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. He's such a waste of oxygen.