feeling swamped

Discussion in 'Parenting' started by AnnaM, Aug 30, 2013.

  1. AnnaM

    AnnaM Member

    Hi I was wondering if anyone out there can give me some feed back on this situation; so I have three teenage children, I am divorced and re partnered. I have a pretty workable r/ship with the Ex and his wife. I am a professional and have done a fair bit of work both on myself and around parenting. So the issue is this, my eldest girl is in the process of recovering from an eating disorder and self harming. She was hospitalised for some time, and during this my ex and I had lots of conversations with the others about the disease and we were extremely mindful of the impact it may have on the others. So earlier this year my son who is just turned 12, was found to be cutting and posting the images. Again promptly The Ex and I got appropriate people involved and he is seeing someone for this issue. So, the real problem, now you've got most of the background, is that my son has these terrible rages and it is impossible to be around him when he gets like this. For eg, I will tell him that his behaviour is making me uncomfortable, he mimics me in a really nasty tone of voice. I will remove myself from the area, like go to my room if he refuses to go to his, and then like the other day he just slammed his soccer ball repeatedly into my bedroom wall from outside. I feel really impotent in these situations, he is too old to smack ( and I don't like to be reduced to that) I can't physically lift him out of the way. I try speaking with his Dad, but He says that our son doesn't do that stuff with him ( we have week about custody), the girls say my son does, but anyway. He can just refuse to go to school, and then the killer shot was the other night he sent me a txt while he was in his room that said "I've always hated you" and the next one was 'go die'. He apologised the next day, but I just feel so overwhelmed by managing these storms, and keeping a weather eye on my middle girl and keeping eye out for the eldest. And while the Ex and I are polite, we aren't a couple, and my new partner doesn't want to intervene, He's done his child rearing... and that is a whole other story. So I feel like I am doing it all alone.

  2. Katy

    Katy New Member

    Have you gone to counseling of some sort? I'd certainly consider it. Both of you together, that is. As for the boys dad...Personally I'd say its time for him to step up...regardless of whether your son does this type of behavior around him or not. Is your son living with his dad a possibility or no? Not that you want to do this but then again...what is best for your son? Why does he feel he hates you etc...something underlying that needs to be dealt with? Does he not like your new partner?

    Definitely not a pleasant situation but there's no reason you should be afraid in your own home. Sorry to hear your new partner can't be as supportive as you'd like. I think I'd start investigating some counseling options, ask at his school or any mental health agency, catholic charities, etc that can at least give you some feedback or ideas.

    Last but not least...any chance your son would be up for some volunteering? Perhaps his dad could instigate it? Helps with improving self worth, which can only be a good thing..or perhaps down the road. Best of luck to you and your family!

  3. HI AnnaM,
    Very tough and very complex situation. I came across it via Katy's reply that activated the thread.
    Tried to put my teeth to it from different angles but hit a wall soon after.

    So, instead of giving answers, I will give you questions or comments. The answers you may think of contain possible reasons of behavior, and ACTION ITMES for you,,,,, ??
    Does your son’s behavior existed before you “re-partnered”?
    You relinquished your right to be anywhere in your (kingdom) house. You abandoned ship to the inexperienced sailors during the typhoon….
    I bet your son is “more careful” with his dad. But you run away and your son feels empowered.
    BTW, I don’t think he has a mental “problem”, what he may have is a bad case of “revenge” on something.
    In other words, you are good for him as a female to fuck, and he is good for you as a cock that can fuck you. Right? What else is there?
    You also abandoned your right and need to get some support from him, therefore none is coming.
    You got it right. You are alone and in constant retreat.
    It is VERY DIFFICULT to navigate this waters alone. Very tough. And the help needed basically has to come from within your home, not from your Ex who lives in another world of his own.
    Also, my first question above should be applied to your eldest daughter’s problem.

    So, ultimately no solutions, just framing some circumstances for you to try and make some mature analysis on.
    If it was too mean a reply, my sincere apologies. Just trying to put some realism into this sad situation in your life.

  4. AnnaM

    AnnaM Member

    Wow, thankyou one and all.
    Katy, thankyou for those ideas, I had already started the ball rolling and had my son assessed and linked in with the Child and Adolescent Mental Health services. They agree with my assessment (handy to be a registered nurse with background in mental health issues) and both father and I are working together to get somewhere... All of that was inplace before I posted my thread.. and I thought that maybe there would be some ideas I could use in the meantime. Hmmmm.
    HotDreamer: I have plenty of realism in my life. There is the distinction of being straight and dumping. You kinda crossed the line from being straight to just criticising and it sounded a lot like you think I am stupid.
    RE my partner: he is at a loss how to help and doesn't wish to encroach on my son's father's parenting rights and duties. The who good as a fuck sentence is incredibly insensitive and inaccurate and irrelevant to the situation. Good God! I don't need bashing from a complete stranger, I posted on this forum because I was asking for some constructive ways of managing this. I've done the kitchen psychology.
    My son was having issues way before I split up with his Dad. . No revenge, I think as do the two child psychologists that have assessed him, that is it about feeling safe in expressing his feelings. He lives one week with me and another with his Dad.
    My ex husband is my childrens current father and therefore it makes perfect sense and is good parenting (as approved by formentioned child psychologists) to keep the father involved. We worked as a team pre divorce with the kids and still do. We have managed to remain adult and keep our eye on the ball. Of course my Ex husband lives in another world, but he and I must, because of our children keep a foot or toe in each others new worlds.
    So Hot Dreamer, I have tried sticking it out with my son, staying with him, using positive words like " I can see that you are angry, what is that about" etc. I have physically restrained him, I have put him in his room etc. What you missed is that he is 12 going on 13, he is growing up and fast. Physically at least. He can not go through life behaving like that around people. I wanted suggestions as to how to help him express himself more appropriately. Not just with me, but in situations where he feels disempowered and then tries to redress that balance by picking on someone he perceives as either week or safe to be angry with/around.
    I don't consider that I abandon the ship during a typhoon. There is no good to be had if I hang around getting more distressed/upset/angry and then I lash out is there. That is my last resort action. I can't physically lock him in his room. He is too big to be picked up and restrained, I mean seriously, what the fuck would you do???? I have not ever abandoned my children. I don't think my son feels empowered when I leave the room, I don't think my son feels very empowered at all ever, which is why is does this stuff. I am not sure you can speak for how my son feels actually.
    To be fair to you all, I have not included the entire history that leads up to this, the years of domestic aggression, mental health issues, his older sister with mental health issues, moving house frequently due to his Dads wishes/job commitments/whatevers...It simply isn't as simple as 'son feels shitty towards mother because she has new partner, son being pissed at mother, new partner being an arse and then Mother abandons son in his despair" .
    And YES it does seem like I am going it alone and YES it is fucking tough and YES I expected something more helpful, something that would be straight, but also was compassionate. Hot Dreamer, I am not sure if you have had children, but as a midwife I can tell you that a parent is hard wired to that being they created. It feels so shitty when you experience your parenting as being less than adequate, and in this case downright upsetting. I am aware of all the psycho babble and have looked at this situation from every angle ever. My children get the very best I can offer, sometimes it isn't enough, some times it is, what I was asking for was ideas how I could get the very best for me while this situation resolves itself, the months it will take to identify his issues and begin to heal them.

  5. MatthewM

    MatthewM Member

    Hey Anna,

    Not being a mother (obviously) or even a parent, I can't speak from experience on any of this, but I do have one possible suggestion. Would your partner be willing to spend more time at your place? I know he's said he doesn't want to encroach on the matter, but the thing is, he might not really have to. Just the presence of another adult in that scenario might help to affect your son's demeanor for the better in terms of the things you've asked for - the best for you while the situation resolves itself. Ideally your son might start to identify with your partner as a role model, or if not that, he may hopefully just feel less inclined to rage in his presence.

    For what it's worth, I have a friend who is in a similar situation, and her approach generally is to not back down. She is a single parent (of two) without a partner currently, so she's doing all alone. She relies on family for support, but they are never right there for her as these dramas play out.

    I understand how it can be stressful. It certainly is for her. But she always manages to soldier through it, and so will you. :)

  6. Hi AnnaM,
    1. I felt and feel very BAD for your situation, really.
    2. I did apologize to YOU for my possible “mean” response in advance.
    3. I said I was NOT going to give you ANY advice, ONLY food for thought, to make you reflect on possible answers,,, to yourself. And act on those if viable or important.
    4. Having read all your posts along, it NEVER occurred to me that you were a stupid person.
    5. You are right now in a bubble of your own, and intellectually you write that you have all possible T’s crossed and all possible I’s dotted. Therefore, I don’t dare to even attempt to touch it from the outside. And I know you are not asking ME to do that.
    6. In closing I apologize again for any metaphoric misrepresentation, and for not being more “caring”.
    Wish you good luck and the best possible outcome in the future.

  7. AnnaM

    AnnaM Member

    thanks guys.
    MatthewM, good ideas thankyou, we live together atm. I had some counselling from the group that are 'dealing' (for the want of a much better word, but it is before daylight and the tea hasn't quite brewed to a sufficient hit yet- therefore brain slower than usual). I have a bit of a manangement plan for when it all goes to shit, which it inevitably does. The good part is, well that it might just work and that the same message will be given to the lad's father and so we might actually get some unification in the way it is managed. The father tends to run with the idea that the problem only occurs when the boy is with us ( not according to lads older sisters), so there has not been any kind of solidarity in parenting- always a BIG mistake.
    HotDreamer: MMmm, I see your point, I am just not in a space for reflection right now, more like "help, get me the F**** out of here, Man down, Man down". Maybe when I am a bit out of the choppy seas there will be a time for reflection, and then I am sure that your imput will read more clearly to me.
    thanks all.xx.

  8. AnnaM

    AnnaM Member

    Oh and MatthewM- your friend is on the money re family...I don't even bother asking mine for help anymore. Experience has taught me a thing or two.

  9. Flower45

    Flower45 New Member

    I can really feel the pain that you are going through. I have come to the realization and belief that the source of all creation is one of complete and unconditional love. It grows our hair and beats our heart without any judgement of who the hair or heart belongs to. It turns an acorn into an oak tree effortlessly, and it creates a total balance among all the forces of the universe with the greatest of ease so that we can exist on this beautiful planet. I believe that love and patience will always overcome any amount of force. The difficult part is that it isn't always an easy road, and we can often find ourselves in situations that have us feeling as though love and patience are wearing extremely thin. Emotions and actions of force such as anger, violence, frustration, and other similar emotions will evoke an immediate response in the physical world, but they will have long term negative consequences. Emotions and actions of power such as love, compassion, strength, and vulnerability will not have an immediately noticeable, but they have long term positive consequences and effects. There is a price to pay for directions of choice, and there is also a reward for both.


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