new here; problem similar to Daralex's

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by nkf1122, May 6, 2009.

  1. nkf1122

    nkf1122 New Member

    Hi all;

    I didn't want to hijack Dara's thread, but her situation is very much like the one I'm having with my 16 y/o son.

    About a year ago or so, my ex (who has primary custody) informed me that both our sons had been looking at porn on line. Apparently it was gay porn.

    For my younger son (difficult child), the Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) part of his nature has latched onto the images from this, and he now considers himself gay, and has attempted to solicit sex from others. One time it was another student on his school bus, and once it was the man laying tile floors in the ex's house.

    He sees a therapist, but I don't know now much she's explored this issue with him so far.

    Just last week, I found out he had joined a networking site called "tagged" and has been "friending" other gay "boys" there. These others claim to be 19; one lives close enough that my son wants to meet him. I found out yesterday that they have exchanged pictures of their privates to each other. I had already talked to my son and discussed with him why I don't believe he's truly gay (not that I would be all that upset if he was...), and that I believe he just saw some stuff that has his curiosity piqued and he cannot get it out of his head. I asked him if he was 100% SURE he was gay and he could only shrug his shoulders and say "I don't know." I asked if he was saying that because he didn't want to tell me, or if he truly didn't know. I told him that this is a difficult lifestyle to live and if he wasn't sure, he shouldn't just jump in and choose it without careful consideration.

    Finding him exchanging genital pictures with another "boy" of course has me a bit wigged out. I told his father and they were supposed to have a "talk" last night. I have not heard back yet to see how that went.

    My ex works for our county's sheriff's office as a corrections officer and plans to contact the 19 y/o and warn him off of continuing to contact our son. He will likely revoke internet access as well.

    My son has always had difficulty making and keeping friends. He goes to the local public school, so hasn't been completely sheltered, but his life-long behavior issues has made it "easier" for us (parents) to simply decline to let him go places where he might do a bit more social interacting with others. Right now, his "best friend" is a boy his age with Asperger's syndrome.

    I don't know if I really have a question here. Last night I hit a breaking point where I feel like I've totally failed my son somehow, cried and prayed till sleep would finally come.

    I know there have been things I should have made an effort to do differently/better for him, but the chip I've had on my shoulder regarding the ex and me wanting HIM to step up and do more for the kids...well, I let my anger at my ex keep me from just doing what I should have done as a mom.

    I guess I'm just needing a place to vent where others will likely understand. I welcome any and all responses, even criticisms.

    Thanks for taking the time to read this.

  2. Oh, it is a so difficult situation. I want to send you a lot of hugs.

    I know that it normal for teenagers to be confused about their identity. I guess that the only thing we can offer them is to listen to them and encourage them to listen to their inner self.

    Sexting which I guess it is called then exchanging photos of that nature can be dangerous regarding your sons criminal record. He can be charged with trafficing child porn of himself which in some states means that he will be registered for decades. He needs to be aware of that and you should also consider how to approach the police when going after the 19 year old. It is so sad that laws which were meant to protect our children can bring them down.

    Is there any possibility to have him living by relatives and be homeschooled until the situation is cooled down? As I mentioned above the transfer of photos is nothing the police should investigate for the sake of your son.
  3. daralex

    daralex Clinging onto my sanity

    Obviously if I had the answer I wouldn't have posted my thread. I so wish I did. I can say that I suspected difficult child of being gay for quite some timje before she came out to me. We have had many talks about this and I know that her abuse as a child must have something to do with it.. difficult child being gay is not an issue for me (doesn't sound like it is for you either), but having them making unsafe choices is. My difficult child is VERY modest with her body, but I have read text messages on her phone that would make Hugh Heffner blush! Only suggestion I have - is there a GLBT center near you? (Gay Lesbian Bisexual Transgender) They usually have host of resources and it may be possible to get advice/help/suggestions from them? I would also alert difficult child's therapist as to what is going on and have them address this more vigorously. I'm so sorry for what you are dealing with and can only say that I understand what it does to us. Don't feed into the guilt (Easier said than done!). I would definitely change what is going on with the computer (as I am learning!) block the tagged site. Did he send the picture via phone? If so have the company disable the phone camera. So sorry!!! {{{HUGS}}}

  4. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    By age 16, and with ex having primary custody, I"m not sure there is anything you can do. First of all, your sons MAY be gay. They think they are. If so, you have the choice of accepting them or losing them. To me, the bigger issue is whether they are endangering themselves. At 16, ex and you can still TRY to reign him in...but at 16 it is also hard to monitor everything kids do. If they want to disobey, it's hard to stop them other than to put them in an Residential Treatment Center (RTC) (where they can still engage in sex talk/maybe even seeing each other's body parts, etc.) but at least they're monitored and can be caught. At 18 it is way out of your hands other than to make them leave if they break your rules. That would be up to ex. And, frankly, sexual issues are VERY hard to monitor.

    You and ex have two years at most to make a difference. I hope you can. Don't blame yourself if you can't. He is almost a young man, and the law is not on your side anymore. At 17, it is even less on your side.

    (((Hugs))) and stop blaming yourself. It's not your fault.
  5. busywend

    busywend Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Nancie, this is a bit different from Daralex's situation - only due to age.

    At 16 your son has 2 years of experiences on Daralex's daughter. That does NOT mean he should be allowed to use the internet inappropriately. I pulled internet from my difficult child at 13 when she created her own stalker on AIM and had conversations with her 'stalker' (herself) and copied them to send to others. She did not get computer access back until 16. Yes, it did make her different than all her friends - but she was not capable of being safe on the internet. (I knew about stalker as I have a keystroke monitoring program running in the background.)

    How is the relationship with Ex now? Is he concerned?
  6. nkf1122

    nkf1122 New Member

    First, let me say "thank you" for all your responses, and for your hugs and good wishes. It's greatly appreciated.

    I don't know if I'll answer everything as it doesn't keep your posts visible while I'm responding.

    The ex and I have kept a pretty tight rein on our younger son all his life, mostly because it was easier (for us) to deny him going places than to drive all over town for "play dates" with kids we didn't even know, and also be worried about how our son would behave. We got one call from a parent who said our son had tried to get their son to show his privates while our son was over there. Our son acted like he had done nothing wrong, and couldn't understand it when that child didn't want to be friends anymore.

    Due to some of his clinical as well as his behavior issues, we haven't allowed him to start driving yet. Because he doesn't [yet] have a job, and doesn't drive, he has never been allowed to have his own cell phone yet either. Just more of our parental control being exercised (so I tell myself).

    I spoke with the ex tonight and he's finally talked to our son about this new issue (opening a Tagged profile, finding other gay young men on there, and requesting pictures from them, and trading some of himself with at least one of them). We've deleted the profile and forbade him from opening another. He had to return his email password to the original one so that I can continue to monitor his account. I also told the ex to remove the wireless card from the boy's laptop and only let him have it when he (the father) can directly supervise his internet use.

    His father DOES care and IS interested in stopping this. Our son sent a final email to 2 of those boys on Tagged informing them not to contact him again as his dad is a cop and will have them arrested if they do. I don't know how this will all play out in the long run, but I know my son is angry. He's not embarrassed or anything about being caught....he's mad that we're taking stuff away from him - again.

    Switching gears.... except for him asking another boy years ago to see his privates, I cannot recall anything my son has done to make me think for a moment that he was/is gay. We actually had questions of that nature regarding our older son (who has no clinical issues, and denies being gay after his father point-blank asked him). At one time, my younger son (difficult child) had a girlfriend (and she worried us a lot!) - they talked about having sex and getting married... my biggest fear was that he'd end up getting some girl pregnant while still in high school.

    Up until we found out about him seeing gay porn on the internet, we never really had any thoughts about him being truly gay. If he is, I am very prepared to accept that...I would not turn my back on him for something so simple. But he just doesn't have a clue about how to establish proper relationships long before trying to go straight to the sex part. THAT is what worries me. At least we've addressed the internet issue, for now.

    He will be seeing his therapist on Monday and his father will let her know about all this so that, for the next several visits, they work on helping our son through this, whatever the outcome. I just want him to be SURE of what/who he is and not venture down a path simply for curiosity's sake when it's not the safest path available to him.

    Again, I appreciate everyone's remarks. I look forward to hearing more.

    Thank you!
  7. goldenguru

    goldenguru Active Member

    How old was your son at the time of this incident? This might be worth sharing with your son's therapist. While curiosity is normal - it sounds like your son might need some work establishing healthy boundaries. I noted that he has been diagnosed a borderline. They often have serious boundary issues.

    As far as the gay issue goes, I believe that many teens express sexual confusion at this age. And in our current teen culture, 'coming out' is somewhat cool. So, I wouldn't take his declaration too seriously yet. See how it all plays out.

    Like others, I would be more concerned about his ending up on the sex offenders list. Sexting/exchanging pics of genitals is very risky behavior these days.
  8. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Hi NKF, nice to meet you. I am so sorry for your issues with-your boys. I wish I could help, but just wanted to add my welcome.