I came to terms a long time ago that my BPD was going to affect my boys. Either they would inherit the genes of mental illness or my actions would lead to an invalidating or traumatic experience. I do my best to limit it the best I can. But let’s face it, I’m far from perfect and it shows.
So I wait and I watch for signs.
A few year back Thomas showed signs that something was going on in his head. It was more of a feeling than a concrete train of thought. To this day I struggle to put it into words but I know in my heart something was troubling him. So I did what I knew to do. Despite his young age (5) I found him a therapist in the group I see who was willing to sit down with him and talk things out. He only went to a few sessions. And I wouldn’t call them a success. It was clear whatever was ailing him, he was not yet mature enough to get it out. I wasn’t going to push. I knew his time would come.
So I went back to waiting a watching.
Lately I’ve been hearing some disturbing things. He’s calling himself stupid, among other things, an awful lot. Usually it has to do with me yelling at him over something. Or him having trouble completing a task. Please note I never call him names. And when he calls himself names I’m quick to correct him. He’s not stupid. I don’t raise stupid boys. I may not like his actions but he is far from stupid. He is in fact the smartest 7 year old I know. And I throw in an “I love you” or two. Or three.
He has also been hitting himself. When he is frustrated or angry he takes it out on himself physically. Just now he smacked himself across the face because I wouldn’t let him have a snack.
Today he crossed the line and informed me he hated himself. This wasn’t tied into me yelling at him. This came out of the blue and hit my like a ton of bricks. Where were these words coming from? What 7 year old even has the concept of self hatred? So once again I did what I knew to do, besides reassuring him that he was awesome and loved.
I called concord. It’s been 2 years. I can only hope he ready to talk to someone. It might take him a few sessions to open up. But I really hope once he’s comfortable with who ever he sees, that he will talk about whatever is bothering him.
Even if that’s me and Pat.
As of right now I’m waiting on a call back from intake. Since it’s been 2 years he’s considered a new patient. There may be a long waiting process involved. But it’s time to get him on that list. As we wait his maturity to talk it out will only get better, though the self hatred will only get worse.
I do want to make one thing clear right here and right now. I can see my in-box flooding with this. I’m not looking to get my 7 year old on medication. I have a strong belief that these meds can help, an adult. Right now his brain is still forming and developing. Drugs will only hinder that. I am a strong advocate in my belief that children under the age of about 16, maybe a little younger in extreme cases only, have no business on these medications. But I also have a solid belief in the power of talking. And by getting him into therapy I fell he’ll have the chance to talk to someone who both cares but also has the training to know how to get him to talk and who will know what to say once he does.
This isn’t little kid stuff coming out of his mouth. These are teenage level thoughts and feeling coming out of a 7 year old. If my 13 year old was saying these things, well first of all, I’d kind of expect it, but I’d get him into therapy. Hearing it from my 7 year old is troubling.
And maybe I’m over reacting. But I’d like to hear that from a trained professional.
I don’t know, what do you think? Is it normal for a 7 year old kid to say he hates himself?