I am offering my blog to parents of older children as a safe space to blog anonymously. It will both help them to offload and help other parents who may be going through the same situations in silence. I’m pleased to welcome my second anonymous blogger today, who is struggling with her tween son’s behaviour.
My dear boy. I’m writing this because I’m hoping it’ll be good to get it out. You’ll never actually read this, but I had to let it out of me .
I never thought it was possible to love a child too much. I believe it may be though, if done in the wrong way. I thought I showed love all those times I gave in. All those times I let those sad faces win. When you’d have these huge upsets and, instead of seeing your time outs through, I ran to you and comforted you, sat you down and we watched tv. I treated you so differently to your poor sister. I often wonder why she doesn’t hate me. But she’s a kind soul, a forgiving one and I have worked so, so hard to right my wrongs with her.
We were supposed to be a happy family. Your father left us all of a sudden, he no longer loved me any more. In truth, we hadn’t loved each other for some time. He was hardly around and I sought you for comfort. You hardly slept anyway, not without a fight or an argument, so we just chilled together. It was easier to co-sleep than to deal with the tantrums or the awful night terrors you had, which had me up and down rocking you for an hour sometimes. Always me. No one else could touch you, or you’d scream blue murder.
When your father and I separated, it broke me a little, but I think it was more the fear of being on my own, rather than the sadness of being without him. You were not unhappy at all. Even to this day, you admit you do not feel sad we divorced. You do not wish to live with him or see him even. You’ll stay with him for the attention, the fun dad stuff and to, in your words, get what you want. But you don’t want to live away from me.
I met my new partner a few months after your dad left. Your dad moved on with his pregnant girlfriend and you seem to like her, but you didn’t like my new man. You threw his gifts on the floor. He saw your behaviour, but never said a word to me for ages, because I was so blinded by my little boy who I honestly believed could do no wrong. I didn’t want to see anything. Even what I did see, I didn’t want to deal with!
When we realised things were bad, we tried to start building bridges, building relationships. You resisted so much. You hit, bit, kicked and punched, you pushed people over. You were 7.
So much violence and aggression came from you. So angry were you. And you still are, because I no longer fall for everything. No longer give in.
You have admitted to pretending to have nightmares. You wet the bed on purpose for months, making me think maybe you need some help. But you admitted it to me. Admitted that you just wanted me in your room so you did that every night.
I couldn’t give you any more time. It physically wasn’t and isn’t possible! Not with siblings, school, work, a home to run. We all do what we can, but you don’t want to share me. You want me all to yourself.
And I’m stuck. I’m with someone I love so very, very much. I have constantly tried to either defend you or help you. I have gone, or am going down, every avenue I can think of. I have lost hundreds of pounds on private therapy I cannot afford to help you.
I’ve bared my soul, been told I’m an awful parent, I’ve not been believed. I’m ill. I’m physically getting unwell and I’m always having tests done but they cant find anything wrong. Mentally I am struggling. I am tired, I hate getting up in the morning. I am depressed.
We have referrals, but they take months and I have no money left to put into a better therapy, since your last one made not a slight difference.
I don’t know what to do any more. I hope I can read this one day and everything will have turned out fine.
Maybe my prayers will be answered. Maybe someone will help you see the world as it is meant to be. Maybe we can get the help we both need to understand that I was wrong. That I gave you more power and responsibility for my happiness than I should have done. That I have absolutely failed you.
I hope I read this back one day in the future and we are still a family. Because right now I am in the middle of not knowing what on earth to do. I often want the world to swallow me up to avoid the pain of making the most difficult decision. The happiness of five people or the happiness of one?
I personally lose either way. I either lose the man I love and my daughter loses her step-dad and step-brothers, or I lose you. I lose you to your dad and his family and I hardly get to see you. I lose either way so I pray, and I pray so very often and very hard for those decisions to never have to be made, because you will be okay.
You will heal. You will get help. We will be ok.
We will get help for us and for you. I will be a better mum and I will figure out better ways. You will see and you will care. No longer will you tell me that you know your actions are wrong. No longer will you tell me you just want me. No longer will you tell me you will carry on until you get what you want. No longer will you tell me, my partner and our social worker that you can change but you don’t want to yet .
No longer. Please. My lovely boy, please xxx.
If you are a parent of a 10 to 25 year old who feels unable to speak openly and honestly about something that is affecting your family on your own blog, please get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org