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 Post subject: My heart is breaking
PostPosted: Sat May 17, 2014 1:16 am 
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Joined: Thu Feb 28, 2013 10:59 pm
Posts: 76
Location: East coast
Oh, my heart is breaking...again....

I can't protect my sons anymore. They are now pretty much adults and they are beginning to see how much I shielded them in the last three years from their dad's questionable behaviors they are struggling, especially the oldest twin. Sometimes I wish they weren't so smart. They are looking back and correctly questioning and interpreting the oddities that subconsciously noted.

Now, one of the twins is a mess, asking how can he love his dad or have a relationship with his dad when he doesn't respect him anymore... My son is a mess. G has always been delayed in social skills and life management skills and H has preyed on that deficiency so that now G has completely lost his second semester at college! He had to withdraw for mental health from school when the anger towards his dad erupted with thoughts of harm...towards his younger brother and himself...he's back in weekly counseling again

Will the damage never end???


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 Post subject: Re: My heart is breaking
PostPosted: Sat May 17, 2014 8:29 am 
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Partner's Coach

Joined: Mon Nov 15, 2010 11:49 pm
Posts: 675
I am so sorry! Watching our children hurt is so difficult! The good side of this is that since your children are adults, and since they now know what has been happening they have the opportunity to heal as well. They can assess their own values systems for damage done by your husband's warped view of reality and hopefully live healthier lives themselves because of this. But big hugs! It would be so much easier if we could hurt for them!


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 Post subject: Re: My heart is breaking
PostPosted: Fri Jul 11, 2014 11:36 pm 
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Joined: Thu Feb 28, 2013 10:59 pm
Posts: 76
Location: East coast
I am devastated!!!

I've had another Dday...but this time with one of my sons... It came out when he had to withdraw from college right before finals losing the whole semester. And then a couple weeks ago, he told me he was disturbed by an approach by a "cam-whore" on Skype. He said he didn't approach her and he doesn't know how she got his info. My gut instinct says he's lying...and I've caught him (and called him out on) so many lies in the last few weeks. All my trust in him is GONE. And I am so scared for him and his future! I don't know what to do. He registered for RN in May but refuses to do anything, lies about doing it, etc. I see soooo many behaviors like his dad. I'm frightened for him. And, I'm afraid he has gone beyond his dad in this stuff. What am I going to do???

Everything I say or do is wrong...again... I have set boundaries, but I am struggling with consequences. He's at that in between age, a young adult in years anyway... What would be appropriate consequences in high school are not appropriate now at 19 years old. And consequences I enacted for H aren't appropriate either... So where do I go from here? I'm so lost...

It's a huge internal conflict between my values as a mom and my values of honesty, morality, faith, stability and I'm having a really hard time weighing which is more important to protect for me.

I don't know if anyone else has dealt with this. I guess I just needed to vent...


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 Post subject: Re: My heart is breaking
PostPosted: Sat Jul 12, 2014 6:16 am 
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Partner's Coach (Admin)

Joined: Fri Sep 14, 2007 3:07 pm
Posts: 5200
Hi aphi83,

I am so sorry to hear about the discovery with your son. This must be so heart-breaking and frightening for you. Especially because of the precedent set by your h.

Quote:
Everything I say or do is wrong...again... I have set boundaries, but I am struggling with consequences…What would be appropriate consequences in high school are not appropriate now at 19 years old. And consequences I enacted for H aren't appropriate either... So where do I go from here? I'm so lost…
This is difficult indeed. I have pondered what I would do in a similar situation, as I have concerns for my own son as well. Porn and other sexual stimuli is so accessible today that it is viewed by younger people as no big deal. Sadly, they don’t understand or foresee the far reaching problems and consequences that are a very real (and for us, a very scary) possibility.

For me, I think the first thing I would do is talk to my son (which is sounds like you have). I would start the conversation by letting him know that I have concerns for him, and about his choices. I’d also let him know that my love for him is unconditional and that as his mother the way I deal with this will be different than how I deal with my h, but that there are still some hard and fast rules that I expect him to respect.

One very big contributing factor in the distress response to this sutation is, as his mother, you have a strong desire to protect him, which can easily manifest as trying to control his environment and “fix” the problem. But, unfortunately, this is not effective (just as it isn’t effective with our partners).

Quote:
It's a huge internal conflict between my values as a mom and my values of honesty, morality, faith, stability and I'm having a really hard time weighing which is more important to protect for me.
What are your values as a mom compared to your values of honesty, etc.? When we are new to this process, it seems many of us creat our vision and values from a place of trying to control our own environments/manage the current crisis. For example, many partners will put prioritize honesty at the very top of their values, but if we step back (well, at least when I stepped back) I realized that safety is actually my top value. Honesty is a very close second. Further, I left out very important values that hadn't occurred to me when I was in the midst of trying to navigate the crisis of discovery. This is why it is useful to review our vision and values periodically, especially once we have gotten further along in our healing, because this is how this might become apparent (at least it did for me!). Also, I believe that our core values are those that support us in all areas of life, and so are applicable across the board. For example, when I read the values you listed here, that you feel are in conflict with your values as a mom, it seems to me that these are exactly the kinds of values that support being a mom. The consequences for violating those values might be very different between your h and your son, but the values are probably not different. I think it would help you to revisit exercise 16 (Understanding your values),17 (Strengthening your Values), 19 (Identifying your Boundaries), 20 and even 21. Do the boundary exercises specifically with this situation in mind, this time (instead of thinking globally).

Be well.

_________________
Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom. (Viktor E. Frankl)


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 Post subject: Re: My heart is breaking
PostPosted: Sat Jul 12, 2014 6:25 am 
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Partner's Coach (Admin)

Joined: Fri Sep 14, 2007 3:07 pm
Posts: 5200
One more thing: The crisis will seem all the more unbearable when your focus is on all of the negative current and potential future outcomes, especially if you have a tendency to over-generalize and catastrophize. This is no way is meant to diminish the situation, because it is very serious and undoubtably scary. However, it doesn't do you, your son, your relationship or the situation any good to focus on the negative. What can you do in this situation? What things do you have control over? If this were happening to a very good friend of yours, what would you advise them? I think this last question for thought will help provide enough distance from the situation for you to think objectively (the first 2 questions). Remember, all you can do is the best you can according to your vision and values, and according to the skills you currently have. You have done the best you can and you are going to continue to do the best you can. That is all you can do. Don't beat yourself up in this process. Yes, you are his mother. Yes, your job is to teach and role model. But, just because you have given him the best you can with the tools you have, doesn't mean he is going to take it all in. He is his own person too, and now he is an adult. This means that acceptance and allowing your son to fumble through some things for himself might be all that you can do.

Be well.

_________________
Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom. (Viktor E. Frankl)


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 Post subject: Re: My heart is breaking
PostPosted: Mon Jul 14, 2014 8:30 am 
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Partner's Mentor

Joined: Wed Apr 29, 2009 10:49 pm
Posts: 3834
I am so sorry you are going through this. I can empathize. It's so very hard to watch your adult child who has so much promise and so much to offer in today's world literally fall apart. As mothers, we want to protect our children even from themselves. I feel I walk a tightrope with my own son which I'm sure he feels. He's had a very rough couple of years and has become depressed and overwhelmed with his own situations and perceptions but has no trust in doctors and feels he can fix himself. Your words "everything I do or say is wrong" fits. How to cope is the question. I find myself needing to distance myself from him and the situation and focus on other areas of my life which sucks the energy out of me most days. My H has his own struggle in dealing with our son, but he has tried very hard to work with him on projects and interests they share and is as worn out as I am when he falls back into old patterns. Watching our adult children struggling to cope with their pain is devastating. Accepting that I have no control doesn't seem to diminish my pain - I accept that, too. This is where I am but I have hope for positive change. I pray for that.

I wish I had wise words of advice to offer. I think Mel is right in suggesting that you revisit key lessons about values and boundaries. I learned to put my own emotional health at the top of my list but coming up with new action plans for myself to help myself...well, I'm working on that.
Know that you are not alone in this.

Nellie James


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