Okay I have an 8 year old son who I think might be physically abused by my husband. I have never had to deal with this before and dont know what to believe or even who. My husband sometimes will put his hand on the back of my sons neck to get him to look at him. I started to notice that when he did that there would be finger marks on the back of my sons neck. I have confronted him about this and he stopped. Now I have DCFS involved. I am now seeing a therapist to get my act together because I have depression from dealing with this. Lately though there have been a few incidents that I am concerned about. I was working for a while and during that time an incident happened between my son and husband. My son stated that Daddy (my husband) was getting him ready for school and that he (daddy) got mad and punched him in the nose. I arrived home from work after the incident took place so I was not there to see it. I was also not told about the inciden until later in the day. Later that afternoon I got a call from my sons school stating that they took him to a hospital because his nose would not stop bleeding. DCFS was called and the county police. After about a month the police and DCFS found the allegation of abuse unsubstantiated. During the investigation though I did ask my son to tell me what happened and to show me what happened. Many times my son changed his story. The story ranged from that Daddy did hit him and that he did not. My son is a special needs child with Learning Disabilities. He also showed many different things about how he got his bloody nose. Everything from Daddy hitting him to my son falling on the floor and smacking his nose on the floor. I am putting all of my energy into dealing with my depression so that I can deal with my son better. My son has also complained of nightmares, starting bewdwetting again (he has been potty trained for 4 years). My son also stated that my husband was calling him names (i.e. Bonehead) and other stuff. The school actually told me that my son had reported to his therapist that my husband told him that if he didn't clean his room that he would make him live on the street. The only problem that I have with this report is that the school neglected to tell me when actually it happend. I didn't find out about this until 2 months after my son reported it. My husband is a truck driver. When he is gone during the week I rarely ever have serious problems with my son. When my husband comes home my son becomes quiet and reserved around my husband. I am sorry but that is not my son. He has been diagnosed ADHD, Disruptive Behavior Disorder, and Anxiety. If anything my son is not quiet. During the week he is loud and defiant. This is the son that I know, but when my husband comes home I want to go who are you and what have you done with my son. I have recently removed my son from my household because I thought it best until I figure out what is going on. My son never has any bruising on him except for the short time my husband was leaving finger marks. The only time that he does act weird is when my husband is home. I have started noticing that my son is quiet around all men now. He never used to be that way at all. My son used to be 100% the lover not the fighter. Now he is starting to get into more trouble at school and fighting with other kids. As I stated earlier I removed my son from my house until I find out what is going on, and since I have done that my son has stopped getting into fights at school and has stopped getting into so much trouble at school period. In this last week and half my son has gotten perfect reports from school. I have no definite proof. I have no idea what to do. I do know that my husband is verbally abusing my son. I have caught my husband saying some of these things to my son. Which is another reason why I removed him from my home. I love my husband but right now I am having to put aside how I feel with my heart and start thinking about things with my head. I dont want to believe that my husband is even remotely capable of physical abuse but my son will always come first. I have confronted my husband about the verbal abuse and told him that it will stop or I am leaving. He has started reading some books and is thinking about getting some therapy for himself so that he can change what he says to our son. Which is why it is so hard to deal with right now and another big reason I have started going back to therapy. I am confused, scared, and feel like I am alone in this problem. I am not making excuses for him because there is no excuse. I have confronted him as well about the physical abuse and he refuses to admit that he has that problem. He just states thats how he was raised.
Now here is the flip side to this story. We also have a 4 year old daughter. I will state with out a doubt that there is no abuse going on with her. She is the apple of my husbands eye. I will say that my husband does play that favoritism game. He favours my daughter more than my son. I have also confronted him about this as well and he states that he knows he does and he will try to change. If it came down to choosing who he would help first our son or daughter. It would be my daughter hands down to him. There has never been any finger marks left on our daughter or bruising ever. I have never even heard my husband raise his voice to my daughter. But yet he always raises his voice to my son. It also seems that my sons gets into more trouble with my husband that my daughter too. Usually when my children get into trouble its because they were doing it together. Usually my daughter is the instigator of said trouble. But yet when it comes down to punishment my son will get grounded or something of punishment and my daughter will absolutely get away with it. Its hard to deal with when my son comes to me and asks why do I get into trouble when my sister doesnt and she started it. That is a hard question to answer all of the time. I usually get into the middle and state that whatever my son gets for punishment so should my daughter. Its then and only when I insert my opinion does my daughter get a punishment from my husband.
I need help in trying to figure out what is going on. I am at my wits end and have no idea anymore.
You say your son has learning disabilities. What does this mean specifically? Is he mildly retarded, or is it dyslexia, or does he simply get bad grades? Modern terminology leaves much to be desired in terms of clarity.
Is it possible that your husband is ashamed of his son because he does not do well? It would help if you told us why your think your husband mistreats his son.
There are little cameras that are possible to disguise -- they are sold for people who want to know what the nanny does when they are not around. I think one of them even comes disguised in a stuffed animal. You could put one of those up, in an unobtrusive spot, and if your husband catches you, you could tell him that you need to know what your son does when he is alone. But you could really be watching to hear the tone of the conversation and see the interaction between husband and son. At least that way, you wouldn't have to be dealing with a cloud of "I'm not sure."
First, it's natural for fathers (or mothers) to favor children who are more pleasant to be around. It's just a human reaction to a child who is difficult to be with vs. one who is easy.
I don't think a 9 year old and a 4 year old should be punished the same for the same thing, because they are worlds apart. But I do think if she's STARTING things, she should be dealt with separately because it sounds like she's realized it's fun to get her brother in trouble. That needs to stop.
I think family therapy would be great for your whole family, to work out these dynamics. I don't think this is beyond hope - at all - and your husband does seem open to changing.
One final note, it struck me as very unusual, and I had to reread this section, where you seem more comfortable with your son being loud and defiant, than the way he is around your husband, a more pleasant cooperative child. You state that loud and defiant is his natural personality and it's squelched when your husband is around. That dynamic - that you accept that being inappropriate and defiant is your son's natural personality and are upset that he doesn't behave poorly in your husband's presence - is a whole therapy series right there.
I am sorry for the confusion. I only meant to state that when my husband is not home he acts normally for his condition of ADHD, Anxiety, and Disruptive Behavior Disorder. I do not tolerate the misbehavior when I am the only one home. He gets appropriate punishment for being defiant. I just meant to state that about 6 months ago my son acted the same way whether my husband was home or not. Now my son crys when I have to leave him with his father and begs me not to go. When it never used to be that way.
Also on my daughter. I was only stating that she never gets any punishment what so ever unless I say something. My children dont get the same punishment for disobedience because they are of age difference. But the only time she gets punishment at all is when I say something.
Concerned, it really sounds like there is a dynamic in your house that you've got two teams - you and your son vs. your husband and your daughter. A good family therapist could sort this all out and put you and your husband back on the same team -
How do you know he isn't abusing the four year old? Just because she's the 'Apple of his eye'? That's no evidence. If he is capable of abusing ANY child physically, verbally or any other form then there's a serious problem.
And you've removed your son from the home....I'm assuming you didn't go with him. If your son has told you the truth about the abuse he will most likely be regretting that now that he has been 'sent away'. He will learn to lie and cover the abuse for fear of rejection.
I have vast experience in this subject.
I know it's hard for you and you must live your husband but you must put the children first. They have no voice. Also your sons difficulties may make it hard for him to vocalise his experiences and your daughter is also too young to be able to vocalise any possible abuse.
I'm glad social services are involved and I hope if there is indeed abuse, which you have admitted is at least verbal, that they can get to the bottom of it and protect both your children. If it comes down to it perhaps being simply and understandably that your husband struggles to manage your sons issues then maybe some sort of family therapy may help.
Until the issue is investigated I would hope BOTH your children are somewhere safe. Believe me when I say abuse causes a lifelong package of pain and secondary issues such as PTSD, anxiety, depression and relationship issues.
If you are finding it hard to decide who is telling the truth then air on the side of caution and listen to your child.
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