"You hear laughter breaking through, it makes you want to fart. You’re heading for a breakdown, better pull yourself apart. " - John Cooper Clarke

>Todd N° 5,377 (and still going)

>Within two days of coming home last Friday, Todd had broken every single ‘rule’ that we had decided upon.

I knew they were too easy to break and Todd did a good job of breaking them. Quarsan and I agreed with the Ex and PHT to the following:

– He can only go out once a week
– He has to return by 11.30pm
– He has to tell us where he is going plus the telephone number
– He has to have credit on his GSM
– He has to return at 6/7 o’clock (evenings) during the week.

That was about it and I agreed to it knowing full well that Todd would break the first rule as soon as possible.

After his stunt in Italy, we agreed that he was not allowed out the following weekend – where he happened to be chez-moi. And glory be! He broke that rule, naturellement. The first night that he was here he insulted me like I’d never been insulted before, but sticks and stones and all that stuff … I was nevertheless completely mortified. The following morning he was even worse but I put up a brave front because, hey, sistahs, we have to stick up for ourselves. Shit, I didn’t even shout.

And then he disappeared “to his dad’s house”.

Two hours later I received a text from Todd saying that he was “shopping with his girlfriend and would be home at 4.30pm.” I put my foot down there as we had bought his lunch (which he knew about) and had said was going to be here for his sausage sarnies. Except he wasn’t. I texted him to come home straight away – and he did! Yes! Todd came home. But he’d already eaten, so forget it.

As he came through the front door, Tatiana and I were leaving to get the shopping in, so I left Todd in the ‘responsible’ hands of the Twat to mow the lawn. Apparently they got on fine and the job got done. Afterwards, Todd and the Twat had a chat which was fairly successful, apparently, apart from the fact that Todd was texting throughout the chat.

The next thing that I knew was that Todd was telling me that he could now go out, especially as his girlfriend had invited him out for supper. No guesses as to what happened after that other than he had a badly-needed shower and suddenly I heard the door slam. He left.

And didn’t come back until around 2pm on the Sunday. I was alone upstairs, the girls were downstairs, Q was out. I still didn’t raise my voice although I was curious as to where my son had spent the night. I know he lied saying that he walked around from here to there to here to there … this coming from a young man who has to sleep with his bedroom door open and preferably with the landing light on.

Todd is scared of the dark.

I still have no idea as to where he spent the night.

Todd then started pushing me about, hurting me more psychologically than physically, but nonetheless, I was scared. So I called his father who said that he wasn’t in Brussels.

“Well if you don’t get the fuck here before our son hurts me one more time, I’ll call the Police.”

His dad, looking exhausted from Todd’s behaviour, running around after him and all the rest, finally turned up. We had a long chat although I don’t think that he believed that I hadn’t shouted at Todd, and then he had a while alone with Todd. Then we all spoke together, finally joined by Q who had been out taking photos. I was surprised as Q came out with some sage words of advice mentioning to Todd that as he had broken every single rule that we had laid down, didn’t he think that maybe the problem was his?

Dead silence.

Q: “Why don’t you ever answer your GSM?”
“Because the battery’s dead.”
“Oh yeah?”
“Yeah, Quarsan, look.”

Todd threw his GSM at Quarsan who then went and confiscated it, as Q and I had agreed upon that morning.

This made Todd flip. He screamed at his dad saying that “that bullshitter wanted to look at my GSM and has then taken it from me. HE HAS STOLEN MY GSM – THE BULLSHITTER!”

Todd then disappeared again and we talked about what we should do. Todd had told his father that he was going to stay at his mamy’s. His Mamy didn’t know about this, and considering that she is in her 70s and her husband is in his 80s, it would really be unfair to let Todd have his way. The Ex left saying that he’d contact us when he knew what on earth was happening – none of us knew.



End of long story:

I ended up crying my heart out – Todd is to spend the next 6+ weeks with his father.

I feel like that I have failed as a mother. [Blokes, if you don’t get that, I understand – you’re male. We women are difficult to please/understand/know. Nothing worth worrying about, but a shoulder of comfort works wonders – and always agree with us.]

I so agree with Bedblogger and all the other commenters who were along the same line as her. The trouble is, Todd’s dad is far too lenient.

They say that it’s cruel to be kind. I agree.


  1. Posted Tuesday, May 5, 2009 at 9:21 am | Permalink

    Blooming hell Z – you’ve been through the wars.
    Never type that you feel like you’ve failed as a mother as you bloody clearly haven’t – just one afternoon watching you with the girls can prove that! You’ve done what you can and now it’s up to the Ex. As you say, somr backbone needs to be grown there. At least he’s got 6 weeks to make or break – my only worry is if the Ex breaks, you may get Todd back even worse.
    my father was strict, and if I put myself in his shoes I would say the following:
    1. Next time he’s abusive, ground him. And if he goes out, start taking away individual privilages. Phone, computer, tv, hot showers, bed etc. If he can’t behave then why should he have the same privilages as everyone else?
    2. No sleepovers. Mates or girlfriends.
    3. He only gets his allowance if he does his chores. And he gets fined for bad behaviour.
    Worked putting the fear of God in me. He never had to implement them with us, but my brother has grown up fine!
    I suppose militaey school is out of the question? Poor you – big virtual hugs being sent your way. I don’t know what else to type other than I know I haven’t been popping up on the blogsphere lately but I and I’m sure others will be here for moral support and comforting hugs/words should you need us.

  2. Posted Tuesday, May 5, 2009 at 2:15 pm | Permalink

    I”m so sorry. It’s so difficult. Especially when kids have an excuse to blame “step” adults along the way. It all gets so complicated. Probably just behaving like any normal teenager, but they have more options don’t they when you’re separated. Unlike nuclear families where they don’t have so many places to go! Be strong. You will get through this. Lx

  3. Posted Tuesday, May 5, 2009 at 3:07 pm | Permalink

    I don’t think this behaviour is like a normal teenager. It seems like you have tried everything except telling him if this continues he’s out, on his own with no help from mom or dad. Tell him it’s shape up or it’s the childrens home for him as he is to young to be thrown on the streets.

  4. Vida
    Posted Tuesday, May 5, 2009 at 3:40 pm | Permalink

    Hi Zoe,
    So sorry it has come to this. You haven’t failed as a mother. This happens a lot and have faith – he’ll be okay in the end.
    Um, I don’t agree with Lom up there.
    Todd is a child – frightened and confused, hormones flying around and it always makes things doubly worse if you know that you’re the one who has made things bad!
    He needs some quiet time – time to think, calm down and the space to behave differently. And he needs to know that he will be forgiven otherwise what is the point in making things better. I suggest that you stick to the rules without exception but not make a point of them, ie. say ‘you can’t go out tonight Todd because you did… and that isn’t acceptable’ – not ‘you can’t go out tonight Todd because you were stupid/silly/lazy/insert any degoratory word here.’ Don’t be sarcastic and I would suggest you don’t punish him by trickery because that will humiliate him and none of us do well with that, eh?
    He’s just thrashing around. Try to remember that. Hopefully your ex will be reminding him that threating women ESPECIALLY your mother is not cool – do you think he will? You have to remember that every time he acts like an arse he will be on the huge defensive afterwards, so he needs to be given space to get over that. Is there anything fun you can all do together? Bowling? Sorry to preach and I know you know all this already so don’t kick my head in, I really just feel so sorry for the boy and you and Q – it must be exhausting for you all. Chin up and let me know if you need a restorative beer (or two),

  5. Posted Tuesday, May 5, 2009 at 10:13 pm | Permalink

    Hey zoeeeeeee.
    Don’t get too uptight. Despite what else has been written this is very normal teenage behaviour – there are just different degrees and it usually passes in time.
    That said, he needs a rocket up his arse and hopefully your ex will be the one to give it!

  6. Anonymous, too
    Posted Wednesday, May 6, 2009 at 4:13 am | Permalink

    Delurking again to say YOU haven’t failed as a parent. And it doesn’t sound like Q has done a bad job, either.
    His dad and grandmom definitely need backbones. Maybe you can get them some from the local butcher shop. Can’t say about his stepmom, but she’s already got the whole “wicked stepmother” thing working against her. Makes it hard for her to do any good with Todd, backbone or not.
    About the only advice I can give is to try to get one of his tirades on video (cell phone camera? cheap security camera?) so a professional can provide advice after watching it.
    Good luck, and do not let him physically abuse you. Do whatever you have to — but break that cycle NOW before it’s too late.
    And, again, you have NOT failed as a mother.

  7. Posted Wednesday, May 6, 2009 at 5:18 am | Permalink

    Oh Zoe, I’m sorry this is happening. I know it’s sucking the energy right out of you – and everybody else.
    But from what you’ve written, I do think Todd’s behaviour is out of the “normal teenager” range. I wonder if maybe he’s got oppositional-defiant disorder (I’m a teacher, and I have a bit – not much – of experience with this). Of course, he’d never go to a psychologist for a diagnosis and treatment, would he? That’s part of the disorder.
    That being said, he’s certainly resisted everything you have tried, so yes, it’s his dad’s turn to try. And yes, you feel like a gigantic failure, but just look at your girls and you have to know that you’re NOT. You can only do your best, and you have done that, and it worked just fine for 2 of 3 kids. Now it’s time to step back, take stock, and breathe quietly for a while.
    Many cyber-hugs!

  8. Posted Wednesday, May 6, 2009 at 5:58 am | Permalink

    I really do sympathise with all three of you(Q and Ex included) but he seems intent on pushing boundaries whatever you do and boot camp looks more and more like a sensible option.

  9. Posted Wednesday, May 6, 2009 at 7:34 am | Permalink

    You haven’t failed, there is still time to get on track. I remember now what I did with Olivier. I wrote him a letter; I told him how bad he made me feel and why we needed to know where he was and when he was coming home. I explained that if we didn’t know, how could we know that something bad hadn’t happened to him, when would we start looking for him etc. I also told him that I loved him and that’s why I cared about him and his future.
    Afterwards he asked ‘why did you write that letter, you could have talked to me?’ So I told him I wrote it because I couldn’t talk to him. He was very quiet and I think that it was a turning point. He still has bad days but he is generally more considerate and human. We’ve just got to get through the last month of school now, which he hates.
    In September he’s off to Poitiers. I’ll be looking out for videos of him vomiting in strange places on YouTube

  10. Posted Wednesday, May 6, 2009 at 12:54 pm | Permalink

    after you click here, give it a second or two to start.

  11. Posted Wednesday, May 6, 2009 at 1:03 pm | Permalink

    Does Todd have a blog?

  12. Posted Wednesday, May 6, 2009 at 1:20 pm | Permalink

    Anji – I may try that….
    Zooms, he had two. He deleted one, but “My Mama is Crazy” may still be around…. (or “Drive Mama Crazy”.)

  13. Posted Wednesday, May 6, 2009 at 2:39 pm | Permalink

    I can’t give advise as a parent, as I don’t have children. I can only say what I think or feel. I felt scared when I read Todd had pushed you. He’s so angry all the time, if only he’d say why, then you’d know where to start.

  14. Posted Wednesday, May 6, 2009 at 4:43 pm | Permalink

    Oh, sorry, sounds like our youngest. Perhaps it is best if he stays with one parent for a while, and hope there are some rules. But yes, do not in any form allow him to touch you. That is worth throwing him out of the house and changing the locks.

  15. Posted Wednesday, May 6, 2009 at 7:11 pm | Permalink

    Well, it sounds to me like you’ve done everything right to this point. Looks like the solution is going to take a while, but you’re on the right track, I think.
    You have my moral support…

  16. David
    Posted Thursday, May 7, 2009 at 1:48 am | Permalink

    You havn’t failed. One annoying thing about all this is that he will in all likelihood grow up to be a perfectly well balanced young man.

  17. Posted Thursday, May 7, 2009 at 3:20 am | Permalink

    The fact that he has already been physical with you, whether it is “normal” teenage behavior or not (and it isn’t, I don’t give a crap what anyone says) it is wholly unacceptable. If I had even remotely considered laying a hand on my mother, my face would have felt the wrath of my dad’s right hook. Mind you, this was a man that never laid a finger on me, but he never would have accepted that, period.
    Let’s not kid ourselves here; what Todd is doing is beyond normal teenage rebellion. Punishments such as taking away privileges, etc. are not going to do much at this point. He simply doesn’t care, and pointing the finger of blame, whether to yourself or his dad won’t help either.
    In short, the boy needs to go away. He needs discipline, in an environment that can provide that, and he can’t be given any choice in the matter. I would like to think that even in Brussels, the fact that he is a minor means that he cannot simply do as he pleases without his parents permission.
    Todd needs a serious reality check, and I don’t think standard counseling is going to do the trick at this point.

  18. Posted Thursday, May 7, 2009 at 7:25 am | Permalink

    hate to say it, but a voice of personal experience… sounds like there’s drugs involved to me 🙁

  19. anonymous
    Posted Thursday, May 7, 2009 at 10:22 am | Permalink

    You must be going through a very hard time. It sounds like your son is very unsettled and maybe the constant switching between your ex’s home and yours is not helping him, especially if the rules have been different in each home. He sounds like a very, very angry boy. Most teenagers are angry as a matter of course, but his case seems more severe. I know it’s hard to feel empathy towards him when you’re on the receiving end of his rage, but perhaps he is picking up on the fact that you do not have much in common and that you heave a sigh of relief every time he goes to spend a week with his dad, and vice-versa. It can’t be easy for him to feel that he is not appreciated in either home. If the situation has deteriorated so far that you no longer have a quality relationship, then even if he tries to make amends (which apparently he doesn’t), there is no incentive to do so because his family are so sick of him (understandably, from what you describe). It seems like this is probably the culmination of a long process of his feeling left out or shunted from one place to the other (perhaps he senses that you would rather spend time with your daughters?)He certainly seems to be hostile towards your boyfriend, so maybe there are unresolved issues there that need to be addressed. I don’t agree with other commenters that say you should change the locks, get police involved or send him to a home, it would only increase his problems beyond measure. However, he does need to know that there are boundaries and you will all have to enforce them very clearly, with very clear penalties for unacceptable behaviour. It’s a complicated situation, but if you can make him understand that in spite of everything, you love him and are there for him, maybe there’s a chink of light in the tunnel. A letter to him might not be a bad idea (although he might not read it). Just wondering if he knows that you have a blog and use it to rant about him to strangers? If so, I would definitely think about respecting his privacy (in all his teenage rage) and refraining from publishing things about him, as apart from relieving tension for you, I can’t see that it fulfils any other purpose….
    I don’t know if he has tried therapy – perhaps a sympathetic professional ear might help. Some psychologists are seen as (and act as) tell-tales to parents and therefore kids are very reluctant to go, but there are others that manage to get across that their relationship with the kid is confidential and that they will not tell the parents everything they say – so slowly they start to open up, get out the rage and process it in a caring environment, instead of it overflowing at every trivial turn. It really sounds like your son is in need of long-term therapy, for his own sake, if not for anyone else’s.
    This is very longwinded, sorry! Just wishing you strength and stamina and hoping that he starts to calm down soon. Don’t feel guilty as a mother, sometimes teenage boys cry out for a male role model, maybe the six weeks with his dad will work out well. It’s very important to try to win back even a small bit of common ground, so that not everything in your interaction with him revolves around his failures and your fraught relationship. The fact that he has a girlfriend is positive, I wouldn’t intervene in the line of reducing his contact with her, as she is probably a valuable lifeline for him, as are his friends. Have you talked to his friends’ parents? Maybe they could try to get through to him?

  20. Posted Thursday, May 7, 2009 at 12:36 pm | Permalink

    Having endured a couple of relationships with other folks kids I can maybe just understand were Todd is coming from and his behaviour may well be related to you and the boyfriend.
    I certainly don’t condone his behaviour but I maybe understand it.
    The only crumb of comfort I could possibly offer is that they do eventually leave it behind.
    In January I was in the UK and met up with an ex-partner for a meal and a catch up,her daughter hated me when we lived together and displayed much of the behaviour you describe in Todd. Not just to me but to her mother and natural father as well.
    Well to cut a long story short I also met her in the New Year, it was like meeting a different person, even though my ex is living with another guy in similar circumstances to when I was around.
    Light at the end of the tunnel-yes, you just can’t see it yet.
    To finish on a slightly lighter note, have you considered enlistment, for him, not you!

  21. Posted Thursday, May 7, 2009 at 1:12 pm | Permalink

    hhmmm I wonder if there is a place in Belgium similar to those American ‘bad kid camps’? You could stage an intervention, send him to a place where he has all his creature comforts removed and then he gets to confront his own demons?
    eish, and I have 2 of them to look forward to, hell Zoe, I hope that you get answers soon so that I can store them away for future reference!

  22. Posted Friday, May 8, 2009 at 7:53 am | Permalink

    Hi Z
    I’ve thought long and hard about posting this as I don’t think I line up with some of your opinions. I’m a dad,but discipline and confrontation don’t come easy to me. My wife is pretty much the opposite.
    Our youngest son went right of the rails after he dropped out of college. He lay in bed all day and smoked dope all night. The house was constantly full of strangers. When we complained about the doorbell going at 3am, the front door was just left open all night. Get up in the night for a pee and meet strangers on the stairs.Stuff started going missing. There were even accusations of rape by a thirteen year old girl (not involving our son,but another stranger).My wife and I were at work all day but were aware that our house was becoming the local drug den and worse.
    We found him a room in town and paid his rent for a month. When we dropped his mattress and bag of clothes off, my wife was supressing tears and I had a thought in the back of my mind that I may not see him alive again. He was 17.
    The change was almost instant. Given his own responsibilities he grew up overnight, found work to pay his rent etc. We still had to sub him now and again but we were confident it wasn’t all going on drugs.
    Scroll on a year or so and people are stopping me in the street – “aren’t you X’s dad? What a wonderful guy he is,you must be so proud of him” . Not the boy I used to know. We are introduced to others as ‘X’s parents’. His girlfriends arrived in relationships with him troubled,damaged or confused. These relationships would last a few months and then end amicably (they’re all still friends) with both parties feeling stronger and more confident.
    That was fifteen years ago. He lives in his own house with his partner and three wonderful kids. It’s a busy, creative household,full of fun. As far as I’m aware, he still hasn’t read a book all the way through. Apart from the ones he reads to his kids, of course.
    The point I’m making,Z,is that you can either be his Mum,who he’ll come to when he has emotional or relationship problems, or you’re going to be the screaming harridan who makes rules and takes away his priveleges. And in his eyes, I think it will be one or the other. Not both.Kids are on the whole are wiser and more clever than we credit them. They need responsibilities, not rules.
    Good luck to you both. Hope I haven’t muddied the waters here…..

  23. Posted Friday, May 8, 2009 at 10:59 am | Permalink

    Zoe, you have certainly NOT failed as a mother.Having heard you talk about your children and your opinions on raising them made me admire you.And that has not changed.Just follow your heart and do not go against your instincts.That will never work.Once I hid all my son’s shoes in the freezer to prevent him from leaving the house and that worked -that time anyways.Maybe staying elsewhere for a while, in a different household , might help.In our family it has.

  24. Posted Saturday, May 9, 2009 at 12:31 am | Permalink

    My first visit to you, drawn from Daggenham Dave’s blog by the name of yours. Husbands and boyfriends are definitely Twats!
    As to your rambunctious ray of sunshine of a son, I can help make you feel better by saying that, in general, they turn into human beings again eventually. It does require consistant resistance to their manipulations though.
    He needs a job. Having work responsabilities will allow him to hear from non-family that he is not perfect. Take away all phones and electronic games, no phone in bedroom or they sneak out with friends at night. Remove bedroom door from hinges and sleep with car keys under your pillow. Do not have any guilt about searching pockets, drawers and social network to be clued in to his life.
    Physical stuff is unacceptable. if he bullies you he will bully girl friends. It is a crime.
    One of my proudest moments was overhearing my daughter tell a friend “If I did that my Mum would be the one calling the cops”
    Daughter is fabulous and considerate lady now at 24, but I remember those days! Sympathies.

  25. Posted Saturday, May 9, 2009 at 5:19 am | Permalink

    Goodness, you need a vacation from being his mom!
    A couple of people have mentioned alcohol and drugs. I’m very conservative about alcohol, as I live in weirdo-Puritan/slutty america, and because my husband and other family members have had to drag their lives through AA to get themselves back to health and sanity. A long time ago, when Todd hit a significant birthday or passed an exam or whatever, you wrote about him going out to drink with his buddies, and expectations that he’d end up vomiting or passed out, or both. (No doubt I’m making this all up). Anyway, to my prudish view, I thought it was not a good choice to give under-age kids permission to get messed up with alcohol. If they start too early, they don’t learn to respect its power, and can get in too deep.
    I have no idea what the drug scene is over there, but if Todd has become dependent on either booze or drugs to get through his day, it will be hard to get him sorted out until those issues are addressed.
    Full sympathy, in any case!

  26. Posted Saturday, May 9, 2009 at 5:26 pm | Permalink

    I appreciate everybody’s point of view and I really am weighing them up. It’s been a week since Todd was here and I do miss him. Talk about having your cake and eating it ….
    I send my love to him via his dad or sisters – I can only presume that he doesn’t want to talk to me. He did call once – asking for his GSM, and I saw him today at the tram stop, but he didn’t acknowledge me at all, so I decided that maybe he needed the distance too.
    It hurts a lot today as it’s mother’s day tomorrow here and I know he won’t visit. Oh well, I’m working so that should help.

  27. Amanda
    Posted Sunday, May 10, 2009 at 5:06 am | Permalink

    Dear Zoe,
    I’ve been reading your posts about your troubles with you son and I feel sad for all of you.
    Firstly I wish you all the best. I think that you should try to argue against yourself when you feel you have failed as a mother. Growing up really is hard and for some of us more than others. It’s unrealistic to think that just because you’re a parent you’re expected to have all the answers. Being a good mother has to do with being prepared to hang in there for the long journey and being able to learn about living alongside your children.
    I’m not a parent so what do I know! I have a few observations which may or may not be helpful to you, I leave it for you to judge.
    About these rule setting schemes for dealing with behaviour problems. I really don’t think that kids are that different from adults in this respect. I think that they can work in situations in which the kid has got the same goals as the adults who run them. It’s like rule based weight loss programs with coaches. People entering these programs give the coaches the right to boss them about because they really want to lose weight. If the kid doesn’t share the adults’ goals then I think that they are self-defeating and doomed to failure.
    Some years ago, I worked in a school in a poor area of Melbourne. I found it interesting that when you talked to the twelve year olds about what they wanted to be when they grew up, many students told me that they wanted to be doctors. This was in a school from which no student would have qualified for medical school for at least the previous ten years. It made very aware of the journey that young people take from the age of around twelve to around eighteen when they have to take in the realities of the world they’re living in and find a pathway of hope for themselves within it.
    As your son seems to be having difficulties in most areas of his life, it’s likely that anxiety and uncertainty about his future is a big part of what is driving his difficult behaviour.
    Also your son may be stuck in depressive thinking. “My family hates me”, “I’m no good”, “My teachers hate me” etc. Thoughts that tend to lead down the path of “The world would be better off without me”.
    I know that your encounters with your son are often stressful and conflictual but, if I were you, I’d try to find some channel of communication (perhaps in little notes to him) were you can tell him that you love him and remind him of all the things that you think that he’s got going for him – you’ve known him his whole life so you must have some good ideas about this! He needs to know that it’s his behaviour that you’re have trouble dealing with, not the essential Todd.
    Best wishes to you all, Amanda

  28. anonymous
    Posted Sunday, May 10, 2009 at 4:37 pm | Permalink

    Mother’s Day is just a commercial stunt, try to see it like that and don’t expect your to take part in a charade. Actually it’s probably much more dignified on his part to leave you be for the time being.
    I agree with Amanda, your son would appear to be depressed, it is often manifested as aggression in teenagers. He probably has issues with self-esteem too and would really benefit from feeling like he belonged somewhere. Repeating a year at school is very traumatic, not to mention changing schools at his age.
    It may well be that he decides to continue living with his Dad. In that case, you will have to reestablish your relationship with him. In fact, that would mean that your daily disputes on untidiness, lack of respect for timetables, etc. would no longer be an issue between you and him, so it could be the best solution all round. He seems very unsettled and staying put for a while can only be a good thing. Rules have to be few and far between, but they have to be very consistent. I think he’s just crying out for attention and boundaries, no matter how he tries to convince himself otherwise.
    Obviously what you have posted on your blog about him in the past is just one aspect of your relationship, but truth be told, it’s hard to find an entry that is sympathetic to your son. Most of your recent entries with “Todd” tags are rants against him or jokes about the fact that you believe him to be gay despite his girlfriend (probably to provoke laughter in your readers and not with any intention of ridiculing him, but still: imagine if he knew? You have posted photos of yourself and your boyfriend on your blog, so I would imagine it wouldn’t take long for his friends to identify your family). It’s also interesting that you should have tagged the most recent entries as “Ex”, “Todd”. Perhaps in your own mind you tend or have in the past tended to see him as a continuation of your ex and not as an individual in his own right?
    As a mother you may have more rapport with your daughters, but it’s also important to build a healthy relationship with your son, even if your interests don’t overlap much. It’s all too easy, with a difficult teenager, to end up taking on the role of nagging mother and little else…
    Having said that, I have a feeling things are going to get better for you soon. Your son will pull through and he will turn out fine. In the meantime, stop torturing yourself with guilt and start building bridges towards a more adult relationship with him. Wishing you the best of luck.

  29. anonymous
    Posted Sunday, May 10, 2009 at 4:38 pm | Permalink

    don’t expect your son to take part, I mean

  30. Posted Monday, May 11, 2009 at 7:52 pm | Permalink

    Anon, I am not trying to defend myself in any way, rather clarify:
    I honestly thought for a long time that Todd was going to turn out gay. He may still and I have spoken to him about it. It’s not a secret and he knows that as long as he’s happy in life, then I’m happy.
    Re: the tags – they were just a way of reminding me about what the posts were about – Todd is very much a part of my life, even if he isn’t at home just now.
    I was really glad that he paid me a visit yesterday with a gift that he had contributed towards from all three of my children. It was good to see him, albeit briefly.
    And I’ll ready your comment in more detail tomorrow – I need my bed – it’s a very, very busy week 🙂

  31. Anonymous
    Posted Monday, May 11, 2009 at 8:35 pm | Permalink

    Is it possible that he resents any part of his life being turned into an internet soap opera?
    Was he given any say in the fact that his shortcomings are listed here almost daily for the ‘entertainment’ of others?
    Perhaps now is the time to make this part of your life ‘off limits’ as far as the blog is concerned. (It seems to me it takes a pretty strong character to see one’s step-father (or as close as) referred to daily as a “Twat” without getting pretty screwed up – just a thought.)

  32. anonymous
    Posted Monday, May 11, 2009 at 9:33 pm | Permalink

    Very GLAD that Todd visited you yesterday, if only for a short time.
    Things WILL get better, you’ll see.
    I hope you didn’t take my comments as being accusatory, because that is not how I intended them, I was just jotting down my impressions of the situation as an occasional reader of your blog….
    By the way, that last one about turning his life into a soap opera was from a different “anonymous”, not me…I doubt very much if your calling your boyfriend a “twat” has anything to do with anything, actually, it’s quite beside the point! 🙂