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Old 4th March 2016, 08:49 AM   #1
jan
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Join Date: Mar 2016
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Should we reunite?

Hello,

My husband and I have been married for nearly 18 years. We have two teenage sons who both have mental health problems. The eldest also has Asperger syndrome. Due to Child Protection issues, I left with my eldest son to live with my sister for four months and now I live with my eldest son and my husband lives with our youngest son.


My husband has a diagnosis of Asperger syndrome and mental health difficulties. His behaviour was at the root of the Child Protection case and it has not changed. My youngest son was almost taken into foster care because my husband was hitting him and saying he wishes he could 'get rid' of him [my youngest].

The Child Protection case has ended now and my husband wants us to reunite. I am sure there is love there and I am sure he needs my support (I am not conceited, he just needs someone to make decisions and help calm him down). However, i am also certain that one of the reasons he wants us to live together is financial. My husband does not work and, currently, he pays a small proportion of his rent and council tax. If he lived with me, I would pay all the bills.

Emotionally, I am tempted, but I think the risk that the situation will escalate to Child Protection again is immense. My eldest cannot cope with my husband's rages or his brother's controlling behaviour. We fled because my eldest was suicidal.

Yet, my youngest remains with his dad and the situation is not good. in fact nothing is moving forward.

I just do not know what to do. Should I move back and try to manage it all? I may have more of a chance now that I work from home. Should I officially separate from my husband so that this issues of reunification is off the agenda? How can I do anything without compromising the safety of one son or rejecting the other?

I realise that I have asked a lot of questions that perhaps cannot be answered in this context. However, thank you for reading. It feels a bit better to have written it all down.
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Old 4th March 2016, 10:00 AM   #2
Raymond
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Re: Should we reunite?

Looks to me like your younger son is in danger if you say he hits him and says he wishes he could get rid of him. That sounds horrific to me.

Going back might afford some protection for your youngest son but sounds like it would be very detrimental to your oldest son.

All in all I would stay where you are unless a real change happens to your husband. Can't think how the youngest is coping with his Dad at present with no protection around.

This would not stop temporary visits to see how things are and to watch out for the youngest but I wouldn't go back until things are safe all round.

As a matter of interest what was you husbands background like as it seems to me that a lot has come down from the generational line?
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Old 4th March 2016, 01:34 PM   #3
chosen
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Re: Should we reunite?

why oh why is the youngest child living with his dad after there was a child protection case against him. Do social services know this?
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Old 5th March 2016, 04:44 PM   #4
jan
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Re: Should we reunite?

Hello,

Thank you for your replies Raymond and Chosen. There is a generational factor on both sides of the family. That is to say, I have a brother and a niece who are almost certainly on the autism spectrum and a large proportion of my close family have had mental health issues which required treatment. On my husband's side, there is a similar pattern. My husband's first marriage failed when he left after six months. He married someone who was significantly older than himself and who already had children and I think he found the responsibility hard to cope with. We married 15 years later.

Decisions made under the framework of Child Protection surprised me. My eldest son made allegations of sexual bullying from his younger brother (they were 13 and 15 at the time) and physical and emotional abuse from his father (my husband). He told the truth. In fact my eldest finds it very difficult to lie. I was at work when most of this took place but both boys related the same incidents. Yet, after being in hospital through self injurious behaviour, my eldest was sent back home and I was supposed to be protective factor. Yet it was very hard to protect my sons from my husband's rages. My husband's rage is more like a 'meltdown' but he will lash out, the insults are extremely personal and cutting and he has no comprehension of the damage this can do to children and to children who (both) interpret things quite literally.

I am tempted to reunite because I feel so out of control at the moment. I want to protect my youngest; keep my eldest safe and make sure my husband is kept calm, but I cannot see a way in which we can do this as separate units.



Anyway, thank you for reading and thank you again for the replies.
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Old 5th March 2016, 06:25 PM   #5
Raymond
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Re: Should we reunite?

I mentioned the generational thing because things can come down the line in the family. There is a centre that does healing in that area. It's a christian centre I know. It's not medical but spiritual and it can work over a period of time.

There will come a time when your youngest is old enough to be given a place by the social services. He may be old enough now. This can be possible especially if the present arrangements are not suitable because of his father. What they can do is put him in sheltered housing, where he can have his own room in a house with others but still have the care that he needs.

I think that might be the best option at present. You can both still visit him or he can visit you buy he will be a lot more safer I think. I would speak to Social Services and ask them if they can arrange this in view of your husbands condition with the rages etc.
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Old 5th March 2016, 06:36 PM   #6
chosen
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Re: Should we reunite?

I dont think that reuniting is a good idea at all, but I do think that the youngest needs to be away from abuse and violence. Do social services know that his dad is violent towards him?
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Old 5th March 2016, 10:12 PM   #7
jan
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Re: Should we reunite?

Hello,

Thank you again. In think my sister received ministry for the generational/spiritual aspect of the issues. My eldest son and I stayed with her for four months over the summer as a sort of place of safety. We have explored a sheltered housing option for my eldest which could be possible when he is 17. However, my eldest is quite happy with me at the moment. Children's Social Care know about my youngest son's situation. My husband phones agencies on an almost daily basis saying he cannot cope and the Child Protection Plans ended partly because Children's Social Care felt they were firefighting with respect to my youngest. He threatened social workers when they suggested voluntary foster care and agency representatives had to visit his house in pairs. I think they feel he can look after himself, but under the bravado, he is a very, very vulnerable boy.

I think the problem is that I can see all members of my family need care and at least two of my family are not receiving the care they need.
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Old 5th March 2016, 11:58 PM   #8
chosen
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Re: Should we reunite?

yes, its a horrible situation for you. I think your priority has to be your sons, making sure that neither of them are having to face violence. Your husband is an adult and needs to learn to take care of himself. Has he ever been violent towards you?
I dont quite understand why your husband has rejected foster care for the son if he cant cope with him? Surely he would welcome that if he is so desperate? Could that be his way of trying to manipulate you to go back do you think?
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Old 6th March 2016, 09:52 AM   #9
jan
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Re: Should we reunite?

Hello,

Thank you once again for the advice. I think I may have confused things a little in my last post. It was my youngest son (who is nearly 15) who threatened the social workers. However, my husband will say things without realising the implication of what he says. I think this is part of his AS. So, he will phone Children's Social care or the mental health team and say he cannot cope and he wants my youngest son taking away and so on and then when an agency representative responds, he will say he did not mean what he said and everything is all right. My husband has been aggressive with me. It happens on a daily basis and is more verbal/emotional than physical. However there have been some very minor physical pokes and slaps. Yet, his violence is better understood under the framework of his condition. For example, a few years ago, the boys started talking about getting a pet. We had never had a pet because my husband finds them very stressful. He develops anxiety about whether the animal is happy, whether it likes him, whether it is ill and so on. However, the boys started to talk about what it would be like if they had a pet cat. We thought we were alone and the conversation was just a chat about a hypothetical situation. My husband, however, overheard and started screaming and swearing. He got himself so worked up that he took one of the boys' bikes and threw it at a tree. The boys were very upset and I told my husband to take himself off somewhere to calm down. He did. That was just one of many, many similar incidents.
In my opinion, my husband is quite disabled and my youngest sort of controls him now, but not without reciprocal violence.
Yet I can understand my youngest. I want control back in the situation
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Old 6th March 2016, 12:29 PM   #10
chosen
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Re: Should we reunite?

Is your husband getting any sort of treatment or anger management?
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Old 7th March 2016, 02:37 PM   #11
jan
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Re: Should we reunite?

Hello Chosen,

Yes, my husband sees a mental health worker about once a fortnight. I do not think they are working directly on 'anger management' but more on helping him to manage his stress. My problem is that his behaviour is so long-standing that I doubt he can change.
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Old 7th March 2016, 07:17 PM   #12
Raymond
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Re: Should we reunite?

It is encouraging in a way that your youngest is handling his father, but I would imagine that he has a lot of emotional wounding from his upbringing with your husbands outbursts. I think he has gone past the point of adoption but the sheltered housing could work if he wanted it. At fifteen he will be making some of his own decisions about where he could live but there will be help available I would think when he has decided what he wants.

It's great that the eldest is happy to live with you at your sisters for the moment. I am encouraged that your sister has had ministry for stuff coming down the generations. She probably knows a little about that side of it.

I think that going back will affect your oldest in the wrong way. The thing is to think about the best thing for the youngest. Obviously your husband needs help as well, but it is important to rescue your younger son so to speak first.
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