2nd January 2016 at 4:32 pm #6981
My situation with him is seriously affecting my relationship with my son. I am ashamed to say it but I can barely look at my son at the moment. He is only young (pre teens) but I can slowly see him turning into his father. The derogatory comments, the way he speaks to me and his sister (total lack of respect), the clever looks, the off the cuff remarks and the inappropriate opinions about everything and everybody. I am angry and sad with myself that I am allowing this to happen and could try and improve things by moving back to my own home. I feel terrible that I can’t reach out to my son and tell him everything will be ok. We once had a great relationship and were super close. I feel we are miles apart and I have no idea how to bridge the gap or undo what has been done. I feel I am losing my little boy and he is losing his mum. What do I do?
2nd January 2016 at 5:44 pm #6985TamraParticipant
I also read post you out on another thread. To be honest Im not surprised your son is acting the way he does when his father has said such awful things to him – like leaving home and then he will have you all to his self, and he had you first – what a ……………………………
Your son will know deep down that you care but if you can I would try and reassure him, he may resist at first but you can show him in many ways, I bet hes feeling fear that you will leave him or push him out like his father is telling him.
I believe these men are different with female or male children depending on which way they go – they girls made to feel like princesses and be what daddy wants, turning them into slaves or make the boys into nasty abusers and show them how to treat women or how women should be treated, in their world of course or they feel threatened by either sex and do what they need to feel safe for themselves. Its a mind field and very complicated.
My daughter was treated differently to my son, they werent my ex’s though, he didnt like my son one bit and was very jealous of him so my son just stayed in his room and didnt integrate with us, to be honest I did tread on eggshells and goaded my children to stay in their rooms, I did it in a way so it was fun but clearly it wasnt is was just so my ex would have my undivided attention. I feel now that I have lost out on their younger years but Im making up for it now, my son will sit with me and watch TV now and chats to me and hugs me. He even comforts me when Im upset too. Both my children hate my ex and do get very angry about him, I let them vent so it releases any angry emotions to free them from pain.
The two things that stick in my mind was when my son was under the age of 10 he said to me ‘why does …… look at me funny?’ I brushed this off and said no he doesnt , this showed me I wasnt listening to him and the other was when he was older he said ‘Why do I have to talk to ……. first how come he never says hi or anything first?’ I told him because he (my son) is a nice, caring, respectful boy, that should me that my ex isnt a nice person as he believes everybody should respect him respect is learnt not just given, so I these men dont show it how do they younger people learn about respect, its a two way street.
Now if I had my time again and knew then what I know now, I would have shown my kids they were more important to me than him and left and never gone back. But i didnt and I went back for more.
Sorry I went on a bit hope i didnt miss to much of your needs. Show your son you love him that the best advice i can give you but it wont happen over night so stick with it a little bit at a time. never say and im sure you dont, ‘your just like your father’.
Big hugs because I sense this is a tough time for you xx
2nd January 2016 at 9:30 pm #7002Falling SkysParticipant
Sorry to hear the difficulties with you and your son xx
The positive is that you have realised it, mine was an adult before I did. Its hard to hear the words their fathers use coming out of their mouths and actions.
It you can distance him for his father that’s the best way (sorry I don’t know if you are still with him)
All I have done is try and stay calm and tell him his actions are unacceptable, he is finding hard because up to recently abusing me was the chief family entertainment. Also as some wrote on one of my posts its easier to side with the bully.
I know that were I live there is Sure Start which runs groups to help you with childrens issues, I know a few people that have attended them and they have been a great help.
Just remember that half of you is in that boy so with time he will come back xx
2nd January 2016 at 9:46 pm #7006
Thank you both for your kind words. I am struggling to fight back the tears. My head is a whirlwind at the moment and it means a lot hearing that I am not going mad from people who really understand how hard all this is xx
3rd January 2016 at 11:13 am #7042StarlightParticipant
This is a challenging situation. I have to say I agree with Tamra and Falling sky. I have also travelled this road, but the good news is, although it’s a bumpy journey the end result is positive.
I also have a son and daughter, and like Tamra says, the treatment is different for each. My ex didn’t like my son at all, I see now he was threatened by him and tried to get him moved out of the house. He was a young teenager and also got ignored and told me that whenever my ex was around (not his father) he just wanted to stay in his room. He hated the way my ex treated me, and lost respect for me, whenever I took him back. It nearly ruined our relationship. But, I worked on it slowly and compromised and slowly but surely I got back our relationship. Since my ex has gone, the relationship with my son has gone from strength to strength. He is very supportive. I was honest with him and told him that he and his sister was more important to me than anyone and I have proved it. I just wish I had had the strength to do it sooner.
My daughter was different. She has special needs and my ex tried buying her off and getting her to side with him against me, which wasn’t nice for me, but he needed an ali, she took full advantage of his generosity, so good for her. She also didn’t like him though and just used him. Glad someone did though. She’s now being a preteen thinks she can be disrespectful to me and treat me like a second rate citizen at times, but I am being loving but being firm at the same time.
As far as their own father is concerned, both my children saw him for what he is, and choose to have no contact with him. I never stood in their way, when seeing him, but knew they would work it out for themselves. It took a while but it’s best. He made my life living hell in the process, but it just alienated his children from him.
Thinking of you MM, it will come right. It’s hard to think about what this might have done to our children. But you need to hang in there. Take back your place as their Mum, be supportive of what they have gone through too and give them a voice, show that you are listening, be loving and put them first.
Big hug xx
3rd January 2016 at 11:56 am #7046SerenityParticipant
Hi Martha Moo,
I have two boys. My ex was horrible to our eldest and started on the youngest.
Yet, since he has gone, he has tried his best to turn them against me.
In small moments, it seemed he was winning. It I kept telling myself, do to take it personally- the kids are ring manipulated, as we were, but deep down they know the truth.
The thing that is preventing them standing up to their dad and making them cop this dictates is fear, guilt and obligation.
You can bet that your ex is playing the poor me card, that he is making them feel obliged to do as he says as ‘he is their father’ and that they are frightened of the consequences if they don’t do as he says.
My DV worker told me to try to rise above it. Allow the kids to get it out. They are testing you. Abusers put all kinds of things into to their kids heads about you- prove him wrong. Show your son you are constant, positive, strong, that you move on from any argument and don’t hold on to negative feelings ( a refreshing change from the abuser- abusers hold grudges!). Let him know you love him whatever, but be firm on the ground rules for your home regarding behaviour. Show him you love him, but be clear about what normal resort culture behaviour is. Kids feel safe with clear boundaries, even though they pretend they hate them. It is scary having an abuser for a dad, as he teaches that there are no boundaries in life- too overwhelming for a kid.
A lovely lady on here, Roseanne, told me when I was going through the same as you that we need to ( without directly mentioning our exes names) teach our kids how to step up to bullies. Clarify what bullying is, what choice is, and how to approach bullies. Encourage your child to engage in positive activities, sports etc, that will help him to devil his confidence and assertiveness and a personality saw partake from his father’s. Dominant abusers try to monopolise their children ( mine does).
All the while, he will have your unconditional love and softer, gentler but firm moral values to learn by. He will prefer these to his dad’s, especially when his dad starts to let him down.
‘Kids go where they are loved the most’ my counsellor told me. Time spent with our abuser is all about them: their needs, their interests, their preferences. Let your son know that you value his individuality and want to help him achieve it. He will feel safe with you and his fear of his father will lessen, as his individual strength increases.
Growing kids want their parents to recognise that they are individuals. Be that parent!
Low him sullen and moody moments. Boys ( and girls) are like that at the best of times. Many boys find it hard to express their feelings. Without being overwhelming, have short and opportune light conversations where you ask him how he is, or if anything is worrying him. Get him to try to name his feelings if he seems upset, and ask him to think about what he should do about it ( thus developing his own healthy coping mechanisms and ability to think out problems for himself.
Show him feelings aren’t bad, even bad ones, they just ‘are’- it is what you do with them that counts. Show him healthy ways of managing negative feelings – how to express them in ways that don’t harm others. How to hp him feel better about himself- sport, etc.
Car rides area good time to a monosyllabic boy! A car is a safe, contained and private space and you are both looking ahead. Kids might feel overwhelmed by too much eye contact, and many find it easier to open up on a car drive!
Also importantly, do things to hold your own peace, strength and confidence, so your child will see you as strong and safe. Your strength will put eat your abuser’s. Abusers are cowards underneath.
Believe that your mother-son bond can’t be broken.
All of the above I tell myself!
3rd January 2016 at 4:13 pm #7056
Thank you all so much. My son really struggles talking about his feelings and what is bothering him and I do struggle to know how to get these from him without being too confrontational. He clearly has a lot of anger inside that he doesn’t know what to do with. I want to help him make sense of everything but I can’t make sense of it all at the moment. He is probably directing this anger and attitude at me because he knows he could never do that to his Dad. I am living in my mind quite a lot at the moment so miss a lot of what is going on around me. I probably appear distant to my children when I don’t mean to be.
3rd January 2016 at 4:41 pm #7061TamraParticipant
You dont have to talk about the situation with him just let him know your there. Perhaps you could talk about something he enjoys. Boys are hard as they do shut down. His anger will need to be accepted for it to come out but in ways that are safe and you are right he is probably directing at you because your safe but this will need to be explored so he doesnt do anything harmful but you know him best.
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