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    • #145764
      Goldengirl
      Participant

      Hi, all. We fled domestic abuse when my son was in school. He is now in uni but will probably repeat the year/ take a year out. Unfortunately, I stayed too long and we only fled when I discovered ex had started on my son. I thought I could keep the family together as I did not think the children knew and thought them safe but ex hurting my child changed that. Last night, he broke down and told me he has struggled with it all since his dad started on him but it has progressively got worse since. He has become withdrawn, put on weight and struggles to interact with people outside of our household. I don’t know who to turn to for help. He has asked me to help him find his way, get therapy etc so I am turning to you, girls. Any advice would be so welcome.

    • #145765
      Goldengirl
      Participant

      I should add that he has not had any contact with his father since we fled and has no interest in it. However, we still take measures to keep safe as ex found us, comes (detail removed by Moderator), disrupted our lives during crucial exams etc.

    • #145766
      Scarecrow
      Participant

      Hi Goldengirl,

      Depending on your sons age, I would consider taking him to the GP. They may be able to direct him towards some counselling or some support for others of his age. If you have a local domestic violence charity it might be worth reaching out to them to see what services they offer. Being there to listen to him will also go a long way.

      So that is your Son – what about you? From your post I hear a lot of blame being placed at your own door. Let me be, probably, blunt. You did the BEST you could with what you knew at the time. You LEFT as soon as you physically could. There is no manual that comes with this kind of thing and a lot of us have guilt drummed into us, even when it is not our fault.

      Please dont forget that you need to look after your mental and physical health as well as your Son’s. You are just as important.

      Scarecrow x

    • #145778
      Lisa
      Main Moderator

      Dear Goldengirl,

      I’m sorry to hear that you’re son is struggling, that must be really hard to take, but it is positive that he feels able to open up and ask you for help. I echo the above, speaking to a GP or local domestic abuse service to ask if they can offer any support or signpost you to appropriate counselling. You could also talk to his university, they will have some form or pastoral support.

      Have a look at our Useful Links page under the tab Young people.

      Also, the organisations NAPAC and Supportline could be very helpful.

      All the best, let us know how you get on.

      Lisa

    • #145819
      Twisted Sister
      Participant

      Hi Goldengirl

      Your son has opened up to you, this is a huge first vital step to any recovery, and you may find that he will be doing this purely because he is now feeling safe to deal with it. Realising and speaking about the abuse, sharing with someone how difficult its been is the start of recovering.

      I can’t offer better advice than you have already had, but just wanted to say that you will be a lot of what he needs. To be heard, and understood goes a very long way in any recovery, and you in your relationship as his mum are a powerful agent in this. You may feel out of your depth with his complex emotions, but you are supporting him and he’ll feel stronger for it. He’ll learn that he can trust you with this, and maybe some resources for yourself would be helpful to support him through it so you feel more ‘useful’, or enough for him (which you are)?

      When Dad hurts Mom is by Lundy Bancroft, and a very helpful read for any mother in supporting her children through the abuse. Some of his interests may be a key way into helping him grow his confidence through? If there are groups that combine his interests with others. Has he joined societies? If he’s far away at uni, he could be encouraged to write stuff down to you? or to journal for himself?

      warmest wishes

      ts

    • #145821
      Watersprite
      Participant

      Heyy golden girl I can relate to so much of your post. Firstly so good that he is able to confide in you and normal to struggle. It is so hard for them because so many of their peers are young innocent and unable to relate so they feel like they are outsiders with all they have to deal with. Just like us tho they are not alone and he has you. Secondly and I struggle with this self compassion you left when you could when the damage was more obvious and the fog had cleared… hindsight is a lovely thing – we didn’t have it at that time we thought we were doing the best for our kids with what we knew at the time. Hold strong- we did our best – the blame lies with the abuser lovely keep putting it right back there.
      The website Youngminds is good resource. One of mine accessed counselling quickly through uni when they explained about what had happened at home. GP a good suggestion. Take care – he is reaching out and he trusts you that’s amazing and you got him out of there.

    • #145859
      Goldengirl
      Participant

      Hi, all. Thank you for your kind words. I have found starting points for him and am still hopeful he will access the uni counselling. He is reluctant as I think he wants one area of his life to be ‘untouched’. I went back to my local WA office and a lovely woman gave me good places to look too. I got upset and realised I needed help with how I was feeling about it – guilty I hadn’t protected him better etc but as you all say, I got him safe when I could and did the best at the time. Hindsight is, indeed, wonderful. Thank you, ladies.

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