Tonight was the night

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by flutterbee, Jan 7, 2008.

  1. flutterbee

    flutterbee Guest

    easy child typically unloads about his visit with his dad a couple of months after. It's never during the day or evening. It's late night.

    He went down at Christmas. Tonight was the night that it all came out. Started about 11pm and he finally went to bed at 2:45am.

    He's so frustrated and hurt by his dad. He's tired of being treated like a second class citizen, tired of being talked to like he's a loser (his dad told him recently that he'll never amount to anything - why? because he missed a day of school), tired of the preferential treatment of his step and half sisters, tired of the lies and manipulation and excuses.

    He really wants to do something to make his dad feel like the complete jerk that he is. He wants to lash out. And he totally has his dad's number - said his dad is all about control.

    I told him that his dad does love him and wants what is best for him - that he just doesn't go about it well; he'd never make it as a motivational speaker. Told him that he is going to have to accept his dad as he is because he will not change and determine how much of an involvement he wants to allow his dad to have in his life. Told him that holding onto anger only hurts him in the long run.

    He's at the age now where if he decides he doesn't want to visit his dad there really isn't much his dad can do about it. I've tried to protect him as long as I could; and I think I did a fairly decent job. But, he's at the age where he is able to see things for what they are and I'm not going to invalidate his feelings. I'm not encouraging him, by any means, to walk away from his dad or to be angry. I'm trying to guide him toward acceptance and boundaries.

    It would be different if his father had tried to be an integral part of easy child's life, but he hasn't. He's made his weekly phone calls and the 3 times a year visitation, but he's never made an effort to really get to know easy child. He's highly critical and belittling and his idea of motivation is brow beating.

    easy child said that his dad is just like his (dad's) own dad and he's afraid that he's going to turn out like that, too. I told him it was a choice. He could choose to be like that or not. I also told him that he is his own person and that he is in charge of his own destiny.

    Sigh.... I had hoped that one day his dad would grow up. Nope. He hasn't changed a bit. I can deal with it when he treats me like that. I'm a big girl; I can take care of myself. But you mess with my kid who wanted nothing more than your love and acceptance...I think you get the idea. :grrr: He's such a waste of oxygen.
  2. mrscatinthehat

    mrscatinthehat Seussical

    So sorry. I am still dealing with the attitude from my easy child that comes after the dad visit. She let a bit out the day she got back. Otherwise she is bottling like usual until like your easy child decides it is time to talk. The timeline varies. Glad yours got it out. Sad that he has to because of the way he is treated.

    Hugs to you and to your easy child (although probably won't get away with that at 16).

  3. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    I am glad your son could open up to you. It is really important to know how he is feeling and what he is thinking about.

    Protecting him from his dad's behavior is not appropriate at this age. He truly is at an age to make his own decision about his dad, their relationship is NOT your relationship.

    Your guidance toward appropriate boundaries and how he reacts to his father's awful behavior will be very important to how your son grows up. Maybe let him read Boundaries, or find another book for teens with problems with their fathers. I would read the book first though.

    I am sorry your son has to cope with this.

  4. flutterbee

    flutterbee Guest

    Oh, I know it's not my relationship. I've had to do a lot of damage control over the years. For instance, when easy child was 10 he called very upset because his dad and step-mom were talking bad about me to him. I told him that he and I knew the truth and it really didn't matter what anyone else thought. I've always been very careful not to point fingers and come out and say, you're dad is an A1 $%^ for saying that to you. His dad was doing enough of that kind of stuff. He didn't need it from me, too.

    I'm choosing my words carefully. I don't want him to be angry on my behalf. I don't want him to feel like he has to jump to my defense, Know what I mean?? Like when he was about 6 and we were doing the kid exchange at the end of easy child's visit with his dad. One of the boxes we transferred was a box for roller blades and I asked him if he had gotten those for his birthday. He said he had, but that what was in the box was other stuff; that his dad hadn't let him bring them home cause he said they would get lost. I just said ok. easy child went on and said that he told his dad they wouldn't, would they mommy? I said, no, they wouldn't. easy child's dad said, 'she's lying to you, buddy.' easy child turned and yelled at his dad, 'NO SHE'S NOT!' easy child's dad's eyes got huge.

    A child should never have to feel like he needs to come to the defense of his parents like that.

    I also don't want him to feel less than because of the treatment he receives from his dad. So, I'm walking this line of helping him come to terms with who his dad is without disparaging his father. If that makes any sense. When what I'm thinking is that your dad is such a jerk for treating you like that, but instead I say that it's unfortunate that your dad focuses on the trivial things and isn't able to see you for who you really are. I don't want him to not want to come to me with this stuff so I weigh my words carefully.

    I'm rambling and probably not making much sense. I'm so beyond tired. I was ready for bed when he came to me with this stuff and now I can't sleep.
  5. donna723

    donna723 Well-Known Member

    OMG, you sound exactly like US about twelve years ago! My son was 15 when we divorced, and nothing his father ever did to me hurt me as badly as watching my son be hurt by him! It was just heartbreaking. And with him, it took years before he shared all the hurtful things he did to him, and I'm sure I have never heard it all.

    What it evolved to ... it took many years, but my son finally understood that it was through no fault of his own, no shortcoming on his part - his father was just a cruel, hurtful, selfish, manipulating jerk! And the lack of a relationship was his fathers loss, not his! Thank God, he's 600 miles away now. His "relationship" with him now - two short obligatory phone calls a years, on his birthday and Christmas, He will call and then want son to call him right back so it's on sons' minutes instead of whoevers phone he's using! Nice, huh? His father simply is not a part of his life anymore at all - his choice, his loss, and he's the one who will have to live with it! And someday he will be old and pitiful and want his son around him and he won't be there.
  6. 1905

    1905 Well-Known Member

    Before he goes next time, remind him how it's most likely going to be. So he doesn't have these great expectations only to be let down once again. I'm sure he wants a relationship with his dad and family, but it is what it is. Having said that, remind him he is so much more than that, tell him a little mantra or something he can repeat to himself. Maybe he doesn't even want to go, nobody deserves to be made to feel bad. At least he has you.-Alyssa
  7. meowbunny

    meowbunny New Member

    I'm sorry. No kid should have to feel second-rate because of a parent. Be proud of how you've handled it. You have a son who can go to you without fearing he'll have to defend his father. He's old enough to start deciding what he wants from a parent. His father may just be on the losing end of this decision soon. Sadly, daddy will be getting exactly what he desrves.

    I'm sorry this caused you to lose some much-needed sleep. Just remember you're doing a great job!
  8. busywend

    busywend Well-Known Member Staff Member

    You did a good job.

    It is important for kids to know that they can not change their parents. Some parents will allow kids to share their feelings and validate them - does not mean they are going to change though. Sometimes it is the validation of those feelings that is the most important.

    I think it is also a good thing that he recognizes how he does not want to be and that you told him he has the power in his own destiny!

    Way To Go!

  9. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    Sounds like you have a good strategy. Hard on you to choose words so carefully, but best for him.

    When he gets older, if having his dad belittle him and you continues he might read Toxic people (it might be called toxic parents, I forget).It is a little early in the relationsjip for that.


  10. Big Bad Kitty

    Big Bad Kitty lolcat

    Hugs. Hugs to you, and hugs to easy child. Why oh why does the control thing have to be there for some men? Tink came home yesterday from a visit with dad and told me that SHE does not want to see him any more. She is sick of waiting for him to show up and him being hours late. She sits there crying, slapping herself in the face, saying "I just know my daddy is not coming."

    I'm glad easy child came to you with this. I hope that he can work through it. Chances are, he will be able to break the cycle. The fact that he wants to is a good start.
  11. Star*

    Star* call 911

    Wynter -

    Isn't it tremendous that even at THIS young age your son has broken the cycle and doesn't even know it? Isn't it fantastic that he realizes how it feels to be treated second class, and know that he'll never treat his own children like that?

    Isn't it almost beyond words that he has a Mother who kept very quiet when she wanted to burst with aggravation and ugly words about a man/person that hurt her child - but instead taught her son temperance?

    You son - gets it. It's just cute at this point to me that he doesn't know he gets it. And he gets it better than his grandfather AND his father ever did.

    He has a choice also in the fact that if he doesn't want to be around is dad - he doesn't HAVE to go.

    I think he's coping very, very well - and I think he has your example to thank for it.

    (ps - except that being mean part lol)
  12. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Well, will your son be able to tell his dad he doesn't want the visitations any more? Or is that up to you? No use torturing the poor kid.
    Take care.
  13. Shari

    Shari IsItFridayYet?

    Good job, Wynter. YOU are raising a fine young man.
  14. donna723

    donna723 Well-Known Member

    If your divorce papers read like mine did, your son probably does not HAVE to visit his dad if he doesn't want to. My son was 15 at the time and my divorce papers stated that "visitation was for the benefit of the child", meaning that he had a right to see his dad if he wanted to, not the other way around. And whether they visited or not was my sons choice, not his dads. No judge is going to force a 16 year old to visit.
  15. flutterbee

    flutterbee Guest

    You ladies are making me cry. Thank you for the support and ata-boys. Sleep deprivation - makes me emotional. Sorry.

    I'd have to pull out the divorce papers to see the exact verbage, but it's really a moot point. He's 16, by the time next visitation rolls around he'll be almost 17. Not a whole lot his dad can do IF he were so inclined and he's not going to part with any money over this. And it would cost money to go to court.

    I do know it says a lot in the papers about being for the child, but that has never been K's (easy child's dad) interest. It's always been about him.

    When easy child was 8 or 9, it was the day before he was supposed to come home from visitation. They had sloppy joes for dinner and easy child hates them. K was the pickiest eater I've ever known - lived on hot dogs and hamburgers and the closest thing to a vegetable to pass his lips was french fries. K told easy child that if he didn't eat his sloppy joe, he was going to sit at the table all night. If he still didn't eat it, he would have to eat it for breakfast. If he still didn't eat it, he wasn't coming home. easy child was hysterical. K took the phone from him and hung it up; wouldn't let easy child talk to me.

    I pulled out the divorce papers and the letter of agreement for that visitation, contacted the sheriff's office and they told me to come down and they would escort me to get easy child. K took the phone off the hook. I called K's mom and told her that if I didn't hear from him within 5 minutes, I was on my way and the police would be with me.

    K called back and said that easy child ate the sloppy joe. He was he won. I was beyond livid. Told him that he may think he's won, but he lost a lot more in terms of easy child's trust.

    I could give 100 more examples like that. It wasn't the last time I almost had to have police involvement to get my kid. I sent easy child down with a calling card because his dad wouldn't let him call me.

    easy child said that after he turns 18, the only reason he'll have for going down there is to visit his grandma (K's mom). He said he's not going down for Spring Break this year and he's iffy on summer.

    Nothing is ever K's fault. K will turn this all around on me. It's ok; I can handle it. I know the truth. He's only hurting his relationship with his son.
  16. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    <div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Quote:</div><div class="ubbcode-body"> He's only hurting his relationship with his son. </div></div>

    So very true.

    My bio dad isn't a bad person. He just makes for a lousy husband, and stinks in the father dept.

    I settled any stray feelings I had toward my bio dad way back in Jr High. (absentee dad/no child support/didn't even hear from him)

    At 22 he came thru for me at a time when I needed him the most in my life. I'll always respect him for that. Lord knows we were strangers to each other, so he had no obligation toward me or my kids.

    But there is no love there. There is also no anger, no resentment. No "relationship". Nothing. I think I spoke to him last maybe 8 yrs ago. No real relationship ever developed between us. And since my Mom's 2nd husband stepped in and filled his shoes and then some..... Well, let's just say I never missed him, still don't.

    It's harder for your kids than it was for me because their Dad was there to some degree. (I see the difference with my sibs too) But they'll work out for themselves how the relationship will be. And I'm afraid ex is only shooting himself in the foot.

    But YOU are doing a fantastic job, and it shows. You handled the situation beautifully! :smile:

  17. totoro

    totoro Mom? What's a GFG?

    I know you hate to see your son struggle with this. Even if his Dad is being a putz... he is doing this to himself and should care enough to salvage their relationship and see all of this through the eyes of his son.
    Yet here you are seeing it all... and still trying to help and feeling bad.

    Proves what a wonderful person you are... I do believe you raised a wonderful child.
    Sorry either one of you has to think about this...