You can call me NIK
(((((abigail & dd)))))
Abigail - I don't know if you've seen any of my posts in OT over the last six months about my DD. She is older than yours and is special needs, and she also has been physically aggressive with me to the point where we have had to call the police multiple times, hospitalized her to receive intense psychiatric care, and currently have her placed in a residential treatment program to deal with that as well as several other issues.
I absolutely understand what you are going through and the helplessness of watching her so out of control, as well as the anger you have toward your stbx for his part in hurting your DD.
At 8 years old, she is likely struggling to understand her feelings, and is probably also feeling some shame and/or confusion about the negative feelings she has toward her father, who she loves. It's a lot for a kid to absorb and express appropriately.
Encourage her to talk about her feelings at all times - whether quiet and withdrawn, happy and giggling, sad or mad. The more she's able to recognize and express her emotions, the better equipped she'll be.
At a time when she is calm and happy, talk through some ways to express some of that anger and frustration in a safe way. Help her make a list - go for a walk with mom, take a bath, scream into a pillow, kick a ball against the garage, stuff like that. Physical exertion will help to release some of the pent up emotion and take the edge off, but make sure it's safe physical activity that won't escalate into physical aggression.
In other words, swimming is good, wrestling - not so good.
Running good, punching a pillow - not so good.
I also want to encourage you to get support for yourself as well. IC has saved my life during the worst of this with my DD. Even if you are handling things beautifully, there is something profoundly damaging about being hit by your child. Trust me, I know.
Sending you tons of strength and comfort. Feel free to PM me ANY time, honey.
[This message edited by nowiknow23 at 11:23 PM, July 5th (Friday)]
"Keep your face always toward the sunshine - and shadows will fall behind you."