[This letter has been condensed. BFM]
I am concerned about my 18 month old daughter and 3 year old son.
About me quickly, I am mostly a good guy, I am a gentleman, kind, caring, thoughtful, empathetic, emotionally available and passionate and loving toward my wife, which I am sure is why she puts up with me. I need you to first know this, as I suffer depression, anxiety and histrionic personality disorder, which sometimes heightens my aggression beyond any reasonable level, heightens my imaginative state and lowers my rationality and decision-making skills....I am sure it affects our family.
I am aware of it and now know the warning signs, but sometimes when we are in the car, I cannot walk away from an argument with my wife, and I go through the roof, yelling at her, swearing at her sometimes, and saying irrational things....harassing her to a point of her becoming confused....and she cried a couple of times, which my son has seen me do. ....Which brings me to my main issue.
I am highly concerned about our 3 year old son. He has a Peter Rabbit toy which he hurts, sits on and pulls his arms etc, nothing verbal, all physical, and when I ask him about it, he smiles awkwardly and says, "I can't tell you." This scares me so much. My instincts are telling me this is a massive warning sign. On another occasion my son wrestled his baby sister to the floor by her neck, which I have read is very normal, but I saw it as bullying and in a moment of stupidity, I did the same thing to him to show him how it felt. My wife was with me and immediately corrected my actions, she is a primary school teacher.
I immediately hugged him and appologised, telling him that what I did was wrong, and that I love him very much. Whenever my wife and I fight, we usually try and make up in front of him...but kids don't have the ability to understand what has happened, "sorry son, daddy is sick and gets cranky sometimes," is the best I can do, which is sad at best, as he is such a good kid, they both are...
My point is, I know I can change what I do today and tomorrow, but what about yesterdays mistakes, will they stay deep in his psyche, and mold his later years? I saw my parents fight a lot, and I want to break the cycle, any advice you could give me might make all the difference.. ..My son and I have a healthy relationship outside of the arguments he witnesses, we cuddle in front of the TV, we play in the park, he loves me very much, we read books, he instigates fun play with me. The only thing that makes me question his mental state is the way that he treats his Peter Rabbit ( and he loves rabbits by the way). He also ran a little plush toy over today with his toy train, he was doing it quietly and did not want me to see him doing it, when I caught him he felt silly about it, I did't want to make him feel silly, so I let it go.....I want to be a better dad/partner and am taking steps to achieve this.
From: Jonas, Sydney, Australia