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DDs Rage

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abigailadams posted 7/5/2013 21:40 PM

I have really been struggling with my DDs rage. She is 8. There was a period last March/April where she was attacking me physically. That seemed to stop until tonight.

We just got back from 5 days visiting friends and I think coming back home was a big trigger for her. She could forget about the nightmare of her father leaving while we were away.

She hit and kicked me and just generally threw a fit. This for me is the hardest part of this whole miserable situation. It pains me to see her suffer. It scares me and I dont know what to do when she attacks me. We are both in IC and I have talked extensively with her IC about how to handle her rages but really it is just hard. Maybe one of the hardest things I have ever faced.

I think I hate my stbx the most for hurting my DD and also making my relationship with her so hard. I am the one who is here for her and I am the one who gets to deal with her anger.

[This message edited by abigailadams at 9:41 PM, July 5th (Friday)]

Nature_Girl posted 7/5/2013 21:55 PM


You can't tolerate physical violence against you. No matter the trigger or reason, you can't let it go. I don't know what the right response would be. What has your counselor recommended?

abigailadams posted 7/5/2013 22:08 PM

My DDs IC has recommended that I stay out of range while she is having the tantrum. IC also thinks threatening with "consequences" is useless. I have gotten better at seeing the feelings build and trying to get her to talk about it before she erupts. Tonight I was overwhelmed with getting back and getting settled. I missed that she was feeling bad. I was too busy getting the suitcases inside, turning on the AC, watering the wilted plants.

Honestly though I still don't have a clue what to do when she really erupts. Sometimes I try to get her to laugh by doing something really silly. Sometimes I just try to sooth her with her favorite stuff. Tonight I put on her favorite movie and let her watch 30 min. she was still grumpy afterwards but no longer physically violent. She went to bed angry with me.

dmari posted 7/5/2013 22:39 PM

This is so sad. Hugs to you and DD! As scary as it is, you are on the right track. You are now aware that she will have "signs" that a meltdown is going to occur. Physical abuse should not be tolerated no matter the circumstances. I do think this is a way she is "coping" and hopefully with her IC, she will learn more effective coping skills.

My children don't have physical outbursts like your DD but mine have I guess what you could call "internal meltdowns" where their self-talk is negative and it quickly spirals out of control. I try my best to catch it before it spirals but sometimes when I miss it, I just have to go to plan B.

I agree that I hate my stbx the most for hurting the children and for not even acknowledging the hurt and harm he has caused. Hang tight mom, you are doing great!!

nowiknow23 posted 7/5/2013 23:21 PM

(((((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.

Make sense?

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)]

tesla posted 7/6/2013 08:22 AM

Everything nik said!

Since Teslet came back from his trip, he's been throwing very physical temper tantrums. I've been working with him and his therapist on calming techniques so he can get out of the tantrum and use his words when he's ready so I can help him. We've been doing this for a year, so the good news is that eventually he does remember how to calm himself.

(((abigail and dd)))

abigailadams posted 7/6/2013 21:44 PM

Thank you everyone. Just to know you are out there helps.

I am in IC. she is in IC which I was only able to get my stbx to pay 1/2 for by bringing it up in mediation. I think it is helping. We did have May and June free of physical violence. Was it the therapy or was it the relatively stable and predictable actions of my stbx. This weekend he made "plans" and didn't see her.

NIK-I looked for your posts in OT but couldn't find anything on your DD. Could you post or pm me the link?

Being hit by one's child and left by one's spouse is really the double whammy.

nowiknow23 posted 7/6/2013 22:35 PM

Abigail - looks like most of those posts have "aged" off of the OT forum. The ones that are still available are centered around DD's residential treatment -

roughroadahead posted 7/6/2013 22:46 PM


DS7 is a hitter, but he has autism. It is still unacceptable, but it was a problem before all this. Because he has autism, he is eligible for behavioral therpay and he is also in IC.

Getting your DD in IC is definitely a great first step. Have you checked with your or her IC for parent groups or even groups for your DD? I live in a medium sized city, and there are some around for kids with behavioral difficulties. The kid groups usually have discussions, books, role play (and regular play) and the parent groups are just for the parents to connect to others in the same situation.

Edit: DS7's psychologist said the same thing as nik regarding going for a walk, but not punching a pillow.

[This message edited by roughroadahead at 10:48 PM, July 6th (Saturday)]

abigailadams posted 7/7/2013 22:21 PM

NIK, thanks for the links. sounds like you have really been through hell.

I can cope most of the time but then there are those times when I am tired myself and stressed and just miss her cues. I do agree exercise is a great remedy.

I would love to find a support group over and above IC. Frankly my friends and my mom just don;t really get it. They say things like "Just put your foot down and tell her to stop." Right.

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