I have been reading posts on here for the last 6 months, seeking a forum to see others' experiences. This is one of the few sites that handles these issues without judgement on either side and is a lot like having coffee and talking to friends it seems. Thank you for that.
I started reading because I saw warning signs with my DS about halfway through this year, his senior year in HS. Mainly, I overheard him tell his gf outright that he hates me and wished to move in with her and her mother. He was walking down the steps anden he realized I was home and sitting on the couch, he said 'I have to go' and hung up. We had a long talk about it, and his future plans, and I told him my concerns and he told me his. There were warning signs prior, with the gf, but I never wanted to push it in a way that would push him away. He was sincere that night, I know him well, but I got the distinct feeling also that he was playing two roles, one that was expected here with me, where he could say how he felt even if I didnt agree, and one where it was black and white with his gf.
Some back history, I know it helps when responding to posts, people giving details has helped me out when reading these. I am a single mom. I came from a very abusive family and had my oldest out of wedlock with someone who had addiction problems, then went on to marry an abusive man whom I had my second child with. We divorced within 2 years, he was convicted, but with a slap on the wrist, and I got help and have stayed true to the healing process. I didnt want my kids becoming statistics too. I regret always that I didnt get help sooner, now more than ever, so that I didnt bring children into a dynamic like that.
The oldest's father has been in and out of his life since age 2, due to his addictions. I encouraged DS to keep in touch during the times of estrangement but he became obstinate about it around age 16, so I only occasionally asked him to do so, respecting his feelings, but at the same time making sure he knew I was not alienating him. This was a continual thing with his father. He would syop coming or contacting him then tell him/scapegoat me that I was somehow the cause of it and used the word 'alienate' a lot. I grew up as a scapegoated child, its not a fun dynamic.
Last year, his father was incarcerated for drug use and sexually assaulting a minor. I broke it to him in stages, and made sure he had a support system in place. He turned down an offer of therapy.
He did witness the abuse in my marraige to his brother's father. Even witnessed my being arrested after one such time, after his stepfather made a false report to cover himself, and no doubt re-establish control, when I said I was leaving him after he hit me. I thought that getting out, and showing by example, that he eould learn better skills. I put him in therapy then too, I went also to sessions, family and individual. I thought I was doing everything right.
What no one prepares you for is that my XH went on to sue for sole custody of my YDS anywhere between 2 and 5 times a year for the last 9 years. I was continually being drug into court, had no money for the continual expense (my XH had a trust fund anddidn't work, so did not pay child support but had a lot of money for legal and lawyers), and my custody has been wittled down gradually over this time. The final blow came when last year my YDS came to me from XH with dried blood in his nose, scrapes on his face and what was shortly disgnosed as a concussion. He told the doctor he was hit by dad, hard. It was even on the right side of his face, XH is left handed. They reported it to OCY (office of children and youth), CYS told me to file a protective order, then went on to clear him of the charges. Something I didnt know at the time was the statistics for children reporting abuse. Family courts, 70% of the time, remove reporting children from the protective parent's custody, and give the accused full/sole custody. The statistics can easily be found by googling 'abusers getting custody', The Leadership Project and American Bar Asdociation themselves have put out the statistics. But I didnt know this myself, when I followed OCY's directives to file, so Im sure many of you dont know either.
A seperate judge has since told me that there is no way to 'earn back custody' as she could not find a way for me to improve listed. Basically, for example, if I had a drug issue, I could enroll in a drug program. But as I had no stated reasons for losing custody, there is nothing to fix or work on.
So, basically in one year, my DS was faced with his father's incarceration and his stepfather getting away with harming his brother, and losing him too (our custody was reduced severely from about half to 15-20%). He was vunerable.
There is more, but when I went to post, I had already logged out.
I am a bit emotionally tired and not up to retyping tonight. I will do so tomorrow.
Sleep well and sorry for the disrupted post.
Welcome, P. We ask all new members to go to our HomePage and under Read Me First to read the posts placed there for you. Please pay special attention to the Forum Agreement to be sure WWF is a fit for you, we are a monitored Website.
And thank you for your kind words about WWU! We've been around for ten years. I'm 91 and my son is our Webmaster.
We will wait to comment until you feel your initial post is complete. Hugs...
Welcome P! Since you haven't posted the rest of your story for a couple of days I thought that I would just jump in and share a thought or two. When my sons got to a certain age (mid to late teenager) they started to pull away. Of course I knew that eventually they would pull away but they still had so much to learn! My eldest (the one who eventually drove me to this site) moved out of the house, got involved with a woman who was so obviously wrong for him it was unbelievable and proceeded to marry her. I tried to point out his mistake but that just drove him farther from me. The more I tried to fix things the worse things got. My first posts here probably sound very much like yours. I was sure that I was loosing my son forever and I was heartbroken and desperate. It was all I ever thought about and all I ever talked about. Thinking back on it I am amazed that my DH stayed with me because I was no fun at all. He did get to the point where he would not talk to me about it. Men feel a need to fix things and there was no way to fix this. Anyway I think you get the idea.
I tried so hard to hold on to my DS. I talked with him and tried to reason with him but every time we talked he told my now DIL everything we said and she got more and more hurt and more and more determined to win (like we were fighting for control of my DS, go figure). Anyway nothing improved until I just gave up. One day I sat down and asked myself why I was trying so hard to be with my DS when I no longer enjoyed his company. Being around him made me uncomfortable and sad. I wanted to be around the son I remembered, not the person he had turned into. So I stopped. I stopped calling him. I stopped texting him. I stopped trying to get him to remember me on Mother's day or my birthday. It was not easy but I knew I had to.
So how did I stop? I started thinking about myself. I started using all of my efforts to make me and my DH happy. I started saying to myself whenever I thought about my DS "No news is good news". I started planning fun things for my DH and I to do on special days when I knew I would be hurt by my DS's lack of attention (Christmas, Mother's Day, etc.). The more I focus on making myself happy (which all mothers stop doing when they have children) the better my life has gotten. It took a lot of work to turn my thoughts away from what I now call "the abyss" and for years I would occasionally slip into that quagmire of self pity and woe. Yes I deserved better, yes I was mistreated, yes I had done a good job of raising my DS, yes my dreams of a close family were gone but more than that I deserve to have these later years of my life be happy. Enter the "no news is good news" slogan. I also used the "not my circus, not my monkeys" saying when I heard things from family members about what my DS/DIL were doing. It took years but now my DS is visiting me often and I am getting to know the man he has become. I am proud of him and I now enjoy his company again.
So for you I offer this saying to think about:
"What you focus on expands" so focus your attention on the good things you have.
You did a great job raising your sons in very difficult conditions. You did the very best that you could. Now it is time for you to enjoy your life.
Hugs from all of us!!
I wanted to give it some time to process it, see what happens. Since I first posted some pretty awful things have happened.
1. I got a call from the local police saying he and the gf's mother came in and filed a police report. He stated I was 'menacing and harrassing' because I dropped off his clothes and some toiletries and other items of his. They weren't home, I just placed them on the porch, texted him that they were there and left. He told them I was "manipulative", because I had his brother call him two times a week. He told them I was al"abusive". What I didn't mention before is that when he was leaving he actually shoved me down to the floor. I had scratches and bruises for a week all over my arms and back of my neck. But he claimed I abused him. The police wanted me to come in for pictures but I refused out of fear they would arrest him.
2. I recieved a letter from him that he clearly did not write, telling me he was cutting me out of his life for good, and his little brother too. It was not his handwriting, it was not wording he would ever use, etc. About half of this letter was addressing "slander and libel" regarding the gf and her mother. Telling me I was to desist. The whole letter was worded in an ominous and frankly creepy way, stating things like "I am not being isolated by (gf and gfs mother) from family and friends, I am choosing to close the book on all of the controlling, manipulation that is you and those involved with you and the family. (YS) is a casualty of YOUR horrendous behavior in this and you can tell him the truth that it is your doing that I will not ever see him again." etc. Its all so messed up. Other than his dad and stepdad, and my brother who was my abuser growing up and isnt in their lives, the rest of our family is kind and supportive and though not perfect, functioning and healthy. What the letter said made absolutely no sense in comparison to reality.
A bit of backstory, the mother has 4 other families who have either forbade their kids contact with her and her daughter or have actual legal no contact complaints against them. One of the parents reached out to me and put me in touch with the others. All their stories were similar, the mother encouraging their kids to isolate from them, two were encouraged to file false police reports, all these parents experienced things I did with the mother, finding out it was a "safe place" to drink and have sex, and one girls parents found out the mother took their daughter, at 15, to meet a man, adult, off tje internet in another county. All of these families told me their child was pressured and manipulated to isolate from, hate, family, siblings and friends and to plan on moving in with them.
Clearly, the actual author of that letter was more concerned with those criminal acts than anything else, so much of it was about it. Mind you, at no point did I tell my son details of what I found out, just said I was concerned that this was a pattern with this family and asking him to look closely at controlling behaviors like encouraging him to isolate from family.
3. I have lost three close friends over this, due to his false accusations. I feel completely triggered. And afraid to talk to anyone, like who else has he said this horrible stuff to. Id hate me too if it was actually true. I taught him how to treat folks with respect, how to be sociable, etc, but no male role model taught him anything but how to attack and harm me. Its too sickeningly similar to what his stepfather did. Its wrecked his little brother (who has special needs on top of the other stressers I mentioned in the first post). They were so close and loving, so its as screwed up for him to process as mysrlf and those around us. Its like Jekyll and Hyde.
4. With the letter, he left his phone too. There is no other way to reach him. Some of his friends have a new number but wont give it, saying he made them promise not to. I dont pressure them, as I love them too, watched them grow up, and can tell they are so confused by his behavior.
He deleted everything from the phone, or so I thought, until I started getting notifications (I think its still set up through his gmail, Im not tech saavy, so not 100% sure) for something called Life360 (a tracking device on his phone, which he once mentioned the gfs mother had on the gfs phone) being activated on his new device, several emails from apartment listings on craigslist, and new acvounts on facebook, ect. I checked online and sure enough he closed out his old facebook, none of the family has recieved invites to his new one.
I hear you and appreciate what you say, I hope I get there, and my YS too, someday and someday soon. As is I cry a lot. None of it makes sense so thats not helping. I get I was strict, but I wasnt abusive or controlling (I would never put a tracker on an adult males phone), I kinda feel I messed up in not focussing more on teaching him abput control and abuse and how to recognize it, I never felt up to talking about it much after surviving it. I thought I would show by example even if a lot of it was too painful to talk about. I thought I talked to him enough, everytime something happenned and he wanted to discuss it, I was there, but I didnt get him the right therapy maybe. He fell right into the very thing he was predisposed to fall into. And my failure there, and my reasonable concern about this family he is involved with, its not helping my heart find peace in this. I do hope this gets easier.
Your follow-up post of yesterday makes it clear that your situations are way beyond our scope. Our hearts go out to you, P. However, none of us here are professionally trained. We share our garden-variety experience and sometimes it helps others. We are too generic to be able to offer support in crisis, or where there has been violence, or where law enforcement has been involved. Those, often need one-on-one counseling and intervention by highly trained people.
You deserve more, P. Please don't give up finding it. We believe you can turn things around and find the peace that goes with drawing an imaginary line beyond you parenting years and the rest of your life. This thread is being closed for all of the reasons stated above...our deep caring continues.