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Struggling

Motherhood is not always easy. There is great joy along the way. I have gave birth to two boys. One died at the age of 18 due to muscular dystrophy. I have one remaining son who is now 17. I have trouble getting along with him. I really truly hate fighting with him, but it seems we fight more than we talk and relate to each other.

I have great guilt about it too. I often wonder if all the years I was caring for his handicapped brother, have I somehow neglected him. You know, maybe I was just so busy and preoccupied he felt ignored and left to figure out the world alone. It doesn't help that his father has nothing to do with him literally. His father didnt even make it to the funeral of his own son. Their father living maybe 5 minutes drive from the funeral home. I have a great deal of anger and probably hate over that one.

I do enjoy when my 17 year old is happy. I just wish he could be happier more of the time. He never talks about what is bothering him. He keeps everything bottled up inside. He dont talk to me or anyone else. I have had him in counseling 2 different times when he was in 5th grade and in 7th grade. He refuses to go back. He has this anger inside of him. I wish I knew how to help him. I know his father and his brother are surely 2 of the things that bother him. I am sure there more, but its a guessing game as to what-because he wont talk about it.

putrjnky putrjnky 41-45, F 39 Responses Sep 25, 2008

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it wasn't until i was 19 or 20 that i really truly started to appreciate my mum &amp; everything she sacrificed for me, &amp; every day i'm realising just how much she did for me &amp; what she went through because of me more &amp; more. <br />
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i once told my mother i hated her - at the time i thought i actually meant it. she slapped me across the face when i said it, &amp; i deserved it - that's a despicable thing to say to the woman whom your life depends upon, &amp; who would sacrifice anything &amp; everything (including her own life) for you. looking back i am absolutely disgusted at how i behaved towards her. &amp; i've decided that from this day forward, for as long as we have left on this earth together, i am going to spend as much time as i can making it up to her &amp; showing her how much i love her. <br />
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it takes wisdom, &amp; wisdom comes with age. <br />
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the same went for my bro - he was so hateful to my mum. she even once said to me "i hate him. i know that's a terrible thing to say about your own son, but i really do". now it is completely different - they are like 2 pees in a pod. he's like a big loving oaf around her, &amp; is really protective of her. &amp; our dad was never around...i think it does have an effect - children's first image of what a man is comes from their father (so i can image that a dad is particularly important when it comes to boys). <br />
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a lot of the time when mum wanted to know about my business all the time, i just assumed she was nosey - that's natural for a teenager, i think (you know the typical "omg, mum you're ruining my liiiiiifffaaaaa!"). <br />
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don't feel guilty. it's not you - it's him, &amp; the wisdom he has right now (which is limited, not because you're a bad parent but because he is a teenager). all you can do is be there. persevere. my mum did &amp; to me that makes her even more amazing, considering what i put her through (picking me up from hospital because i took drugs, or from some party half-concious in the wee-hours of the morning when i had snuck out after she thought i had gone to bed, not to mention the blatantly disrespectful words i hurled at her on a day-to-day basis, just to name a few things).<br />
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a single mother dealing with 2 young boys on her own, 1 of which is heavily handicapped - you're an amazing woman. you probably did show his brother more care - he was sick, he needed it &amp; as his mother you gave it to him. i'm sure your other son will see that as he grows older. <br />
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to me, my mum is the most important woman to me on this planet. no matter what i have done, or how much i have hurt her, she has been there for me. at times she threatened to give up on me...but she never did. the only reason i can think of for this is that she loves me, &amp; cares for me more than she cares for herself. i doubt anyone else on the planet is capable of loving a person like their mother. <br />
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don't feel guilty. please.

First off I take my off to you and I bow honorably to you for giving, enduring, laboring, fighting, nurturing, giving, loving, caring, praying, standing, crying,warring...for your home, children, dreams, futures... I say the following to you and moms everywhere including my own...THANK YOU!!! I apologize to you and every woman who experienced. Hurt, brokeness and harm from the father of your children, the man you placed your hope in, the king you trusted who would defend the castle, the queen and all it encompasses. Please forgive me for playing with the great responsibility of leading, teaching, cultivating, loving, improving your life, home,family and future. I now ask that as a woman, mom, matrarch who desires even greater to please pray, encourage, speak positive to and address with respect men near and far to desire intimacy with God and to fullfill pursuinh purpose from this juncture forth. Inconclusion for Christmas view and give as gifts the movie: COURAGEOUS.

It really kills me how much parents beat themselves up over their teenagers. I really hope mine don't, although they probably do. I'm 19 now, and I can tell you with absolute certainty: it's not your fault. It probably has nothing to do with you. Being a teenager is just horrible and annoying, and there's nothing anyone can do about it. I always hoped I'd be done figuring myself out by 18, but I'm not even remotely done yet. It's frustrating, it really is. You really shouldn't blame yourself. There's nothing you can do about it.

it will take time.<br />
Gradualy n tactfuly make him understand.<br />
Always b nice wth him.

I would also have to add that his anger probably is about the male role model he is lacking but also because he is a teen and it is a confusing time.<br />
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I can attest that I had some trouble in my teenage life and instead of my mom yelling or screaming she would just tell me how beautiful I was and how much she loved me-- at the time I hated her, for no reason at all- I just did- but her love broke through, it truly did.<br />
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I believe very much in the power of words- just reaffirm your love for him, your belief in him and how amazing he is to you and how very proud of him you are! Even if he resists it and fights it or yells and screams at you-- just do it and say it over and over again-- it will get through to him I promise!<br />
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When it gets hard for you- get out the baby albums and remember the old days- when he would run to you and hug you- or look to you to kiss his boo-boos-- that kid is still there and he still needs you! :))<br />
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If you have wronged him, let him know how sorry you are- but you are still here and you always will be and you aren't giving up- just letting go- praise him for the man he is becoming! :))

I am sorry to hear about your loss and everything else. He is probably just pissed off at the world right now. Just remind him that you are always there for him and that you are proud and compliment his strong points and tell him a little about you when you were younger and the stupid things you have done. Find a way to relate to him find a way to bond in some way. I am sure if you talked about some of the things that you both have been through but dont ask him how he feels let him know how you feel. then leave that door untouched until he feels he is ready to open it.

Hi Mom<br />
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It seems you carrt a burden thats out of your control, you took a step to publish your thought on EP maybe you should encourage your son to express himself in a similar forum and after some time and trust has been built up you could can start to communicate via EP or a similar web site, sometimes kids get confused and are not prepared to talk to their parents so take it slow and he will find his way.<br />
Maybe you should also start thinking about yourself, if you are alone you should try and make friends and talk about things that please you, remember that Love is the way, always show love and cast out the anger.

give him time,as long as you always show him you love him regardless of the way he acts at times.I had major problems with my eldest son,im so glad its over and i know how terrible it is going through it all ,but my son and i are now very close,he has grown and matured with the help of a nice girl.he now tells me that it was the love i gave him that kept him from being lost forever,its hard but never give up on them and always make sure they know it.life can be tough for us so imagin how it is for them.your hurting over isues in your past,he's probably hurting over the same things and wether you believe it or not he's probably concerned that if all the people in his life that he loved have left him ,you may to.its silly i know but sometimes we hurt the ones we love because were scared.Im sure he also hates that your hurt and angry too.be patient and trust all will work out for the best,just give him the space he needs to work out his own feelings. regards Linda

teenagers are like that, we all had our mood swings:) but You are a mother first and a friend later, just because he is sad and you want him happy, soon you will be doing anything to please him, by giving him whatever he wants, and that's a desaster waiting to happen.Don't let no one see's that they have that much controll over you.it's a growing pain......

Grief is such a hard process. It is possible he is feeling it too inside. Maybe he senses your missing of your oldest son. You are doing the best you can and you are among friends here, so keep venting to keep sane....

Things that work:<br />
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1 Wait until he is 25!! Sounds silly, but it seems to be true of boys especially - before that age it is hard for them to be able to share thoughts or felings at all - unless they are negative. (They seem to have NO trouble being negative!)<br />
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2 DON'T be too serious around him - even if he groans at your efforts to be light hearted or "funny" he will prefer it to you being serious all the time.<br />
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3 Sometimes (not too often) tell him about things you remember about him as a baby or a small child - cute things, silly things, whatever. "I remember how you'd always eat your peas at Granma's house but you'd never eat them at home!" type stuff! Nothing too serious - just enough so he knows how much you cherish him.<br />
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4 On special occassions (like birthdays) tell him you want to spend time with him doing something that costs NO money. It need only be 1/2 hour to an hour! Doesn't have to interfere with what he wants to do with friends. If he doesn't want to be seen with you by his friends, DON'T take offense - this is NORMAL teenage stuff! If he says he doesn't know what to do, suggest a drive to a beauty spot he might like (surf beach?? national park?) or a walk together If he is REALLY against the idea, give it up gracefully. More likely he will grumble but go along with it and be secretly pleased you wanted to spend TIME with him.<br />
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5 When you have reason to discipline him, always tell him you are not happy with his BEHAVIOUR, but that you love HIM.<br />
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Good luck!!

This'll sound funny, but print out your post and let him read it- it may help him understand where you are coming from and he might open up to you too.<br />
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Just be there for him- don't bug him about counseling and stuff, just let him know you love him everyday and ask him how he is, etc. With time he'll open up, specially if he sees you are respectfully keeping your distance.

It seems like you're trying to make up for the time lost with him, but he's not a child anymore. He's taught himself to keep things bottled up because of his brother's illness, his father (you mentioned), and even you, Mom. Give him his personal space, but don't expect him to run into your arms. He's not used to it.

Teenagers get moody as they grow up, you should probably just leave him alone and let him deal with that, counseling will only make him mad. My mom should've learned this 4 kids ago and hasn't so don't feel bad if you fail.

As a teenager with much angst, and a therapist, I think the best thing to do, if your son is anything like me, is offer him guidance but don't force yourself on him and monitor him to make sure that he isn't getting worse then you think he is. Eventually, he'll come around.

My son got married at the age of 21, we are so disgusted about it because we taught that of his age he is to young for responsibilities. God is the only answer to our prayers he turns to be a good son now and a husband of a cute little angel. Let us lead everything to our Lord hands and all would be possible. You and your son and your husband would be happy too. God bless you.

could it be that you were so close to your 1st. an was hurt so badly when you lost him, that your afraid of being hurt that way again so you wont let your self to allow the 2nd. one in as depley, an he feels these emothons an subconsely is hurting himself?

Unfortunately the only people your son is gonna want to open up to are people his age or people he wants to impress. He may not be very good at expressing himself and will turn to some form of art to express how he feels or get lost in his own world. He also may not get many chances to express himself, so try to set up conversations between him and someone he enjoys being around. I'm very sorry to hear of your other son's death. The fact that you probably didn't pay as much attention to him probably lead your son to become more independent and want to do things on his own. If you notice this you need to remind him that its okay to ask for help. Your son may not open up to ever, but you need to make sure he does to someone and do not try to ask whom ever he opens up to questions cause that will detriment the trust you have with your son. Give him his space, but let him know your always there as I'm sure you do

I am also the mother of a 17 year old son. I can totally relate what you are going through. A lot of it is about boundaries and finding out what you will tolerate from him. My son has experienced adversity as well as yours. In addition to that, he is suffering from "teen angst" which is very normal for a 17 year old.<br />
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17 is a stage in life where you want to be independent to form your own ideas and such.....but you don't want to be an adult living on your own payin rent and bills...just yet. 18 is only twelve months away and too close to becoming mature and to be R-E-S-P-O-N-S-I-B-L-E. *gasps* AND......ok hears the kicker....you ready for it? Move out of mommy's house ON YOUR OWN.........*another gasp*'<br />
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My suggestion to you is to let him be.....let him open up on his own....the more you ask about his day he will just see you as a nag and scare him off. What I recommend....this is what I do with mine....when I walk through the door after a day's work and we make eye contact....that's if he looks up from the T.V. sitting on the couch......regardless I acknowledge him by simply saying to him, " Hey son! Good to see you....." Depending on his body language and facial ex<x>pressions, I will pat him on the back lightly......then I walk to my room to unwind for about fifteen minutes. If my 9 yr. daughter doesn't beat him to it, then he will walk to my door and say, "Hey Mom, how's it going?" Always remember when he comes around....that it takes alot of courage for him so you must encourage him when he does by keeping the conversation positive.<br />
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Hope that makes sense and I hope it helps. Take care, SM :)

Dear Struggling Mom,<br />
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I saw a trick on TV that might help you. Maybe you already know about this. If you can't get your kid to talk to you, especially a male, they say it helps to have him do something with his hands. So, if you ask him for help with the dishes or something, he might at least talk to you. I never had kids, but I know that works because I was a quiet little kid and someone used that tactic on me. It worked too! So, maybe it will work on your son. Good luck to you.

He probably feels alone and doesn't want to bond with you in case something happens to you.First his father leaves then his brother dies what if something happens to you?My mother bought me a guitar and it helps me keep my mind off things so maybe you could do something like that.Also telling someone to go to counseling sometimes makes it sound to them that theres something wrong with them.If he likes animals maybe you could give him one.My dog helped me alot.I'm not telling you to spoil him but if he can find something to do that he love it might help him be happier.

Good advice all around. pyro666...time alone, privacy respected too. Very important at his age as DGLB comented on are limits and boundries. They must be spelled out with no compromise. He may not show it, but he will apprecate the feeling of safety this gives. Too bad dad is not in the picture to help with this. What promted me to post. I grew up without a father. Never new him. It just seems to me that maybe now would be a good time for ether your son or his dad to start some kind of relationship. Best

My 17 year old son is the same way as yours...no he didn't lose his brother and his father is still around,however he is acting the same way as yours. From what I have seen from his friends and around the school is that that is a "normal" teenage boy...Wishing you luck...

Your son sounds a lot like I was at 16/17. My dad died when I was eight, and I hardly ever talked to my Mom as a teenager. In fact, I didn't talk much with anyone.<br />
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I strongly recommend taking wishinggirl's advice. Don't focus on what you expect from him, but instead focus on ways that you can gently and patiently show him that you love him.<br />
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That's what my mom did. For a while she pushed a lot and that only made me want to get away more. Then for some reason she backed off but continued showing gentle interest--she would ask regularly basic questions about how my day was, things I was doing, projects at school, sports I was in, etc. Usually, I gave only a word or two in response, but she never seemed outwardly frustrated. Sometimes she would ask followup questions, which seemed more like "I'm interested" than an interrogation. She talked to my friends (as real, interesting people) and helped me pursue my hobbies.<br />
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She didn't become less involved, just more patient/accepting and less pushy.<br />
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That said, there were always house rules, but as I began to show bits of trustworthiness, she gave me more and more responsibility for my self.<br />
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Good luck. Be patient. Show love.

just accept him like he is and listen to him. I find that one reason I don't really get along with my mom a lot of the time is because it's like she wants to make me better so much that she can't just accept who I am and realize that, maybe the way that I am has nothing to do with what she thinks about it, and also she makes herself way too guilty when it comes to me and that makes things worse. Because a mother always thinks "maybe that's my fault" and they try to control everything that is happening. But the reality is that you can't control everything, and if you accept it then it's a lot easier to be there for your son. You won't be so focused on what's wrong with him and trying to fix it. You can be responsible without putting all the blame on yourself or how youre controlling the situation. Try new things. That's my two pieces anyway. <br />
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Also, sometimes there's not exactly anything to explain why he might not be feeling good, or it is not able to be explained. Sometimes we do not know what is going on.<br />
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The other thing, I think that people often translate emotions into situations in the case of a fight so the way I try to communicate with people is that we would share how we feel about things and be able to say "this is how I feel about it" without judgement about those feelings, because of the fact that they're said as feelings rather than translated into situations. Know what I mean??

There are always some posts that shoot down the therapy. But there is something to be said here: 1) Like a real estate agent, you need to search for one that fits you. Not all are created equal - and I'm talking experience - there are different approaches. Make sure you agree with the point of view of the therapist. 2) You have to have the strength to accept some hard truths about yourself. You have to let go a little.<br />
My therapist uses no drugs and addresses the core of my issues - and does not just look to put band-aids on the problems.<br />
Do a little homework and be ready to work - nobody said this was easy. I'm fighting hard, and I've faced up to some things I have denied for years. And I'm glad I did.

I may be no expert, but if there is one thing I would advise against, it's the previous suggestion to leave him alone.<br />
I am much older and wiser, and I have been dealing with the repercussions of not having enough parental contact when I was younger. The issue - as I think you've seen a glimpse of - is your communication style. Everyone gets into what my therapist calls "cycles" that become so natural that we might not even realize it. Perhaps a counselor is in order - but don't just send him. Go with him. Show him it's not "his problem", it is a problem between BOTH of you. It takes 2 to tango. Couples counseling is not just for married couples - it can be for any relationship.

My cousin is 16 years old. He has some issues as well. He has been going to therapy for years now for emotional and anger problems. A lot of times he uses that against his mother to get what he wants. He's not a bad person at heart but he is a lazy and selfish person. I am trying to teach him how to be better, though...<br />
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I am 27 years old and when my ex-girlfriend and I broke up last year after being together for almost 6 years, I moved back in with my parents. My aunt and my cousin also live in that house. I just tried to be the best friend that I can be to him because an authority figure can almost never be considered a friend to kids that age. I cover for him when he does something just a bit stupid but teach him that it is best to fess up when what he does hurts another person to be a man and apologize and make it right...<br />
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If you are ever around a toddler, pay attention to how they react to someone who treats them like a friend rather than a toddler. You can get a toddler to do anything if you really make them believe that you you need their help to do it and thank them profusely. It is similar with my cousin... He will pretend to listen to authority figures but when I treat him as an equal and a friend.. then he listens.<br />
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Be someone that your son would hate to disappoint. Take a step back with him and when he does the little stupid things, laugh them off but make the comment that "wow, I'm glad it didn't go in a worse way!". Put the idea of what could have happened in his head without punishing him for it. Do it like a friend. When he does something really stupid, he will face the consequences caused by his action as well as the consequences of your disappointment and you still may have to punish him in some way as well, but that is being a parent. You can balance both of them. It will take time.<br />
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I'm not offering all of this as advice, really. It is just my experience with my cousin. Who would want to take advice from a 27 year old man who lives with his parents! LOL! :)

i`m 22 and my mother has taken me to several therapies because she thinks im crazy since i used to talk `smart` with her o.o<br />
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i hate therapy now and work groups and crazy people who take invega and risperdal and paliperodine i hate those trash pills.

Please disregard my screen name. It no longer applies. I'm not smiling anymore. This week has brought me trouble with my son and I feel like crying instead of smiling. In fact, I've cried and lost sleep. My trouble is that my son is being teased at school for a terrible nickname we gave him when he was a baby that turns out to have sexual connotations we were unaware of. He's a freshman this year and the upper classmen are giving him he!! over it. I feel so bad for him and he's really sensitive and shy. He wants to cry, but doesn't want to show his feelings. Motherhood is killing me - I feel horrible for him. I'd hoped these would be good years in his life, but because of a stupid name, it looks like he is going to have a lot of humiliation instead. I know my problems don't seem bad to some people, but they sure feel bad to me!