People look and see a “good” mom or “good” kids and think that life is not messy. They don’t realize that there is no support system. That mom is alone, and facing an angry, hurt teenage boy- alone. That his anger has caused physical pain, emotional pain, spiritual pain, and the constant attacks when he is feeling like he is hurting is relentless and takes it’s toll on the relationship. As a parent who loves her child, it’s easy to make excuses, cover it up, try to soothe the savage beast that surges up… but it is not helping. It permits the behaviors in all reality. It does more damage than good.
Recently, I was given a post without explanation, or note that this was a funny but mean thing to find on the internet… not meant for me… without all of that explaining it and was hurt. My son sent me a Facebook meme about a sleeping bag “c***” with a condom and it read “now you can sleep where you belong and should have been in the first place, you’re worthless”. A bunch of random people I do not know were tagged on the actual photo- I was not one- but the simple fact that this was sent to me is extremely disturbing. This was sent on my son’s 17th birthday morning at 3:40 am after I woke up to find him awake and dressed and trying to go “turn up” because he “felt like it” and “its his birthday”. I did some talking, and he wound up staying home. His girlfriend was here too, I don’t know why he would want to leave her at that time of night either.
Either my son feels so badly about himself he wishes I wasn’t alive because he does not want to be, or he really hates me. The 20 or so holes I have in walls, doors, and closets demonstrate a raging anger and unhappiness at the very least.
He keeps himself in check 98% of the time when his siblings are around. His father abandoned him to me, full time, and does not want anything to do with him at all- ever. My son is on disability, and has had problems with the law and mental health. People in my circle tell me to “kick him out” and say such horrid things about him. They don’t seem to get that he is very sick and will not survive on his own. His father abandoned him. If I do the same, that will damage him deeper than he already is.
I do not think I am ready to give up, even though I am losing this battle. I do not think that evil has won over good, or won over love. Do I hate the things my son says and does? Yes. But is it because this is how he feels about me?? Or is it telling of something deeper and much sadder?
I say the latter. Why? Because the day before his birthday he was all hugs and kisses and loving. As soon as it became his birthday, he realized his father is not going to take him out to eat and drop him back with a shopping bag full of “stuff”. That I am struggling at the moment and cannot afford to do much for him because of my financial situation, and really he is hurting and angry and self-hating. It is not about me. He lashes out at doors and walls, and verbally because he projects what he feels inside about himself.
He grew up with a father who told him he was worthless, going to fail at everything he does, and wont be anything in life. He has been severely hurt, and rejected and abused by the one person who was supposed to help him grow up and be a good man. I am a woman, I can do so much. I cannot take away all his pain or all the damage, but I can love him through it.
My son denies he has mental health issues. He denies that there is anything “wrong” with him. He has high goals for himself. He struggles but he does try most of the time. I feel him giving up. Saying things like he does not want to be here, or he wants to be locked up for a few years because it will “help” him be better and not do stupid things. That his dad was right. It is awful to hear your own child hate himself so much. How do you fix that?! I praise him when he is doing right and well. I give affirmations. Daily affection. Expectations. When he is not doing well, I point out what I like about how he handled the event, and we talk about options on what he could do next time. Therapy, he says does not help him. There are court papers that need to happen so I can enroll him in a different-male- therapist. It is really a mess. I have been given a kid, with essentially no rights to do anything outside of his father’s permission. No financial assistance for him. His disability goes to his dad. I pay child support to his dad, yet I have had him for over a year. I lost my son in 2007 due to being in an abusive relationship, being refused a ride to court, and my attorney having a heart attack and quadruple by-pass – so it was a default and undefended order. I should note here we had been in court for seven straight years- every three months- and I won. Really, my son’s best interests won… but what I asked for- won. It wasn’t until that fateful day in 2007 where by default I lost everything except my parental rights being terminated. Those were still in tact. Now, were ten years later, and I lack the ability and the authority to help my son. I have paperwork ready to file, and am finally able to do so next week. I have to be quick as his dad plans on leaving the state.
I am absolutely devastated about his father. Yes, my son’s behaviors and mental health is tiring. Yes, he needs constant supervision and redirection or he will find himself in trouble. Yes, he can be cruel and disrespectful. Is it personal, nope. It is about how he feels about himself, and he is projecting his fears, hurts, and anger on those closest to him. He feels helpless to change what has happened.
I love my son. I don’t have to love his behavior, or how he treats me or his sisters sometimes (annoying big brother)… but I love him. I see his generous and loving heart when he is not having an “episode”. Will he change? Maybe. Maybe not. But what i want is him to learn skills, to cope, better than what he has now.
It would have been so easy for me to rant and rave and rally my readers into hating my son, or being angry with him, or having them jump on the bandwagon of “kick him out”… but what really is there- is a scared, hurt, abandoned boy who is confused, and feeling low about himself and hurting over rejection and angry- rightfully so- and reacting out of anger and rejection is not the answer.
This is always a reminder to love yourselves and one another, be kind to each other, you never know what someone else is enduring, and you never know what led them there. xoxoxoxoxox