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Why do PDA children single out one victim
  • MarSet
    Posts: 38
    We are not yet sure if my son does have PDA or not yet but he does the way he is does fit the PDA profile to a tee.

    Is there a reason why he single me out to let all the aggression/rage out. My life seems to be constantly walking on egg shells because as soon as he sees me he's trying to start a fight, from getting up to going to bed. I can't remember the last time we had a proper conversation where he didn't explode at me.
    Something curious he said during a family therapy session was that he's been angry with me for about 8 years but he has no idea why. In the session my son talked first, them my wife and then me, the therapist said as soon as I open my mouth my sons face just filled with anger and then he refused to take part any further.
    I'm really struggling to keep myself together because ive no idea why its always me.

    Thank You Mark
  • SGCmum
    Posts: 84
    Hi Mark. My daughter saves all her violence and verbal abuse for me. I have been told this is likely to be because she feels safe enough with me to let out her feelings. She may be utterly vile but she knows I will still always love her. So although i have a much tougher time with her, it could be a good thing, although it doesn't seem like it. This may be the same for you.
  • MarSet
    Posts: 38
    Hi SGCmum, I thought I'd read that somewhere. This last week has been extremely difficult as he's kept me virtual prisoner in the house all week as he's refused to do anything at all. The anger/aggression has been almost constant as he turns every thing into an argument. He's constantly telling me I don't love him, the problem with that is he will probably believe it because once he gets something into his head he can't seem to get it out again.
  • SGCmum
    Posts: 84
    If he is targeting you because he feels safe to attack you verbally, then when he says you don't love him it could be because he knows that will upset you most. My daughter seems to know the things that will upset me most, e.g. what a terrible mum I am, but I now realise she doesn't actually think that most of the time. Maybe not even in that moment. Once she told me I must be on drugs as an insult and it was so ridiculous it didn't upset me at all. I don't imagine she actually believed it. She is only 11. Are there any moments at all that you are happy or calm together?
  • MarSet
    Posts: 38
    Today has been relatively calm with just a couple of outbursts but day like this are rare, he likes to start at least one fight in the morning before he goes to school but usually it's a battle from waking him up to him going to school. I remember one morning he got up and went off with no problem at all, he came back 5 minutes later and started a fight, it was almost as if he had forgotten and come back on purpose.
    I regularly called a phsycopath told to f-off and die in a hole, everything is my fault and he thinks the foul language he hurls at me is acceptable because I deserve it.
    The reason I said he probably actually thinks I hate him is once he's said something it gets stuck in his head as fact, not just that but everything.
  • SGCmum
    Posts: 84
    Hi MarSet. Im struck by your comment 'he likes to start at least 1 fight'. I totally understand this, as I have an 18 year old as well as the 11 year old, and years of provocative behaviour leads to a very negative view of them. However, I have finally realised that these kids are not choosing to behave like this because they enjoy it. The behaviour is a sign they are struggling, and suffering. I think your perception of your son, not just his behaviour will very likely come across in any interaction you have with him, whether through sighs, facial expressions or comments. I know, I have been there and it is very hard. I think things will change once you've made the shift from thinking your son deliberately decides to make your life hell, to thinking he doesn't know how to cope with life and needs help. I'm sure you have been recommended many books. I'm currently reading help your child deal with stress and thrive by Stuart Shanker. It has really helped me.
  • MarSet
    Posts: 38
    Hi SGCmum, I've not been recommended any reading material at all. All I seem to have been doing is jumping through the systems hoops forever and getting nowhere. Now we're finally at a stage where we might actually get somewhere im struggling with the thought that I don't know if I've got the strength to keep going and that's just adding more stress to a boiling over pot.
  • June67
    Posts: 808
    Hi MarSet, I'm there with you; jumping through hoops at home with my boys to try and often fail to keep the peace whilst being physically and verbally abused by them both and attempting and failing to stay calm is hard. Then you jump through hoops to try and get any form of help. It's totally soul destroying but you can and will get through because you love your family and will do all you can to help them. Keep strong and have a good rant on here as often as you like to keep yourself sane. Every parent on here gets it. Oh just been sent and email from my counsellor about some books and courses dealing with violent behaviours from children with SEN, the book was called 'The Special Parents Handbook' by Yvonne Newbold. I have also found 'The Explosive Child' quite helpful and also books listed on the resource section here. The book 'Connective Parenting...' by Sarah Fisher was also a very good quick read with things to try. Hope that gets you started all you need to do is find time to read them!
  • MarSet
    Posts: 38
    Thank you June67, I'll have a look and see what I can find and also try set some time aside to actually read which will be a struggle because my concentration abilities have almost vanished.
  • June67
    Posts: 808
    Yes concentration an issue here to lack of sleep combined with spending all the time on high alert and rarely calming down will do that to you.
  • MarSet
    Posts: 38
    That pretty much sums up me June67, Ive been walking on egg shells for years around him. Reading wise I'm a very slow reader and suffer from post adolescent dyslexia after an illness in 2000 which makes reading even harder, throw into the mix ptsd from an abusive father and depression/anxiety it makes everything so much harder to deal with.
    When his demands are controlling family activities and he's refusing to do as his told I am the one who stays at home so the others can still go, I think because its been going for so long now im more frustrated than angry with him. Mum tends to get very angry with him specially with the amount of foul language he uses.
  • June67
    Posts: 808
    You're hanging on in there in difficult circumstances but you are a survivor so let yourself be good enough for now because good enough is all we need to be. Good enough means getting through another day the best you can. If you can try to communicate with 'mum' work together and share the strain, you need each other. Plus I totally get the foul language issues my eldest (Asperger's teen) swears constantly despite my asking him not to as I find this language both threatening and offensive. But then I remember he is stressed out by being an Asperger's teen with a PDA brother and very little break from it all and that swearing in frustration or just to let out some stress is better than hurting someone physically (marginally).
  • bagpuss24
    Posts: 18
    My partner is usually the target for violence - though it also will extend to myself (I was pushed downstairs on one occasion) and also our 14y/o son.

    The way we see it; is that our PDAer centres his aggressions around those he feels most comfortable and safe around.
    In school - he masks it, so it's all bottled up throughout the day - and the switch is flicked as soon as he gets home.

    We had a situation recently, where he refused to get out of bed and get ready for school.
    He told us that his "head was buzzing" and didn't understand why. He told us he was frightened to go to school in case something happened that really upset him, and he didn't want to get upset/distress in front of his class as it would be embarrassing.
    The school have been fantastic, and we have an agreement, that if he refuses to come in to school - we phone them before the register is "locked" at 9am - so he won't get a "Late for School" mark or "Unauthorised Absence"(which would make matters worse).

    In this case - he was marked down as "Emotionally Unfit for School" (new one on me) and we picked up some work from school for him to complete when he felt able to.
    The next day - he hopped out of bed and got ready for school with no fuss at all.

    We are led to believe that it was the previous days School Trip - which was too much - with travelling, being constantly moved about (he likes to explore and look at things in his own time) and also the usual disruptive ones in the class who mess about.
    This, we seem to think had been too much and he just needed more time to recover from it. Sensory overload!

    Another thing is- our PDAer, following a meltdown - he doesn't often realise what he's done - and then becomes more upset because he's harmed us.

    Does anyone else find this?





  • bettyboo1
    Posts: 46
    Hi. I can totally relate to this post. All the same of the above for me to. However I am beginning to find that it's getting extremely hard to salvage our relationship from the week/months/years of dealing with constant daily verbal abuse and meltdowns. I think she feels the same and the last few months she has really begun to single me out with specific attacks on my parenting skills and how she has always hated me. The abuse is vile, I'm fat, embarrassing, untidy, I don't work because I'm lazy, I don't do anything fun with her, I'm a terrible mother, she wishes she hadn't been born to me the list is endless. However once I did believe the above was true that it was just acting out as she felt safe etc etc but now I'm not so sure. I don't know why but I think she is starting to believe it in her head and I think she does really hate me. We have no relationship atm despite me trying but she won't go out (then blames me) and when you try and do something fun with her she ends up 10mins in fighting with you. I'm afraid we are becoming detached from each other and we need professional help I think she needs a full psychology evaluation yet I can't get anything at all from anyone been everywhere. I do admit that at times yes I lose it to but I'm only human and I really am suffering with my own mental health difficulties as a result of all this including when things are v bad suicidal thoughts which I have told my g.p about and I'm on antidepressants and I also receive counselling. I was a normal working mum with a good life, husband, friends and a good job before I had my ASD kids and I can cope with most things except the abuse and the state of our relationship it's like being with an abusive controlling partner. I can see us soon not being like mother daughter which is utterly heartbreaking and devastating to me. I do think she hates me and I do everything for her. Has anybody suffered an irreparable relationship long term at such an early age. Did you manage to get any help. She is only 12. I have today seriously been considering placing her outside in the street and calling the police to come and get her? What would happen if I did that does anybody know. They could arrest me and call child services to take her as I don't care anymore. Is it possible to suffer from PTSD from dealing with these kids?
  • SGCmum
    Posts: 84
    Hi bettyboo. It sounds like your having a really tough time, and I know from experience it feels like you can't get through it and go on. But you will, and things will ease. You are definately not alone, and doing all you can, but as you say, you are human. The verbal abuse is harder to deal with than the physical, but I do believe it is all a release. I have 2 who tell me they hate me, and all sorts of other thing's, both PDAers I believe, but I think there is hope for improvements as we learn more. Good luck.
  • bettyboo1
    Posts: 46
    Thank you for your reply. I've had a really bad run in the last few weeks which I think is related to school tbh. We had a talk in bed last night and she told me she does love me which I needed to hear tbh (I tell her lots). This admission will keep me going for a while. You are right it is ups and downs and yes we never give up no matter how hard times can be. Thank you for your support and kind words I needed them after a very bad day. XX p.s this isia positive she asked me to hide my mother's Day cards and not display them. When I asked why she said "well I have ripped the last 2 years up when I've got angry later on about something and I really want you to keep them this year". Ha ha I was really pleased at this because as bizzare as it sounds she was actuallyathinking of me XX Have the best mother's Day you can everyone. Xx

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