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Son's Mum has asked if she can write to my Son but I have my concerns

(86 Posts)
malgrat78 Tue 14-Jul-20 09:53:57

Firstly, I hope everyone is well & keeping safe through these difficult times.

I am back again looking for some more advice regarding the ongoing situation with my 13 year old Son & his Mum who he no longer has contact with. As some of you maybe aware due to my previous posts my Son’s Mum got involved with a drug user & unfortunately now looks to be also in the grips of addiction. Last year my Son felt uncomfortable staying at his Mums when she moved this guy in & due to Social services contacting me expressing concern over my Son’s welfare, I took the decision to move him in with me full time. I offered his Mum mediation & tried to help & advise her, but nothing changed. Since last year there has been a lot of stuff going on & I have had reports of her & her boyfriend stealing, begging & taking money from vulnerable people. The last incident involved them stealing a statue out of someone’s garden which caused a lot of tension at their house with people going round not very happy with them. This was all over Facebook & reading the numerous comments the consensus was that they were both well known for stealing to feed their drug habit. This incident resulted with them turning up at my Son’s older Sisters house asking to stay as they felt unsafe at home due to various threats. His older Sister said they both looked very unwell & their personal hygiene was very bad. I had a random guy message me on Facebook who had found my name somehow asking if I could provide him with any details on my Son’s mum. He was a businessman who helped with a food bank. He had been delivering food to my Son’s mum & boyfriend but had got involved with lending them money & he had a feeling that the money was for drugs. There is a lot more stuff that has gone on all pointing to a highly dysfunctional & toxic environment.

My Son blocked her mobile number a while back through his own choice as any contact with her was upsetting him as it was always some form of emotional blackmail or manipulation. However, she managed to leave him a voicemail somehow which upset him a great deal. I listened to the voicemail & it was all one sided. She basically was asking my Son to think about her like she thinks about him & how much she loves & misses him, but I am stopping her seeing him. At no point did she ask how he was or appeared concerned for him. He wanted me to change his number but what I decided to do with his consent was to put a password on his voicemail so I can check it periodically.

My Son has been doing really well at School & at home. We talk regularly about the situation especially if I think it is bothering him. School are aware & before the Pandemic I had arranged for some child counselling but due to the Pandemic it has not yet happened.

The reason for this post is to ask some advice regarding a question I received from his older Sister who still has minimal contact with their Mum. His Mum has asked if she can write to him & I really do not know whether this is a good idea or not. My reply to his Sister was that I am not sure if that would be suitable & it maybe a better idea if his Mum sort help for her situation first. Then I thought maybe I should mention it to him & ask how he feels about it or maybe say yes but I could read the letter first. I am quite sure the letter would be full of attempted manipulation & emotional blackmail & I just do not want anything upsetting him.

What are people’s thoughts?

OP’s posts: |
ajandjjmum Tue 14-Jul-20 10:00:19

I would wait for his counselling, and then take advice depending on how he gets on.

My immediate reaction would be 'no way', but I know you want to do what is best for your DS.

malgrat78 Tue 14-Jul-20 10:11:35

@ajandjjmum Yes this was something I considered as letting him read a letter may do more harm than good. If I knew that she was clean or at least getting help then maybe I would allow a letter. In my heart I think it would just upset him, just mentioning it to him would upset him too.

OP’s posts: |
TooOldForThis67 Tue 14-Jul-20 10:21:40

Do not allow this. It would be so damaging to your son. She is not fit to be called a mother!

malgrat78 Tue 14-Jul-20 10:23:59

@TooOldForThis67

Thank you & this is what I am leaning towards. Unfortunately at the moment my opinion is no contact at all is best until she at least gets professional help.

OP’s posts: |
Misty9 Tue 14-Jul-20 10:35:30

I feel for you as this sounds a very sad and difficult situation. As your son is 13 ( early 14?) then he is approaching the age where he would be judged to have capacity to make decisions, like about contact with his mum. I would probably suggest talking to your son and asking what he wants to happen, and I think your suggestion of reading them before him, or perhaps with him, is a good one. No matter how parents behave, sadly their children are programmed to love them and it can cause much internal conflict when situations like yours arise. Definitely a good idea to have sought some counselling for your son. It might be worth exploring online options for the short term? Kooth is an online free youth counselling service which many parts of the country's health authorities have bought into. Gingerbread are also a really supportive charity for single parent families so it might be worth contacting them. Also, there is the support organisation for families of drug users?

SoulofanAggron Tue 14-Jul-20 10:39:56

No Contact as you said. Any letters I imagine will just include the same stuff she comes out with on the phone etc.

Glad he's now with you. flowers

Spied Tue 14-Jul-20 10:40:17

It's not in his best interests to receive letters from her at the present time.
It's not about what she wants or needs. It should be about your DS.

AdaColeman Tue 14-Jul-20 10:41:48

You already know that he was upset by a voicemail from her, so letters from her are going to be just as upsetting for him. Why agree to something that you know will damage him?

What are her motives for wanting to write to him? Are they to comfort him, or just an opportunity for more “pity me” emotional blackmail from her? You know the answer to that already, it will be the same theme as her voicemail.

On a practical level, agreeing to letters from her will give her the opportunity to request money, or worse still, arrive on your doorstep looking for handouts.

No contact is the safest way to go for your own peace of mind and your son’s security and happiness. Stay strong and refuse any letters.

willitbetonight Tue 14-Jul-20 10:44:29

I would also prevent contact. Your son needs stability and you should do all you can to enable that. She is not stable and her influence will be damaging. Enable him to get away from her whilst always being open should he want to talk about it.

forrestgreen Tue 14-Jul-20 10:46:24

The only advice I could offer would be to set up an email address just for this.
I would tell my son, get the emails and assess their content.
Forward any lovely ones to your son maybe.
But I'd save them for the future, maybe there'd be a point where it might help your son to understand her.

But ultimately I'd tell her you as a parent are blocking contact until she's clean.

Aussiebean Tue 14-Jul-20 10:46:32

Tell her she can write the letter but you make it clear that you will be reading it first to ensure it would not hurt him. If you feel it would, you won’t be giving it to him.

That may not be the best advice though.

funnylittlefloozie Tue 14-Jul-20 10:46:38

Firstly, i would change your son's mobile number. While his mum still has his current number, she can call him from other phones. Change his number and keep him safe.

I wouldnt tell him that his mum wants to write to him, and tbh i dont think i'd allow this. I would want to get him into counselling for a bit before raising the question of ANY contact with his mum.

As for the "businessmen" trying to speak to you regarding your ex, they need to know, in no uncertain terms, that she is nothing to do with you, you have no links to her and if they contact you again, you will contact the police. These are not nice people. Do not be taken in by tales of food banks and the like.

malgrat78 Tue 14-Jul-20 10:48:36

@Misty9 I have thought about sitting down & asking him. I honestly think that he would say he didn't want to receive a letter as he constantly tells me that he wants nothing to do with her. He is very adamant about this. I know that he is at the age that he can decide for him self as he already as regarding other forms of contact. However, I feel as if I need to protect him & decide whether a letter would do more damage than good. I know his mum & I am sure the content would be along the lines of what she wants & how she feels etc.

Thanks for the advice on the counselling & possible online options. I shall look at his ASAP.

OP’s posts: |
PurpleButterflyAway Tue 14-Jul-20 10:49:47

No, absolutely no contact until she’s off the drugs for several months.

PurpleButterflyAway Tue 14-Jul-20 10:50:22

From experience, anything less is exposing him to abuse - whether that’s mental and emotional or worse.

malgrat78 Tue 14-Jul-20 10:50:59

@SoulofanAggron I agree that the letter will be along the same lines as the phone calls if not worse & thank you.

OP’s posts: |
AnotherBiteMe Tue 14-Jul-20 10:52:05

I'd let her send them but she must address them to you. You could then keep them until he is older and ready to read them. My bet is that they won't continue for long.
This way your son can never say you totally blocked her.

malgrat78 Tue 14-Jul-20 10:54:28

@spied

It's not in his best interests to receive letters from her at the present time.
It's not about what she wants or needs. It should be about your DS.

This is exactly the problem I find with contact from his mum. It is never about what is best for our Son. All contact from her is about how upset she is etc & how seeing him would make her feel better. If she really wanted things to improve & to see him then surely instead of trying to contact him she would look at getting help. It's as if she wants the easy option every time.

OP’s posts: |
FinallyRelief Tue 14-Jul-20 10:56:47

I really think I wouldn't. Drug addicts are highly manipulative people - she could try to manipulate him in her letters. And of course your son is going to feel possibly even responsible for his mother's well-being.

You said he is doing well now - let the counselling begin etc and then see how he gets on but I don't see what value this woman could add to his life.

BurtsBeesKnees Tue 14-Jul-20 10:57:18

I have an adopted child and I have a letterbox scheme via social services. My dd's birth mother can write to her, but Ss vet the letter first to see if it suitable. Tbh they have to keep any letters very generic with no emotional blackmail etc, or it gets rejected. As Ss have already been involved it might be worth talking to them to see if they can set up something similar.

Misty9 Tue 14-Jul-20 10:59:37

You sound like a good parent and it's great that your son's wellbeing is at the heart of your thinking. If only more children had a second parent who was willing to be so protective and nurturing when the 1st falls apart. Perhaps you could say to him that this request has been made but you've decided, as his parent, to tell his mum the answer is no. That way he doesn't feel the pressure of making the decision and feeling like he's rejecting his mum again, but he would likely tell you if he has any strong feelings for the opposite outcome? Attachment, and especially disrupted attachment, can be very damaging but that will be being mitigated by your own involvement. But those organisations I mentioned would be well placed to offer more advice. Www.actiononaddiction.org.uk is one of them. Feel free to pm me if you like

malgrat78 Tue 14-Jul-20 10:59:46

@AdaColeman

You already know that he was upset by a voicemail from her, so letters from her are going to be just as upsetting for him. Why agree to something that you know will damage him?

Yes the letters will be along the same lines. In fact I think the boyfriend would have a lot of influence it to the letter as I used to receive texts from him Mum clearly written by him trying to manipulate me. Any letter from her would upset him I am sure because I am certain what the content will be.

What are her motives for wanting to write to him? Are they to comfort him, or just an opportunity for more “pity me” emotional blackmail from her? You know the answer to that already, it will be the same theme as her voicemail.

Yes her motives will be about her comfort & what she can get.

On a practical level, agreeing to letters from her will give her the opportunity to request money, or worse still, arrive on your doorstep looking for handouts.

Good point actually.

OP’s posts: |
malgrat78 Tue 14-Jul-20 11:03:08

@misty9

You sound like a good parent and it's great that your son's wellbeing is at the heart of your thinking. If only more children had a second parent who was willing to be so protective and nurturing when the 1st falls apart. Perhaps you could say to him that this request has been made but you've decided, as his parent, to tell his mum the answer is no. That way he doesn't feel the pressure of making the decision and feeling like he's rejecting his mum again, but he would likely tell you if he has any strong feelings for the opposite outcome? Attachment, and especially disrupted attachment, can be very damaging but that will be being mitigated by your own involvement. But those organisations I mentioned would be well placed to offer more advice. Www.actiononaddiction.org.uk is one of them. Feel free to pm me if you like

I like this idea of maybe telling him about the request but declining it,. That would indeed keep the pressure off of him but also give him the opportunity to voice his opinion if he didn't agree. Thank you for the link & offer smile

OP’s posts: |
malgrat78 Tue 14-Jul-20 11:04:57

@BurtsBeesKnees

Thank for this. Could could be a good option. The letter would definitely need assessing for suitability as I am sure the content would be along the lines of emotional blackmail & upsetting to him.

OP’s posts: |

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