Really struggling - DS1 doesn't respect me(34 Posts)
This is my first post on MN. I have 5 children (DD1 is 12, DS1 is 11, 12 at the end of the month, DS2 is 10, DD2 is 7 and DD3 is 23 months).
DP (previously DH) and I have recently got back together after 3 years apart following getting divorced. Previous to this we had been married for 8 years, together for 10. In 2011 our baby daughter was stillborn and since then everything fell apart. I didn't handle her death well and admittedly wasn't there for my children leaving them in the care of DH whilst disappearing for a few months. I came back, pregnant with DD3 but still a mess, but DH took me back and we tried to work through things. However, we then split and went our separate ways with DH having DD1, DS2 and DD2 and myself having DS1 and DD3. DH got remarried, but this didn't last long although they have a daughter together (they are still good friends). His other ex wife is lovely and has been a mother to my children when I wasn't there for them when I should of been.
Since we have got back together, it has been really difficult with the children. DD1 is currently in a specialised unit being treated for anorexia (I myself also suffer from anorexia and blame myself for her illness). Things have been okay with DS2, though awkward at first), but really difficult with DD2 who would rather be with DH's previous wife, but we are getting there. DD3 has just slotted in with everything, though I know DP is having trouble bonding with her, but he keeps trying and is very good to her.
However DS1 has no respect for me (or women in general) and I don't know how to deal with it. He doesn't listen to a word I say or do anything I ask of him. If I try and put boundaries in place he'll just say 'make me'. He will walk out the house against my wishes, he swears and calls me a 'slag'. He will also not really listen to DP either, though he is better with him than me and DP is stricter with him. The thing is I know it's my fault. I've messed him up. When DH and I got divorced (I pushed divorce he didn't want to) I was really nasty to DH and even told him that DS1 isn't his which Is completely untrue, I just said it because DS1 looks the least like DH. I know i'm an awful person but I also told DS1 this in anger and DS1 went through a stage of being really angry with DH and refused to see or talk to him. They have sorted through this but I know DS1 is understandably very angry with me and I think this is where his behaviour comes from. All the children have had such changes to deal with and it's all my fault. DP has been amazing with them through it all, but I've been messed up and let this effect my children and now I don't know what to do.
I have also been having angry outbursts at DP who has been helping me get better from my anorexia. This has recently led to DP having to go to the hospital to have glass removed from his face and arms. I don't know what happens, I just see red. Fortunately the children have not witnessed this anger, but I'm not naiive enough to think that they aren't aware. DP has injuries. What makes this even worse is the fact that DP and I have been best friends since we were kids and DP lived in a house with a lot of violence, both between his parents, and from his father towards him, and I feel like I am making him relive this pain. Things weren't like this last time we were together and we've always been there for each other, but we can't have the kids around this. I need to change. I love DP so much and I desperately want this to work. I just want us to be a happy family, but how can we be when I have a daughter in hospital with anorexia, a son who hates me and won't listen to a word I say and a daughter who loves her ex step-mum more than she loves me. It's just such a mess.
Should also add that DP has bi-polar, though this is under control. I have recently started bereavement counselling as I know I never dealt with the death of our baby and am receiving outpatient support with my eating disorder. DP has mentioned us getting relationship counselling and I think I am open to this, but I'm not sure.
I just can't believe how much I have messed up my kids and don't know how to make things right. I worry about DS1's attitude towards women and what might happen when he storms off out the house. I also worry about how he will influence DS2 (they share a room) and he can be quite rough with DD2 and DD3 when 'playing' with them.
How do you fix things when it's all your fault in the first place?
You glassed your DP? And you told your DS that his dad wasn't his dad in anger even though it's a complete lie? Are you really not sure why he doesn't respect you?
How old is your DS?
Sorry, just seen he's 11.
I think he might need counselling
i don't think i would respect you either-sorry to be horrible but what the hell are you thinking?
i think this is a really dysfunctional set up and you need outside help- it doesn't even sound to me like your children are safe.
Is the youngest child your DPs? Sorry, it's not clear and just trying to get dynamics clear in my own mind. If she's not, who is her father? Is he on the scene?
I'm so sorry you lost your baby.
You are incredibly angry, aren't you? It's not surprising you were anorexic - were you very angry when you were young, too?
For one thing, if your DD2 still wants to live with your husband's ex and if your husband's ex wants her to, I would let her live with her. She's living in an incredibly dysfunctional house at the moment and your DS1's behaviour will have a huge impact on her, too. I think the other home is a place of safety for her and you should let her go there. None of us has a right to have our children living with us; your DD2 is clearly unhappy and this is the easiest way to fix her.
Your DS1 can't respect you because of all that's happened - there seems to be a lot of coming and going in the house. He's transferring this lack of respect to all women and you're right, this is a massive concern. I think he needs specialist help.
What does your husband want to happen now that you've smashed a glass into him? Surely you can see this isn't a healthy way to live and that you'd be better apart?
Where does your DD1 want to live? At what point did she start suffering from anorexia? Do you feel responsible because you abandoned her or because you think she's grown up copying your behaviour?
I think you all need professional help quite urgently. Have you spoken openly to your doctor?
Have you any history of abusing drugs or alcohol, OP?
Your set up sounds like a mess. I'm sorry for your loss and grief does horrible things to people but you have fucked your children about terribly. I would think they all need counselling, consistency and love with firm boundaries. Can you give them that while you're glassing your DP? Absolutely not. Get yourself into intensive counselling ASAP, ask for support from outside services. Sit down with DP, his ex wife and DD3s dad if he is around and sort out a plan for these poor children to have some structure and calm. Family counselling would be extremely beneficial. Everyone of your children need quality one on one time with you and there dad and quality time as a family.
You have made this mess you need to fix up ASAP to fix it before it gets out of control.
I know it's an awful situation. I desperately want to fix it
DD3 isn't DP's. Her dad isn't around and never has been
I don't remember being angry when I was younger. I had a good childhood, though more recently things haven't been good between my parents and my siblings, and me. I have no family support currently.
I've had anorexia on/off since I was 19, for control. I think DD1 is doing the same, to gain some control in her life, I feel it is both my fault that she feels she needs to restrict food to feel in control of her life and because she is coping my coping mechanism.
DP's ex would gladly have DD2 (and DS2), but wouldn't this just make her hate me more in the long run, I wouldn't want her living there forever. I want her with me. I've missed enough of her life already I don't want to miss more. I know that's selfish
DP wants to stay with me, but has made it clear if violence happens again he will not allow the children to live in this and will have to leave. He's supportive as anybody could be. I know it's me that's the issue. I just want my family back.
I used drugs initially after my baby died when I was away from the kids and they were with DH, but not since. Not a big drinker. Attack of DP wasn't alcohol fuelled or anything. He was trying to get me to eat a bit more, but I don't know, at the time it felt like he was trying to make me fat and as I said I just saw red. I was immediately sorry afterwards, I don't want to hurt him. I don't know how i'd cope with DP and our family. I don't cope when I'm apart from him.
DD1 wants to live wherever her dad is. They are very close. I think she'd live in a cardboard box as long as DP was there with her.
I've spoken openly to my doctor about things concerning my anorexia and the loss of my baby and feeling angry, but not about attacking DP - have not seen doctor since this happened.
you need to tell the dr everything-absolutely everything. Have you got a social worker?
No social worker. I'm scared if I told my doctor about attacking DP social services would take my children away. I'd lose everything
alternatively social service could support you to try and rebuild your family.
Op this does sound like a terrible environment for you children, so in that respect its unsurprising your ds is acting out
You should talk honestly to your gp because they need to know the extent of your issues. If they are a gp worth their salt, social services will be informed because someone needs to safeguard the welfare of the children.
While you might want and hope you are doing that, it doesn't seem from your posts that you are able to at the moment.
If I contacted them myself are they less likely to just take my children?
they won't 'just take away' your children. Social services will always do everything they can to keep a family together and children with their parents. There has to be really really extreme reasons for children to be removed and it's only after a long process of help being given and a judge deciding that it's in the best interests of a child. Social services are the baby snatchers that the media sometimes portray.
With all due respect what you want here is nowhere near as important as what is best for your children. Hiding the issues for fear of ss involvement is only going to make things worse. You need serious help and you can only access that by being honest with people about your situation, as you have done today. Go to see your doctor and access any help they can give you, if ss do get involved then you will be able to show them that you are working on your problems. Your poor dp has also suffered horribly due to your behaviour but has stood by you. Get some counselling for yourself and your family and prove to them that you can be the mother and partner they deserve.
I know I need help. I know my children need help. I don't think they are unsafe with me though, but I know they could be if my anger continues. I do love them, more than anything.
Then if you love them more than anything let dd2 move out. She is far more likely to hate you more in the long term if she stays in what sounds like a highly toxic environment.
Are they really safe with you? You may not be physically harming them but living in that environment cannot be healthy for them. If you believe they suspect you are being violent to your dp, that isn't good for them and nor is having a dysfunctional relationship with you. Please access the help you need sooner rather than later. You don't need to fear ss involvement , they are there to help you, not destroy your family. You've been through some terrible things but it doesn't excuse inflicting this on your children.
You must get help - avoiding disclosing everything because you are afraid is selfish, stop protecting yourself and start doing is what is right for your children.
I don't doubt for a minute that you love your children and are ashamed of your behaviour but clearly this is beyond solving on your own, you all need help and support.
I think i'll call social services tomorrow and ask for help
The home environment isn't always bad though, things are generally good between myself and DP.
Myself and DS2 have managed to rebuild our relationship pretty much and DD2 and myself can have some really nice moments together, she just would rather be with her dad and ex step mother
I am really really struggling with DS1 and so is DP, but there are periods of calm (mainly when DS1 is busy in his room building his airfix or out playing football).
I know its bad, I know its a mess, I guess I just want people to know there are nice moments, it isn't all highly toxic
I believe you when you say there are nice moments - if you get help then hopefully you will be supported and find you have more and more nice moments. It's a long road and your ds1 is just a child, there's an awful lot going on for him to deal with here.
I don't think anyone would assume it's all highly toxic, you obviously love your kids or you wouldn't be looking for help. Calling social services is very brave and absolutely the right thing to do, you will get credit for seeking help before things get worse.
Of course you have nice moments, you are a mum who clearly really cares for her children and wants help to make things better. That is great
It is important you recognise how the instability of their environment over the last few years and your unpredictable behavior with your dp is affecting them though, not just physically but emotionally.
I hope social services are able to help. It may also be worth contacting the school about arranging some counselling for ds1.
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