The cycle of violence

Let me start off by saying that I’m not saying this is the case, it just feels this way.  I’m saying that it’s eerily similar. I’m looking to see if anyone else has shared this type of experience.

I have been noticing lately that there seems to be a certain pattern to Gavin’s behaviors. I haven’t pointed this out to Lizze yet because I’m not sure I should.  Although,  she’ll be reading this at some point so I might as well.

For those of you that don’t know,  domestic violence is something that we,  in the Lost and Tired family take very seriously.

Both Lizze and Gavin are survivors of domestic violence at the hands of Lizze’s ex-husband (Gavin’s biological father). He was physically and emotionally abusive towards Lizze and Gavin was witness to everything. While her ex-husband was physically violent, his entire family was emotionally abusive and that can be just as bad.

I’ve been noticing that when Gavin gets in trouble,  after he settles down,  he wants to do nice things for us.

I know many of you are thinking, that he must be sorry and he’s wanting to show that. I have to say that I respectfully disagree. It’s more like manipulation.  There have been times in the past where we have let him off the hook because he went out of his way to do something nice for someone.

It feels like he’s aiming for the same result and it has nothing to do with being sorry or doing something nice.  It feels entirely self- serving.

This is where I want to be very clear that I’m describing how this feels.  I’m not in a position to say for sure what his intentions are, only what they feel like.

There is usually a pattern when it comes to domestic violence.  Something happens to set off the abuser.  The abuser hurts the “loved” one and blame them for their anger.  The abuser later feels “sorry”  (which is bullshit by the way) and does something nice for the abused,  in order to “make it up to them”. Finally,  the abuser promises never to do it again (which again is total bullshit).

Not everyone or every situation follows this pattern but it usually goes something like that.

This is what it feels like Gavin is doing.  No one believes he’s sorry and his intentions are self-serving.  He wants to say or do,  whatever it takes to keep himself out of trouble. It’s never about trying to right his wrongs.

I know this is difficult to accept.  I get emails all the time from people who don’t understand and or want to believe this.  I also receive emails from other people showing their support because they are going through the same thing with their child.

Once again,  this behavior has little if anything to do with him being autistic.  It has everything to do with his other mental health issues and being diagnosed with conduct disorder,  the precursor to sociopathy. This is very scary for Lizze and I as his parents.  No one wants this for their child.  Unfortunately,  some of us can do very little about it as there is literally nothing that can be done.

Having said that,  I know that those of you out there traveling the same path with their child would move heaven and earth to help their child and probably already have.


Rob Gorski

Full time, work from home single Dad to my 3 amazing boys. Oh...and creator fo this blog. :-)
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I have seen this happen.  It is very unfortunate, but I totally agree with the conclusion and analysis posted here…


Even though Gavin is not sincere in his after meltdown actions it still counts for something. My son at 19 has yet to figure out that if he has messed up he could try a little kissing up. Now that is not to say that he should, but without the attempt, whether sincere or not, to rectify a wrong the air stays fully charged with tension and may lead to another outbreak. This is a social cue that many ppl with Aspergers do not get. So even though it is manipulative, it is progress.


 @PurpleLogicGlitch That's an interesting thought. However, I'm not sure it's progress. He's expecting to get out of the punishment by doing something nice. I'm not thinking that progress. Although, I do think that what you say has merit and it has given me something to think about.
Thank you 🙂


Again thank you for your honesty and desire to help parents and people educate themselves about special needs parenting and children. I think that the fact that you have educated yourself about Gavin's health issues shows your love for your son. You are in a unique position to have the foresight to see what could happen in your son's life if things don't take a different turn. You do not make excuses for his behavior or live in denial. I can only hope by God's grace that there is a way for parents who have children with needs similar to Gavin that we can find a breakthrough to help them deal with the miswiring of their brain to alleviate these behaviors. Keep moving forward in his care and trying different methods. I cannot imagine the scary scenes that replay themselves in your's and Lizze's head. Gavin is an amazingly complex child and his body seems to be at war with itself. Please know that you have support and understanding


@JenniferWhynott Thank you very much. It means a lot and I truly appreciate your kind words.