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7 year old son just dropped a bombshell

G

GoodEnoughMum

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Nov 25, 2014
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Hi everyone

I am a single Mum from the UK. My exhusband and I split up when my DS1 (7 years old) was 2. My ExH has personality problems (undiagnosed) and is a liar which DS1 has picked up on.

I won't explain how it came up as it was over a few days and quite complicated, but basically tonight DS1 said I don't really make him feel better apart from if he's ill I give him medicine. When I said what if there were other people around who could give him medicine he said that would be fine and he didn't need me. I pushed it by saying would it matter if I wasn't here at all and he quite casually said no just food and clothes really but if someone else was taking care of that it would be fine.

The reason I am so upset is that the thought of me not being here in no way bothered him. He wasn't saying things to get a reaction he was just telling the plain unvarnished truth.

I am now extremely concerned we have a major issue. I asked my other son the same question and he started to tear up which is how I would have felt as a child thinking about not having my Mum around.

DS1 was so cold about it. He wasn't entirely unaware as he asked me if I was upset because I looked upset (almost out of interest sort of way of asking) so I said I was upset but I was glad he had told me as the important thing is to tell the truth about how you are feeling.

As a baby he didn't really want to be cuddled. He was always trying to wriggle away. He is very independent and capable and adventurous but I always felt it was wierd that he didn't seem to want to be held. I don't know if that is related. He did tell his counsellor that he wished I cuddled him but as he pulls away when I cuddle him and I am not a particularly tactile person I find it hard to pursue that.

I don't really know where to post this so if anyone has any thoughts I would be really grateful.

Thanks
Gem
x
 
Davey Blueeyes

Davey Blueeyes

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Hey Gem, welcome!!

Okay, deep breath, okay? It's gonna be alright.

I have an 8 year old boy and if there is one thing I know about some boys around this age is that they have these delusions of independance. Trust me, mine's the same, he says he only comes to see me for the XBox! It used to bother me but it doesn't anymore, it's okay. My sister has 2 boys, older now, they were the same and they are perfectly loving and moody teenagers now!

So try to chill out, maybe even play up to it, boys that age like a bit of banter. A mistake us adults often make is we assign adult feelings and emotions and experience to 7 year olds! 7 year olds ONLY live for today and don't worry about anything else, all the things Mindfulness teaches us actually! He's just being a 7 year old and going into his past and trying to find validation for his behaviour is just a red herring that will just stress and worry you. I'm sure if you look hard there are contrary examples in his past, this kind of backward validation is common and dysfunctional.

Play with him, live in his world for a while, he isn't stressed that his dad has personality issues because he wouldn't understand that! So why credit him with the emotional understanding that only comes as a proper grown up!

Have some big hugs, we love them here

:hug5::hug5::hug5::hug5::hug5::hug5::hug5:

Davey x
 
Jaminacaranda

Jaminacaranda

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I can imagine how bad you feel about this.

You mention that your son has a 'counsellor' and I wondered why? If the counsellor simply asked your son 'Would you like Mummy to cuddle you more often?' I can imagine any 7-year-old would answer 'Yes' but that's because it's a leading question which invites a particular answer and as such it doesn't necessarily mean anything. I speak as an ex teacher of seven-year-olds!

Also I think if you asked many 7-year-olds why they needed their mothers, most would answer in purely practical terms such as 'To give me food and buy me clothes' because 7-year-olds simply think that way. They do not understand their emotions and are not fully capable of expressing them - certainly not in words.

You cannot make comparisons between how you remember your own childhood and how you might have reacted as a child with how your sons behave. You are different people and your experience of life is different.

The reason I am so upset is that the thought of me not being here in no way bothered him.
You don't know this for a fact. It might have bothered him a great deal. He might actually have been wondering - why is my mother asking me all these scary questions? He might have been trying to put on a brave face for your benefit.

Why do you feel it is necessary for you to be asking your children these questions which are emotionally highly charged and extremely difficult for them to answer at their age? Could this problem be more about your needs rather than the children's?
 
G

GoodEnoughMum

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Thanks Davey that's really kind.

Unfortunately he is the one who brings up everything in this house. It's hard to know how to speak to him.

When he was three he said "I know why Daddy left it was because me and DS2 were bad babies". I was so blindsided by this (It was completely out of the blue and nothing to do with what we were talking about) that I said "No it was nothing to do with you. Daddy loves you very much. Daddy didn't love Mummy any more" (In retrospect this was a terrible thing to say but it wasn't something had given any thought to so the truth just popped out!) Anyway, he put his arm on mine, looked me in the eyes and said "that must have been very hard Mummy". I brushed it off basically blustering on about how it's all fine now and we're all happy blah blah. But that was the first on many deeply insightful things he has said.

He does know his Dad is a liar. He has known it for 18 months when his Dad basically gaslighted him in front of me. I knew it was happening but I was powerless to stop it. He lost it - his head looked like it would explode. There's been other times he has said to me his Dad has lied. I always suggest it's probably a misunderstanding but he really does know.

For example, his Dad says he doesn't see enough of them (in spite of not answering my emails and calls about how often and when he would like to see them and not booking any time in his leave with them.) DS1 then said to me he thinks his Dad doesn't really want to see him any more than he does. He always seems to be grappling with such huge concepts for his age.

His teachers at his old school noticed it too and frequently reported concern at his thoughts. They referred us to Cahms who referred us to the counsellor. It did seem to help him process the break up a bit but at the end of the day he knows things are not right with his Dad and it messes with his mind. There's nothing I can do about it at this point but I always have felt at least I am his rock, I am his constant. I have always put them first and made sure all their needs are met. To find out i'm actually not that important has been shocking - no wonder he's so unhappy when his own Mum can't comfort him.

Arghhhhh

Thanks for the hugs
x
 
G

GoodEnoughMum

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Thanks Porkpie

I always thought maybe but everyone (GP, School, Counsellor, behaviour support, other parents) say no because he gives eye contact, is engaging, doesn't obsess - basically doesn't tick any boxes. They say it's just his personality
x
 
Last edited:
G

GoodEnoughMum

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Nov 25, 2014
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Thanks Jaminacarinda.

I think without the backstory it probably does seem wierd that I was asking him!

I'll try to keep it brief.

He came back from his Dad's saying he wants us to be married again, live together etc. (his Dad has just remarried). Basically unable to accept it again.

At the end of the conversation he decided to write to the tooth fairy. He wrote a note "please help me". When I asked him what he was wanting help with he said he didn't want to feel unhappy anymore. I said I would like to help you feel happier. To which he said the tooth fairy will make you magic so you can make me happy.

So once he was asleep I wrote him a letter from the tooth fairy along the lines of he (it's a boy tooth fairy!) can't make me magic as Mummies already are magic. Grew him inside my tummy, love him more than anything in the world, blah blah. Then suggesting he speaks to a counsellor or the GP or Granny about how he is feeling as well and to try and accept the situation.

DS1 was thrilled with his letter. Problem solved I thought until tonight he wrote another one saying "how is Mummy magic". When I asked him about it he said what magic could I do. So I said I thought the tooth fairy was saying Mummy's cuddles can make you feel better and Mummy can listen to you etc. and that is when he said "that must be DS2's letter. None of that makes any difference to me". Hence the conversation.

It could be my own issues because maybe someone else would have given him a big hug and said of course it does, my cuddles are magic blah blah and it's my insecurity and basically dumfounded shock that stopped me!

So that's the backstory. Hope it explains it. I don't generally go round looking for affirmation from my children :)

x
 
Jaminacaranda

Jaminacaranda

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It's a horrible situation to try and unravel yourself from and I think you sound like an enormously caring mum who is struggling to try and make her children happy and you are just perhaps being a bit over-analysing and a bit over-anxious. Children are often more resilient than adults realise. In the end it only matters that you are there for them and that you love them. There are plenty of people on this forum who have never enjoyed the love that you yourself have given to your children. Don't ever lose sight of that!
 
G

GoodEnoughMum

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Thanks Jaminacaranda.

I actually was just thinking of a situation the other day. We were at the top of IKEA carpark and there were two seagulls. One still had its baby feathers but was fully grown. DS1 got very upset because it was crying (begging for food - they were eating ice creams) and he cried when we drove off then was sad all the way home because he felt we should have stayed to help him look for his Mum.

Remembering this made me realise he can't feel that I'm not important or else why would he have worried about the Seagull?

I'm going to speak to him tomorrow and say I think I am magic and lets try more hugs and see if that helps then distract him with dinosaurs!

Feel better now I have a plan. thanks everyone

xx
 
Davey Blueeyes

Davey Blueeyes

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Yay, you're feeling better and an amazing mum! Let's party like it's 1999!

[video=vimeo;100003364]http://vimeo.com/100003364[/video]


Remember children DO NOT think like adults! Mostly, they don't think at all! Plus he is a different person to you.

That said, I know your pain, just keep reminding yourself what an amazing mum you are!
 
Sparklypurplepaws

Sparklypurplepaws

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Hi,
I hope you don't mind me butting in x
I just wanted to tell you that I have a daughter who's nearly 11 and is on the autistic spectrum - moderate to severe. She would probably say I don't give her anything she needs and could most definitely do without me! And she would say it in such a cold manner that would haunt me for days! But anyway, my point of the post is that she has excellent eye contact, can be very loving and tactile. It took me 8 very long years to get her diagnosed, I always knew but because it was the exact stereotypical autistic behaviour her school etc... Refused to send her to a paedetrician to get diagnosed. It only happened when she started exhibiting self harming behaviours and she got diagnosed almost straight away by the pdoc, and she's not only just on the spectrum she's towards the more severe end!
I guess my advise to you is to get your ds to see a paedetrician if you feel he needs it x
And I echo what everyone else says - be kind to yourself I bet your a great mum, only good mums worry about these things!!!!!
 
G

GoodEnoughMum

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Thanks Sparklypurplepaws.

We have just moved so maybe time to test the mettle of the new doc! You're the first person who's got a diagnoses that I know without the stereotypical behaviour. Good to know you got there in the end. Thanks so much for replying.

xx
 
Sparklypurplepaws

Sparklypurplepaws

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I would deffo try again, for your own peace of mind! My dd deffo isn't stereotypical, although she obviously fits the criteria in many ways not with eye contact or being loving when she wants to be - the pdoc went into all of the other diagnostic criteria - things I didn't even know about like modesty, hitting targets when young. Keep fighting good enough mum!
 
S

secretsurvivor1

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I feel a bit out of my depth as I am not a mum, but I have been struggling with mental health my whole life, and first self-harmed when I was 8.
I am 40 now, and have done a 1yr therapy and been given a report which states (for the very first time) that I have some autistic personality traits. I have suspected this myself for years. They don't always understand.

I take things very literally and am teased for being gullible. I can be very cold when I am upset, even though generally I am affectionate, over-sensitive and a deep thinker.

If you ask me what I need, I guess I would say practical things because that would be my interpretation of the question. I would WANT more (emotionally) than I NEED (practically), but that wasn't the question, see? And I would show high levels of worry about adult things, sensitive to other people's moods. I have an IQ in the top 5% and played in the British Chess Championships as a teenager. I could think well, but could not manage emotions well. If someone made faces or groaned or left the table, my whole brain would be filled with anxieties and paranoia about what they are thinking. This would interfere with my concentration and make me lose. In exams, I did well except when I could not interpret questions.

Eg "What colour is the sky?"

I would think this is too tricky, wonder what they meant and run out of time struggling with it. My thoughts would be;

Obviously they think I will say blue
I am not going to fool for that
it is a trick question
It can be black at night
unless there is a moon
sometimes there are shadows and shades of colour
the sky is only blue as a reflection of the sea
the air is transparent
at sunset the sky can be pretty much all the colours there are
no-one can really say what colour the sky is
this question is way beyond me
I can't write any answer at all.

See how difficult it is to think logically according to a normal person's logic?
It is embarrassing and upsetting to feel like you don't understand the most simple concepts,
but frustrating when you think you are the only one who really knows the truth.
Very isolating and confusing.
 
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