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My Son's Feelings

Old 04-27-2011, 07:45 PM
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My Son's Feelings

I saw this coming months ago and encouraged my 15yo son to go to Alateen. He went once, liked it and they gave him a book, which he really doesn't read. Understandable, at 15 girls, sports and video games are on a higher priority list. But today I saw the anger, bitterness and resentment he has beginning to surface.

My RAH, his stepfather got his 30 day chip Sunday. This time around he's actually working the AA program - on the 90/90 mission. (For those who don't know, this is as a result of his 2nd trip to detox in less than 6 mos.) When he did the 1st trip to detox and came home my 15yo was so happy to see him sober and glad to have him around. Of course when he slipped my son was very upset, when I told him he went back to detox he said, "I don't know why, it won't help." That made me sad as this is the only "father" my son has ever known. Out of all the kids - eight (5- my RAH/3-mine) he was the only one who still believed in him.

My RAH and I live in separate homes. He's renting a room and I have my apt. After the last incident I knew living together permanently was going to have to be a long term goal. We initially separated in 2008 and maintained separate homes because of his drinking. When he did detox in Nov, I thought (silly me) all would be better, he's not drinking no more, problem solved, right? Wrong!!! I've learned since then in Al Anon that his physical sobriety isn't emotional sobriety. Detox helped the symptom but the causes and conditions take time to heal. So I ignorantly let him move in with me and the kids in Nov. The last incident in Feb was really ugly, my 18yo and 15yo got involved as well as the police. That's when I found Al Anon and introduced my son to Alateen.

Anyway, I've been spending quite a bit of time with my husband. We go to meetings (AA/Al Anon) at the same location several times a week. I spent a few nights with him this past week. My son made some disrespectful comments to my 18yo daughter tonight about me in reference to my RAH. When I confronted him I saw all the pain I knew he had inside. The worst thing to me though was he didn't really express it. All he did was say he thought I wasn't going to deal with my RAH anymore but I could see so much more in his face. His head hung low, tears fighting to come out and twisting a hair pin, no matter what I said he wouldn't open up and get it out. I left the conversation letting him know when he was ready he could come back and talk to me I would listen. I also texted my friend whose daughter attends the Alateen meeting my son went to inquiring if she had their sponsor's number.

I need some ES&H!!!
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Old 04-27-2011, 09:50 PM
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As I attended Alanon meetings, I would share some of what I was learning and feeling with my teenage children. I took them to one open Alanon meeting and offered to make arrangements for Alateen if they wanted. They have declined the Alateen offer so far.

I think one of the most effective things I demonstrated and taught my teens was how to identify feelings. Am I happy, am I sad, am I scared, am I angry?
Then to recognize it as a normal feeling and find a healthy way to express that feeling without hurting another individual.

If I am sad, it is okay to cry. It is okay to bawl my head off if needed.
If I am happy, it is okay to smile, smile, smile!
If I am scared, it is okay to admit I get afraid. Then I need to understand what the fear is based on.
If I am angry, it is okay to be angry. I need to express that anger in a healthy way. I taught my children to punch pillows and curse.

Your teenager may be experiencing all those feelings, as well as grieving the loss of the relationship he thought he had with your RAH.

I can't force my teens to share with me. I can be here when they are ready. I can also remind them that they are loved and they are okay!
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