HOPE for parents troubled teens - & please share in this UTTER joy...(16 Posts)
Dear fellow parents of troubled teens . If you are suffering (or even if you're not but want to read a truly joyous outcome ) and what CAN happen if you can somehow dig deep in the worst of circs, please read on... This may be
long frickin essay(!), but I DESPERATELY want to give hope to others facing anything I have had to, and trust me, the end of this will bring a smile to your very core so fantastic is it so DO please read .
In the UTMOST of despair and desperation, I posted for the very first time in Oct. 2010 - I was at my wit's end, physically and mentally exhausted, had no idea how to even carry on, and was devoid of hope. An irony BTW is that when I read the post back now, awful though it is, I can see how very
circumspect WAY understated the post was, & how I had not included some pretty fundamental issues . This was the truth - I had left my ExH in '07 after discovering he had, for 2 years in a previous separation, systematically physically abused 2 eldest DSs when they were just 10/11 & 7/8 years old respectively. Abuse is horrific in that not only are the obvious horrors there, but it also means that when you need help and support the most, you can't access it without breaching your children's privacy. So other than all the professional help I tried to access for them, and my 2 closest friends (I don't have the joy of extended family who could have helped ), I told no-one. So when you need help the most, you are actually more isolated than is imaginable... and when facing the most horrific of things.
Eldest DS was so badly damaged that he suffered with acute depression, self-harming, and was suicidal. He was in hospital for 7 weeks one year after he 'told'. Simultaneously, I would drive away from the hospital (TGod for BUPA), back home to his 2 younger brothers & have to 'whack a face on' whilst inside was crucified, so huge was the horror of his illness and the terror he would succeed at suicide. Second DS - the one I posted about, just begging for help - had no memories of the whole 2 year period of abuse AT ALL; something I was told was 'very common' for a child his age when it occurred and that it was a survival mechanism that, if punctured, could do him huge harm. THAT was the SOLE reason I decided ExH was not prosecuted for his abuse ... as my children and securing their well-being was the ONLY thing that mattered to me. It was also the reason I had to immediately choose to stop my (high profile and high earning) career, as their needs were huge (see extract below for just a tiny flavour of how huge, and how damaged they - inevitably - were ), but please DO read on to end for the joy here now, and to please please PLEASE see that if you are in any kind of similar situation, THERE IS HOPE FOR YOU AND YOUR DC ....
My agent estimates my own financial losses to be in the region of £2-£3million pounds, and whilst I mourn my career/financial independence and detest fact am now financially dependent on the very man that did this, I do not regret that decision for a moment as had I NOT done all I had done, and somehow managed to get through all thus far, for my beautiful, beautiful boys, then there is ZERO doubt they would not now be in the places they are now. So - here is an extract of that original post over 2 years ago: 'Don't think (even with mad length!) I have begun to convey the horror or how 'trapped' I feel when he is in my face, or how ANGRY I get when he screams at me about my 'shit life' or how F#CKED OFF & RESENTFUL I'm starting to feel at being the only parent who seems to really care for/about him, yet am also the only parent who gets talked to like a piece of shit - grrrrr.... I love him, I care for him, I can hate how he behaves whilst trying to recognise that behaviour is not him.... but... I can't take much more.'
I was grateful [thank you] for those who replied, if only as alleviated the sense of isolation. I plugged on with mantra of 'absolute love/absolute boundaries'; I got through day by day, hour by hour, and just holding the line constantly even in the face of being the sole lightening rod for DS2's (understandable) rage. And somehow, very slowly, things changed...
He very slowly mellowed; he knew he was loved; he started to treat his younger brother more kindly; he began to realise that just for HIMSELF and HIS future he needed knuckle down (am precis'ing MASSIVELY here, but aware this is already HUGE post!). Bluntly, he turned it around with unswerving support from his school and unswerving boundaries and love at home. Over time, we somehow managed to work it through, but I would be lying if I said it was easy; that there was not nights where I wished I was no longer here ; that there were any 'magic bullets' - but I never let go of hope, or of my love for him even when he was (literally) spitting in my face .... And it's that hope I want to give you if even a fraction of what I've written resonates with you/your situation/YOUR DC .
The boy I wrote about here in 2010 is, whilst obviously still a teenager with all the normal joys that brings , no longer exists - in his place, my beautiful son has returned (I am now openly weeping as writing this). My strapping 17yr old went to a bloody Clinique counter(!!!) all by himself to buy me a lip gloss for Christmas that he knew I wanted but couldn't afford... He is today trying to find a screwdriver to build his now 11yr old little brother's new desk.... But most of all, most incredibly and beyond ANYTHING I could have hoped for for him when I wrote that post, yesterday he got a letter confirming all HIS hard work in turning all around had paid off and that he will later this year be starting the next chapter of his life... He got a letter from Oxford offering him a place for September
My pride in him is unbridled and words cannot begin to convey that pride or the joy I have for him. Nor can I express how much I want anyone in the horrific places we have been in to KNOW that THERE IS HOPE - so please please PLEASE share the joy I feel, and ALWAYS hang on to the twin mantras of 'absolute love and absolute boundaries', and 'this too shall pass'.
Sending hugs (and hopefully HOPE) to the frickin' world - with love from this mamma to all other mammas facing horrors and just hanging on in there
Full original post here: www.mumsnet.com/Talk/teenagers/1064385-HELP-15yr-old-pushing-boundaries-amp-buttons-long-LONG-sorry
Wonderful news! Have a manly punch on the arm or an unMN hug, whichever you prefer. Keep on giving him all the love and support he needs - Oxford can be a tough old gig.
Lovely. So glad it's worked out for you and your DSs.
That is absolutely amazing. You must all be thrilled!
Message withdrawn at poster's request.
Brilliant news. I'm so glad that things have turned around for you.
Good luck to DS with uni and best wishes to all of you for a happy future
Thank you all - am grateful for your lovely words. And Bluestocking? I'll take the hug ta, as very short on those (& don't fancy punch in the arm much!). It IS all just amazing, and he is amazing, but still a long way to go overall -
I (funnily enough..) was diagnosed with PTSD in Nov'11 and am literally a fragment of myself (tho would repeat, I would not change a thing I have done as NOTHING mattered more than the boys). I am only just about to start Acute Trauma Therapy but even with reduced rate (£100 per session vs normal £160, and no, just cannot access via NHS - hence huge delay during which PTSD has obv worsened hugely) have no idea how will afford it.... which is one of the other tragic ironies in that I used to (through sheer hard graft, not 'luck' or being born into any money) earn much more than that for just a day's work. Finances are horrendous as, although now finally divorced, the financial bit of Divorce not done yet, as whilst
vile abusive control freak delightful Ex has legal rep (his £250k pa income safely intact), he has consistently refused my having equivalent legal access but I don't qualify for Legal Aid.
ExH remains bitter and angry at my leaving him, even though has now been living with someone for 3 years and should be a happy bunny and prepared to leave me alone. But, doesn't. Is very opposite ...
In absence yet of financial settlement, HE STILL gets to decide what he 'transfers' here each month and exercises that control brutally and - worse - regardless of impact on boys (& seemingly blind to what that makes them think of him). Pretty good EG's would be that boys and I have had no family holiday together since early '07 before DS1 'told', and when that quality time for them together was (still is) so so SO vital ...
...that last May, when ExH had restrictions placed on access to DS3 after an incident that gave cause for concern (DS3 is only one who still sees him), I - in order to protect his l'il head from that, & given the period fell over a time that included half-term and where he would normally see his Dad - sold my (pointless and better used this way) stupidly ostentatious from Ex engagement ring, and with the £1600 I got for the (again, dumb, £5k at cost from Boodle & Dunthorne) ring, plus a 10% discount got from MUMSNET ) in order to get him away and not realise he wasn't 'allowed' to see his Dad. Took every scrap I could muster together but got him and me to a Mark Warner last June, and that was the first time he and I had been away together since he was 5 . And I now know that the very same month of May when I sold ring to protect DS1, ExH had not only his 'normal' monthly take-home pay of c.£9.8k, but also an ex-gratia payment of another £10k. Vile does not begin to describe it/him/his behaviour, BUT...
...his losses are huger than mine. I have boys who love me; I have a clean conscience; I KNOW I have done my utmost for all DSs; and I know I am NOT the one who is bitter and missing his lost life but can only express that yet via more abuse. Sooooo...
YES, all is FANTASTIC re DS2 recovery (& DS1 before him) and THAT I was and am desperate for all to know so that THEY know hope & love does triumph; but life is very, very hard still. I need a break of some kind just desperately; the PTSD is more horrific than could convey; I can't afford the help it needs, but equally can't afford to NOT get it as it is utterly savage now . And ALL my boys and I need a holiday together but just imposs whilst ExH remains so in control and so very abusive of that.
All of that said though, NOTHING takes away from the joy re DS2's turnaround or my happiness for him and wanting others to know that there IS always hope no matter how hard things are.... Like said re all that's gone before, I have to believe that vis the remaining sh*te, this too shall pass
Aww, have another <<hug>>. What a tale. Your ex sounds like a total shite but you and your boys have done so well.
TY Bluestocking - hugs gratefully received
And your observation re Ex is pretty spot on! He did not want to lose me and genuinely believed I would stay with him (nuts)... 3 months after knew was leaving him he got a tattoo with my name (which is both very unusual & very long) three inches high on his back to help me know his 'commitment and love'.... Is a FTSE director - can imagine must be a tad uncomfortable for him on away days and sunny corporate jollies?;) Is bitter and twisted and nuts, and all the money in the world won't help with that - or ever get him back all he has lost but wanted so desperately. And nor does he have the joy I have from boys who are beloved beyond words
Wow, what a tale!
I can't imagine how difficult it must be to be in such a situation.
Am sending my best vibes your way for the start of the next chapter of your lives.
Stoic - your story resonates - thank you for telling it and for the very hopeful messages that it conveys.
You and your boys have done brilliantly. I hope you get that family holiday and soon. Hope, too, that your ex will melt totally into the background of your lives and that the upcoming therapy makes a very real difference to you. Best vibes from me, too.
Ta for lovely messages peeps And Esp. Cerys as conveying hope was what I really wanted to do. Not least as when you so 'in it', it genuinely does feel devoid of hope so wanted to point to a light a end of tunnel..no matter how dark or long tunnel is . Incidentally, will just take this opportunity to say DS2 has been an UTTER sh*te bag today and brimming with 'normal' teen vileness! Helps ME to look back at above and realise/remember that the vile critter he's been today IS just fleeting teen testosterone nutsness (TM'd !)and it's a THOUSAND times better than the horrors of before. Think may add 'Perspective is EVERYTHING' to my other 2 mantras!
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