11th December 2015 at 10:00 am #6062
The problems with my son continue worse than ever. He now has a place at a new school but after one day, he refuses to get out of bed. I’m desperate for him not to jeopardise the last chance in education he has but he doesn’t want to listen. What do I do? the school will not give him many chances. If they think he doesn’t want to go then they will withdraw his place there.
The support people helping us told me that it sounds like he’s made a choice not to go to school but that means he will throw away his whole future. he only has a few months left until he’s meant to sit his exams. The support person told me he’s suffering from the dv and lives day to day and can’t think of his future at this point in his life. If the school drops him that’s it, no more school for him. that was the only school willing to take him after he got kicked out of the other one.
I was advised to give him a choice. Either he gets up today to go to school or I take us to the council as homeless because I can’t leave him alone with my husband (his stepdad). Last night he swore he would get up but this morning he point blank refuses again.
I don’t know what to do. I was told I need to get him away from the stepdad and that’s the only way he will start recovering but he will still refuse to go to school so I’m not going to change that. Do I really take the plunge and declare us homeless just before Xmas and end up in a B&B anywhere? I told him I don’t know where we’ll end up and we’ll lose the dog. This shook him last night but not this morning when he’s tired, he just doesn’t care when he’s that tired. I don’t know what to do for the best. I was hoping to the Xmas and new year out of the way and then start the private housing hunting in earnest but things are desperate with his school thing.
I kept crying yesterday because I’m so exhausted, worried, frustrated, angry and it’s making me physical ill. He just doesn’t seem to care what happens to him. What future will he have with no qualifications? He’ll end up a bum in a street corner. I want more for him. The frustrating part is he is so clever he could do anything but he’s lost all the will to do anything but hang out with his mates when he’s meant to be at school.
Please help. I am at my wits end with worry.
11th December 2015 at 12:36 pm #6073LisaMain Moderator
I just wanted to show you some support. It sounds like a really stressful situation and I totally understand why you are feeling so overwhelmed. You want what is best for your son and it is frustrating watching what you see as him wasting his future.
To me it does sound like he is really suffering the effects of abuse and perhaps has very low self esteem. It can be really daunting starting a new school and if his confidence is low it is a huge ordeal. I really think that once you are away from the abuser his self esteem would build and he might very well have a fresh interest in school due to just feeling more settled in his home life. Could it be that he wants to stay at home to ensure you are safe? Please don’t wait to get safe and happy, take the plunge today, I really feel you both would feel so much happier. Why wait until after Christmas when you are all so unhappy as it stands? You could have a happy Christmas with your son in a safe house and a very bright and positive New Year!
Please phone the helpline today. They will give you lots of advice and support.
With best wishes,
11th December 2015 at 11:06 pm #6082Midnight MarblesParticipant
I’m so sorry to hear about your son not wanting to go to school, he sounds as if he is very sad and living day to day as you said. There is nothing more frustrating trying to get any teenager up in the morning and you must feel 10fold of this. One of the children in my class had issues of DV at home and they couldn’t concentrate long enough to write a sentence. When taken away from this they were a changed child, concentrating, learning and wanting to please.
Your situation sounds very difficult and you say that after Christmas your going to look for new housing, is Christmas going to be that good in this situation.
Maybe it’s time to make the break, go into refuge and have a quiet Christmas with your son. You mention your dog and how you will lose him, there is a foster service for dogs when ladies leave dv, I think it’s done through the rspca. I am sure the dog would also be happier out of this awful situation.
I’m really no expert and its so hard to do, but as someone on the DV helpline said to me “don’t listen to your heart, listen to your head, just about leaving, nothing else.
I know how hard it is, I’m still here but not as bad as it was, days I want to go other days it seems OK.
Hope your OK and your son has tried school a little, maybe he could try making a gradual introduction to school or just going in a bit later than the other kids. I know you’ve probably tried it all, but I hope it helps.
I find a good fast walk helps if you can manage it.
12th December 2015 at 8:46 am #6089InneedofsomepeaceParticipant
Hope this helps. When I first met my ex he had had trouble with his daughter going to school ewo were involved after not sending her properly for yrs she had decided not to go. Until I stepped in. She would have £10 a week pocket money so everyday she refused to go she’d loose £2 a day. A couple of weeks of very little money and we couldn’t keep her off.
Hope this helps
14th December 2015 at 3:08 pm #6162
Thanks everyone for your replies. He’s still the same although he tried going to bed much earlier (like hours earlier) but still couldn’t sleep and then wouldn’t get up to go to school. He says he doesn’t like going in late so my suggestion of going for the last couple of lessons didn’t work either. I’ve kept the school informed but am worried that they will withdraw his place if he doesn’t turn up. Emailed the local council lady who’s been involved as well to let them know I have tried getting him to school and asking what the options are if he loses the school place.
I know he’s unhappy but I really think going to a B&B would be no good either. I looked into it months ago and we decided to wait until we find a property so we have some control over where we’ll end up. We are at a calm phase at home at the moment so I’m biding my time. I got a call from a housing provider just when I was feeling lowest of the low asking if I would be interested in some properties coming up in January. So there is hope we will be out soon. I feel so guilty though for not saying a word to my husband. It is going to come as a shock to him but I know I need to remind myself of the pain and suffering he has caused us over the years.
A friend told me to keep things in perspective. At least when my son is asleep in bed, although he should be at school, he’s safe and well and with me. She said his time will come for school when his head is able to cope with it. Even if he fails his exams, he will still have options and he can always do his exams later.
So, hanging in there. Get Xmas out of the way and we’ll have a fresh start in the new year.
15th December 2015 at 9:28 am #6183mayflowerParticipant
Dear Dog lover
Please don’t think nothing will change with your dear boy.
People have given you some brilliant advice and it seems highly likely that he is depressingly affected by what is going on at home.
Also he is not totally ruining his future – not at all
Nowadays people can go to school at any age, they can do qualifications at Adult ed. He has many chances to pick things up again, and although I totally understand your fears, as they would be mine too, the fact is the more you worry about it, the more it upsets both you and him, and the more difficult it all is for both of you.
Perhaps you need to set that ‘issue’ aside for a while and concentrate on the wellbeing of BOTH of you.
If he was ill and in hospital, he wouldn’t be at school at all, so maybe he needs to be treated as though that was the case. He is in a bad place emotionally, and needs time and space to get well.
We seldom appreciate how hard it is for our children being within damaging relationships, I know I didn’t.
Term ends in just a few days anyway, so perhaps it is time to reassess just how important the relationship is between YOU and HIM, and work on finding somewhere safe for you both.
Christmas certainly isn’t the same when you leave home – I spent my first one in a psychiatric ward! But it can be safer and more peaceful.
16th December 2015 at 10:01 am #6230mixed-up mumParticipant
Hiya Dog Lover – Im back!!!!!
So sorry things are not good with you still – things are not much better here still either – I lost patience with my son again last night – (and I had to once again tell him a few ‘home truths’ and TRY and make him see his behaviour is NOT acceptable) so whither THIS TIME it will have any effect or not – remains to be seen!!!
He is siting his prelims in a few months and not doing well at school at all – and he does not seem to care – he seems to think at his age he should be able to go to bed any time he likes (even on a school night) well I do not think I am being unreasonable asking him to go to bed at midnight – but I asked him to put off his tablet and go to sleep at 12-00 last night and the look I got – like I was being totally unfair on him!!!
Im just sick and tired of the way he talks to me and the way he treats me – total lack of respect – hardly ever does what I ask him to do – or if he does its grudgingly and after an argument usually!!!
He does not talk to his father the way he talks to me and he does not treat his father the way he treats me – all I ask for is a little respect and consideration for my feelings…..
I have told his father what he is like with me IN THE HOPE of a bit of support from him – but its never forthcoming – he wants to be ‘friends’ with our son – and does not want to be too hard on him or upset him – so he says nothing that would ‘rock the boat’ – so IM left her on my own playing ‘bad cop’ while HE on the other hand is ‘good cop’ – makes me sick – Im the one who has all the work with him 24/7 and I get al the ‘grotty’ jobs – and I’M still the ‘bad one’ – while his father who sees him for a few hours once a week can do no wrong – I want him to step up and BE A FATHER – but he just wants to be ‘Mr Nice Guy’ all the time!!!
Bed time is SUCH an issue for us too – I don’t think in his mid teens I am being unreasonable asking him to go to bed by 12-00 (he gets up at 7am for school) in actual fact I would LIKE him in bed none later than 11-00 – but its bad enough getting him in bed for 12-00 at the moment !!!
He just wants so sit chatting on his tablet all night long – I try and make him listen and try and make him learn by taking it away for a few days – but he gets it back and before we know it a couple of days later and its back to square one again!!
He struggles at school as it is (with his Dyslexia) but also feel if he’s not going to sleep until 1-00/1-30am and up at 7am how can he possibly be concentrating at school and doing is best work on so little sleep – he is tired and grumpy with me at me – so Id imagine he’s the same at school too.
AS you say this is their lives – their futures they hold in their hands – and they really don’t seem to care…….
16th December 2015 at 10:03 am #6231mixed-up mumParticipant
Also wanted to say – re the leave or stay thing…………
Weel no-one can tell you that – only YOU will know when the time has come – when you can take no more and you have to go.
It took me in the teens of year so pluck up the courage to leave him – and I DID stay for one last Christmas – but really it was none better than it ever had been – but I just hated the thought of leaving him at Christmas and ‘spoiling’ Christmas for the bairns – well its like this – if you live with an abuser – then Christmas is ALREADY ‘spoilt’ it wont be any different than any other day/any other Christmas…..
Im not saying if you leave right now things will all of a sudden be wonderful – cos it wont be – it take months and years to ‘get your life back’ – Im not quite there yet – but Im on the way – and I WILL get there one day – I will feel I have a nice life, and a good life – and one day I will be happy – don’t get me wrong – life when you are out, and safe, and free is 100% better – but it will be ups and downs – MANY OF THEM – and you WILL have many good days and bad days – but its all SO WORTH IT in the end!!!!!
There is never a good time to make yourself homeless – it IS scary and its not nice – but I believe whats meant to be will find its way to you – and things happen for a reason – a good friend helped us out with a roof over our heads while we waited to be housed – and then 10months down the line we got offered a house – a lovely house, and we are so happy and settled here – and you will be too – one day – you CAN DO THIS and you WILL – one day …….
Hope to hear from you soon – its good to be back intouch after all this time. 🙂
17th December 2015 at 11:24 am #6269
Hi mixed-up mum, lovely to hear from you again. You do seem to be going through similar things with your teenage son as I although at least yours does get up in the morning to go to school. Last night I thought I’d cracked it. Don’t judge me, but I offered a bribe, some cash, if he went to school today. His eyes lit up and he even asked to shake my hand to seal the deal. He turned his lights off early without being asked and really seemed to want to go today. Then this morning, the same as always, moaning and groaning and grumpy, not wanting to get up at all even when I reminded there is cash on offer if he does a full day’s school. Not even that made him get up so I don’t know what else I can do. Maybe he really is that tired because the lure of some cash should have made a difference. I have one more trick up my sleeve, let’s see if that works come January. I thought that he hasn’t seen real consequences for him not going to school so let’s see if my last try will work. This is a bit bad but I typed a letter “from a fictitious education authority person”, addressed to him, copy to me, in an official looking envelope and I posted it yesterday. It is a “warning letter” telling him that his parent/guardian may be issued with a penalty fine for him not going to school, giving him 15 days to improve the situation. I copied and pasted some official bits from internet to it so it’s all true although the authorities wouldn’t act this quickly. It sounds mad but I thought that maybe if he SEES this is the consequence for him not going, maybe it will make him think. I know that if I could GET him to school, he would do just fine. Anyway, we’ll see. I hope you don’t think I’m completely crazy for doing it.
My son’s dad is also trying to be his friend. He really is useless as a dad. He is very selfish and puts himself first always. I’ve tried getting his support, he says the right things but then buggers off and I can’t get hold of him when I really need some support. So I’m on my own.
The housing looks very promising at the moment. I bid on some flats last week and I’m now in the top 5 so I really hope I’ll get something early in the New Year. I am starting to get really scared about the thought of moving and being on my own. I have also come to realise that I will need a lot of support in dealing with the aftermath. I am on the wait list for counselling so hopefully that will come in at the right time because I will need it by then. It is the thought of being alone that scares me. I know I was useless at it last time and I was the one who kicked my ex out then. I went a bit mad with the online dating then and tried to fill any alone time with going out as much as I could. I am scared that I will feel the same this time round. I will have to find new hobby or something to make new friends and to get me out. That’s why I was hoping to be able to take my dog with me because he would give me company and a reason to go out. I realise it is going to take a long time to get over this and to heal and I am going to need to take my time with it.
17th December 2015 at 12:11 pm #6279Twisted SisterParticipant
your lad sounds exhausted, and very low 🙁
I think i’d be hardline on the tablet, removing it at dinner and letting him having it first thing before school hours, but definitely not during as he wouldn’t be able to have it normally during school hours, but he also possibly needs loads of support to help him overcome everything he’s been through and its so tough being Mum & dad because dad is so useless, not to mention abusive.
You have been through it too and working in an impossible situation so very hard, but everything is not lost forever, it really isn’t, for some studying when a teen is the worst time in their life to study and studying later on will be so much easier, if thats what he wants. I know one of mine when in junior years struggled terribly in class but is now doing really well, but although being younger so i had more control when it came to getting them into school, definitely didn’t want to go! hated it, cried, didn’t sleep, went to sleep the same time as your teen despite being under teen age.
Things changed once we were away from him. slowly, but yes, sleep improved, depression lifted and so on, at the moment you are fighting against the very things he is struggling with. You are doing the right things with the school by keeping in touch with them and letting them know what you are doing to try to get him to go, but he needs more help from them, someone coming in from the school to speak to him direct rather than through you can make a big difference if he feels support from them. He might also be getting a very hard time at school and be scared of not coping as he moved and the longer away and less contact he has the more difficult it will feel for him.
Perhaps ask what else the school can offer and who might be able to come speak to him to help him access education in some form and any other supports to lean on?
… and you too!? but just because he doesn’t do it in the traditional way might not have any impact on his future at all. If he’s a clever lad (i thinkyou said), he is clever, that doesn’t go away, and the information he needs to pass exams is often picked up far far quicker when not ‘sat’ in a ‘class’ full of others and their distractions.
All the hard work you are putting in is being completely undermined by the abuser, and its making it doubly difficult for him and you. Having another person outside involved will help a lot with challenging that for you both and you will have someone else on your side. … apart from all of us that is 🙂
warmest wishes KS
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