I threw my son out of the house, wondering what else I could have done...

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by Sohmer, Jan 24, 2011.

  1. Sohmer

    Sohmer New Member

    First of all, I searched all over the net for a messageboard where I could get some good advice on this situation, and am very happy I stumbled across your board, as it seems like a really great place to post and get advice. So here goes.

    Im a single mother of a just 15 year old son, freshman in highschool. I have been the primary custodian since my divorce from his father for the past 10 years, of Conor and his brother who is two years younger. With this has come the responsibility of all schooling, transportation, sports, day to day living, etc. Their father at first saw them every other weekend, but over the last three years they don't even sleep at his house anymore, even though he lives 5 minutes away. The ex's priorities are his needs first, the kids second. He just never seems to have the time for them and when he does its always rushed. I dont mind doing things for my children, so I dont resent his behavior or my jobs as a mom, I do though feel sorry for the lack of a relationship they have with their dad at times. My older son gets along with him better, as they like the same things and if you enjoy what the ex enjoys then he'll do things with you as he would be doing them anyway. But only when the ex has the time. So basically, the kids are with my 95% of the time, and the parenting is my responsibility, always.

    So to my point. The last few years the eldest has gotten very aggressive and mouthy with me. This started when he was in 8th grade, he is now in High School. First he'd smart talk me, as in rude replies, slamming doors, women are horrible drivers, why do you drive like that? etc. My response was to tell him if he slammed doors I would take them off their hinges, ie his bedroom, so that stopped. If he didn't like my driving he could take a bus, or not go where he wanted to go, etc. Well, reasoning didn't work, as soon after the curses started flying. As in you are a *****, you are a stupid woman, your food sucks, etc. He also started to do this in front of other people. So I grounded him, took away his computer, phone, etc. When I asked him why he wouldnt stop belittling me, he said he liked to see me get upset. So I told his father I'd like to get Conor into counseling, and the ex said I was the one who needed it because he didn't act like that with him, it must be me. Why am I not surprised at that response.

    When all this kept escalating, I sent him to live with his father last Spring. It hit the last straw when he started mouthing off and cursing at me in front of the younger kids in the carpool I am part of for school. Those kids were his brother and a few schoolmates of his brothers. That night I went home and told him since he didn't respect me or the home I provided, he could go live with his dad. He cursed at me, and I basically threw him out. He was behaving a lot worse than I have described, with the daily "*****"" comments and angry disrespectful behavior.

    Well, that lasted all of 4 days and he wanted to come home. I told him there were rules and if he wanted to live with me then he had to follow them, such as controlling his temper and respecting the rules of the house. Like in bed by 11 on school nights, chores, controlling his temper, etc.

    Fast forward to now. Back to the same old behavior only worse. Now he calls me a loser, pathetic, a ***** on and on. When I reached out to his father again to get him in counseling, same old response as before, ie its not my problem he doesnt act like that with me, you deal with it. It must be nice not to have raise your own kids I guess, or live in la la land because the half a day you spend with them once a week is like Disneyland.

    Last week once again, after weeks and weeks of this behavior, Conor yelled or rather screamed at me in the High School parking lot because he didn't like where I parked the car and that I wasn't there exactly when he wanted me to be (spoiled brat behavior to the extreme). This and the subsequent cursing at me in the car after he got in, and I lost it. I just can't take it anymore. I said some things I regret, as I think at that point I had just had enough. And then I threw him out, told him that when he got home he was gone. He called his father who came to pick him up and I didn't say another word to him. Basically told him to get the hell out and he was never coming back here because of the way he treated myself and his brother (he constantly harasses his little brother and calls him a faggot and the youngest is reduced to tears by the constant insults at his older brothers hand.

    So that is where we are. The ex of course calls me the day after I sent the son to his house, saying I need to take him back, etc. To which I said why cant he live with you? And he replies "of course he can I would love to have him here" (translation, Im going to pretend its ok because I like to act like father of the year, but can you still drive him to and from school, all his activities, and make him dinner a few nights a week.. oh and on weekends when I go out both nights he can stay with you right, like you did last Spring?). Then he goes on to say that in a few years he will be grown up and you will regret not having this time with him, and he will be gone. That Conor is a great kid and I am the only one who seems to have this problem with him. So I replied, me and his other son you mean, you know the ones who live with him most of the time and are apparently the pounding boards for all of the older sons anger. Then I said that if they get along so great he should live with him, as this home life right now isn't suitable for myself, the youngest, and obviously the oldest. So the ex starts yelling at me and I hung up. I sent an email instead as obviously we couldn't communicate on the phone without him starting to yell when he doesn't get his way. Sounds familiar sadly, doesn't it?

    In the email I told the ex that from now on the eldest was his responsibility, for doctors, orthodontist, rides, all of it. I was done. And until Conor gets into some counseling to manage his anger, and can learn to respect and live with his brother and i without the constant turmoil and name calling and physical threats, he is not welcome back here. The ex called, said he wanted to talk about this again, and when I said there is nothing to talk about he started screaming again. So I hung up.

    I know Conor doesn't like living with this father or he would spend more time there. His father can barely do his own laundry, never cooks, its constant take out, etc. If it was his choice, he would always live here and never sleep over at his dads house. It isn't like he has it bad there though, its twice the size of my house. But I felt like I was at the end of my rope and couldn't take it anymore. it was actually depressing me, the constant behavior and belittling and anger and disrespect. I feel like I had no more choices, and there was nothing else I could do.

    So now he is over there and angry as hell at me. I haven't talked to him since last week except to call last night and see if he needed any of this clothes for school, to which he was angry and mouthy and basically hung up on me. I hung up that phone last night and decided never to call my son again at this point. He is on his own with his father.

    I feel terribly guilty for sending him over there, I know he hates it. But part of me thinks maybe he hates it here, or hates me, and so he is better off there. I know teens are mouthy, but not to this extent. I can't remember the last time he was nice to his brother, or thanked me for anything I have done for him. And I am not the kind who wants a thank you for everything I do, but when everything you do do, results in a put down or derogatory comment by a 15 year old child, you get to the point as an adult that you yourself can't take it anymore.

    I feel guilty, but I don't think I had a choice. Of course Im really sad, as I miss him even though he was a complete brat and any contact he had with us here was not good most of the time. I sit and wonder what I did wrong, why he turned out this way? Im not thinking, woes me why did this happen to me, etc. The entire situation just makes me sad really.

    I guess Im asking, do you think I did the right thing? Do you think this child will be better off with his father? His father won't get him counseling, and I dont know if there is anything I can do about that. I just didn't know what else to do.

    Sorry so long, thanks for any advice you may have. And no, I do not have issues with the ex or his lack of parenting and I never nag him that he should spend more time with his kids, I realized years and years ago it is what it is. I have found that doing it on my own is fine with me, and I never get angry or cared that they don't sleep at their fathers anymore. I acutally have asked the kids if they wanted to spend more time with him and they just said no.

    The ex can do whatever he wants with his time, and I had no problem providing a home for my kids or doing what I can for them. Just wanted to make that clear
  2. DaisyFace

    DaisyFace Love me...Love me not

    Hello and welcome--

    You have definitely come to the right place. Any time you need a shoulder...we are here for you.

    A few questions--
    Did your son every have any issues of any kind before the 8th grade? Any trouble in school, making friends, developmental issues, anything?

    The sudden onset of extreme behaviors makes me think that either something traumatic happened or your son got into a crowd that was bad for him.
    I know we don't like to believe it of our children - but any chance your son is using drugs or alcohol?

    Regardless - I do think you did the right thing. You cannot have this young man wreaking havoc in your home, especially with other children to think about.

    How come Dad cannot be onboard with handling any of this? Does Dad have any mental health issues or drug/alcoholism that would be playing a role in his lack of responsibility?
  3. whatamess

    whatamess New Member

    I absolutely applaud your decision to make a safer and less traumatic environment for you and your youngest son. To do this, while being berated/verbally abused by your older son and ex, takes enormous strength. Your son needs counseling and probably more, the question is, if your ex and your son don't think there is a problem it will be very difficult to get help for your son. A highly recommended book is the Explosive Child by Dr. Ross Greene- a great tool for parents and maybe can give you some insight into next steps to take with your son. Glad you found us.
  4. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    I don't think it was the wrong decision. He has two parents so you have that option. If he behaves better for Dad, so be it. My concern would be if he is mentally ill or, more importantly, if he is using drugs. If his change in behavior came quickly, I'd worry about the latter. My daughter started using drugs at 12 and it never crossed my mind that somebody that young or that MY daughter would use drugs. After all, we didn't even drink. Haha! How naive of me. She had been a nice kid before drugs. She is a nice young adult now that she has quit. But she was horrible before that.
    I also if he is getting his negative ideas about women from his father.
  5. Sohmer

    Sohmer New Member

    Thank you I appreciate it.

    Nope. Maybe a little anxiety when he was younger right after the divorce but we worked through that. It was more about being away from me when it occurred to. He was a straight A student, great kid, very popular, etc. He still is very popular and nice to everyone except his brother and me.

    Well, he started a new school in 8th grade for very smart children, had to apply and get accepted as did his little brother. He was popular and well adjusted off the bat, etc. Last Spring he got his first F on a test and then after that on a few quizzes. This is continuing into this year. He isn't failing classes but he isn't really trying either.

    I don't know if the pressure of the school is too much, but his attitude about the bad grades is either he doesn't like the teacher and so he won't try, or he'll do better next year. This year, same thing.. mostly and A & B student but he got his first C final grade last marking period. I know its not an F, and its not the end of the world, but its his attitude about it all.... again he hates the teacher, its the teachers fault he doesn't know how to teach right, etc... so that is that and he won't try this year in that subject either. It seems if he doesn't do well he just gives up, makes excuses. yet he isn't doing well because he just isn't bothering at all. Wont do his homework, doesn't study, doesn't ask for help. I've always told the boys that I don't care what the grade is, as long as they put in an effort and know they are at least trying. He isn't even trying anymore it seems, or just enough to skate by. I've thought maybe he is depressed, but he doesn't act depressed. Its just concerning school that he is not motivated. Well, that and getting along with his family here.

    I think this is also why he has started lashing out at his brother, who gets straight A's. And the lashing out at me started last year coming home from school too. Sure he could have been tired, but still he should try to control his temper. Now its ragging on my driving all the time.

    The drugs and alcohol, no. I've checked believe me, and when he goes to any type of party the parents are always present. There is also a no drug/alcohol policy at his school, and the parents really help uphold that as well. Thus the supervised parties, etc.

    His father has never been on board with anything. He wasn't even on board when they were born, just worried is it would interfere in his life and with what he still wanted to do. And I don't say that lightly. Yet, he will take full credit for anything the children do, even though he has contributed nothing/barely anything to their achievements. And when this happens, ie an issue, he places all of the blame on something I must be doing. Tells me its my problem, take care of it myself, etc. I think you can see what kind of person he is based on that alone.

    his father likes to go out, party, and do what he wants. He was raised being allowed to do whatever he wanted. This really lead to our divorce as well. He was never around, was always out (with other women), drinking, and only contributing what he wanted to. Kind of like with the kids, he only contributes time, or spends time with them, if he wants to do it to or can get something out of it. Very, very selfish person. And yes, he drinks but only socially.

    I feel alone in this constantly, but I'm used to it. Nevertheless, it isn't easy and as you can see even I have a breaking point. And I worry about my son with him, as his father isn't the most responsible person.

    Thanks, but it still upsets me greatly. I mean I am not sure what else I could have done, but part of me feels like I abandoned a kid who needed help and just threw him out so I am a horrible mother. But I also feel like there just isn't any more I could take or put up with.

    I think my son is anxious, and could really use some help learning how to cope with his anxiety. But God forbid I ever tell his father that. I also think counseling would be great, even if we went together. I have no problem with that at all. I do not want his father with us though, because based on past experiences his father lies, and spends the entire time talking about himself anyway and nothing ever gets solved.

    I feel the same way you know. If he is happier there and can control himself all the better for everyone. I will miss him, but in the end there has to be some peace.

    I have a sister who is bipolar so I have been paying attention to how he is acting. its more like he has a really short temper, gets angry very quickly, than he is acting bipolor though. He doesn't have these manic/depressive periods at all like she does.

    I've checked for the drugs. I can't find anything and he really doesn't have all that much free time to take them either if that was the case. that is why I think its not.

    Well, his father puts me down in front of the kids all the time. And recently its getting worse. I've basically called his dad on this in front of the kids when he does it by saying things like, is there a reason you are saying this in front of the children? And then he will be quite. Im pretty sure at this point, he has been doing it a lot more than I suspected. I wonder since Conor is doing this more now, his dad thinks he is cool or something stupid like that doing it to? Its all so messed up, who knows. His father also treats his girlfriend like dirt in front of the kids, as his grandfather treats his grandmother (ie Conors father's father)

    Could all of this be coming from anxiety? Anxious about school, peer pressures, grades, etc? We might be moving closer to the school, maybe he thinks Im a loser because we cant afford to live so far away and that is why he is lashing out?

    Regardless, it shouldn't go to such a level of animosity or hatred should it? I don't know, maybe that is at the root of all of this.
  6. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    You absolutely did the right thing!!! In fact, KUDOS for showing your son that he is NOT allowed to abuse either your younger son or yourself any longer!!! So often we get caught up in the difficult child's problems and don't focus on the easy child's problems as much - NOT because we don't care but because the difficult child stuff is so dramatic and extreme and the pcs don't make that kind of chaos. I know that my husband and I did that ourselves at times. I am another mom who threw my child out of the house. I didn't have an ex to send him to, but he was violent and refused all help and his past record of violence and problems had traumatized his siblings to the point that it was the only responsible move we could make. So I KNOW how hard this is, how hurt, angry, frustrated, guilty, relieved, and confused you are. In time you will work through this.

    With the dramatic change it really sounds like drug and alcohol problems or that he was assaulted sexually around 8th grade. It may be none of those things, but sudden changes often are caused by those. Drugs would be teh most likely, including alcohol of course. When he goes to his dad's house does he have access to alcohol or drugs? Have you ever tested him for drugs? Your younger son would likely have some idea, though it will take a while for him Occupational Therapist (OT) feel safe enough to open up to you, as if he knows his bro has probably threatened all sorts of things for telling. One of the more commonly abused drugs for teens is dextromethorphan (called skittling or dexing in some areas). it is the cough suppressant in OTC cough medications and is indicated by "DM" on the label usually.

    At this point I would keep your requirements for coming home in place, and add that he submit to weekly drug tests until he was clean long enough that YOU feel comfortable going to random testing. Then test him at least 1 time a month and after every time he has snuck out or missed curfew.

    What you have gone through is parental abuse, and your younger son has endured sibling abuse. Therapy individually and together will help you BOTH. I urge you to go to a domestic violence center in your community for help. They will be able to help you and easy child with therapy and support and validation. If you learn that your son is using drugs/alcohol, even if you do not have concrete proof and cannot get him into therapy, find both alanon and alateen meetings and go to them. Substance abuse and addiction are family problems and without treatment the patterns of behavior that contribute to it will not change for future generations.

    In the meantime, let yourself grieve. You are going to go through all the stages of grief and it is going to overwhelm you some days. In time it will get better and you will heal. Sticking to your guns, while letting difficult child know that you will take him to therapy or any source of real help when he is ready, and that you won't back down regardless of how he and/or his dad manipulates, will be the best thing you can do.

    My son has told me that he completely understands why I refused to let him live with us and has said that with-o it he probably would NOT be where he is now. We have a good relationship and he has even rebuilt his bond and relataionships with his siblings. And at 19 he is a high school and vocational program grad who is working and attending college while living with his grandparents about 15 min away from us. So they can change, but they have to want to and be willing to use the tools that they have and will learn.

    In addition to the books recommended, "Parenting Your Teen with Love and Logic" is a HUGE help. It uses natural and logical consequences and is very effective (and is empowering to parents, or was to me at least!). They also have lots of info on their website - www.loveandlogic.com .

  7. Sohmer

    Sohmer New Member

    I should add too, that his father is a racist. But the kind who is a cowardly type, you know says it behind your back and shakes your hand before he does it type of person. He as well as his family (Conor's grandfather, uncle on that side, aunt on that side, etc) all berate Mexicans, Jewish faith, African Americans. Right along with them, is Conor repeating what they have taught him. I have repeatedly said not in this house you don't and he doesn't make those comments around me anymore but he puts his brother down.

    His younger brother is friends with all different types of kids, no matter their race. Conor constantly berates him for this. The youngest doesn't even like going to family dinners with his father, his brother or their family, because they all sit around making racist jokes. They even do it in public. It is embarrassing.

    I always told Conor that he should watch what he says, because he is going to say it around the wrong person. Well lo and behold, at the beginning of this year he made fun of his then girlfriends father, who is mexican. She dumped him on the spot. He doesn't make mexican jokes anymore. A hard lesson, yes. It did upset him though he really liked her.
  8. AnnieO

    AnnieO Shooting from the Hip

    Not being able to find drugs and/or alcohol is normal. You wouldn't believe the things addicts do to hide their addiction. IF it comes to that, many drugstores sell home drug tests. I'm not kidding. I say this from personal experience with my stepdaughter. Her whole demeanor changed in late 2006. Red flags everywhere, though I had no idea what I was looking at until CPS called and suddenly the puzzle pieces made a coherent picture. She was sexually abused. She turned to drugs, stealing cold medicine literally out from under my and husband's nose. The final straw hit when she stole 40 capsules of 27mg Concerta (her brother's) from a hiding place in my room. We did not discover it immediately, but I called the law in - even though husband did not want me to. I was done.

    I am a "victim" of parental abuse as well. in my opinion, you did exactly the right thing. I put victim in quotes because I'm not just going to sit quietly by and let this happen. I'm not going to let her hurt me, or her brother, or her father, again. And this is why I think you did what was right for you and easy child.

    Besides drugs and/or abuse, it's clear there is a severe disconnect between you and your X. I didn't quite see - do you have full custody or shared parenting? Shared parenting was a nightmare for my kids. Now that husband has full custody, things are better. Not great - Jett still sees his mother frequently, and we're dealing with the fallout from what happened to Onyxx - but better.
  9. Steely

    Steely Active Member

    I also believe you did the right thing, absolutely. However, I am worried that his Dad will throw him back to you at some point. I hope that is not the case.

    I had a similar EX and my son did the same exact thing. I always viewed it as this - Matt was completely secure in our relationship - he always knew I loved him no matter what - but he didn't know that his Dad loved him. So he mimicked his Dad's behavior to somehow be more liked by him - knowing all along that no matter what he said to me I would still love him.

    I also think it is complicated with a boy at puberty who so desperately wants a male role model, and all he has is a loser for one. Your son sees that in his dad, my son saw that - and yet he was equally compelled to act out the very behaviors that makes his dad a loser as a way to relate, or because it really is the only way they know how to be "a man" because it was only method taught to them.

    I wonder if you have any males in your community that would want to mentor him? Bond with him in a positive "manly" way. I think that may really help your son see that treating you badly is not the only way to grow up. Perhaps this male mentor could be the one that takes him to some of his activities, etc.

    The last thing that comes to mind, is that you also have to remember what your EX is saying to your son about you. Your son feels like he has to take a side to be liked by his Dad, so if his Dad is saying all sorts of cr@p about you as a person - you can be assured that your son will repeat what he hears back to you - he has picked a side for now - and it is his Dads.

    If it helps any, my son finally went to live with his Dad when he was 19, and it lasted 4 months. Matt totally changed after that. He realized that all his visions of grandeur about his Dad were exactly that, grandiose. He saw first hand how crazy and mentally ill his Dad was, and all he wanted was out of that house. They rarely talk now, and Matt sees him for who he is, rather than this manly man, ie racist, drug user, womanizer, liar, thief. Matt will even ask me now - Mom, Dad told me XYZ happened, but we know he lies - so did that really happen?

    Good luck, stay strong - and hopefully your son's eyes will be fully opened by truly living with his Dad. He may come back home a changed man.
  10. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    I wonder if he is using drugs around his father. Or when he's with him.
    Honestly, kids can hide drug use really well. My daughter sure did. We watched her very carefully, but she and her friends still did it. They mostly did it on the way home from school (which is only a block) and at night when we were asleep. At first we never found any evidence in her room, but later she got careless. We never knew the full extent of it though until she quit and told us. I was shocked. Hugs...take care!
  11. KTMom91

    KTMom91 Well-Known Member

    I'm another mom who thinks you did the right thing. Miss KT lived with my mother for nearly a year; living with her father was not an option, she would have interfered with his extreme uselessness and forced him to step up and actually do something constructive. Miss KT's behavior had deteriorated badly; she was horrible to my Hubby and me, tore her bedroom door off the hinges and threw it at me, punched holes in her bedroom walls, smashed the tile on my kitchen countertop, and so on; and I'd had enough and told her she needed to go live with her father for the summer. Being the extreme drama queen and professional victim that she was, she called my mother and said I'd thrown her out. She was there for most of her junior year.

    Stay strong...I know, it isn't easy, but you and your younger son need to be safe.
  12. pepperidge

    pepperidge New Member

    ditto to what has been said above. He sounds like a great candidate for a wilderness program. Have you thought about that?
  13. busywend

    busywend Well-Known Member Staff Member

    You did the right thing. He has to see you as a strong woman that is not going to allow someone to treat her like that. Afterall, you stopped allowing your husband to treat you that way, so why should your child be allowed to treat you that way? Nope.

    He will learn the hard way. If he wants to come home, you need to be prepared with a list of rules he is willing to meet in order to do so. Get it started now. I do not think if will be all that long before he comes knocking.
  14. Sohmer

    Sohmer New Member

    I wanted to thank everyone for the replies so far, they are appreciated.

    Ok to answer some questions.... it if def not drugs, or alcohol, or sexual abuse as far as I know. He basically doesn't go many places on his own, as at his school the kids come from up to an hour away, so friends are no closer than half and hour to us. It isn't like he goes over to anyones house to hang out, as he has let his friends that did go to his old school with him slip out of his life, ie the ones in town. He also is an athlete, and between after school practice and school, its straight home on weeknights. And on weekends, he is home and maybe once every month goes to a party at a friends house, parents are always home supervising as well.

    There is absolutely a disconnect in what we each view as parenting, and I think that is part of the problem. HIs father saw nothing wrong with how son was treating me. He also could have cared less that the son disrespected me. Because you know, when Conor was with him, everything is so wonderful between them, or so he says.


    Yes, he has. And you make some good points. He definitely act differently around his father, he is much nicer to him, when dad says jump he jumps, etc. I can see that. Its so funny isn't it, the one that takes care of them when they are sick, nurtures them, is always there for them, etc isn't the one they respect even one bit. Im the one he lashes out at. Its all so messed up. I seriously don't even know what to think, or think what on Earth have I NOT done to have him act this way towards me? Depressing, in fact, now that I have had a week without him in this house, to realize just how angry he was, how he never was nice to his brother or I, in essence how much he basically hated us and let us know.

    If he hates us so much, why on Earth didn't he just say he wanted to go live with his dad himself? Why didnt he just go on his own, instead of pushing and pushing until I didn't have a choice but to throw him out. Did he do this on purpose? Im rambling, I know, but now that is it quiet I have more time to think.

    I have told him that if he comes home there will be rules etc. Apparently, he isn't coming home at all because his little brother IM"s with him, basically they aren't nice to each other on this, and when I saw this I told little brother the Iming with name calling was going to stop immediately. His little brother has said he doesn't even view him as a brother because all he does is put him down and only speaks to him when he has something nasty to say. And I've realized that is pretty much true. But when I saw what they had IM'd each other, I also saw where the youngest said are you coming back here? and Conor said no, and when younger brother asked if he liked living with dad Conor said I do. So my heart sank a bit when I read that, because as much as I want the hostility to stop, and the fights to end and the attitude to get better, I have the feeling that he isn't coming back, maybe they really are two birds of a feather, and he belongs with his father if he is going to act like him. This makes me sad, believe it or not. After 10 years with him almost every day, even though the last few years have not been good, it still bothers me he isn't here I guess. Then I think... maybe I should not have thrown him out, etc. But I had to. I couldn't take it anymore and it was beyond discussing. He just hates me, is rude to me, etc. And it hurts :/

    So, I don't think he's coming back. I don't think he will realize how rude he has been. I don't think myself or my younger son are going to ever really get along with him again at this point. And I don't think, even though he has been outed, his opinion of me is going to change. Now he lives with a man who will reinforce it to him 24/7. Basically, Im not his mother anymore. And this makes me sad.
  15. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    I understand how this makes you sad. I think it is normal in your situation. I grieved a LOT when my son had to leave our home, even though I am the one who made the decision.

    You say it is strange that the one who was always there for them, loved and nurtured them, is the one they disrespect and the one who did very little for/with them gets all the respect. It really isn't, if you think about it. Your son does NOT know if his father loves or even cares about him. He KNOWS, down deep into his heart and soul, that you love him and always will love him no matter what. So he will do what he thnks he needs to in order to earn his dad's love and if it involves being awful to you, well, he knows you will love him anyway.

    WHat he needs to learn is that loving him does NOT mean tolerating his abuse and awful behavior. It will likely come in time. Another mom here had a similar situation - her difficult child was horrible to her and did all sorts of things right for his dad. Mom finally sent him to his dads and made him stay even though he asked right away to come home. He had to stay there until he had proven he could and WOULD behave respectfully and appropriately to her and to his little sister. It took a while, I think a year, and he came home and has been very different. he learned that no matter what dad said, dad was NOT there for him. Mom was, but he had to treat her right to live with her. in my opinion it is a very valuable life lesson.

    It may be time to stop communication between the boys unless you are there to monitor it so that the older one does not teach the younger one awful things or further abuse your younger son. It is absolutely your right to limit the boys' interactions if they are unhealthy. There are many books on sibling abuse that are eye opening to the long term problems taht it can cause.

    None of this is fun or easy, so be nice to yourself and let yourself grieve as you need to. It will take a while, but in time it can get better.
  16. AnnieO

    AnnieO Shooting from the Hip

    It's easy for these kids to pick a side. Your son knows you love him. He knows you will always be there. But his Dad? He isn't sure there. And Dad is showing him attention right now, and love. So he has to do what Dad says (and I'm not saying Dad tells him to be violent and nasty, see below) to make Dad keep loving him.

    An extrapolation of that is his treatment of you and his brother. If Dad says not-so-nice things about you, then son escalates. His logic is, if Dad does this, and seems happy when I do it, then I go above and beyond, do more, he will be even happier and love me more.

    One of two things could happen. I'll go with worst case first. Son could really, really become entrenched in this way of life. So far, you have done what you could - you cannot just think of one child, and not the other, and yourself... Or, son may find out exactly what kind of person Dad is - what I call the "light bulb" moment - and there will be a turning point. I'm not saying it will get better immediately. A lot of things in our house changed when Onyxx figured out what her mother was doing. But it hasn't been all roses.

    Still. I think you did right. HUGS!
  17. Sohmer

    Sohmer New Member

    I hear you, but sometimes I think by the way he acted he hates me. He has said before he blames me for the divorce, even to the point of saying that I am the reason he grew up without a father living with him. This was about 2 months ago, and I replied I think if you opened your eyes you would see why we got divorced and he replied "yes because of you. Thanks a lot." Meanwhile, we got divorced when he was 5 years old, and the reason was his father didn't want to be married and was running around on me. Some day Conor will realize this, but I doubt right now he would believe it. It seems he is hell bent on being angry at me. That and apparently behaving like his father does. Disrespectful and self centered. I guess its a good thing Conor likes to do what his father does, or like his younger brother he wouldn't spend any time with him at all.

    Im wondering if it is one this child even wants to learn. I dont' know how he could ever go from speaking to me the way he has, and putting me down, and insulting me multiple times a day, to realizing "I was wrong, mom was there for me" All he seems to see, is my mom divorced my father, she is a stupid woman, and Im happier with my dad where I can do whatever I want. I just don't see him ever realizing this, he was too angry and mean and disrespectful with what he said.

    I think putting a stop to that type if IMing is a good call here. I know at school his little brother ignores him. To be honest, the youngest doesn't like his brother at all, he has been to mean to him and he says he is over it. He told me he wants his brothers room, wants to move in there and take it over. I even caught him in there the other day nosing around. I don't know if I should laugh or cry over that one.

    Oh, I've been upset all day today. I think I need to just take this all in, even the quiet, and adjust to it. It is an entirely different dynamic around here without him. Most of it good, no more fighting etc, but still in that its sad I suppose. Im just going to try to visualize it as he went off to college or something. Its not like he is gone forever. Maybe. I dont know.

    I see what you are saying, maybe in time he will come to appreciate what I did for him. And he might not be sure, but for now he is happy he is there. Today he called for some more of this shirts etc and I said make a list I'll get your stuff together. And he said ok so I asked, probably shouldn't have but did, "are you ok? are you happy there?" and he said he was and was staying there. And I said thats ok because if thats the case maybe its better for everyone, because you certainly were not happy here. And he says, "I really wasn't happy there, its better here." and I said thats fine and that was that.

    So I sit here and I am like.... ok, what here was he so miserable with that he lashed out all the freaking time? Rules? Being told to respect other people or to do his homework and get offline with the friend at 11 pm instead of 1 am on schoolnights? Do you know, when we leave for school in the morning, he would always make us get there right down to the wire. He'd leave at the last possible moment, meaning his brother and I are sitting in the car for 10 minutes and he is nowhere to be found and comes out when he is ready. I'd say you have to be ready by 7:30 or we will be late, and he would say we will leave when I say we will leave, and he meant it. Messed up yes. One day when he knew we had to be there early and made no effort to be ready and I found myself yelling at him to hurry up I thought, what am I doing? Im not yelling at him anymore and I left without him.

    Well I think that is the call. Apparently he is never coming back here so, yep. But you are right, something had to be done.

    Well, today for starters the kids are home, no school. When he called for his stuff, it was after 3 pm. I asked did you have lunch yet and he said no. Well, his father is at work all day today so I guess no lunch for him on his day off. And I thought to myself, your brother and I have had lunch, and I made brownies for dessert and dinner is in the oven. And I guess I feel sorry for him sitting there is no lunch while dinnertime is approaching, but since he likes it there so much better Im sure he is just fine.

    No more mother for him, and he seems to be just fine and dandy with it all.

    I guess I did do the right thing for all of us in the end. And if he is happy there, he won't really learn anything from any of this, except if you act angry and act out then you get to go live with someone who lets you do whatever you want, and never stops and says, maybe you conor should think about your actions a little bit.
  18. KTMom91

    KTMom91 Well-Known Member

    It's still a new situation for him...give it time. I imagine that it's not as wonderful there as Conor says it is, but he knows it will hurt you if he says how happy he is now that he's away from you. Concentrate on yourself and your younger son, and how much more peaceful your life is now, how there's no more fighting, screaming, or threats, how the two of you feel safe and can maintain a schedule and have fun. You don't have to feel sorry for him or guilty because he's gone.

    I know, it's easier said than done, and it took me quite a while to not feel like a total mom failure because Miss KT was living with my mother instead of at home, even though she wreaked total havoc with us when she was here. Hugs. I do understand.
  19. barneysmom

    barneysmom Member

    Hi Sohmer, welcome.

    Just wanted to add that I think a family hx of bipolar is fairly significant. And your ex-H has some mental health issues he is (not) dealing with.

    Stuff like this often manifests around puberty. Also he started getting F's back in 8th grade -- any other little hints?

    Of course being a teen itself can cause drastic behavioral changes -- I know because I've had to do a lot of reading about it. Teens are kind of unstable by nature because the brain is doing a massive re-pruning of itself, in preparation for adulthood.

    The explosive temper can be typical teen (typical teen), or maybe more.

    just some ideas -- not trying to diagnose your son. Many here (including me) have commented on how rough the teen years are. It's a puzzle we have to put together bit by bit, with all the little clues we can gather.
  20. You have another son you need to protect and teach, so I don't think you're a bad person for having your oldest one leave. I'm sure all of us would like to do things over in a calmer manner etc but sometimes you're just pushed too hard. If he wants to come back "home" (living with the permissive parent isn't always that desirable when it's full-time), counseling seems to be a necessity.

    Teens are often just awful, anyway. Our minister once gave a sermon where he said that teenagers are God's way of making you not sorry when they leave. [No, I don't remember a single other thing about the sermon. ] Good luck and much love...