When I found myself a 'single mom, NOT by choice,' it was one of those nasty breakups. The kind where the sperm donor cleans out the bank account, takes the only work vehicle, destroying the business that was my liveliehood, and doing everything possible to be sure that the kids got no support from either of us. He just a real scumbag and he did everything possible to hurt me. He had no regard for how he was hurting the kids by his actions to hurt me. No matter how many times I tried to tell him that he was hurting the KIDS, it just fell on deaf eyes are stone cold eyes as though it wasn't even registering. Which is exactly what was happening. His mind doesn't work right. It does not work outside his own thoughts, past his own wants. He's really nothing more than an 'id'. The other parts of his mind simply aren't there to register and comprehend the damage he was causing.
It was a lot to bear and every day was a fight for survival. Financial survival and emotional survival from succumbing to the depression and the grief and the loss and the constant attacks from him. My oldest has suffered the effects.
Suddenly, his home was gone, his family was gone, his father just vanished, not there to kiss him and hold him. His mother, fighting for her life. There was no one to raise the boy. He faced the equivalent of being raised by wolves.
Today, the effects are slapping me in the face. Last night, I had to admit that he often seems almost 'feral.' He seems unable to recognize where he stops and someone else starts. He understands how to 'show love' to manipulate you when he wants something, but when not given his way, he is hateful beyond imagination. The rest of the time, he is mostly 'indifferent.' He does not respond to anything we try to teach him about 'socialization.' He cares nothing for others. He is completely self involved. There is no talking to him. His world does not exist beyond himself and whatever will serve his need for 'immediate gratification' at any given moment. Redirection does not work, trying to talk to him is futile, he isn't 'hearing' us, he is screaming over us about what he wants. There is no capacity for 'reason.'
Today, I am forced to look at the possibilities of cause.
1.) His father is a sociopath. He has the same part of his brain missing that his father does.
2. I failed. While fighting for my life those two years before I met the man who now has lovingly and patiently taken on the role of "Daddy" I missed the most important years of shaping this child's mind and conscience.
3. Behaviors are learned in early, early childhood. He learned his father's behaviors of stomping his feet, and yelling and screaming and bullying until he got his way.
I suspect it's a combination of 2 and 3. Number one, is simply too horrible to imagine. There is no 'cure' for number one. I'm not sure if I can repair the damage done by 2, and 3. His father's actions during the past four years, may have been root causes of both of us turning the boy into a sociopath.
I have no answers. I simply had to write it out today.