and took him to juvenile detention. They took pictures of me and the oven. Right now my head hurts, I have very little voice and there are bruises on my arms, shoulder, back and neck.

His court hearing is tomorrow. I don't know where this goes from here. All I know is that I can't live in fear of my own son. I need prayers for wisdom here. Prayers for strength. Prayers for the right people to come to us to help us see the path to take.

I feel like a failure here. Where did I go wrong? Can things ever be okay between us again? Will he do this again? Can I live in the same home as him without this happening again? I just don't know. I just don't know.

Prayers, advice, support, encouragement... whatever you've got out there...I could use it all. Thank you. I have some really great friends.


Elliemarie said...

Kristi, my heart just breaks for you.

As awful as it is to have Josh taken away by the police, it is for the best as you have to look out for your own safety, as well as Jess and Jo's. Nobody deserves to live constantly on edge, fearing for their safety and it sounds like that is what Josh has been doing to you and your other children.

I really hope that Josh can get the help he needs to get his rage under control. I would be hesitant to let him back into the house without some strong intervention, counselling, medication, whatever is necessary. But that is only my opinion-I just fear for you, Jess and Jo. You do not deserve to ever go through this again.

You should NOT feel like a failure. All parents have to struggle with different problems with their children, but Josh's problem is extremely difficult and not something you and Robert can handle on your own. Hell, no one could.

Please don't blame yourself-you have done your best as a mom. Jess and Jo are safe, and so is Josh. Remember that Josh loves you and his family, he just has a problem that he can't control. I hope the court can get him the help he needs to be healthy and in control of his rage.

Please know that even though I don't pray, you are in my thoughts every second today. I feel so horrible that you are going through this. My heart goes out to Josh as well. I know he hurt you terribly, but I'm sure once the rage subsided he felt so badly for what he did. He is your child, so I know he has a good heart-he just gets blinded by emotions he can't control.

I hope nothing I have said was out of line to you. Please take care and know I am sending you as much positive energy as I can. **big hug**

neicybelle said...

oh baby kristi! i'm so sorry!! how scary for you!! he needs help...he needs counseling...he needs someone to teach him some respect...sometimes you are the best mom in the world, but there are things our kids come across that...things they have to learn how to deal with...that we just can't reach them takes outside help.

i know that given time and help and love and patience and not giving up, things will get better. he's just a kid...he will come around...but just get him the help he needs...again and again...maybe it's medical...

i'm so sorry you're going through this!! you know i love you! if you need anything...please let me know!

pat said...

Your son needs some sort of residential program that deals specially with teenage anger. Until he gets the help he needs he should not come home because you have two other children living there. Unless this situation is dealt with he will get worse not better as he gets older. He probably needs medication but the correct one.
Kristy, this has nothing to do with your parenting skills. Your son has an emotional issue that can be dealt with. Maybe the judge who handles his case can help recommend a place. You did the right thing. You had him removed from the house. But you are a mother and I know this decision was painful. I will try and find out some information for you but remember this, you are not alone. I am here always. .

PJ said...

Kristi, I am so worried for you. I wish I could come over your house and dress your wounds, make you a meal, clean up the house. I feel helpless.

Lord, Kristi, I would do anything to help you right now. Prayer doesn't feel like much but I know it's huge, so know that I'm doing that.

I love you so much and I'm sorry you're hurting and in such a horrendous situation.

J.F. said...

Kristi, this is bad news. I agree with ellemarie things will be alright but it will take time and work to make them truly work in the longrun and not just be a quick solution that works for a year or so. It's not your fault and I'm sure you know that. I'm glad you weren't seriously hurt and that the police got there in time.