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Should I stop all contact with 16 yo son?

I left with son (only child 13) day father hit me. Very traumatic divorce. Son suppressed feelings; slowly began expressing them to me..........verbal abuse. Remarried in 2007, son liked the man and enjoyed gaining 3 step-brothers. Then son became increasingly abusive (verbal, punching walls), moved up to threatening 'cutting', very emo, then to threatening to kill us in our sleep, threatening to burn principal's, ect.

I committed him to psychiatric emergence ward and would not release him to his father (upon pediatrician's orders); father lied to get son released. Court-ordered eval and treatment, I lost physical custody.

Treatment has not changed anything. Son professes extreme hatred of me. We've met twice in the past year (had nice time). Talked on the phone several times (both cried). Clinic is closing case 'cuz of liability with ex. Son now refuses all contact.

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Asked by DanieT at 11:31 AM on Dec. 14, 2008 in Teens (13-17)

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Answers (11)
  • It depends on how much effort you are willing to put into it because he is cleary not willing to put any in if he refuses contact with you. I wouldnt completey just stop contact, but I also wouldnt beg him to be part of my life if he is treating you like dirt. I would contact him/attempt to maybe once a week or so and call on holidays, even if he refuses to speak with you, at least it shows that you havent given up on him and that you still care.

    Answer by asholan_07 at 11:36 AM on Dec. 14, 2008

  • Thank you Asholan 07. My eyes were blind and I needed to see through another's. 'treating me like dirt' said it all. I was focusing so much on the pain he had gone through, understanding where his anger was coming from, and trying to get him the help he needed ...............I did not see his actions for what they were.

    treating me like dirt

    Were it anyone but my child, he would have been out of my life a long time ago.

    You are right. I wish him to know that I still care for him and love him. Periodic contact will accomplish this.

    Answer by DanieT at 11:54 AM on Dec. 14, 2008

  • I think I would probably leave the door of communication open, but that is all. I would not like to have him know where I live, however. Sounds like he still might be pretty dangerous. Not fair to the other members of the household.

    Answer by pupmom at 11:57 AM on Dec. 14, 2008

  • I would be heartbroken if my child refused to have contact with me. My advice to you is let your son know how much you love and care about him. Tell him how important he is to you, always be there for him. He does need to understand that hitting and being abusive is not acceptable. Maybe the two of you need some space from each other. Have you thought of going to counseling with your son? Sounds like your son also has some major emotional problems this needs to be addressed or you will have a very angry man running around!


    Answer by mommiedear at 12:12 PM on Dec. 14, 2008

  • maybe it's time to back off a bit.
    So long as you make sure to tell you love him and make sure he has a way to contact you if he wants.
    As soon as he learns being abusive is not tolerated then maybe he will chill out.

    Answer by angela89 at 3:35 PM on Dec. 14, 2008

  • let son process it all and leave it up to him to make contact

    Answer by admckenzie at 9:43 PM on Dec. 14, 2008

  • Agreed, hand him the ball. Tell him you love him, why you left his father, and why you made the choices you did for him, then leave the ball in his court, and the lines of the communication open. Its his turn. Hopefully once he grows up a little he'll realize you did what you did out of love. It sounds like he has serious issues emotionally though, and the father will realize this at some point. He needs help, and issues like his will present themselves. Once he receives treatment and grows up, he may be more willing to contact you. Good luck I'll send you prayers, good vibes, and hugs!

    Answer by katzmeow726 at 1:17 AM on Dec. 15, 2008

  • My ds will be 16 next month, and my heart goes out to you! I think I would be honest with him - tell him that you love him dearly, and you want the best for him, and that you will always be there for him. Tell him that you understand that he's angry and hurt and going through a lot, and that you will do whatever you can in your power to help him and help make things better for him. However, he is old enough to understand that his actions have consequences, and as much as you love him, you cannot allow him to be abusive or threatening to you or others, and as long as he chooses to behave like that, then his actions are what's making it impossible for you to be able to help him


    Answer by sailorwifenmom at 1:57 AM on Dec. 15, 2008

  • Then step back - still call him regularly to let him know you love him. Send him cards to say you love him. Tell him on the phone and in the cards that you love him, and as long as he's willing to get help with his problems, then you would love to help him, because you love him and want him to be happy, and you can see that he's hurting, and that hurts you.

    You could go back to court and fight the custody situation, and also fight that he is forced to be back in treatment, but unless your son wants to be helped, and as long as your ex isn't willing to work with you on this (fighting them both on this, unfortunately, I think you would lose) then, sadly, I don't think there is much else you can do.

    Answer by sailorwifenmom at 1:59 AM on Dec. 15, 2008

  • Thank you all. I have tried to get my son treatment for over a year now. We did joint counseling, which was harmful to me. During sessions, we interacted just as we used to. Outside of counseling, I ceased to exist to him..........he refused calls, emails, letters. I eventually had to take a break. We were to begin again this month, my son refused.

    This is an emotionally angry young man. I know it will come out, one way or another. I had hoped to give him the help of talented professionals. That was not to be.

    I have done all that I can. His father has won..... hurting me in the worst way he can. This is not a movie; I am not assured he will return. There is a real possibility that I have lost him.

    Sadly, it is my son who will pay the ultimate price. I will let him know I love him and keep communication open. To lose a sad motherhood can be.

    Answer by DanieT at 3:00 PM on Dec. 15, 2008

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