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Had some bad news today

(77 Posts)
LiamsMum Tue 24-Sep-02 11:15:01

Hi everyone
Hope you don't mind but it would really help me to talk about this at the moment. My dh was married once before, he has a 19 (almost 20) year old son and a 16 year old son who have always lived with their mother. DH and I have been together a long time now (married 10 years) and we have a two year old son. To cut a long story short, we have had regular access visits with the boys over the years, they used to spend every second or third weekend with us and also a few weeks a year during school holidays. Even though we've all gotten along well, I have always been secretly relieved that they haven't lived with us, mainly because of the added stress (dh travels with work and is always busy), and because my BIL and SIL are in a step-family situation and have had some terrible problems with it. We also had a situation a couple of years ago when the eldest son stayed with us for a while and it became a very stressful and difficult time.
Anyway... the terrible news is that their mother has just passed away. She was only 42, she went on a cruise with her sister and after a night out drinking, was apparently found dead the next morning. It is so tragic, my stomach has been tied up in knots all day. I feel so sorry for the boys and I feel very sad about her because I liked her, but at the pit of my stomach is this worry and uncertainty about what the implications are going to be for my own family now. I feel incredibly selfish thinking this way, but dh and his ex have had on-going problems with his eldest son and I feel that the two of them together would be more than I could handle. It may not come to that, I don't even know what is going to happen next, but I feel so wound up and sick to the stomach about what's happening. Would just appreciate chatting about this.. thanks.

Bozza Tue 24-Sep-02 11:33:58

Liamsmum - that sounds like an awful situation with all sorts of potential complications. I really feel for you. I think that you should try as far as possible to get through the next few days without going into all the what ifs and various scenarios. I know its difficult to stop your mind racing.

Were the two boys still living with their mother? Is it close to where you live?

IDismyname Tue 24-Sep-02 11:36:55

How terrible for you. Think Bozza is right. Take one step at a time, and try not to focus on the distant future.
Big Cyberhug

whellid Tue 24-Sep-02 11:40:10

Liamsmum, awful news. Are the two boys with you now? I agree with Bozza and fms, just try to get through the next few days and try not to think about any big decisions that will have to be made.

LiamsMum Tue 24-Sep-02 11:41:15

Bozza yes there were both living with her, it's not that close to us - about 45 mins drive. The eldest son hasn't worked much at all since leaving school, and I know he's been into drugs and other stuff. His mother told me earlier this year that she didn't know what to do about him because of his behaviour.

I know I shouldn't be jumping the gun, but I'm the type that goes through everything in my mind and I think of all the worst possible scenarios. I just have such a sinking feeling about this at the moment and I can't seem to shake it.

Anyway they have a grandmother and an aunt that lives nearby, they also have a stepfather and a half-sister who is 12. So there are a few different things that could happen, but I guess I'm thinking the worst.

whellid Tue 24-Sep-02 11:44:49

Are they close to their step-father and sister? If they are is it likely that they would want to stay with them, rather than moving away from all their friends?

LiamsMum Tue 24-Sep-02 11:56:08

The step-father had been separated from their mother for a while now, and has been living somewhere else, which is why I'm not sure what the situation will be. They have been living with their mother and sister for the last couple of years... anyway I believe that they are going to be spending the night here tonight. I suppose what's niggling at me is that dh may have very different views about this than me. Oh what a mess..

pinkie Tue 24-Sep-02 12:32:53

My mother died when I was teenager. I did go and live with my stepmother and father, but had this strong sense that she did not want me there. I didn't stay with them long.

I'm sure I was difficult, but to this day I can't help feeling that if she hadn't worried so much about herself , and her set up, and put some of that energy into supporting me and my sister (and, boy, did we need someone) we all might have found it easier.

Of course, I'm going say this, you've got to be as BIG as you can be about this. Two kids have lost a mother, and for a year or two, you've got to 'invite' them into your life. They might not need you, but at least they'll know that when things were at their blackest for them, you were at your strongest. They'll remember that for the rest of their lives.

Good Luck. You will cope.

Azzie Tue 24-Sep-02 12:51:07

How hard for all of you, LiamsMum. Of course you're going to feel strange about all this, any big change in life does that. You're only human, after all. It's not always easy being grown up and Doing the Right Thing.

However, Pinkie is right - at this moment those 2 boys need your dh and you to be loving and strong for them. Although they are 16 and 19 they are still only children really, and this must be one of the worst things that could happen to them. (Although it wasn't as bad as this, my dh's parents split up when he was 20 and his brother 17, and it has had a lasting effect on both of them.)

I know it is hard because they are your dh's children and not yours, so you don't feel quite the same about them as he does, but he's their dad and right now they need him - and he needs you to support him. Just think about what you would want him to do for Liam if you died 15 years from now - that is what he has to do for these boys.

sobernow Tue 24-Sep-02 13:03:48

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

SueDonim Tue 24-Sep-02 13:56:11

What a tragic event, Liamsmum, and I can imagine that you feel horribly shaken up by this. Yet some good may come of it as you and your DH have an opportunity to make a massive positive impression on two young people's lives at a time when they are hurting as badly as is possible to hurt. They will need their father desperately and if you can welcome them with a smiling face, even if on the inside you are trembling, then that could make all the difference to their lives.

Perhaps try and view their possible presence as a chance to get to know them better and for your DS to reap the benefit of older siblings. And don't forget, at the ages of 20 and 16 they are unlikely to be living with you for very long as most youngsters want to flex their wings and be independent as soon as they can.

Although I don't know of any names, I am sure there must be some charities for step-parents. Maybe contacting them would help, even this early on when people are dealing with their grief. Good luck, think positive - you can do it.

prufrock Tue 24-Sep-02 14:13:16

Whilst I agree with the other postings that you do need to welcome these poor boys into your life, don't feel guilty about not feeling entirely happy about it. Your reaction is perfectly normal and understandable. It's natural to be selfish and think of yourself and your "own" family before them, but then you have to move on and do the "right" thing. but that doesn't mean you have to like it.

One other point - no matter WHAT happens, never tell the boys that they are a burden to you, or blame them in any way for the situation. Having been told by my stepmother for years that it was my fault that her and my Dad had problems and that she had given up so much for me, I started to believe it and had some real emotional problems. They will already realise that the situation is difficult and that in an ideal world you would not be looking after them, don't rub it in.

manna Tue 24-Sep-02 14:24:26

The eldest should have left home by now, surely? Also - could you handle the youngest on his own? I think short term you should probably take them both unless they'd prefer to go with other family members. They need their dad now. Good luck!

Clarinet60 Tue 24-Sep-02 15:08:40

I feel for you Liamsmum, it must be a very daunting time. I would feel apprehensive in your shoes. I can only echo what the others have said: this is the worst thing that could have happened to the boys, and they are going to need you. You'll have to make them feel wanted and it's going to be difficult for you. Is there anyone who can give you extra special support at this time, to enable you to support them?
Poor you.

Scuba Tue 24-Sep-02 15:13:11

Liamsmum how worrying it must be for you, its terribly difficult dealing with situations that are sometime thrust upon you. I agree with some of the people here its a terrible thing to lose someone so close to you and the two boys probably need as much support as possible at this time. Can you explore all possiblilities that are available outside your immediate family, although its something you might have to consider. Whatever the outcome I hope you manage and do your best to show support to the boys.

bells2 Tue 24-Sep-02 16:32:52

Liamsmum, I just wanted to echo what a lot of the others have said here. However hard it is, just think that if it was your own son left in this position, how much you would hope that someone would be kind enough to open their hearts and home to him. Good luck - you are clearly not in for an easy time.

robinw Tue 24-Sep-02 18:58:58

message withdrawn

Lindy Tue 24-Sep-02 19:45:07

Agree with the other comments, although understand how you feel .... those boys need their Dad at this time & this is just one of those things that happens in today's world - I am eternally grateful to my stepfather who treated me brilliantly, never differentiated between me & my two (half) brothers. It can't have been at all easy for him to take on another man's daughter (different circumstances) but he did - & does - a wonderful job.

Wishing you loads of luck

WideWebWitch Tue 24-Sep-02 20:30:04

Liamsmum, how awful, I'm sorry. I agree with all who have said that these boys must be devastated and will need their dad now more than ever before. I also agree that you should take it one day at a time.

I am a stepdaughter and my stepfather has recently admitted that he's pretty much resented me and my sisters for a long time (been with my mum since I was about 7). It hurts since I didn't really know this before now and I had thought that he loved my mum and did therefore genuinely take us on out of this love. It now appears not and it's hurtful. Please try to find it in yourself to welcome them and help them through this awful time.

It's completely understandable though that you feel the apprehension you do, I'm not castigating you for it. Good luck.

Marina Tue 24-Sep-02 20:36:40

Oh Liamsmum, what a terrible shock for you all. I agree with what others have said here: I think you are right to be very concerned about what the future holds for you all, and would also be right at the same time to be there for the boys when their need is greatest. I can imagine how difficult that could be. Might this sad loss help the older boy to reassess his relationship with his dad?
I hope that you soon get some private time with your dh to find out what his thoughts and assumptions are about the boys' plans. And the boys, too, might have a firm opinion about where they want to be.
Good luck.

Elf Tue 24-Sep-02 21:18:59

Liamsmum I would like to wish you well too. My mother died when I was a teenager too and so I guess like some others I am particularly concerned about the boys. Yes you will have to be strong but I wonder if at some point you could consider some sort of family counselling. I'm sure it doesn't have to be as 'right on' as it sounds and from what you say about the elder boy, this looks like a crucial time for him and so you all. It could go awfully wrong but with thought and guidance it could go awfully well I am sure.

I do wish you a lot of luck and strength. I agree with the person who suggested you look around for people who can support YOU at this time too.

jodee Tue 24-Sep-02 21:53:39

Dear Liamsmum, you have been very honest about how you are feeling, I'm sure if I was in your shoes I would feel the same - my knee-jerk reaction would be that my lovely family unit will be turned upside down if these boys come to stay. And coming right on the back of a difficult time for you with your in-laws staying for 5 weeks, you probably felt like you were just getting back to normal, then this happens. But like the others here have said, they need your and your DH's support at this very sad time.

I know you have a strong faith in God and I know that He will support you and you DH through this - sometimes we can't understand why He allows these situations to happen in our lives and we can't at the beginning see a positive outcome, but thankfully He can see the bigger picture. Maybe you and DH might be the influence that the older son needs to get him free of the drugs, etc.
If it's OK, I will keep you, and your (and DH's) family in my prayers.

FrancesJ Tue 24-Sep-02 22:07:50

I've nothing I can think of to add to what everyone else has said, but I do want to send lots of luck and best wishes. You sound like such a nice person, and I'm so sure that whatever happens, you'll deal with it totally marvellously, and properly, and well, whatever you might be feeling inside. And of course you're worried about the implications on your own family unit - you wouldn't be human (or sensible) if you weren't. You have to look at the potential problems in order to find happy solutions, and all that, and I'm sure whatever short-term problems there might be, you'll be able to sort them out long-term.

LiamsMum Tue 24-Sep-02 22:15:34

Thank you Jodee, I would appreciate that. Like I said before, it is not my wish to be 'selfish' about this but I just KNOW the stress involved and it's truly getting me down. I couldn't sleep much last night thinking about it all. DH is one of those men who is very wrapped up in his job and I just know that inadvertently, a lot of the responsibility of this would get left up to me. Please don't think this is awful but dh and I already had problems when my own son came along (he didn't want another child and it affected our marriage profoundly for a while) and recently the financial pressures have also been getting a bit worse. It feels to me as if everything just might crumble if they ended up being living here as well. I totally understand their need for support but I can't help what's going on inside my own head & I'm having a lot of trouble adjusting right now.

LiamsMum Tue 24-Sep-02 22:16:36

Thank you also Frances and everyone else, I appreciate your thoughts.

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