I think I've lost my son

(157 Posts)
MrsGradyOldLady Mon 11-Apr-16 09:15:08

My 15 year old son moved to his Dad's a week ago. I'm absolutely heartbroken as (obviously ) I love him so much.

What started it all was that we were on holiday when his twin sister needed to find a toilet quickly as her tampon was leaking. I rushed on ahead with her to find one leaving the rest of the group behind - son, son's friend, daughters friend, my younger daughter, husband and another mother. My son came running up to me and shouted at me "Don't you think you show slow down since X can't walk very well?". I admit that I did snap back and said no - I needed to find a toilet for my daughter and I'm sure they could all cope without me for 5 minutes.

What followed was horrendous. We were all 8 of us sat at a picnic table with my son calling me a "fucking bitch" and a "fucking cunt" saying he hated me and was going to live with his Dad. I took him to one side, apologised for snapping and explained the urgency for the toilet. He continued with his angry and abusive language for the rest of the evening.

Since he got back he's started coming out with all sorts. I don't treat him equally to his sisters. I never listen to him. I bought his sister an I phone 6 but he got nothing (his Dad is responsible for his phone I'm responsible for his sisters and since he's lost at least 4 phones I can see his reluctance to get him a contract phone). He said (to his step mother) that whenever he asks to talk to me I say that I'm too tired. This has never happened - not once.

His father, rather than back next up has decided to "stay neutral".

My son has said he will only come home if I apologise for telling him off on holiday and agree to treat him equally to the girls and change my ways. How can I do this? He wants me to admit that he's my least favourite child which is simply not true. His stepmother told me I should be "the bigger person" and just apologise. I've already apologised for snapping but if I apologise for telling him off for swearing at me and not treating him equally it's just going to validate it in his own mind isn't it?

Son has agreed to go to one counselling session but has said if I try and manipulate the situation by lying then he'll walk straight out. He honestly believes his version of events despite the fact there were 7 other witnesses who all back my version of events.

I honestly think he's dug himself into a massive hole and is now trying to justify it by coming up with ridiculous claims over I phones and unfavourable treatment.

I have been struggling massively with my mental health since December. I admit that I've been spending too much time on my phone - this is something the others have also pulled me up on so I've agreed to stop this. I got to the point where I was having suicidal thoughts and have now been put on citalapram but it's not working yet and I just cry all the time over the slightest thing.

I can honestly hand on heart say I treat them equally. When I upgraded my daughters phone contract it cost an extra tenner a month so I increased his spending money by the same. I admit I've been a but "absent" from everyone due to the mental health issues and having been doing enough fun stuff with them such as days out etc so he does have a point there but none of this is directed solely at him. They've all 3 been affected.

His sister thinks he just wants to stay with his Dad because he can do what he wants there - stay in bed until 3pm, them play on his x box all day. No chores. No rules. I do wonder if he's depressed also as obviously it runs in the family.

I just don't know what to do.

Spandexpants007 Mon 11-Apr-16 09:35:56

Write him a letter telling him how much you love him and that you know you don't show it enough because of your depression. In detail talk about all the things you love about him (nothing negative at all). Ask what you can both do to improve the relationship. You have increased his money to match his sisters contact increase (He needs to speak to his Dad about phones) but you don't mean financially. What can you do together? A shared interest to develop your bond and his happiness. You know you need to spend less time on your phone. He obviously feels like the least favourite, even if you do love them equally. He feels insecure and the black sheep. Take his outcry as a call for attention. You can say you're sorry for getting cross/bring snippy with him and you were just panicking about DD potentially embarrassing situation. You love and respect all the kids equally. And it's important that you both talk to each other in a respectful manner.

'

Spandexpants007 Mon 11-Apr-16 09:36:38

I don't know if depression is genetic.

OTheHugeManatee Mon 11-Apr-16 09:40:38

If you grovel the way he is demanding you grovel you are setting yourself up for a pretty abusive dynamic with your son.

How is your relationship with his dad? I think the two of you need a united front here. And the stepmother can keep her beak out hmm

Spandexpants007 Mon 11-Apr-16 09:44:21

You don't need to grovel. Op can just be honest

It's good the dads neutral.

OTheHugeManatee Mon 11-Apr-16 09:48:12

A teenage boy calls his depressed mother a 'fucking cunt' and it's good that the dad is neutral? confused

Spandexpants007 Mon 11-Apr-16 09:58:22

Obviously that is unacceptable and his dad should say that. But it would be wrong to take sides as the issues are much deeper then what happened in the park

MrsGradyOldLady Mon 11-Apr-16 09:58:55

We both like the same type of music so sometimes we'll sit in the kitchen together and I'll give him my credit card and recommend downloads so he likes a lot of the older rock bands - foo fighters, nirvana, stone roses etc.

I managed to get tickets for stone roses and also offered to get tickets for the kaiser chiefs but he doesn't want to go.

We're also both interested in conspiracy theories and politics and world events so we talk about that too - just the two of us as no one else in the family finds it interesting.

I have already said those things in text messages. I haven't said what specifically I love about him though or that we both need to speak respectfully or what we can BOTH do to improve the situation so I will say that in my next message.

I am just so STUNNED that he feels this way. He is the child that is most like me and the one I actually have the most in common with me so find it easier to talk to.

It's actually bipolar I have which I think does tend to run in families. The signs he's showing is that he's isolating himself and having paranoid thoughts. And he's being very aggressive towards me and his sister. Not just his language he's punched his sister before and whilst I tell them both off for violence I do come down harder on him as he's almost a fully grown man.

Apparently he doesn't display any of this behaviour at his father's though which I just don't understand? It's not constant here - maybe once a week/2 weeks but I can't understand how it's NEVER happened at his father's. Although I suppose if he's spending all his time in his room I guess there won't be the same opportunity.

Spandexpants007 Mon 11-Apr-16 10:00:13

It is possible to talk about what's appropriate/acceptable/normal/respectable/fair and not 'take sides'

Mellifera Mon 11-Apr-16 10:01:22

I agree, your ex should not be neutral if your son verbally abuses you, that's just not on.

Not in a million years would I apologize for telling him off for that kind of language. He should be treating you with respect and his father should make that clear, too.

Otherwise this will just get worse.

Explain to him how you treat them all equally and leave it at that.
Teens are tough and they need clear boundaries and your son has crossed a line there which I would not forgive without an apology from him.

MrsGradyOldLady Mon 11-Apr-16 10:04:28

My relationship was good with his father for the last 10 years but we had the mother of all rows on Saturday. I think it's fair to say the relationship has irretrievably broken down.

The way things were last Sunday when I dropped him at his dad's were "ok". Since then each day I've spoken to him he's become more and more hostile. So I do think whatever they're talking about is certainly not to my benefit.

I think we should be showing a united front despite being separated bit he just seems to want to treat his son as his mate. Which I told him.

Spandexpants007 Mon 11-Apr-16 10:06:07

It sounds like he's not challenged at his fathers, so it's an easy option.

Is it worth talking to the GP about the bipolar. If your son also has it, it would be in his interest to learn how to look after himself mentally.

If you've been particularly low recently, he might be picking up on your feelings as well as his own.

AnyFucker Mon 11-Apr-16 10:08:28

I'd let him go, tbh. I wouldn't have anyone in my house that spoke to me like that

I understand why this might be a controversial viewpoint, however.

But, he has a safe place to and like pps have said if you grovel now that would be a bad idea

Let him go. He will come back to you when he has gained some hindsight and maturity

Keeptrudging Mon 11-Apr-16 10:11:13

Perhaps, difficult as it is, you should let him carry on staying at his Dad's until he does start displaying some of the behaviour his dad doesn't see. It gives you and his sisters a bit of a break from some of his behaviour and gives him time to see that the grass is not always greener. It's not on that he's hitting his sister, he's 15 not 3.

You can't let him hold you to ransom/manipulate you like this. He's being quite abusive. You don't owe him an apology. Sounds like you all might benefit from time apart. He's in a safe place with his other parent. Let him do some of the hard work of parenting a teenager full-time. The fact his step - mum is suggesting you could apologise may mean they're not so relaxed about the idea of him staying there permanently, so I wouldn't worry that he's not coming back to you. 15 can be a really unpleasant age. flowers

AnyFucker Mon 11-Apr-16 10:11:21

To go

Spandexpants007 Mon 11-Apr-16 10:11:26

Is it worth texting/speaking to your ex to say that you're worried that DS seems more hostile/down each day you speak to him.

Spandexpants007 Mon 11-Apr-16 10:12:40

You could always tell him what you love about him and that your door is always open.

ThinkBeforePosting Mon 11-Apr-16 10:19:36

he sounds like he is being awfully unreasonable. sad I think that a letter might work better than texts - it has more gravitas somehow. I also think you need to try and talk with your ex.

One of my DBs pulled a similar stunt with my DM accusing her of all sorts. His version of his childhood seemed so far removed from mine. However, from reading the Stately Homes threads I think I've a bit more understanding on how that happens. My Mum dealt with it by apologizing for everything and crying a lot - it's settled down now.

I think it might be ok if you DS stays with your dad as long as it practical.

Teens can be really ridiculous so maybe he will grow out of it. The violence is not ok and I think that has to be dealt with more severely.

I wonder if your house will feel more relaxed without him there ? Maybe that would be better for yiur MH.

It's a horrible horrible situation<<hugs>>

MrsGradyOldLady Mon 11-Apr-16 11:05:50

anyfucker that's exactly what my Mum said. She said I need to focus on my mental health and the girls as this is just making me more and more depressed.

I don't think his Dad does want him there full time, no. He has a very full on job and works long hours. His step mother works from home but can't drive so they will struggle with his appointments - he needs a health check this week as we've just changed doctors, orthodontist next week and also the counselling session whenever that is - probably this week or next. They'll also find that they need to get him his cooking ingredients which he generally tells you about 9pm on Tuesday night so they'll need to stay sober for that. And they'll also need to be prepared for last minute dashes to the school uniform shop when he's lost yet another tie/pe kit/ whatever.

The house is more relaxed but I'd still rather he was here as I do love him very much. I know he's a hormonal teenager but I'm just not being supported in this so I feel that I can't discipline him as he just goes storming off to his Dads.

I'm just worried that he will never come home. He has a much easier life at his Dads as he doesn't have to do any chores at all, whereas here he has to clean and tidy his room, change his sheets and put his (washed and ironed by me) clothes away. It's not exactly a huge list but it's more than he does at his Dads. And there's no way I'd let him sleep until 3pm at the weekend as then he's just a nightmare to get up at 7am for school.

I have already told his Dad that he's more hostile every time I speak to him. That's part of what the row was about.

And the text I sent to my son was that I love him very, very much but he's asking the impossible. How can I admit something that simply isn't true? It would forever validate in his mind that he's my least favourite child. I said that I want him to come home and whenever he's ready I will welcome him back with open arms.

Keeptrudging Mon 11-Apr-16 11:45:47

Perhaps his Dad will find he needs to start putting some rules in place. That's no bad thing if son realises that he is possibly a touch unreasonable and you're not the only one who has certain expectations. I'm so glad my DS is past this stage and we've got a great relationship now, it does pass, honest!

MrsGradyOldLady Mon 11-Apr-16 13:33:51

Yes and my son certainly isn't going to enjoy catching the bus to school. We only live a 10 minute walk away...

I'm just so hurt by all of them. I thought I was a good mum and that I had a good relationship with all my children. Obviously not.

Wordsmith Mon 11-Apr-16 15:04:21

You should apologise for what, exactly?

Let his stay at his Dad's for a while. I'm sure the 3pm lie ins and all-day XBox sessions will end when his dad's had enough of it.

He is playing you and his dad off against each other. It is good that his had is being supportive but he MUST back you up when your son calls you those horrible names.

All you can do is be there and tell him that you love him but there are certain behaviours that are not on, and until he learns that, he is better off staying at his dad's.

If you let him carry on like this he will turn into a really nasty, misogynistic piece of work.

Wordsmith Mon 11-Apr-16 15:05:30

And you ARE a good mum. He's just being a little shit, which is what teenage boys sometimes are - even when you love them to bits and they are fabulous most of the time.

amarmai Mon 11-Apr-16 15:09:30

pros and cons , op. I found it a pro that my kids had the choice in their later teens to live with their father . You need to have standards in your home and if he wants to come back he has to agree to your standards. You gave him a good answer IMO. He punches your dd? This can not be allowed. And do not blame yourself. You did nothing wrong and the 7 other people there agreed. He used whoever walks slowly to guilt you into apologising -for nothing. Where did he learn this EA? His father refuses to back you up. Is this where he has learned the bullying tactics? If so i doubt he'll last long at his father's. If things reach breaking point at his father's and he wants to come back and try to reassert dominance over you and his sisters , you may be trapped , as it may not be an open door at his father's after that. Then you and your dds will suffer. Perhaps insist on counselling before you consider his return.

TealLove Mon 11-Apr-16 15:10:15

I'm sorry but punching his sister and calling you a cunt?!
No apologies!!!!

Let him go and focus on your girls and your health. Seriously teen or not he is manipulating you!

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