Psycho-Babble Psychology Thread 996613

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I suspect child abuse

Posted by Lam22 on September 13, 2011, at 2:28:17

Hello everyone,

another selfless post, i suspect child abuse is happening to my best friends 8 year old son. (My best friend is his mother, the parents live separated after she had a psychosis) I do not want to discuss all the details and hints as this would get a humongous, unorganized thread..
whats most important for me is how to give the son some support so he doesn't feel as lonely. It seems that this is all that can be done right now.

The young guy told us about being screamed at by his father, hitting with the fist on the table for bad grades and for not understanding when the father explains math for instance. He even shakes his head and screams at him "you will understand this! WONT YOU?".
This is what we KNOW for sure is going on.

To me his behavior points to even more severe abuse.. i have read my share of material about the topic and frankly my red flags are going crazy.

Well everyone involved doesn't not want him to get lost completely in the hands of his father, so any steps need to be carefully evaluated and seem pointless at this moment.

What can be done though is emotionally support the young man. Be an "enlightened witness" (alice miller) as far as I'm able to do this.
Any ideas how to do this? He likes me and is happy to see me when I'm around so i may be able to reach out to him.

Thought about giving him my cell for instance and that he can call or text me if he needs anything.

Yesterday, he reported being chided for a B- !!. After totally out of character and very suspicious behavior (and pale looks), i finally said to him: You know a B- is not a really bad grade right?
Right there he got calm and pretty much immediately fell sleep.

Any ideas how to reach out to him appreciated. And of course advice of Experienced folks like Phillipa!


Thanks a bunch!


 

Re: I suspect child abuse Lam22

Posted by sigismund on September 13, 2011, at 10:21:57

In reply to I suspect child abuse, posted by Lam22 on September 13, 2011, at 2:28:17

Well, I don't know, but you did well here

>, i finally said to him: You know a B- is not a really bad grade right?
Right there he got calm and pretty much immediately fell sleep.

and at the least I would be trying to do more of the same and be a friendly stable presence in his life, if that is what he wants.

 

Re: I suspect child abuse

Posted by sigismund on September 13, 2011, at 10:31:25

In reply to I suspect child abuse, posted by Lam22 on September 13, 2011, at 2:28:17

It is such a waste. Eight year olds are such fun to talk to. Or even not to talk, but just to sit with. One time I remember clearly when I was withdrawing somewhat, and one of my son's friends who was over was up early and came and sat next to me on the couch in the early morning for maybe half an hour, and apart from my offering him food, we said nothing........I don't know why (maybe it was the hint of manly reticence?) it was a wonderful experience and I felt so much warmth for him and remember it clearly almost ten years later.

Understanding maths! Goodness me.

 

hints for abuse

Posted by Lam22 on September 13, 2011, at 13:46:59

In reply to Re: I suspect child abuse, posted by sigismund on September 13, 2011, at 10:31:25

-The father regularly screams at him.. when asked if the father did it again he only shrugs his shoulders or something like that. Talking about f*ck*d self esteem.

-All of a sudden he began to crave and beg for food like CRAZY.

-He began to display very violent and hostile behavior cloaked as "fun". He holds objects in his hand threatening to hit is mother in the head and at the same time he says "i kill you".

-One moment he says something like "i kill you". Other time he is super clingy and needy and even seems to "hit on" his mother.

-He frequently comes to his mother in the evening looking like a complete pale mess, totally confused, agitated and asking for food.

-This has been going on for 3 weeks, before this he displayed NO hostility whatsoever and he was and still is one of the nicest kids you can imagine.

-In these 3 weeks he developed a clearly noticeable belly from overeating like crazy. The father says he is in a "growth" phase.

-THE SON TOLD HIS MOTHER ABOUT SOME ACTIVITY HE DID WITH HIS DAD BUT HE MUSTNT SAY WHAT. SHORTLY AFTER HE SLAMMED DOORS, SCREAMED AND WENT CRAZY HOSTILE TO HIS MOTHER AND EVERYTHING ELSE. SHORTLY AFTER EXTREMELY CLINGY APOLOGIZING

-When asked how he feels about living with his father he doesn't really talk.

-He reports being very scared of his father


I may have forgotten a few points but to me this smells like severe, maybe even sexual abuse going on.

 

Re: hints for abuse

Posted by Lam22 on September 13, 2011, at 13:49:04

In reply to hints for abuse, posted by Lam22 on September 13, 2011, at 13:46:59

overall he makes a very sickly weak impression. Something in me tells me that there is horrible stuff going on... I know from my own case what it looks like and though his situation and behavior is different, there are many similarities.

 

father brainwashes son. help

Posted by Lam22 on September 13, 2011, at 14:17:47

In reply to hints for abuse, posted by Lam22 on September 13, 2011, at 13:46:59

At the same time he gets many gifts and proudly presents them to his mother even as if he was saying, see what great gifts i get u can't afford that.

The father bought a dog although he is not a dog person at all. From the beginning on this dog worked perfectly to make the son become less likely to visit his mother. Seems like he wants to build some kind of neverland ranch.

The father emotionally abused and exploited my best friend consistently to the point where she got an extreme psychosis. She herself was touched sexually and played around with at age 2 at age 8 and probably on more occasions by relatives and abused by her parents, too. The doctors ignore all this and say schizophrenia is all genetics. Heavy medication, nothing thats worth being called therapy whatsoever. WHAT A BIG LIE

And ontop of all that the father looks like one SICK F*CK.. if he sat next to me on the bus id get up and go away. I always do this immediately if i feel a sick f*ck.

Certain things just need to be called by its name. Its the way i am.

So thats it from the information part.

Id greatly appreciate tips on what i can do to help this basically great, kind and over average talented kid to not get destroyed.

Id like to help him by setting some impulses so he will have it easier one day to wake out of denial at least. This way he will have a chance to become (again) who is supposed to be in the future. He may or may not confide things to me. I feel that digging in him is not a great idea.


Thanks a lot

Lam(22)dage

 

Re: father brainwashes son. help

Posted by emmanuel98 on September 13, 2011, at 19:53:07

In reply to father brainwashes son. help, posted by Lam22 on September 13, 2011, at 14:17:47

Kids who aren't getting what they need at home will often seek it elsewhere, so you're kindness and concern is obviously a great help. But have you considered calling in child protective services from the state? Certainly, if you suspect sexual abuse, they should be notified to investigate and separate the boy from his father.

 

Re: father brainwashes son. help

Posted by Dinah on September 13, 2011, at 22:44:27

In reply to Re: father brainwashes son. help, posted by emmanuel98 on September 13, 2011, at 19:53:07

I agree with Emmanuel and was thinking the same thing. Is there any reason not to contact child protective services?

 

Re: father brainwashes son. help

Posted by Raisinb on September 13, 2011, at 22:54:19

In reply to father brainwashes son. help, posted by Lam22 on September 13, 2011, at 14:17:47

Yes, if you can do it anonymously I think cps would be the bestway to go.

 

Re: father brainwashes son. help

Posted by pegasus on September 14, 2011, at 9:20:05

In reply to Re: father brainwashes son. help, posted by Raisinb on September 13, 2011, at 22:54:19

In some places, if you suspect child abuse, you are legally required to report it. This is true in Texas, for example, and I think in Canada. Here is a good web site to read first: http://www.yesican.org/suspect.html

That said, I've had involvement with child protective services several times, and while I know they do the best they can and are overworked and underpaid, I also know that the outcome is not always what one might hope.

In this case, it sounds like there is no hard evidence that the dad has abused the son, although I agree that it sounds like he probably has, based on the son's behavior. I think it sounds like sexual abuse, personally. I don't know exactly what CPS would do with this report, since the boy has not reported any abuse. What I worry about is that they'll interview the dad, and probably the mom. It's so important to try to leave kids with their parents whenever possible, that they could conceivably decide not to remove the son. And that might leave the son in a very vulnerable position with his abusive dad.

Personally, what I would do in this situation is find a way to tell the son that if he ever wants to tell you something difficult or secret, you promise to believe him and listen to him about what he wants, and to not freak out. And you might throw in there that you and others can help him and protect him, if he ever needs that. And then maybe leave it for then. Walk away. Give him space. Just make it clear that you are there for him.

And then if he ever tells you something, stay calm, believe him, listen to him, ask him what he wants to do. Even if you know that you're definitely going to report it. That way, there is a chance that you can get him to decide with you to report the abuse. The advantage there is that it leaves you as a resource for him, instead of as someone he thinks betrayed him.

Just my 2 cents.

- P

 

Re: father brainwashes son. help

Posted by Lam22 on September 14, 2011, at 12:02:31

In reply to Re: father brainwashes son. help, posted by pegasus on September 14, 2011, at 9:20:05

I agree with your post.. i wrote him a text message that went kind of like "if you need anything id be happy if you call me. your a good man.".

Im situated in germany. And i agree that if i called them now nothing would happen. It would probably backfire.

I talked to the mom today and she asked him what he and his dad did today or the last couple days and the son just began to cry. As the mom still wanted to know the son freaked and said "if you don't leave me alone I'm going to call dad and tell him." She left him alone then.

It's so important to try to leave kids with their parents whenever possible, that they could conceivably decide not to remove the son. And that might leave the son in a very vulnerable position with his abusive dad.

Agree 100%!

>
> Personally, what I would do in this situation is find a way to tell the son that if he ever wants to tell you something difficult or secret, you promise to believe him and listen to him about what he wants, and to not freak out. And you might throw in there that you and others can help him and protect him, if he ever needs that. And then maybe leave it for then. Walk away. Give him space. Just make it clear that you are there for him.

I think i did that.. just the "difficult or secret and i would believe you and me and others could protect you" part not. I may tell him in person if i have the chance. Its not smart to text message him. Controlling as the dad is, he'd kick my number out.

> And then if he ever tells you something, stay calm, believe him, listen to him, ask him what he wants to do. Even if you know that you're definitely going to report it. That way, there is a chance that you can get him to decide with you to report the abuse. The advantage there is that it leaves you as a resource for him, instead of as someone he thinks betrayed him.

Good point! Thank you


> Just my 2 cents.
>
> - P

The mom also asked me not to do anything before talking to her.. i will do that, but if he reported to me he had been abused id call the cops either way, just try to get both in the boat before.

 

Re: father brainwashes son. help

Posted by Lam22 on September 14, 2011, at 12:04:13

In reply to Re: father brainwashes son. help, posted by pegasus on September 14, 2011, at 9:20:05

Well basically the son gets abused all the time.. the thing is its emotional and verbal abuse and who the hell gives a sh*t about that? Society is seriously retarded.

 

Re: father brainwashes son. help

Posted by pegasus on September 14, 2011, at 12:12:47

In reply to Re: father brainwashes son. help, posted by Lam22 on September 14, 2011, at 12:02:31

Here is a web site with info for you at your location:

http://germany.usembassy.gov/acs/childabuse/

I hope it helps. It sounds like you have a good plan. Let us know what happens.

- P

 

Re: father brainwashes son. help

Posted by Lam22 on September 14, 2011, at 12:22:10

In reply to Re: father brainwashes son. help, posted by pegasus on September 14, 2011, at 12:12:47

> Here is a web site with info for you at your location:
>
> http://germany.usembassy.gov/acs/childabuse/
>
> I hope it helps. It sounds like you have a good plan. Let us know what happens.
>
> - P

Thanks ill take a look at it now.. my friend told me that the son was very calm yesterday and said that it'd be all right living with the dad with ups and downs and blah.

I really think thats one of her "white lies", i know her a bit. I have seen the sons reaction to that question just a day before. Anyways i will try to not talk about the subject anymore just tell the son what you suggested and leave it with that..

Other than that ill support him emotionally if he got put down again and tell another one of my "relax your a good boy phrases". This cannot backfire and will keep at least a hint of self confidence alive.

 

Re: I suspect child abuse Lam22

Posted by sassyfrancesca on September 15, 2011, at 13:22:36

In reply to I suspect child abuse, posted by Lam22 on September 13, 2011, at 2:28:17

I would immediately get him the book which saved my life : The Verbally Abusive Relationship by Patricia Evans (I am also a counselor in training), and a collegue of mine gives the book out in his practice, constantly....or you could go over it with him and help him understand that someone else's behavior has nothing to do with him; that this "father" is angry over stuff in his past. As children, that is hard to understand.

Alice Miller was an amazing woman and author; I quoted her in a paper of mine and she (humbling to me) is an endorser of my book.

I had a helping witness......all you can do is listen to him, and validate his thoughts and feelings ...that is so important; especially to a child; to know his thoughts and feelings are heard and even moreso, someone cares.

 

Re: I suspect child abuse

Posted by Lam22 on September 15, 2011, at 20:50:05

In reply to Re: I suspect child abuse Lam22, posted by sassyfrancesca on September 15, 2011, at 13:22:36

Thanks for your post!

I LOVE alice miller. I have read "Free from lies" and currently read Banished knowledge. Very good read and she is using a lot of good vocabulary for me to learn:)

Well the guy is 8 years old.. and german/persian. There really should be books for kids in dysfunctional families, not only for adults who grew up in such. That may be something i want to get into!

Whats the name of your book? If you can't post it here pls babble mail me.

The book that saved your life... and your a Alice Miller fan + wrote a book endorsed by her.. It will be in my mail soon :D

Very impressive i wish id find a counselor like you! The search for the right therapist is kinda frustrating.
I am very thankful though for the advice i got in "free from lies". At least i don't waste my time with the wrong person and thanks to her i will not get additional harm from mental health professionals anymore.

Im trying to reach out to him.. will see how it goes. I don't have a lot of practice with children as they used to make me very uncomfortable and still do to some extent. I didn't find that particular key in my history yet.
I think it was good for him to have someone reassure with his grade although his father chided him for it and i texted him and offered my support if he needs anything. Its a start..

Its not easy to get him to talk about the topic and i think its not easy to talk to him about it without making him freak, either.
It should be very non-pushy and empathetic.. guess kinda like a good therapist


> I would immediately get him the book which saved my life : The Verbally Abusive Relationship by Patricia Evans (I am also a counselor in training), and a collegue of mine gives the book out in his practice, constantly....or you could go over it with him and help him understand that someone else's behavior has nothing to do with him; that this "father" is angry over stuff in his past. As children, that is hard to understand.
>
> Alice Miller was an amazing woman and author; I quoted her in a paper of mine and she (humbling to me) is an endorser of my book.
>
> I had a helping witness......all you can do is listen to him, and validate his thoughts and feelings ...that is so important; especially to a child; to know his thoughts and feelings are heard and even moreso, someone cares.

 

thank god the kid seems to be his usual self again

Posted by Lam22 on September 22, 2011, at 17:44:11

In reply to Re: I suspect child abuse, posted by Lam22 on September 15, 2011, at 20:50:05

Just wanted to update that there was a conversation between the boys caretaker and the father and the situation seems to have come to a stop. At least the severe harassing.

I was very happy to see him like i know him again the last two times i visited. Today we played soccer (spot kicks) in their apartment with one of these small harmless soccer balls.. So much fun! What i love about kids is that sometimes they have the ability to make you feel like a worry free playful child (again).

Still he has trouble in school etc. but how could anyone blame a child from a broken home who has seen his mother suffering the most severe psychosis in their apartment for 2 months?
(first came psychosis, then break up)

He will face a lot of recovery work in his life. I hope the best for him, he's a great guy and basically these folks are the best friends i have had in a very long time, if not ever.

It was very frightening to see him in the state he was in and i still think that ugly things probably happened there, but at least it seems to be stopped. Time will tell



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