What is something that your child saw that you wished they didn't?
We were standing on a street corner saying goodbye to members of our family after a wonderful meal. My husband's grandfather was walking across the street, holding hands with his second wife when a car hit them and threw them through the air. It seemed like slow motion as I wrapped my arms around each child (who was standing on either side of me) and put my hands over their eyes and spun them around. I still have the last snapshot in my mind of their bodies in the air and upside down above the car before I shut my eyes and spun the kids. (Both had injuries that took months to heal and tho Char had pretty serious injuries, she is still alive today, about 20 years later and Pop lived to 102.) My son had a complete meltdown that night which was really good because tho he still carries the snapshot in his mind, he had no lasting issues past the normal time it took all of us to heal from thePTSD. My daughter however, did not want to deal with it at all. Every time we talked about it she would clam up. Over the next few weeks, all of us would be chatting and it was common to see somebody cringe for seemingly no reason but since we were all doing it, we knew that the person all of a sudden had a snapshot of that night go through their mind. The rest of us healed over a period of time but I soon noticed that I was seeing signs of my daughter's PTSD getting worse, not better. Eventually I ended up taking her to a child psychologist to help her get over it. Because I didn't wait a real long time and she was open to the process (she was 6yo) she healed after a relatively short period of time. (Maybe 10–12 weeks.). I know both children still have that snapshot in their brain because I do. (They are 23 and 26 now.)
Also, my son was involved in a bus accident when he was 6. The bus was Hit by a car that failed to stop at a stop sign and hit it at full speed. The bus rolled and one child was killed. Because the bus driver was unconscious, one of the older children opened the back door (the bus landed on its side so the front door was not able to be used.) The student who died was in the way of each child who escaped so they needed to crawl over his body. My son is 26 and has had anxiety for the past 5–6 years. He tells me that the reason he has always been so scared of dangerous things (even things he knew were safe but felt dangerous like roller coaster rides) is because he learned at a young age that you CAN die.
Both of these incidents are forever burned into their brains and I wish they weren't. BUT since they are the sum of the total of their experiences, I guess I wouldn't change anything.
My eldest daughter was suffering from depression and anxiety. She was cutting herself on her thighs. One night she had locked herself in her room and was sitting up against the door whilst blood was running down her thighs as she cut. My second son went around to her bedroom window to try to see her and he saw her cutting and all the blood. He was 11 she was 16. He is so worried about her and his other siblings now and he has anxiety as a result. Not the worst thing to see, but definitely damaging for a young child who idolises his older sister.
My daughter saw her father dead from an overdose while spending the summer at his home. She was 11 years old. His family had known he was a drug addict for years but they really didn't want to acknowledge the problem and mostly laughed it off. They were major facilitators of his addiction. She won't talk to me or her counselors about it at all. There's no way any child should have to see that. Especially one of their parents. I will always wonder if she's ok.
When my son was 5 he saw his dad grab a butcher knife and chase me into the bedroom.. that was 24 years ago and every once in awhile he'll remind us what he saw and how far we have come. I'm glad we got away and had a life away from the abuse. My son is an amazing dad to his little boys. I broke the cycle!!!