18 year old son struggling(36 Posts)
This is a bit of a long story so I'll try and shorten it.
Five years ago I got divorced after my ex-husband left me for another woman. I tried to keep things amicable but my ex didn't want to know. My daughter and son took it badly and I was left to pick up the pieces. My son, who was 15 at the time, began verbally abusing me, and my ex refused to support me with him. Eventually my son left to go and live with his father and the woman. That was three and a half years ago. During that time, neither my son or my ex contacted me, and my ex even moved my son to a different school without telling me.I messaged my son regularly, sending birthday and Christmas cards and gifts, even though I got nothing back. I refused to give up on him.
Two weeks ago, completely out of the blue, my son messaged me to say 'emotionally', he could not live in that house any longer. He was redoing his final year at school and he hated it. Every day was a battle for him and he didn't know what to do with his life.
He apologized for being a bad son to me but wanted to know if I would help him. I didn't hesitate and he is now back home. His father has not contacted me to ask how he is, which I'm not surprised about. However, I am very concerned about my son. For the past few days, he has stayed in bed all day, just getting up for dinner in the evening. He hasn't showered for a few days either. I have tried to get him to come out with me or his friends but he doesn't want to do anything. He just says he feels under the weather.
I don't want to nag him as he had only been back two weeks, but I just don't know what to do. Should I let him settle in for another few weeks?
My daughter is at uni so doesn't come back every week. She hasn't seen her father for two years, her choice. I have never stopped either of my children from seeing their father. It is their choice.
Any advice would be gratefully appreciated.
Gosh, sounds depressed. Is he or has he done drugs? Is he back at college now?
No, he doesn't do drugs. He doesn't know what he wants to do, and I don't want to pressurise him at the moment. He doesn't want to talk about the reasons he left his father's house, but I feel that he's had a rough time there.
He does sound depressed
I think you do need to let him settle in and know that you are there to support him but you should encourage him to go to the doctor too - it may be something physical also so that should be eliminated/confirmed as part of the visit.
Does he have anything in mind that he'd like to do as far as his future is concerned?
Perhaps he'd be willing to talk to his sister if he's not able to talk to you. She could phone him if she's not able to come home for a weekend.
Thank you all. I know he's interested in computers, and I did suggest doing a college course, but he says he doesn't know what he wants to do. His sister came home last weekend and she asked him about things but he told her that he didn't want to talk about it. I suggested talking to our doctor but he said no. I think I should give it a couple of weeks and maybe try again.
Provide food, occasionally ask him to shower, wash his clothes if you can. Stay out of his room, he needs a sanctuary. Make no demands for now. I can't predict what will get through to him, but something or someone will - maybe his sister -and hopefully he'll agree to go to the doctor.
Do your best to carry on with your life and not tiptoe around him. I feel for you.
Did he have a gf who he was fond of and they broke up? He could be trying to get over that. Sounds like he's trying to process some sort of upset. He will come out of his room when he's ready, then maybe you or his sister could persuade him to see GP.
Thank you. That's what I'm going to do Footle. No, as far as I know he hasn't bad a gf. Unfortunately, the cause of it all is likely to be his father and the woman. I forgot to mention that they have adopted a six year boy. How they managed to do this, when my ex can't even be bothered with his own children, is beyond me.
That sounds like a massive development in your son's life.
He may have been holed up in his room at his father's house too, in which case it will have been a huge effort for him to contact you and to move back home. He definitely needs time to settle in and feel secure.
I've reread your OP and noticed you mention his friends. Fingers crossed they are a good bunch and will keep including him in their lives - those who haven't gone off elsewhere this term.
There is life without A levels, or with delayed A levels ...you sound as if you've got the priorities right.
I think the priority for the moment is for him to feel loved wanted and secure. Once that is established you can give him a kick up the bum if required and he can be clear you are doing it because you love him not because you don't want him. Best of luck with it all.
Thank you all so much. It's lovely to know that people care. I, too, think he was holed up in his room in his father's house. I know it took a lot for him to message me and ask for my support. He has a wonderful group of friends, great lads who are very sensible. You've all put my mind at rest now, and I will take the advice to let him settle back in for a few weeks. Thank you all again.
So lovely that your son has come back to you. Just proves, never give up, be knew you cared and loved him throughout that time he wasn't in contact with you. Good luck to you and I hope your recovers and us able to share his pain with you and get back on track with his life x
What a wonderful mum he has, he's a very lucky boy. I agree with the comments about him being holed up in his room at his dad's. What an arsehole. Hope your ds starts to feel a bit more settled soon.
He is so young. Plenty of time for him to find his way.
Thank you all again. I have to say that I am worried about him. I can hear him talking to his friend and playing games on his laptop until 2 or 3 in the morning. Then he sleeps all day. I did broach this subject tonight during dinner but wish I hadn't now. He didn't get cross but I could tell I'd said the wrong thing. I think I'm just so glad to have him home, that I want everything to be 'normal' again.
So hard isn't it. As a Mother we want to 'fix' things..Need to just try and detach a bit, give him the time he needs...He is there with you again, safe, being cared for...He will open up in time x
When they put themselves forward to adopt, didn't social services come to speak to you? If they didn't, you should speak to them about it as it means he will have told them a lot of lies.
Strangely enough, I was thinking about this earlier today. I had a letter from social services regarding the adoption, and I completed a form and also sent in a long letter outlining everything that had happened. Neither my daughter or myself were approached after this, even though we should have been.
You really should have been. If he's been a terrible father, then they shouldn't have allowed him to adopt. I would take that further, tbh.
It sounds strange that the adoption went through. But I think the OP's own children have enough to deal with. The fallout from their mother trying to prevent her ex adopting another child would be horrendous : she has already told SS her experiences with this man and they have chosen to ignore it.
One thing I would say - he's come to you for sanctuary and that's great, but it will help him if you insist he is a courteous and valuable member of the household - insist he showers, does some chores, eats reasonably properly, socialises with you at mealtimes, that kind of thing. Do not become his doormat, terrified to 'say the wrong thing' in case it upsets him, that won't do him any favours at all. By all means lay off on the 'what are you going to do next' but there has to be a time limit on that - fine if he doesn't want to study then he's going to have to get a job, or at least apply for jobseekers.
Is it possible he left his father's house because they wouldn't put up with him taking any responsibility for his life and there were rows about being on the laptop till 2 chatting to friends while he treated their home like a hotel and treated them like enemies. This would not be unusual in a late teenager who hated school and didn't know what they wanted to do next.
So by all means tread carefully, but make sure you are doing some active parenting too.
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