17yo son in unhealthy relationship which has totally changed his behaviour(2 Posts)
It is a long story and hard to describe, so please excuse any disjointedness.
17 yo son has taken up with a girl for past year who self harms, is depressed, suicidal, panics, bulimic, insomniac and is generally very needy.
Although he was the usual uncommunicative, lazy teenager, he was not a bad lad, he has a gentle nature and still held on to a bit of playfulness.
His behaviour has totally changed both in himself and towards me.
I found cut marks on him and spoke to the school as this really was not him, who told me they were aware of her self harming issues. He has since left school, although she has remained there.
He seems to be copying her behaviour to identity and empathise with her. He is telling a lot of lies about his life to accomplish this. Where she has a lot of serious problems that she is putting onto him, he is making up things and I am often blamed for the majority them. He has taken to causing a lot of arguments between us and then telling her how wicked and abusive I am towards him and what a horrible life he suffers with me. Then he walks out and tells her that I have kicked him out. Not true! I am worried that if this continues for much longer he is going to become a pathological liar and start believing his own stories. It is almost like he is living a double life, whereby he is making up all these lies to her about how badly treated he is and how vile I am to him, but in reality he carries on as normal often even giving me a hug and saying he loves me! He is head over heels in love with her, even though he is often troubled and depressed, understandably as he is having a lot of her problems put on him and he doesn't know how to deal with them.and she occupies every millimetre of his head space. She is up all night texting. He gets tired and needs a far more sleep than her, but he is not getting it. His college work is suffering and other friends, activities etc. have fallen by the wayside. The earliest I can get him to bed is 1am. At one point he started not eating, but this seems to have stopped. I realise they all hate us at this age but the tales he is making up I feel are crossing the line. I have devoted my life to him and he is not abused as he claims.
Tonight I came home and he created an argument and stormed off to her house which is quite some distance away. I pointed out that I had not done anything and tried to ask what was troubling him but he started shouting and left and is staying at her house. I called the police who did not think he was in danger. I disagree as I am extremely worried about what is going on between them, and the fact that her parents seem to join in to turn him against me. Her parents are very controlling of her and she is turn is very controlling of him. She also hits him and he says he "does not mind" .He is gullible and naïve, she is his first gf, whereby she is quite worldly and has had other sexual relationships before him. The parents are aware of her self harm and yet do not get her any help.
I am a single parent without any family support. I know I cannot control who he chooses as friends, but I am worried about the current and also the long term effect it is having/will have on our relationship. I feel I cannot carry on like this, and whatever I do I am in a no-win situation. Obviously I cannot say anything about her as it will drive him further away.
Sorry this is so long. Any advice please?
Are you able to talk to him about this?
If not, it's often suggested you write a letter. Tell him what you're concerned about and how that is impacting your relationship with him.
Ask him if he is happy and would he like to talk to someone about his life. I only suggest this as we've been through a similar issue with a controlling relationship and the only light was the realisation that despite the intensity of the relationship, the feelings it was generating were not healthy. Or happy. It was a life of constant anguish.
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