Coping with the new normal

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by BloodiedButUnbowed, Jul 23, 2018.

  1. BloodiedButUnbowed

    BloodiedButUnbowed Active Member

    We are at this point essentially childless which is a relief and very painful at the same time. It's very different. Calm and peaceful and no adolescent drama, or contact with my wife's ex, which is wonderful to be honest. But then we miss the boys at the same time. Or I should say, we mourn what used to be, and the boys that they were. They are now young men and I am quite sure, very different than we remember.

    We have no contact with either DS or YS. There is no forward momentum, no therapy, no desire or willingness on either son's part to reconcile, and certainly their father is no help.

    W texts them both regularly; she does not call. Neither ever responds.

    W stopped accompanying YS to his doctor's appointments months ago after he threatened to stop going completely if she continued to attend. She feels, and I agree, that he needs to be in therapy no matter what. And without backup from his father, this is an unwinnable power struggle. So she accepted his demands.

    DS' birthday is coming up. W has purchased a card for him which she intends to mail. Last year we hosted a huge party for him at our house and things seemed to go well. About one month later YS made his suicide attempt and the world, our world, exploded.

    The summer has brought with it some health challenges for W in particular. They are managed now and are expected to be managed successfully long term but the situation is still serious, potentially life threatening in a worst case scenario. Her sons do not know and even if they did know, I don't think they would care. She did not ask me to contact them, or their father, which I thought was smart.

    Everyone is hurt, some family members devastated, by the choices these young men have made. But we are all moving on. Despite the worst tragedies living can present to us, life does always go on.

    The other day while out walking we met a new neighbor. In chatting we learned this neighbor has two sons. One child bears the first name of DS; the second child bears his middle name. Neither name is terribly uncommon but I was floored regardless. W chose not to mention either DS or YS and thanked me for not making an issue out of it. I think that shows progress on her part, that she is accepting of what is.
     
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  2. wisernow

    wisernow wisernow

    I am sorry that you are going through this painful journey. Perhaps though right now space might be needed. The boys are still young and as they mature, I am sure things will change. You have both grown so much from this experience and your relationship has survived. That says much and you are blessed to have each other through these difficult waters. I recently read a saying that storms are often needed to make way for calmer days. Trust that the universe is there for you and things will unfold as they should. Hugs!
     
  3. wisernow

    wisernow wisernow

    I am sorry that you are going through this painful journey. Perhaps though right now space might be needed. The boys are still young and as they mature, I am sure things will change. You have both grown so much from this experience and your relationship has survived. That says much and you are blessed to have each other through these difficult waters. I recently read a saying that storms are often needed to make way for calmer days. Trust that the universe is there for you and things will unfold as they should. Hugs!
     
  4. RN0441

    RN0441 100% better than I was but not at 100% yet

    Agree with wisernow.

    Sometimes life can be so very painful and hard to understand.

    We have no choice but to keep moving forward. Try to find something positive in each day.

    For a mother I'm sure it's very painful to have no contact with your own flesh and blood.

    I'm hoping that someday soon the boys will be a part of your lives again. I guess right now you just have to make yourselves happy and soldier on.
     
  5. Triedntrue

    Triedntrue Active Member

    I am glad that things have worked out for you and your wife. Take this time as a gift and use it to do fun things. I like to take day trips and explore interesting things close to home. Museums , shops, zoos, parks and lakes. Whatever you enjoy. Someday the boys may surprise you and invite you back in. Prayers
     
  6. Littleboylost

    Littleboylost On the road unwanted to travel

    BBU
    I do hope some day the boys attempt the rekindle with you and mom. It is painful and yes the only options we have are to sit in the poop or move forward and allow ourselves to live as content a life as we can. I hope W is on the mend and all stays well with her health.
     
  7. HMBgal

    HMBgal Active Member

    Following your journey. You write so honestly about it. I'm so sorry that contact between the boys and you is not existent at this time, but who knows what the future holds as these boys hopefully mature. As for your wife's health troubles, I'm sorry to hear it and hope that things stay stable in that front. Extreme stress can sure do things to our health. Hugs to you both.
     
  8. Baggy Bags

    Baggy Bags Active Member

    I remember the first time I read you thinking "omg, these poor parents! On top of everything, no contact!" And here I am now in the same place. No contact with son for two months, except for one recent call in which he threatened to do "something" if I didn't send him all his clothes.

    But yes, life does go on. As sad as it is for us that our kids don't want a relationship with us, it is ultimately a choice they make and a choice that they will have to live with. My son, at least, is very mistaken if he thinks I'm sitting in a corner crying all day because he won't talk to me. The tears are there, under the surface, but I'll be damned if I'm going to drown myself in this misery.

    I tried to get my son back for a year. But it was useless because he was already gone. Maybe I just needed that year to wrap my head around the fact that I loved this person more than I've loved anyone in my life, by a gazillion, gave him everything I could, and despite it all, he doesn't want me in his life. CD or not, they are old enough and smart enough to know what they're doing.

    Maybe they'll "wake up" one day. Maybe they won't. I'm not going to hold my breath anymore.

    My life is at least half way over, and my youth is gone. What little was left of it, was destroyed by all of this, but I'm not going to let it destroy the rest of my time here.

    We have to find our way to peace, gratitude and joy in this "new normal".

    :grouphug:
     
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  9. BloodiedButUnbowed

    BloodiedButUnbowed Active Member

    Truer words never spoken BB.

    We are not sobbing and rending our garments over here either. Life IS moving on and life is better without them. Easy for me to say because they are not mine.

    As for me as stepparent, I am disgusted and ready to wash my hands of both of these brats - because that is what they are - forever. You are SO right, and this is something I think my W is slowly beginning to accept - that despite whatever other influences are in their lives, mental illness, drug abuse, parental alienation, etc. - this is a conscious choice being made by these boys. They are CHOOSING to hurt us, they are CHOOSING to abandon us.

    I struggle with codependency so even though these words likely sound harsh and dripping with finality, the truth is this: I am letting my wife deal with her children however she sees fit. If there comes a time when I need to set boundaries around her children for my own safety/welfare I will do so. But I no longer consider myself involved, emotionally or in any kind of parental role, with DS and YS.

    I am a support for W, nothing more.
     
  10. New Leaf

    New Leaf Well-Known Member

    My dear Unbowed, you are a testament to strength and resilience. I have for the past few days worked an area on our property that has been overtaken by the vilest weeds. Ugh. Six foot grass that is a tangled mess, not to mention the tiny fiberglass like material that ends up coming through any kind of clothing one wears. It laughs at weed eaters, so I have to get right in the thick of it and precariously saw through the thickened base and drag it down to a mulch pile.
    It is a metaphor for dealing with kids off the rails and all of the stinging nettles that pierce our being.
    Once upon a time, that area was cleared and planted. I am surprised when I find some of the good plants hanging in there after I hack through the jungle.
    That is us. Hanging in there, despite the direction our kids take. The pile of weeds they disperse with their choices, how it could potentially suck the very life out of us.
    I am sorry that your wife is facing health issues, and pray that she be well and emerge from this latest test, ever stronger and determined to take her life back. Remove all those weeds and plant her garden with beautiful flowers and evergreens.
    She is so blessed to have your strength to lean upon, your love and support.
    Take care.
    (((Hugs)))
    Leafy