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Author Topic: What To Do With the Bitter Feelings in the Aftermath Toward Son  (Read 344 times)
Angie59
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« on: July 07, 2019, 09:19:33 AM »

Good morning everyone!! Welcome new member (click to insert in post)

My son's relationship with his uBPD girlfriend of 5 years ended almost 3 months ago.  One of the hardest things I find myself dealing with is my son's attitude now sometimes towards us as well as trying to forgive him for all the times we were tossed aside, the lies told to our family in support of the some of the most ridiculous and unbelievable things that she would say and do, etc.... I'm sure you get the picture.  These things were so hurtful to my older son, my husband and I, but being the mom I seemed to suffer the most over it.  Many of it brought me to tears as to how he would take her side over everything over even listening to us.  Lies he would like me straight in the eye and say to me were the most painful. 

One example is that uBPD's biological daughter of 5 years old now (not my son's but he still acts like she is his), is apparently now in counseling.  At first he thought that the uBPD was the one to initiate this (we later found out she knew nothing about it and her biological father is the one who is doing it and keeping his cards close to his vest trying to find out what is going on with his daughter and also addressing his own concerns about the split-up with my son and the uBPD.   As he told my son, he was scared to death not knowing how many men will be coming and going in his daughter's life that he knows nothing about.  I certainly don't blame him there.

However, at first my son was rolling out the gold medals thinking the uBPD was the one who go her into counseling and giving her all kinds of kudos!  What hurts the feelings of our family is that when we all became worried about the uBPD's daughter 2 years ago, and worried about our own biological grandson getting seriously hurt by her, we suggested counseling might do her some good.  We were shunned, we were ignored and we were the considered to be the biggest idiots for suggesting it. 

This is just one example of the many ways we were treated.  I now know this about my son and it is really hard to see how he can really be toward us.  He has a selfish streak in him I never saw before as well.  How do you start to heal over this kind of thing and go forward?  How do you ever forgive all of what you have been put through?





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No-One
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« Reply #1 on: July 07, 2019, 05:12:37 PM »

Hi Angle59:
I remember many of your earlier posts.  From what I remember, your son's partner was seeing another person, while living with your son.  Perhaps, the break-up is the best for your son in the long run, even though he is likely struggling with the aftermath of the break-up.

Quote from: Angie59
One example is that uBPD's biological daughter of 5 years old,  is apparently now in counseling.   her biological father is the one who is doing it and keeping his cards close to his vest.. . At first my son was rolling out the gold medals thinking the uBPD was the one who got her into counseling and giving her all kinds of kudos!  What hurts the feelings of our family is that when we all became worried about the uBPD's daughter 2 years ago, and worried about our own biological grandson getting seriously hurt by her, we suggested counseling might do her some good.  We were shunned, we were ignored and we were the considered to be the biggest idiots for suggesting it.  

This is just one example of the many ways we were treated.  I now know this about my son and it is really hard to see how he can really be toward us.  He has a selfish streak in him I never saw before as well.  How do you start to heal over this kind of thing and go forward?  How do you ever forgive all of what you have been put through

It's good that your son's ex partner's daughter is in therapy.  I know that you had concern for your bio grandson, and how his half sister treated him, so therapy is a good thing.

I'm thinking you may need to explore why you are so bothered about not getting credit for your grandson's half sister starting therapy.  

Quote from: Angie59
These things were so hurtful to my older son, my husband and I, but being the mom I seemed to suffer the most over it.  Many of it brought me to tears as to how he would take her side over everything over even listening to us.  Lies he would like me straight in the eye and say to me were the most painful.

I believe in prior posts, you have referred to your family as being close, or at least that was what you experienced growing up and want now. Sometimes, the desire to be close can turn into enmeshment. Enmeshment is not healthy.

Try and spend some time with the following questions:

Are you taking responsibility for your own feelings?  Are you letting your husband and other son take responsibility for their's?

Are you creating, or participating in drama triangles?

Is your need to be "close" with everyone in your family, actually "enmeshment"

Is your son really "selfish", or is he rebelling against the degree of "closeness" you demand. (perhaps trying to enforce some boundaries)
  
I think it's healthy for a son to have boundaries with his parents, as well as everyone else in his life.  One example of a boundary is to hold some things in confidence about his relationship with a partner, and to support a partner and not talk bad about their partner (even if the bad things are true).  In unhealthy relationships, sometimes, a partner might be defended, even when that partner is in the wrong.

Your son would benefit from some counseling.  He needs to explore why he got into an unhealthy relationship, learn to establish & enforce healthy boundaries and to learn what a healthy relationship is (not people pleasing and rescuing).

I'm sure others will have different input to offer.  Some things jumped out at me, so I thought I'd prompt some thought on your part.  Some of my questions might make you feel uncomfortable (even angry), but answering them could be beneficial for you.  They could be good to explore in a therapy session.

« Last Edit: July 07, 2019, 05:18:20 PM by No-One » Logged
FaithHopeLove
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« Reply #2 on: July 08, 2019, 05:36:48 AM »

How do you start to heal over this kind of thing and go forward?  How do you ever forgive all of what you have been put through?






I can certainly relate to what you are going through. I feel pain and anger when I think of all the horrible things my son has done to me and my husband. I think what we both need to do is to realize these words and actions are about their pain not about us. Then we let it go. Detach with love. Do you think you can do that?
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Angie59
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« Reply #3 on: July 08, 2019, 09:33:54 AM »

Good morning everyone!

Thank you for your reply FaithHopeLove and No-One.  I appreciate your input.

I certainly agree with you, FaithHopeLove that I need to look at my son's actions as dealing with his pain and to detach with love.  Detaching in that way sounds the way to go, I'm going to need a lot of practice, but I think I can do it!

To No-One, I may need to clarify what my original post intended.  None of us, myself, my older son or husband is wanting or needing or looking for any type of credit regarding our suggestion for counseling.  It was the way it was taken with such negativity and acting as if we were a bunch of idiots for even suggesting that.  Now that she is in therapy, all kudos go to uBPD (who didn't have anything to do with it), for her being in counseling.  I agree totally.  I am very glad she is in counseling and I hope it benefits her; but as far as credit to us - no we were not needing or looking for that.  It was just that our suggestion was met the way it was, and now that it is in place by someone else seeing its need, it is a terrific idea.  Do you see what I mean? 

As far as the enmeshment goes, I think you have an excellent point there.  My family of origin was very close - too close as I look back on it.  It is very hard to change that for myself as it is all I know, but I certainly am going to try because I know that it is unhealthy. 

As for my son's "selfishness," I see things he is doing and kind of know why.  It is because at least the last two years of his relationship, or perhaps more, he was the sole caretaker of the two children.  From morning to night each and every day.  Whenever the uBPD was home, he said, "she did nothing to help with the kids or anything, for that matter."  So he was basically operating as a single dad.  I'm sure he became resentful and burnt out, and I get that. 

The part I don't like is that the schedule they have set up for our grandson is having him coming and going like a ping pong ball.  Two days with mom, 2-3 days with dad, 1 day with mom, 1 day with dad, back to 2 days with mom, etc....  I can see a difference in my grandson and it isn't good.  His personality has changed.  He told me on his own that people who have been divorced with kids at his work told him that wasn't such a great thing and it was really hard on the kids.  That a week at a time perhaps would be better for them.  He then said, "well this is what works best for us."  I believe in putting the welfare of the child first, not what works best for "them."  It hurts to see the changes in my grandson. 

My son also voluntarily tells me things that I would think he would know would upset me somehow.  Just yesterday he said to me that when his uBPD dropped off the kids to him, she said "they have been up since midnight."  So....they were up all night???  Was it supervised time, I hope?  Both kids fell asleep for quite awhile at our house, so I kind of believed that there might have been some truth to it.  He asked the 5 year old about it and she said our grandson went back to sleep in mommy's bed (by the way that would be with mommy and her new boyfriend in bed), and I stayed up until it got light outside.  Later on she fell asleep curled up next to me with her arms around me.  It bothered me a lot to think she might have been up (for any real length of time really) unsupervised.  I guess he saw the look on my face and said, "Does that bother you that she was up all night?"  I said, Yes, and it should bother you as well!" 

I don't want to be enmeshed with my son.  I want him to be an individual, have his boundaries, etc.. but I guess I also want two other things which I don't feel is unreasonable.  I want him to consider his son his priority and be aware of what is going on at her house and secondly, if you want to set boundaries, why tell me things that you should know by now would obviously disturb me?   

He is enjoying his newfound independence.  That's great!!  He went out and bought new clothes for himself and a new look.  Great!!  Now how about going out and getting your son new clothes since he has very little to wear and has outgrown over half of what he has??? 

This is hard for me as I'm sure you can tell.

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« Reply #4 on: July 09, 2019, 01:33:53 PM »

Hi Angie59:
FaithHopeLove's advice to "Detach With Love" is good advice, but probably a challenge for you, since it looks like you are still babysitting in general and sometimes still babysitting your grandson's step-sister.  That will likely pose more challenges for you. At some point, step-sister's bio dad might go for full custody.

You will need to pick your battles.  If you opt to continue to babysit for both children (or even just your grandson), there will likely be more continuing issues. Your desire to be a good influence for the children might take precident. Even though your son has broken up with his partner, she will continue to be part of your lives because of your grandson. It could get even more complex, when she becomes pregnant with the new guy's child.

The situation with the children being up late or up early, could be an issue (or not?).  Mom is likely preoccupied with her new man & she won't ever qualify for "mom of the year"  It's not good to not get a good night's sleep, but if your son didn't tell you, you would likely have been concerned about how sleepy the children were (perhaps even questioning). If the children were unsupervised and in some danger, then that's an issue.  If they were watching TV or engaged with electronic devics, that's not good but not a major thing (especially if they aren't going to school).

The one thing that you will need to get used to is the fact that "mom" will likely continue with bad parenting.  Unless her actions or lack of actions qualify as abuse or neglect, there is not much you can do. Try to stay focused on what you have control over and what goes on at your house.

You might consider keeping a private diary.  Just write down dates & events of concern.  This can be therapeutic, as well as provide documentation, if your son ever chooses to go for full custody of his son.

Just tell your son that he needs to buy some clothes for his son & perhaps leave a couple of outfits at your house.  Has his ex purchased all his clothes in the past? Is your son paying his ex a clothes allowance? I know you want him to buy the clothes on his own. He may just need to get used to it.  One way to help could be to pick out some clothes online, then have him place the order.  Perhaps he could have a few outfits delivered to your home?

Is your son in counseling?  Hopefully he explores his situation and choice of partners.  If he doesn't examine his prior bad choice of a partner, he is apt to enter another unhealthy relationship.  Also, he could even get back with his ex, after she gets tired of her new man (or he gets painter black).  Since it seems he is still defending his ex, he will likely continue to keep trying to rescue her.

« Last Edit: July 09, 2019, 01:39:36 PM by No-One » Logged
Angie59
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« Reply #5 on: July 09, 2019, 04:44:37 PM »

Hello again No-One!  Welcome new member (click to insert in post)

Thank you again for your reply.  I meant to mention to you that my son is not in counseling, though I sure wish he was!  I did suggest it to him on two different occasions.  His work even gives 6 free therapy sessions as part of their benefit package.  I assured him if it fell on an evening he had our grandson, we would babysit so he didn't have to worry about that part of it.  I want him to learn about himself, perhaps why he chose the person he did to begin with, and to get a clear picture of what a healthy relationship looks like.  I know this is so, so important.  He has not taken the advice.  My older son says therapy won't work unless the person is ready, and I do believe that.  So, it's been kind of left dead in the water.

I am hoping so much for what you mentioned in regard to the step-sister's bio dad to get full custody.  I know she does need her mother and talks a lot about missing her, which the bio dad brought to her attention wondering why is she missing you so much??  He knows her well and knows her "parenting."  It is so sad to say, but she really is just someone who should not have had children.  She does not value the time she has with her children and this has been evident since early on when I first met her over 5 years ago.  It is really sad.  Even if she is there physically, she is not really spending time with them, i.e., on the phone, texting, doing other things, not to mention love-bombing her new guy!

It is so strange about the staying up at night.  She had the kids Saturday night and then dropped them off to my son.  She made the statement with a smile on her face that "they have been up since midnight."  My son, who as I said, doesn't want to rock the boat with her, probably said nothing.  Our grandson is really not old enough yet to tell us what happened but our son questioned the little girl and she said I woke up at night and didn't sleep again, and then it was light outside.  It does sound like she was up all night, but who knows?  Then my son asked where was his son?  She said he woke up but then went back to sleep in mommy's bed (with her boyfriend).

Call me old-fashioned, but she has 3-4 days a week (just as my son has because they are doing 50/50 custody) free to themselves without the kids to do whatever they want.  Couldn't boyfriends or girlfriends been entertained on those nights and savor the time with the kids by yourself?  Or yourself and maybe visit grandparents, etc.... The story of staying up was odd to even tell my son (told by the uBPD) because she even stated that the little girl woke up because her and boyfriend snored so loud.  Unsupervised time for a 3 and/or 5 year old through the night does not sound like a safe environment, just my opinion.

I plan to have a talk with my son this evening.  My anger has a way of coming out in my voice, but why in the world he wasn't concerned about it baffles me.  I thought we would be free of all that "walking on eggshells" behavior from him now that she's gone - but he is still at it!  If he sees me getting angry about something, he will then lie to cover up for her - still.  This is greatly affecting our relationship.  It is very hard to have a good, healthy relationship when one of the people lie to you.  I don't want to lose my relationship with my son, but wow, does he ever make me angry.  I wish he were more like the bio dad of the step-sister to our grandson.
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« Reply #6 on: July 09, 2019, 06:29:54 PM »

Hi Again Angie59:

You are absolutely right, your son has to want to go to counseling for it to do any good.  You have no power to change him or his views of his ex. 

Quote from: Angie59
Call me old-fashioned, but she has 3-4 days a week (just as my son has because they are doing 50/50 custody) free to themselves without the kids to do whatever they want.  Couldn't boyfriends or girlfriends been entertained on those nights and savor the time with the kids by yourself?  Or yourself and maybe visit grandparents, etc....
You are talking about what more mentally healthy people would do. That's not her. His ex likely has a need to have her new man around her daily.  She is thinking of herself and not her children. 

There can be a lot of conflict after a split. In regard to childen and parenting, there will be differences. From what I've read, a lot of people have had to embrace this logic - "my house, my rules - your house, your rules"

Quote from: Angie59
I thought we would be free of all that "walking on eggshells" behavior from him now that she's gone - but he is still at it!  If he sees me getting angry about something, he will then lie to cover up for her - still.
  She's not gone.  She is still the mother of your grandson and your son still needs to interact with her.  He may still be in love with her. 

The new situation might be a bit different, but in some ways the dynamics are still the same. Everything that annoys you about your son's ex is still in play.  You already know you son is defensive of his ex.  You can't change that, you can't change her, you can't change him. You can choose to radically accept the situation and do what you can to be a good influence with your grandson.

You have the power to control yourself and manage your own emotions. Your son probably finds your signs of anger invalidating.  In a desire to please you, he goes on the defensive.

What are some examples of reasons you show anger? (other than the counseling for step-sister and the lack of sleep)
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Angie59
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« Reply #7 on: July 10, 2019, 11:29:16 AM »

Hello again No-One!   Welcome new member (click to insert in post)

You ask a very good question and also make some very good points!!  Yes, you are right, the ex-uBPD is not really gone and the same behaviors that aggravated me in the past are still there. 

What makes me angry?  I have had to really think about this.  I guess without writing a book, it is all the same traits she has, as I said above.  It's a little different now in the sense that I don't care so much about "her" in general as I did before because she was with my son.  What I see that is especially disturbing with her is the inappropriateness of various things (past and present) that show me that she cannot distinguish between what is appropriate for her children.  By that I mean, allowing the kids to use her tablet that contains nude and bondage type pictures of her.  The 5-year-old daughter is fairly tech savvy believe it or not (it seems kids really surprise you with technology today and how they can navigate things around - sometimes better than me)!!!  Seeing these type of pictures has to have some effect on her.  My feeling is that it is harmful to allow children access to these type of photos, especially of their own mom.  How are they processing this in their mind? 

Another is having them sleep in the same room (my grandson sometimes in the same bed) as her and her new boyfriend.  To me, inappropriate and probably confusing to the kids.  It seems, in a nutshell, that her whole perception of what is okay for the kids is very skewed - like she cannot see that you have to expose children to things at age-appropriate times and that they do not process things as we do. 

So, I think in answer to your question, yes her behaviors still bother me, just as they did before, but now she is alone with the kids and there is on telling what goes on over there.  It makes me concerned and afraid for them because she does not show good judgment when it comes to her kids.  The difference in my anger is somewhat the same, but more focused now on what her behavior does to the kids.  I was worried before about it as well, but more so now because the days they are with her, who knows what goes on.

Now, I get the "my house, my rules," motto.  Where I think the line should be drawn is if things are being done that are not in the best interest of the children and could be harmful to them. 

I hope this all made sense.  I really would appreciate your thoughts on my explanation because maybe I can't see the forest for the trees.  There may be something here that I'm missing and welcome your thoughts and ideas.
 
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« Reply #8 on: July 13, 2019, 03:17:56 PM »

Hi Angie59:

Quote from: Angie59
What I see that is especially disturbing with her is the inappropriateness of various things (past and present) that show me that she cannot distinguish between what is appropriate for her children.  By that I mean, allowing the kids to use her tablet that contains nude and bondage type pictures of her.  The 5-year-old daughter is fairly tech savvy believe it or not (it seems kids really surprise you with technology today and how they can navigate things around - sometimes better than me)!!!  Seeing these type of pictures has to have some effect on her.  My feeling is that it is harmful to allow children access to these type of photos, especially of their own mom.  How are they processing this in their mind?
I remember when you shared the tablet situation.  Have you viewed some recent inappropriate photos? I suspect you are still ruminating about the one event? 

I understand your concern.  Children seem to lose their innocence way too young these day.  Unfortunately, even if parents take measures to restrict what their children see and hear about, they are exposed to inappropriate media at friends' homes.  Schools, especially in California, are introducing sexual and gender identity training as early as  kindergarten.

Quote from: Angie59
So, I think in answer to your question, yes her behaviors still bother me, just as they did before, but now she is alone with the kids and there is on telling what goes on over there.  It makes me concerned and afraid for them because she does not show good judgment when it comes to her kids.  The difference in my anger is somewhat the same, but more focused now on what her behavior does to the kids.  I was worried before about it as well, but more so now because the days they are with her, who knows what goes on.

Realistically, she had to have periods of time with being alone with her own children before.  Your son couldn't have been home with the children 24/7.

The "Scerenty Prayer" could be helpful for you.  You need to recognize what you can and can't change.  Dwelling on (or catrastiphazing about) what could happen to the children, because of their mother's actions or lack of actions is a waste of your time.  Being angry, is a waste of energy.  It's impossible to stay in a state of anger, without it having a negative impact on those around you.  That includes a possible negative impact on your grandson.  As you have indicated, you aren't able to hide your anger.

You have to quit dwelling on what might happen.  Be thankful for the positive things:  Your son didn't marry his Ex, they have split, you are seeing the ex a lot less (if at all).

Focus on the here and now.  Focus on current events. Take proactive steps to quit ruminating on what you fear will happen.  Perhaps you could try some journaling and work on changing the script in  your head.  One way is to do some postponing.  You capture the angry thoughts, by writing them down, as they come up.  Then, you postpone further thought until an appointed time of day (i.e. between 7 p.m. and 8 p.m.).  The goal is to progressively shorten the planned thought period. (less daily time, then less weekly time, etc.)

Child protective services has a higher tollerance than you for bad parenting. Right now,  all you can do is document situations, as they occur and then let it go.  At some point, you might have enough collective situations or repetitive patterns to present to authorities (or to your son to present to authorities).  I understand you are still upset about the photos on the Ipad (from several months ago) and that you are upset about hearing that the children joined mom & her new boyfriend in her bed.

So, try documenting in a "Worry Journal" and postponing your ruminations. Work on changing the script in your head.  If you don't make some changes in yourself, you will continue to be angry and drive yourself crazy.

So, your assignment is to start your journal and to start some mindfulness exercises (i.e. some form of meditation).
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PeaceMom
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« Reply #9 on: July 13, 2019, 04:00:25 PM »

Great advice on journaling negative, pervasive thoughts. Get them out of your head and on paper!

We can all use this technique. Thanks
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« Reply #10 on: July 13, 2019, 07:56:37 PM »

Hello PeaceMom and No-One!   Welcome new member (click to insert in post)

Great advice and I am already starting to take the advice regarding journaling and the Serenity Prayer is my new best friend.  It is helping!! 

Just to set the record straight about alone time with her kids - she was seeing another man on a regular basis for the last 1-1/2 years of their relationship.  So, yes my son did take the kids to school or daycare every single morning as sometimes she would not even come home.  He picked them up every single evening as she said she didn't get off work until after the daycare closed.  She would come home periodically, change clothes and leave again, thus he had them each evening.  The only time they spent away from my son was when 5-year-old's bio dad would have her every other weekend.  I know it sounds almost unbelievable, but this is the honest to God truth.  He told me when she would be at home for a small amount of time she didn't even pay any attention to the kids so it was like being alone, and those were far and few between.

Regarding the photos - she takes (to this day) regular, monthly photo shoots.  I have no idea why other than selling them on the Internet.  Otherwise it makes no sense to me.  This is a regular thing she does, so it was not just that one time or a one time deal.  This has been and still is ongoing.  The main problem seems to be, as I know I have said before, that her whole view of sexuality seems to be very skewed and has to have some impact on the kids eventually.  I know for a fact the photos are on the Internet, but she told my son they were not.  I think about them going to school someday and some kid saying, "hey I saw your mom on the Internet last night," ha ha ha and have them feel shamed and humiliated.  Call me old-fashioned, because I guess I am.  No way for a parent to act!!! 

So now, I must say my Serenity Prayer as I end this and journal for a bit.  I will add, however, if I have concrete proof of things happening that would be harmful to the children, whatever that may be (and who knows with her behavior and thought processes), I will not hesitate to call CPS.  They are first and foremost in my mind as they really have no voice right now, so if need be, I will be it for them. 

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