Long-distance mum.

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-08-2003
Long-distance mum.
5
Sat, 11-08-2003 - 9:04am
My son went to live with his father a year ago when he was 13.....his choice, not mine. It broke my heart. They live about a 2 hour bus ride away. I don't know how to talk to my son with his father always there. My son won't come to my home or see me alone.I feel like a visiting social worker when I have seen him, which hasn't been very often. This is tearing me into bits and I can't go on....please help.
iVillage Member
Registered: 04-02-2003
Sat, 11-08-2003 - 12:01pm

that is so sad... I don't know wht to tell you. I can say that I think the age of 13-14 are the most difficult, maybe he will outgrow his anger.


if he won't come to your house- would he meet you somewhere? would your ex be willing to leave the house so you could be alone? will your son be willing to talk on the phone/write?


has your son been seeing a therapist? is your ex cooperative with you on this whole issue?


I am really sorry for your pain, I don't know what I would do if i were in the same boat...

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Sun, 11-09-2003 - 12:00am
I'm sorry you're going through this ...

Not knowing anything more than you've written, all I can offer is empathy and a suggestion, which is offered on the assumption that you cannot work with his dad on this issue.

For whatever reason, your son will not meet with you alone. Perhaps he can't handle knowing how much you're hurting. Perhaps something else happened to precipitate this. Perhaps his dad has a hand in it. Whatever the reason, you have really no other choice than to be willing to meet your son where *his* 'comfort zone' allows you. It seems personal contact, whether via phone - with his dad nearby - or in person - is outside that comfort zone. You will need to build a new bridge to reach him, and I'd suggest that you start by just writing to him. If he has a personal email and you are sure no one will access and delete your emails, email him. Or email him via someone whom he trusts that you know. Or letters sent by regular mail or letters given to him by someone you and he both know and you can trust. Just write - about life in general. About the fact you miss him but that you will respect his distance until he feels comfortable with closing that distance and that you will leave it up to him. Talk to him about your memories of him that make you smile. Tell him the characteristics he has that make him special and unique and gifted for whatever his life has in store for him. Share your thoughts on current topics. Ask him about his friends, his interests, his life. Invite him to write back to you, responding only to what he is comfortable with. Assure him that if he does not write back, you love him and will continue to write him anyway just to let him know that you love him and that you always will. Don't try to make him feel *guilty*. You can share that you would like to understand why he is not comfortable with you so that things can be worked on but that you won't try to force the issue, but will just leave the door open. And just keep writing even if you receive nothing but silence. Keep copies of every single letter, each dated. Let the letters reveal *who* YOU are too - as his mom, as a person. Things that you are passionate about. Your values. What you hold as sacred. Your priorities. Your philosophy on life. What you do.

And if you are a believer, just keep praying about this.

Over time, whatever needs to heal will hopefully heal from your consistency and your willingness to keep sharing, keep reaching out even if you are met with silence for a long time to come, or short, non-responsive responses.

Good luck to you, shy_blondie ... my heart goes out to you. I hope that bridge will be built and that you and your son will meet halfway on it one day, sooner rather than later. Please let us know how things go...

iVillage Member
Registered: 10-21-2003
Thu, 11-13-2003 - 7:12am
We divorced when my daughter was a baby. I moved out of the family home and set up a two bedroomed home just a few minutes walk away. I saw our dd on a regular basis. My ex-wife moved 80 miles away when our dd was 9 years old against my wishes. I drove up and down the motorway every other weekend for 4 years, frequently taking my dd back to 'our' home. I'd drive 320 miles in a weekend. I decided to rent a second home for 6 months in the same city as my dd and my ex. I then decided to sell and move my home to the same city as my ex and dd.

Over the years, I never imagined that I'd loose contact with my dd and that it would be dd's decision to end contact with me, but that's what happened earlier this year. So although I am now just a few minutes walk away from my daughter again, I feel separated by many many miles.

With thanks to advice from this notice board, I'm now emailing my dd (now almost 16) at her school email address, and more importantly dd is emailing me back. See this notice board 'Dad Missing 15 year old Daughter'.

Key advice I picked out was to separate ex-parent from child and to deal directly with our child. It's good to be back in touch but I now realise that there is much work to heal the split.

I also remembering someone asking me if I'd been angry with my ex and dd over loosing contact and leading up to the split.

To say, 'I know how you feel', and 'I have experienced what you are going through', may be true? I found loosing contact really hard and difficult to come to terms with. Please look after yourself and look for help and support from every where and every one.

Please let us know how you get on.

Very best wishes,

Mike

Avatar for arwen12
iVillage Member
Registered: 04-11-2003
Thu, 11-13-2003 - 8:32am
To read these posts both breaks my heart and warms my heart...

I have to agree with Mike and kkiana...

Keep the lines of communication open with your son, stay persistent.

And, also while I know it must be hard, you must take care of yourself and stay positive.

I sense you are very distraught and I can't even begin to imagine how hard this must be for you. I don't know how I would handle it at all. I know for sure that I'd probably be at least as heartbroken as you are. But, what troubles me the most about your post is how you are handling this.

When I got divorced 10+ years ago, I told a neighbor of mine that I was only concerned about how this whole divorce thing would impact my child, then 4.

And, she said to me "she'll be fine...as long as you are"

Which was a great way for me to keep focus.

It is the advice I go to when I am feeling distraught or lost.

It is truly some of the best advice I have ever had.

So, absolutely stay in contact with your child - as Mike and kkiana have said - even if he doesn't respond. Stay in contact. Be persistent. Don't let his teenage moods or whatever the issues are get in the way.

I truly believe that time heals all wounds.

And, also, I say that you MUST take care of yourself.

Keep in mind, that even if you are apart geographically, doesn't mean you are apart emotionally.

You are still your childs parent.

Nothing will change that. Nothing. No way. No how.

Know that. Keep that knowledge in your center.

And, remember that your child will always be looking to you.

If they see you fall apart in hard times, think to yourself what example is that setting?

Stay strong.

I think that kids need to see parents as a guidepost for their lives.

As a lighthouse on a dark foggy night.

(I read this somewhere, not sure where.. possibly Iyanla VanZant "Until Today")

I haven't been in the situation you are in.

I can only imagine how distraught you are...

but again, stay strong and *BE* the example you want to set for your child.

all my hopes, prayers and best wishes will be with you.

Anne




Edited 11/13/2003 9:21:52 AM ET by arwen12

iVillage Member
Registered: 08-16-2003
Tue, 11-18-2003 - 9:39pm
"My son won't come to my home or see me alone."

My question is why won't he come to your home or see you alone? What are the circumstances that caused him to choose to go live with his father? How do you talk to your son when his father isn't there? That's exactally how you talk to him when dad is around. Or is it that you don't WANT to talk with him when his dad is around? Is there some reason you can't (or won't) talk to his father about your son not visiting you? I know I'm not always thrilled to speak to my ex but where it concerns our daughter I "bite the bullet" and consult him.

My daughter and I moved 3,000 miles from my ex and I have been very open to her visiting her dad whenever she chooses. Yes she is older than your son of 13 but her father and I have been separated since she was 13. I suggest very strongly that you "bite the bullet" and discuss this with your ex, this isn't about your former marriage this is about your child and the two should remain separate. Just because your son is a product of your marriage doesn't mean he is a part of it.