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DSS and emotional detachment

(9 Posts)
ohdearshouldhavekeptquiet Mon 04-Jul-11 09:20:41

I'm a regular poster - some of you will recognise who I am. I don't want DH to read this so have namechanged in case he does.

I have posted before about DSS (16). Bit of background: DH and ex split long time ago (10 years). Ex left DH and moved in her partner whom she's had an affair with. Kicked DH out. He had to fight for access. Sees them the court stipulated amount and ex won't allow a second more. Despite DSS's age this has continued. She is very controlling and DSS is what you'd consider somehwat 'browbeaten'. Things everything his mother says is gospel. Starts every sentence with 'mum says...'. Shows no signs of growing up emotionally. To me, I honestly can't see that he has developed much emotionally at all in all these years.

Behaviours are very emotionally detached from life. Doesn't seem to get much joy out of anything. Spends no free time with friends (although he does have friends). Hobbies chosen by his mother etc.

Recently made the statement that he 'never misses anybody'.

DSS2 is very different, very caring etc and speaks out against his mother's mantras.

Anyway I am finally getting to the point of this thread, bear with me. Yesterday DSS1's Spanish homework was on the dining table. I was interested to see what standard he was at (he does well at school and gets 'A's in languages). I read a paragraph where it said "There are 5 people in my family - my mother X and my father X.... ETC". I did a double take, because instead of DH's name, he'd put his mother's partner's name shock. And described his siblings excluding DS (but including his half-brother in his mother's house). He didn't mention DH at all sad

I am so upset for DH. And unfortunately I blurted this out to DH in my shock, which I probably shouldn't have done.

DSS's standard of language is high. I don't see why he couldn't have put the word for 'step-father' or whatever. I'm assuming that in a class of 30 there will a good number with various household relatinships away from the norm, and that these will be taught.

Feel so sad for DH

HRHMJOFMAGICJAMALAND Mon 04-Jul-11 10:06:21

Message withdrawn

yoshiLunk Mon 04-Jul-11 13:08:42

I'm going to say that in this context of the homework I wouldn't be too worried about it.

It's a language subject and he's describing a family, - yes he could have been more clever and used the correct language to describe his family accurately, but he probably couldn't be arsed and decided to keep it simple, maybe?

Having said all that I can understand you feeling hurt about it, as it's obviously not a one-off in his attitude toward his dad's side of the family, but there's not a lot you can do about it, - my SS1 is the same, he views the family that he lives with full time, i.e. his Mum, brother and half sister and <insert name of Mum's current OH> as his primary family, - and his dad's household as very much secondary. (Oddly, as it seems with yours also, my other SS1 doesn't have this attitude at all.)

SS2 views his older sister (from his mum's 1st marriage) as his 'sister' but my DSs his 'half-brothers' and yet they are no more half or whole than his sister. It is sad though, but I can't make him view it differently.

NoodlesMam Mon 04-Jul-11 13:15:04

I wouldn't be too upset about it to be honest he most likely has n't intended to cause any upset. My DSS lives half with us and half with his mum and her husband. If he's with us or has been with us the previous night he describes us as his 'family' and refers to me as his mum, his step sister and half sister just as 'sisters'. If he's with us and someone says 'is that your mum' he says yes. And the same when he's with his Mum - his Mum, her partner and him are the 'family' He says it's just easier than trying to explain. If you look through DSS's school books we are all refered to at some point but never all together, like I say it depends on who's house he's come from on that particular day. My DD1 doesn't see her Dad or his family and calls my DH by his first name, not Dad, but when she writes it down she refers to him as 'Dad' even in Spanish, she's been taught the step bit but like DSS prefers not to do the whole explanation bit after.

ohdearshouldhavekeptquiet Mon 04-Jul-11 18:52:44

Thanks all - I'm glad you all think it's normal. Feel really bad now for blurting it out to DH though sad

yoshiLunk Mon 04-Jul-11 19:31:51

don't worry, keptquiet , sometimes it's hard to keep it all inside, you know you didn't say it to cause any hurt, and anyway why should you keep all the burden of these things ? smile

Pandygirl Mon 04-Jul-11 19:49:54

I know how you feel, ESS did exactly the same in an english project, he was writing a biography and neatly snipped us out of his life (he spends 3 nights a week here). I was desperately hurt, but DP pointed out that to explain the ins and outs of everything would have taken a lot more words and ESS doesn't like English.

Another reason was that knew his mum would see it and didn't want to upset her by mentioning us, (it's not a good environment when she's "upset" with him). Could it be that he did it at her house and that's why he just mentioned the people there at the time?

If you think he might have left it out specifically so you and his dad would see it then it's best to show no reaction at all.

chelen Tue 05-Jul-11 10:38:13

I do understand why this is upsetting but it really could be as simple as wanting to get the work done - having two families means twice as long on this piece of home work!

My SS doesn't bother to correct teachers etc when they call me 'your mum' - both of us know it doesn't mean any disrespect to his mum, he just hates having to say 'actually that's my SM' every five minutes.

hiltontribe Tue 05-Jul-11 12:32:50

I also am a Step-mum.
When I go to school, teachers alsways say 'your mum' to my SD and she doesn't correct them. In fact the main reason she stared calling me mum and not by my first name is becasue she hated having to explain who I was!

If your SS's mother is as bad as you say she is, maybe he didn't mention your DH for fear of what his mother might say.

I work with children from 5-16 and when you say he is very detached emotionally, this sound very typical of a teenage boy. Particularly one who has probably had to just 'put up and shut up' when he is with his mother.

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