This is an extremely personal post today, and I am ashamed of myself for the way I am feeling. I have gone back and forth time and time again on whether I should post my feelings on this subject. I have tried writing poetry, or even just writing and then immediately throwing my words in the trash. I am hoping with this post I am able to purge my being of how I am currently feel, and since I draw the least amount of readers on the weekends I know only a small amount of people will read this.

Marriage is a hard thing to sustain regardless if you have children, the daily stress of life in general can cause friction which continues to grow bigger as time goes on. When you add two children with special needs it can be devastating on your relationship. My wife and I have three children ages 15, 10, and 5, our 15 year old is a fantastic kid. He has learned our simple house rules and understands if he follows those rules he assists in creating a harmonious household. He has grown into a loving, respectful man who I admire as a person. The issues lie in our two youngest children, who are both special needs and have behavioral issues I would not wish on my worst enemy. These issues are intensified because they are inseparable, and their funky behaviors’ feed off one another.

I have written several posts on my daughter; what she has gone through, and our situation with trying to win full custody of her. Because of the things that happened when she was living at her mom’s and the events that transpired after she moved in with us has caused unmanageable pain in her. This pain is expressed through destructive behaviors.

Our youngest son looks up to his bigger sister and loves her unconditionally. She is aware of this and does anything she can to inflict emotional suffering on him. We have figured out through therapy, she tries to inflict this pain because of what her mom did to her. Inside she is getting out her anger; she feels towards her mom and directs it at her younger brother. She also directs this anger and hate at us. She goes out of her way to cause this pain any chance she gets, and she exhibits borderline sadistic behaviors. We have tried every possible technique to manage these behaviors, but we are unable to get through to her. Since she has started seeing her mom 8 hours a month these behaviors have intensified.  

Our five year old has not gone through the emotional turmoil my daughter has, yet has had behavior issues from the moment he was born. We are 100% convinced he suffers from mental illness. I feel intense guilt over this, because if it was not for my genes he may have had a shot at a normal life. He is intense 24 hours a day; there is no shut off button for him. He just continues to go go go, this starts from the moment he wakes up and seems to get worse as the day goes on.  

Every morning is a fight to get him ready to go to daycare, and he will ask if we are running late. If we say we are he will do everything in his power to make it that much more difficult to get out the door. I firmly believe he enjoys causing drama. He will go out of his way to make life as difficult as it can possibly be, yet he is a complete angel when he is at daycare or around other people. This is how I know he has control over his behaviors yet chooses to do everything in his power to cause the most dis-harmony he possible can. When you put these two together you get a day filled of unmanageable stress.

The way these two behave has caused more strain on our marriage than any other obstacle we have encountered. We get so frustrated and beaten down that we end up fighting with each other. We try our hardest to work together, but when you are stressed and beaten down by your own children it becomes too much to handle. There are so many days, that all I want to do is get as far away from them as I can, and I hate myself for feeling that way about my own children. I am resorted to tears on many days because I can’t look at myself in the mirror, and see no end to this torture. I love my children more than any other thing in this universe, and it is like a dagger in the heart when I think they are misbehaving just to cause problems when they know how much stress and strain it causes us.

Please if anyone knows the answers, we need them.

  1. I happened on your blog and don’t have the answers, just a bunch of questions and suggestions.
    Do you have any family who can help you and your spouse get some alone-time?
    Are you able to get away by yourself for any time in the week? Can even be just an hour or so, to recharge and focus on yourself.
    Are there any therapy-groups available for your kids or for parents in the same situation?
    Good luck, sir, please don’t feel guilt for taking care of your own needs as well as those of your spouse and kids.

    • Tim Lundmark says:

      We do not get enough time together by ourselves, and we don’t get enough alone time individually. We work all day then come home to a chaotic environment. It is hard to fix the problem when we are not on the same page. I am a flow with what is type of person, and lack the ability to stay consistent with the kids. My wife is much better at trying to fix the problem. We clash because we are on two different sides of the spectrum. I believe it is because I can not man up and stay consistent my children have become the way that they are. I feel responsible for this disaster and it eats away at my soul on a daily basis. I wish I had the strength in myself to be a better father, but I seem to fail not only myself, but I fail my wife and children.

  2. I speaking here SOLELY as a former social worker, not as a parent (because I’ve never been a parent). Since I don’t know where you live, I’m not sure what resources are available.

    If you live where there is a child study center, you need to go there. If not, then I’d suggest switching therapists to someone who specializes in your children’s special needs.

    Also, if you haven’t done so already, you & your wife need to meet separately with different counselors to work out your own angst and frustrations plus couples counseling wouldn’t be a bad idea.

    You’re correct that ANY marriage takes a lot of work, but it sounds to me like yours needs special care owing to the unique problems the two of you face.

    I think the most important things are a) you realize the chief problems, so b) you need to do everything you can to try to rectify them. Don’t take no for an answer from a sometimes lackadaisical mental health care system. Keep plugging away.

    P.S. You can find my email address by clicking on my name at the top of the left sidebar on my blog. I’d be happy to discuss this with you further in private.

  3. Karen King says:

    Hey Tim, I don’t have answers for you and Nicole but totally feel for you. Even parents with children that do not have special needs have issues with their children (I think all children have some sort of special needs). You and Nicole have more strength than anyone I know to be able to handle your situations. You are loving and caring parents and even though it is a strain on the marriage, at the end of the day you know you love each other very much. We all have bad feelings towards ourselves when we think bad thoughts of our kids and don’t want to deal anymore and that is ok. We dig deep down inside of ourselves and think real hard about the unconditional love and come up with new solutions every day.
    Professionals advise to use positive reinforcement and praise, consistency – I know you and Cole do that. Have you had Dylan evaluated? Does he take meds to help control any of these issues. I know Brianna has her own story. There is a wealth of information on the net and books, but you already know that. Keep the faith and don’t stop trying. We all love you.

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