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Teenage son and feelings of abandonment. Does he need help?

5 replies

bellylaughs · 15/03/2010 15:11

I'm not really sure if this is the right area to post in but it sounds like some of you have similar issues to ours, so if anyone can help please do!!
I met DH 12 years ago. He had a 2 year old son at the time and was not with the Mum. They shared custody and DH was always 50% or more. We moved in together and at the same time moved back to where DH is from (several hours from where his ex lived.) She agreed that their son should come to live with us full time and I was more than happy to take him on. His Mum is totally useless at sticking to arrangements, making regular contact, keeping promises etc. So there have been many disappointments for him over the years. However, due to a combination of us pushing for contact and him asking her, she has managed to have him to stay around 3 times a year since he came to live with us. He has never stopped loving her and has always got upset after a visit to her. It always takes him a couple of days to settle back down. We muddled along like this for the past few years and he has had a very happy life and been a lovely child. Now he is almost 15 things have changed a bit. He is still lovely of course (in a stroppy teenage sort of way!) but recently seems to be struggling with the situation alot more. He blames alot of moodiness/incidents of misbehaviour or rudeness on his "situation" and always tells us that we couldnt possibly understand what he has to go through etc. Recently he got a detention at school for storming out of a class because he claimed he was feeling emotional about his Mum and didn't want the class to see his tears. He has also been caught stealing from my purse and from a friend at school as well as several incidents of lying (pretty major lies)etc. Hes generally a good boy great with his little sisters other family etc. and has never had trouble with things like drink/drugs etc. Since he seems to put so much down to his "situation" we asked him whether he thinks he needs to talk to someone about it. He said yes. However I just dont know where to start, does this mean we should send him to a counsellor/phsychiatrist/other? I have a feeling he has issues of feeling abandoned by his birth mother and this is what he's struggling with along with feelings of missing her. This is why it seems more appropriate to post here than in step-parenting because it was almost like an adoption but with ongoing contact. How do I find the right help for him? Im not even sure if it would be just like opening up a can of worms. Ive never had any dealings with mental health professionals and Im worried they'll make a bigger issue of it than it is or that if we don't find the right professional we could mess him up for life. Please if anyone knows anything about this kind of thing can you advise me? Thanks in advance! I'll also post in step-parenting to see if they can help there.

OP posts:
Irons · 15/03/2010 15:19

My husband and I recently went for some marriage counselling with Relate. I know they also deal with family issues and this would probably be a great place to start. You should be able to find them if you google Relate. They were referred to me by a good friend and solicitor and I found they really helped. Also the cost of the sessions go according to your income and what you can afford.

bellylaughs · 15/03/2010 15:42

Thanks Irons, that sounds like a good idea.

OP posts:
andagain · 18/03/2010 12:48

bellylaugh, you could also speak to your GP and see if you can get a referral to a child and adolescent psychotherapist.

magso · 18/03/2010 13:14

Agree with again - the Gp may be able to refer.

bellylaughs · 18/03/2010 17:37

Thanks guys, I suppose the GP would at least know what profession we need to see. Typical, he has settled down again now after last weeks incident and seems really happy/balanced/content etc. which means I then start thinking actually he's fine and I shouldn't do anything until the next incident and the whole thing rears its ugly head again.

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