One of the most painful experiences has to be when it feels as if your child has turned into someone else. I am trying to understand what is happening and why my oldest child has become so difficult, challenging and sometimes downright mean.
I don’t know if it’s because of the Oppositional Defiant Disorder that I wrote about a little while back rearing its ugly head or for some other reason that I have been unable to figure out. Whatever is happening, I have become the most hated person in his life right now.
Things have been escalating for a while now and I am trying to not reason with him or use logic. I am working my hardest at remaining patient, clam and collected and holding onto my anger until I am not with him. My skin is about as thick as it’s going to get a the moment though, and every single thing he says and does stings.
Here is just a highlight of what has come up the last little while:
- Undermining everything that I say, or downright refusing to do even simple tasks
- Refusing to come home after spending the night with his father and his father refusing to make him to do so
- Acting aggressively towards me and his brother
- Calling me names and swearing at me
- Telling me that I am no good, that I don’t do anything right and that I ruined everything
- Telling me that I have everything and his father has nothing because of me
- Telling me that I am not his mother, that I have never been his mother and that he is going to go live with his father and his ‘real’ mother (his father’s wife)
- Telling me that he doesn’t care if I die and he hopes he never sees me again
- Lying about everything
This past weekend was the absolute worst. I am at the point where I am considering allowing him to live with his father. I love him with all of my heart and it is currently shattered into a million pieces, but I cannot force my child to love me.
But is it okay to let go of him?
I firmly believe that as long as his father is breathing, nothing is going to change. I can take him to therapy and I can talk with him about how he feels, but if his father and his father’s wife are not on the same page, blame me for everything and undo all that I do to try to help we are just going to go in circles.
Here is the conversation I had with his father (L) and wife (C) yesterday:
C: Houston we have a problem….Michael is refusing to go home. Just on my way to drop all the kids (at your place and my parents with the girls) and he won’t get ready to leave. He is claiming someone has to get him Pokemon cards. He has been saving his allowance and we told him maybe during March Break.
Me: Oh. Okay. He’s not getting Pokemon cards today. Easter is coming as well
C: I know. So now he won’t leave. He says he wants to stay with daddy.
Me: He needs to learn that he doesn’t make the rules
C: Oh so that’s a rule? Not staying with daddy? I didn’t know. Was it something we did or are we just not good enough? Just asking please don’t take that the wrong way.
Me: No, that’s not what I meant. I meant he doesn’t get to throw snits when he doesn’t get something like Pokemon cards. The idea of living with you guys is something we need to figure out together.
C: Oh no, he already said he won’t go home and then he started trying to get us to bribe him, he told us that’s what you do!! Poor guy. He’s just confused. I’m sure it’s probably hard to understand at his age. But what would you recommend I do in this situation? We can cancel our date night and drive him to school–obviously the kids come first…but I know that won’t really fix the issue. Shitty timing because we have things to do.
Me: Tell him I said he had to come home. Is L working?
C: I’ve told him I’m sure his mom misses him. He won’t physically get boots and coat on. Yes L is home and has tried but what do you do when your son says “why can’t I stay with you?”. L feels bad. He’s really upset.
They eventually brought him home (an hour later). I am trying to be empathetic. I firmly believe his father and his father’s wife are feeding in to this behaviour and he is picking up on the anger his father still harbors towards me (I know this is true because both of the boys tell me consistently that their father hates me and that C and him say that I’m nothing but a fat-ass).
I know it’s not about me, it’s about him. It’s not about what is happening in my world, it’s about what is happening in his. It’s not about me feeling good, it’s about making him feel good. Right now I feel powerless to stop any of it and I wonder if allowing him to live with his father would make things easier for him (not for me, just for him).
Right now I just feel like an absolute failure and undeserving to be a mother. I try my best but it’s become quite obvious that my best is not good enough.