What's the underline issue?


I'm so new at this...the main thing I keep telling myself is that "what will he do without me, I'm all he has". I feel this way because it's true.Help me somebody! other than Jesus who really is sufficient as the scriptures say... I think its that I'm feeling guilty in that who I married has affected his life in a major way... like he could've had a better replacement for from his real father who walked out of his life when my son was only 8 years old. My son never even got to say good-bye to his Dad...one morning he walked him to school and that was it he never saw his father again. I had to press charges against my ex when I learned he was sexually abusing his sister (she was 12 at the time) . I had all the counselors telling me I was a hero which I kept telling them "I'm no hero, just a mother" like what mother wouldn't believe when their own daughter tells her this. It's a silent epidemic unfortunately , and this was a sick man who after just a year and a half in jail was set free... like all the other pedifilles out here. I thank God my daughter who is now 24 years old is an overcomer. Jesus was her best friend through it all , she 's going to graduate from college in a year and I am proud of her. You would think she would've been the one to turn to drugs but it was my son and as I said I sometimes feel if I had chosen someone else to marry my son would've had a better example to look up to. My husband (his step-dad) is very strict...has never shown my son any love. No hugs or anything ...he himself used drugs in his past. He grew up being beaten by his own father etc. but he's a grown man. Am I to feel guilty from marrying a man who is mean? I also feel bad because my son has no other relatives, no one who really cares about him but me.

I probably need to be in a separate forum all together since there are additional issues here but they are connected because my son has knowledge of the abuse of his sister, he could be trying to deal with it himself. I had to tell him ( not in detail ) because he kept insisting he wanted me to get in contact with his real Dad so he could live with him. Both my kids did go to counseling but I do think because my son is older now he may need to go for further counseling. If he agrees to go...would the judge see it as him trying to get help..just as if he went to a recovery house? after all, it could be the underlying issue causing the drug abuse.

I actually did a copy paste of this since I found myself opening up a different can of worms.


Well-Known Member
Ok....this is a hard one to answer. Very hard.

First of all, a lot of our kids have been sexually abused and some of us don't even know it because kids usually don't tell. So kudos to your daughter. Good for her for deciding not to allow the horrible incident to destroy her life.

Secondly, touchy this...we saw the best sexual abuse victims doctors, psychs and experts when it happened to my youngest kids. In their case it was a foster/adoptive child and I feel VERY guilty that I ever thought to adopt a child who was older than my youngest, even though he had a stellar child profile and even his psychiatrist had said he is a really good boy. He wasn't so my other two, also adopted, paid the price. They are both doing better than the average kid their age, I think, and I believe it's because the state offered to pay for almost any help we needed...they really felt badly that it turned out this way. The kid who did it was sent packing and THAT I think was the right thing to do. I've never had a moment's guilt over THAT, but I did over not thinking that duh this could happen. Older child. Foster care all his life. Five foster parents. Yes, hes foster mother of five years also thought he was great...everyone did...but what a stupid thing to do on my part. I don't blame hub because he was not really in-the-know about attachment disordered kids and I did know about it. It just seemed, from every source, that this boy was the exception. Hahaha. Jokes on me. Anyhow, do I blame myself? As you can tell, I do. However it is done. It's over. They got great help. Both are doing outstanding in life right now. Which leads me to...

Sexual abuse does not have to take over your life in a bad way, but you will usually need some sort of counseling if it happened to you at some time in your life. Often kids block out the memories and they come back at a later date. Which leads me to think that it's possible that if your husband abused your daughter, he probably also did something nasty to your son and he either doesn't recall or he won't tell you. I may be wrong, but this is such a serious issue and it CAN impact our kids in the negative...even if you son just knows his father is a sexual predator...did he get counseling? Did he when his father left? Did he ever? If not, then I believe that like me you do have some accountability here, but it isn't on purpose. LIke me you didn't think this would happen. If we did, we would have stopped it before it did. Right?

Your son needs help badly. He has been through a lot. But at his age he is the only one who can heal himself, the only person who can take that step to get treatment. You can't force him to do it. There is nothing you can do and in no way did you ever deliberately harm either of your children. I think that the best you can do is to let him know you believe he can do better, encourage him to get help and then go on with your own life and see what happens. If he gets help, you can support him with all your heart and soul. Even though he has had some tough years and experiences, I never believed that what we do in the name of guilt helps our adult children learn to cope and to grow up.

You can probably get free and good help at a woman's shelter if your husband is mean to you...physically or just emotionally. And you can bring up to them what happened to your kids and start a healing path for yourself that way. You can let your son know you are getting this help, sort of put a bug in his ear. Maybe it will give him an idea. Maybe not. But it can't hurt. YOU had a hard life too and if your son sees you trying to make the rest of your days good ones, you are at least setting an example, even if he doesn't choose to follow it.

Although sexual abuse in the family is a definite cancer, as your daughter and my two youngest show us, you do not have to take drugs, get into trouble, or drop out of society because it happened. You can get treatment too...it's a better option. Have you ever read the book "A Child Called It" by David Pelzer? I recommend it because the man who wrote that book about his intensely abusive childhood (his mother tried to kill him, starved him, abused him, belittled him, refused to get him medical care, poisened him, etc.) turned out to be a good man who joined the service and now helps other abused kids. The very worst abuse CAN be overcome and, from the information you told us, you are not thinking your son was even part of the sexual abuse.

My daughter is going to college next year, majoring in law enforcement. She has a strong drive to help distrubed teens and would like to work with young offenders. Maybe you can off-handedly suggest that because he lived through so much and is strong, he should help others going through bad stuff. Again, can't hurt.

I usually tell parents not to engage their difficult children, but this kid has gone through a lot and I wish both of you the best. And I hope you stay with us so we can help whenever you need to vent.

So sorry for your hurting mommy heart.


one day at a time
Deborah, I am not well-versed at all about sexual abuse, but here is my take on your post:

Clear and simple: if your son is a drug addict or alcoholic, that is a primary diagnosis. There doesn't have to be and often there is not an underlying issue. Addiction is all there is and all there needs to be.

Of course, people have multiple issues, and perhaps your son has been hurt by other acts or situations.

None of that is an excuse for continued addiction. If he is an addict, he will first have to get treatment for that before he can be treated for other problems. That is not me saying that---that is the professionals.

I used to agonize of whether difficult child was depressed or anxious or if there was a co-occurring disorder that was the CAUSE of his addiction. I spent hours parsing this, back and forth.

Doesn't matter. Unless and until he can get treatment for his addiction---that includes physical treatment and emotional/mental treatment to change his thinking and behavior even when he is drug-free---there is no way to effectively treat the other issues he has, if any.

That is why there are many places that treat co-occurring disorders, i.e., depression and addiction, bipolar and addiction, etc.

Sorting this all out in your own mind is important because otherwise, you just spin and spin and spin, feeling guilty about who you married, guilty about getting a divorce, maybe THAT caused it, etc. etc.

You aren't that powerful. You can't cause a person to be an addict or to get sober.

Life is full of hard things. The question is: what do we, and what to they, do when we are faced with the hard things? Do we run out and take pills or shoot up heroin or smoke pot or drink a 40----in order to cope? Obviously, those acts is never going to help us deal with the problems we have.

It just delays the inevitable. Or some people just self-medicate for years and for the rest of their lives. It is their decision and their choice and their responsibility to choose to stop or to continue.

It's a tough realization for us, but a necessary one. Because once we start to unpack this Pandora's box, then we can sort out whose is whose and start to focus on ourselves, and THAT is the best thing and the first step for us.

Hugs for you today. We care here.


Thank you both for replying, I was beginning to think starting this kind of thread might not of been such a great idea since it was touching the core of the problem. Midwestmom, you are so great to take in those beautiful children. I am so sorry you went through all that you did. You are a strong woman, I can tell. I find that although Jesus is the best on healing the heart, professionals like counselors, social workers etc. help greatly. On that note I will add that I did have Both my children and myself in counseling when it was all disclosed. My son denies any sexual abuse but the emotional was unbearable for him being so little what could he do? Especially when kids are taught to listen to adults. There really should be more awareness on this epidemic. For a short time after I tried to get active but most found that people didn't want to hear about it. I actually asked the supervisor of a local health clinic that was free to the public..if I could put up a poster with a phone number for victims to call. I was shut down ...although there are all these posters for women in abuse ( which I think is great ) but what about the children who 80 -90% happens in their family if not in there own home? I should've just posted the poster up when she wasn't looking. Anyway although I don't think the group counseling did me any good, the one on ones did. My son and daughter received the one on ones too which helped them a lot.
Childofmine, thank you for telling me know there really is no excuse for my sons addiction. He is an adult after all a even the law says he should know better. I guess for some addicts Jail is unfortunately the only answer when all else fails for our hard headed kids. Help is out here , just for some they REALLY have to search for it but it's there. They make their own choices and are in FULL control of what they choose to do. I'm not talking about children but when kids turn 18 they should be held accountable I guess. As you can see I'm trying REALLY hard to drill this into my brain because I do feel I'm going crazy trying to figure out where I went wrong with him. He is 20 years old and is choosing his lifestyle. I need to keep telling myself this. Thank you for telling me like it is and not beating around the bush. I think you are an angel of truth :angel: ...You both sharing your own life really helps, and I feel is the beginning of this horrid load I desperately need to get off of me. My husband may be super strict but it seems to be the topic of our arguments which can get real ugly. I mean real ugly :devilish: only entertaining demons is how I see it...how I see this whole mess...but you guys are great. Please keep mentoring...there are more views in these forums than posts. You are touching lives.:semi-twins:
My son is an only child and my husband is a great dad and has loads of patience. He loved doing stuff with our son. He considered our son his best friend. Well, my son STILL turned to drugs and alcohol. A few months ago, at a point where he was doing better, he talked a lot to me and told me he did all kinds of drugs. I had already suspected this. My husband also didn't want to be too strict because of a few families, he saw that it caused the kids to backslide. Well, a young man, friend of ours, who did drugs in the past, and was delivered by the Lord, told us, being real liberal or being too strict, doesn't really make a difference for some kids - they will do them anyway. So, don't be too hard on yourself.