Ben with his face painted as spiderman - a good day!
Well the school photo proof was lovely I can't wait to get my copy. This week we have had good and bad. On the positive side Ben loved his swimming lesson and is slowly improving. We have taken him after school to the local designer outlet and treated him as he was so good and coped so well. As Ben loves maps and is fascinated with all that kind of thing we got him a new world map for his wall and we are putting a little star sticker on each country as he collects a postcard from there!! Ben has enjoyed Bible stories and saying prayers this week and at times almost been "normal" which is heartbreaking as he so wants to do things he cant cope with and have friends to play. He has on one occassion (other than as a young baby) had a friend to play which went well but the problem is he struggles with changes to routine and if a friend has to cancel at the last minute as happened the other day he is inconsolable and takes that upset and anger out on me so we are unsure whether to plan it again or not. Its also hard to know if the child actually cancelled for the reason said or if they didnt want to come. Ben had hit this boy a week before so its likely. Ben wants friends but cant cope with them its heartbreaking as a parent seeing your child so isolated with no siblings or friends to play with outside school. Its one thing I wonder if I will ever get used to.
On the less positive side of things I hate the summer because wearing summery clothes its harder to hide my bruises and bite marks. Its also a struggle as Ben doesnt understand privacy and appropriateness and is always trying to strip me and regularly rips my clothes in the process of trying this. Obviously summery clothes mean that at home and in public he finds this easier. Imagine the feeling of your son screaming at you because hes trying to undress you and every ounce of your strength is taken by trying to protect your dignaty. It breaks my heart and it kills me inside. How do you explain to a child that doesnt understand that yelling in the garden "let me see your nipples mum" is wrong when he is mature enough in other ways to understand some things and he can read pretty well.
Some of the professionals we have talked to about Bens violence have suggested we video tape his behaviour so they can see. Part of me thinks that they just dont believe us about how he is - though hes shown some violence in school and with a portage worker when he was younger. He isnt as severe in his violence at school as he goes to a special needs school with a very routined structured day so there is minimal change to routine and I am not there. I am and always have been the main outlet for my sons violence. Often we cant see it coming as he is very spontaneous and often there appears to be no trigger to his violent bursts. So either we video him all day or we have to be lightening quick which isnt possible. I also am put off videoing him as i feel like its unfair on him as i know he cant help his behaviour and it feels like its wrong to try to catch those things on tape. Hes my baby im not ashamed of him im not wanting a different child. I just want a Ben that doesnt physically and emotionally hurt me. I want my child to say i love you and mean it and not follow it with another beating. I want less bruises and bitemarks. BUT I dont want to loose the boy I am so very proud of and I love him so much.
So please to those who know me in person next time you see me in ripped or scruffy clothes, with bruises or bitemarks, or generally just looking pretty fed up please remember I am trying my best and sometimes its harder than others to paint on that smile and i may have no clothes that i can wear that arent ripped and stand some chance of protecting my modesty etc.