My son is sexually predatory
This is a difficult post for me to write. My son is sexually predatory. I have two younger children in the home that I have to keep safe from his escapades and it is tiring. I am constantly looking for signals that he is being triggered.
This all began to surface about three years ago. He had recently turned 15 and we began having inklings that he was interested in being inappropriate. (Keep in mind that he is mentally handicapped and functions on a 5 year old level) He would saddle up to his brother and ask him to take down his pants. His brother was almost 8 at the time and thankfully he wanted to no part of these shenanigans. He would always tell him that was gross and would holler for me to make him stop.
As these episodes became more often, I began to take steps to ensure that he was never alone with anyone younger than him unsupervised especially boys. It was about this time that we realized we also needed to protect our pets from his unwanted advances. It was then that I realized this was serious. I could no longer bury my head in the sand and pretend this wasn’t happening. I had to get real.
We took some steps to ensure that those in our home were safe. I purchased cameras that could be accessed through our smart phones and a better door alarm system so that we knew for certain when he was out of his bedroom at night. We instituted a 3 foot supervision rule when any other child or animal was in our home. Basically he had to be within arms reach of an adult at all times.
We openly talked with him about what was acceptable and what wasn’t. He was mortified that I would say things like “Your penis does not belong anywhere near the dog” but it was important to let him knew that I was aware of his intentions and that they were not happening in our home. We instituted rules like you must have pants on at all times and if you are covered with a blanket your hands must be outside of the blanket while anywhere but your bedroom. We insured that the other children always had clothing on while in public areas of the house. And that they knew they could always kick, hit or pinch in order to escape from him. Thankfully, he is not an aggressor so he does stop when his intentions are discovered.
In the past, we have treated this like our family’s dirty secret. In the past three months or so, I have become really open with my circle of friends and family about my son’s issues. I decided it was time to explain why I was keeping him on a “short leash” around our children and others. I decided that it was not something that I was interested in being ashamed about. This is due to something that was done to him; this is compounded by his attachment issues, his low IQ and his impulsivity. Shame will not fix this. Shame just makes everyone feel more guilt.
Of course with all of this we deal with copious amounts of masturbation. There are rules. It must be done only in your bedroom, while the alarm is on. It is facilitated by a toy that I purchased for him after some prompting by some other moms who “get it”. I go through large amounts of coconut oil in my home. I never thought I would be providing sex toys and lube to my child.
This week we traveled to Florida for spring break. For obvious reasons, he is not allowed to sit in the same van seat with another child. This trip, my mom hitched a ride with us due to a scheduling conflict with my step dad. That meant that he had to share a seat with an adult. I knew that was safe. I was however concerned about what he would attempt during the night. I made certain he was directly behind the passenger so that the driver would be able to keep watch if he began to crawl around the van trying to get to his brother. My mother was driving and woke me about 3:00 in the morning. She knew that he was up to something. She was right. He was completely naked from the waist down and was masturbating, not 6 inches from my sleeping husband. My mother was mortified!
My mother had been told that it was a possibility and had heard many-a-story about his escapades, but seeing it is a different thing. For me, it was freeing to be able to share that with someone else other than our immediate family. It was as if a HUGE weight had been lifted off my shoulders. It was as if I had been carrying a very heavy burden and I just shared a bit of the load with my mom. That was priceless. My mom has asked more questions this week and has seemed to have more patience for me and my parenting than before. Truth is a great thing.
It was then that I decided I would write this post. I am still deciding to publish it anonymously only because I want to protect his privacy to those who don’t know him. But, it became important for me to tell you that it can be very freeing to let those in your circle know if your child struggles with these same type of issues. It is not something that needs to be hidden away. Perhaps if we share, there will be less of a chance for someone to be abused. Perhaps if we share, there will be understanding.