My teen is sullen and disgusted with me...

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by Ropefree, Nov 26, 2008.

  1. Ropefree

    Ropefree Banned

    Hello everyone and thanks for being there!
    I used the letter icon to symblize verbage .
    Today is the in home session 2. Five out of the seven days were on the
    rule set down for this week. The last two..not.

    Today my to do list is usual chores and I am not having that inner cooperation to do ANYTHING.
    If reading is not your thing that is the gest. thanks for caring.
    For the read-ee--er :

    My own teen years are a blur of an unending series of the merky mess that
    was so confusing and noscensical my siblings and I have all been through therapy and as middle age adults we still support each other over that mayhem. And caring with our now elderly parents who are still going at it.
    Whom we do love.

    I am estranged from my family of origin. It was not a simple or snap choice I made, and my son and I are also far removed from his father. Another
    choice that I made and as much as doing such is so difficult to accept for some people, given the time I can explain myself. But that is not what I have for this day. Just so you know. It clarifies as a fact.

    My sons dependancy and the issues that he is dealing with as a maturing
    person are just all on me. His anger, which is normal and natural and just part of the reality of life, has not other tangilble person to target.

    My predicament is that since my own teenage years were so spectacularly
    a mess with the adults in the home and the environment in that home so
    dysfunctional and predictably unpredictable and as so many other teens who are the social group have terrible privations in one way or another
    I am , in the words of others "doing the right things" but how it feels to me
    is completely uncertain.

    And I tend to beat myself up emotionally for whatever: being disabled, not being able to (insert that here) and that the needs my son has are not all
    met in a way that I feel good about.

    Like his grades. He has done so well in school. It did not happen overnight.
    It was like pushing a boulder up a hill that keeps rolling back down again.
    Now, it is going along much more smoothly although it takes consistant
    attention to details for him and for me by keeping on the school to not let the provisions be set aside until oh...they are not conducted and the result
    another failure. He is doing excellant work now. Everyone sings their praise of him. It is so joyous for me as his parent.

    The uproar of last month has settled, but the matters that are festering in him are clearly there. My hope is that he will conect with someone who
    he then does begin to unravel it and pursue that joureney we all end up on where we are now "taking care of ourselves" and "asking for what we want and need." "saying what is so for ourselves" and "saying what we will be doing" and set this internalized and self defeating fear of being heard down.
    It is so self sabatoging. Say. Say. Say.

    I think lieing and hiding and such are our childhood solace against a world that we think will distroy us and stop caring for us if we admit that we are
    not "good" we are "bad". When what we know as adults is that we are merely humans..and the reason we get adults to care for us is because we do need that safe older experianced person to give us the directions as we enter each new phase of developement. as adults we make a big deal out of lieing and hiding but it is the way that one lies and hides in the internal world and in our undeveloped thinking that scar us sometimes utterly meaninglessly.

    At the same time society changes with the times and it is our children who
    bring us further forward as well.

    I am at that point with him. And as caring and well intentioned as I am and with all my determination I am so uncertain. I am still the girl who waits for the next shoe to drop. I am still the one who is so concerned that someone I care about is going to be terriblly hurt and the only person who can do anything is me. I trust, but I know self defense and I can dodge a blow.

    In my heart of hearts I do know my son is on his way to doing well in life.

    I am so wounded myself. I am so fragile underneith my strong and clear
    Keep me in your prayers today, your prayers for the joy and strength that parents bring to this life for their families.

    I appreciate you all so much for sharing your lives here.
  2. Star*

    Star* call 911

    Well when you come to the end of your rope - tie a knot. :tongue: and since ropes is free for you ? Get to tying sista.

    You know what strikes me about your posts? You have a lot of stuff inside. The more I read your posts and get to know you the more I see a person who is struggling and reaching out. THIS IS GOOD. And like I told you before about the lifeboat you need to B12no1...okay?

    Here is my suggestion/observation/thought. YOU are the most important person in your world. Bologna about all that others before self. Think of this like those little oxygen masks in the airplanes - you know the drill; put YOURS on before you attempt to put a childs on.

    Same with our lives, well being, mental health. Someone asked me one day "HOW in the world do you expect to be the best parent/person you can be if you never take time or care for yourself?" My brilliant answer was - I do take care of me. Then I heard. "When? What do you do for fun? You are an intelligent woman - what are you doing to continue that education and continue to make yourself feel good?" I couldn't answer that. So it was suggested that I start to journal.

    My life story is so peppered with incredible things, happenings, events, tragedy, humor and most of my life if I wrote the biography would be science fiction and rival anything Star Trek (live long and prosper) had ever gotten. I mean wow. But I took the advice and began to write my thoughts (I think they call it blogging now) used to call it journaling....and began to get it out on paper. The trick is to write - and use ALL the emotion and feelings you have - and then put it away -go back and read it days later and pretend like it wasnt' YOU writing it and see what advice you would offer yourself.

    In the mean time I started therapy because I had a tragic and horriblly abusive marriage. It took me going every week for 1 year JUST to find a comfy place for my brain from my marriage.

    So I'm encouraging you as a freind to journal and give therapy a try. Lots of people think when someone suggests this that it's like a scarlet letter or a mark or youre (insert finger twirling around the ear) crazy - and nothing could be further from the sit and DO NOTHING - to improve yourself so you CAN be the best person/friend/mom you can IS in my humble opinion crazy.

    Otherwise my chickadee - you wouldn't be here. Kapish?

    And you have lots to say - so give it a try - and see if it doesnt' give you an outlet for your frustration and memories - and then when you feel comfy - call your county mental health - and give THAT one try - it's on sliding can feel good to bounce your ideas off a psychiatrist - omg when I first went I talked nearly every week for a solid kidding :tongue: - I know I'm such a closed mouth person....hard to belive huh?

    I never know whether to say 'hang in there" to you as your name is Rope...

    Nonetheless -
  3. witzend

    witzend Well-Known Member

    When M was about 7 years old, I was coming out of a terribly abusive situation that had me depressed for a number of years. M was a depressed kid who knew how to live with a depressed mom. The family therapist told us that even though I had worked very hard to remove myself from the abusive situation, and to be a happy person, this was my decision, and not M's. Not only did M not know how to be happy on his own, he wasn't ready to give up what had been such an integral part of his life virtually since before his birth. And he wasn't ready to deal with me as anything other than a sad and angry victim. It explained M's behaviors, but sad to say it didn't change them. It was and is my job to live a happy and healthy life for myself and my family. All in all, I think he was right. I'm just sad to say that M didn't want to change for a very long time. I still don't know if he does, but I am learning.

    Totally off the subject here, on one of your other posts you mentioned something along the lines of "in my country, we..." I wanted to ask if you are in the United States or if you are elsewhere in the world? Not that it matters, but I'm just now remembering to ask.
  4. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    I don't know all the specifics in your situation with your son, obviously, but I also come from a very dysfunctional environment and am raising my son alone, with no family support. Even before my son showed signs of "difficult child'ness", I would periodically go to a male therapist just to get their opinion on an issue regarding my son. These ranged from things like how to explain to him about his father not being in his life, what do I do when he's over-stimulated, etc. I probably could have done ok without that input, but you know, it helped just to have someone to discuss these things with and more importantly, it made me feel much more confident that I was doing a pretty good job with my son.

    So, even if you don't need long-term therapy for yourself, I'd suggest just going in to bounce some of these doubts off a male therapist to get his perspective. It might make you feel a lot better!
  5. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    I wanted to clarify- my suggestion of a male therapist in no way is meant to imply that we women can't make these good decisions on our own :D. But I did and do think that it can't hurt sometimes for us single moms who are raising boys that have no good role models in their lives to get a male's perspective on things. Let's face it, males don't always see things or think like we do LOL!! So, I hope no one takes that as me degrading the mom's role at all....
  6. Nancy423

    Nancy423 do I have to be the mom?

    wish I had answers or even suggesions for you but I don't. Instead, I'll offer my shoulder to cry on, ears to listen, and (((HUGS)))
  7. Jena

    Jena New Member

    Hi it's nice to see you posting. :)

    You do have alot to say and you are here and reaching out and i think that's great.

    I am keeping you in my thoughts today :)
  8. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    I am so sorry, but for some reason I think I have trouble following your posts. I think I get it though--your teen son is unhappy with you.
    Heck, all teens think their parents are hopeless. I diagnose that as
  9. Wishing

    Wishing New Member

    Welcome to our world and it isn't easy to live with teens I am finding out as well. I just wonder how long it takes them to mature and what if they don't

    Midwest Mom I loved the last sentence of your post he he.
  10. gcvmom

    gcvmom Here we go again!

    You know, I think we're all doing the best we can with what we've got, and we all worry that we're not doing enough for our difficult child's. Go easy on yourself.
  11. Ropefree

    Ropefree Banned

    Session 2 was not very helpful. He is completely unremorseful over his assault when he was swearing and pushed me the pm then the following am
    And he blames me for his current behavors because I called the police. that was the week befor halloween.
    I asked if the sessions could be conducted closer together and if the effort to help might be stepped up.
    This new one is very nice and not male or a parent.
    He is very happy he says with his life and that I should just leave.(?)
  12. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    Hang in there, I think the more frequent therapy might be a good idea. Your son sounds like he just totally does not get it.

    I hope you're bouncing the blame right back off your own skin - it doesn't belong with you. You wouldn't have had to call the police if he had done nothing wrong. And if he HAD done nothing wrong, then he would have no problems even after you called the police. YOU would have the problems.

    What he's saying - it's like a burglar blaming the house owner for getting bitten by the guard dog. If the burglar hadn't broken in to begin with, he wouldn't have been where the dog could bite him!

    However, teens are very selfish (it's a rule, I think) and blaming is something they do.

    Sometimes we need to all take a step back and begin to teach our kids - this isn't always a blame issue. Sometimes it just IS.

    If you break a leg by slipping on an icy path, does it make the leg heal faster when you find out who is to blame? And does cleaning the ice off the path make the leg heal?

    We often set this in place as parents, and when someone blames us, we tend to try to re-focus the blame elsewhere. Sometimes we can make better change by saying, "This isn't about blame. Blame is irrelevant. We need to know what to do about where we are now."

    If your son wants you to leave (or wants to leave himself) then he needs to prepare. A suggestion - offer to help him prepare for his independent life. Encourage him to make his plans, to look around for his own apartment, to develop the skills he is going to need. Of course, part of this is doing his own washing, learning to budget, planning a meal from shopping through to cooking, serving and cleaning up afterwards. Does he complain about your cooking or the meals you prepare? Then this is the ideal opportunity to say (politely, not with any sarcasm or condescendion no matter how tempting), "OK, show me how you can improve on this. Teach me how to do it better."

    My kids might complain about tuna casserole three nights a week and say they want something tastier. Example: easy child saying, "I am fed up with tuna casserole. I want a full seafood platter with lobster."
    The logical answer is, "Sure, I'd like that too. I'd LOVE it. But I serve tuna casserole because I can afford it. If I served seafood platter, it would mean other bills wouldn't be getting paid. I've had to make choices. But if you want to do better - my budget for tuna casserole is $X. See what you can come up with that fits within that budget. It has to meet (or better) the same nutritional standards and feed the same number of people (or more). I'm open to new ideas, sometimes I get so tired trying to think of new things to serve that fit these requirements so you don't get bored. This could be a way for you to have what you want."

    My mother allowed me to do this when I was in my early teens - at a school cooking class we had made curried eggs. I HATED curry at the time and had heard other classes complain that the curry in this class was too hot. So our group cheated on the recipe and added a lot less curry powder. And it tasted great! Ours was the only group that ate and enjoyed their food, other kids all wanted a taste. The teachers were suspicious that our curry sauce was paler, but the fact we happily ate it was evidence that whatever we had done in fudging the recipe needed to be overlooked.

    So I went home and asked my mother to let me prepare dinner - curried eggs. She talked it over with me and gave permission because

    1) It was a protein meal, with some carbs

    2) It was nourishing and filling

    3) It was inexpensive, we could make enough to feed everybody for the same or less than the meal she would have prepared instead.

    The final outcome - it had to pass the taste test of everybody eating it. That was when I had to face my siblings and put up with any of their complaints.

    Ropefree, something I recommend people try when our kids get to the "I want my independence and I want it NOW!" stage is to make it clear that you are working towards the same goal. I changed my attitude to my older kids and treated them as flatmates instead of children. If you think about how you would interact with an adult sharing the same accommodation, it IS different to how we treat our kids. Often we don't think as carefully as we should, when we snarl at our kids for leaving clothes lying around on the floor. We also pick up after them far more than we would after a flatmate. With flatmates, we share the cooking, the cleaning and the laundry. A flatmate who won't pull their weight gets less help in other areas too.

    And one of the most important things we put in place with our kids - communication, even if only about where we are going and when we'll be home. Flatmates need to do this for catering purposes. "I won't be home for dinner tonight" is an important message to whoever is going to cook. If the person who isn't going to be home IS the person doing the cooking, then it's only courtesy for the other flatmates to know ahead of time so they can plan.

    The kids see husband & I telling each other where we will be and when we'll be home. We say goodbye when we leave, we say hello when we get back in.
    If I'm ducking down to the shops for five minutes, I tell difficult child 3. "I'm just going to the shop, I'll be back in fifteen minutes."
    With flatmates, this gives the opportunity to share the load. "While you're at the shop can you buy me some more pencils? The dog chewed the last lot and I'm in the middle of a project," someone might say. Or, "Can you get more spaghetti? I ate the last of it for lunch."

    It's a courtesy thing, not a "I'm keeping track of your movements" thing. Kids really resent the inquisitions over where they're going or where they've been, but if we tell THEM about US, they soon get to rely on the information, even if they roll their eyes and say, "Now, why would I want to know?"

    We found a big change in each of our three older kids as we moved them from dependent child to cooperative flatmate status. The "cooperative" bit comes afterwards, we have to make the first move and set the example by our behaviour toward them. If we don't, we have no way to complain about them, if they could make the same complaint about us. At least if we have started to set the example, we can say we've begun the process and are putting in some effort.

    It's a start.

    Hang in there, he sounds very snotty right now.

  13. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    (By Marg)

    I think this is a very good point- my son and I do very poorly with "family therapy" for this very reason- it tends to turn into a blame game and my son has recently told me it's because he feels like it's always about me telling on him so he will make sure the therapist sees that he's not to blame for everything. Basicly, it makes my son defensive. Now, we have found a way to see tdocs in a more comfortable, and thus, more effective manner. I would suggest calling the therapist and having a conversation about this prior to the next appointment. Not to undermine your positive attitude, but personally, I DO get leary when the therapist has never even raised a single kid- not even a easy child, but if you are coomfortable with this therapist, that's what is important.

    (By Marg)

    This approach works well in my house- if my son wants a different dinner and he's willing to cook it (ok, I usually supervise a little) and he can do it within the budget, I have no problem with it. It has proven to be a win/win situation that has given me much needed relief some evenings and my son is very proud of himself when he achieves a decent meal, something he looked forward to eating, and he gains confidence each time. Also, I think it's teaching him to help out more and I believe he'll be more likely to help out a wife/partner someday with grumbling!!