(this story started in South America)
I was married at the age of 15 with an abusive man. By the age of 16 I had my first son, my husband who happened to be high most of the time was also physically and mentally abusive to both of us. He died when my son was 2.5 years old.
I got in love and got married again when my son was 5 years old. shortly after we got married my husband brought one of his brothers to live with us because he did not have a place to stay. Accepting that miserable in my house was the biggest mistake I have ever made. He sexually abused my son for about a year without us knowing. in the other hand my husband was very strict with my son about his eating habits and his behavior and I allowed that because at the time I thought that it was for good and not abusive as my previous marriage, since he was not really aggressive, but it was a lot of screaming around for everything. My son probably never said anything about the ******* that was sexually abusing him because he was afraid and the step father on top of him and me the enabler mother. My poor son probably was living a very unhappy year. Finally one day that my husband has to travel for few days and I attempted to leave my son with the ******* alone in the house he asked me no to leave him alone with him because he was doing horrible things to him and after my questioning he told me everything that has happened to him, since that day I throw the ******* out of my house and he escaped from the police by moving to another country.
After that we had very difficult years, struggling financially, trying to get some decent work experience me and my husband were both very young and really did not know what to do at the time, my son turned into an everyday more difficult kid, obviously affected for the trauma that the ******* had caused and without the proper help, I visited few psychologist and psychiatrist (We did not find the right people) my son wet the bed until he was like 12, and our life was a nightmare, my husband was violent with my son, and is not that he did not care about him, but he did not know how to handle a kid that was not well behaved and I did not do anything to stop that, since I had not clue about what to do in a situation like that, plus I was also overwhelmed and by that time we had two younger kids to take care of. It was lots of problems between them. We still have some time for some good times and my kids were all going to school. I had a very hard time making my oldest one to graduate from the high school and had to visit the principal of every school he went to. In two occasions I had to move him from school because he had problem accepting authority from the teachers. Fortunately since they were on private school that was not a big issue, other than getting him accepted. He was always very smart, intelligent and hyperactive (I learned later about that but back then, had not clue about those things). working young parents attending community college at nights and with this problem at home, I still don't know how our marriage survived. We got better jobs, then our own business, I sent my oldest son to study the last year of high school living with my mom, he graduated after summer schooling with lots of effort, and them I register to a college of my choice, since he did not seem to want to go anywhere.
Then obviously he asked me for a change and I accepted because understand that it was his right to do what he wanted in that regards and send him to the city of his choice, after that we moved to the US and he came with my husband 6 months after that, but things were not better, the gap was big and his anger was there. My husband was not tolerant and I saw the nightmare close to begin, after approx a year, my son did not wanted to go to community college and just sleep in the house all day and was on the phone or computer all night with his girlfriend in Venezuela and probably some other friends.
One day he turned very verbally violent with us because I went to insist on him registering for classes and sent us to hell. Long story short, he went back to South America on the condition of having some support from us if he finds his way and go to college there, which he did and he was a very good student.
We helped him as much as we could since our situation was not very good but he got his education at least.
he came back to US with his girlfriend and both stayed with us for some time, until they got married and moved out.
With him has been always like walking on eggshells, the arguments between him and my husband never ended, and both are proud of each other but never share that. We know he loves us as much as we love him, but things are not easy at all.
He is married now and has one child that is the most precious gift that God have sent to our lives, We love him very much and he knows it.
About two years ago my husband and I were drinking and talking to his in-laws who used to come to visit often and we had vacations together, and my son and his wife hear a part of a conversation between the four of us criticizing him for his organizational and work habits (we are not proud of us doing that). He obviously resent that tremendously and I my husband and I went to apologize with him for what we did even though we did not say anything that was not true, we know that it was not right to do it at all.
He told us that we are dead to him. ad cut relationship with the family entirely. He came back to us once last year and I we were very happy about it, but it did not last long, because shortly after he told me on the phone that did not want any contact with us and exploited all his past frustrations out with my that day over the phone, leaving me devastated, and when my husband called being innocent of our conversation, just sent him to hell. My husband just hanged up the phone and called me to ask what was going on.
We both decided to wait until he heals, if he ever do. We love them very much and miss our grandson a lot. It has been 8 months since then. They are going to have another baby (I learned that from my sister, that is basically the only one he talks to)
Please if someone can help, I am desperate and do not know if waiting is really the only thing to do, I made too many mistakes already and do not want to make another one. I want my son and grand kids back, we want to be part of their lives.
Oh dear. I'm very sorry to hear all of this. You were indeed a young mother and lots of bad things happened to both of you by abusive men. I'm surprised you are still with the second abusive man in his life but that is your choice.
He's a success story. He came out of a hellish situation and got educated, got employment, has his own family to love. I find it so interesting that your abusive husband and you then felt the need to undermine him to his in laws after all he'd accomplished. I know you say that you aren't proud but that was insult upon injury. He made something of his life despite where he came from. A home in which his step dad was verbally and physically abusive and his mother stood by her man and put up with that. I don't fault you for staying, plenty of women do that. And in truth, I totally respect your honesty about what happened. But he probably grew up his entire life thinking he'd have been better off never have been being born. No joke, that is probably how he felt his entire childhood. You had him living with a man that thought of him as a loser who couldn't do anything right.
He is now a grown man making life work out as best he can. He is right to push away the things that have been damaging and hurtful in his life.
That you still make yourself and your husband a combined package is probably misguided. YOU are his mother. If you want him to forgive you, then tell him that you are sorry that you set up a life for him in which these people had the opportunity to hurt him so much. Then try to have a relationship with him separate from your husband. Your husband at this point has probably burned too many bridges. I would never recommend that someone try to work on a relationship with a step parent that treated him that way (including that it was HIS brother that sexually abused/damaged him!). But you can try to have a relationship on your own after some more healing has happened.
I know you were a young woman that was trying to make it as best you could and you tried to make a home for him to some extent. But you stayed with someone that wasn't good for him. This does happen but there are consequences when a child grows up and can make choices of their own. Hopefully it is not too late for you to own your part in this and to forge a new relationship (minus your husband as being part of it . . . and if he gives you flack over that, he again expects you to choose him over your son).
You have had many very difficult problems to deal with, as has your son, and I think you both are very successful given where he is today, married (hope with some happiness) and had children of his own.
The best I can offer is give him more time, be loving and not critical when you have any form of contact, and while it seems right to let him know you love him and your grandchildren, he is the one who will decide when to become connected with you. His children will help him understand how difficult and how much work and giving it takes to raise children... hope his home/financial situation is better.
I would not offer financial help or make aggressive attempts to reconnect.
In my case I have an adult son who is a Medical Doctor in the USA. We never had any real home or financial problems... that is in the context of the USA experience. He did have friends with more and with less material wealth at their disposal. I took part in his interests in sports and school and we were fishing buddies until he as in middle school, or about 12 to 13 year old. At that time he got more interested in his "friends" and in athletics and became totally disinterested in doing anything with me. This condition continues even now that he is a middle aged adult. He doesn't hate me, I am sure of that, but there is very little show of love. His sister is much more loving toward us, but she too has her own life and lives many miles from us, as does our son. So we have very little contact with them.
I recall when I got out of high school I went into the Navy and from that poiont on I never returned home. I know it "broke my mother's heart"... more now than I did back then. She always wished I would return to live in the same area, I never did.
Children grow up and while many continue to be strongly connected with there genetic family members, other do not and it has nothing to do with hate.
Be patient, and try to listen more than talk when the opportunity to talk with your son and his family again.
God bless, life gives us many challenges, and some of us have had more than a "fair share", you are a strong and loving mother, that's the best you can be. Don't occupy your time and energy worrying about past things that can not be changed, focus on being happy, it will spread to others.
I couldn't agree with specialmom more, she really nailed it...all of it.
I agree that you need to own YOUR part in how he was raised. Yes, you were young, and not experienced in raising a family, but you cannot use that as an excuse, at least not to him. If you do (even though there is truth in it), it automatically takes away from any accountability you are trying to show him that you have.
Chidren are VERY much a product of their environment, and I too agree that he's overcome HUGE hurdles and DESPITE all of the continued bad choices, and lack of getting him help when he needed it...he's doing well. That's amazing. Like sm said, your overheard drunken conversation to his in-laws of all people was the straw that broke the camel's back. Here is is, succeeding in life, and you undermine him to his in-laws. That's pretty bad. I can only IMAGINE how badly that hurt and angered him. He was 100% justified in taking the drastic action he did in response to that incident. And remember that saying "I'm sorry", even if you'rr completely genuine about it doesn't always heal the wounds...sometimes the hurt just runs too deep.
It will take him time. He's got a whole lifetime of hurts and abuse to overcome, and I would guess that he blames YOU over most others...why? Because despite the fact that it was other people who subjected him to the actual direct abuse, you allowed it to happen by not getting him out of extremely unheabusive situations. I would imagine he has a WHOLE lot of resentment towards you for that, understandably. The complacency you exhibited was probably harder for him to wrap his head around than the actual abuse. That's a betrayal that is hard to get past, and until the last incident, God love him, he was still trying and willing to get past it. He sounds like one hell of a man, because not everyone would be able to do that.
You're going to have to swallow your pride, and if he's ever ready to try again with you, you're going to have to let HIM be the one in control, and follow his lead. If the lines of communication open up again, perhaps you both could go to family counselling together to start dealing with all of the past issues.
Thank you for your comforting and honest comment to my post. Yes It has been several years carrying this guilt and trying to be better on my own.
I would like to add to give you a more clear picture of the situation that things were very rough at home and not as an excuse but more as an explanation:
when my son was approx. 10 years old he starting inappropriately molesting his little sister and that confronting his behavior with a violent reaction verbally or physically was wrong but difficult, trying to keep both children safe under the same roof was not easy at all and made more difficult to be able to see what the real problem was.
We are proud of our son because he got out of that path and turned himself into a good man with a lovely family as an adult but they are very lonely since they have also decided to cut any communication with the wife's family that still lives in South America.
Our daughter have been dealing with problems of her own and had the opportunity to seek therapist help for her and at that point blamed us of giving preference to our oldest son by allowing that to happen, after a while she is healing herself and I have learned a lot from this since I have been close to this step by step.
Both my husband and I regret all the mistakes we had made and are very glad we got our kids out of that unsafe environment full of ignorance where values are completed turned upside down. At least that is the way I see it now from the distance. Just would love that our grand-kids could have the chance to get a normal family that love them very much, grandparents, aunt, uncles cousins in the future etc.
Would appreciate your honest comments. God Bless..
child upon child molestation comes from your son's original molestation. He was a product of his environment. HE was the original victim and although you kicked the man who did it out --- It doesn't sound like much else was done.
What I do encourage you to realize is that you are a separate entity from your husband. YOU are this boys parent. He is a step dad that mistreated him. Step away from your husband and attempt a relationship on your own with your son (as it ALWAYS should have been. He is/was your child and should have taken precedence over this man you're married to).
Attempt to connect on your own and leave the step dad out of it. If the step dad doesn't understand that, then I fear you've walked on egg shells around him yourself for years. good luck
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