• Sat, Apr 27 - 11:30 am ET

I’m Not Surprised To Hear Of These Parents Abused By Children

abused-parentWe all know child abuse is rampant, but we don’t hear as often from parents who are being abused by their own children. This story from the BBC resonated with me because my seventh grade friend, we’ll call her Melissa, frequently gloated about hurting her mother. She’d brag about pushing and shoving her mom around and calling her names like “stupid” and “weak.” Melissa was a stocky girl, and she was a head taller than all the other tweens in our class. I was actually a little bit scared of her — I remember how excited she got when it came time to dissect a squid in science class. I can still see her turning that blade in her hand and commenting on how she loved how sharp it was. Maybe that’s why I was her friend, better to have her on my side, you know?

Wow, I hope my parents don’t read this.

Anyway, in this story, Lauren* shares about her abusive son, Michael*.

“He’s pushed me down the stairs, he’s tried to gauge my eyes out, he’s kicked me, he’s spat at me…what hurts out of everything is the name-calling. I feel like he’s a partner, not a son, really.”

Michael’s now twelve. No one has ever diagnosed him with any medical condition. And so Lauren believes his violent streak is the result of abuse he witnessed years ago, perpetrated by his father against his mother.

This is what I always wondered about Melissa. What was her reason for lashing out against her mom? I can make a few conjectures now that I’m an adult with some perspective. She was obsessed with sex, but not in a typical seventh-grade way. It was almost all she talked about, when she wasn’t talking about violence. She brought Playgirl magazines to school and when I refused to look at them, I became the group “prude” and never heard the end of it from her.

I can’t remember a thing about her dad. But I’m willing to wager she lashed out at her mother because she saw someone else do it, or because her mother failed to protect her from an abusive relative. I used to fear Melissa, even hate her at times, but now my heart breaks for both her and her mom. I just hope other parents abused by children can find the strength to get help — both for their own and their childrens’ physical and emotional health.

(photo: altanaka/shutterstock)

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  • http://www.facebook.com/iwill.findu.90 Iwill Findu

    If my child pushed me down the stairs I would more then likely call the cops. If you want to assault a person you’re gonna learn how that ends in the real world dearie.

    • http://Mommyish.com/ Amanda Low

      Right? Man…

    • Psych Student

      In cases like this, the child is likely not the only problem. Even if the child got therapy, to go back to a home where the family didn’t get therapy, the problems likely won’t get solved. It takes more than fixing the kid – you have to fix the whole family. But a psych student *would* say that more people need therapy. Hehehe.

  • M.

    I absolutely agree with the other commenter about calling the police if your child gets abusive. However, that doesn’t solve the problem that they felt it necessary to hurt their parent in the first person. Get that kid to a psychiatrist.

    • http://www.facebook.com/iwill.findu.90 Iwill Findu

      I believe that most first time assaults charges (for minors) are met with mandatory anger management, and or therapy. Which would be exactly what the kids needs, along with the wake up call of dealing with the cops, and the legal system. The next time around I don’t think they’re as forgiving plus if the kid keeps getting abusive you have the documents to prove this is an on going problem. Which is why I would be calling the cops.

    • http://itsmyworldcanthasnotyours.blogspot.com/ wmdkitty

      Document, document, document, yes — but it’s all preventable!

      Kid had to learn it somewhere….

    • meteor_echo

      Except for sociopathy. People are, sadly, born with that. I used to deal with a sociopath kid who once wanted to burn my face off with a lighter (we were in the 3rd grade, I think!), and, until I kicked him in the crotch and bit him on the arm, he didn’t stop trying.

    • http://itsmyworldcanthasnotyours.blogspot.com/ wmdkitty

      Yes, but that’s more the exception than the rule. Most abusers are NOT sociopaths.

    • meteor_echo

      Abuse still has to be nipped in the bud if it wasn’t prevented properly.

    • http://itsmyworldcanthasnotyours.blogspot.com/ wmdkitty

      No argument there!

  • http://itsmyworldcanthasnotyours.blogspot.com/ wmdkitty

    This is what happens when you don’t discipline your kids.

  • Guest

    What a terrible story. So sad. But I would just like to note that these situations are so incredibly complicated, it’s a little sketchy to try to speculate as to why they are happening unless you know the family intimately. I also have a younger-self friend whose sister abused their mom. The sister had never been abused herself or seen any such abuse occur. She was eventually diagnosed with bipolar.

    • Psych Student

      I agree that it’s complicated depending on the family. I have a friend who has a son who abuses her, her husband and their daughter. The son has been diagnosed with several psychological disorders, the cops have been called, he’s been hospitalized, etc. but there is nothing they can do. People talk about calling the cops like it will just magically fix the problem. The thought is nice, but it doesn’t always fix the problem.

  • http://www.facebook.com/eryn.stilp Eryn Stilp

    Cops would not only be called, but I would ship my child off to a hard labor farm so fast, their head would spin. That would not be tolerated. Period.