Help me miss my son productively.
January 6, 2011 5:05 PM Subscribe
Please help me deal with the emotional fallout now that my son has moved out.
posted by actuallyiam to Human Relations (19 answers total) 8 users marked this as a favorite
After spending a couple of weeks with his usually absent father last summer, my 13-year old son decided he wanted to go live with him out-of-state. Although it just about killed me to do, I let him go spend the school year with his father and have court documents in place that he will return home on a specified date once school ends (it also outlines visitation until then).
Even after four months, I cannot adequately describe the pain I'm in over his absence. It's debilitating and has paralyzed me to the point that I don't even want to get out of bed some days (I have two other children so that's not an option). Here are some of the things that I think bother/worry me the most:
~ That my son will not want to come home this summer. This is more than a worry, this is a very real possibility. He has virtually no supervision where he lives now so he plays video games for 6+ hours a day, education is an afterthought in his current household, etc. He's got it made where he is, and has already made comments to me about staying there. Should he decide he doesn't want to come home at the end of the school year, my ex has already informed me he will take me to court for custody. I have absolutely no doubt that he will, I don't have the resources to fight it and, even if I did, forcing my son to come home would do more harm than good.
~ That my other two children may want to move in with their father and brother when they get a bit older and/or find out what a great time he's having.
~ That my son will continue to devolve into the mean-spirited misogynist he appears to be turning into. When he left my home, my son was a sweet and fun-loving young man with a heart of gold. He now lives in a household where women are routinely disrespected, mean-spirited humor is the norm, and values revolve around "what's in it for me." Over the course of the last few months, I've been horrified at some of the things he's said to me when he visits, the way he conducts himself on Facebook, etc. Now, please understand that I know teenagers are a work-in-progress and not always likable under the best of circumstances. However, without a hand to guide you, teen assholes grow up to be adult assholes.
I understand that I (nor you) can predict the future so there's little sense in worrying about what might or might not happen come summer or whatever. I threw those things in there because they're contributing to my overall unhappiness.
My biggest issue is that I can't cope with his absence and the possibility (probability?) I'll never get to live with him again. I can't come to grips with the fact that I'm missing so much in and of his life (He just got his first "girlfriend" -- and I found out about it on Facebook). I miss him so much that it's eating me alive.
I do all the right things: call, write, email, keep in touch, have regular visitation, but it's not helping. I'm absolutely shattered by his absence, to the point that I'd rather not be connected to him on Facebook because comments like "My life is so awesome!!" kill me by inches.
Yes, I want my son to be happy, but I am (maybe selfishly?) devastated. Please don't lecture me about all the other non-custodial parents out there going through the same thing. I understand I'm not a special snowflake in that regard. I'm having trouble coming to grips with the fact that the son I expected to raise full-time is now unexpectedly gone.
I know it's not uncommon for children to want to try living with the other parent. If your child went through this and you let them go, did they come back? How did you cope with them being gone? I'm at a loss here, MeFites.