To start I suppose I should say I'm a single mother (husband died after the birth of our son) and I'm absolutely exhausted y'all.
My son just recently turned 16 and up until age 15 it seemed like everything was alright. he's always been a bit shy but he had been talking to good friends at school and we had an okay life at home.
it seems like he suddenly stopped talking to his friends and became withdrawn, and not much after this some very strange behaviour started.
first he wouldn't talk with me about his day like we always do, and the same evening he seemed to look down or away and fidget until he could end the conversation, and that hasn't quite gone away?
we used to have a really close relationship and have deep conversations but now he's very distant.
he's only been in trouble a little bit here and there, and occasionally we would end up having the odd argument, but i've very rarely had to be stern and it seems like he's been mostly well behaved other than his sudden behaviour change.
his grades are even a bit higher since he's stopped talking to his friends.
he absolutely refuses to wear shoes guys..
the first time he decided he didn't want to wear shoes it was a total battle to get him out of the house and to school, and I almost missed work.
he ended up coming back home from school barefoot, and when I questioned him he apparently "forgot" his shoes and socks at school.
I threatened him with taking away his phone for the first time and he seemed to begrudgingly wear shoes for a week before it was a battle again.
Later I ended up trying to take him to school again, and of course, he didn't want to wear shoes, and I couldn't find a pair of his shoes literally anywhere (and there had to be at least like 7 different pairs I had bought him) so i made him wear socks.
I'm pretty sure he ended up throwing them all out.
After talks with a school administrator and several of his teachers I ended up signing a form to waive any kind of injury liability so he could show up at school barefoot and after this I simply gave up on it because I couldn't handle the fighting.
It seemed like things were getting better and he seemed to be very content. I didn't want to take him out in public like that because of the embarrassment, and I ended up wishing on more than one occasion that he'd get kicked out somewhere and I could use that as an excuse to buy him shoes, but it hasn't happened thus far.
he comes home from school and his feet are absolutely visibly filthy but he wipes them off on the doormat so it hasn't really been an issue.
I ended up reaching out to several friends of mine, and most of them told me not to worry about it so he's been going around in bare feet for a year now, and he doesn't really have any pairs of shoes or socks at this point because he hides them or throws them out when I buy him some.
I wouldn't really be writing this post if there wasn't more to this and I hope someone can provide advice because I'm completely at my wit's end.
he has started wearing a pink dog collar from when we used to have a dog, and he wears it at school and in public.
I tried to take it from him and he absolutely threw a fit.
It's an understatement to say I was mortified when he began wearing it.
we immediately went to visit a behavioural specialist, and the behavioural specialist called it "harmless" going as far as to say I should buy him a new one since the old one was worn out and not very clean.
I ended up taking him to the store to get him a new one assuming a clean one would be the lesser of two evils, and he picked out another pink dog collar.
I'm not sure why I didn't immediately get a second opinion or if I had even fully processed what was happening or why, and though It's been a week since the visit to the behavioural specialist I'm still in shock.
I feel like I've somehow made a mistake, and second guessing if I'm doing something wrong here is making me feel sick.
I've feared that this is sexual, and I want my old son back.
I'm very worried for him and I'm not sure what to do now so if you have advice or reassurance please respond to this.
Taking him around in bare feet was bad enough, but the past week of barefoot with a pink collar is absolutely not going to work.