I want to talk about something today that we haven’t talked about before. It’s a subject that needs to be discussed, but people are afraid to bring it up. It’s considered shameful, but there is nothing of which to be ashamed. What am I talking about? Child to parent violence or CPV for short.
What is CPV and when does it occur? CPV is violence perpetrated against a parent by a child, usually a teenager (though some are younger.) Those parents who have been victimized by their children are ashamed that they have found themselves in this position. They should have figured out how to make their child behave long before said child got big enough to hurt them, right? Hmmm…there are extenuating circumstances, I’d guess. At least there are in my case.
Wait. What did I just say? That’s correct. I am a single mom of four, with a child who is extremely violent and likes to hurt me and her siblings. Child #3 has beaten, choked, kicked, bit, punched, broken my finger, and generally berated me in the most vile way possible. I can’t believe my sweet, stubborn little girl can turn into this monster who hurts not only me, but also her three siblings. She especially hates sibling #1 and is extremely violent toward him.
She has been in and out of hospitals for the past two and a half years for varying behaviors, from cutting, to suicide attempts, to trying to kill us. At one point last year, it took five police officers to hold her down. She’s that strong! She is a good 4 inches taller than me, the tallest in the house, not to mention at least 40 pounds heavier. I have no chance.
So, we call the police when things get out of hand with her. She can go from 0 to 60 in 0.2 seconds, so there is no heading off her angry tantrum. The county is involved, as is CPS, but they think I’m abusing her. What? Be prepared for this. For some reason, the county cannot imagine that a sweet, innocent child could possible hurt her parent. The parent must be abusing the child! The problem is, I’m not abusing my child. I am my child’s biggest advocate. I love my child; all my children. So, I am following their rules and trying to figure out who will actually believe me.
It is a horrible place to find myself, but it is somewhat common in children who experience violence at a young age. She did. My ex-husband was extremely abusive to all of us, but especially targeted her and her oldest sibling. They look similar, and I think that’s why. Not that any of us escaped his abuse, but for some reason, child #3 took it all to heart. She wasn’t old enough to refute it and I wasn’t a witness to it, so I couldn’t stand up for her. Heartbreaking.
Child #3 has many mental health diagnoses. The one I have the most trouble with now is the multiple personality diagnosis. It’s super troubling since she can go from being the sweetest, funniest, most charming child to an abusive horror so quickly and has seemingly no control over it. Keep in mind that her father abused her for the first nine years of her life and we still live in the same house, with no option of moving. The county needs to see that and realize that no one is abusing her now, but she still carries with her all of his abuse and the environment is the same, if not the abuse, so in her mind, she’s still being abused. She’s not, but she can’t see that. What’s more, she tells her therapist these things and the we’re the big, bad family, hurting her. It’s the opposite, but try getting CPS to listen once they’ve made up their minds.
Unfortunately, as a single mom, I am left to handle all of this by myself. Her father is not in the picture, as after all of his violence, he is not allowed to see her or her siblings. That’s ok, since the kids never want to see him again. Not that I think it would be a good idea for him to see any of them. They wouldn’t recover, and I’m pretty sure child #3 would kill him outright if given the chance. So, it’s better that no one sees him. I’ll let God deal with him!
So for now, I will try to do whatever I can for all of my children. I will protect children #s 1, 2, & 4 and try to help child #3. I will pray for someone to believe me and get help for us and for child #3. Please pray with me and thank you for listening. This happens more often than one thinks.