She Who Must Not Be Named

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by WordNerd, Apr 18, 2016.

  1. WordNerd

    WordNerd New Member

    First a disclaimer: I know that She is only part of the problem and, no matter how much I want to, I cannot blame her for all of the issues Dad and I are facing with Him.

    Before She, my son was a typical 15 year-old. He had his struggles (getting homework done and turned in all of the time, doing all his chores, staying up too late at times). He went to public school, played in the band, and had friends. He hung out with us and joked around.
    November of last year, my son started dating a girl who he had known for a couple years on the internet. She lives 1,400 miles away. She is a real 13 year-old girl. Promise.

    At first it was just a few missed days of school because he had spent the whole night talking to her, then a few missed assignments. He made it through the semester okay still. December, it started with him falling out with one friend because She didn't like him being friends with another girl. She threatened to kill herself if he went on a 2 day trip because they wouldn't be able to talk. He didn't go. She goes to school online. He started asking to be put in online school too.

    Dad took him out to see her in January and they adored each other. Great. He came back broken, no warranty (sorry, I joke to deflect).

    Now? He goes to online school, refuses to leave the house most of the time, and has lost all of his facetime friends because of her. On Friday the 15th (also Dad's birthday), he took Dad's card after we had gone to sleep, bought a plane ticket to She's state, packed a bag, and left the house. He came back an hour later because the busses weren't running yet and was somehow convinced that Dad would take him to the airport.

    I laid down a list of consequences: Bedtime by midnight (no exceptions), he had to go sit outside my classes or any functions I had (being left alone was a right he had lost), go to counselling, and he was to choose 15 separate days over the next 3 months when he was to have no phone, internet, or contact with She . He less than politely refused. Only She can make me happy, you suck at parenting, I didn't do anything wrong, etc.

    1) I am infuriated that my son is scheduled to go out to see her next month. Dad thinks canceling the trip is the wrong thing to do and I think letting him go is nuts.

    2) I have a 4.0 GPA in school, the IQ of a genius, yet I am being outwitted by a 13 year-old girl who I have never met and a 15 year-old that has gone completely Jeckell and Hyde on me.

    Now what?
  2. ksm

    ksm Well-Known Member

    Oh my. My first suggestion is for you and husband to find a therapist for you to see together, so you can get on the same page. Once you can coparent with the same goals and rules, then your son needs to see a therapist.

    And instead of him choosing what days to not use phone, you could just deactivate it. He can earn it back with appropriate behavior. But then on a limited basis. I would say phone privileges from 6 to 9pm... Or just let him use wifi at appropriate times, then disconnect wifi all night. No phone until he can get a part time job and pay for it...

    The tail is wagging the dog... Maybe next time he does have a phone, get one with parental controls. I know there are lots of other ways they can communicate as long as he has wifi available.

    Good luck... Ksm
  3. pasajes4

    pasajes4 Well-Known Member

    His messing with a 13 year old girl could spell legal trouble down the line.
  4. ksm

    ksm Well-Known Member

    What does the girls parents think of all this? Have you talked to them?

  5. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    This would not fly in my house on any level. Its your house/your rules and hes a very young teen. Under no conditions would I allow any of my kids to "date" a child of thirteen. I'd get the phone number, tell the parents that daughter is too young for Son, snd that would be it. He wouldnt have a phone if he didnt listen and if he ran off to another state to see.her I'd report him a runaway. Hell get over it. Hes just a kid.

    Would you like this thirteen year old to have your first grandchild? Kids younger than that have careless sex. In our school district, a tweve yrear old boy got his thirteen year old girlfriend pregnant. Now the boy's mom is raising the child. The boy is less mature than his years and the girls parents AND the girl want nothing to do with the poor baby.

    I am puzzled as to why you are allowing this. If she lived close by, you could make it hard for him, but he may sneak anyways. But she is half a country away. Who pays for the airline tickets? Why? Thats giving him your approval. Do you think its ok?

    You are his parents and this relationship is ruining his young life. I truly dont get why you dont just take measures to end it. She's a baby hersrlf. A baby who can have a baby.

    I was kind of a softie to my kids as minors, but there are some times when I would have said "done " this would have been one. I wouldnt have thought twice about it. Too bad if he throws a fit. This is impacting his entire life in a bad way. He needs strong parents. You cant blame him if you allow it. He needs YOUR guidance and you are telling him it is ok. This is NOT the girls fault either. She is 13. She needs parenting too, but if her parents wont do their jobs, its up to you. Some people are afraid of their kids. That is bad for the kids.

    Last edited: Apr 18, 2016
  6. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    First hint of dating a 13yo would have been loss of all phone and internet - indefinitely. Sorry. This is a major recipe for disaster.

    Not being left alone - absolutely.

    However - what have you offered instead? Not as a replacement, but... what ties him to you, or to anybody where you are? What are his interests? Does he have any "dream" interests from when he was little?

    He does NOT have Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD) - don't get me wrong. But kids can develop attachment issues later - and some focus on re-attachment may be necessary. This would require a huge time commitment out of both parents... been there done that.
  7. WordNerd

    WordNerd New Member

    There's just a mom in the picture. She feels that not letting them have contact for extended periods of time would be explosive. I have learned not to rely on her as she tells us one thing, then says something completely different to her daughter.
  8. WordNerd

    WordNerd New Member

    Yes, thank you, and thanks to everyone else. This is my done moment. I really feel that now is the time to nip it and lay down the rules before it gets even more out of control than it already is.
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  9. AppleCori

    AppleCori Well-Known Member

    Hi and welcome, WN.

    Sometimes, when we are in the middle of the storm, it's hard to see the bigger picture.

    I am so glad that you have found us, and are able to lay it all out. It can really help you to see everything for what it is.

    Sometimes the advice seems harsh, but I do agree whith what the others have said, as well as your last post.

    Nothing good can come from such a disfunctional, unhealthy Relationship, and they are way to young to be this disfunctional!

    Will your husband relent on letting your son travel to see this girl? I would put my foot down over this. It seems like a good way to find yourselves becoming grandparents.

    Stay with us, keep posting.

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  10. pigless in VA

    pigless in VA Active Member

    Welcome, WordNerd. Did your son steal your credit card in order to purchase those plane tickets? If so, that is yet another problem in the mix. I definitely think family counseling is in order. I am confused as to why Dad took Him to meet She in the first place (the grammar check is all over that sentence).
  11. Sister's Keeper

    Sister's Keeper Active Member

    My kids are a little too young for this, but if it were me there would be a whole lot of "no" going on in my house. I may be a witch with a capital "B" but:

    There is absolutely no way I would allow my child to leave school so that he could spend the day on the internet with someone.

    There is no way in hell that I would ever allow, much less pay for and escort a 15 yer old child 1300 miles to meet a girl he met on the internet. There is not even a situation in which that is even a remote possibility.

    I'm thinking at this point I would have to get very tough. I would take away the phone, insist on counseling, and demand that all internet use be strictly supervised, including any communication he is having with this girl. I would tell him that he could communicate with her for 30 minutes a day, only when supervised, and that at the 1st hint of anything inappropriate communication would be halted.

    I'm going to agree with the others about the ages. Chronologically 13 and 15 aren't that far apart, but in terms of maturity levels they are way off. 13 is 7th grade, junior high, 15 is a freshman in high school. This is not an appropriate relationship for a lot of reasons.

    I also agree that you and your husband need to get some counseling so that you can be a united front and parent as partners.
  12. Praecepta

    Praecepta Member

    I always question these long distance love affairs... I say "What is wrong with these people that they can't find someone in their home town?"

    In one case the guy was living in Los Angeles. Note there are about 18 million people living in the metro L.A. area. No one to be found locally????
  13. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    There would be no phone/internet usage in my home, entire household would be in therapy (Mom & Dad to be on same page and deal with the stresses), no trips anywhere because he stole the card, and next time he took a credit card and used it, the cops would handle the situation as a criminal issue.

    He needs help. So does She but you can't fix that. I would inform her and her parents that the kids are to have no contact and if the girl keeps contacting him then I would try for a restraining order. I would tell your son that IF he works to integrate back into real life, has activities and gets good grades, then after 6 mos you will consider allowing weekly calls with the girl or letters between them. He would have zero unsupervised technology access even if I had to put the modem in my car during the day and sleep on top of it at night. Or even if I had to have a tech free home for the entire family.

    Above all, I would follow my instinct on what is best and would value my instincts about what is right above whatever a therapist or doctor said. If I had a bad feeling about a therapist, we would see someone else. There are some crackpots out there working as therapists and you must meet them before your child does. You know your son best . You have spent his entire life with him and your instincts/gut feelings are the best guidance system you have.
  14. WordNerd

    WordNerd New Member

    Well, Day 6. The phone went on Day 1. Told him if he wanted a phone, he could get a job and buy one and pay for the bill. Started limiting his internet time (8 hours from the time he wakes up he gets the passcode to the wifi). Also told him he has until tomorrow to fix his sleep schedule, and then the internet goes off at bedtime and doesn't go back on until we wake up in the morning.

    It went okay the first two days. He wasn't happy about it, but hung out with us and talked. Now, he's said he will not do any school work if we continue to take the internet away, the whole "you're ruining my life" and "only she can make me happy bit." We're working on talking to him about taking up music lessons during the no internet time, but no luck so far. He's also not allowed to be left alone at home until further notice. That will be a battle for Tuesday when he's supposed to go to class with me.

    I wanted to take away the internet completely until the three of us sat down and got it resolved. I discussed it with dad, and dad lashed out at me. Hard. Not physical, but verbally. Dad refuses to listen to any reasoning about taking Son to see Girlfriend. I know Dad and I need counseling to get on same page, but dad is putting it off, the usual "we will" (the trip is scheduled for the 12th). Hopefully we get an appointment before then. Dad wants to avoid the issues in the hopes it will fix itself (which makes son lash at me with "dad doesn't want to punish me. It's all you ruining my happiness.") Then Dad tells me I am a horrible mom because I am willing to accept the idea that Son might run away if we don't let him go, that I am wanting to be too hard on him by taking internet everyday.

    Today, Son is refusing to speak to either dad or me. I have gone in his room a few times and talked at him. I have done my best to let him know I love him, but am standing my ground. Reminded him about no internet/bedtime tomorrow.

    It's bubbling. It's going to get worse tomorrow. I know that. I feel like I'm fighting Dad as much as Son every step of the way. I feel like I am the only parent in this relationship. I feel like tomorrow is going to be a tough day and I am frustrated because I am bogged down with final papers these next two weeks and the trip date keeps getting closer and, no matter what I say, dad just doesn't get it.

    I have my daughter. I have my garden (as soon as it stays warm). I have some rocky road in the fridge. Just trying to keep it together.
  15. in a daze

    in a daze Well-Known Member

    You are so strong. I really admire you. How did you get to be so strong and resolute?

    My husband was and is like that too. It was like he was born to not enable. I was the weak one.

    Best of luck. My husband and I also saw a therapist together. I was completely shocked and turned off by what she recommended. But then I started reading codependent literature and attending Families Anonymous, and slowly, I started to change. For the better.

    And I got to the point where I was able to say to my son, who was lying in the emergency room, "I have your clothes, I have your shoes, I have your coat, I have your wallet. I am not giving them to you now. It is 5 degrees outside."

    And then, when he was discharged, I drove him straight to rehab, and did not stop at home for his ipod or whatever other nonsense he wanted.

    And then, when he wanted to come home I was able to tell him no, you are going to sober living.

    It's a little different, because your son is still a minor, but I think the same principles apply.

    I hope your husband can see the light. Good luck at the therapist, I hope she can persuade him to not let your son go on the trip to see this girl.
  16. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Wow. Husband is sure afraid that defiant son wont like him rather than doing the safe, responsible thing. I give you credit. I am not sure I'd hang around to watch this disaster. Its not your fault.

    Im not sure counseling will help your husbsnd, but its the only possibility. Good luck.
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  17. ColleenB

    ColleenB Active Member

    Can you get your husband to at least read some of the above advice? Or maybe read some tough stories about older kids, and how the parents wish they had done something earlier?

    I know for me, having husband as a partner and not another adversary has been key to my own mental health during trying times with my son.

    I admire your strength.... And resolve. Keep being strong. Your son needs you to be. But.... Take care of your own health, as we can neglect ourselves during these tough times.
  18. pigless in VA

    pigless in VA Active Member

    Wow, WordNerd. I don't even know what to say about Dad's position on this subject. I think that is a larger problem than your son; I'm sorry. Dad is clearly enabling Son to have this inappropriate relationship. You are in an awkward position.
  19. Sister's Keeper

    Sister's Keeper Active Member

    Wow, WN, I don't even know what to say. That's a terrible position to be in. I'm sorry, I hope you can get into some family counseling. Maybe an objective 3rd party can make your husband realize that he is letting a 15 year old run his life.

    Stay Strong.
  20. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    Take some time today to stop and recognize your own strength. It takes a LOT of strength to put boundaries in place when things have gone this far astray. Reward yourself for this strength and for paying attention to your gut instincts. ALWAYS listen to those gut instincts, esp about your kids. You have them for a reason - they are rarely incorrect. Don't let hubby or son or any professional convince you to ignore your instincts. You know your son best and esp those professionals haven't spent enough time or invested enough in him to be more of an authority on what is best for him.

    Your hubby wants easy, no fighting, no doing the hard work. Or so it sounds like. His take on this is dead wrong and has contributed to your son's broken status. I hope counseling is enough to wake your hubby up so that he can see the very real problems that your son has.

    One strategy that might work with son is to make him EARN the time he spends online with She. Chores, going to activities outside the home with old friends, engaging in the world, getting his work done, all these can earn him time online or on the phone with She. If he wants to talk/interact with her, he has to do x thing or things and each one earns y minutes to be spent with She. Refusal to do things means no time with She. Just a thought.

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