Utter despair (sorry long post)(21 Posts)
Please help me see a way through this. My 2 DS (not so D at the moment) age 16 and 19, completely hate me. I am crying and crying.
OK I understand adolescent angst etc, but this is the background:
exH (very much not D)and I split 8 yrs ago. DSs aged 8 and 11. This was after years and years of domestic abuse, violence, verbal cruelty, failure to provide, and everything else. I always made sure these things happened in private so as not to distress the children.
Finally found my courage to start again alone.
At the time I was doing a mature age Ph D at a famous university and on a scholarship,which gave me a bit of money to attempt to escape with DC in safety.
Which I did. Got tiny 2 bed house, got foreign students in the other room as lodgers. Children and I bunked up together. I had 2 jobs plus studying. Father never paid one penny support. I paid private school fees. Got them into famous public schools on scholarships. Paid everything. Worked as a cleaner at night as well as teacher by day. Provided every single thing.
Then joyfully I met someone who actually loves me, treats me like a true and loving husband (surprise! this is nice!!) and live in a loving and lovely marriage for many years now.
But Father is now back on the scene. The DS are spending more and more time with him. He lives on benefits and provides nothing. He has enchanted them with his tales of my badness, evil ways in leaving, selfishness, cruelty and etc. Now they tell me all these things themsleves. Plus "you F~~~ C~~~", even spit at me today. I am crying. I have tried so hard. DS1 just told me "in the future, you will never see my children, unless you change your ways. You are toxic".
DS1 has even just got into Oxford and starts in October. And I am paying for him go to Italy for holiday course and also Japan. As well as his university. But apparently I am still a total C* and he tips his food on the floor now so I have to clean it up like a skivvy because no-one else will. Which BTW he obviously doesn't do when DSF is home because DH will go bananas. But I don't want to tell him, later, because I don't want DH to think my beloved sons are so so bad.
Please tell me what to do. I love them so much. I have tried so hard. And I am just crying and crying.
Maybe I am actually really crap and am just self deluding? Perhaps I just pride myself too much on my hard work etc (this is what DSs say) and that I am otherwise just emotionally inadequate??? I don't know.
BTW often when there are melodramatic posts like this, they turn out to be trolls. I promise am not and this is a true story. Check me out elsewhere on mn.
I am just genuinely desperate.
ok assuming you are a real person..
it must be horrible but you have got to tell your dh. or else deal with it yourself and not tell him.
if you don't then it will get more difficult for your dss to get back to a normal relationshp with you when they get over their rebellion.
Sounds to me like you need to tell them an (edited) version of the past and coupled with what you have said up there ^ point out to them the facts speak for themselves.
I would also toughen up. They live in your home and can live by your rules. If they tip food on the floor they can clear it up. If they swear and shout at you they can live elsewhere and their trip/uni etc will not be paid for while they are treating you with an utter lack of respect.
I would not keep any of this secret from your dh. You must present a united front and take the support he can offer you.
((grownupbabes)) well done on all you've achieved this far - you are obviously a strong person and you can get through this.
I would sit them down and tell down and go through your version of what happened when you and their dad split up.
Tell them how much you love them
Then tell them 'You NEED to act your age, treat me with respect' etc 'This is our home, either you behave or I wont be able to fund Uni/car/food' whatever
Tough love - No way would I fund uni, a trip to Italy and Japan and be spoken the way he does
Everyone else has spoken sense. I understand why you felt the need to protect them when they were younger, but you need to sit them down and spell out exactly what their father is like. Tell them about the 2 jobs, tell them all about the violence and cruelty - they probably will say they don't believe it, but the thought will be there in their heads, and you may find respect for you (which they don't have) comes out of that.
And cancel Italy and Japan. Make sure he knows why. It's a direct consequence of his behaviour.
I agree with teveryone else.Ask your DH to help you and tell your eldest that you won't be paying for Italy or Japan,
They must already know about the evening jobs, the lodgers etc as they weren't tiny at the time. Poss. the only thing they don't know about is the domestic violence. Do you have anything in writing still, eg police reports?
Agree their behaviour is vile and frankly the elder one would be out on his ear if he behaved like that in my house.
Is there more to this? How often do you remind your kids of how much you've paid for them? What do expect in return for working so hard and paying for all this stuff? Remarkably generous as it is. You don't say anything about your relationship with your kids while they were attending their famous schools and you were attending your famous university. Did they want to attend said famous schools, or were they miserable?
Sometimes people who are very, very financially generous are also very controlling, without realising it or while justifying it as in the 'beneficiary's best interest.
Having said that, the language and behaviour you describe aren't in any way acceptable, and you do need some firm consequences.
PhD at a famous university. Sons on scholarships at famous public (not private, note the distinction) schools. Eldest son got a place at Oxford (why doesn't Oxford warrant the 'famous'?).
Obviously given the issue at hand the name dropping is very important.....
Sounds like they need a bit of time in the real world. Why not cancel and send them to spend their summer with their dad. They are both old enough to get holiday jobs too. A few months on minimum wage will probably be new and valuable experience for them.
Definitely time to pack the bags and go and stay with their beloved father, who can also start funding their lifestyle.
You need to be honest with your DH and with yourself. Where is your backbone? Are you feeling like a martyr? Do you feel that education can replace love?
Maybe you need someone to mediate, your boys sound so angry - the food throwing seems like toddler behaviour - have they not developed emotionally? Sorry if this all sounds harsh, but you need to stop feeling like a martyr and start looking at things from their point of view.
It is very very hard - and I have had experience of this - when you and exH have completely different world views and totally opposing lifestyles.
It really confuses the children and sounds like your ds's are very very confused.
My DD (17) went off to live with her dad last year. Nine months later she was back and although still maintains a relationship she now sees him as the compulsive liar total fuckwit that he is.
And I didn't have to say a word
It was hell for me but I had to sit it out.
Obviously slightly different with boys but they are old enough to find things out for themselves.
I wouldn't pull the 'everything I've done for you' card - they know deep down and they will work it out for themselves.
Thanks everyone for all this. Obviously I agree about cancelling the travel plans, but as you know, these things are paid for well in advance so it can't be done. In fact DS1 went off to Italy this am. I took him to the airport and he was quite contrite. He knows he's wrong but you're right they are both very angry.
No, I don't think a fancy education can replace love. I have loved them to bits and supported them every way I can. I educated them the way I did to keep them out of harms way - and I mean that literally. In the past, the father abducted DS1, not found by police until 3 days later, and a couple of years later tried same with DS2, attempting to physically remove him from school dining room. Police intervention again. And then there are the repeated suicide attempts.
So please (titchy) don't mistake boarding school for snobbery. It is not how I was brought up and it is not what I wanted for my children, but I have really tried to do the right thing as best I could sort out, given the dire straits we lived with at home.
I have told DH everything now, as advised by all of you. He is not happy to see me mistreated and is v supportive of me. But his view is that if they behave like this they should be out the door. And this is where my dilemma is - kick them out? or show unconditional love etc, and more importantly continue to provide the stability and care, so they do at least have some pivot, somewhere they know they can always turn?
Littlepollyflinders... thanks for your post. It is exactly what DH thinks. Your description rings true: Compulsive liar total fuckwit ... I can also add vicious psycopath to my list. But why are they so enchanted with this man? Is it just because he disappeared (eventually) and has now suddenly come back at an age when they are becoming men themselves and they need to find their father???
I just wonder why the fame of your university /their school was so impoertant. And I never said anything about boarding school - this is the first time you've said you sent them to boarding school. Which makes you story rather more unbelievable (boarding school for two on a teacher's salary - even with scholarships ).
So you sent them away to boarding school to get them away from the clutches of your evil ex-h....?
Sympathies, GUB. Teenagers can be horrible. Just hang on to the thought that they eventually grow out of it and usually become nice adults. Keep telling them that you love them but not their behaviour.
Can you try to speak to them about why they are so angry. Not when they are in the middle of a food-throwing hissy fit but in a calm, non-confrontational situation. Work on DS2 while DS1 is away?
I don't agree with the cancelling of holidays etc - that's just trying to control their behaviour through manipulation.
Why was your son contrite this morning - was it because he needed a lift.
Titchy - they are/were both on 90% scholarships, and that is why the "status" of the school is relevant, because schools like Winchester, Eton, Rugby and similar have the financial capacity to offer this. They had the ability to take advantage of it, and it offered a solution to the problems at home. Anyway, it's not particularly relevant to the overall narrative and I certainly didn't start this thread because I want a debate about public schools. If you doubt my veracity, check out my name elsewhere - you will find one from many months ago, where I responded to someone's questions about a particular school, with reference to my own experience. This is hardly something I have made up on the spur of the moment.
Donna - thanks. Well, I could have put him on the bus, but I decided a really long car journey would be a good opportunity to try and discuss things calmly. It did seem to productive in the end, though it didn't start well.
I think I know what some of the posters are suggesting: you do seem very aware of how much you have done for your children- is it possible that they actually feel weighed down by the burden of gratitude?
after all, their behaviour should not related to how much you have done for them- they should behave decently because that is what decent people do, full stop
but if they do feel obliged to remember how much you have sacrificed for them, that could make them very resentful
I would pull them up sharply whenever they try any toddler tricks: don't remind them of how much you have done, simply point out that near-grown-ups do not behave in this way
and don't fund more than you can be do without resenting it: young people can't all have expensive trips abroad paid for them, and most of them cope perfectly well without the perks
Sound to me like you've raised a couple of 'famously' spoiled brats.
Get some steel in you woman. Famous is as famous does. Where's your self respect. Honestly!
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