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My decisions have greatly affected my kid

Old 09-02-2010, 10:56 AM
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My decisions have greatly affected my kid

My son is 15 yrs. old and is becoming a handful for me. I was married to dad for 18 yrs., we are divorced now and he is in prison for a couple of years. Son is angry at me for going back as many times as I did along with a variety of other things. I see now if I had left many years ago maybe son would not have this anger and resentment towards dad or I. He doesn't even like his dad, says he's not a nice person and has no plans to see him when he gets out. He's old enough to make that decision and I stand behind him 100% if that's what he decides. I don't know how to make things better between us. We talked a bit last week-end and the talk was good but I don't know how to actually make the changes that need to be made for us to have a better relationship. I told son I didn't want our relationship to be strained as it is with his dad. I have full custody and neither of us have contact with dad. Son has seen and heard way too much growing up and remembers way more than I had hoped he would remember. he remembers dad hitting me, us riding around looking for him at bars and of course all the fighting and cussing that went on, just to name a few. I spent the whole time trying to make his life as normal as possible when our life was anything but normal!! Whatever normal is. Dad has been in and out of our life and has never been reliable or responsible so he has had no male role model. How will son be a good father or husband will he has never seen what that is or looks like? He says he doesn't ever want to get married. I explained to son why I stayed but now I see that was a bad decision for both of us. Dad is still an alcoholic and drug addict, not much has changed with him. I had hoped dad would get it together eventually but he didn't so I divorced him. I wish I had made better decisions 10 years ago about this, and son would have a brighter outlook on life than he has. I do feel like sometimes when dealing with son that my anger and resentment for dad spills over onto son and I do not want to do that. Any suggestions on how to mend this with son? I can't change the past but I do make better decisions these days and nothing is even allowed around us if it will have a negative impact on us. All I can do is make better decisions from here on out, I can't make up or change something from the past. Help you guys, this is all that has been on my mind since last week-end.
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Old 09-02-2010, 11:04 AM
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Hi (((Only))),
Try not to be so hard on yourself. We do as best we can until we know better. I can tell you, even in the best of circumstances, 15 is a tricky age.

Have you considered family counseling? I can guarentee you that this is not an unusual problem, and a qualified professional amy be of great help.

Good luck and hang in there
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Old 09-02-2010, 11:17 AM
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We have done counseling and he won't talk. Just flat refuses to talk when I take him.
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Old 09-02-2010, 11:28 AM
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How about looking up some Alateen meetings in your area. There he will find kids, his own age (his peers), who have been through what he has been through and are finding a way to get through the hurt, abandonment issues, etc and move on?

His High School Counselor would probably be the best place to start, and he/she may have some additional sugestions.

Hope that helps.

Love and hugs,
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Old 09-02-2010, 12:20 PM
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I'm looking for something i can do or say to him. He does not open up to other people about his problems. One issue with him is he never takes responsibility for what he does and that's not a good thing. Maybe we just need to sit down and talk more often and about things that don't necessarily make us comfortable.
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Old 09-02-2010, 01:47 PM
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I really suggest alanon for you even if your son won'T go to alateen. It can help you with boundaries and communication skills..give it a try.
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Old 09-02-2010, 01:53 PM
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Originally Posted by onlyliveonce View Post
I'm looking for something i can do or say to him. He does not open up to other people about his problems. One issue with him is he never takes responsibility for what he does and that's not a good thing. Maybe we just need to sit down and talk more often and about things that don't necessarily make us comfortable.
As an open and honest adult, I think its always good to talk openly about what is troubling you. However, I've learned from my kids that thats not always the case with them.

I have found myself on occassion making them very uncomfortable, because I needed to talk when they didn't particularly care to. I'm not sure if I needed to clear the air, or prevent something I thought would harm them down the road, but I do remember they would roll their eyes and clam up.

Maybe just allow him some space for now, and if he continues to act up, address those problems as they arise. Of course, if it becomes serious then professionals may be your best bet. They are trained in getting kids to open up.

Just some thoughts...as I said 15 year olds can be very tricky.
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Old 09-02-2010, 04:34 PM
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In my younger years I was very resentful that my mother was an alcoholic and made very bad choices with me...they were all drunks...and one was a real winner, very verbally and physically abusive.

It took me years to finally forgive her. I realized that she was codependant and very immature and that she could not see how her bad choices were affecting me. My mother still has a teeny bopper mentally, has to have a guy, or she is just not whole, however the man she is with now is ok.

Give your son time, let him see the positive changes you are making in your life, in time he will have a better understanding and surely will forgive you.
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Old 09-02-2010, 06:22 PM
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I made some bad decisions in my life that affected my three boys in negative ways - they are grown now and those issues, although not forgotten, are tempered with their maturity and graciousness. Fifteen can be a hard age - give your son as much support as he will allow at this time - but let him be the guide as to how much is dealt unless his actions become to serious to delay intervention - don't beat yourself up - that would just add to negative feelings - let your son see who you are as a whole, healthy adult - lifting you and your son up -
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Old 09-02-2010, 08:39 PM
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Originally Posted by onlyliveonce View Post
I can't change the past but I do make better decisions these days and nothing is even allowed around us if it will have a negative impact on us. All I can do is make better decisions from here on out, I can't make up or change something from the past.
I think you hit the nail on the head right there. Forgive yourself for the past and make positive changes for the future. It's the best thing you can do for your son and for yourself.

gentle hugs
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Old 09-03-2010, 06:41 AM
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I agree with what everyone has posted.

Seek AlAnon for yourself and lead by example. If you are growing and learning about yourself, taking pride in yourself, having strong personal boundaries, etc. that will shine through to your son.

Don't let him rule your home or your relationship, be loving but firm in what you expect of him. Our kids, no matter what age, need structure and boundaries - it's easier at times not to enforce, but so much better in the long run if you do.

Both my kids (now grown) wanted nothing to do with counseling after Dad & I divorced. I wonder now if I had stuck with it, would it have been better? Would AS not have gotten into drugs? Would my daughter not be sooo high strung and dealing w/mental health issues? I'll never know, but have wondered.

Good luck, keep doing the next right thing, that's all we can do!
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Old 09-03-2010, 09:37 AM
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Personally, I would still try counseling. Just because he is not talking and speaking up does not mean he is not listening or getting anything out of it. In time he might just surprise you with speaking up. And if he can hear your feelings and story, maybe it can help him come to terms with it all. I have been to a few counselors and some are better than others, and some we just click with better than others. I would keep trying counselors until one feels right. It is worth a shot IMO.

On a separate note, your post brought tears to my eyes because I am living in a mess with AH (different but still similar) and I have an 8 year old, loving, sensitive, energetic son and I fear what you are going through. My son adores his daddy, and altho AH has serious issues, he is loving to his son and tries in his limited way to be there for him. But you can't shield your kids from all the chaos, and that is what scares me. I'm finally taking some steps to move on and out of this. It will be a few months though before anything is really started officially, and gee, a lot can go on in 3 months or so.

You know, we do the best that we can with the resources we have at the time. I hope and pray that your son will someday see you as the rock you apparently have been for him through the years. Take care.
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Old 09-03-2010, 10:17 AM
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Thanks for all the replies!! I think I am going to make some time for just me and him to wind down and talk more often. I also think a change in counselors would be wise since he's fed up with this one. I'll just keep trying till something works for us. I do tend to be hard on myself because we only get one chance to do it right with the kids, although I know I will make mistakes I consider this a LARGE one that could possibly be life changing for son and that is what I wish I could go back and redo. Again, thank you for all the replies and advice
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Old 09-03-2010, 11:21 AM
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(((onlyliveonce)) - I'm sorry you're going through this.

My niece is 17. She has been raised by my dad/stepmom (her grandmother) as her mom died in a car wreck when she was 1, her dad is an addict and has never been a father to her.

She's angry, says she's depressed, etc. We USED to get in fights, because I couldn't tolerate her behavior. I started working MY codie recovery and setting boundaries (she's spoiled, stepmom lets her do whatever she wants). At first it was tough, but we've come a long way. The one person she respects, in our family, is me because she knows I will tell her when I don't approve of something, praise her when she does good stuff, and as she says "you've always got my back".

I know it's different than your situation, as she doesn't blame me for what's happened. However, I just wanted to point out that the more I worked MY recovery, the better things went.

We don't usually sit down and talk, but I do take advantage of opportunities, when we're talking, to "hone in" on something she says and tell her how I would handle it. She knows my past (I'm an RA), intimately, but she sees someone trying to get their life back on track.

I really think the more you work on YOU, it really does rub off on the kids.

Oh, and she never would open up to a counselor, either, eventually just refused to go. I have no say-so in what she does/doesn't do, but I still try to pass on things I've learned and she does listen, though it doesn't seem like it at the time. Teenager's are tough, and throw in addiction and codependency, and it's even harder.

I think you're on the right path I know that most of what I learned, I got from here! It helps to hear how others have done things, and know that you're not alone.

Hugs and prayers,

Amy
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