I really hope this doesn't turn in to a flaming. Please believe me, I have worked hard at this, not only to look after him but to be a great mother. We have had DN living with us since he was 12 (the same year I had a baby). Over the past 3 years we have come a very long way. He was refusing school and now he is top set everything. DH (his uncle) does not get very involved because he is working very hard and I have officially given up on that score. THe problem is he just wants me around all the time, he follows me around the kitchen, literally between the sink and the hob and I can tell he is looking for topics of conversation which breaks my heart. In the evening after I've put DS to bed, I eat with him (DH still working at this time) and then I just want to go upstairs and watch something on my laptop but I know he's downstairs wanting company. If I go downstairs and as soon as he hears footsteps on the stairs he comes out of his room. He has no mother or father. He is obsessively attached to this granny (my MIL, seriously, don't ask how that situation works). Previously he painted a very bleak picture of our family life to her in their nightly telephone calls, and to be fair to him we were fairly tough on him at first, we had to be, he was behaving very badly at school, but I worked so hard to connect with him, cooking him lovely food, helping him with his schoolwork, trying to show him he could trust me (hideously undermined by MIL at every step). Now I feel like he needs me to fill the emotional gap. There is no therapy (I have had a couple of sessions but they all just say, you're doing great, it was never going to be easy). I know he's downstairs now but I need some time on my own, DS is 3 and all over me all day plus I work from home. I feel guilty because I know that if he were my 'son' I would probably love to be curled up on the sofa watching a film but the interaction I have with him is difficult sometimes.
Wow OP you really are amazing. Totally utterly amazing. I take my hat off to you for all you have done for DN.
I have teens who like quite a lot of attention so I am thinking about the practicalities of what we do in our house so everyone gets some downtime and some company.
It is early evening here now and we have all chatted over dinner but now they are doing their own things in different rooms in the house so I have peace. If they were with me we might watch tv or chat or might all be plugged into our own laptops. If you have some headphones people can listen to different things yet be together.
Would DN like to work/listen to tv or music centrally in the house in the evening while you are pottering? Would you be comfortable lying on the sofa on MN while he is on a laptop in the same room?
I must admit I rarely go up to my room in the evening. If I am tired I lie on the sofa on my laptop- if I don't want to talk I'll put headphones on or I'll just ask everyone to leave me in peace for a bit. I perk up after a while and a glass of wine.
For two or three evenings a week friends will come back to our house to do homework/play on the wii after school, which entertains the troops for a while. Could DN invite friends back at all mid week or on the weekend?