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Lexusgirl: How did it go today?

Old 05-30-2008, 08:15 PM
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lexus....I haven't been in your shoes but I am a mom and I've known alot of moms. Those bonds run deep and I think that the emotions felt today during an awkward first meeting could be alot more superficial than you 'feel' they are. Give it time and as things progress both of you may become more secure.
As an objective observer from what you shared about your visit...I am impressed to learn that he started sharing feelings and memories like he did.
When will you see him again?
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Old 05-30-2008, 08:18 PM
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Originally Posted by lexusgirl View Post
It hurts so bad to know your son thinks of you as a stranger when you raised him most of his life. It also hurts that I no longer have that bond.
Oh I think you do. Think of it as a fire that has been left unattended for a while. It looks like it has gone out, but with a little stirring, a little air, some fresh fuel, and some loving attention, it will be burning bright again. It's been allowed to smolder for a while, but with the right circumstances, and a huge helping of patience, it can be even warmer than it was before.

I'm so sorry you're hurting. Relax and know that the hurt will pass.

All my love to you lexus......

L
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Old 05-30-2008, 08:18 PM
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It hurts so bad to know your son thinks of you as a stranger when you raised him most of his life. It also hurts that I no longer have that bond.

OK well whoa now! Judge and jury are still out - and you're already in the sentencing phase!!!

You've only just begun re-establishing ties. Although in fantasy it would have been nice to just have everything click and feel warm and wonderful - the reality is this fixed amount of time has passed and altered the course of the relationship UNTIL NOW!!! Today was a new beginning!! A new day in the NEXT 5 years of his life. So please don't go too far over the edge in blaming self, and guilt, and CERTAIN DOOM!!!! Don't give up on yourself or him when you've only just started this new chapter....and I'm not saying this to mollycoddle you - I'm saying it because it is best to think rationally about these highly charged moments as much as we can. If we get too starry eyed we are in danger of hurting ourselves when reality bites - and on the contrary if we are too negative and cynical we are slamming the door of possibilities shut....

I mean if you guys had ended up throwing chairs at each other and he bit you or something then things would look grim - but it seems like you're both probably a little numb - from natural wariness and the strangeness of the circumstances....
let this first encounter breathe a little - try to look at it objectively and not too judgementally yet!!
Sending you hugs - What you went through today took alot of courage and faith and wow you did it!!
Peace,
B.
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Old 05-30-2008, 08:38 PM
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(((LTD))) (((Bern))) (((cmc)))

Thank you for your wonderful insights and compassion.:ghug2 It means a lot to me.

I cherish my son more then anything on this earth. When he walked in I almost fell over. He looks soooooo different.

But, he has a wonderful heart, and a strong compassion for animals, that has stayed with him all these years. I'm not stupid and prepared myself to see a child that is very much grown up, but, maybe my subconscious was still expecting to see that chubby cheek, little 11 year old.

I was definitely shocked and very numb. I didn't fall apart until I got back to the motel.
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Old 05-30-2008, 08:59 PM
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I think you are being incredibly strong. It must have be so difficult to walk into that room, not knowing what to expect, what might happen, what his attitude would and so much more. You have a chance to develop a good relationship going forward. That is a chance many do not get. (hugs)
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Old 05-30-2008, 09:14 PM
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Hey Lexusgirl....give yourself a break my friend! I totlly get that your subconcious was still expecting to see that 11 year old.......

He was a child at 11 and is now a young man. It can only get better from here on in and I wish for you and your son the very very best - I can't imagine how hard all that was for you.....

One gentle step at a time - you have both been through alot being apart.

I wish only the very best for you both Kindest Phiz :0)
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Old 05-31-2008, 03:39 AM
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He remembered something scary and painful pretty clearly from his childhood, Lexus. And he allowed himself to be vulnerable enough TO YOU to share that. I think that's big, actually, especially for a 16 year old boy. You were pretty scared going into this too, Lexus. But you did it! We can't control our emotions, and you've had this whole other terribly painful experience that you are working on as well, plus you were really afraid of running into your exhusband. What a terribly difficult day yesterday must have been ((((Lexus)))).

I was in such emotional pain when my little daughter was first born, I wasn't sure that I could "bond" with her. I had been dealing with a very addicted husband and my heart was just broken with worry and pain. I didn't have that "lovefest" with her like I had with my first born and it really worried me. I perservered, even when she developed colic and screamed when I picked her up, etc. (me thinking she didn't love me either). My mother told me to keep trying, to never stop trying, and I can say that we are extremely close now!

Keep trying, Lexus, never stop trying. Work for those moments when you two can get out of that office and into some things he'd enjoy as a teenage boy (eating is the first thing that comes to mind!) Find a "new" connection with his interests, just let him tell you about himself, start phone conversations (they open up so much more on the phone at that age, but something about eye-to-eye contact makes them wary). There is a big difference between 11 and 16. He isn't that same little boy, but he did want to meet with his mom. You did good not to get all emotional in front of him. That must have been hard. Hang in there, girl, and remember--YOU are the mom.
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Old 05-31-2008, 07:51 AM
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Hey Lex:

Lots of prayers for you! I know it much have been hard. It'll get easier. Let your re-building happen as it's supposed to and don't put too much pressure on yourself.

(((Lex)))
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Old 05-31-2008, 08:07 AM
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Lex
I am amazed that he opened up and shared feelings with you! Teenage boys are notorious for responding with single words!! The distance you are feeling right now may be a defense mechanism for both of you. You've been hurt by being withheld from him. I'm sure that he was hurt as well. Neither of you want to feel that pain and the best way to do that is to not make the connection again.

It's going to take time for both of you. But the closeness that you shared up to the time he was 11 years old will return if you both work on it. And it sounds like you are both willing to do that.

The love that a mother has for a child runs deep. The love that a child has for their mother runs deep as well. It's there.

gentle hugs

And the fact that he loves animals shows that he has a compassionate heart. I have great hopes for both of you!
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Old 05-31-2008, 09:20 AM
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Originally Posted by Kindeyes View Post
Lex
I am amazed that he opened up and shared feelings with you! Teenage boys are notorious for responding with single words!! The distance you are feeling right now may be a defense mechanism for both of you. You've been hurt by being withheld from him. I'm sure that he was hurt as well. Neither of you want to feel that pain and the best way to do that is to not make the connection again.
I was amazed too! He actually talked a lot!!! Either he was super nervous or had a lot to say, which is totally unlike him.

I think what you said above Kindeyes could be exactly what is happening. And it's very unfortunate. This is exactly why his Dad took him away from me; he wanted to break that bond. He is a very sick sick man.

And I really need to say this, as it really hurt me and mad me angry. My son towards the end of our visit said that his Dad and step Mom don't hate me and forgive me; as though I'm the one that didn't something wrong here WTF?!

He really has my son brainwashed into thinking I'm the bad person. What I don't understand is when we were going through this painful custody battle, my son knew all the wrong his Dad did. He also knows he is abusive to women. Why is he now protecting his Dad? He knows right from wrong...?

Unfortunately this is a "game" for my X, and he has used my son to manipulate and hurt me. Then acts like a martyr and do gooder now. Nothing has changed with him as he is still putting my son in the middle.
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Old 05-31-2008, 09:42 AM
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Lex
Your son can only be "in the middle" if you are a willing participant. Your X can't hurt you. He can try all he wants to but don't give him that "power". YOU control your emotions. YOU control whether you feel hurt or not. Really!

I picture my emotional state as a "brick". It is MY brick. And I protect that brick. If I give it to someone else, they have the power to smash me in the head with it. Hold on to your brick, Lex. (I even put little notes all over my house with the words "hold on to your brick". On the fridge, on the mirror in the bathroom, on the door to the garage where I get to my car every day. It worked for me.) And if I do allow someone access to my "brick" and they even tap me on the noggin with it, I TAKE IT BACK! (This is how I vision "detachment". I can like someone. Heck, I can even LOVE someone and not give them access to my brick.)

Don't worry about whether or not your ex and his wife forgive you or not. Who cares. What is REALLY important is that you feel comfortable with yourself and that your son isn't holding on to bad feelings about you. It is up to YOU to show him the good person you are. He's old enough and smart enough to figure out who you are. And the one who may be holding the bag on this in the end will be your X. Be patient! It'll take time for you to break down the wall that you X has built up. Only YOU have the power to do that!

The best "revenge" is success. It is also a healthy way to approach life.

YOU GO GIRL!

gentle hugs
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Old 05-31-2008, 11:08 AM
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You have gotten some great responses. I agree with Kindeyes that this might be a natural hesitation for both of you to protect yourselves. Be patient and just keeping going to see him. You just both need to reconnect and have faith that you will do whatever it takes to be together. I also agree that I would just let the past go and not allow them that power over you. You can have an honest conversation with your son at some point but for you now, I think it's important to just show him who you are and let him "see" for himself what you are all about. (((HUGS))) I know you are in a tough position. Yesterday was just the first day.

I also wanted to chime in about what peaceteach said. When I had my boys, I felt NO connection to them whatsoever. I don't think I even felt like their mother until they were about 6 months old. I had an alcoholic husband who was gone a lot and two colicky/reflux babies. It was H*LL. I told XH that I felt like I was caring for them out of a sense of duty NOT out of love. It took me a LONG time to fall in love with them. Now they are my world and my joy. You will fall in love with your son again. Your brain is just trying to protect you right now.
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Old 05-31-2008, 07:16 PM
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Originally Posted by lexusgirl View Post

He said: Remember when I had to go visit my Dad when I was younger and I didn't want to go..well I felt like I didn't know him very well, and thats how I feel about you now.
Perhaps he was just trying to make a comparison to illustrate how things can change (I'm assuming he's close to his dad now), that even though he may have felt nervous about seeing you again presently in time this will pass, just as it did with his dad.

I will say a prayer for you Lexus and your son.
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Old 05-31-2008, 07:52 PM
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hey lexi, i echo everyone else here. it will take time to rebuild your relationship with your son. be gentle with yourself. think of all the positives of the day -don't get discouraged-just keep rebuilding that relationship one day at a time.

i too am praying for you and your son.
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Old 05-31-2008, 08:20 PM
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You all are so caring and loving people. I'm so blessed to have this place!:ghug2

Ok so, all last night and when I got home today I've been hysterically crying my eyes out, thinking about him, and how this is why I didn't want to step foot into that room with him, as I knew it would be this painful. More painful then anything in my life, although the day his dad took him was just as bad.

I love my son so much, it's just I'm grieving over the child I used to know. He isn't really that close to his dad, in fact his dad doesn't really care about him. I think he has found maybe some closeness with his step mom all this time.

He seemed a little insecure with himself, and as he was talking about himself and his life I could pick up on the fact that he was not very independent or really cared to be, which I found a little odd for a teen at that age.

He is closer to 17 and still does not have his license and doesn't really seem too interested in getting it. I dunno I just got the feeling he wasn't sure what it's like to live like a normal teen. His dad is a VERY fundamentalist christian. He does not allow his kids to watch TV, or listen to the radio. I basically consider the church he is involved in a "cult." It's very extreme.
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Old 05-31-2008, 09:00 PM
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lexus...
I'll be praying that your son will see the truth and he's at just about the right age and stage of development to start questioning things anyway so don't you think that the timing of this very first visit could be the beginning of many wonderful things?
I'm just so happy that you even had this opportunity and that you will have more times together. There's lots of hope for you and your son- especially now that he is almost a grown man who will be able to think for himself.
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Old 06-01-2008, 10:57 AM
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Originally Posted by Kindeyes View Post
Lex
I picture my emotional state as a "brick". It is MY brick. And I protect that brick. If I give it to someone else, they have the power to smash me in the head with it. Hold on to your brick, Lex. (I even put little notes all over my house with the words "hold on to your brick". On the fridge, on the mirror in the bathroom, on the door to the garage where I get to my car every day. It worked for me.) And if I do allow someone access to my "brick" and they even tap me on the noggin with it, I TAKE IT BACK! (This is how I vision "detachment". I can like someone. Heck, I can even LOVE someone and not give them access to my brick.)
This is a wonderful piece of advice. Thank you Kindeyes. I think I am going to steal this. Heck I may even put a brick somewhere in my house as a reminder since i have access to a variety in my garden!
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Old 06-01-2008, 12:34 PM
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Lex- You've gotten some wonderful comments from the people here. I had tears in my eyes reading through this thread. I think no matter what has happened, you and your son can reconnect and build a better bond. Your son is getting older and hopefully can see the truth in what has happened- and in what his dad is. Just you being yourself and trying to re-establish a bond that has always been there is going to be enough for him. I know it's hard not to regret the past- believe me- I work on it every day- but you can move forward and take the opportunities you have to see your son. I am rooting for you both!
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Old 06-01-2008, 03:32 PM
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okay, everyone on SR officially ROCKS.

(((lex))), i'm just hopping back to the board after a couple of days away. i have no experience with such a reunion. however, i do have extensive experience with grief.

to that i will only offer that i think one of the biggest internal challenges you may face is to allow yourself BOTH the grief AND the hope. to contain and experience more than one feeling at a time is really challenging. it's not something we are really taught or given permission to do, especially in f'd up backgrounds like ours.

i think it's amazing he was so chatty. to me, that indicates he has missed you terribly. but, of course, i can't read his mind. i'm not suggesting that. more just an instinct regarding a teen.

give this all of your heart and PLENTY of time.

you are a brave, brave woman. remember that you suited up and showed up at the very moment you had the opportunity to do so. kids KNOW who they can trust. they KNOW who loves them, who always did. he's older and there plenty to deal with but be patient with yourself. be flexible.

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Old 06-01-2008, 03:55 PM
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I agree everyone on SR rocks!!

Ok so I CANNOT stop thinking about him. Thats all that I have been thinking about in the last few days. Jeez I've really not even thought about xabf.

My mind is trying to make sense of all this and it's so hard. I am getting so hung up on how different he looks. He doesn't look anything like the 11 year old I once knew. Its somewhat weird and odd to me. I'm trying to wrap my brain around the fact that this is the same child.

I guess it doesn't help that his voice has changed as well. I hope once we get to possibly spend time together I will be able to find the child I once knew. Does this make any sense?

It was the most surreal thing listening to this child talk about us and the life and memories we once shared but it's like it was some stranger saying all this because he has changed physically sooooo much.

Maybe I'm dealing with some trauma here as well. This all is so hard and painful for me.
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