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I feel like a totally crap mother...please tell me you have bene through something like t his and come out the other side

(15 Posts)
lulabelle Wed 27-Aug-08 13:49:05

XH and I split up earlier this year, I finally plucked up the courage to leave an abusive marriage for the sake of my own sanity and that of my DS's age 6 and 2.

Things were going well to start but then I noticed a change in DS1's behaviour. Things have gone from bad to worse and I'm crying as I type this as I really don't know what to do.

It started off with him wanting to swear all of the time, he didn't swear but told me the words he wanted to say. Now he actually says the words all of the time. He calls me a bitch on a bad day, a good day its a 'female dog' (not that I condone that but making the point). He is so angry all of the time and has started to punch and kick. He swears all of the time, talks about wishing people were dead, even told my nan and grandad who are looking after them during the holidays that he hates them and hopes that they are not alive next summer so he doesn't have to see them.

He basically just wants to live with his Dad and it is breaking my heart. I provide a stable and loving home for him, I read with him (well try) I play with him when he lets him and we do all the fun things he wants. I have just had two weeks off work with him, we weren't able to go on holiday abroad (passport issues, but we are going in October half-term), I took him to the make a bear factory place, drayton manor, cadbury world, zoo, science museum, playbarn out for nice lunches, etc but he still says that he hates me.

I'm struggling enough with the break up of my marriage even though I knew if I stayed things were going to get much worse, by DS1 blames me totally. I just feel crap, I'm at the end of my tether, even my family are getting fed up with him, he is that naughty. sad

LoveMyGirls Wed 27-Aug-08 14:00:09

Stop. I read the first line and thought you have done the best thing for you son no matter what . I read on and I think he is just pushing the boundaries like all children do but at a time that is hard for you which is why it feels worse I would think(?)

This is not your fault.

Try not to blame your ds either, he still needs you, he is lashing out to see how far he can push, he pushes because deep down he knows you love him unconditionally (its the reason our own kids are always worse behaved for their own parents)

Start with a chat (how old is he?)

What about no more trips until he starts giving you and your family some respect imo.

You have treated him to so much in those 2 weeks mine would be lucky if they got all that in the whole 6 weeks!

This isn't your fault, getting out of an abusive relationship isn't easy, you have a lot to be proud of, stop beating yourself with a stick.

Be firm be fair and he will grow out of it once he realises he gets no nice treats while his behaviour is so bad.

Does your ex say he can come and stay or not?

fluffyanimal Wed 27-Aug-08 14:01:46

Oh you poor thing, so sorry to hear this. I don't have any experience but a few things come to mind:
Firstly, no matter how awful your xh was, to your ds he is still his dad and he is just really upset that you are no longer all together.
Secondly, he is pushing you to see if you'll leave too. The talk of hating people and wishing they were dead suggests to me that he is scared to trust adults and that they will always be there for him.
Thirdly, if he witnessed your xh behaving abusively towards you, maybe he is now trying to be the man of the family, which means acting like the only role model he knows how.

Sorry if this is all completely off the wall, as like I say, I have no experience. But I feel for you and hope things will improve. You're the bad guy right now because you made the decision to end the relationship, and he's with you all the time so bound to act up more with you, and he'll be seeing his dad through rose-tinted specs. Hang in there.

LoveMyGirls Wed 27-Aug-08 14:02:00

Sorry I see he is 6, so old enough to know some of whats gone on but not old enough to understand properly. Tricky but not unfixable imo. I'm sure someone with better advice will come along soon in the meantime (((((((((((((lula)))))))))))))))))

NoMoreOlympics Wed 27-Aug-08 14:08:48

Ditto what lmg's said.

Out of interest, does your ex also lay on all these trips and treats.?

Tbh, you are going over the top to try and keep him sweet. He is 6 yrs old, you are in charge. I don't mean to sound harsh, but he has found your weak spot and is pushing those buttons with all his might!

Ignore the bad words. Do not react. Have a word with his GP's and make sure your approach is the same. He will stop when he no longer gets a reaction. Blank all bad behaviour and praise the good.

No more treats until he can show his, if not appreciation (lets face it, we didn't have dc so they can show appreciation lol) but at least respect for the effort you put in.

He is old enough to have empathy when someone else is upset. He is learning some hard hard lessons but it does not mean you ahve to put his feelings before your own 100% of the time. I presume you have tried to shield him from some of your abusive relationship. That is good. One day, he will know and realise what you sacrificed. Unfortunately that may not happen for about another 10 yrs.

Hang in there. Be consistent and don't accept this behaviour or your 2 yr old will think its OK too.

Good luck !

LoveMyGirls Wed 27-Aug-08 14:21:05

Think about it if you had misbehaved like that as a child would you expect trips and treats? No?
It's almost like he's being rewarded for the bad behaviour in his eyes?

Igore the bad when you can (or use punishments you know he won't like, like early bed, no tv, no friends round etc) and reward every tiny thing he does that's good, giving lots of attention and hugs.

lulabelle Wed 27-Aug-08 15:33:44

Thanks all. I guess the treat days out were in place of no holiday this summer, I just wanted to try and show him time with me can be fun.

No, his dad doesn't take them out like this. He even had DS1 on his own last weekend to try and spend some quality time with him and get to the bottom of why he is behaving like this.

I just called my Nan and he is still playing up, I have called XH and he is going to call and speak to him.

I love DS1 so so much and can't bear him hating me like this, I have lost almost a stone in weight from worrying over him.

I work full-time and so try to make the very most of my time with him, but perhaps this is seen by him, like you say rewarding the bad behaviour?

NoMoreOlympics Wed 27-Aug-08 15:38:21

Didn't mean to make you feel bad about the treats lula. It just seemed a bit overkill to me.

And he doesn't hate you. He just doesn't know any other way to channel his anger and frustration.

But you are not an emotional punchbag. Harden up, for your own sake. The best thing, if you possibly can is for you and your ex to show a united front on this.

Ex must not undermine you and you both must not do the competitive parenting thing. I have seen it time and time again especially if splits are acrimonious.

sarah293 Wed 27-Aug-08 15:40:45

Message withdrawn

charitygirl Wed 27-Aug-08 15:48:29

No, he really doesn't hate you. But he is confused about the change in his circumstances, and I'm sure he is testing you.

Pleae read up on separation and children - there are lots of good books out there on the subject. A lot of his responses are very 'normal' indeed, but still incredibly difficult to cope with, especially after what you've been through. Definitely stop being so hard on yourself. Don't rule out your son seeing someone to talk about what he's feeling - you could start by asking your GP, but local charities may also be available. Some Relate Centres see younger childen about their parents' separation.

http://www.separatedfamilies.info/families.php
http://www.emeryondivorce.com/about.php

LoveMyGirls Wed 27-Aug-08 15:48:32

He even had DS1 on his own last weekend to try and spend some quality time with him and get to the bottom of why he is behaving like this.

I just called my Nan and he is still playing up, I have called XH and he is going to call and speak to him.

This bit says to me he is misbehaving and we are all asking how high he wants us to jump, giving him loads of attention for his bad behaviour. Is your other son getting all this attention for being good?

I know it's hard to ignore bad behaviour, you feel like you shold be doing something about it etc but sometimes less is more.

Mindy1 Wed 27-Aug-08 16:29:45

the same thing happened with my brother and mum and they are now the best of friends.
Boys need their dads and he is just lashing out - however you need to make him aware that you will not take that treatment - but dont overdoe the attention - my mum did and my brother was looking for attention all along

lulabelle Wed 27-Aug-08 17:03:56

It is hard to ignore the bad behaviour when my Nan looks after him and she is on the phone to me about him playing up, saying she thinks he has ADHD! She has also told me, in front of DS1 that if he wants to live with his Dad so badly I should take him to do so. Now whilst I don't agree with what she is saying or the fact that she is saying it in front of him, I have no one else to look after him from now until he returns to school. I have asked her to be cautious over what she says in front of him. He is back at school next week and I will ensure in future that I try and find some other childcare for him. My grandparents are a problem as they do lavish attention on them, however, they can not see, despite my telling them, that they are spoiling him.

My calling her is because I'm panicking all day at work what he is up to and DS2 is starting to copy him.

XH and I do put up a united front and neither of us compete for their attention.

Whilst one half of me knows he is playing up, pushing the boundaries, using me as a punchbag the other half is saying he is my little boy, he has moved house 3 times since last November, our dog has had cancer and been very poorly and his parents have split up. This is why I find it hard to punish him. Does he really know what he has done wrong? He is so full of anger.

NoMoreOlympics Wed 27-Aug-08 18:53:24

get some help lula

pudding25 Wed 27-Aug-08 20:00:01

I think your little boy needs some professional help. He has been through so much, it is not surprising that he is acting like this. Perhaps when school goes back, you could speak to them and ask them if they can refer you both somewhere. Please don't blame yourself - he doesnt hate you, it is his only way of expressing himself. He is too young to properly be able to deal with his emotions and it is coming out as anger.

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