ZOMBIE THREAD ALERT: This thread hasn't been posted on for a while.
DP having a tough time with son and toxic(5 Posts)
DP's teenage son (who lives with his mum, over an hour away) has become increasingly distant, and is now refusing to see or talk to DP.
DP has always been a good dad and they are very close. He and his ex split almost a decade ago - they were completely different and didn't see eye to eye, different lifestyles, and so have found it hard to cooperate over their son, though DP never criticises his mother in front of him, all of them know that the parents lead very different lifestyles/have different moral codes and expectations - everything really! He always supports his son financially and sees him as often as possible. He tried to call and email but gets no reply. He finds it hard to communicate with his ex and they are not really able to make plans/solve problems together except in the most cursory way. Not because of emotional pain etc. but because they are on completely different wavelengths.
Anyway, DP has a very toxic brother -- very bitter, foul-mouthed and aggressive, having messed up his life when he was younger. It seems this brother has recently been in touch with DSS via his mother, who seems to have independently kept in touch with (or rather rekindled contact with) this odd brother who DP does not speak to. Now it seems that DP's son is being given nasty messages by this brother about DP - just casual ones (not deliberate letters or anything) but rather just little slurs and insults, kind of endorsed by DSS's mother (but again in a casual, not planned, way). This seems to be affecting DSS who is distancing himself from his father, and, as I said has now refused contact for some months but without giving a reason and only ever casual reasons ('busy that day' etc).
What can my DP do? He has asked his ex to protect his son from this man but she doesn't, or only does halfheartedly. The ex and brother have obviously constructed their own mythology about DP that they keep on saying and engaging in casually, around DSS. He has also asked his brother to keep away but been insulted and ignored, and it used against him to DSS.
Does anyone have any ideas? It's a sad situation.
P.s. We know this is happening as we saw it on DSS's Facebook when he was here, and because he told us a bit in the past, the GPs have said, and because of several minor incidents too long to go into here.
I think it's one of those instances where you will just have to leave DSS to find out for himself. The likelihood is that no matter how diplomatically you approach the subject, you are more likely to push DSS further away from yourselves and closer to the toxic uncle.
It's a very sad situation but he is at an age where he is better off finding out or himself.
I'm sorry I I haven't been much use, didn't just want to read an run
Thank you prawny, that is helpful. You're right, he's nearly old enough. It's as if when a family breaks up chinks appear that can be exploited. Oh well - hopefully he will work it all out.
Could be that DSS is in a position that means he can't follow his own wishes without being seen to defy all that his DM and DU are telling him. Which would mean he was calling them liars, in a way.
As he lives with her it is easier just to go along with what they say, I would in his position, can you imagine the treatment he could receive if he decided to be defiant. Hopefully he will come back to DP when he leaves home.
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