Yesterday we had a meltdown, the first one in a long time. It had definitely been building up for a few days, and he had been really negative towards mostly just me.
This time of year is when we finally caught his biological dad abusing him. He had come home one night, at 4 years old, and had a red mark about 4” long, across his back. When I asked him what happened, he very nonchalantly said, “other daddy guy hit me”. Two weeks earlier, he had come home with a marijuana pipe in his pocket. I had already been waiting for DCFS to respond to that, so when I called again about the abuse, they came right over. They asked Gabe questions, recorded him speaking, and took pictures. He did amazing. The next day, I had gone to get a temporary protective order for him through the juvenile court, which was granted until we could have an actual hearing. The hearing went really well for us, due to the findings that DCFS had acquired over those couple of weeks, and a protective order was put into place for Gabe. The story goes on, and there were plenty more court dates, but that night was the last night that Gabe had to see him. .
He’s always struggled with this time of year, and I imagine that’s where the angst and eventual meltdown came from this week. I had never put it together until two years ago, the same thing happened-lots of angst out of the blue, directed solely at me. Gabe finally told me that year that he blamed me for everything that had happened. Ouch. I had always been really open with him about the events, but realized that he was too young to actually understand while it was happening. So, I went through all of it with him, how much I had fought to keep him from there, that had I not made him go like he suggested, that I could’ve gone to jail and he would’ve had to be there more, that I never stopped trying to save him, and even though it took so long, we finally got that protection. He seemed to understand. .
When I finally realized, 4 years later, that his behavior problems were stemming from anxiety, he was able to pinpoint the start of that feeling to an exact moment, when DCFS came to our house. Now his body just remembers.