5th April 2016 at 11:56 am #13010Doglover99Participant
Hi all. I felt so dreadful this morning but reading other people’s posts helped a little.
After last week’s upsetting email from my husband, I picked myself up and felt a little better. Now the problem is my son, well not a problem as such but he is struggling. He just doesn’t want to be at home because he hates being in his own company. He’d been staying at a friend’s for 3 nights in a row and came home last night. I was so happy to have him home. At first he was ok but as the evening went on, he started getting fidgety. Then come close to midnight he asked if he could go to his friend’s for the night. I was so upset, I said I hadn’t seen him properly in days, why didn’t he want to spend time with me. He actually talked a little. His girlfriend had already told me a few weeks back that he was struggling being on his own because that’s when he thinks about things and gets depressed.
Well he opened up to me last night, probably because he saw how upset I was. He said he needs to be with people because he gets so down sitting in his room to the early hours of the morning when I’ve gone to bed. That’s when the thoughts come and he starts getting depressed (he didn’t elaborate but it’s probably the feelings he had before when we were still in the old house with my husband). He said how he hated it before as well in the old house but he wasn’t able to go to his friends then (due to fear of my husband) and now he feels he is free to do that. It was always late at night in the old house last year when he did the self harming so it’s probably those thoughts that drove him to do that then.
He kept saying how he loves me and hugged me when I was crying. I said it felt like I had failed as a mother but he said I was a good mother (well I don’t feel it). In the end I let him go although it tore me apart. I explained to him that he needs to learn to be by himself, he needs to talk to professionals to deal with his past problems but he won’t. He had such a bad experience with the CAMHS person last year, I don’t think they clicked, that he refuses any counselling now. How can I help him when he won’t talk to professionals? He talks to his friends, especially the one he stays with all the time. He is older and lives in a flat by himself so it’s easy to stay there. This lad has problems as well so they can relate to each other and I do understand that but how can I help him. I desperately want to make him feel ok again, happy and look forward to a bright future but I don’t know how when he is hardly ever here.
He is so young to be out there on his own, even if he is with friends. He said that he can do what he wants when he’s out. He wants that freedom and I can appreciate that but he is not mature enough to deal with the real world. What can I do though? He is legally old enough to leave if he wants to. He doesn’t listen when I tell him that by law he needs to stay in full time education for another year. I have tried to encourage him to have friends stay over but I suppose the lure of someone older with their own flat is too much. Like he said, they can do what they want there with no parents telling them off for anything.
It was hard enough learning to be on my own here after doing everything as a couple for years. Now it seems my son is abandoning me as well. I feel so alone without him. I know he’s growing up but he is just not ready yet… or is it the case that I am not ready to let go. He should be at school but refuses to go. He is very very angry still at his old school and how they made his life a misery there. he didn’t even give his new school a proper chance so he won’t be going back, I know that. I am trying to get him to sit some of his exams so he has at least something to show for years of education but his mind is elsewhere, with his friends, having fun and the freedom to do as he wishes. It would be good if he could get a part time job, that might help with his self esteem. He has the same problem with a very low self esteem as I do and the professionals would help him get over that if he would only give it a chance.
Do I just need to let him stay with his friend when he wants to and let him know that he always has a home here, that I will always be here for him when he needs me? I don’t feel I can put my foot down and say no because he would not listen and it would ruin our relationship and push him away. I said to him that his friend is very welcome to stay here and he seemed to like that idea. Am I doing the right things with him? He is so obviously struggling mentally to deal with the abuse but it is so hard when he refused any help. Is there anything else that I could or should be doing to help him?
For the time being, I need to stop getting so upset because I could feel being pulled back into depression last night and this morning. I made the first tentative step at the weekend to meet people and do something. I went to a local animal sanctuary and offered myself as a volunteer once a week. I start this weekend and I can’t wait. I spent an hour with these animals there and found myself smiling for the whole hour, cuddling them, giving them some well deserved love, forgetting about all the hurt I’ve gone through. This is something I am passionate about so maybe something good will come out of it for me.
5th April 2016 at 12:23 pm #13011AyannaParticipant
First of all big hugs! Yes, that must be painful for you.
On the other hand is it positive that he has a friend.
Would it help to invite this friend over during the day time? So that you can get to know him and vice versa?
Can you book your son on a summer camp, so that he gets distracted?
Are there any counselors who come to the homes of children? What if you look for a counselor for him and speak to him to give it another try?
I am glad he opened up to you. Keep this line of trust. Also, make sure he knows he can always come to you and you are always there for him no matter what.
It might be a phase that eases down after a while.
Is there anything you can do to make his room more homely so that he likes staying there?
Is there anything what he is good at doing, any hobby, interests?
It is wonderful that you volunteer at an animal sanctuary. That will give you much joy.
I hope the other ladies can give you more ideas. I really feel your pain. You both need time after all what you have been through. x*x
5th April 2016 at 2:52 pm #13017Confused123Participant
Sending u hug out, i have been through this myself last year with my eldest , its a nightmare why lie , all i can say to u is yeah ask if he will call this friend around so u can meet him, my son eventually brought his friends around to the house, they do struggle to deal with it all, my son still has difficulty dealing with the violence he saw. As a mum i did the same at first refused to let him go out,i even locked the doors, but he jumped out of the windows, i think we can only guide them best we can, make them aware they will get into trouble if they not careful, mine still didnt listen and thats exactly what happened, again has been a testing 18 months since i left ex, am still on and off trying to get him to do counselling, he normally just does 4 sessions then quits, i know he finds it hard to talk about what he saw, whenever your son talks listen to him , thats what i did, slowly id get odd days where he would talk about whether i miss his dad, miss the old life, would i consider going back , makes odd comment about what he saw, how he feels, u just have to be there and let them talk, at begining i would clench up and tear up which used to make him stop talking and i had to say its ok if i cry u dont have to stop,i explained i needed to cry for trauma i experience as my ex refused to let me cry when beating me up. I know its very painful for him to talk about it, so i explained he needs to talk about it in small bits to be able to deal with , suggest to your son reguarly to try counselling, try group sessions, there is a lot of support available for kids, they just have to take it, my boys both refuse it, look more into it about workshop available for children to attend who have seen there parents be in a abusive realtionship. My son was just saying last week i cant cry cause thats been weak and dad said men dont cry, i pointed out his dad used to cry, but he goes no thats been weak not beeing a man, i think as a boy they struggle to admitt they were scared , i explain to my son its ok to be scared and he needs to cry, i think there is a program called NDV , supposed to be for victims and children, im currently trying to get on it for myself and the eldest,he may not go but i always suggest . well doen for becoming a volunteer, part of our kids recovering is seeing us get strong, if u need to cry thats ok too, my kids were totally shocked when i moved town with them to get away from abuser and seeing how upset it made me , seeing me gets stronger gives my eldest motivation to talk even if ocassionaly. U r doing so well , this is the next challenge when we leaver abusers, dealing with the after effects it has on kids, keep posting on here whenever u need support, or feel free to private message me if u ever need support or advice
5th April 2016 at 3:36 pm #13019SaharaDParticipant
I don’t have children so my opinion is not weighted by emotional parental bonds.
I know you keep saying that your son isn’t ready but he is legally an adult.
As soon as I was legally an adult and finished A levels, I left home and got a job, much to the fury of my father. Best thing I ever did.
You have to get him to take responsibility…get him down to the job centre so that he doesn’t become a Neet.
Here is the Definition of a Neet:
The people I have met who spent age 16-24 being unproductive regretted it and it seems to have damaged their self esteem further.
Don’t let him sit for months or weeks not in education, employment or training. This happens to me when I spend all day worrying I can’t sleep. If I really tire myself out with Education (being at library courses and support group), training (learning something practical/ mental health courses) or my little job, I can’t stay up to cause harm to myself.
Speak to CAHMS to see if there are any groups or courses he can go on with other young people struggling mentally so he feels less alone instead of the intimidation of a one to one worker.
I spent that age being super productive and I can always look back and say “look at what you have done in that time. You are amazing!” It makes me feel better in tough times. 🙂
If all else fails try to get him a male mentor.
5th April 2016 at 4:11 pm #13020mixed-up mumParticipant
Hi Doglover – sorry you are having such a hard time just now – teenagers are not easy!!!
My sons problem is not tat he wont stay home (for he never goes out!!!!) but that he spends all day everyday (and most of the night too) on Xbox and his Tablet – its ALL he ever wants to do – the only time hes off of it is when he sees his dad one day at the weekend – and for 1 1/2 hrs a week when he goes to Rugby training.
Other that that hes never off of it – he refuses to come through to the sittingroom and spend ANY time with his sister and me. I know he’s not interested in a lot of TV programmes his sister and me watch – but there are SOME things he would like IF ONLY he would give them a chance – but he wont even spend one hour a day with us – and that upsets me.
HE will spend 6-8 hours with his dad at the weekend – where as he wont even spend ONE hour a day with me and his sister – that hurts.
HIs dad has no internet and so they do spend time together – but he will never stay at his dads – cos he needs to get home and get on his Xbox and Tablet – but he just comes in from 6-8 hours at dads says hi for 5mins and then away he goes – cant spend ANY time with US.
I know Im likely ‘old fashioned’ – but when we were kids there was no internet – and we all sat together of an evening – me mam, me sister and me – we hardly ever sat in our rooms of a night!!
But now things are so different – my son as his own TV in his room, and his Xbox and his own Tablet – so he has all he wants or needs in that room – he ‘socialises’ on-line, chats to friends there – he doesn’t NEED to go OUT of the house to speak to friends.
As I say its ‘old fashioned’ now, but I used to set of on my bike and go and SEE my friends – we’d go on our horses, or take a walk along the beach simple things like that I did at 16 and kids now-a-days have no interest in that kind of things – we WENT OUT and DID things – my son and his pals just don’t seem to do that.
And don’t get me wrong I know Im lucky in a way – for I know WHERE he is, and I know WHAT he is doing – he could be out and about and doing a lot worse.
Where we live is a quiet rural area – and there really is nothing much in the area for kids of his age to do – plenty in town – but that’s a (detail removed by Moderator) mile round trip for me – so cant afford the petrol – and there are NO busses here we get 2 a day to town.
I do appreciate your loneliness too – in the first year and a half after I left my ex my daughter was not herself at all – in her room all the time – wouldn’t spend any time with me – she hardly talked to me – and as I say I never see my son – so I spent mostly every evening alone too – it was heart-breaking to want your kids to spend time with you – and for them to actually be there IN the house and still want to spend all there time alone in there rooms – while I sat alone in the sittingroom – we were all together in the same house – but yet all so far apart – heart-breaking. 🙁
It is hard on you adjusting to being on your own after being married for so long – none of us wanted to be single parents – but that’s how things ended up – and you kinda feel you got away to give your kids (and you) a better life – and then you find yourself on your own – mid life and starting over – and your kids don’t want to be there for you and support you – and its so hurtful – it really is.
You just feel like saying to them – is it asking too much of you to even spend ONE HOUR a day with me sitting chatting – is that really too much to ask!!!!
Yet at the same time I know we should have our own lives, and not rely on our kids for company and companionship – but you just feel they should WANT TO spend some time with you too…..
Neither of my kids can drive – so they cant get anywhere without me taking them there and taking them home – but I know the day WILL come when they ARE both off out of a night in their own cars and I wont know where the are or what they are doing – so I guess I just want to have them close while I still can – I know the day will come where they will eventually get a social life and get a girlfriend and boyfriend and I WILL one day be alone again – but Im just not ready for that yet, and Im putting it of for as long as we can…….
I can understand your pain at having him home for the first time in days, and then he STILL wont spend any time with you – he still wants to be away – its so hurtful – but he honestly doesn’t mean anything by it Im sure – hes not meaning to hurt you – but hes just enjoying his new found freedom and social life – and that’s all he wants now. Its being away from any rules and being totally free to do what he wants, when he wants – that’s the attraction just now.
I know it wont be any help to you right now to say its a faze he is going through – and he will come back to you one day – but you don’t want ‘one day’ – you want him here with you NOW. I suppose its not an easy thing to do – but as the old saying goes – if you love someone set them free – and if they love you they WILL come back.
He cuddles you and said he loves you – so that’s good eh. Hes just all mixed up and confused and he doesn’t know WHAT he wants right now. its not personal – its not aimed at YOU – so please dont feel it is.
My son is leaving school now too – and he is young for his age too and is immature – he will be out working soon and mixing with much older men – and Im scared it will make him grow up too fast, when hes just not ready.
It is hard to know what o do with our sons – as you say they are legally agaed to leave home should they want to – and so just how much ‘restrictions’ and ‘rules’ CAN we put in place at that age???
I would like to say to mine be off of Xbox buy 10-00 and spend an our with your sister and me – but the thing is I don’t want to have toe MAKE him do that – I want him to do it cos he WANTS TO – not cos I have MADE him.
Likewise with your son – you could say please be home by 10-30 but hes not going to want to be seen coming home to his mam – not when he has these older friends (and espically the one who has his own flat and can do what he likes) they will make fun of him for having to come home at 10-30 to be with his mam.
But I know you (like me) just WANT him to WANT TO spend time with you – you don’t want to enforce rules and say you WILL be home by 10-30. You want to give them the freedom to make their OWN choices – and make GOOD choices – and WANT to be with you.
You ARE a good mam – never forget that.
We are all here for you to listen anytime you need to talk – keep going – you are doing a great job. 🙂
5th April 2016 at 4:24 pm #13021Doglover99Participant
Thanks for your replies. I do know this friend, I have made a point of meeting all his friends who he hangs out with and they all know me. This lad is a good person, he has just had a difficult start in life. I am disappointed in myself that I got so upset in front of my son, I need to stay strong. An interesting thing Confused123 said about crying, my son has not cried once since leaving, at least not that I know of. He is keeping the feelings bottled up at home. I don’t know how much he opens up with his friends. He is very close to some of his friends and they do have deep conversations but I don’t know whether he has let the feelings, other than anger, come out. It is important that he can let those feelings of sadness and helplessness out now. He does cry, he has come to me in the past when he has been really upset but I only now realised that he hasn’t cried since we left.
My son is not legally an adult yet which is why I worry about him. I want him to finish school somehow. I know he will regret not going to school one day but he can’t see it that way yet.
He had one hobby before but he’s not interested in doing that at the moment. Like I said, all he wants to do is hang out with his friends. Victim Support and Early Help both tried with him and would have given him a male person to talk to but he didn’t want the support so they’ve gone away for now. You are right in that he hasn’t had a single good male role model in his life. Even his own dad is useless. His uncle lives overseas but he doesn’t have kids so he doesn’t really know how to help.
All I can do is be here for him when he wants and needs me. He is starting to open up a little but all I seem to be getting out at the moment is the feeling of anger towards his stepdad. I have told him he should talk to someone properly about it all so that he can deal with his feelings and then let go and move on. I listen when he talks and try to make him see that I understand and want to help.
This is a tough time. I didn’t realise how hard dealing with all these feelings would be. It’s difficult enough dealing with my own feelings let alone my son’s. He is the one who has suffered most in all of this and I just hope that he will come out at the other end eventually.
Thank you for listening. It’s hard when you’re on your own with no family to support you. I just have to try and find a way through it all for both of us.
5th April 2016 at 6:56 pm #13029Eve1Participant
Just wanted to show you some support. It is hard for our children and all we want is for them to be happy.
I’ve just posted about how hard I’m finding it with my daughter at the moment. Like you I have no family near and I feel we’re on our own too much. We went to a family event recently, very unusual for us and although it was enjoyable, now, a couple of days later it’s made me feel isolated. I did want a family life and one with people in it. Now it’s easier to cope with if I see people only occasionally.
As M.U.M. says, you are a good Mum.
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