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#369218 - 09/01/11 08:15 AM My son does not want my vigilance
SamV Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 12/13/09
Posts: 5945
Loc: Talladega, Alabama, USA
I have a 16 yo son that as of late has been giving me feedback. No not the "hey Dad" feedback, but the "Hey Dad, keep out of my life!!" feedback. He triggers me. He has hid behind his brother his entire life, he has poor decision making skills and isolates, then over exposes himself, just like I did for so many years that rewarded me with traffic tickets, separation and heartache.

I need him to be safe. I need him to listen carefully and then blindly follow what I tell him, or else he will be hurt. (Yes, you did just read that, and I know it's way wrong, but I do not feel it's wrong). I need him to balance his exposure, not be so impulsive and dramatic, not to take everything so personally, so deeply, so emotionally. If he continues doing this, he will have a breakdown, and it will crush me.

I love him, but I can no longer have my are thrust down his throat, demanding he do what I tell him. He is not afraid of his own decisions, even though I see them leading him to self destruction.

I have trained him well, how do I let him go?

Sam

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MaleSurvivor Moderator Emeritus 2012 - 2014

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#369220 - 09/01/11 08:26 AM Re: My son does not want my vigilance [Re: SamV]
kb8715 Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 07/16/10
Posts: 808
Sam you don't let him go, he is a kid.

You pick some battles worth fighting with him too. Not every fight with a teen son is required.

Can you let go the ones that will not harm him so he fees a level of independence but help with on the ones that could could hurt?

Some of the toughest fights I bet many of us had were with sons between 13-17. Whole lot of action going on for them at those ages. But most young men mellow out around 17-18 too as so many of their first experiences are safely checked off.

The other obvious route would be to do counseling together with your son.

Good luck. Been there, still doing it here.

Keith

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"You can get far in life by pushing except through a door marked PULL...." Profile quote in my oldest son's senior year HS Yearbook.

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#369272 - 09/02/11 01:49 AM Re: My son does not want my vigilance [Re: SamV]
Pie Offline


Registered: 05/27/11
Posts: 61
Hi Sam

Reading your post its clear you love your son! You know that you need to let him go, with age appropriate issues. The mistakes he makes as a child will teach valuable lessons he will take into his adult years. Obviously if there is an extreme behaviour change you need to look deeper into his life, so that you can elliminate issues such as drugs and drinking. If these are not a factor then try and "stand" next to him like the post supporting the sappling. Find his passion,without a spanish inquasition! Out of the blue take him to a ball game. Let him know clearly the bounries in the home and let him know that no matter what you love him.

You need to understand that he has a purpose in life and it may not be what you had planned, but your role as a parent is to teachand guide. Then have faith in yourself and your son and let him soar.

We cannot control or change other people, but we can change the way we treat and behave towards them.
Pie


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#369280 - 09/02/11 08:16 AM Re: My son does not want my vigilance [Re: Pie]
Disappointed Offline


Registered: 08/11/09
Posts: 540
Loc: U.S.A.
Hi Sam,

I'm with Keith. He's a kid,so you don't let him go. You pick your battles. Frankly, some of the worst mistakes people make are those they make in their youth, up until about 25 years old. Your experience in life is valuable; it's a shame that when we're young we don't understand that value, but there it is.

Pick your battles.

D.

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Female.

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#369281 - 09/02/11 08:24 AM Re: My son does not want my vigilance [Re: Pie]
SamV Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 12/13/09
Posts: 5945
Loc: Talladega, Alabama, USA
Keith, Pie, thank you, your words of encouragement and experience mean a great deal to me.

Keith, letting go of a "little" argument means that I may be encouraging behavior that leads to the him being hurt in abuse proportions as I have been. I am either 600 per cent in his life(face) or zero, and I know this is harmful to him. It seems to be impossible to balance my approach to him, in light of my own fears and his self destructive "entertain me or else" attitude.

My older son did "mellow", in that he stopped aggressively confronting me. I was still able to draw him out when it was needed, and towards 18, he was able to express himself and make good, self affirmative decisions. My youngest has been isolating, fantasizing and denying his own thoughts, feelings and actions. He has a self image that is super human, but when he is abruptly confronted with reality, through my interruptions or through the consequences of his mistakes, he emotionally dives and is temporarily destroyed. It is such an arduous, traumatic journey, I worry that he will not have the resources to make it back "up".

I do understand Pie. I encourage myself and my wife in our confidential talks to let him make mistakes. I would rather he steal, be approached with drugs or drinking, have a sexual encounter, get hurt in a relationship, or betray his faith now, rather than when he is on his own and doe snot have the immediate support of his parents, nor the accountability to them.

I cannot control him, but I demand that access anyway. It is my fear, my issue, the physical and sexual abuse that sent me reeling, getting kicked out of my home by my parents at the same age he is currently. I struggle with their messages and self righteousness, and my own fears, and then, with his precious self. I hate what has happened to me, and I feel the lessons demanding allegiance and rigidity are going to overwhelm him as I was in my youth.

How do I change? How do I let go of the resentment and feelings of unfairness that was perpetrated against me, give back the messages of worthlessness the abuse(s) to those who own them, and simply be there for my son in an encouraging and supportive way?

Sam

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MaleSurvivor Moderator Emeritus 2012 - 2014

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#369284 - 09/02/11 09:57 AM Re: My son does not want my vigilance [Re: SamV]
SamV Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 12/13/09
Posts: 5945
Loc: Talladega, Alabama, USA
Thank you D,

I do remember the struggle with self identity versus self destructive behavior. It is a confusing time.

I wanted someone to ask me how I was doing, and validate what I was saying, thinking and feeling. Then I would intently listen, be absorbed in what the other person was saying. I would not immediately act on what he or she said, but I would consider it, take what I could and even though I was afraid of change, I would eventually adapt what I could into my actions.

Thank you for helping me remember, for that will help me empathize.

Sam

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MaleSurvivor Moderator Emeritus 2012 - 2014

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