terribly stressed about my 12 year old(13 Posts)
Just to try and give a bit of background, my son has had problems since starting high school. he was initially really distressed at the new school, just seemed unable to cope with the whole thing , learning and socially .
It got to the point where his behaviour and emotions were out of control. threatening to kill himself , getting violent with me , hating himself, sleeping on the floor as he said he didnt desere a bed one night etc etc. biggest and most difficult situation ive ever had to deal with , he was really really bad. i posted alot on here. He was so sad .
i moved him to another school and got help from Camhs.
he was no better and after camhs assessments they decided he had a lower than average IQ and his processing speed was lower than would be expected but other than that nothing.
all they could offer were 'strategies' in dealing with his behaviour (useless) and to speak to school .
since going into year 8 and me realising that camhs were making him worse , he has seemed much happier. still struggling work wise but has made a few friends in the music room (although yr 10's) and his behaviour has been ok at home.
until , i saw my friend today.
the one friend he has kept since primary but is now at a different school is a boy he used to help alot and get on with , he has cerebral palsy. and he goes for tea to his house every couple of weeks.
now, last night the friend was distraught after my son had left because he said that my son had told him he is gay and wanted him to be gay with him. he had then showed him porn on his phone and asked that they touch each other. The friend is really immature for 12 (probably due to his condition) and said he let him touch him just on the outside of his pants and allow my son to put his hand on him. for fear of losing the friendship.
I am absolutely shocked and mortified and so sad and confused.
I have had trouble before this in so much as my son has managed to get passed parental controls more than once and get porn on his phone and the computer. I have tried to talk to him about that and stopped his access.
I havent confronted him yet. I know that as soon as i do he will flip and start his old behaviours again . I know i have to do something but i also know he wont talk to me he will just deny it and go ballistic.
please help myself and dp have both been teary today about it all. it just seems never ending and although i feel something isnt right with my son i have no idea what it is and neither do camhs. To everyone else he seems fine .
thankyou for reading.
I think there are two separate issues here. One is the porn, and showing it to a child who clearly didn't want to see it (at least not yet). The other is whether your son is gay, which he may well be. It might well account for some of the difficulties he's had in settling at school, which can be a very hostile environment to gay children.
By all means bollock him for downloading porn and showing it to his friend, with whatever consequences you think should follow. Just don't make it about his sexuality. (I know you're shocked that he touched his friend, but they are the same age, if both immature; he hasn't targeted a much younger child.)
Sorry (tired!) I meant to say just how much sympathy I feel for the 'one damn thing after another' feeling that you get when your child never quite fits, and everything is an emotional battle.
thanks for your reply. i am so shocked , my son is the most unlikely seeming boy to be gay . He is so boyish . im sorry if that comes across wrong but everyone ive ever known turn out to be gay , i could see they were gay long before .
surely 12 is too young to know whether you are really gay or not ??
of course i love my son whichever and would only be sad for the stress it would make him feel.
Sorry both your son and you are having a hard time. 12 is not too young to know you are gay. After all most people know they are straight at 12 i.e. attracted to the opposite sex and don't think they are gay. You probably knew at 12 you were straight and liked boys? I am a lesbian and knew at 12 I was.
I think you need advice and support here. Flags or fflags? supports parents of gay children/adults. Parents I know that have spoken to them said they were great. Stonewall could also give you help and advice and tell you about other help for your son.
When you were describing your sons behaviour I thought there must be some underlying reason and this could be it.
Whatever you do, don't ignore this. I am really not trying to frighten you so sorry, but the rate of suicide is far higher among gay lesbian kids/teenagers than others.
And just to say as someone who knows a fair amount of gay and lesbian people - camp gay men tend to be out - usually have little choice. There will though be ordinary blokes you know or have met who are gay, but you don't know are gay. There are plenty of gay men and women who don't seem like they are gay - although some later adopt ways of behaving/looking to fit in.
I was very girly - refused to wear trousers until I was 12, etc. So just because he doesn't seem gay, doesn't mean he isn't
I think everything is very mixed up your ds is having a really hard time,maybe he is gay maybe he isnt and its very difficult for us as mums to cope with not being able to 'sort it out' over night.
I know from your post you are very thoughtful and love your ds and im sure how you approach it will be in his best interests,but youve had a shock too.
One of the most macho,good looking blokey lads in my sons circle of friends is gay-the girls adore him <and the mums>.
Please do not 'confront' him. You need to talk to him without being angry or annoyed.
I don't want to worry you - but is there any chance someone may have 'abused' him or made him do any 'touching' prior to all this behaviour starting ? I am asking because of the self loathing you describe ?
He sounds very very confused and he needs someone to talk to who will not overreact.
Perhaps you could talk to a professional who could advise you the best way to handle this ?
Don't be angry with him over the touching incident. You need to find out what was behind this.
I would never say that someone isn't being abused - but it isn't necessarily the case. The touching sounds normal for a confused boy of his age. If he had tried to get a 12 year old girl to touch him, you might think him a bit inept, but it would have seemed normal (understandably for him to be inept socially with this as he is only 12). I think it is normal behaviour for a confused unhappy boy that is gay or thinks he is. Just as porn - much though I loathe it and would put parental controls on - is normal now for 12 year old boys to look at.
Children being abused will often display sexual behaviour inappropriate with their age. This behaviour isn't imo inappropriate.
Some gay children/teenagers do feel self loathing - sometimes extreme.
I agree that it may be best not to confront him. You are understandably upset and maybe angry and he sounds so fragile emotionally. Which is why I think you need to get support to deal with your feelings and work out how to deal with your son.
As I said FFLAG is an organisation made up totally of parents with lesbian gay children. They will hopefully be able to understand how you feel as many of them will have felt the same. They can also give advice as parents. Stonewall can put you in touch with more specialist advice about your son and give advice about how you can support him.
Neither organisation will assume that your son is absolutely gay. You asked at 12 whether someone can know they are gay and I said yes - but some can still be confused. But he needs to know - as I am sure you will - that you will love him and support him whatever.
Sorry I didn't mean that last sentence to be patronising, which is how it reads now to me. I know you are all going through a very difficult time and it is clear from the actions you have taken before, that you and your DP are really trying to do your best for your son.
thanks for all the advice . dp has gone up to 'chat' in ds room . said he needed a 'man to man' chat. from what i can hear i dont think its going too well . i figured out that he hasnt been getting on the porn sites here at home recently , its at his friends house where their internet connection appears to be unprotected .
god this is all so hard
It sounds really hard situation. But although I hate porn and wouldn't want my DCs looking at it, I don't think this is the big issue here. If he thinks he is gay - and he may be - he probably feels very isolated and alone at the moment. He sounds like he desperately needs support from someone who will understand what he is going through and preferably have experience of supporting 12 year olds struggling with these feelings.
I personally don't think this is an issue you can tackle without some expert support and advice.
It may help him as well watching tv where teenage characters are struggling with similar issues. We all know when struggling with issues e,g, lack of sleep from crying babies, that even if they can't solve the issue, knowing others are going/have went through the same experiences and come out the other side, can be an enormous comfort.
I'm suggesting doing this in a really subtle way. For example, eastenders at the moment has a teenage boy who thinks he is gay and struggling with it - he has just told his dad recently who was very angry with him. There are lots of other stories as well, this is just one, so won't be in his face,but might be an easy way to support him a bit?
Just to say the character in eastenders had been a really "good" boy but has recently been very difficult - they are presenting it as due to him struggling with his feelings around being gay.
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