Previously I’ve been accused and being harsh and brutal with my words. I prefer to think of it as honest and direct, but I’ll accept harsh and brutal. Someone once told me that the recipient of communication is the only one who can interpret it’s meaning, that the communicator can only say the words and that the listener is the one who ultimately decides what they mean. I guess different people will see/understand the same communication in different ways. And, even if I mean something in one way, are you okay to choose to understand it in your way?
I’ve been having some real struggles with the boy recently and he’s said some pretty awful things. Most recently that I’m an arsehole, he hates me, he never wants to see me again and I should go and kill myself. In front of my mum too. Just awful, horrible things. And, I’m at a loss to try and figure out how to deal with it.
Typically it starts with him getting physical. He’s nine, but he’s big for his age. Heavy too. Kicks and punches hurt. I tell him to stop, he doesn’t. I end up having to restrain him to stop him from hurting me. He gets frustrated, he struggles, he gets more violent, he ends up getting hurt.
And that, of course, makes me the bad one. I’m the nasty one for stopping him from hurting people, from hurting me.
I have tried to explain consequences – of which it seems there aren’t any. I’ve tried to make him understand that he can hurt people – of which it seems he’s quite happy. I’ve tried to get him to realise that in 18 months he’ll be going to secondary school and he’ll pick on the wrong person and get smacked down – of which it seems he doesn’t care as in a child’s life, 18 months is an eternity.
Each time this happens, and sadly it seems always when he spends time with me, we end up with him telling me he hates me. Telling me he never wants to see me again. But this was just too much. Telling someone to go and kill themselves, well, I’ve seen people do it*. And that’s the thing, I suppose, words are very easy to say but very difficult to take back. Once they spill from your lips you cannot easily put them back. It’s be easier to put toothpaste back in the tube. But perhaps he does not yet understand that. Because he’s young, still. But he needs to. Because words hurt, right?
*ever seen someone who has killed themselves, hung themselves? On a number of occasions now I have been at a location/time/place where someone has taken their own life. Either due to external pressure or internal angst they have decided that death is a preferable option to life. They chose to tie a cord around their neck and step off. When you have held the body of a dead man whilst someone else cuts them down you understand suicide on a level that the majority of people do not. You know it’s real. You feel it’s chill. You know how cold and desperate it is.