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To be in despair at the way things are with my son.

(20 Posts)
Sandra14636 Fri 24-Feb-17 21:01:49

This is my first ever post so sorry if I make any etiquette mistakes when posting.

My family was formed when I married my current husband 9 years ago. When we married he took on my son and I took on his 3 kids (2 boys one girl). All are between the ages of 15 and 17. My husband first partner passed away when his kids were very young and my ex husband was not in my sons life from the very beginning.

For many years are family was successful in fact more successful then families that were not blended.

However my son has always issues relating to his father (my ex). I was with my sons father and was the other women (I was young please don't flame me). However my ex choose to end the relationship with me. He has never been in my sons life and has seen him 3 times. We live in a small town and when dss was young I used to tell him he didn't have a dad cause he got an extra good mum. However I told him who his dad when he was old enough to know that he clearly had a dad.

So I showed him pictures and gave him a name. Turns out my son happens to know who his dads children are through football although not close. It's living in a small community that makes such a situation harder. One time we bumped into my sons dad in a supermarket, I didn't speak just walked off but my son was with me and didn't have a clue. But he now knows what his dad looks like not only cause he has seen him with his children but he looks exactly like him.

My son saw him once and confronted him (without my knowledge) and he denied all existence but his name is on my sons birth certificate and I have pictures of him.

However I fear that this has damaged my son. To know that your dad denies all existence of you and has his own family and is quite satisfied not knowing you must be quite traumatic for a adolescent. He has had anger issues and this has gone on since I told him the full story about his dad. He has been to a therapist over the past year and in the past but he doesn't talk. The sixth form have also made him see the school counsellor but he refuses to speak to them about it. Instead he will storm out or refuse to go.

In regards to school he hasn't had any really serious issues but has been excluded for fighting and been excluded because of this.

However he has gone downhill at school and home he has been skipping school and at home has gotten increasingly violent towards dh.

He will punch and hit dh and attack him or his brothers for the slightest thing. If dh tells him to stop being lazy and pick something up. He has stolen from dh and tried to phone police on him and pretend that he had punched him. My dh has been fantastic and is a strong person who could handle any difficulties well but he is close to giving up he loves him and realises this clearly isn't about him.

We have explained to the other children the reasons behind his erratic behaviour and how he is very sensitive.

What are we to do I blame myself for this. I shouldn't have told him a lie at a young age. What I can I do.

Dh has suggested to put him in a summer like camp for troubled teens. But I'm less convinced that this is the right option. Because he's on the road to a dysfunctional adulthood and possibly prison.

Sandra14636 Fri 24-Feb-17 21:13:26


Nanny0gg Fri 24-Feb-17 21:17:14

He needs counselling not a boot camp.

Can you find one in your area that deals specifically with teenagers?

ImperialBlether Fri 24-Feb-17 21:19:35

That's a really difficult situation, isn't it? I feel really sorry for him, especially as he can see his birth dad's children happy with their dad and his step dad's children happy with theirs. Of course they lost their mum, but she didn't disown him.

I think he needs a relationship with his birth dad in order to make him healthy again but I suppose that is impossible if his wife didn't know about the affair.

Calvinlookingforhobbs Fri 24-Feb-17 21:25:39

Your poor son. He must feel so alone and so rejected. He is at a difficult age and is clearly struggling with these big emotions. Boys need role models and they need help. Is there a man in his life with whom he has a good relationship? I think toor son needs someone to help him start to process what is most likely, very traumatic for him. He needs counselling but he also needs someone's hand to hold.

Sandra14636 Fri 24-Feb-17 21:30:30

We have arranged counselling but he doesn't talk to the counsellors. It's so sad he can be the sweetest boy sometimes and I hate to watch him like this.

alreadytaken Fri 24-Feb-17 22:09:17

he's feeling rejected and he needs to feel that his dad - your current partner who has brought him up for 9 years - cares for him as much as he does for his biological children. Counselling would help but so would your partner spending time with him and you telling him that he does have a dad, although its not his biological father.

Being a father is not a matter of donating sperm and your son needs to be told that often. He also needs to be told that fathers discipline their children and being told to pick something up is a sign of love and care, care that he doesnt become a spoiled, entitled brat.

Summer camp probably not a good idea unless his brothers go too but they should all be encouraged to get part time jobs and save for their future.

needmymouthsewnup Fri 24-Feb-17 22:30:05

Have you tried contacting your ex directly to explain and see whether he would be open to forming some kind of relationship with him? I feel this needs to come from you initially, not your son.

WhitePhantom Fri 24-Feb-17 22:49:07

"Anyone can be a father but it takes someone special to be a dad" It sounds like a really tough situation but if your dh can hang in there and your ds can manage to talk about it all hopefully it'll come right. So sorry you're all going through this 🙁

Prawnofthepatriarchy Fri 24-Feb-17 22:49:41

My DS has had major MH problems related to his DF though for different reasons (his died). You are right to worry. Boys who won't talk about their heartache are very hard to help. You may find things have to get pretty bad for your DS to even accept that he's got a problem.

What worked for my DS was - once he'd finally acknowledged he needed help - finding the right therapist. He had seen several people (counsellor, psychologist, psychiatrist) that he just didn't like or respect. Then we were offered a new therapist who turned out to be a tiny young woman (he's big). I assumed a man would work better but no. He saw her like a lamb for months (I had to pay) and she made a difference.

I guess my point is that you may have to try lots of angles, that it's the individual therapist can be the most important factor. And you're unlikely to get much help from the NHS.

I think what PP said about your DH putting a lot of extra input into his DSS is very, very good advice. The poor lad needs his fathering more than ever, even though he's doing his best to alienate him.

Having you read Raising Boys by Steve Biddulph? Brilliant book.

Sandra14636 Sat 25-Feb-17 11:39:04

I could get back in contact with my ex but would it really help this far along or would it make his behavioural issues worse?

In regards to dh he does try and bond and spend time and some times it works and they can be close and at other times my son can be awful to him and his children.

We do tell him about being father is more than donating sperm etc.

Prawnofthepatriarchy Sat 25-Feb-17 14:38:23

My DS wouldn't talk to anyone for a couple of years. It was dreadful. I dragged him to CAMHS but he wouldn't engage. It took a huge amount of distress and disruption before, finally, he acknowledged that he really had no choice. He had to seek help because things had become intolerable.

One thing you might try is asking if your local CAMHS has staff - a team - who will come to you. MH provision changes depending on where you are, so they may not do this. My area has such a service because they know that some of the most urgent cases can't - or won't - come to them.

I can't reassure that this is an easy problem to solve. It's taken us years and we're still not out of the woods. When a teenager won't talk it's very hard to help him.

Your poor DS has every reason for his anguish. I can't imagine how painful this rejection must be. Does his father have doubts about whose child he is? Because this flat out rejection suggests your Ex has never felt that your DS is anything to do with him. If this is true then contacting him would be my first action. A DNA test might change everything.

Above all you need to love him. You and your DH telling him how loveable and special he is. He may not reply but he will hear you.

TENSHI Sat 25-Feb-17 14:49:16

Tell your ex all this, may be in a letter or email (if you had it and it can't be that difficult to find if you all live in the same town.)

Tell your ex you are sorry that you told your son a lie, the impact it now has and if your ex is half decent he will want to make it better.

If he is not decent then he won't want to be involved and a young, female therapist is a great idea.

Sandra14636 Sat 25-Feb-17 16:08:18

Dh has taken him out for the day just them two which is nice.

I will write to his father as it may well help him. I'd doubt that he has doubts of him being the father as he put his name on the birth certificate.

Sandra14636 Sat 25-Feb-17 21:02:54

If my sons father was to enter his life how should we approach half siblings and his wife.

Prawnofthepatriarchy Sat 25-Feb-17 22:52:46

I'd imagine that how his dad's DW and other DC handled it would be down to your Ex. They're his family and he'll know how to tackle them.

I think it's definitely worth a try. If you get turned down you're no worse off. Just make very sure your DS doesn't know what you're doing.

Sandra14636 Sun 26-Feb-17 10:47:43

The only thing I feel is that since it has been many years how will the disappointment be fixed by his dad simply by them forming a relationship.

Rainbowqueeen Sun 26-Feb-17 10:55:42

I'd actually be wary of actively trying to re-introduce your ex into your sons life. He has made it pretty clear he is not interested and if he rejects your son again it could do more damage.

I'd try more of a its not you its him approach. That your ex was not ready to commit to being a dad when your son was born, that as time goes on its hard for some people to acknowledge their mistakes and try to correct them and that many people have gone through the same thing.

And yes I agree that finding the right counsellor and your DH spending lots of time with him could make a huge difference. flowers to you and your boy

Sandra14636 Sun 26-Feb-17 15:13:01

I'd actually be wary of actively trying to re-introduce your ex into your sons life. He has made it pretty clear he is not interested and if he rejects your son again it could do more damage.

This is how I feel and I also feel a half hearted relationship would make things worse.

MiddleClassProblem Sun 26-Feb-17 15:24:39

Sorry I don't have much advice. I see that DH and DS spend the odd day just the 2 of them and before that I was just going to suggest they spen a night away together whether it be camping or going to an event or something but clearly that sort of thing happens.

Poor boy. Are there any youth club type places with youth workers near you? Sometimes they are great at being an ear to even the most tight lipped of teenagers.

Or maybe look into martial arts classes or boxing so he can take out some aggression in a controlled environment?

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